Sunday, March 2, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Multiple sources confirmed that Valesky – the lone upstate member of the IDC (Sen. David Carlucci hails from Rockland County) – is in the liberal crosshairs, though efforts to find someone willing to run against him in September (or June, if the Legislature manages to agree on moving the state primary date to coincide with congressional contests) have so far not borne fruit.
At least two names have been floated as potential primary opponents to Valesky: Former Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll, currently serving as president and chief executive officer of the state Environmental Facilities Corp.; and Assemblyman Sam Roberts.
Driscoll issued the following statement through a spokesman: “I have not been been approached on this matter, and I’m solely committed to the important work we do at the Environmental Facilities Corporation.”
Roberts did not return a message left at his legislative office seeking comment.
A Democratic source said Roberts is actively seeking someone to take on Valesky, though he is not likely to run himself, since he would have to give up a safe seat to do so. “He has been talking to a lot of people lately,” the source said of Roberts. “He’s really pissed, but not pissed enough to run on his own.” Continue Reading
Saturday, January 11, 2014
In what seems like ages ago in the Chris Christie Gina Close-a-your-bridgeda scandal saga, the WSJ reported something that looked exceptionally fishy at the time; that Christie had talked with Andrew Cuomo and asked him to get Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to back off investigating the Fort Lee bridge closure.
Mr. Christie, a Republican, complained in a private phone call to Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, that Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was pressing too hard to get to the bottom of why the number of toll lanes onto the bridge from Fort Lee, N.J. was cut from three to one in early September, according to this person. The lane closures occurred without notice to local authorities, officials have said, and snarled traffic for a week in the small borough on the Hudson River bluffs.According to the WSJ story, that phone call was the week of December 12.
Yeah. Kind of makes Christies little press "performance piece" this morning look like the firehose of lies that it actually was.
Among the mounting stream of evidence that shows Christie knew damn well what was going on, this one would seem to be the final nail in the coffin.
And it's very easily proven ... if Governor Cuomo has the backbone to be a proper partisan and put his boot on Christie's neck.
He doesn't have to do it personally. Heck, the WSJ would be HAPPY to report the facts if they just got the nod ... they're the ones with the connections to "a person familiar with the matter," which by the sound of it has to be someone in Cuomo's office anyway.
Ball is in your court, Andy. End Christie's political career.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Every year, usually in December, the Legislative Calendar is released for the upcoming session. This gives everyone who needs to…well, you know…plan, a chance to look over the session days and make necessary personal and work arrangements for the next six months. But the month of December has now come and gone and there is still no calendar from the Senate and the Assembly. Here is a sampling of some of the responses I got from the various legislative spokespeople when I asked about a possible delay:
“No delay,” “There are no issues,” “Sometimes the calendar will be issued earlier, sometimes later,” “Don’t know, but it’s not unusual,” “there is no delay,” and my personal favorite…the calendar will be released “in due course.”
Right, and I suppose these are not the droids I am looking for either. When asked for concrete examples of when the calendar has been this late or later, none were provided. In fairness, the holidays were a little weird this year, with New Year’s Day falling on a Wednesday. So, one could make the argument that this week is still sort of a holiday. Although Inauguration Day, and the various statements of support for the new NYC Mayor that were released by legislative leaders kind of poke a hole in that theory.
Some insiders have speculated that the Senate Coalition can’t seem to come to terms. Another pesky issue is the attempt by Democrats to move up the State Primary to June in order to align with the Federal Primary on June 24th. Republicans have voiced opposition to this, because June is often a very busy month in Albany, and legislators would likely have to be in district campaigning instead of up in Albany legislating. There was a proposal to wrap up legislative business by the end of May in order to afford lawmakers the opportunity to campaign in preparation for a June Primary, but Republicans would have to agree to the new date first. Could that be causing a delay? It’s possible. But for now…officially, at least…there is no delay. So stop asking. POST
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat, told Brian Lehrer on WNYC on Thursday that the power retained by GOP lawmakers in the Senate — who have a numerical minority in the chamber — prevented the passage of an ethics measure following a spate of corruption arrests.
“They have this power sharing agreement that disallows what the other doesn’t want in getting to the floor,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Despite that the fact the majority of people wanted to see things happen, because of this relationship we couldn’t see something like ethics reform. I mean, everyone had an ethics package. You would think certainly obviously New Yorkers are looking to see some accountability and responsiveness from the New York state Legislature.”
