Jul 15th - 2:35 pm
Gov. David Paterson today lashed out at the Daily News for its front-page story about his red-string bracelet, accusing the tabloid of making a “mockery” of a long-standing religious tradition and insisting the paper owes the Hasidic community an apology.
Paterson told reporters that he’s no longer wearing the bracelet because it fell off about a month ago – right before he started signing more than 6,700 budget vetoes. He said he thought the manner in which the DN described the bracelet was “disgraceful”, adding:
“It’s actually known as the scarlet thread of hope. It promotes hope, safety and success. The thread was tied around the grave of the wife of Jacob, who is Rachel in the Bible, and it’s something that has been passed down through the years.”
“I didn’t do anything to make a mockery of this tradition…and I thought that it was absolutely outrageous and to make a mockery of it by trying to exploit it through me today.”
“I thought – and I rarely say this – that the Daily News owes the Hasidic community who go to that gravesite and who wear it. it’s the same as throwing dung on a cross or stamping on the Star of David. And I think it’s unacceptable.”
Jul 15th - 2:12 pm
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino’s first campaign finance report in now on-line, and it shows he has so far spent $1.7 million – $1.65 million of which is his own cash.
During a “Capital Tonight” interview that aired last night, Paladino told me he still plans to spend up to $10 million of his own money on his bid both to defeat GOP designee Rick Lazio in a primary (for which he is filing some 28,000 signatures to get into today) and run in the general election on a third party line.
A brief review of Paladino’s contributions turned up one interesting name: Former Ambassador Anthony Gioia, who is a prominent GOP fundraiser in Buffalo. He raised $500,000 for ex-President George W. Bush, who appointed Gioia as ambassador to Malta in 2001, and was a member of his national finance committee.
Gioia gave Paladino $2,000 – the Buffalo businessman’s largest individual contribution from someone other than himself.
Jul 15th - 1:27 pm
Earlier this week, Darren Dopp quietly paid the $10,000 fine levied against him by the Public Integrity Commission, even as he continues to insist he will challenge the decision that he violated the law in connection with the Troopergate scandal.
I reached Dopp at Patricia Lynch Associates (the Albany-based lobbying/consulting firm where he has worked since departing the Spitzer administration in the wake of the scandal) earlier today.
He confirmed he had dropped off a check to the PIC, explaining that he didn’t want the commission to start collection proceedings against him, which would have necessitated a whole different legal challenge other than the one he hopes to bring.
Jul 15th - 12:22 pm
He may be down, but he’s not out.
Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel has lost clout in Washington after being forced to give up his powerful Ways & Means Committee chairmanship and faces both an ethics investigation and multiple primary challenges, but he still has support in his Harlem district.
Rangel’s campaign announced today that he has filed more than 30,000 signatures – some 24 times more than the 1,250 necessary to get onto the ballot.
Rangel’s campaign expects to file 47 different volumes of signatures by today’s, including names collected by Democratic clubs throughout the 15th District neighborhoods of Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights and Inwood.
“I’m delighted with and gratified by the outpouring of support for my reelection at a time when there is so much more work to be done, especially in getting Americans back to work again,” Rangel said in a press release.
“We have to support President Obama’s efforts to protect our health and environment, and we have to commit ourselves to bringing our troops home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Rangel is facing primary challenges from labor advocate Jonathan Tasini, who dropped a bid to oust Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to focus on trying to unseat the scandal-scarred congressman; Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell, and Vince Morgan. He also has a GOP opponent, the Rev. Michael Faulkner, a former NFL player.
The congressman’s legal troubles have eaten into his fundraising, forcing him to spend much of his campaign cash on attorneys fees.
As of the end of March, he had raised $1.96 million, spent $2.6 million and had $635,292 on hand, along with $35,833 worth of debt. Rangel’s second quarter numbers have not yet been released.
Next month, Democrats will gather from all over New York to fete Rangel’s 80th birthday and help him raise some campaign cash. Gov. David Paterson will emcee the event, which will feature Aretha Franklin, and Mayor Bloomberg is also listed on the invite.
Jul 15th - 10:41 am
Carl Paladino says he is confident he will be on the GOP Primary ballot, after gathering roughly 28 thousand signatures for his petition, which is roughly 13k more than the required 15 thousand. Though, usually campaigns shoot for 3 times the required number to discourage opponents from challenging their signatures.
For example, relatively unknown Democratic US Senate candidate Gail Goode submitted 45 thousand signatures yesterday in her bid to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand. Though, Paladino’s campaign told the Buffalo News their signatures have been thoroughly reviewed.
Paladino says he has collected at least 300 signatures from 21 Congressional districts – which is well above the 100 signatures required for 15 Congressional Districts.
During a phone interview with YNN’s Kevin Jolly, Paladino also suggested that Rick Lazio is running a spoiler campaign, at this point.
“I think Lazio is a spoiler. Lazio ought to get the hell out of this race, cause he is going nowhere. And I warned him about this before at the convention.”
Paladino went on to say, “I said, you are going to get pummeled, okay. You got no message. You have absolutely no experience managing anything. He has never really had a day job.”
