Jul 8th - 6:13 pm
Posted by Liz Benjamin in [...]
AG Andrew Cuomo’s campaign paid for his Syracuse trip today.
Cuomo has a “fraught relationship” with the gay community and plays “catch-up” on LGBT issues, says ESPA founder Libby Post.
Eliot Spitzer and William K. Black take on the SEC and the MMS as a “tale of two failures.”
Josh Goodman wonders if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can avoid Spitzer’s mitakes.
Karen DeWitt considers the new, more resolute Gov. David Paterson.
Paterson objected to what he deemed a “poison pill” inserted into an education appropriation bill by the Legislature.
Sen. Diane Savino, who has no opponent this fall, was endorsed by the Independence Party for the first time since 2006. (No link).
Rep. Carolyn Maloney debates with her primary opponent, Reshma Saujani, over whether she agreed to a debate.
Saujani’s campaign objected to the characterization of the candidate as “pro-Wall Street.”
Albany GOP Chairman John Graziano had an awkward moment with Carl Paladino.
Dan Rivoli finds a discrepency in Saujani’s private and public positions on the financial industry.
The Russian spies pleaded guilty.
Artists are trying to block NYC’s plan to significantly reduce the number of art vendors in city parks.
A round-up of how races are shaping up in Queens.
Roger Stone on who is collecting signatures for Kristin Davis: “Strippers, hookers, ex-hookers, wannabe hookers, gays, gay activists, young Republicans, Libertarians, friends of mine, friends of friends of mine, friends of hers, friends of friends of hers, swingers, people in the BDSM community, pro-marijuana activists, pot farmers, people – just people.”
Chris Cox will lead a Pulaski Day Parade very far from the district in which he’s running for Congress.
Paterson gave his veto pen a rest and signed 14 bills into law.
Jul 8th - 5:20 pm
AG Andrew Cuomo might think Sen. Bill Stachowski is “doing the right thing” by holding up the final piece of the budget in hopes of forcing a deal on the SUNY empowerment plan, but that sentiment apparently wasn’t enough to land the senator an invite to stand with the AG at a Buffalo press conference today.
CapTon’s eagle-eyed Mike Whittemore was reviewing the video from the event and noticed that while Republican Sen. Dale Volker (who’s retiring at the end of the year) and Democratic Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (a longtime Cuomo ally) joined the AG on stage, Stachowski was watching from the audience.
When asked later by a reporter whether he thought it was appropriate for Stachowski, who faces another tough re-election bid this year, to dig in his heels on the revenue bill (preventing himself and his colleagues from getting paid in the process), Cuomo replied:
“I think senators, assemblyman represent their district and he believes he’s representing his district then he’s doing the right thing.”
“I think the UB 2020 project is very project is very exciting and I think it should go forward and I think if the Senator is representing his district, then he’s doing the right thing. Ultimately the people of the district will decide how well he represented them. It’s between the senator and the district.”
Earlier today, Stachowski released a statement reassuring his constituents that UB 2020 remains of utmost importance to him as the Legislature prepares to return to Albany – perhaps as early as next Monday.
Jul 8th - 5:05 pm
Harry Wilson’s campaign manager just zinged state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for using his class-action lawsuit against Gulf spill-culprit BP to help raise political cash, calling the effort a “new low” and proof that the Republican candidate’s ethics reforms “can’t come soon enough.”
“Just a day after Harry released his five-point plan to restore integrity to the scandal-plagued Office of the State Comptroller, Mr. DiNapoli is again showing why reform is needed,” Chapin Fay said in a statement.
“After accepting more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from plaintiff’s attorneys he employs in class action suits – which can be hugely lucrative to those firms – Mr. DiNapoli is using official state business to solicit campaign contributions. This may be a new low. Does Mr. DiNapoli have any shame?”
Jul 8th - 4:51 pm
Assemblyman Michael Benjamin warned that state Democratic leaders’ latest effort to distance themselves from Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. could backfire and end up helping the controversial lawmaker more than it hurts him.
During an interview with me on Capital Tonight yesterday, Benjamin, who, like Espada, is a Bronx Democrat, said the push to make the senator a man without a party might rally voters to his side.
“I kinda thought it was a PR stunt,” Benjamin told me. “If you look at, I guess what the state part has been doing since Charlie King has become the executive director, a lot of, you know, media-related stunts in my view, trying to get under the skin of Rick Lazio and other candidates.”
“And I think he may be doing the same thing with Senator Espada. I think all he’s doing is creating the possibility that Senator Espada could become a martyr.”
“We have sort of an outlaw culture in America, in the Bronx, where Senator Espada could be seen as a Jesse James or a Larry Davis and he’s being put upon by the system and that may attract voters that some of us may not want him to have. Why not just defeat him at the polls?”
Jul 8th - 4:27 pm
Sen. Bill Stachowski, who gained notoriety by holding up the final piece of the budget last week, reiterated to his constituents today that there won’t be a deal without some type of compromise on the SUNY empowerment plan.
“As the Legislature looks to return to Albany in the coming days to finalize the remaining piece of the state budget, I wish to inform residents in the 58th Senate District that I will unreservedly continue my fight for the inclusion of UB 2020 Flexibility and Economic Growth Act in our final negotiations,” Stachowski said in a statement.