Still, as Gannett recently pointed out, there isn’t uniform support in the mainstream Senate Democratic conference for public financing (the proposal is on the IDC platform, the Democratic conference’s platform and in the Assembly Democrats’ ethics package). POST
The group launched a $2.5 million ad buy targeting Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), all Democrats facing tough reelection battles in 2014. The three ads follow a similar theme, zeroing in on some of the struggles the health care law has faced in the early stages of its rollout -- namely President Barack Obama's pledge that individuals could keep their current plans under Obamacare, which later turned out to be untrue.
"It's the lie of the year," the narrator says in the ad targeting Shaheen. Each spot also notes that the senators in question reiterated Obama's "If you like your plan, you can keep it" promise. The woman appearing in the Hagan-directed ad is Sheila Salter, a small business owner in North Carolina who recently said she was so stressed out by Obamacare that it was causing her to drink. The ads will run for three weeks in major media markets across North Carolina, Louisiana and New Hampshire.
Americans for Prosperity released a similar set of ads against two House Democrats last week. The broader campaign is consistent with the overarching Republican strategy to once again focus on Obamacare in the 2014 midterm elections. Conservatives have already seized upon some of the law's initial failures, even though more than 2 million Americans successfully enrolled in the health care exchanges for benefits that went into effect Wednesday.
While Hagan and Landrieu are considered more vulnerable running for reelection in conservative states, Republicans are hopeful that a potential challenge to Shaheen from former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) would make the New Hampshire Senate race more competitive. Brown said recently he has "nothing to announce" with respect to his political career but confirmed his move to New Hampshire last month, citing personal reasons. POST
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Over the course of those 100 pages, the report’s authors offered up a number of urgent “bottom line” thoughts on the state of the party after 2012. One of the most firmly stated admonitions cautioned against insular thinking: “The Republican Party has to stop talking to itself.”
Indeed, that’s solid advice for anyone who’s been long trapped in the bubble of “This Town.” But the question, one year on from the publication of this report, is whether or not the Republican Party has started listening to its own advice.
Those who produced the after-action report definitely took a soup-to-nuts approach, devoting their energies to matters both philosophical and practical. The RNC got deep into the weeds on how to operate better in the modern campaign finance environment, took on the tremendous deficits the party endured in terms of campaign technology, and made a critical dissection of the party's entire primary process. There was also tremendous emphasis on reaching out to demographic groups that have lately found it all too easy to spurn the GOP's advances.
The governor announced a $4.5 million state-funded campaign, largely aimed to attract international tourists visiting New York City and downstate residents to upstate’s ski areas and 10,000 miles of snowmobile trails, will kick off Jan. 1 in print, radio and television media outlets across the globe.
Mr. Cuomo, who made his announcement at the Ridge View Inn, 6912 Bardo Road, claimed the state legislature had not emphasized northern New York’s recreational outdoor opportunities for years.
“The north country felt like a stepchild to Albany,” he said. “They just didn’t get the attention, they didn’t get the respect that they deserved frankly from the state government.”
That was, Mr. Cuomo said, until last year when the state invested millions back into its “I Love NY” campaign.
“Last year the legislature had the intelligence, I believe, to really invest in tourism, spend more money on the “I Love NY” campaign, run that campaign and expose our assets,” he said. “We spent about $60 million on a promotional campaign and we have increased tourism this year 7 percent.”
One of the advertisements displayed beside Mr. Cuomo Monday featured a skier with the Manhattan skyline in the background. The governor said the advertisements, and similar ones, will greet commuters on Metropolitan Transit Authority-operated systems including its buses and subway system. LINK to STORY
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today travelled to the Tug Hill region in the North Country to launch “I [Snowmobile] NY,” the first part of a print, television, radio and digital, nationwide, $4.5 million winter tourism campaign aimed at promoting snowmobiling, skiing, and other recreational activities in Upstate New York. To view a sample of the print ads, click here.
“This season, we welcome visitors from around the world to experience winter in Upstate New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The North Country region is unmatched in its natural beauty and now offers new recreational trails for snowmobiling and a wide variety of other activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to explore. As one of the biggest and growing employers in the state, the tourism industry continues to play a significant role in boosting our economy. With our new ad campaign, we want more New Yorkers and tourists to come visit regions like Tug Hill to see what winter adventures await in the Empire State.”
