Jul 21st - 10:05 am
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced this morning he has joined forces with Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to file petitions seeking co-lead plaintiff status in a securities fraud lawsuit against Gulf oil spill culprit BP and “others.”
(The “others” are not specified).
When the two states’ pension funds are combined, they represent assets of about $150 billion ($132 billion of that is New York; Ohio isn’t exactly a heavy-hitting pension fund state).
“BP misled investors with false and misleading statements about the safety of its drilling operations and its ability to fix events like the oil spill,” DiNapoli said in a press release.
“The partnership between New York and the Ohio funds seeks to hold BP accountable to investors and provide the best chance for recovering losses due to BP’s apparent misconduct.”
Jul 21st - 7:51 am
The Queens real-estate broker who loaned $40,000 to Rep. Greg Meeks has a rather shady history and has been the target of five state probes.
The broker, Edul Ahmad, was represented between 2008 and 2009 by Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson – a situation that got the senator into trouble, causing him to surrender his notary license.
Rick Lazio’s campaign manager, Kevin Fullington, is still a registered lobbyist.
Carl Paladino will be on the GOP primary ballot this September against Lazio.
“It is incompetent not to open this inquiry,” Lazio said of AG Andrew Cuomo’s refusal to investigate a “trophy mosque” proposed near Ground Zero. “Where’s that $100 million coming from, and what do the people want who are giving him the money?”
New NYC Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith aims to make NYC government “a stronger and leaner place five years from now,” although what he can do in the short-term is a different story.
The city plans to get tough with delinquent debtors who owe it some $100 million.
The Senate Democrats have spent $26,000 worth of campaign cash on restaurants over the past six months.
After repeatedly insisting they wouldn’t spend to defend incumbents in safe districts, the DSCC is doing just that.
Guess which Democratic AG contender said the following: “Andrew Cuomo is perfect.”
Jul 20th - 5:50 pm
Rick Lazio called AG Andrew Cuomo “incompetent” vis-a-vis what he called a “trophy mosque” near Ground Zero.
The mosque developer tells NY1′s Josh Robin: “I got an email about (Sarah Palin’s) Tweet and I just started laughing. I could not believe that a potential presidential candidate cannot spell or cannot use the English language correctly.’’
“One of Gov. David Paterson’s five nominees to the state Parole Board is a Westchester County official who has improperly collected both his pension and his salary over the past 10 months and could owe up to $50,000,” The Journal News reports.
Some downstate love for Buffalo Sen. Bill Stachowski.
US News & World Report says Sen. Chuck Schumer is the most active member of Congress, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney is right up there, too.
A new poll shows Rep. Charlie Rangel is vulnerable.
Mayor Bloomberg will reportedly help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid raise campaign cash.
The state GOP and Gary Berntsen jointly launched an anti-Schumer Website.
32BJ announced the endorsement of Edward Brounstein for Assembly in the 26th AD in Queens. (No link).
A Queens-born NBA player is featured on Reshma Saujani’s Website.
Lobbying expenses actually did go up this year.
The Rothenberg Report changed NY-24 from ‘Pure Toss-Up’ to ‘Tilts Republican.’ (No link).
There’s a petition battle going on in NY-1.
Lots of changes at the DN.
Sen. Bill Perkins says he’s not running against Mayor Bloomberg.
Jul 20th - 4:42 pm
If Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice is indeed too busy with her day job to debate her four Democratic AG opponents, it’s news to the New York Democratic Lawyers Council.
The NYDLC, whose AG candidate forum I’ll be moderating this evening at Cardozo Law School, informs me that Rice confirmed she would be attending the event and then abruptly changed course two weeks ago.
“The campaign said they had a scheduling conflict and that she had a different evening event, but was trying to work it out so she could do both and would let us know, so we moved her status to unconfirmed,” the staffer said.
The organization’s communications coordinator, David Stonehill, said he made a last-ditch effort to find out if she was coming by reaching out to last night to her campaign manager Jeff Stein by e-mail. He received no answer.
Jul 20th - 4:22 pm
Rep. Tim Bishop today announced his endorsement of fellow Long Islander, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, in her quest to succeed Andrew Cuomo in the state attorney general’s office.
“District Attorney Rice is exactly what we need in government today: tough, progressive, thoughtful and able to build consensus across the state in order to solve everyday problems,” Bishop said in a statement released by Rice’s campaign.
“All New Yorkers can have confidence in District Attorney Rice’s judgment and I’m proud to stand with her as she runs for attorney general.”
Bishop is billed by Rice’s campaign thusly:
Jul 20th - 4:13 pm
AG Andrew Cuomo was not in any mood to discuss questions surrounding the state Independence Party and its controversial endorsement practices, deftly side-stepping questions posed by YNN’s Doug Short during an RV tour stop in New Paltz.
Short first asked Cuomo whether he thinks it’s appropriate for state Indy leaders to bigfoot the recommendations of local leaders, overturning their recommendations about who should get Row C.
