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Dean Skelos

Dean Skelos

  • Good Government Groups Point to New Evidence of Need for Major Ethics Reform

    cuomo silver skelos 2011

    L-R: Silver, Cuomo & Skelos in 2011 (photo via the governor's office) 


    New York's leading good government groups gathered at Manhattan's Foley Square Wednesday to call on the New York State legislature and the governor to take immediate action to reform public ethics laws. The press conference, held in the shadows of a federal courthouse where one of New York’s most

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  • Spurred by Buffalo Billion, Reformers Look to Fix State Business Subsidies

    Cuomo Buffalo thank you

    Cuomo in Buffalo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    United States Attorney Preet Bharara's attention has been drawn away from his normal stomping grounds to Buffalo, intrigued by what critics say is a shadowy network of state authorities and state-controlled non-profits handing out large business subsidies and contracts with little to no oversight.

    Watchdogs say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through SUNY Polytechnic head ...

  • Klein's 'Newspaper' Touts His Ability to Bring Home the Bacon

    klein riverdale record

    Sen. Klein's "newspaper"


    The latest edition of the "newspaper" being published by state Senator Jeff Klein features frontpage news celebrating his ability to bring cash home to his Bronx district.

    "UFT, educators herald Klein's $1.5M support for community schools," reads one frontpage headline.

    Another: "Community applauds Klein for securing $250K for Hudson River Greenway study."

    The timing is interesting given that the latest edition of "Riverdale Record" - circulation 37,000 - hit mailboxes just as Klein and the large sums

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  • Newest Prison Sentences Remind of Limited Movement on Even Agreed Upon Reforms

    Heastie Cuomo Flanagan

    Albany leaders (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    Last week, two former New York State Assembly Democrats were sentenced in federal corruption cases. While the punishment bestowed upon each may warn current lawmakers to toe ethical lines, progress on concrete reforms aimed at curbing the type of behavior that landed William Boyland Jr. and William Scarborough in prison has been slow to materialize.

    Boyland Jr., of Brooklyn, received 14

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  • Did Bill De Blasio's Tirade Help Andrew Cuomo Get His Groove Back?

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    Gov. Cuomo at the Labor Day parade (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    On Thursday Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, held a rally to announce a campaign to make New York the first state in the nation with a $15-per-hour minimum wage.

    "So Mr. Vice President, today I announce that I will propose to the New York state legislature not just $15 for fast-food workers, because a fast-food worker deserves $15

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  • Despite Unprecedented Scandal, Calls for Special Ethics Session Fall on Deaf Ears

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    Recently convicted former Sen. John Sampson (photo: @SampsonVictory)


    It would reason to think that the conviction of two legislative leaders would lead to a flurry of anti-corruption activity in any state capital. But in Albany, where the new normal appears to involve multiple convictions and indictments of sitting lawmakers every year, last week's crime blotter appears to have barely turned a head. The convictions of Republican Senate Deputy Leader Tom Libous and Democratic Sen. John Sampson, a former Majority Leader, on

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  • Cuomo, Legislative Leaders Announce End-of-Session Pact

    Cuomo Heastie Flanagan

    Three men at a table (photo: Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    The deal must still be approved by Democrats in the Assembly and Republicans in the Senate, but there is a framework in place for an end-of-session policy package resolving debate on several key issues that have been on the Albany negotiating table for months.

    On Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the majority leader of each house, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Republican Senate

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  • Does 2015 Offer Return of the Albany Big Ugly?

    Cuomo

    Cuomo had linked the EITC & DREAM Act (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Pop quiz: what do the DNA of felons, casinos, teacher performance, the drawing of legislative district lines, and pension reform have to do with one another? This isn't a trick question - in Albany all of these issues were crammed together by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders in 2012 to form the traditional Albany deal that has come to be known as "The Big Ugly." The only thing that stood out about it was that the 2012

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  • With Legislative Package, Schneiderman Challenges Lawmakers to Act on Ethics

    AG

    AG Schneiderman at Tweed Courthouse on Wednesday (Ben Max)


    Standing on the steps of Manhattan's Tweed Courthouse, surrounded by activists, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled a legislative package Wednesday that is designed to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers who have written off negotiating ethics reform this year despite the arrest of two of the most powerful men in Albany on corruption charges.

