Jul 21st - 6:21 pm
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is suing to try to bounce his GOP opponent from the ballot.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky pressed Sen. Eric Schneiderman on ex-Sen. Hiram Monserrate.
Tennis great John McEnroe called NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn “a future mayor, perhaps.”
The cutoff to be one of former NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s “heroes of reform” is midnight.
President Obama’s honeymoon is officially over, according to the Q poll.
Jeb Bush endorsed Chris Cox for Congress.
Assemblyman Jack McEneny isn’t thrilled with Cuomo’s anti-Albany message (which he’s breaking out selectively, as Jimmy Vielkind notes).
John Catsimatidis, a big Hillary Clinton donor in his day, was not invited to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.
…First Lady Michelle Obama is very popular, however.
The state Democratic Party hired Hank Sheinkopf, who worked for H. Carl McCall when he was challenged by Andrew Cuomo in 2002.
The Naked Cowboy is suing the Naked Cowgirl.
The White House apologized to Shirley Sherrod.
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. refused to participate in a Bronx News Network survey. His primary opponents were only too happy to oblige.
Rudy Giuliani is back at City Hall.
Mayor Bloomberg had a hot dog photo-op with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Jul 21st - 5:26 pm
Andrew Cuomo has been touting his cross-party appeal during his 11-day RV trip, pledging to transcend political labels and be a small-i independent governor for all New Yorkers.
A number of stops have included photo-ops with local GOP elected officials, whose support was then touted by Cuomo supporters to various reporters (including me).
But now comes word from several Ulster County Republicans who appeared with Cuomo in my hometown of New Paltz yesterday that their presence should not have been interpreted as an endorsement.
(O)n Wednesday, Rochester Town Supervisor Carl Chipman, Saugerties Town Councilman James Bruno, Ulster Town Councilman Eric Kitchen and Ulster Town Clerk Jason Cozenza all said they do not support Cuomo or his agenda. The others could not be reached for comment.
“‘I didn’t endorse him,’” said Chipman. ‘I haven’t endorsed anyone….I was invited to go listen to him speak and that’s the only reason I was there.’”
…Marlborough Town Supervisor Chris Cerone, a Republican, who was at the rally, said he supports Cuomo’s plans to bail the state out of its financial problems and he would consider endorsing him.”
Jul 21st - 5:14 pm
I’m not even sure what the score is at this point between state GOP Chairman Ed Cox and the leadership of the RNC, with whom he has been at odds for months now.
During an interview with me that will air this evening on “Capital Tonight” at 8 p.m. and again at 11:30 p.m., Cox took a backhanded swipe at his national counterpart, Michael Steele, (although no names were named), noting his national colleague is “having a hard time raising money.”
“I’m not sure how much funding the Republican National Committee is going to have in order to contribute to the get-out-the-vote effort,” Cox told me when I noted that the national GOP is bypassing the state party to send Victory cash directly to the counties.
We’re thrilled they’re going to be able to having a program,” the chairman continued. “But their cash-on-hand four years ago was $44 million at this point in time it’s only $12 million…and they have a very high burn rate.”
(He’s one to talk…what with just $657,000 on hand in two state accounts).
Jul 21st - 4:22 pm
There are some fun photos of AG Andrew Cuomo’s RV tour on his campaign Website, including this one of the would-be Democratic governor trying out a custom bike at Orange County Choppers – an establishment outside Newburgh that is apparently well-known (at least to motorcycle enthusiasts) for a Discovery Channel show “American Choppers.”
Cuomo, who has been known to lapse rhapsodic about the joys of working on muscle cars and is the owner of a Harley, is hoping to participate in the next show, I’m told. On the day of his visit, they were filming for next season and building a bike for the FBI.
UPDATE: A Cuomo aide informs me the AG was indeed filmed while he was at Orange County Choppers and will be making a cameo in the next season’s episode.
Jul 21st - 3:26 pm
The Senate Democrats have a pretty significant burn rate, spending more than half ($1.4 million) of the cash they reported raising over the past six months ($2.2 million, not including the $536,000 transferred in from members’ campaign accounts).
On the heels of this morning’s DN report that the majority dropped $26,000 worth of campaign cash on restaurant bills, I took a closer look at the DSCC’s expenditure report to see where all their money went.
Not surprisingly, consultants and attorneys account for much of the Democrats’ spending. I counted no fewer than 13 firms and individuals listed under the “professional” category. (Actually, The Parkside Group, one of the DSCC’s preferred consulting firms, which was paid $260,423, is listed as “other”).
G & L Consulting was paid $55,535. About the same – $52,000 – went to Prestige Communications.
UPDATE1: A reader noted that these two share the same address: 350 W. 110th St. I’m not sure who this is…But I have a suspicion.
UPDATE2: Another reader pointed out that Prestige was also paid another $70,000 from Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson’s personal campaign committee, bringing the mystery firm’s total to $122,000. If G &L and Prestige are in fact one and the same, the total is $177,535.
Also on the list: Attorney Andrew Celli’s firm ($150,869) – recall that he was involved in the legal battles that followed last year’s Senate coup. Ditto for former Senate Minority Leader Marty Connor ($23,380). Skadden Arps (the firm that is home to former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, among others) got $22,705.
