Jul 8th - 8:07 am
All LeBron, all the time. (Thankfully, he’ll be making his announcement just as I get off the air).
The Times takes a look inside ConEd’s command center as workers struggle to keep the lights on the height of a heat wave.
Gov. David Paterson’s VetoThon ended with the delivery of 6,681 vetoes to the Legislature.
AG Andrew Cuomo called the practice of pension padding “chronic” and “unbearable,” adding: “It should have been stopped a long time ago.”
CSEA spokesman Stephen Madarasz said it’s wrong to “blame the vast majority for the abuses of the few” when it comes to pension padding.
Rick Lazio called on Cuomo to investigate development of a mosque near Ground Zero.
Cuomo is in Syracuse today for a press conference and a fundraiser.
Another blow to ex-AG Eliot Spitzer’s legacy.
ADDED: Court reporting firms owned by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy’s wife, Colleen West, have received work from businesses that have millions of dollars in county contracts. He has never revealed this in any disclosure forms.
Jul 7th - 5:39 pm
Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s father is a big donor to NARAL Pro-Choice NY, which just endorsed his son for AG.
“Would I love to run a presidential campaign someday? Sure, theoretically, it would be fun,” said Mayor Bloomberg’s “secret weapon” – Bradley “Ivory” Tusk.
The Room 9 reporters have been relocated to a trailer outside City Hall.
Longshot Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Joel Tyner ended his 140-mile walk from Wall Street to Albany today.
Adam Kramer is back working for Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.
The Empire State Pride Agenda had a mixed year in Albany.
The new NYC OTB CEO will earn a whopping $125,000 a month.
The governor is touting a new loan fund for small businesses.
The criminal convictions in another case started by Eliot Spitzer when he was AG and inherited by AG Andrew Cuomo were tossed out.
Chris Cox’s former advisers complained he wouldn’t listen to them.
A Long Island highway maintenance crew removed some of Cox’s campaign signs.
Who says finance can’t be fun? Not state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
Ademola Oyefeso has been named as the RWDSU’s new political and legislative director. (No link).
Democratic Senate candidate and Clarkstown Town Clerk David Carlucci supports the effort to oust Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. from the Democratic Party.
EJ McMahon deems the “more or less” state budget “shaky.”
Jul 7th - 3:39 pm
Here’s Morgan Hook, Gov. David Paterson’s communications director, explaining why the governor went ahead and delivered his vetoes.
“The governor has said, and we have taken the position that this is not a negotiation. the legislature delivered to him budget bills last week,” Hook said.
“Those budget bills were out of balance. So the governor was forced to take this action. the governor stands by these actions. Again, we are talking about approximately $525 million in savings that were achieved in these vetoes in addition to another $180 to $190 (million) in reapprops that were vetoed.”
(For those not schooled in Capitolspeak, “reapprops” is short for “reappropriations,” and that refers to last year’s member items).
All told, there were 6,681 vetoes, according to Hook, who added: “In the spirit of disclosure, he initialed most of them.” The whole process took about seven hours over two days (and in two locations: the governor’s Capitol office and the executive mansion) to complete.
And again, here’s the link to the whole list.
Jul 7th - 3:19 pm
Score one more for state Conservative Chairman Mike Long.
State GOP Chairman Ed Cox today officially backed off his plan to run all GOP statewide designees on a new independent line, citing “serious reservations” raised by some candidates and county chairs. Cox broke the news in a memo to GOP county chairs that appears in full after the jump.
Cox hatched the idea at the GOP convention last month as it became increasingly clear that Long’s ploy to tap Rick Lazio to run on Row D prior to the GOP gathering in hopes of blocking Cox’s preferred gubernatorial candidate, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, had succeeded.
Long made it clear to all his statewide candidates that he did not want them to agree to run on Cox’s new line.
Lazio’s campaign never commented on the matter. Ditto for state comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson. Staten Island DA Dan Donovan’s AG campaign spokeswoman told me he would review future ballot line opportunities at the appropriate time.
Jul 7th - 2:59 pm
Carl Paladino hasn’t given up on petitioning his way on the GOP ballot for governor, but today he announced he also plans to run on the yet-to-be-formed, independent Taxpayer line.
The Buffalo businessman says he’ll be joined on the new line by his lieutenant governor pick, Tom Ognibene, along with US Senate candidates Gary Bernsten and David Malpass, who are running against Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand respectively and have already secured spots on the Republican ballot.
Paladino says thousands of volunteers are already gathering the minimum 15,000 voter signatures necessary to create the line. State election law requires that at least 100 of those signatures come from each of half the state’s 29 congressional districts.
