Jul 14th - 12:19 pm
State Supreme Court Judge Barry D. Kramer granted Aqueduct Entertainment Company (formerly known as AEG) the temporary restraining order it sought, ordering the state Lottery Division to cease the Aqueduct racino bidding process pending a July 23 hearing on its lawsuit.
AEC sued the Lottery, Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders on July 9, alleging that they wrongfully rescinded the racino contract that had been awarded to the politically-connected firm.
“Judge Kramer’s ruling gives AEC its first opportunity to publicly address Lottery’s peculiar decision,” said Daryl Davis, partner at Doman Davis, which is representing AEC. “Lottery found AEC
‘unlicenseable’ for reasons that have no basis in the law.”
The TRO appears below (after the Doman Davis press release).
Jul 14th - 12:05 pm
Secretary of the Senate Angelo Aponte had a tribute set up in the Senate chamber to the late Sen. Tom Morahan, who passed away Monday after six-month struggle with leukemia.
The memorial – a dozen red roses in a glass vase – was put in place yesterday and will remain through Saturday, when the Hudson Valley Republican is scheduled to be buried.
UPDATE: I’m told by a veteran Senate staffer that this red rose thing is a long-standing tradition that dates back at least to the days of Majority Leader Ralph Marino. In addition, Newsday’s James T. Madore tells me there’s a spotlight on the roses at night.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church on South Main Street in New City. Burial will follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery in Nanuet.
Morahan’s chair, which features a brass plaque bearing his name on the back, will be offered to his family, a Senate spokesman said. (All former senators are entilted to purchase their chairs for $25).
The Senate decided not to return to Albany this week to allow members the opportunity to attend Morahan’s wake, which is scheduled to start today and last through Friday. Despite the fact that this isn’t exactly a time for politics, there has already been some talk about the future of Morahan’s seat.
Jul 14th - 11:35 am
An early report on the July 15 campaign finance reports filed to date, compliments of Excel whiz Bill Mahoney, of NYPIRG fame.
(Heads-up “Capital Tonight” viewers, Mahoney will be joining me in the studio tomorrow night to break down the latest cash reports. It should be very enlightening).
The spreadsheet that appears after the jump lists every transaction over $1,000 that has taken place over the past six months, as well as the totals for each of the 839 committees whose filings have already appeared on-line.
A few highlights from Mahoney:
- Gov. David Paterson appears to be giving some contributors their money back. Three donors – United Transportation Union, Empire Dental, and Federal Express – have reported receiving a total of $21,600 refunded from his campaign. (Paterson has not filed yet; the deadline isn’t until tomorrow).
- PACs and party committees that have filed have reported giving $153,800 to AG Andrew Cuomo (adding to his total of $7.1 million in special interest cash) as of mid-January, $7,400 to Rick Lazio, and $1,250 to Carl Paladino (who is raising camapign cash, contrary to his claim that he’s not focused on that and in spite of his plans to be almost entirely self-funded).
Jul 14th - 11:05 am
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who is facing a Democratic primary challenge from Reshma Saujani this fall, just announced she has collected more than 23,500 petition signatures – more than 18 times the 1,250 necessary to get onto the ballot.
That’s pretty much an unchallengeable number, and it should come as no surprise, since Maloney is 1) an incumbent, and 2) supported by much of the Democratic establishment – particularly since she dropped her plan to primary Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and seek re-eleciton, falling in line with the wishes of the Obama administration. (She has since received the president’s endorsement via press release).
According to Maloney’s campaign, her team has knocked on 25,564 doors across Manhattan, Queens and Roosevelt Island, dialed more than 35,171 voters since the beginning of June and recently recruited its 300th intern.
“I am honored by the overwhelming grassroots support across the district,” Maloney said in a press release. “As I’ve petitioned with my volunteers to get on the ballot, I’ve heard from voters about their priorities and concerns. Their ideas inspire me to fight even harder for New Yorkers in Washington.”
Jul 14th - 10:43 am
As the US Senate prepares to vote on the financial regulatory reform bill, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is trying to make the measure into a campaign issue, reiterating his support for it and calling on his GOP opponent, Harry Wilson, to declare where he stands.
I put that question to Wilson’s campaign yesterday as DiNapoli’s campaign was accusing the man they’ve dubbed “hedge fund Harry” of being “silent” on the this issue.
He responded with a very lengthy statement, which appears in full after the jump. But the upshot is: He’s against it, saying that while it has some “good provisions, it doesn’t go far enough to remedy the real problems on Wall Street.
“It doesn’t address address excess leverage at investment banks, mortgage market problems driven by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or a lack of ‘skin in the game’ for too many issuers and the rating agencies,” Wilson wrote.
“Without dealing with these root causes, we bear an unacceptable risk of a repeat crisis. I remain hopeful that, as the relevant agencies write the final rules, some of these shortcomings will be addressed.”
