Aug 10th - 5:19 pm
GOP gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino is scheduled to hold a joint press conference at 1 p.m. in Batavia tomorrow with a number of Genesee County Republican leaders along with Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.
Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy is also scheduled to be on hand. Since he’s is the only party official who has endorsed Paladino to date – along with the heretofore lone elected official, Erie County Executive Chris Collins – it seemed a safe bet that this is an endorsement event.
Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo refused to confirm or deny. But Ranzenhofer wasn’t nearly so reticient.
“My feeling is that Carl Paladino is a very successful businessman, and I think we need a very strong private sector candidate to help us here in New York State,” he told me.
The freshman GOP lawmaker, (who defeated Democrat “Baby” Joe Mesi for the seat vacated by retired former GOP Sen. Mary Lou Rath in 2008), said he has “never been requested to endorse anybody.”
So he’s technically not defecting from the party’s designee, Rick Lazio, although he did tell me in no uncertain terms:
Aug 10th - 4:43 pm
As promised…the remainder of Rep. Charlie Rangel’s floor speech, or what we got of it, anyway.
…and Part III:
Aug 10th - 4:40 pm
Brace yourselves, Albanians. You may not yet be clear of the Legislature.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson is reaching out to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. David Paterson in hopes of getting an agreement to bring both houses back to the Capitol next week – perhaps on Tuesday or Wednesday – to decide how to best allocate some $600 million worth of education funding the state expects to receive following today’s passage by the House of a $26 billion spending bill.
“Senator Sampson thinks the sooner we act the safer New Yorkers’ jobs will be,” said a legislative source.
“It will provide stability going into the September school year if educators know their jobs may no longer be on the line.”
The Legislature needs to decide what formula to use to distribute the funds and also grant school districts to right to use this unexpected windfall, which is coming after their own budgets have already passed.
The money is supposed to be used to prevent teacher layoffs, although some districts already managed to avoid that with salary freezes and other give-back agreements with unionized employees.
All told, New York is expected to receive about $1.4 billion. The balance will come in Medicaid funds known as FMAP, for which the Senate and Assembly both passed a contingency plan before leaving Albany last week.
Gov. David Paterson has said the state is getting about two-thirds of what it expected in FMAP funding back when he first released his executive budget in January. He said the FMAP contingency plan will be used to enact scaled back cuts and make up the difference.
Aug 10th - 4:13 pm
Republican US Senate designee Gary Berntsen just endorsed Chris Cox in the NY-1 congressional race – a contest in which Berntsen himself was competing until his last-minute pre-convention decision to switch tracks and challenge Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer instead.
Berntsen said Cox “conducted himself as a decent on honorable man” during the short time that the two were opponents (this strikes me as a not-so-subtle swipe at Cox’s two remaining GOP primary opponents, Geroge Demos and Randy Altschuler, who have spent considerable time attacking both Cox and one another).
Berntsen called Cox “the Republican Party’s best candidate to face and defeat liberal Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop in this year’s critical mid-term elections,” adding:
Aug 10th - 4:05 pm
Former Republican Assemblyman Chris Ortloff has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison for trying to set up sexual encounters with minors over the internet. He also has to pay a $50,000 fine.
Ortloff was arrested back in 2008, after a police sting at a motel in an Albany suburb. The 62 year-old plead guilty to emailing and calling someone he believed to be the mother of 11 and 12 year old sisters and arranging to meet them in order to have sex.
Ortloff represented the North Country’s 110th Assembly District from 1986 until 2006. After he left the Assembly, he was appointed to the state Parole Board. He resigned from that position in 2008, following his arrest.
Aug 10th - 3:49 pm
Former Rep. Joe DioGuardi stopped by the “Capital Tonight” studio this afternoon to update me on his bid to oust Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and also chatted at length about his former House colleague Rep. Charlie Rangel, whom he says should resign – if only to spare his party, and himself, a prolonged ethics trial.
The bulk of the interview focused on politics. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get the latest on what’s happening with the “American Idol” judge shake-up, in which DioGuardi’s daughter, Kara, may or may not have been bounced from the panel for the next season.
DioGuardi, who has at times balked at being best known as “Kara’s Dad”, informed me his daughter “still has not heard anything” regarding the winnowing of the panel back down to three judges, adding:
“She read it the way you did and I did. In fact, her disappointment is that that’s the way she’s being treated and she feels that’s not proper.”