The Paladino campaign held an online naming contest for the new line. The winning name was T.E.A.: Taxed Enough Already, but Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo says the name was shortened to Taxpayers to highlight the importance of the word “tax.”
Jul 7th - 2:49 pm
Earlier this morning, Republican gubernatorial designee Rick Lazio called on AG Andrew Cuomo to investigate the developers of the Cordoba Mosque, which is set to be built in lower Manhattan despite widespread criticism.
Lazio pointed to several NY Post articles, here, here, suggesting there was enough evidence to have the AG conduct an investigation into the mosque, which is a legally registered charitable organization.
While at a news conference in the Manhattan on pension padding, the Democratic candidate for governor dismissed the calls for an investigation, saying he knew of no criminal action by the mosque.
But, Cuomo did seize on the question as an opportunity to defend freedom of religion.
“If there is a criminal case, then there is a criminal case,” the AG said.
“But, if this is: I don’t like this religion, and I don’t like this religion on this block. Or: I don’t like this religion in this city. Then I agree with Mayor Bloomberg. Then I agree with the community board that approved the mosque.”
“What are we about, if not religious freedom? What is the country about if not religious freedom? What is this state about if not religious freedom? Well, religious freedom except I don’t like this religion. But then, there might be another government, and they won’t like Catholicism, or they won’t like Judaism, or they won’t like Christianity, then what?”
Jul 7th - 2:48 pm
Wasting no time, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver released this statement slamming Governor Paterson for vetoing the education spending added to his executive budget proposal:
“My Assembly Majority colleagues and I are deeply disappointed that the Governor does not share the Legislature’s goal of sparing our schools from the most devastating cuts and ensuring that our higher education system remains accessible to all New Yorkers.
“We are saddened that the Governor also chose to renege on commitments of funding support from prior years to non-profits and community-based organizations that run free clinics, care for children and the elderly, offer counseling for crime victims and provide other vital services to New Yorkers throughout the state.”
Jul 7th - 2:45 pm
Capital Tonight’s Kaitlyn Ross sends us these shots of the governor’s hand-signed vetoes of nearly 7,000 budget line items.
The original signed vetoes are being delivered to the Assembly, which is the house where the bills originated.
Six additional copies were delivered to the Senate, the Assembly, the Budget Office, the executive chamber, and the LCA, along with a copy for state records.
The vetoes represent $522 million in savings.
UPDATE1: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver released a statement saying that he and his fellow Democrats are “deeply disappointed” by the governor’s vetoes.
He didn’t mention anything about an override. No word yet from Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson. UPDATE2: Sampson spokesman Austin Shafran sent me a comment, which also appears after the jump.
Silver’s statement appears in full after the jump.
Jul 7th - 1:36 pm
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s campaign is responding to Republican Harry Wilson’s 5-point plan for reforming the office he’s trying to hold onto this November.
The Democratic incumbent is trying to paint his challenger as a defender of BP for refusing to say that suing the oil company is a good idea.
DiNapoli campaign spokesman Eric Sumberg released the following statement:
“By publicly declaring his support for protecting the corporate interests of BP, Harry Wilson has now made clear that he aligns perfectly with the far-right wing of the Republican party.
“From Republican Rep. Joe Barton, who apologized to BP for President Obama’s ‘$20 billion shakedown’ of the company, to GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul, who called President Obama’s criticism of BP ‘un-American,’ Harry Wilson, who comes from the world of unregulated hedge funds, now joins the pantheon of Big Oil defenders.”
“We need a comptroller who is looking out for the financial well-being of every day New Yorkers, not multinational corporations.”
UPDATE: Wilson’s campaign manager Chapin Fay e-mailed a response, which appears after the jump.
Jul 7th - 12:52 pm
Suffolk County Conservative Chairman Ed Walsh is calling on Chris Cox to drop his bid for Congress in Long Island’s 1st CD and back one of his two primary opponents, Randy Altschuler, reasoning it has become clear Cox “does not have a viable path to victory” against the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Tim Bishop.
“When faced with the prospect of a Republican primary being waged by Stephen Lebate in the 2nd Congressional District earlier this year, Republican Party Chairman John Jay LaValle’s response to a press query was that Mr. Lebate would have to ‘choose between whether he would do what is in the best interest of the man or the mission,’” Walsh wrote in a letter to Cox today.
“It’s now time for you to heed Chairman LaValle’s advice in the 1st Congressional District. Christopher, you should withdraw your candidacy and support Randy Altschuler. Our shared responsibility for taking back this seat must be about the mission and not the individual; it’s the right thing to do for Suffolk County and for America.”
Altschuler is the Conservative Party’s designee in NY-1.