A Stachowski spokesman said it’s unclear if any progress has been made on this front since the Senate recessed for the 4th of the July holiday.
So, barring any backroom deals between now and when legislators grace us with their presence at the Capitol, negotiations will likely pick up right where they left off on July 1st.
Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Senate Democrats and their conference leader, John Sampson, said negotiations are ongoing even though legislators aren’t in town.
Senator Sampson is still working to resolve the outstanding budget issues, specifically an FMAP extension and higher education reform and plans to reconvene session once these final issues have been fairly addressed,” said Shafran.
Jul 8th - 2:58 pm
The state Board of Elections July filing deadline is just around the corner (it’s Sunday the 11th; reports will be made public on the 15th), and candidates are engaged in their usual mad dash for campaign cash.
I’ve received several e-mail appeals from, or on behalf of, statewide candidates, including one this morning with the subject line “Four Days to Go!” from NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is seeking contributions for Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s AG campaign.
Quinn says Schneiderman’s election will “ensure progressive justice in our state” and says she’s supporting him because “his commitment to the issues of importance to me, as a woman, as a member of the LGBT community, and as a New Yorker, has never wavered.”
Earlier this week, I got an appeal from Sean Coffey’s campaign manager, Van Parish, who says his candidate has morphed from a “political unknown” into a force to be reckoned with, a “a candidate who sees public service as a calling and not an occupation.”
Jul 8th - 2:28 pm
Why should Budweiser and Blue Moon get all the love at highly-publicized White House get-toghethers?
If Sen. Charles Schumer has his way, wine produced in New York will be the drink of choice at the next big party in Washington.
Schumer is urging the White House to serve Finger Lakes wine at the upcoming state dinner for President Hu Jintao of China, which he noted could have major economic benefits to the region while boosting the industry’s international street cred.
“The wine industry contributes over three and a half billion dollars to our state’s economy and employs thousands of people and if for the first time a Finger Lakes wine, which is a very high quality, were served at the state dinner, particularly when it’s China, the whole world would take note,” Schumer told YNN’s Leah George.
“It might increase international sales. It certainly would increase sales here in the United States and be a real shot in the arm to the Finger Lakes economy. So, we’re making a push that it happen and I’m talking to the right people at the White House about that.”
Jul 8th - 1:55 pm
US Senate hopeful David Malpass says he will not remain on the independent line his fellow Republican, Carl Paladino, plans to create if he loses the GOP primary to Bruce Blakeman in September.
“The Taxpayer line is not about personalities; it’s not about me or any other personality,” Malpass told YNN’s Helen Moore during a campaign stop in Rochester earlier today.
“It’s about the people of New York who want fundamental change, and I’m very pleased to be finding that added outlet for people to vote in addition to the Republican party line.
“…I’m planning to win the GOP primary election on September 14th. People should vote for David Malpass. I’m the one that can bring less spending, less taxes for New Yorkers.”
“In a purely hypothetical if I lost, what I want to do is unify the people in New York who want fundamental change in Washington. I won’t be on the Taxpayer line in that event.”
Jul 8th - 1:32 pm
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky is touting his endorsement today by DC37, NYC’s largest municipal public employee union and one of the few labor organizations with a sizable, well-organized field operation.
“They are a political powerhouse and this is an extraordinarily powerful endorsement,” Brodsky just told me during a brief phone interview.
“It’s a sign of the statewide strength that we’re showing across the state, but also, having it based in New York City gives us a real field operation advantage that we’re going to use.”
The bulk of the September Democratic primary vote will indeed be generated out of NYC. Two of the five contenders hail from Manhattan – Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Eric Dinallo – while Brodsky and Sean Coffey, both from Westchester, and Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice hail from the NYC suburbs. (Fixed).
Jul 8th - 12:55 pm
The scandal that never dies was resurrected today.
The Commission on Public Integrity released a statement in response to a judge’s decision to uphold a $10,000 fine levied against former Spitzer communications director Darren Dopp.
It all dates back to the summer of 2007 when it was discovered that records about then-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s travels were compiled by the State Police, allegedly at the behest of Dopp, and provided to the Albany Times Union.
In a statement, the executive director of the CPI, Barry Ginsberg, insists the issue was never about records.
“Yesterday, after a thorough review, a judge upheld the Commission’s decision to fine Darren Dopp $10,000 for his central role in the Troopergate matter. In March 2008, a different judge rejected Mr. Dopp’s unfounded effort to prevent the Commission’s hearing that resulted in this fine,” Ginsberg says.
“This case was never about the release of public documents. Rather, this case stands for the critically important principle that the State Code of Ethics bars a State official from misusing the State Police to gather damaging information and create official-looking documents to plant a negative news story about a political opponent. Our free and democratic society simply does not, and cannot, condone such abuse of a law enforcement agency.”
We just spoke to Darren Dopp who says he isn’t discouraged by yesterday’s ruling. He says the judge dismissed the case because of a procedural issue, and he is now in the process of fixing the issue and plans to continue his appeal. He went on to say that he is confident that some day, when a judge rules on the merits of the case, he will be vindicated.