Oct 15th - 9:23 am
LG candidate Bob Duffy will be meeting separately this afternoon Manhattan Democratic elected officials and party leaders to discuss the final weeks of the campaign, a source with knowledge of the get-togethers confirmed.
The Rochester mayor is scheduled to sit down with the electeds at noon, and the party leaders at 12:30 p.m.
Duffy’s appearances have been largely restricted to upstate since his selection by gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo just before the Democratic convention in Rye this past summer. He’s not terribly well known to downstaters, some of whom were a little put out by the AG’s decision not to tap someone of color as his No. 2, leaving the party’s statewide ticket devoid of any minority candidates.
The LG post has taken on a new significance since former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal thrust his LG, David Paterson, into a post he has since admitted he neither wanted (he was hoping to take over Hillary Clinton’s US Senate seat had she been elected to the White House) nor was prepared to take on.
Cuomo selected Duffy both for his ties to upstate and executive experience, something the AG himself arguably lacks, although he has run both a federal agency (HUD) and a sizable state office. The mayor’s history of fiscal discipline and taking on public employee unions also fit nicely into Cuomo’s campaign platform.
I’d expect to see more of these get-to-know-you sessions between Duffy and downstaters as his election seems increasingly likely.
Oct 15th - 9:03 am
Expelled ex-Sen. Hiram Monserrate may be gone, but he is far from forgotten.
Republican/Conservative state Senate hopeful Mark Grisanti (60th SD) sent out a mailer slamming his Democratic opponent, Buffalo Sen. Antoine Thompson, for donating $1,000 to his former Queens colleague’s legal defense fund. (Grisanti calls this “big money,” which I guess is an in-the-eye-of-the-beholder question, but that’s not a huge sum by Albany campaign cash standards).
The mailer, the second side of which appears after the jump, also hits Thompson for at first saying he voted against Monserrate’s expulsion and then later changing his tune to inform The Buffalo News that he actually had voted “yes” on expulsion. His explanation for the misunderstanding was that he was “sick and tired” when first approached by a reporter to discuss his vote.
The DSCC recently added a staffer to Thompson’s campaign at the senator’s request, a Democratic source confirmed. The staffer in question was relocated from Schenectady County Legislator Sue Savage’s campaign.
My source insisted this move was not an indication that Thompson is in trouble, but rather a sign that he has the favor of Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson, who is inclined to heed the requests of nervous incumbents – and they’re all nervous this year, regardless of political affiliation – to build and preserve loyalty.
Oct 15th - 8:40 am
Here are two ads, compliments of a reader, being run by GOP Sen. Tom Libous that try to turn the whole anti-incumbent wave on its head by playing on the traditional “they’re all bums, but our bum’s OK” sentiment that voters generally express in public opinion polls.
The only problem with that is it’s not holding true this year.
An August Siena poll found a majority of voters – 51 percent – said they would rather support an anonymous ‘someone else’ over their incumbent state senator. Republicans and independent voters were much more negative toward incumbents than Democrats, and upstaters and downstate suburban voters were much more negative than NYC voters.
These ads are also a little trite, employing some runn-of-the-mill stereotypes – a female race car driver and a “nice” biker – to illustrate than not all politicians are bad.
Oct 15th - 8:09 am
A reader forwarded this TV ad for David Carlucci, New York’s youngest town clerk and Democratic state Senate candidate in the 38th SD.
I’ve been hearing a lot of excited back-room buzz from Democrats about Carlucci, who was elected to the post of Clarkstown clerk in 2005 at the age of 24. (I believe he would be the youngest member of the Senate is he’s elected, bumping Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Daniel Squadron, who was 29 when he arrived in Albany in 2009, but am not sure of he would break the youngest-ever record).
The Republicans I’ve spoken to have rejected the notion that Carlucci might have a shot against their candidate for the seat held by the late Sen. Tom Morahan, Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef, who was GOP gubernatorial candidate John Faso’s LG running mate in 2006. Siena hasn’t polled this race, so there aren’t any public numbers available.
Oct 15th - 7:59 am
Andrew Cuomo refused to discuss his relationship with his onetime adversary-turned-benefactor, Andrew Farkas, but Farkas insists there is “nothing in this for me,” adding: “I do this purely out of love for the man, and because the future of this state is important to my family.”
Carl Paladino’s secret weapon: A full-body bear hug. (Cuomo, observers Nick Confressore, is more of a “bro-hugger”).
Paladino is claiming the mantle of fiscal conservatism, but he’s spending about twice what Cuomo is on campaign staff and consultants.
Clyde Haberman writes of the Paladino campaign’s “through-the-looking-glass quality.”
Paladino was Public Enemy No. 1 at the ESPA dinner.
“I don’t want to be the governor who just proposes marriage equality. I don’t want to be the governor who lobbies for marriage equality. I don’t want to be the governor who fights for marriage equality. I want to be the governor who signs the law that makes equality a reality in the state of New York,” Cuomo said at the ESPA event.
One in every four dollars worth of campaign cash raised by AG hopeful Dan Donovan, who says he doesn’t want to be the sheriff of Wall Street, can be traced back to hedge funder Paul Singer, who was encouraged to give to the Staten Island DA by Mayor Bloomberg.
Harry Wilson is blaming state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for the spike in local property taxes.
Oct 14th - 5:47 pm
The US Justice Department is moving for an emergency stay of a California judge’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ruling.
Progressives are piling on NYC Council Christine Quinn after she decided to oppose the Paid Sick Leave bill – a big loss for the Working Families Party.
