This user hasn't shared any biographical information
Posts by Liz Benjamin
Jul 12th - 9:58 am
Paychex, the Rochester-based payroll company through which state Independence Party founder Tom Golisano made his fortune, just announced that Golisano’s successor, Jonathan Judge, has resigned his post as president and CEO to pursue “other interests.”
Judge, who has been with Paychex since October 2004, will depart at the end of the month, but will complete his term as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
An executive committee has been formed to lead the company. Members include: Delbert Humenik, senior vice president of sales and marketing; John M. Morphy, senior vice president, chief financial officer, and secretary; and Martin Mucci, senior vice president of operations.
Golisano, who is in retirement and makes his primary residence in Florida (to escape NYS taxes, he says) and the Paychex board will provide oversight for the committee while the search for a new CEO is conducted.
“Jon joined Paychex as my successor, bringing with him experience and qualifications gained during his 25-year career with IBM,” said Golisano in a press release.
“During his tenure with Paychex, Jon guided our company’s revenue growth from $1.4 billion in fiscal 2005 to $2.0 billion in 2010. He also strengthened our management practices, oversaw key technology advances for our payroll and HR offerings, and led our successful entry into the health and benefits business.”
“We thank Jon for his leadership over the last six years and wish him well as he pursues new interests.”
Golisano, who spent some $93 million on three unsuccessful campaigns for governor (1994, 1998 and 2002), switched his enrollment in October 2005, sparking speculation that he would try to run a fourth time to challenge Democrat Eliot Spitzer, with whom the Paychex billionaire didn’t get along.
Ultimately, Golisano took a pass on the race, preferring instead to form a PAC, Responsible New York, that has tried to influence legislative contests, particularly in Western New York, with the influence of his longtime political advisor, the controversial former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon.
Golisano played a role in the Senate coup last year, saying his efforts were due in part to the fact that then-Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith has disrespected him by BlackBerrying during a meeting. Golisano continues to maintain his interests in New York, particularly through his ownership of the Buffalo Sabres, but more or less leave the political decisions up to Pigeon, as far as I can tell.
This year, the state Independence Party has tapped Democratic AG Andrew Cuomo to be its standard-bearer in the governor’s race – a contest in which the party must win at least 50,000 votes in order to maintain its ballot line. Cuomo accepted the party’s nod despite the fact that it remains in the crosshairs of the Manhattan DA’s office in the John Haggerty/Mayor Bloomberg contribution mess.
Jul 12th - 8:10 am
Libertarian gubernatorial hopeful Warren Redlich tries to capitalize on the LeBron James story (why not? everyone else is doing it – especially James himself) with this spoof campaign Web video.
And no, it’s not the shoes.
Jul 12th - 7:36 am
It’s not even 8 a.m. yet, and already there are two attack e-mails in my in-box related to the increasingly nasty GOP primary in Long Island’s 1st Congressional District.
The first came from Chris Cox’s campaign, which released an “unsolicited” letter it received from former New Jersey GOP Chairwoman Virginia Newmann Littell, who questions Randy Altschuler’s conservative credentials and says he claimed to favor abortion rights several years ago when he contacted her to inquire about running for Congress in the Garden State.
(Note: The story appeared first in Newsday, hence the link, and the letter was then blasted out shortly after 1 a.m. this morning).
In the letter, which is addressed to Suffolk County Conservative Chairman Ed Walsh (who has called on Cox to drop out of the race and endorse his party’s candidate, Altschuler), re-printed in the text of Cox’s press release, Littell calls Altschuler “nice and plausible and earnest,” but also said he “just didn’t have the instincts of a conservative.”
She also suggests Altschuler tried to buy his way into New Jersey politics, getting in touch with her right after he contributed $21,000 to the party.
Jul 12th - 7:09 am
Gov. David Paterson is in Lake Placid today to sign DWI prevention legislation into law and attend the addition of the bobsled track to the National Register of Historic Places.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson tries to determine if he have sufficient votes to merit bringing members back to Albany this week – possibly Wednesday or Thursday – to try again to pass the budget revenue bill.
The trouble with Thursday: Both petitions and the latest campaign finance reports are due that day, making this week a political scramble for lawmakers who very much want to get paid, but also want to be re-elected.
Woops…I forgot: At 1:30 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. will “address his future with the Democratic Party” at a press conference outside the Bronx Board of Elections…hmmm, might he be dis-enrolling himself before party leaders try to do it for him? Stay tuned.
The Paterson administration awarded a $297 million no-bid federal contract to GHI, the health-care provider that employs the governor’s wife.
While he’s running against special interests, AG Andrew Cuomo’s hand-picked state Democratic Party executive director, Charlie King, continues to count some of those same interests as clients.
President Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs said there’s “no doubt” the Republicans could take back the House this fall.
Mayor Bloomberg is very attached to his iPad.
Fred LeBrun supports Darren Dopp’s refusal to let the Troopergate issue go.
Basil Smikle has raised $130,000 to fuel his quest to unseat Sen. Bill Perkins in the September Democratic primary.
Jul 11th - 4:54 pm
The bride wore Oscar de la Renta; former President Clinton officiated.
RIP Bob Sheppard, voice of the Yankees.
Gov. David Paterson joked (?) that he most regrets not appointing himself to the US Senate to fill the vacancy left by Hillary Clinton.
Paterson insisted he still has some cards in his hand – namely calling lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session in the absence of an FMAP deal.
The Senate Democrats are playing hardball with legislative paychecks, and the Assembly is feeling the pinch.
