Mar 5th - 7:34 am
Mary Louise Mallick, a veteran Senate staffer during the Joe Bruno years, is returning to the chamber – this time to work for the IDC.
IDC spokesman Eric Soufer confirmed Mallick, who is currently working in state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office, will be joining the conference as its finance director starting next week.
He also forwarded the following quote from IDC Leader Jeff Klein:
“Mary Louise is one of the sharpest, most experienced budget professionals in Albany. I know she will be a tremendous asset to the IDC, so I look forward to her joining our team.”
Mallick will be a member of the IDC’s senior staff, along with Soufer, John Emrick (chief of staff), Dana Carotenuto (policy director and deputy chief of staff), and Shelly Andrews (counsel).
(NOTE: To be clear, I’m told Emrick will still be the IDC’s main person “in the room” during budget talks).
Mallick’s first day at her new post will be Tuesday, which means she’ll be arriving just as budget negotiations – the first ever for the IDC – shift into high gear.
Mallick served as Senate finance secretary when Bruno was majority leader. In her new position, she’ll be working opposite her former deputy, Robert Mujica, who is now the Senate GOP’s chief of staff and finance secretary.
She left the Senate at the end of 2006 to serve as acting executive director of UAlbany’s Biosciences Development Corporation, and a year later went to work for DiNapoli as deputy comptroller for budget and policy analysis.
She eventually rose to the title of “first deputy comptroller.”
But Mallick was bumped from that position by DiNapoli in late 2010 to make room for his former Assembly colleague, Pete Grannis, after he was booted from his job as DEC commissioner by then-Gov. David Paterson.
At the time, DiNapoli gave Mallick the title of “senior policy advisor.”
Reached for comment late yesterday, Mallick referred all questions to the IDC.
Mar 5th - 6:19 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.
State Secretary of State Cesar Perales will deliver versions of Cuomo’s budget and State of the State addresses at 9:30 a.m. at the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, 55 Main St.
Tuesday is Lobby Day down at the state Capitol, so expect long lines at the metal detectors and crowded elevators in the LOB.
Among those expected to descend on lawmakers’ offices: Some 1,200 AFSCME members, who will also be hearing from union President Lee Saunders and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.
At 10:30 a.m., Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie will announce a comprehensive plan to strengthen New York’s agriculture industry. Room 332, state Capitol.
The Assembly is expected to pass a stand-alone bill that would raise the state’s hourly minimum wage to $9 and index future increases to the rate of inflation.
At 12:30 p.m., advocates in support of the measure will gather outside the Speaker’s conference room with Sheldon Silver to tout this move. Room 342, state Capitol.
At 2:30 p.m., the same advocates will be outside the Senate with petitions signed by hundreds of businesses, calling on members of that chamber to follow the Assembly’s lead.
Also at 12:30, Sen. David Carlucci and fellow IDCers will announce legislation that calls for suspending fracking to accommodate the review of three new public health-related studies. Fourth floor, Senate lobby, state Capitol.
AQE is putting on a parade of school marching bands to highlight the possible casualties of state education aid cuts.
Outside Albany: Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney will be delivering her State of the County address at 5:30 p.m.
The state is refusing to release specific tax credit amounts for hundreds of companies that made just one film. That includes almost 250 movies, including blockbusters like ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’
Cuomo acknowledged he spoke with his former brother-in-law, RFK Jr., about fracking, but insisted those discussions alone didn’t sway any decisions he has made on the practice.
State officials approved more than $1 million in public money — in addition to $5.3 million already disclosed — to settle sexual harassment claims against state workers over the last four years.
The DN’s Bill Hammond takes gun-rights advocates to task for engaging in “in loose talk about armed resistance against a duly elected government,” calling that “crazy talk.’
Dutchess County could join a growing list of counties asking state lawmakers to repeal restrictive gun controls. The vote is Thursday.
Mar 4th - 6:03 pm
Asked if players who used steroids should be allowed in the Hall of Fame, Jose Canseco said: “I don’t think we’re here for that,” and stepped away from the lectern.
Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire man of space tourism and founder of Virgin Airlines, is chiding Mayor Bloomberg and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, saying the office will soon become a thing of the past.