Gloria Steinem called Quinn’s decision “a big disappointment,” adding: “It’s always tough to take on the powers-that-be, but that is what a progressive leader is supposed to do.” (No link).
A judge extended an order of protection against Gov. David Paterson’s suspended aide, David Johnson, who is due back in court on Nov. 18.
NYC Councilman Charles Barron will not likely disappoint in Monday’s debate.
Bloomberg is standing by his “close friend” Steve Rattner, and would be more than happy to keep his on as a financial adviser, regardless of his two-year ban from the securities industry.
Bloomberg insisted – yet again – that he’s not running for president, but noted he has “the experience to talk about some things.”
NY-19 candidate Nan Hayworth would welcome Carl Paladino’s support “if he can vow that he will assure that every citizen of the state of New York will be able to practice his or her beliefs and pursue his or her personal life in peace and freedom.”
Paladino’s proposed $7 billion spending cut might be imposed regardless of whether he wins on Nov. 2.
The movement to draft NJ gov. Chris Christie into the 2012 race is well underway.
Cuomo is headlining a fundraiser for Rep. Tim Bishop.
NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio urged corporate donors to “come clean” on MSNBC.
Bill Clinton is campaigning his heart out.
Assemblyman Bob Reilly is helping find a cure for cancer – or so his latest campaign ad says.
Bed bugs at the Metropolitan Opera House! Is nothing sacred?
Moby is the latest star to appear in an HRC New Yorkers for Marriage Equality video.
Oct 14th - 5:23 pm
Republican congressional candidate George Phillips, whose effort to oust veteran Democratic incumbent Rep. Maurice Hinchey has garnered national attention of late, told me without hesitation during a CapTon interview last night that he will definitely be voting for Carl Paladino on Nov. 2.
“I agree with his message on reforming Albany – one term for governor, trying to reign in the spending, taking on the career politicians in Albany,” Phillips said.
“I think he’s the man to do it versus Andrew Cuomo, whose had a record of just being involved in big government programs. HUD, in the years that laid the groundwork for the financial disaster…that put us in the bind that we’re in today. So, I do support Carl Paladino for governor.”
When I asked about Paladino’s controversial statements, his e-mails and allegations from Democrats that he is a racist, sexist, homophobe who should be denounced by all Republican candidates, Phillips replied:
“I’ve seen Carl Paladino around. I don’t believe he’s racist. I don’t think there’s anything that would suggest that he is – legitimate, legitimate evidence that would suggest that. I think he wants to shake up Albany.”
“This election is more than about Paladino or Phillips or the other candidates. It’s that people are sick of the mess in Albany, the mess in Washington. They’ve had enough. I think that’s why so many people went for Paladino in the primary. He still has a lot of support.”
It’s getting increasingly rare for Republican candidates to embrace Paladino so whole-heartedly. Several GOP incumbents are even now publicly saying they’re unsure if they’ll be voting for him in the wake of the anti-gay comments mess last weekend in Brooklyn.
Oct 14th - 4:47 pm
“A settlement in a New York pension fund scandal between the Obama administration’s former “car czar” Steven Rattner and the Securities and Exchange Commission is on hold as state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo seeks to strike a similar deal, said a person familiar with the matter.”
Cuomo already netted one big scalp in his ongoing pay-to-play pension fund probe this month when former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi pleaded guilty to a felony charge of public corruption (his second since 2007).
Getting a plea deal from Rattner – Obama’s former car czar, a big Democratic donor and a close friend of Mayor Bloomberg (who has endorsed Cuomo for governor) – would make national headlines and further assit the gubernatorial frontrunner in his quest to demonstrate that he is indeed a corruption fighter who can clean up Albany.
When news of an impending settlement deal between the SEC and Rattner first broke, the AG’s office made it clear Cuomo’s own investigation into the financier is ongoing, but no details were immediately available.
Oct 14th - 4:21 pm
Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s NY Uprising PAC, which is already roboing for its so-called “heroes” of reform who agreed to sign his trio of pledges to reform ethics, the budget process and redistricing, has now added a new item to its repertoire for the candidates it is supporting and/or opposing: Posters.
“Mayor Koch and New York Uprising remain committed to educating voters across the state as to who is truly committed to cleaning up our dysfunctional legislature in these tumultuous times – and who is satisfied with the status quo,” said NY Uprising’s Mark Botnick.
“We will use every tool at our disposal to draw attention to the Heroes of Reform and encourage voters to throw out the Enemies of Reform.”
NY Uprising supporters were out hanging the poster that appears below today. It boosts Republican Deborah Busch as a “hero” and hits her Democratic opponent, Assemblyman Jack McEneny, who has followed the lead of his conference leader, Speaker Sheldon Silver, in refusing to sign the reform pledges.
Oct 14th - 3:13 pm
State Commission on Public Integrity Chairman Michael Cherkasky just announced that he will resign effective Jan. 1, 2011 – the first day of the next governor’s tenure.
Cherkasky remains the CEO of Altegrity, a global screening and security solutions company, which recently acquired Kroll, Inc. He said that caused an “increasing number of potential conflicts of interest” and a growing demand on his time that made him realize it would be best for him to depart his public post.
Up to this point, Cherkasky said, he has been recusing himself from cases that would pose a conflict, but that solution is “not a long-term solution.”
“Since joining the Commission, I have been impressed with the commitment of the other Commissioners and the staff to foster public trust in State government in a non-partisan manner, as well as pursuing cases wherever they might lead,” Cherkasky said in a press release.
“When Governor Paterson appointed me to this position last year, I had no idea that one of those cases would lead to him.”