Jun 25th - 12:33 pm
Kristin Davis (AKA the Manhattan Madam) is making the rounds of the Capitol today, with her supporter, GOP consultant Roger Stone in tow, to push her candidacy for governor.
She’s seeking to petition her way onto the ballot and will soon start collecting signatures (she needs 15,000). Davis, whose claim to fame is her claim that she provided prostitutes for Client 9 (AKA former Gov. Eliot Spitzer), is running on a platform that includes the legalization of pot, prostitution and gay marriage.
NY1′s Erin Billups asked Davis if she’s really running to win:
“I know it’s a long-shot, but my campaign necessarily isn’t about winning,” Davis replied. “It’s about putting these issues in front of the politidcians.”
“I mean frankly, Andrew Cuomo has this thing in the bag. He’s so far ahead of the game that a vote for me really won’t hurt him, so a vote for me will send a clear message to the politcians that these are issues New Yorkers care about.”
Davis said she agrees with Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice’s comments yesterday that there’s a double-standard when it comes to prosecuting prostitutes and letting johns like Spitzer off the hook. She hinted that she might consider supporting Rice for AG.
No word on whether Rice would be accepting that endorsement.
Davis will be my guest this evening on Capital Tonight. I’m very much looking forward to our chat. Tune in at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. for that.
Jun 25th - 11:09 am
You might consider those early weekend plans. It’s shaping up to be a long day at the Capitol.
The Assembly and Senate came to a tentative agreement on the substance of all the remaining budget bills over the past 24 hours with the exception of revenues and the still-contentious SUNY overhaul plan, a legislative source confirms.
The question now remains: What will Gov. David Paterson do?
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson had a face-to-face yesterday afternoon, but the governor wasn’t around for that meeting. (He departed the Capital Region after his early-morning radio round-up and had yet to return as of shortly before 10 a.m. this morning).
A source confirmed Sampson spoke to the governor by phone yesterday. I have yet to confirm whether Silver also got a call, or placed one. In-person meetings are expected some time later today.
Jun 25th - 10:51 am
Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., chair of the Senate Aging Committee, and Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. (two of the erstwhile amigos, which may or may not exist anymore), sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg today criticizing his “ill-advised plan” to shutter 50 NYC senior centers at the end of the month.
The centers are a casualty of the $63 billion budget deal on which the mayor and NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn shook hands last night. The spending plan saves 20 firehouses, but cuts funding for the centers as well as libraries and teachers.
In their letter, Espada and Diaz Sr. urge Bloomberg to use Title XX funds and “follow our leadership in the Senate and use the $18 million allocation not to fill another city budget need, but as we had designated” for keeping the centers open to the city’s elderly.
The senators insisted Bloomberg has an “obligation” to the Senate to use the Title XX cash as it was “intended.”
UPDATE: The DN’s Frank Lombardi reports the senators appear to be mixing their apples and oranges here.
Jun 25th - 10:27 am
The New York Civil Liberties Union released a new Web video to mark Pride that is designed to keep the same-sex marriage issue alive in spite of the fact that it is not currently on the front burner in Albany.
“The majority of New Yorkers support fair marriage laws that protect lesbian and gay families,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “We must keep working and show our elected officials that they must stand up for all New Yorkers.”
The last public poll I recall on this issue (Siena, April 2009) found New Yorkers supported the Senate voting to pass the gay marriage bill (53-39), which would have virtually guaranteed it would become law since the Assembly and the governor were both on board.
(For the record, this is counter to what Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. told me during an interview two days ago, insisting that 60 percent of New Yorkers oppose gay marriage. I meant to check that figure earlier. Sorry).
The NYCLU video features footage from the Senate debate last December, after which the gay marriage bill failed, 38-24. It’s posted on the organization’s Web site, launched last year to help same-sex marriage supporters lobby lawmakers to pass the bill.
Jun 25th - 7:27 am
NYC has a handshake deal on a $63 billion budget deal that spares 20 firehouses from the chopping block and calls for layoffs and/or attrition of 2,000 teachers, but cuts some senior and day care centers and reduces library service from six days to five.
Mayor Bloomberg confessed he’s “worried” the state still does not have a budget, although the legislative leaders reportedly negotiated late into the night.
The two leaders – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson – confirmed in the afternoon that they had been meeting privately without the governor.
A two-way deal could box out Paterson, although it’s doubtful the closely-divided Senate would be able to muster sufficient votes to override any vetoes, given the party-line voting that has been going on of late.
In addition, Paterson still holds the ultimate trump card, since it takes three to tango in Albany and the last extender bill only keeps government running through Monday. Asked if he believes Paterson wants a deal, Silver replied simply: “No.”
If he doesn’t sign off on a deal, he can still force lawmakers to choose between whatever he puts in the next extender (theoretically due out late today for passage Monday) and a government shutdown. The Post calls for Paterson to dig in and reject – at the very least – borrowing.
A shutdown, should it come, would only have a mild impact on the state’s credit rating, according to Moody’s.
There’s a tentative deal on restoring some $425 million worth of the $1.4 billion Paterson wanted to cut in education aid, but division remains over whether the extra money should fund property tax relief.
