Aug 13th - 4:49 pm
A reader noted an Albany connection in a staffing announcement made earlier this week by Mayor Bloomberg.
Elizabeth Weinstein, the administration’s new director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, is also the wife of Brooklyn Sen. Daniel Squadron, who Bloomberg endorsed against former Senate Minority Leader Marty Connor back in 2008.
Weinstein received a sizable raise along with her promotion. Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna said she was earning $142,000 in her old post as director of Agency Services in the Operations Office. She’s now up to $170,000.
Weinstein’s job with the mayor and her then-fiance’s close alliance with Bloomberg became a point of contention during the school governance debate on the Senate floor last year.
Queens Sen. Shirley Huntley, a mayoral control opponent, slammed Squadron during the debate on the chamber floor, saying: “It’s not my fault he had a vested interest with his wife working for the mayor.
The Squadron-Weinstein wedding itself became a political football as it came just as the 31-day Senate stalemate came to a close last summer. The couple went on a long-planned two-week honeymoon, which left the Democrats one vote short of being able to pass anything – particularly the mayoral control reauthorization bill, which Squadron was carrying – without GOP assistance.
The bill eventually passed the Senate, (in August, after Squadron and Weinstein returned), 47-8.
Aug 13th - 4:05 pm
GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino dropped another $300,000 of his own cash into his campaign over the last month, bringing his self-funding total to $1.95 million to date.
Since the July 15 filing, Paladino has raised $82,365 and spent $285,001, which pushes his expenditures to just shy of the $2 million mark.
His biggest expenses over the last four weeks were $103,000 for ads (paid to his own production company, Ellicott Advertising, which he started to keep costs down), and $73,000 to his campaign manager, Michael Caputo.
Paladino’s filing isn’t yet available on the state Board of Elections Website, but Caputo sent it to me upon request.
Paladino’s primary opponent, Rick Lazio, who had just $688,821 on hand as of July 15, thanks to a last minute loan of $200,000 he made to his own campaign, has not yet filed his 32-day pre-primary report.
I called the Lazio campaign and asked for the numbers. I have not heard back yet.
Aug 13th - 3:30 pm
Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice’s campaign just announced she has raised more than $620,000 over the past month and now has $4.4 million on hand heading into the final stretch of the Democratic AG primary.
“We have assembled the widest coalition of grassroots support of any candidate in this race,” said Rice campaign manager Jeffrey Stein.
“What we are seeing here is that as voters begin to pay more attention to this race, the momentum is swinging our way and the race is breaking towards the candidate most capable of cleaning up Albany, holding Wall Street accountable, and protecting New York families.”
Rice had $4.17 million on hand in mid-July. That was the most of any of the five Democratic AG contenders, although Sean Coffey dumped another $1 million into his campaign in an effort to bring his on-hand total almost on par with hers.
Her campaign says it filed the 32-day pre-primary report – the last fundraising report prior to the Sept. 14 primary – with the state Board of Elections today, but it’s not yet available on-line.
Aug 13th - 2:35 pm
SoPers, if you would be so kind as to indulge me in a true, middle-of-the-summer Friday moment…
Bryan Terry (AKA: Intern Bryan or email@example.com) is a 19-year-old Colonie native who is studying journalism, Political Science and music at Marist College.
Since June, he has been gracing us with his presence in the political pod at “Capital Tonight”, handling all manner of tasks – from research to equipment carrying to dubbing video – all of which he does with great speed and accuracy. He is completely calm, even when I am shouting obscenities and pulling my hair out.
That’s the kind of guy you want in a foxhole. Or on a TV show.
Today is his last day with us, and we – especially me – are all going to miss him.
We tried to convince him that CapTon is like the NBA and there’s no point in finishing college if you can go straight to pro. But he’s convinced (rightly so, really) obtaining BA is a necessary milestone toward furthering what is sure to be a stellar career.
I can only say that I hope he’ll be back one day. Until then, Intern Bryan, have a good night….and be well.
With much affection.
Aug 13th - 2:19 pm
“I can tell you tenants would be much more likely to vote for governor on Row E if the candidate is Kenny Schaeffer,” Tenants PAC’s Michael McKee told me this afternoon while trying to explain why his board decided to endorse the Working Families Party’s placeholder candidate over the Democratic gubernatorial designee, Andrew Cuomo.
McKee is among the WFP members who believes the labor-backed party should not wait for Cuomo to decide whether or not he will be willing to accept its nod, regardless of the fact that it has been the subject of a US attorney’s office investigation in connection with the 2009 NYC elections.
The pragmatists in the WFP argue the party needs to run as high a profile a candidate for governor as possible to ensure receiving 50,000 votes in that race this fall and preserving its ballot line for another four years.
But purists like McKee worry the WFP’s willingness to kowtow to Cuomo will cost the party its independence in the long run, arguing it would be better situated to push back against the AG’s fiscally conservative agenda if it strikes out on its own.
