Aug 13th - 10:59 am
The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which endorsed Sen. Eric Schneiderman for AG back in July, has dropped its first mailer on his behalf, which paints him as a staunch labor ally who “stood up to Albany politicians” to help HTC members get a good deal in connection with the Aqueduct racino.
Other than the fact that Schneiderman IS himself an Albany politician, which makes that line ring a little oddly, this is a fairly standard piece of lit. It’s being sent to the homes of every HTC member and retiree – including family members.
In the end, roughly 80,000 New Yorkers will see it.
That’s a big deal. As I’ve written so many times before, the five-way Democratic AG primary is going to come down to a question of GOTV because turnout is expected to be low due to the lack of top-of-the-ballot competition to draw voters to the polls.
The exception might be in certain key congressional races – the 15th, where Rep. Charlie Rangel is fighting for his political life, for example; and the 14th, where Rep. Carolyn Maloney is facing off against newcomer Reshma Saujani.
The other head-to-heads slated for Sept. 14 are on the GOP side, which isn’t going to help any of the Dem AG contenders.
Since the Working Families Party is sitting out the AG primary, the individual unions are taking on a more significant role in the GOTV effort. HTC and SEIU/1199 (which has already mailed in this race) have large political operations, and both of them are on Schneiderman’s side, as is 32BJ.
Aug 13th - 10:13 am
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who has never been shy about defending the legislative branch and its need to maintain independence from the executive, told me on “Capital Tonight” yesterday that the attempt by a certain would-be governor to out-macho the Legislature doesn’t bode well for the next budget battle.
Brodsky declined to respond directly to AG Andrew Cuomo’s latest ad that slams Albany, calling it a dysfunctional “mess”, noting that since he’s running to (he hopes) replace Cuomo as the state’s top attorney, he won’t be around in the Assembly any longer to fight the next round of the governor vs. Legislature war.
However, Brodsky did stress the need for all sides to be “cooperative” and work in a “collaborative” manner, or risk the kind of deadlock of the sort that was seen when former Gov. Eliot “Steamroller” Spitzer was in office.
“Enough of the conflict for the sake of conflict,” Brodsky said (right at the very end of the clip that appears below). “Enough of the posturing that says: I’m the toughest guy, and I’ll beat the, the…stuffing out of the people I disagree with.”
“That doesn’t work. The ghost of Eliot Spitzer walks the halls of Albany, and if we’re not careful we’ll engage all of us – not just Andrew – in a repeat of a failed effort at reform when we need reform desperately.”
Brodsky also said that the Legislature doesn’t need a “best friend”, either. But rather someone who is willing to see state lawmakers as equals.
Aug 13th - 8:19 am
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Carl Paladino wasn’t kidding earlier this week when, after picking up the endorsement from Genesee County Chair Richard Siebert, he hinted that more GOP County Chairs would be backing him in the near future.
Today, he picked up the support of a 3rd chair. Cayuga County Chairwoman Cherl Heary announced she is supporting Paladino’s run for Governor.
“Republicans who want lasting change need to vote for Carl Paladino on September 14th because he has the energy, passion and ability to make Albany work for the people once again,” Heary said in a press release.
Heary backed M. Myers Mermel at the GOP convention.
Aug 13th - 7:26 am
The Post saw Rep. Charlie Rangel’s party of a test of AG Andrew Cuomo’s claim to be a “serious corruption-fighter,” but since he attended along with most fellow Democrats, “alas, he failed.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer didn’t want to talk about Rangel’s party.
Rangel said he “can’t find a better way” to express his feelings than former NYC Mayor David Dinkins’ one-finger salute to protestors outside the congressman’s birthday fundraiser.
The congressman insists he’s done talking about the 13 ethics charges he faces and is focused on his re-election campaign.
Cuomo’s campaign insisted the release of his ad focusing on cleaning up Albany the day after Rangel’s party was merely coincidental.
David Johnson’s arrest was one of two new developments in his case. The FBI is now reportedly investigating the unauthorized access by someone at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center of Booker’s medical records.
The governor’s office confirmed DJ remains suspended without pay, and had no further comment on his arrest.
Dan Janison says the governor’s “long goodbye…reached another bleak stage” yesterday.
The roots of Mayor Bloomberg’s defense of the mosque proposed for construction near Ground Zero run deep and are deeply personal.
“We are open to a conversation to find out more on what the governor has in mind,” sponsors of the mosque said in a Tweet.
Bloomberg says he’s disappointed the NYC Charter Revision Commission “didn’t have the stomach” to address nonpartisan elections, and he won’t spend any personal cash campaigning on the term limits question.
Aug 12th - 6:21 pm
Rep. Charlie Rangel officially launched his re-election campaign, saying: “I have to get back to work.”
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – what happens on the House floor stays on the House floor,” said Rangel, declining to revisit his speech earlier this week.
Storybook pigs Toot and Puddle joined Rangel while he read to children at an UWS community center.
It’s all about David Dinkins and his finger.