Bloomberg’s net worth has skyrocketed in the last year, and he’s now the 13th richest person on the planet, according to Forbes magazine.
“(T)he numbers in these things are always suspect. And I never liked any of these lists.”
Sen. Tony Avella will decline his $9,500 annual stipend for being the ranking Democratic member on two Senate committees.
Sen. Daniel Squadron fired his fund-raising consultant, Cindy Darrison, over the phone while she was sitting shiva for her father. She responded by contributing to his NYC public advocate rivals.
Forty-four percent of likely US voters think the sequester spending cuts will have a positive impact or no impact on their own lives in the long term, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
NYSUT’s flow of red ink continues.
Cuomo launched a one stop shop to provide New York’s wine, beer, and spirits producers with a single point of government contact for help regarding regulations, licensing, state incentives, and any other questions or issues.
Government leaders in White Plains; Ramapo, Rockland County; the Westchester County Legislature; and the Rochester City Council have either written lawmakers in support of the SAFE Act or passed resolutions in favor of it.
NYC GOP mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis hit the airwaves with a radio ad that includes a primer on how to pronounce his name.
With increasing budget gaps and the highest percentage of poor families in any of New York’s cities, Rochester is expected to face heightened fiscal stress in coming years. state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says.
The WFP launched an on-line petition calling on members of Cnogress to introduce a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote.
Josh Fox (anti) and Ted Nordhaus (pro) debate fracking.
The anti-gun trafficking bill being pushed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will now be part of a more expansive piece of legislation championed by Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy.
President Obama made three cabinet nominations - for budget, energy and environmental policy - hours before his first cabinet meeting of his second term.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie on the sequester: “I don’t have the first damn idea of what they’re doing down there…Real leadership would get this fixed.”
Mar 4th - 1:51 pm
GOP memo to Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei: Don’t get too comfortable.
National Republicans are looking to get an early start in their quest to re-take NY-24 from Maffei after he toppled former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle last fall.
A Central New York source says NRCC Chairman Greg Walden, of Oregon, made a trip to the area this weekend and met with several potential candidates – including Buerkle herself, who is maintaining her D.C. ties and hasn’t yet ruled out a re-match (this would be the third time she faces off against Maffei) in 2014.
According to this source, Walden also chatted with two others: Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, who made a brief and unsuccessful attempt at landing the GOP nod for statewide office – first comptroller, and then attorney general – back in 2010; and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.
Walden was spotted at private reception for high-dollar donors that preceded Mahoney’s 2013 gala reception at the Oncenter Ballroom Saturday night.
The idea of a Mahoney candidacy is intriguing on a number of levels, not the least of which is the pickle in which that might put Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Mahoney, as you’ll recall, enraged her fellow CNY Republicans when she crossed party lines to endorse Cuomo for governor in 2010.
Since then, she has co-chaired his transtition committee, become a NYPA trustee and been a staunch advocate for a number of his policies, including his controversial pension smoothing proposal that has caused so much friction between Cuomo and his hand-picked state Democratic Party co-chair, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Cuomo endorsed Maffei’s successful re-match against Buerkle last year, but it would put him in an awkward position if Maffei was pitted against Mahoney.
Another full endorsement of a Republican would not sit well with the left at a time when Cuomo will be seeking re-election himself. (Remember how well that – failed – endorsement of former Republican Sen. Steve Saland played with the liberal base?)
The 2014 races are a long way off, but President Obama is reportedly already looking ahead to the next round of mid-terms to in hopes of helping the Democrats re-take control of the House to help cement his legacy.
Mahoney’s chief of staff Ben Dublin confirmed that the county executive did indeed meet with Walden to discuss 2014 this weekend. Asked if she might be interested in running, Dublin replied:
“It’s very flattering to have her name mentioned, but right now, she’s focused on being county executive. Thar race is a long way off.”
Which, by the way, is not “no.”
UPDATE: NRCC spokesman Ian Prior emailed:
“The NRCC is absolutely looking to flip NY-24 in 2014. We view Maffei as a weak candidate with a misguided party-line mentality and a record of questionable decision making while in office (e.g, handing out midnight bonuses on his way out the door).”