Jun 24th - 6:34 pm
…But it’s impossible to tell exactly how much from his (late) Public Integrity Commission financial disclosure form, even though his campaign made an unredacted version available shortly after 6 p.m. this evening.
The form includes ranges, the highest of which is F. That stands for $250,000 or over.
The market of Lazio’s Upper East Side condo is listed as F. Same for his compensation as a managing director at JP Morgan Chase Asset Management Group until he took an unpaid leave last September to run for governor. He also has quite a bit of JP Morgan stock, also listed under F.
Jimmy Vielkind has reported that Lazio was paid a $325,000 salary and $1.3 million bonus for his work for J.P. Morgan in 2008 – the same year the firm received federal TARP bailout cash, which it later paid back.
The Democrats have been slamming Lazio for his lobbyist days and also insisting that he release his tax returns, which he has said he’ll do, but refuses to say exactly when that will happen. The returns – 20 years of which are supposedly going to be made available at some point – will give a much more in depth picture of the former congressman’s wealth.
UPDATE: State Democratic Party Executive Director Charlie King is out with a statement slamming Lazio:
Jun 24th - 5:46 pm
This video is just so chock-full of quintessential Silverisms that it almost needs no commentary whatsoever.
My favorite line: “We’ll have a budget deal when we have a budget deal and we’ll enact the budget when we have a budget deal. My members will be here as necessary to enact the budget.”
The speaker also continues to insist that “progress is being made,” and the reinstatement of the clothing sales tax – which he insists isn’t a tax increase, but rather “a temporary suspension of the sale tax exemption” – was the governor’s idea, not his.
In addition, Silver expressed optimism that the state will receive more than $1 billion worth of federal FMAP cash that has been in limbo for some time now, adding: “There’s a good chance we’re getting the money. If we don’t get the money, we’ll deal with it at that point. We’ll deal whatever shortfalls there are, if in fact there are shortfalls.”
However, the speaker and the governor appear to be at odds on this, too. A source in the Paterson administration tells NY1′s Erin Billups there’s no way that state will be getting all of the FMAP cash it had expected and is highly likely to receive nothing at all.
Jun 24th - 5:02 pm
Gen. David Petraeus will be in New Windsor with Sen. Bill Larkin tomorrow.
The United Homeless Organization is permanently shuttered, thanks to AG Andrew Cuomo.
Rick Lazio called Cuomo a “born-again conservative.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called the Gen. McChrystal mess “a distraction from our mission in Afghanistan.”
Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch are simpatico on immigration reform.
The governor’s Task Force on Public Retiree Health Insurance failed to agree on the very issue that inspired its creation, EJ McMahon reports.
President Obama had a burger with Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev at Ray’s Hell Burger.
Sean Coffey’s campaign released photos of his fundraiser with Sen. Al Franken.
The Economist supports no-fault divorce.
Bloomberg suggested a Forever 21 spinoff more appropriate to his generation: Forever 68.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t running for president.
A Buffalo attorney’s pork lawsuit will be heard after all.
The Portland Tribune had the Al Gore sexual harassment story two years ago, but declined to print it.
Reshma Saujani went all James Taylor on Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
NYC Councilman Vincent Ignizio endorsed Michael Grimm in NY-13.
A city Health Department study finds the soda tax could help curb obesity.
Bloomberg prefers the soda tax to a reinstated clothing tax.
Hassan Nemazee, a former fundraiser for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, could get 16-20 years in prison.
Hysterical. (But frighteningly a little too true).
Here’s the latest strategy session offering from Lazio’s campaign manager Kevin Fullington. (Hangman anyone?)
Jun 24th - 3:59 pm
Oral arguments were heard today in an Albany County Court on the lawsuit that challenged Gov. David Paterson’s delay of state aid to school districts late last year, with much of the debate revolving around whether a hearing was even necessary in the first place.
Attorneys representing teachers and school administrators said the governor overstepped his constitutional authority by delaying the payments on Dec. 15 without legislative approval.
“The (governor) tried to do this legally with a special session of the legislature. At that session, a bill was rejected and then committed an illegal act by delaying payments,” said Art Schuermann, an attorney for the New York School Administrators Association.
Judge Roger McDonough raised the issue about whether today’s proceedings needed to take place at all, noting payments were eventually made in full – as promised by Paterson – when the state’s fiscal picture improved.
“We’re arguing matters that no longer have validity,” said McDonough. “It seems to me that there is no longer a right for judicial intervention.”
Jun 24th - 2:45 pm
NY1′s Erin Billups reports word around the Capitol is that legislative leaders, while scrounging around for extra revenue, are mulling a reduction in charitable deductions for those making $10 million or more – perhaps by as much as 50 percent.
Apparently, this would be in lieu of another millionaire’s tax, which some Assembly Democrats, the Working Families Party and New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness (among others) have been pushing.
Despite published reports to the contrary, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told me in no uncertain terms during a Capital Tonight interview last week that the idea didn’t orginate with him and characterized it as a non-starter in his house.
The state passed a temporary PIT increase on wealthy New Yorkers last year after much back-and-forthing by Gov. David Paterson.