    "I'm done vouching for incremental reforms," Schneiderman announced to cheers from the gathered crowd on the steps of

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  • Mostly Questions and Criticism Ahead of Cuomo Email Summit

    Cuomo Indian Point

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    On Friday - the Friday of Memorial Day weekend - Gov. Andrew Cuomo will host a summit on email retention policy. It is a much-anticipated meeting that a large number of key stakeholders don't see a need for, and it's unclear what attendance will look like in terms of representation from the major entities in state government being called together to agree on a uniform approach to keeping and deleting official emails.

  • The Flanagan Effect: What the New Senate Leader Means for the De Blasio Agenda

    Flanagan oath Facebook

    New Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (photo via Facebook)


    ALBANY - Republican John Flanagan assumed the mantle of Senate Majority Leader on Monday during an unprecedented time of upheaval in Albany, brought on by the arrests of both former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on multiple federal corruption charges. Scandal unearthed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has exposed the backroom dealings of the state's largest political donor and the men who control the flow of legislation. As he

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 11

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to look for this week in New York politics:

    SKELOS WATCH: The fallout from Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' arrest on federal corruption charges continues, with Skelos facing increased pressure to step down from his leadership post. The Legislature is back in session in Albany on Monday, it seems that it is only a matter of time before Skelos takes the path indicted Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver took after his arrest:

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  • Amid Further Ethics Scandal, What Can Cuomo Do Now?

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: @NYGovCuomo)


    Last March Gov. Andrew Cuomo killed the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption in a deal with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Now, a little more than a year later, both legislative leaders have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of federal corruption. Surrounded by scandal, it isn't immediately clear what the governor can or will do next. One thing that is sure, though, is that the worse Albany looks, the worse Cuomo looks.

    After

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  • Even Amid Albany Dysfunction, Advocates Forge Path to Paid Family Leave

    wfpct paid family leave

    Advocates for paid family leave (photo: @CTWFP)


    Upheaval in the capital due to another high-profile corruption scandal is not stopping advocates from heading to Albany to push for legislative action.

    With just six weeks left in the legislative session set to expire mid-June, on Wednesday activists will rally at the Legislative Office Building and lobby lawmakers to pass paid family leave in New York State.

    An 11:30 a.m. press conference will be led by Democratic State

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  • Dean Skelos Thwarted Reform and Maintained Power, Despite the Odds

    Skelos Silver Cuomo

    Dean Skelos in 2012 (photo: The Governor's Office via flickr)


    In June 2008, after serving 23 years as the State Senator from Nassau County, Dean Skelos inherited the troubled Republican conference from retiring Majority Leader Joe Bruno. It wasn't exactly the most enviable position.

    Facing an aging conference and with Democrats enjoying a huge enrollment advantage across the state, 2009 saw

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 4

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Albany arrest watch: "Federal prosecutors are expected to announce criminal charges against New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos imminently, possibly as soon as Monday, in connection with a continuing corruption investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter," ...

  • Quiet Before the Storm in New Phase of Mayoral Control Debate

    BdB Albany

    Mayor de Blasio sits to testify in Albany (photo: Skip Dickstein via Twitter)


    At the end of June this year the law that grants New York's mayor control over city schools will expire. The expiration was designed so that all interested parties can take part in a discussion of what works and what doesn't, and adjust the law as needed. Parents, teachers, advocates, and legislators all have ideas about how to make the system better. But this year there

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 27

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    • Ongoing legislative session in Albany - legislators will be in Albany Monday through Wednesday this week for session
      • major issues at play include mayoral control of schools, rent regulations, the charter school cap, the minimum wage,
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  • For 'A Better New York,' Activists Lobby Albany for Election Reform

    nyc votes Albany

    Activists in Albany (photo: @NYCVotes)


    On a crisp Wednesday morning, two buses pulled up outside the New York State Capitol in Albany. Their cargo: a delegation of about 100 students, volunteers, and good government activists who travelled from New York City to advocate for voting reform.

    It was the second annual "Vote Better NY" Advocacy Day for Election Reform organized by NYC Votes, a non-partisan voter engagement initiative run by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance

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  • State Senate Democrats Poised to Ride Hillary Clinton Wave

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    Hillary Clinton during a recent appearance in NYC (photo: NYC Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio may not have endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential bid yet, but her candidacy could be instrumental in accomplishing something he and Governor Andrew Cuomo failed at last year: putting the State Senate in the hands of Democrats.

    "I think she will have longer coattails next year than Cuomo did last year," said Kenneth Sherrill, who taught political science at Hunter College for decades. "Turnout will be higher and

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