Jan Feuerstadt, who is the business partner of state Democratic Party Executive Director Charlie King, was paid $15,000. The state party got $68,000 for “van access.” The Working Families Party received a $25,000 “contribution”.
Jul 21st - 2:43 pm
SEIU/1199 has endorsed the Democratic favorite, Francisco Moya, in the race for the 39th AD seat vacated by now-Sen. Jose Peralta. (Fixed).
No big surprise here, since Moya’s opponent (assuming he survives the general challenge filed to his petitions) is expelled ex-Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who is about as likely to receive institutional labor/party etc. support as I am to sprout wings and fly.
“Francisco Moya has shown his commitment to quality health care in his past work at Elmhurst Hospital, where he helped rejuvenate the facility so that it could continue to provide quality care for the people of Queens,” said 1199′s political director Kevin Finnegan.
“That record of working to improve healthcare in his community, along with his commitment to health care issues and his support of workers, has earned him this union’s strong endorsement. The members of 1199 SEIU will do what we can to make sure Francisco Moya is the next Assemblyman from the 39th Assembly District.”
Jul 21st - 1:37 pm
Here’s state GOP Chairman Ed Cox defending the party’s high burn rate – more than $760,000 between its two New York campaign committees, and that’s not including convention costs – and insisting expenses are going to be “very low” going forward.
Cox said the party has less than $700,000 on hand because it needed to take care of its “investments”, hire staff, buy a new server for the State Street HQ, cover fundraising expenses and also pay for the “very effective” convention. (A final tally for the event that was held at the Sheraton in Manhattan has yet to be released).
“It was a real convention, it was an open convention where the delegates made the decisions, and that’s the first time that had been done historically,” Cox told YNN’s Casey Bortnick at an event in Rochester yesterday.
“You’re talking about way back in the 60s since that had been done before. But you needed a convention site that fit that. And we invested in that too, so our candidates when they are now portrayed they are there with a great backdrop giving there acceptance speeches in a structure that makes it look like they are substantial candidates. ”
“And going forward our expenses are going to be vey low. All the dollars we raised now are going to be put into getting out the vote efforts in addition to the funds we now have on hand.”
I’m sure the GOP’s candidates are going to be overjoyed to hear the party intends to cut costs just as the campaign season is heating up in earnest. The RNC will be spending some Victory cash here, but plans to dole it out through the county committees and not the state party.
Jul 21st - 1:25 pm
Capital Tonight’s Kaitlyn Ross sent the photo below from Glens Falls, where she is covering Andrew Cuomo’s RV tour.
That was closely followed by an official press release – and another photo – from Carl Paladino’s campaign, which took responsibility for the duck, dubbed “Mario Jr.”
“Andrew Cuomo ducks vital policy questions like Obamacare because he knows New Yorkers won’t support his tired progressive agenda,” Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo said.
“Does Cuomo support Obamacare? Why won’t he join the 20-plus states signed on to federal lawsuits challenging the Constitutionality of Obamacare? It’s time for Andrew Coumo to pick a side – Obamacare or New Yorkers – and Mario Jr. will be tailing Cuomo’s ‘Retread New York’ RV tour to remind him.”
Caputo is trying to play off the fact that “New New York” was a slogan Cuomo’s father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, also employed back in the early 90s.
The duck is handing out flyers, the text of which appears after the jump.
UPDATE: The Democrats’ response, via state Chairman Jay Jacobs, is basically to call Paladino crazy for the second time today. I’m not sure that won’t come back to bite them, but here’s the statement: “Carl Paladino sends a duck to a political event? Of course. Paladino is a quack.”
Jul 21st - 1:07 pm
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson are scheduled to meet in Manhattan today to take yet another crack at landing a budget deal, even as Gov. David Paterson is threatening to drag them back to Albany to do so.
“The Senate and Assembly leaders are meeting themselves today because the governor has made it clear he won’t negotiate,” Sampson spokesman Austin Shafran confirmed.
“If he changes his position and will negotiate, we would be happy to meet with him – anywhere, any time – to close down the budget. The legislative leaders are working to resolve outstanding budget issues and the Senate hopes to see engagement by the governor in some form other than a press release.”
Jul 21st - 12:32 pm
State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs released a statement just now slamming both Republican gubernatorial contenders – Carl Paladino and Rick Lazio – saying the two “deserve each other.”
Jacobs derides Lazio, the GOP/Conservative gubernatorial designee, for “giving in” to Paladino’s petition push to force a primary for Row B (the former congressman’s campaign decided not to challenge the Buffalo businessman’s 28,000+/- signatures), adding:
“Republicans are left to choose between a bought-and-paid-for Wall Street lobbyist and an unstable tea party pretender who makes millions each year from government contracts and tax subsidies while finding time to indulge his penchant for disseminating completely inappropriate emails that offend just about everyone.”
Jacobs goes on to note that elected GOP officials are signing on to support Democratic gubernatorial designee Andrew Cuomo as he tours the state in his RV.
“While the Republican Party spends the next eight weeks fighting and bickering amongst themselves, New York Democrats will be reaching out to voters in every county in an effort to bring real reform to this state,” Jacobs said.
“When Republicans finally hold their noses and choose between these two awful choices in September, this much is certain: Democrats will be ready.”