Wilson cites Mayor Bloomberg’s opposition to the bill, noting he has raised concerns that it will hurt an industry that serves as the main economic engine for both the city and the state.
Jul 14th - 9:23 am
NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn has endorsed a bid by former Councilman and ex-Bloomberg administration official Guillermo Linares to return to public life by running for the 72nd Assembly District seat being vacated by Senate hopeful Adriano Espaillat.
“I want to help my friend Guillermo write another chapter in an already historic and distinguished career in public service,” Quinn said in a statement released by Linares’ campaign.
“We need his intelligence, integrity and experience in Albany fighting for equal rights and equality of opportunity for all New Yorkers.”
Linares served in the Council from 1992 to 2001 when he was term-limited out of office. He was the city’s first Dominican-American elected official and won an eight-way primary, defeating, among others, Ydanis Rodriquez, who now holds Linares’ old seat.
Jul 14th - 8:48 am
Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. is continuing to play his role of chief amigo defender and general thorn in the side of Senate Democratic leadership to the hilt, issuing a statement last night calling for an investigation of the man with the “self-righteous cowboy act who went after Hiram Monserrate.”
“Why has there been no arrest in this crime committed by Senator Eric Schneiderman’s driver?” Diaz Sr. demanded.
“If I were to permit my staff person to commit a hit-and-run or, better yet, if Senator Pedro Espada had permitted his staff person to leave the scene of a car accident, would neither of us be arrested?”
“Will Eric Schneiderman come forward and answer the following questions that would be posed to any DWB who just crashed their car into a parked car: ‘When was the last time you had anything to drink and were you taking any drugs?’
“Or was this situation much simpler to understand: the Senator was just in a hurry and didn’t want his staff member to delay him by stopping?”
Jul 14th - 8:16 am
Former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall is satisfied with Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s explanation of why he departed the scene of a car accident that did an estimated $3,000 worth of damage to a NY1 employee’s minivan.
McCall, who is a NY1 commentator on the “Wise Guys” segment and supports Schneiderman for AG, initially told NY1′s Grace Rauh that the Manhattan senator displayed a “terrible lapse of judgment” after the car in which he was riding swiped a parked car outside Manhattan’s Chelsea Market and then drove away without leaving so much as a note.
But after Schneiderman had appeared on NY1′s “Inside City Hall” to explain himself, and shortly before he appeared on “Capital Tonight” to do the same thing, his campaign issued the following statement from McCall:
“I have heard Eric’s explanation of what occurred, accept it, and stand by him 100 percent. He is a man of unassailable integrity.”
Schneiderman said the whole incident was just a misunderstanding, insiting neither he nor anyone else in his car were aware of the fact that they had hit another vehicle. If they had known at the time, he said, they would not have left the scene.
Jul 14th - 8:08 am
Says the Times: “He was not the owner we would have chosen. Whether he’s the owner we deserved is another question.”
The Legislature rebuffed Gov. David Paterson’s revised revenue bill, which didn’t include the hedge fund tax or wine in grocery stores, but did include a tax cap and same-sex marriage language Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. opposes.
“Neither party has a right to go home, because they don’t agree,” an obviously frustrated Paterson said. “Why they wouldn’t accept the bills is anathema to me. I have no idea why they would act so irresponsibly at a time like this.”
Paterson said the Senate conference he used to head “could lose the majority this year.”
The Senate is unlikely to return to Albany this week, in part due to the death of Sen. Tom Morahan.
The Journal News pays editorial tribute to the late senator.
The governor nominated a former aide to ex-Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi to a $90,800-a-year Workers Compensation Board job at the urging of state and Nassau Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs.
Jul 13th - 8:46 pm
Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, the Bronx community activist who was (I believe) the first Democrat to announce a primary challenge to controversial Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., has decided to end her candidacy just days before the petition and campaign finance deadlines, a local newspaper is reporting.
The Bronx News Network spoke to Pilgrim-Hunter, who said the main reason she had decided to drop out of the race was cash – or lack thereof. She has managed to raise just $30,000, while Espada had $300,000 on hand as of mid-January and told me yesterday he will report raising another $100,000 over the past six months.
“This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ll ever have to make,” Pilgrim-Hunter told the Bronx News Network. “In the interest of making sure that Pedro Espada is out of office, and also building power in my community, I’ve decided to withdraw.”
“…We did a really good job of fundraising,” she said, referring to the number of small donors in the community who gave to the campaign. “It wasn’t enough to be able to have an effective fight and win this race.”
Pilgrim-Hunter once told me she thought it would take $600,000 to defeat Espada.
She now wants to start a new group that will “recruit strong progressive leaders that can enter into all levels of government.” She didn’t mention anything about endorsing any of her erstwhile primary opponents, like, say, Gustavo Rivera, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand who has been endorsed by Bill Samuels and his New Roosevelt Initiative PAC.
(For the record, Samuels called on Pilgrim-Hunter to drop out of the race, noting at the time the more narrow the field against Espada the better the chances are of ousting him).