“Now, what could this be about? I think what they’re trying to do is to create a lot of buzz like they did with Paula Abdul. They’re trying to reformat the thing.”
DioGuardi noted that his daughter has a “very deep career in music” and also just got married this past July 4 and “would like to have a family”, hinting that perhaps a break from “Idol” wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
When I noted Kara DioGuardi has a lot to fall back on and so doesn’t have to accept being mistreated, if that’s how she feels, he replied: “No, and I think she will at some point confront them about that.”
He didn’t go into specifics.
Aug 10th - 3:23 pm
We started rolling on Rep. Charlie Rangel’s nearly 30-minute speech a little late, but we managed to get most of it, I think.
Here’s the first part, which starts right when he’s talking about President Obama’s comments about believing the embattled congressman wants to end his career “with dignity“…(Translation: Door, meet Charlie).
“…Knowing the president as I do, I think he believes dignity means that everybody is entitled to be judged for allegations against them,” Rangel says.
“Now what’s working against me? We come back to this house because the Speaker has called us here in order to make certain that we provide resources for governors and mayors to maintain our teachers and our firefighters and Rangel’s not on the schedule for anything.”
“…And so, I don’t want to be awkward and embarrass anybody, as a matter of fact those people that believe that they’re election is going to be dependent on me resigning – I’d like to encourage Democrats to believe I think Republicans have given you enough reason to get re-elected.”
Aug 10th - 2:32 pm
Republican Michael Grimm’s campaign is touting an ethics complaint that has been lodged by a Staten Island GOP committee member against Rep. Mike McMahon in connection with the “Jewish money” mess, accusing the Democratic congressman of a pattern of questionable behavior.
The complaint, which sites the House rules against using taxpayer-funded resources for political purposes, was filed by Richard Hoffman, whom the Grimm campaign confirmed is indeed a supporter. (The campaign stressed that this effort was not specifically undertaken in-house, which is why I changed the headline here. – LB)
Hoffman notes that McMahon’s former campaign spokeswoman, Jennifer Nelson, told Maggie Haberman that the list of Grimm’s Jewish donors was compiled after a conversation with the congressman’s chief of staff in his Washington, D.C. office. (Nelson has been fired for her role in this debacle, but her head is the only one to have rolled to date).
This comes on the heels of an FEC complaint that was filed last week.
Aug 10th - 2:16 pm
Controversial NYC Independence Party activist Lenora Fulani says she’s “disappointed, of course, but not discouraged” that Mayor Bloomberg won’t ask the Charter Revision Commission to put the nonpartisan election question back before the voters this fall, but she declined to slam the mayor for his decision.
Instead, she laid the blame at the feet of the Democratic Party – speficially the Rev. Al Sharpton, who publicly declared his support for keeping the partisan primary system in place last weekend, saying nonpartisan elections would enable self-financed candidates like the billionaire mayor to take over the political system and disenfranchise minority voters.
“It is a shame that Rev. Sharpton missed this opportunity to do something important for the cause of voting rights,” Fulani said at a press conference on the City Hall steps in Lower Manhattan earlier today.
“But we recognize that reforming a partisan system that is controlled by the political parties is a long term project. It took the voters of California 14 years of continuous political work and voter education to finally install a statewide top-two system there. And we will continue to work for as long as it takes to bring non-partisan reform to New York City.”
Aug 10th - 1:11 pm
The Senate MajDemocrats just issued a press release announcing they are supporting the state Lottery Division’s recommendation of Genting NY to operate Video Lottery Terminals at Aqueduct in Queens.
In the release, Conference Leader John Sampson said the key issue for the majority was the jobs the project will generate.
“Nothing is more important than creating jobs,” said Sampson.
“The acceptance of Genting puts New York on the fast track to rebuild our local and state economy through sound economic development and immediate and long-term job creation.”
This comes on the heels of Racing and Wagering Committee Chairman Eric Adams’ public declaration of support for Genting.
Gov. David Paterson has previously said he supported the Lottery’s recommendation as well, so that means that all eyes are now on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. If he signs off on the plan, than Genting will be able to start construction, putting an end to a nearly nine-year saga.
UPDATE: A spokesperson majority says that the Assembly leadership is conducting a final review and will have a decision shortly.