“In a mid-term election without Maffei hanging for his political life on the coattails of the President, we are confident that, with the right Republican candidate, Maffei will suffer the same fate as he did in 2010 – defeat.”
“While I cannot confirm specific individuals with whom he met, I can confirm that Chairman Walden was in the Syracuse area meeting with several potential candidates to gauge interest in running for a very winnable seat.”
Mar 4th - 6:38 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.
The Senate Republicans will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. in Room 332 of the state Capitol to announce a package of tax relief and reform measures that will save money for middle class families in New York.
The New York Women’s Equality Coalition formally launches to support making the governor’s Women’s Equality Agenda “a reality this legislative session.” Noon, LOB, Room 130, Albany.
Form 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the NYC Council Finance and Council committees hold a joint preliminary budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 11 a.m., Sen. Eric Adams and Assemblyman David Weprin announce legislation allowing prosecutors to charge hit-and-run drivers with vehicular assault, Kent Avenue and Wilson Street, Brooklyn.
Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Nydia Velazquez unveils new report on the impact of sequestration on small businesses, steps of City Hall, Manhattan.
Former MLB outfielder Jose Canseco will join IDC leader Jeff Klein in calling for a ban on the over-the-counter nutritional supplement DMAA. Press conference at 1 p.m. (Room 123), roundtable discussion from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Room 124), state Capitol, Albany.
The New York Farm Bureau’s annual “Taste of NY” reception is tonight. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza, to coincide with its lobby day.
The Cuomo administration uses a program called “Newstracker” to monitor daily media calls to state agencies. Everything is filtered through the main press office on the Capitol’s second floor.
Some Capitol “wags” are calling the constitutional amendment passed by the Assembly to raise the retirement age for judges “Jonathan’s Law” because it would benefit the chief judge, who is close to Speaker Sheldon Silver.
State budget talks will have to enter the home stretch this week if Cuomo is to realize his goal of the third consecutive on-time spending deal, which hasn’t happened since 1984.
Senate Republicans today will unveil a proposal to expand tax credits and bring back a STAR property tax rebate check that was eliminated in 2009.
The not-so Independence Party? The statewide organization’s two biggest donors last year were state Senate Republicans and one of the GOP conference’s key allies, the Real Estate Board of New York.
Mar 3rd - 4:55 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo came close to approving fracking last month, laying out a limited drilling plan for as many as 40 gas wells before changing course to await the findings of a new study after discussions with environmentalist and former brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
A timeline of Cuomo’s evolving thinking and comments on fracking.
Mayor Bloomberg was booed as he walked in the annual St. Patrick’s Parade in the hurricane-ravaged Rockaways.
Cheryl Chumley: Bloomberg “is to the Second Amendment what billionaire investor George Soros is to the free market: A resounding death knell.”
State lawyers will have to appear on March 11 to explain why the court shouldn’t issue an injunction to halt the SAFE Act as the result of several lawsuits filed against it.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple is the latest local elected official to speak out against the SAFE Act.
Republican officials are coalescing around former Community Board 3 chairman John Antoniello as the next leader of the Staten Island Republican Party.
The SI GOP has had six chairs since the end of 2002.
AG Eric Schneiderman plans to file federal and state charges against a key Native American cigarette supplier based in Canada, and against a Seneca Indian Nation-based wholesaler for distribution of millions of cartons of tobacco products that have escaped state taxation.
The state’s top lawyer wants the tax-free sales into New York halted, and tens of millions of dollars in penalties may be at stake.
New York’s wealthiest school districts spend $8,600 more per student than the poorest ones – a spending gap that school advocates said is a concerning illustration of educational inequity in the state.
Carl Paladino and Rep. Brian Higgins once called each other friends. They’re related by marriage; their wives are first cousins. But as a billboard targeting the congressman and paid for by the businessman demonstrates – not anymore.
Two of Cayuga County’s state senators – John DeFrancisco and Jim Seward – are opposed to Cuomo’s proposal to establish an early voting system in New York.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick doesn’t think “the snake oil” of residential development is the key to the future of Hudson River Park, and she’s single-handedly blocking any proposals to build housing on Pier 40.
The future of the Canadian casinos that are struggling to survive could alter the tourism landscape in Niagara Falls – and pose a cautionary tale as New York State considers adding even more casinos to upstate New York.
Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz is backing the frontrunner in the race to replace him: Sen. Eric Adams.
The Democratic Party has spent $195,940 for 666 ads featuring Cuomo on Rochester’s four major networks since Jan. 22.
“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon is taking a lead role in NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign. She has hosted and appeared at five different rallies, fundraisers and meet-and-greets in the last three months alone.
Former State Sen. Nick Spano is in a Brooklyn detention facility, just five days after his early release from federal prison and into a Bronx halfway house.
Former Gov. Mario Cuomo thought the award of best movie Oscar to ‘Argo’ w”as way off” and “just inside Hollywood politics.” He liked ‘Lincoln’, though.
A growing number of Hudson Valley communities are considering plastic bag bans.
Mar 1st - 5:48 pm
According to Mayor Bloomberg, the sequester isn’t a problem for NYC in the long term and talk of painful cuts is just “posturing.”
Obama’s response: “I guess it depends on where you sit…It’s not going to be an apocalypse as some people have said. It’s just dumb.”
The president also signaled that he wants to avoid a clash with Congress that could shut down the government at the end of March – even if it means allowing across-the-board cuts to remain in place for months.
Photographic proof that Gov. Andrew Cuomo once held a shotgun.
Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers backed Barry Grodenchik, a former assemblyman and deputy Queens borough president, in the crowded Queens BP battle.
Diet advice from the Nanny Mayor: Eat less, weigh less.
Apparently, lobster rolls are an acceptable menu option.
Newly-elected Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda is “preparing legislation to circumscribe the domestic usage of drones.”
A man named Joel Rivera is running in the NYC Council race to replace term-limited Bronx Councilman and Majority Leader Joel Rivera.
GOP NYC mayoral candidate George McDonald has a new campaign website.
Two hundred twelve members of Congress filed an amicus brief in the DOMA case currently before the US Supreme Court.
Just over half of US voters think the country needs more gun control, but most feel safer living in a neighborhood where someone can own a gun for their own protection, a new Rasmussen poll found.
Carl Paladino got his Buffalo School Board campaign off to a roaring start.
More than 550 people have signaled their intent to join a state court lawsuit alleging that toxic contamination from the Love Canal landfill has created a “public health catastrophe” for neighbors of the site in Niagara Falls.
Mar 1st - 6:33 am
Sequestration day has arrived. Still no deal in sight down in D.C., thanks largely to House Speaker John Boehner.
President Obama plans to meet with congressional leaders at the White House this morning, so it’s possible a last-minute agreement to avert the automatic across-the-board spending cuts will be reached. (Congress has left for the weekend, however, so no votes will be taken).
Obama must sign an order to set the cuts in motion, and plans to do so as close to midnight as possible.
The US Senate rejected two last-ditch proposals to avoid the cuts – one proposed by Democrats, the other from Republicans.
The $85 billion worth of cuts – if they take place – will be long, slow and painful.
The White House has been highlighting all the pain these cuts will cause, but New York elected officials don’t seem terribly concerned.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 10:30 a.m., the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Appropriations, led by Sen. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, will hold a field hearing on post-Sandy rebuilding. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will testify. 212 Coast Guard Dr., Staten Island.
At 11:15 a.m., Latino state lawmakers and executives from Latino and mental health organizations and government officials will call for increased federal and state funding of mental health programs in NYC, 7th floor, 145 W. 15th St., Manhattan.
Sen. Tony Avella promotes his proposal to require that NYC officials change the sales and compensating use tax for diesel fuels and gasoline to a flat rate per gallon, rather than a percentage of the cost per gallon; 11:30 a.m., Kramer’s Service Station, 157-30 Willets Point Blvd., Queens.
Yesterday’s pro-gun rally attracted between 5,000 and 10,000 demonstrators – depending on whether you believe the number supplied by the Cuomo administration, which pushed through the NY SAFE Act, or organizers of the protest.
Feb 28th - 5:26 pm
NRA President David Keene on Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “(He’s) willing to sacrifice your rights as citizens and the prerogatives of this legislature on the altar of his own ambition and on the ego of Michael Bloomberg.”
