Aug 4th - 11:18 am
Reshma Saujani is continuing to slam her Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, for so far refusing to commit to debate with just six weeks remaining until the Sept. 14 election.
Saujani’s campaign released this new Web video that details the veteran Manhattan/Queens congresswoman’s waffling on the issue and noted that Maloney has repeatedly insisted she’s too busy either “talking directly to voters” or doing her job in Washington, D.C. to go mano-a-mano with her newcomer challenger.
Last summer, back when Maloney was mulling a never-realized primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, here’s what the congresswoman’s camp had to say about debates:
“She’s decided to run because she believes there needs to be a debate on the real issues and she wants to give New Yorkers a choice,” a Maloney adviser said. “She believes her record and results make her the right person to fight for New Yorkers.”
Aug 4th - 11:05 am
Sean Coffey is taking a swipe at his Democratic AG primary opponent, Sen. Eric Schneiderman, calling his “no” vote on last night’s property tax cap bill a “stinging rebuke to overburdened middle-class voters”.
The program bill sent to the Legislature by the governor, which calls for a 4 percent cap on school and property taxes in all but the so-called “Big Five” cities and NYC, passed the Senate, 52-7. The nays were all Democrats: Jose Peralta, Antoine Thompson, Bill Perkins, Ruben Diaz Sr., Kevin Parker, Shirley Huntley and Schneiderman.
“State Sen. Schneiderman’s vote to oppose a bipartisan move to cap ever-escalating and out-of-control property taxes is confounding and concerning, particularly as the economy struggles to emerge from the Great Recession,” Coffey said in a press release.
“But it speaks to a larger worry, which is that Sen. Schneiderman is already catering to special interests over the interests of ordinary New Yorkers. His vote against middle-class homeowners is a significant sign that Sen. Schneiderman is out of touch with the vast majority of New Yorkers.”
“Those who seek elected office have a powerful bully pulpit – and I intend to continue using mine to help create a new culture in Albany that is accountable and responsive to the voters’ concerns. Sen. Schneiderman had an opportunity to show leadership on a critical issue facing our state – and he failed.”
Aug 4th - 8:09 am
The 2010-2011 budget is finally done after much backroom wrangling and very little public debate – just 125 days late.
The Senate passed the final piece of the budget in a 32-28 vote; the revenue bill restores the sales tax on clothing purchases under $110 and halves charitable deductions for the very wealthy but doesn’t contain a tax on nonresident hedge funds.
The Senate left Albany shortly after midnight after passing a one-house moratorium on hydrofracking. The Assembly has said it won’t return until after the Sept. 14 primary – if then.
Sen. Bill Stachowski dropped his monthlong threat not to vote for the revenue bill without a SUNY empowerment deal, insisting there’s a “framework” of an agreement, though no details are available.
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., who had to be lured up to Albany with the promise of a vote on the farm workers rights bill (it didn’t pass), blasted the governor in a statement.
Sen. Tom Duane staged a stand-off over housing legislation, but eventually relented and voted “yes” on the revenue bill.
The US Senate is still scrambling to pass a bill that includes Medicaid aid for the states; the Legislature passed an FMAP contingency plan just in case the cash doesn’t arrive.
The head of Gov. David Paterson’s security detail, Maj. Charles Day, has not only been transferred in the wake of the Kaye report, but also faces potential charges for violating state ethics laws. No decision has been made about another aide mentioned in the report, Clemmie Harris.
Paterson threatened to call the Assembly back to Albany to address a property tax cap passed by the Senate. (Remember: He can’t force them to take up bills, but he can force them back to the Capitol).
Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice admitted to “dabbling” with coke and pot when she was young, calling her drug use a “stupid” thing from which she has long since moved on.
Mayor Bloomberg formed a company in the offices of his longtime accountant, Martin Geller, so he could pay three aides off the public payroll for performing nongovernmental tasks on their own time.
