Aug 17th - 6:42 am
Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice is up with her first TV ad of the AG’s campaign, which plays up her gender, but also portrays her as a hard-nosed crime-fighter who’s tough enough to protect New Yorkers from all manner of ills.
The ad, which hits the airwaves today in NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, was released last night in a sneak-peak e-mail to Rice supporters with an accompanying e-mail that read:
“I want you to be the first to see the 30 seconds that will change this campaign.”
“Because of your generosity and support, tomorrow morning Kathleen will be the first attorney general candidate to hit the network airwaves across the state.”
“The ad, entitled ‘No Pushover,’ highlights Kathleen’s record as a tough and innovative prosecutor who has protected victims and gone after corrupt public officials and online sexual predators.”
The e-mail is also a fundraising appeal that asks supporters to help Rice keep the spot on the air by contributing and warns rather ominously that she will be the subject of attacks in the coming weeks “by career politicians and wealthy political insiders who will stop at nothing to make sure that our state’s next lawyer is a politician, rather than a career legal advocate.”
The spot has sort of a “Law & Order” feel to it and includes a slow-motion shot of Rice walking at a crime scene (complete with yellow tape!) along with dark-suited men and cops and also sitting at a long wood table in one of those quintessential legal offices.
Aug 16th - 7:11 pm
Here’s GOP gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino speaking at the YNN studios in Buffalo earlier today about Rick Lazio’s reluctance to face off against him in a pre-primary debate.
Paladino said Lazio is in “denial” – along with much of the GOP establishment – over the viability of his campaign, adding:
“We are real. We’re speaking for the people. We’re going to take this government back. He’s going first. Then Andrew.”
“They gotta to get it into their heads. At some point, they’ve got to be slapped awake and say: Hey! The people, they’re speaking right now. Very clearly. The people like us. As soon as we get our message to them, they like us.”
Aug 16th - 6:15 pm
Gov. David Paterson won’t be participating in tomorrow’s Public Integrity Commission hearing on the Yankees tickets scandal.
The Seneca Nation wants an apology and a resignation from Mayor Bloomberg.
White House spokesman Bill Burton on the mosque: “I think that it’s a debate that was had and we’ve weighed in. I assume that people will continue to talk about it, but I think that we’ve addressed this to a pretty full extent.”
A Florida Republican airs a TV ad about the mosque.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has had it with my-way-or-the-highway governors.
Here’s a full list of the AFL-CIO legislative endorsements.
The state Democratic Party is urging JP Morgan not to spend soft money to help Rick Lazio (not that the firm ever indicated a willingness to do so).
Staten Island City Councilwoman Debi Rose endorsed Sen. Eric Schneiderman for AG.
Bloomberg is disappointed most New York officials aren’t taking a position on the mosque.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is staying out of this fight.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino endorsed Rick Lazio for governor.
Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s reform crusade may be informed by scandals that took place on his watch.
NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is continuing to pressure corporations to swear off political spending.
Assembly candidate Doug Biviano tries to force the issue with the NY media, which isn’t covering his campaign.
The governor signed Elle’s Law.
Gustavo Rivera outraised Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. over the past month, but still has far less on hand than he does.
NYPIRG has a fundraising bone to pick with Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice.
Carl Paladino’s Taxpayers line is gaining in popularity.
Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli is not pleased with Paterson’s veto of his “Gold Alert” system bill.
Aug 16th - 5:44 pm
NYSUT’s Dick Iannuzzi insisted to me earlier this afternoon that the fact the AFL-CIO has endorsed AG Andrew Cuomo for governor does not mean the labor movement has fully embraced Cuomo’s platform, which includes a number of proposals unions most definitely do not like.
The Cuomo camp is of the view that an endorsement = full-throated support of the candidate’s “New NY Agenda”. Period. End of story.
But labor apparently doesn’t see it that way. (Keep in mind that Iannuzzi’s union is staying neutral in the governor’s race and he urged the AFL to do the same at the federation’s convention in Colonie today. But his feelings on this question mirrors much of what I’ve heard elsewhere in the labor community – particularly coming from the public sector and progressive unions).
“I will say unequivocally that the AFL-CIO today endorsed the candidacy of Andrew Cuomo, they did not endorse the platform of Andrew Cuomo,” Iannuzzi told me. “I am totally sure of that. I am confident that where we disagree on his platform Denis Hughes and the rest of us will speak very loud and very forcibly to any candidate.”
Meanwhile, here’s what Cuomo had to say on the AFL endorsement:
“Today’s endorsement is a major step forward in building our broad coalition to bring change and reform to state government. I deeply appreciate the support of the hard working union members of the state of New York. We share the goal of creating good jobs in all regions of the state and across a diverse range of fields.”
“While NYSUT declined to endorse based on my positions with respect to a property tax cap and state spending issues, we will agree to disagree on those issues.”