The print and digital “I [Snowmobile] NY” ads will begin running after January 1, 2014, in national newspapers and trade magazines.
Earlier this month, the State released a report showing that the number of visitors to New York increased by 8.8 million, a 4.2% increase in 2013. In addition, the industry is projected to generate $7.7 billion in state and local taxes with direct spending expected to reach $61.3 billion, up 7% from 2012 and double the national average. The industry is also projected to add 24,800 jobs by the end of the year, a 3.1% increase from 2012, also double the national average. In total, leisure and hospitality is projected to finish the year with 818,700 jobs, making tourism the third fastest growing job sector in New York.
There are 10,300 miles of snowmobile trails throughout New York—that’s more than Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and more than Massachusetts and Michigan combined. Since 2011, the state has spent more than $11 million for trail maintenance and development, an investment that has helped generate $868 million in economic revenue. Approximately 90,000 New York households snowmobile.
The “I [Snowmobile] NY” ad campaign continues Governor Cuomo’s unprecedented commitment to promoting tourism and supporting economic development in the North Country in order to generate revenue and create jobs. Over the last three years, the Governor has focused on rebuilding the North Country tourism economy through actions such as:
• Presiding over the state’s largest land purchase—69,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn and other Nature Conservancy lands throughout the Adirondacks
•Announcing his intention to approve the land classification for 42,000 acres recently added to the Adirondack Park that would enable creation of new snowmobile connector trails on formerly inaccessible land.
•Providing $12 million in state funding for vital repairs along the eight-mile Whiteface Mountain Veterans’ Memorial Highway, in Wilmington, New York.
•Establishing a partnership between the State, Clarkson University, and the Trudeau Institute to form a world-class biotech enterprise
In addition, this summer, Governor Cuomo held various high-profile events to highlight locations in Upstate New York as world-class tourism destinations. On July 21 and 22, the Governor hosted the first ever Adirondack Challenge, a two day festival with a whitewater challenge featuring the Governor, New York officials, and members of the media. On August 8, the Governor also attended the BassMasters Tournament in the Thousand Islands, which drew more than 34,100 people to the four day event. There, he announced that the 2014 BassMaster Elite Series will return to New York in 2014, including the “Governor’s Challenge,” a fishing competition featuring the Governor, elected officials from New York State and some of the biggest names in professional fishing to highlight the state’s many fishing and vacation opportunities.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The designation was done to comply with the federal MOVE Act, a measure that requires military and overseas voters have timely access to absentee ballots.
But the designation of the June primary by Sharpe only applies to elections on the federal level.
State lawmakers in 2012 were not able to come to an agreement on a primary date, and Sharpe designated the fourth Tuesday in June as the day to hold primaries for House races and the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
Democrats had pushed for a June date as well, while Republicans in the Senate backed an August primary that they say would have given them more time to collect petition signatures.
When taking into account the Republican presidential primary in April, the resulting impasse creating a third primary date for state and local races, which defaulted to Sept. 13 (state lawmakers could agree on moving the primary date from the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to the Thursday of that week).
Once again, Assembly Democrats are pushing a bill that would create a June primary for state races as well; it remains unclear if the measure will be approved by the Senate.
(h/t to Jimmy Vilekind at Capital for flagging this).
Cuomo, who plans to push for a tax cut next year, has said in the past that there is an “essence of a surplus” in the upcoming budget.
But in an interview with WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, Cuomo pegged that surplus for the first time at the estimated $2 billion figure.
A tax commission co-led by former Gov. George Pataki and ex-Comptroller Carl McCall recommended about $2 billion in cuts over the next several years, including a two-year property tax freeze.
“There will be about a two billion dollar surplus. If you don’t stick to the 2 percent, the surplus won’t exist,” Cuomo said.
The last three state budgets have stuck to a voluntary 2 percent cap on spending increases. The state Division of Budget projects a $1.74 billion deficit if planned spending increases take effect.
Cuomo also brushed off questions as to whether the extra money should be used to provide more funding for areas like education, which is sure to be pushed for by lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session.
The governor insisted education spending — one of the costliest items the state pays for next to health care — will be increasing anyway.