David Johnson turned himself in on misdemeanor assault charges, was arraigned and then released on his own recognizance.
The CPI scheduled a public hearing on the Yankees tickets mess involving the governor and Johnson.
Gay marriage is on hold in California, despite the overturning of Prop. 8 last week.
The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence endorsed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose record on gun control was an issue soon after her appointment.
Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson says he’s not interested in a position in the Cuomo administration, should the AG be elected governor.
PEF endorsed state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
A special referee called the challenge to Gustavo Rivera’s petitions by Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. “frivoulous.”
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli talked finances with The Jewish Week’s Adam Dickter.
GOP Sen. Chuck Fuschillo joined the governor at a press conference to announce a new provision of Leandra’s Law taking effect Sunday.
Assemblyman Jeff Aubry’s first mailer is out.
Does David Malpass have a copyright violation problem?
DC9 IUPAT endorsed Basil Smikle against Sen. Bill Perkins. (No link).
NYCLU made a video of the West Point cadet who left to attend Yale because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The Paladino campaign does not employ Kaiser Souzai.
Two Rangel-related videos in one day from Team Lazio. Here’s the second:
Aug 12th - 5:42 pm
He was arrested on a six-count criminal complaint that alleges he threatened to kill his then-girlfriend, Sherr-una Booker last Halloween.
“Defendant grabbed deponent on her neck with both hands and squeezed her neck, lifting her body off of the floor,” the complaint states “She could not speak, and had difficult\[y\] breathing.”
“…During the defendant’s above-mentioned conduct, defendant stated in sum and substance: You’re not going anywhere. I’ll f—— kill you before I let you go anywhere.”
Aug 12th - 4:58 pm
Sen. Brian Foley, a freshman Democrat from Long Island and one of the top GOP targets this fall, is the subject of a mail campaign from a Virginia-based outfit called Common Sense Principles.
The mailer appeared on “FoleyWatch.com” – an anti-Foley Website. It slams the senator for voting “yes” on the budget that is “loaded with tax hikes and wasteful spending” and then going on a “paid summer vacation.” It highlights some of the more outrageous member items of the past (everyone’s favorite cheese museum makes an appearance).
Recall that even though Gov. David Paterson vetoed some $190 million worth of pork-barrel spending from the 2010-2011 budget passed by the Legislature, member item funding continues to flow from Albany and will do so until Sept. 15.
Aug 12th - 4:23 pm
WNY Rep. Louise Slaughter sounded a sympathetic note about her embattled Democratic colleague, Rep. Charlie Rangel, suggesting that he’s right in saying House leadership is dragging its feet on his trial on ethics charges.
She was much chattier earlier today when cornered by a YNN camera, saying Rangel had an “absolute right” to the point of personal privilege that he invoked to deliver the speech in his own defense, holding his fellow members of Congress hostage for about half an hour.
“I must tell you that, and I’ve said this to the Speaker, we don’t really know what goes on in the ethics committee,” Slaughter said. “They make no reports to us. We don’t talk to them about it. Nothing is ever said between members of the ethics committee.”
“But to make this man wait for two years and spend $2 million, it just seems to me, in a land where we really prize a speedy trial, that it has gone on way too long.”
Asked if she is disturbed by the allegations against Rangel, Slaughter replied: “Of course”, adding: “I’ve lived my whole live a different way…I credit my father, who made it very clear to me when I was young: Keep your integrity, don’t have to ever try to get it back.”
Aug 12th - 3:51 pm
A reader forwarded me this interview conducted by Colorado-based radio host David Sirota with Harold Ford Jr., which gets pretty ugly toward then end when Sirota accuses the former Tennessee congressman of being an “avatar of the most powerful people in the country.”
Ostensibly, the focus of the sit-down was Ford’s new book, “More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education”.
The first half is fairly tame.
But right about the 9-minute mark, Sirota, who is an unabashed liberal, starts grilling Ford, a former Blue Dog Democrat, and challenging him about how he can claim to have been “courageous” in taking on special interests when he is a champion of the financial industry.
I’ve transcribed some of the exchange, which appears after the jump.
Sirota gets the last word, calling Ford “an avatar of the most powerful people in this country,” adding: “In this economy, and you’ve written a book about courage…I don’t really get it.”
Aug 12th - 2:43 pm
Some mixed news for Sen. Kevin Parker, who is about to go on trial on the 15-month-old assault charges he faces for his alleged attack on a New York Post photographer.
“The criminal assault trial of Kevin S. Parker, a state senator from central Brooklyn, was thrown into turmoil on Thursday, as a judge granted the Brooklyn district attorney’s office’s request to have two special prosecutors appointed – one who would take over the case, and another who would investigate possible improprieties by an assistant district attorney.
The judge’s decision came after prosecutors said in court that the assistant district attorney, Wynton Sharpe, had failed to disclose that his father was running against Mr. Parker in the upcoming Democratic primary.”
This whole mess is due back in court on Oct. 18th.