Aug 16th - 5:23 pm
Aug 16th - 5:09 pm
Marissa Shorenstein, one of several members of the Paterson administration who quit in the wake of the David Johnson domestic violence scandal, has joined AG Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign as director of communications.
Shorenstein joins Phil Singer and Josh Vlasto – two veterans of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s press bootcamp – on Cuomo’s PR team.
“Marissa Shorenstein understands the issues that are important to the people of New York State and how to effectively communicate those issues,” Cuomo said in a press release.
“She is a welcome addition to an already stellar communications team and I look forward to benefitting from her experience.”
Ironically, Shorenstein worked against Cuomo in 2002 as part of the communications team on then-state Comptroller H. Carl McCall’s gubernatorial campaign. She also handled PR for the Jets before joining the Paterson administration in May 2008.
Shorenstein, as was detailed in the Kaye report on the Johnson mess, was directed by Paterson to draft a statement for Sherr-una Booker that vastly downplayer the Halloween 2009 incident in which Johnson allegedly attacked Booker violently. She indicated when she resigned – becoming the fifth staffer to do so – that she had been misled about the facts of the case.
Aug 16th - 5:02 pm
Reshma Saujani, who is challenging her fellow Democrat, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, in the Sept 14 primary, is out with a statement this afternoon comending President Obama for his statement on the mosque and calling on members of the New York congressional delegation to weigh in.
Most of the state’s 29 House members have so far shied away from taking a definitive position on the mosque, with the exception of Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican, who has been quite vocal in his opposition; and Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat whose district includes Ground Zero. (He supports the project).
UPDATE: As it turns out, Maloney hasn’t been so silent on this issue. She put out a statement in support of the mosque on Aug. 5.
“While I understand the sensitivity surrounding the project, I do not understand the silence of New York’s elected officials, including Congresswoman Maloney, on this issue,” said Saujani, who has argued the mosque would be a symbol of religious freedom.
“This is a major debate unfolding in our city and country, and our leaders – with the exception of Mayor Bloomberg and Representative Nadler – are weighing in with lukewarm statements when asked by the press for their opinion.”
“John Cornyn, the head for Republican Senate campaign committee has already jumped on the President’s comments, promising to make it a major campaign wedge issue. We need strong Democratic leadership in Congress from New York to fight back against Republican fear-mongering and set the facts straight.”
Aug 16th - 4:53 pm
Mayor Bloomberg is poised to endorse Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty’s re-election bid at a D.C. restaurant tomorrow, the Washington Post reports.
The relationship between the Democratic D.C. mayor and the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent mayor of Gotham dates back several years.
In 2009, Fenty and a fellow up-and-coming African-American elected official, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, endorsed Bloomberg’s successful bid for a third term – a fact about which the Bloomberg campaign made much, thinking it would help eat in to the base of support for Bloomberg’s Democratic opponent, then-NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson.
Mo Elleithee, a senior strategist for Fenty’s rival in the mayoral race, Vincent C. Gray, responded to Bloomberg’s impending endorsement thusly:
We are happy to concede the Manhattan vote to him. We’re going to keep focusing on the residents across all of DC’s 8 wards.
Bloomberg apparently is going to do a round of out-of-state endorsements of Democrats tomorrow, as he’s also scheduled to back – and campaign with – Joe Sestak, who is fighting to keep a Pennsylvania US Senate seat in Democratic hands.
Aug 16th - 4:29 pm
The Public Employees Federation, the second-largest state workers union, has broken with its fellow members of the public sector arm of labor to enodrse AG Andrew Cuomo for governor.
The 58,000-member union was able to get over some of the less palatable aspects of Cuomo’s agenda, which includes a proposeed wage freeze for public employees as well as creation of a sixth tier in the state pension fund, because he is supportive of some of its own key agenda items: Reducing the state’s reliance on outside consultants and reining in public authorities.
“We agree with Mr. Cuomo that New York deserves better government especially on these issues,” said PEF President Kenneth Brynien in a press release.
“Our members working in the state Department of Law have found state Attorney General Cuomo supportive of PEF’s efforts to save the taxpayers’ money by reducing the state’s reliance on costly private consultants.
“We expect Mr. Cuomo to continue to reduce the state’s reliance on consultants when he becomes governor. We support Andrew Cuomo’s candidacy for governor and look forward to working with him in January.”
Aug 16th - 3:42 pm
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issue the following statement through a spokesman this afternoon:
“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”
“If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 911, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation.”
This is an interesting development, since the Senate majority leader is:
1) Not from New York – continuing a growing trend of politicians from outside the state weighing in on this issue, which was officially nationalized by President Obama last Friday;
2) Fighting a tough battle to maintain his Nevada seat, facing off against a strong Tea Party-backed challenger, Sharon Angle.
3) Close to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the third most powerful Democrat in the Senate, who has yet to personally discuss the mosque, saying rather tersely through a spokesman that he is “not opposed” to the project.
Schumer is widely viewed as gunning for Reid’s majority leader post, should Reid lose this fall.