NYC has spent more than $15 million to pay for 236 part-time and full-time union representatives so far this year.
Taxpayers’ share of city pension costs has skyrocketed more than 900 percent in the last decade — from $703.1 million in 2000 to $6.5 billion in 2009, according to the NYC comptroller’s office.
“As ‘Stack’ goes, so may control of the Senate. And control of the Senate means everything,” writes Bob McCarthy.
Jul 10th - 1:39 pm
Sorry I’m a bit late to get this up.
Much to discuss this weekend – from the Democrats’ latest effort to distance themselves from Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. to Gov. David Paterson’s latest veto to the war of words between Rick Lazio and AG Andrew Cuomo’s campaign/surrogates over the mosque proposed near Ground Zero.
…or whatever else you’ve got on your mind.
Have at it.
Jul 10th - 1:37 pm
In a last-minute fundraising appeal, Sen. Eric Schneiderman seems to be engaging in a little expectation-lowering exercise, telling supporters that the extended legislative session kept him too busy to focus on raising campaign cash.
The e-mail, with the subject line “one day to go” arrived shortly after noon today. In it, the Manhattan Democrat says he has “assembled the deepest, broadest coalition of progressive supporters” in his bid to succeed Andrew Cuomo as attorney general.
But Schneiderman also acknowledges he was hamstrung by the never-ending budget battle, which required him to be in Albany while all but one of his rivals worked donors and hit the campaign trail (Assemblyman Richard Brodsky was in the same boat).
“While I’ve been working long hours to pass key measures like Ian’s Law (which prohibits insurance companies from dropping sick patients) and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (which is the strongest tool in the nation to fight taxpayer fraud and corruption), other candidates have been getting a head start on their fundraising, holding events and carrying over millions from previous campaigns,” the senator wrote. “Please help us counter their advantage by showing your support.”
Jul 9th - 7:06 pm
Michael Roston floats Alec Baldwin for US Senate in 2012.
The Senate has a tentative plan to return to Albany next Wednesday.
Mayor Bloomberg is headed to New Hampshire.
Assemblyman Nelson Castro is getting a divorce and defending himself against “outrageous allegations” about his personal life.
Rick Lazio is going to California for a Republican Jewish Coalition luncheon.
The NYC Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus wants Paterson to sign legislation that would ban the NYPD’s practice of keeping the stop-and-frisk database.
BCAT TV hosted a spirited debate about wine in grocery stores.
VP Joe Biden is campaigner-in-chief.
Wayne Barrett challenges Paterson’s FMAP argument in defense of his budget vetoes.
Could the BP leak be contained by Monday?
Paterson spoke to Jay-Z about LeBron James.
Senate candidate Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter responds to comments about the fact that she’s on disability.
A Firedoglake blogger takes Reshma Saujani to task.
NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is helping Sen. Eric Schneiderman raise campaign cash for his AG run.
Rep. Barney Frank e-mailed for his colleague, Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
Could it be that the $125,000 a month the NYC OTB plans to shell out to its new executive is worth it?
Jul 9th - 5:34 pm
Upon reading the AP report that Bill Clinton will officiate at the wedding of Rep. Anthony Weiner to Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NY1′s Grace Rauh started making some calls to see if the former president needed to do anything to prepare.
NY City Clerk Michael McSweeney tells me that being a former President does not make one eligible to perform a wedding ceremony in New York State.
So, it’s possible that Clinton became an ordained minister to officiate at the ceremony (perhaps through the Universal Life Church?)… Still trying to figure out if that’s the case (there’s no exhaustive list of ordained ministers that I’m aware of).
If the happy couple was getting married in the city, then whoever is officiating at his wedding would have had to register with the city. But since the wedding is on Long Island, those same requirements don’t apply.
The 45-year-old congressman and his 34-year-old fiancee are to be married Saturday at the Oheka Castle in Huntington.
They’ve been dating for about two years and announced their engagement last summer. Weiner is Jewish. Abedin grew up in Saudi Arabia and is Muslim. (As the former president said at a recent pre-wedding party for the couple, this is the embodiment of what “the future of the world should be”).
The Clintons are a bit wedding crazy this summer. They’re in the midst of preparing the nuptials of their daughter, Chelsea, and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky in Rhinebeck later this month.
UPDATE: A married reader writes: “Definitely not as good of a story as Clinton becoming Universal Life Minister, but I’m guessing that they will have a judge sign the papers before or after the ceremony. That’s what (we did) when we got married…We were technically already married before (my wife) walked down the aisle. I bet they will do something similar.”
Jul 9th - 5:18 pm
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
The preliminary report of the Charter Revision Commission has been released, and while it addresses the issue of term limits – ostensibly the main reason it was convened in the first place – it does not touch some of the more controversial topics, like nonpartisan elections (a past pet issue for Mayor Bloomberg).
The commission was established after Bloomberg successfully pushed a term limits extension through the NYC Council, enabling his successful run for a third term. (That would not be allowed to happen again under a recommendation in this report).
Ron Lauder, a billionaire cosmetics heir and the city’s leading term limits advocate, signed off on the switch based on a promise from the mayor that there would be a commission and he would be able to serve on it. Lauder later declined a position on the commission.
A source familiar with his thinking at the time told me Lauder believed he could “get more done on the outside than on the inside” to restore term limits.
According to the press release that accompanied this report, there will now be another series of public hearings. After several months of debate, the Commission will vote on a final set of proposals for consideration by the voters.
The report appears in full after the jump. You can read the appendices here.