Jul 15th - 10:17 am
Mayor Bloomberg’s July 15 campaign finance report reveals his 2009 campaign committee spent another $866,250 over the past six months, bringing the pricetag for his successful third term bid to more than $109 million.
The mayor sent an additional $814,700 of his own cash to the committee between January and March.
Expenditures of note include:
- $390,384 to Geller & Company, the accounting firm run by Bloomberg’s good friend, Martin Geller.
- $27,500 to campaign manager Bradley Tusk (the first payment of $13,750 came on Jan. 15 – the same day the last filing was due and two months after the November election). This was on top of the post-campaign bonus of at least $400,000 he received. Tusk is now a political consultant.
- $90,255 to Mike Avella, an Albany lobbyist and attorney who worked on the mayor’s campaign.
- $38,326 to The Brooklyn Paper, which endorsed Bloomberg.
- $59,908 to Squier, Knapp, Dunn Communications for consulting.
Jul 15th - 9:59 am
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign just announced she has raised more than $2 million over the past three months and now has more than $7.2 million on hand.
Gillibrand has raised more than $10.75 million since she was sworn into office 18 months ago, inheriting the seat Hillary Clinton vacated to become secretary of state, thanks to Gov. David Paterson (who recently joked his biggest regret was that he didn’t appoint himself).
The former upstate congresswoman has long been a prodigious fundraiser, which has left her open to the usual “beholden to special interests” criticism from a variety of opponents.
It has also insulated her from challenges by a similiarly well-funded candidate who might have a real shot at knocking her from her perch this fall.
Today’s Siena poll shows Gillibrand remains vulnerable, with 42 percent of voters still saying they would prefer “someone else” to her, but she nevertheless maintains double digit leads over all three of her would-be GOP challengers.
Yesterday, Gail Goode, a New York City attorney on leave from a job with the Bloomberg administration, filed some 45,000 signatures to force a primary with Gillibrand. Goode told me she had used her own savings to fund her petition-gathering effort, but insisted the fact that she is way behind in fundraising doesn’t mean she’s not in the race to win.
Jul 15th - 9:37 am
Also from the Siena poll…
AG Andrew Cuomo has maintained his massive double-digit leads over both Rick Lazio (60-28, down from 60-24 in June) and Carl Paladino (64-23, up from 60-23) and is still far out in front in a three-way race, garnering 54 percent to Lazio’s 23 percent and Paladino’s 10.
Lazio’s lead in a GOP primary against Paladino, assuming his petitions are all good, fell to 40-20 from 45-18 one month ago, but 40 percent of Republican voters remain undecided.
Things are looking up a bit for Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of voters still have no idea who he is. He has widened his lead slightly over his GOP/Conservative opponent, Harry Wilson, 48-24 percent, up from 42-23 percent in June.
But the comptroller isn’t completely out of the woods. Nearly half of voters were undecided when asked if DiNapoli or “someone else” should be elected this fall.
Jul 15th - 9:33 am
Today’s Siena poll finds nearly half of New Yorkers give the Legislature a failing grade on the still-incomplete state budget. Gov. David Paterson doesn’t fare much better, although voters support his veto of lawmakers’ member item cash.
Forty-seven percent of those polled gave state legislators an “F” for their budget performance this year. The Senate has yet to pass the revenue bill that will complete the 2010-2011 spending plan.
Twenty-seven percent gave an “F” to Paterson, while 24 percent award him a “D” and 27 percent thought he had turned out work worthy of a “C” during the budget negotiations.
“If your children came home from college with a grade point average of less than 1.0 you might think about not paying for them to go back to school the next semester,” said Siena pollster Steve Greenberg.
“Will voters return legislators to Albany this November after flunking them for their most important job? It’s going to be a fascinating election to watch.”
“When it comes to Governor Paterson, voters give him passing grades, although they’re certainly not welcoming him into any honor societies. His GPA of 1.4 is nothing to write home about, but it’s far better than how voters view the Legislature.”
Forty-nine percent of voters supporter Paterson’s decision to axe almot $200 million reappropriated member item spending from the budget, but a majority of New Yorkers statewide – 58-38 – opposed his veto of the $600 million in additional education spending added by the Legislature in its two-way deal.
Jul 15th - 9:01 am
Gov. David Paterson seems very conflicted on a bill that would prevent the NYPD from maintaining information gleaned through its controversial use of stop-and-frisk, even if the subjects have done nothing illegal, but sounded this morning as if he might be leaning toward signing it.
Speaking to the DN’s Errol Louis on 1600 AM WWRL this morning, Paterson stressed that the legislation in question would not ban the use of stop-and-frisk, but merely prevent the police department from adding to a database that Commissioner Ray Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg and others insist has helped to drive down crime in the city.
“We’re not arguing about whether or not they were stopped,” he said. “We’re arguing about whether or not that information has a value to law enforcement in crime prevention as opposed to just the fact that they have the information so they have list of people they can go and look at.”
“I think the agreement would be that people who are found to be doing nothing wrong in the United States of America should not have information about them floating around the police department, but if there is a value to it, well that’s a different story.”