Here’s Rick Lazio’s latest Web video, in which he continues his opposition to the mosque proposed for construction near Ground Zero, which can move forward after a NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission vote yesterday.
Aug 3rd - 9:12 pm
So, after all that, the revenue bill has passed the Senate in a straight party-line vote – 32-28 – along with a chapter amendment (passed earlier today by the Assembly) to repeal the tax on non-resident hedge fund managers.
And…drumroll please…barring a veto by Gov. David Paterson, which is not expected, the budget is now finished – a mere 125 days after the April 1 constitutional deadline.
As for the SUNY empowerment plan, Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson and Sens. Brian Foley and Stachowski released the following statement:
“We have reached a framework agreement on SUNY/CUNY empowerment.”
“Higher education is a lifeline for our children and for working-class New Yorkers. Increasing our investments in higher education to reduce class size, create jobs, and foster public/private partnerships, will ensure our SUNY and CUNY systems remain top ranked institutions, and guarantee the next generation of New York’s thinkers, leaders and workers will have the tools to excel.”
“The leadership of the Senate, Assembly, and the Executive will continue to negotiate the details of this critical legislation and we will return to Albany to pass empowerment into law with bipartisan and bicameral support.”
So, this is a one-house statement about a supposed “framework” deal.
What is it really? Cover, of course. Cover for the hold-outs – Stachowski and Foley – to vote “yes” on the revenue bill to: 1) avoid blowing the record for the latest budget in modern history and, 2) enable themselves and all their colleagues to be paid for the first time in almost four months.
Aug 3rd - 7:11 pm
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: “We passed the budget. We passed the budget again.”
Mayor Bloomberg delivered an impassioned defense of the mosque and freedom of religion.
Rep. Anthony Weiner has been unusually quiet on the mosque.
RNC Chairman Micheal Steele got punked by a conservative blogger posing as a donor.
Aretha Franklin won’t be performing at Rep. Charlie Rangel’s birthday party.
Democrat Mike Kaplowitz landed the Indy line in the 40th SD race.
Bill Samuels’ New Roosevelt Initiative PAC will be leafletting a “Shrek III” screening in Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr.’s district tonight. (See right).
Rep. Carolyn Maloney won’t be there, either.
Brooklyn District Leader (52nd AD) is supporting Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice for AG.
The Senate tried several times to pass the SUNY empowerment bill and failed.
Maloney’s primary challenger, Reshma Saujani, thinks Rangel should resign.
NY-13 candidate Michael Allegretti is circulating petitions for Carl Paladino’s Taxpayers line.
Rudy Giuliani wrote a letter on behalf of Allegretti’s GOP opponent, Michael Grimm.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky is personally opposed to the mosque, but would defend the right of its supporters to build it if he were AG.
The DNC is keeping its superdelegates.
Senate candidate David Mejias (challenging Sen. Kemp Hannon) has a new campaign Website.
…so does Unshackle Upstate.
The White House has no position on the mosque (and might be the only administration that doesn’t).
Aug 3rd - 5:29 pm
Gov. David Paterson issued a statement praising the Senate for passing his 4 percent property tax cap in a 51-8 vote this afternoon and calling on the Assembly Democrats to follow suit – or risk being dragged back to Albany by the governor against their will yet again.
Paterson called the vote the “first significant step toward easing the burden on property taxpayers across the state,” adding:
“I applaud Conference Leader John Sampson, Minority Leader Dean Skelos and the entire New York State Senate for passing legislation to provide New Yorkers a much-needed and long overdue property tax cap.”
“This property tax cap would ensure real, sustainable property tax relief that New Yorkers need now more than ever.
“But this relief will not become a reality until my proposal has passed in the New York State Assembly. I am calling on Speaker Sheldon Silver and the entire Assembly to join with me and the Senate and make the property tax cap law,” Paterson added.