“In that 2 percent you would probably have about a 4 percent increase in education funding,” Cuomo said. “Four percent in this environment is a lot of money. Nothing is going up 4 percent.”
He also pushed back against the criticism from the right and the left on the tax commission report, saying the issue is polarizing for interest groups who either want deeper cuts for businesses or increases in taxes on the wealthy.
“When you say taxes it is binary. You have people who always want to raise taxes, people who always want to lower taxes,” Cuomo said. “It’s Yankees or Boston Red Sox. You get strong opinions and they won’t change.”
He added, “We want to be smart and wise and prudent and we would be investing. We have also learned in this state that more money does not necessarily mean more help for everyone.”
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Hiscock and Barclay also filed a motion to have its subpoena against Assemblyman Will Barclay to be tossed out
The filing states the subpoena “is overly broad, unduly burdensome and oppressive.”
The Moreland Commission, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the governor have maintained the commission has the jurisdiction to investigate public corruption in the Legislature. The panel was deputized by Schneiderman in order to work around the separation of powers issue.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The ex-senator and FLOTUS herself, of course, wasn't present at the event -- although she did appear Tuesday evening at the Manhattan premiere of "White Gold," a documentary she narrated about the plight of African elephants targeted by the Kenyan ivory trade.
Among those in attendance: Former Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia chief Sharon Patrick, who effusively told the Daily News the day's events focused more on tech-savvy methods of building strength in numbers of supporters than piles of dollars. Read More
“I think he’s dead serious about running for governor,” Long said in the interview.
Astorino’s candidacy would likely excite the Republican establishment in the state, and GOP leaders were buoyed by his resounding re-election victory in the suburban county last week.
Astorino so far has done little temper talk that he’s interested in running. He attended the Somos el Futuro conference in Puerto Rico over the weekend.
On Sunday, he spoke with Long by phone to discuss a potential statewide campaign and also to give the chairman a heads up on Dicker’s Monday column in which he dips his toe into the race. POST
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Vote total Malone 266 and his opponent 263.
Friday, November 8, 2013
The president is speaking hours after the Labor Department reported that the economy added 204,000 jobs in October. The burst of hiring was surprising given that the government was shut down for more than two weeks.
Obama did not specifically say how the job market had been hurt during the shutdown. But he says additional economic data still to be released before the end of the year could be down.
The president is speaking at the Port of New Orleans to press for more government spending on infrastructure projects that can have ripple effects on employment.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Voter Registration Search
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Schumer, the third-ranking Democratic member of the Senate, endorsed the former secretary of state during the party's annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, joining a chorus of Democrats calling on Clinton to run again. In remarks to the crowd of 750 Democratic supporters, he said that with Clinton, the party can "vanquish the Ted Cruz, tea party Republicans in 2016."
"It's time for a woman to be president," Schumer said as people rose to their feet with enthusiastic applause. "And so tonight here in Iowa, and I won't get this opportunity again, I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president and, when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support. You know her well: as first lady, senator, secretary and as a wife and mother. Hillary's experience is unrivaled and her vision is unparalleled."
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Wait, Obama killed my health insurance? Oh %$@*, I'm uninsured now!
Not quite. First off, this affects a pretty small sliver of the U.S. population: the people who buy health insurance directly, rather than the 80 percent who get it from their jobs or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, or the 15 percent who have no health insurance at all.
Estimates vary, but the Census Bureau says this figure is about 4 percent of Americans, which comes to about 11 million people. A lot of those folks are finding out that the health insurance plans they have this year aren't going to be sold anymore. How many? Hard to say, with reports ranging from a few hundred thousand to millions. (And their coverage isn't changing today; it's changing next year.)
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Sen. John McCain said, "Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable."
Just like any war, this one cost blood and bounty. Republicans wounded their party with their failed gambit to defund the Affordable Care Act by shutting government and threatening default. But what's worse is they bloodied the economy. At a time when millions are struggling to find work, the Republican hostage taking depressed growth and killed jobs. It's one thing for the GOP to blast itself in the foot; it's unconscionable for Republicans to shoot America.
Deservedly, the GOP is suffering from its self-inflicted injury. A Washington Post-ABC poll found nearly three-quarters of Americans disapproved of Republicans. And it wasn't just Democrats and Independents griping. The poll showed 47 percent of Republicans disapproved of Congressional Republicans. POST