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.”
Jul 15th - 8:34 am
The Times has more details on the Office of Congressional Ethics probe into eight House members, including two New Yorkers – Reps. Joe Crowley and Chris Lee – who held fund-raisers in the days leading up to the Wall Street reform bill vote, collecting checks from lobbyists prior to weighing in on this key initiative.
From this morning’s article:
“(O)n Dec. 10, one of the lawmakers under investigation, Representative Joseph Crowley, a New York Democrat who sits on the Ways and Means Committee, left the Capitol during the House debate to attend a fund-raising event for him hosted by a lobbyist at her nearby Capitol Hill town house that featured financial firms, along with other donors.”
“After collecting thousands of dollars in checks, Mr. Crowley returned to the floor of the House just in time to vote against a series of amendments that would have imposed tougher restrictions on Wall Street.”
Jul 15th - 8:16 am
“It was explained to the governor that the red string is a symbol of protection (that) wards off problems and tribulations,” Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook said of his boss’ red string kabbalah bracelet. “His attitude was that he’ll take all the help he can get.”
The state Independence Party is returning Mayor Bloomberg’s money in advance of the expected John Haggerty trial.
John Ciafone, a candidate for Assemblyman Mike Gianaris’ seat, appears to be facing some big legal hurdles in his attempt to get on the ballot.
A federal report suggests New York and New Jersey should tax the rich.
Four upstate juvenile facilities will get federal oversight and new restrictions on the physical restraint of young offenders.
Members of New York’s congressional delegation are worried about the “Albany effect.”
Only about half of NYC agencies participate in a 20-year-old program to distribute voter registration forms.
Bloomberg weighed in on Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s fender bender.
There are a lot of Clinton people in the Obama administration.
A car dealer paid $20,000 for former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s SUV. The ex-senator used the cash to cover more legal fees.
The Spence School and the Asia Society want to keep Hassan Nemazee’s cash.
The “Hillary for President” argument is still being made.
Chelsea and Marc, a love story.
Here’s the latest Web video from Rick Lazio. It’s a positive spot rather than his campaign’s standard, anti-Cuomo attack. (Look for the moment when he sinks the basket).
Jul 14th - 6:50 pm
AG Andrew Cuomo’s upstate tour will start in Rockland County, according to his campaign press release, but will also include a stop in Mahopac tomorrow. (This is fixed…wrong county. Mea culpa).
He’ll be stopping at the Albany County Democratic picnic this Saturday.
Four of the state’s most dangerous youth prisons will be placed under federal oversight.
Former VP Dick Cheney had heart surgery.
Rep. Mike McMahon (Ny-13) has just short of $1.3 million on hand.
NBC and CBS have refused to air the National Republican Trust PAC’s anti-Ground Zero mosque ad.
Robert Gibbs reversed himself and now says the Democrats will “do very well” in the midterms.
Not everyone is abandoning the Paterson administration.
ESPA’s Joe Tarver is joining his former boss, Alan Van Capelle, in NYC Comptroller John Liu’s office.
Mayor Bloomberg and Aretha Franklin are headlining Rep. Charlie Rangel’s B-day fundraiser.
President Obama will attend a fundraiser at the home of Vogue editrix Anna Wintour.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will look into lawmakers’ call for an investigation into whether BP hand a hand in the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
Sen. Eric Schneiderman isn’t letting his fender-bender dust-up slow down his campaign fundraising.
Bronx pols are alarmed St. Barnabas Hospital isn’t bargaining with its unionized residents.
The governor directed flags around the state to be flown at half-STAFF in honor of the late Sen. Tom Morahan.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s campaign slammed his GOP opponent, Harry Wilson, for coming out against the financial regulatory reform bill.
Kathy Griffin Tweeted in mock anguish about the Levi-Bristol engagement.
Here’s AEC attorney Daryl Davis insisting that a judge’s awarding of a TRO to his client “is a recognition that our claims are valid and that we have a strong likelihood of success on merits.”
Jul 14th - 6:11 pm
Rep. Peter King told me today that defenders of a controversial mosque proposed near Ground Zero are applying a “bit of a double standard,” recalling, by way of contrast, the worldwide protest sparked by a Roman Catholic convent near the Auschwitz death camp.
While allowing that the mosque cannot legally be blocked from construction unless some link between its funding and a terrorist organization is uncovered, the outspoken Long Island congressman said the mere fact that the facility can be built doesn’t mean it should.
“…Under the freedom of religion in this country, you cannot stop a mosque, a church, a temple from being built,” King told me this afternoon during an interview that will air this evening at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on “Capital Tonight.”
“But also, there is a bit of a double standard there. I remember when Catholic nuns wanted to build a convent near Auschwitz and there was a worldwide opposition to that.”
“I’m not saying that the legal position is the same in Poland as it is in New York,” the congressman added. “But I’m saying the moral outrage that was shown over that, and that was 50 years after the Holocaust and there still was a feeling of outrage that you would have something of another religion constructed on what was considered sacred ground. ”
“I think, less than 10 years after 9-11, I can understand the feelings that people who feel that this mosque is sort of in their face. But again, legally, I don’t see any way it could be stopped.”
Jul 14th - 5:30 pm
Rep. Jerry Nadler issued a statement seeking to “correct the record” about the “misunderstanding” he had yesterday with a Washington, D.C. taxi driver.
Nadler insists that what the cabbie tried to do – charging him two full fares when he asked to make a pit stop at his hotel and keep the meter running – was against the law.
To back up this claim, he produced an e-mail exchange between himself and Taxi Commission Chairman Leon Swain that he says he tried to share with the driver, although, according to the congressman, he refused to read it.
“Therefore, as Mr. Habteab would not obey the law and take me to my final destination, I was obligated to find another driver who would. Of course taxi drivers have rights, but so do passengers. I am working with the Taxicab Commission and Mr. Habteab to ensure that he receives the correct payment, despite his misinterpretation of the law.”
Jul 14th - 5:24 pm
A reader forwarded this vintage Carl Paladino moment that occurred during last night’s Buffalo Common Council meeting at which the topic of debate was a proposed Bass Pro waterfront development that would be heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars.
Paladino is well known for his battles with the Common Council – a body he once tried without success managed to downsize. Obviously, he hasn’t let his statewide campaign for governor prevent him from staying involved in local issues. (Listen closely for the boos at the end).
“Our city has the renown of being known as the second-poorest city in America, and we’ve worked very, very hard to get there, to have that distinction.” said Paladino, who is a considerable stakeholder in Buffalo’s downtown.
“…And now, we’re drifting into a socialistic agreement. The people that want to bring to us a community-benefit agreement. What is that? ACORN? Sam Hoyt and Shelly Silver bringing us the same old stuff?”