A lot of tenants think Cuomo might as well be running on the Republican line,” McKee said. “He’ll be good on social issues, but on every economic issue, well…God forbid he should talk about a progressive income tax.”
“I’m not happy this is the positon the WFP is in. I think he has put them in a humiliating position. I think it’s disgraceful that he wouldn’t accept the WFP line, but that’s the position they’re in. I have told them that they should run their own person. They’re going to wait for Cuomo.”
Aug 13th - 1:27 pm
Aug 13th - 1:22 pm
AG Andrew Cuomo’s campaign just announced the Democratic gubernatorial designee and his LG running mate, Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy, have been endorsed by the 37,000-member state Conference of Operating Engineers in advance of the AFL-CIO conference in Albany Aug. 15-16.
“Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy are absolutely committed to standing up for the working men and women of New York and have the strongest agenda to put New Yorkers back to work,” said the union’s president, James Callahan.
“We proudly support them because we know they will always put the hard working men and women of this state first.
The press release includes a list of the unions that have endorsed the Cuomo-Duffy ticket to date:
- New York State Building Trades Council
- The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Union
- District 15 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- United Food and Commercial Workers
- The New York State Pipe Trades Association
- The New York State Council of Sheet Metal Workers
- District Councils Four and Nine of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
- Building and Construction Trades Council of New York City
Aug 13th - 12:45 pm
AG Andrew Cuomo’s live-in significant other, Food Network Star Sandra Lee, has been keeping a low political profile since her debut this past spring at Cuomo’s campaign kick-off and Democratic convention coronation.
In the wake of the convention, Lee chatted with NY1′s Grace Rauh, saying her role in the campaign – if there was to be one at all – was still up in the air, explaining: “My magazine, we’ll be shooting that, right after we shoot Semi-Homemade, and I’ve got to shoot four book covers in July. So, I’m a little busy. Plus, you know, we’ve got kids. We’ll be working.”
Some time in between then and now, a decision was made about Lee’s role. In a story about Cuomo’s three daughters, who accompanied him on his upstate RV tour, the WSJ reported last week that Lee “is not expected to be a significant presence on the campaign trail.”
And now comes this item from today’s Page Six:
Sandra Lee went solo to the “Eat Pray Love” premiere Tuesday night. Andrew Cuomo was dateless at Charlie Rangel’s 80th birthday the next night. But the couple of five years are still together. “And we’ll be together another 50,” the Food Network star recently told a friend.
There was speculation Cuomo’s handlers are trying to keep the glamorous California blonde in the background. But insiders say the lovebirds are just too busy to make public appearances together. Lee has three cookbooks coming out in the next year, and Cuomo has a full schedule as state attorney general and candidate for governor.
Aug 13th - 12:20 pm
I spoke earlier today to Long Island Rep. Peter King for an interview that will air in full this evening on “Capital Tonight” during which he talked about his reaction to Rep. Charlie Rangel’s 37-minute speech on the House floor this past Tuesday.
Interestingly, King – the lone Republican member of the downstate House delegation – said Rangel had presided over a more than hour-long meeting on the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, (which, as you’ll recall, sparked that memorable exchange between King and Rep. Anthony Weiner), just before heading into the chamber for his big performance and didn’t let on once what was about to transpire.
“What struck me about it was probably about an hour later, he was up on the house floor giving the 37 minute speech, and I had no idea it was coming. None of us in the meeting did, and he didn’t at all seem preoccupied,” King told me.
“…Charlie was 100 percent into that meeting. He was setting up the order of recognition. He was cutting people off. He was keeping people in line. He sort of strolled up to the House floor. We had one vote, and the next thing I know Charlie’s at the microphone, you know, point of personal privilege that went on for 37 minutes.”
So, it has not effected him all physically. It hasn’t really effected him as far as his ability to work. Obviously, you say his clout has been diminished in the House. It has. But so far as his one-on-one force of personality in the room, it was the same old Charlie Rangel that I’ve known for over 20 years.”
Aug 13th - 11:18 am
Former NYC Comptroller and 2009 Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson is throwing his support behind Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s AG bid today, calling him “the one candidate in this field who will truly represent all New Yorkers in the fight for equal justice.”
“I’ve seen Eric in action and have no doubt that he will continue his lifelong fight for criminal justice reform, for economic fairness and for progressive change as New York’s next people’s lawyer,” Thompson said in a statement released by the Schneiderman campaign.
“Whether it’s taking on the insurance industry or ending the Rockefeller Drug laws, Eric has shown true leadership and demonstrated that he will be an Attorney General we can be proud of.”
The release plays up the fact that Thompson was the first African American to hold his former citywide post and grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, became the youngest Brooklyn deputy BP and later served as president of the (now defunct) Board of Education.