“It is time to put taxpayers above the special interests by bringing the tax cap to the floor for an up or down vote. Unfortunately, because the Assembly failed to take up this legislation today, I will be forced to consider using my executive authority to call for another Extraordinary Session so that this critical issue can finally be debated by both houses of the Legislature.”
Aug 3rd - 5:16 pm
Sen. Eric Schneiderman has followed the lead of the man he hopes to replace, AG Andrew Cuomo, and released a policy book that details at great length – 22,500 words and 60+ pages, to be exact – his proposals on eight subject areas over which the AG has jurisdiction.
Cuomo’s policy book is called the “New NY Agenda: A Plan for Action“, and even received a review from the New York Times.
Schneiderman’s tome doesn’t have a catchy title, but apparently, there’s more where this came from.
Yes, this is merely merely Book One, and it covers the following topics:
Civil Rights; Consumer Protection; Criminal Justice; the Environment; Financial Services & Investor Protection; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Rights; Health Care; and Public Integrity.
On that last issue, Schneiderman has helpfully provided a side-by-side comparison of his integrity-related policy proposals compared with those made by his opponents (where applicable). You can read that in full after the jump.
Up to this point, the Democratic AG candidates have been releasing white papers on this or that issue, trying to differentiate themselves – or, as the case may be, out-liberal one another – in hopes of getting a toehold in the crowded field.
But Schneiderman is the first one to go this comprehensive, or, as Maggie Haberman puts it “undeniably meaty” route.
Aug 3rd - 4:05 pm
For those who aren’t CapTon watchers, we’re doing a week-long focus on redistricting, which just so happens to coincide with former NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s upstate tour for his PAC, New York Uprising, during which he will laud the “heroes” who signed his reform pledges and call out the “enemies” who did not.
At the end of the interview, which will air tonight at 8 p.m. and rebroadcast at 11:30 p.m., I noted to Koch that this is the first time he has campaigned north of Albany since his ill-fated 1982 guberntorial primary camapign against Mario Cuomo.
During that battle, Koch said some very negative things about upstate, calling it “sterile”, for example, which were widely believed to have cost him the race. I asked him about those comments, and he replied:
“Wasn’t I stupid? Stupid! Well it wasn’t really a question of changing my mind. It was, I said them, in jest to a reporter who was disparaging the city of New York and I was conveying to him how the city meant so much to me. ”
“But in any event, New York State is one of the great, most beautiful states in the union and had I won the governorship I would have done more for upstate than any governor who in fact was elected. It’s outrageous that unemployment is so high upstate.”
Aug 3rd - 3:44 pm
Here’s Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaking earlier to NY1 Capitol reporter Erin Billups about Gov. David Paterson’s missed opportunity to get a compromise on the SUNY empowerment plan, about which, he notes, the “great majority” of Assembly Democrats and some key Senate Democrats have some significant issues.
“I think if the Senate attempts to pass the governor’s bill it will only be that that party of ‘no’ will suddenly find a reason why they want to vote ‘yes’ on something,” the speaker said. “And that’s the only way they’re going to pass it because they’re going to be a number of Democratic senators who agree with their counterparts in the Assembly.”
Aug 3rd - 2:53 pm
Sen. Joe Addabbo, one of the newer – and more marginal – members of the Senate Democratic conference, is so disgusted by the do-nothing nature of last week’s extraordinary session that he is returning his $170 per diem check to the state in protest.
“Previously I felt we were doing work here even when we got called up and just voted ‘no’ on the governor’s bills,” the Queens lawmaker told me during a brief telephone interview this afternoon.
“But then when we came up here last Thursday and did nothing but gavel in and gavel out when I thought we were going to do work, well, I can’t in good conscience accept my per diem.”
Addabbo said he’s only returning one day’s per diem check so far because he was only in Albany for one of the two days the Legislature was in session last week. He had a “previously scheduled speaking appointment” in the district in Wednesday night, he said, but did make the trip Thursday.