Pro-gun control organizations released a video in support of the SAFE Act as a response to today’s pro-gun rights rally.
Sen. Dave Valesky appears to be having second thoughts about his “yes” vote on the SAFE Act. At the very least, he’s open to amendments.
Lots of creative signs on display outside the Capitol today.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is threatening to sue municipalities in his state that ban fracking.
“If Republicans had any brains they’d stay away from CPAC,” said Rep. Pete King, who also believes voting against Sandy aid should “disqualify anybody for president.”
King can’t believe Sen. Marco Rubio has the “balls” to raise campaign cash on Wall Street after voting “no” on Sandy aid.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns formally endorsed a ban on high-capacity magazines under consideration in Washington.
More than one in six households in New York – 17.7 percent - reported not having enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some point during the prior twelve months.
Despite looming sequester cuts set to take effect at the end of the week, House Speaker John Boehner found time to scold lawmakers on their questionable work attire.
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Sen. Jose Serrano want an “overhaul” of the currently defunct member item system.
The Obama administration will urge the US Supreme Court to rule that voters in California were not entitled to ban same-sex marriage there, according to an administration official.
There’s going to be a medical marijuana business seminar in NYC on March 14.
Bill Samuels wants the governor to release his campaign finance reform plan “immediately.”
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf was buried at West Point.
Jon Huntsman was a big hit in Chinatown.
Twenty-five years ago, on February 29, 1988, Mayor Ed Koch signed the New York City Campaign Finance Act into law.
Carl Paladino is formally announcing his campaign for a seat on the Buffalo School Board.
Feb 28th - 6:47 am
There’s another big pro-gun rights rally at the state Capitol today, which NRA President David Keene is expected to attend along with thousands of 2nd Amendment advocates.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t be around to see/hear any of that.
Instead, he’ll be in Brooklyn and on Long Island, delivering versions of his State of the State and budget addresses.
- 11:30 a.m., Kingsborough Community College, Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center, 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn.
- 1:45 p.m., Stony Brook University, Wang Theater, Shirley Kenny Dr.
At 8:30 a.m., “City & State” will host a State of the City forum. NYU, 238 Thompson St., Grand Hall, 5th Fl, Manhattan.
Also at 8:30 p.m., panelists discuss the state of lower Manhattan four months after Superstorm Sandy during a forum hosted by the Downtown Alliance and The Real Estate Board of New York; 18th floor, 100 Wall St., Manhattan.
The IDC calls for creation of an independent risk management office to help the state save $150 million over five years. Noon, fourth floor Senate lobby, state Capitol, Albany.
At 1 p.m., Sen. Joe Griffo, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on
Banks, holds a public hearing on the disbursement of Sandy-related insurance funds. LOB, Hearing Room A, Albany.
At 1:30 p.m., there will be a “revenue forecasting conference” as part of the ongoing budget process, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.
Sen. Daniel Squadron, representatives of the City Bar Justice Center, Manhattan Community Board 1 and the law firm Proskauer Rose host a pro bono legal clinic for small businesses near the South Street Seaport that were hurt by Sandy; South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St., Manhattan.
At 6 p.m., Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton delivers versions of Cuomo’s speeches at the Rogers Island Visitors Center, 11 Rogers Island Dr., Fort Edward.
at 7 p.m., Staten Island BP James Molinaro presents the final State of the Borough address of his 12 years in office; St. George Theatre, 35 Hyatt St., Staten Island.
With half the state’s counties passing resolutions denouncing the SAFE Act, officials are considering “technical corrections” to the measure to ensure newly banned weapons can still be used in movies and TV shows filmed in the state.
Other than that, the state is not expected to make major changes to the gun-control law adopted Jan. 15.
Cuomo rejected Mayor Bloomberg’s call for the state to to extend the NYC’s big soda ban to grocery stores, including 7-Elevens, which are outside the mayor’s control.
Bloomberg’s ban on large-size sugary drinks remains unpopular with NYC residents. A new Q poll found 51 percent opposed.
The Daily Freeman: “(I)n Universe Cuomo, tragedies primarily aren’t about people at all, but, rather, about limitless political opportunity for Star Andrew.”
Bloomberg has pledged $100 million to help the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others to fight polio around the world.