Cuomo replied that he would leave the running of the Independence Party up to the party. He then fielded some softball questions about how he’s dividing family time and politics on this statewide tour – his first of the campaign. (Look for the fabulously on-message moment from his daughter – a true Cuomo-Kennedy offspring if ever there was one).
Short valiantly tried again just before Cuomo got back onto the RV, asking the Democratic gubernatorial designee if he regrets accepting the Indy nod. The AG not only didn’t answer the question, he acted like he didn’t even hear it.
Jul 20th - 2:23 pm
New York’s Junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has had very close ties to the White House, ever since she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant seat. Now, she has scored another photo op with the President, as a guest for the signing of the Financial Regulation Reform bill.
Gillibrand has been touting her role in crafting the Wall Street reform bill that passed the Senate earlier this week. Particularly when it comes to the regulation of the derivatives market which was crafted in the Senate Agriculture committee. Gillibrand is a member of that committee.
The Senator has also taken some heat from Wall Street executives. In a recent Politico.com article, one unnamed executive was quoted as saying Gillibrand had “Chutzpah” to raise money from Wall Street, and then not stand up for the industry during the debate on the bill.
All this comes as Gillibrand’s campaign confirmed to Liz Benjamin that they will not challenge the petition from Brooklyn attorney Gail Goode, setting up a primary battle between the two.
Jul 20th - 2:09 pm
One final re-visting of the state Independence Party flip-flopping on endorsements uproar…at least for today.
In response to the screed released earlier today by one of his GOP opponents, Andrew Russo, who was favored by the local Indy leaders in the 49th SD but saw that overruled by state Chairman Frank MacKay & Co., Democratic Sen. Dave Valesky’s campaign spokesman, Doug Forand, released the following (equally long) statement:
“Apparently our opponent is having an extra large serving of sour grapes this morning, sprinkled with misguided paranoia.”
“The fact is that while our opponent was actively seeking the Independence line from the same leaders he now condemns, Senator Valesky was collecting signatures from rank and file members of the party, gathering almost twice the required number from the party’s grassroots.”
“New York State faces real problems and Senator Valesky has been working to clean up Albany, protect farmers and sportsmen, and bring good jobs back to our community.”
“Rather than engage in a constructive debate about how to achieve this, our opponent chooses to throw tantrums and hurl insults, and apparently he’s ‘not gonna stop’. That’s his choice, and he can continue doing so right through
“We will continue to reach out to the voters of Central New York about fixing Albany and restoring the economy. That’s our choice, and we think that’s what CNY voters want and deserve as well.”
Jul 20th - 1:50 pm
Posted by Mike Whittemore in [...]
Lately it seems the New York State Capitol is the place to be for celebrities pushing their causes.
Today, actor Mark Ruffalo and folk music star Pete Seeger joined public health and environmental advocates in Albany to call on the legislature to enact a year-long moratorium on “hydrofracking.”
Opponents believe the process can often contaminate the drinking water for residents that have leased their own land for drilling or live nearby. They want to see a moratorium so further studies can be conducted.
The Department of Environmental Conservation could begin issuing permits for gas drilling in New York as early as August. The legislation that would provide the moratorium is currently stalled in the Senate Rules Committee.
Be sure to tune into Capital Tonight at 8 and 11:30 to see Kaitlyn Ross’s interview with Mark Ruffalo. In the meantime, enjoy this song by Pete Seeger, which was inspired by the hydrofracking debate.
needs further study
Jul 20th - 1:47 pm
The Working Families Party raised some $1.19 million over the past six months and spent almost all of that cash ($1.119 million) – including $15,000 to cover the cost of a report conducted by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye in the wake of the US attorney’s probe into its for-profit arm, Data & Field Services, which remains open.
The WFP owes $100,000 to Kaye’s firm, Skadden Arps, according to party spokesman Dan Levitan. That’s not much, considering some reports that her hourly tab was as much as $1,000. (The tab is being shared between DFS and the non-proft WFP, Levitan said).
The labor-backed party also paid $38,754 to Levy & Ratner, its on-retainer firm that handles all manner of day-to-day legal work – from compliance to petitioning.
The party has $257,523 on hand. Its biggest expense by far was DFS (I lost count somewhere around $246,000, but it’s definitely more than that). Levitan explained that the WFP “hires” its for-profit arm to run all of its own field operations – from issue-oriented canvassing drives to small-dollar fundraising efforts.
Kaye’s report, which the WFP endorsed, recommended transforming DFS into a taxable non-profit entity.
The WFP’s contributors include some of its heavy-weight affiliates, including SEIU/1199 ($90,000), CWA ($40,000), the UFT ($37,500), HTC ($42,000), and 32BJ ($27,050).
There are also a number of elected officials listed among the party’s donors, including Sen. Dan Squadron ($10,000), whose primary victory over former Senate Minority Leader Marty Connor was a big priority for the WFP. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee kicked in $25,000.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is the party’s biggest elected official donor, ($25,000). He accepted the WFP line (and taken grief for it from his opponent, Harry Wilson), even as AG Andrew Cuomo declined to do so.