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  • Skelos Conviction Greeted With Calls for Immediate Action on Reform

    Skelos Silver Cuomo 2012

    Dean Skelos in 2012, via The Governor's Office on flickr 


    Sen. Dean Skelos and his son Adam Skelos were convicted on eight federal corruption charges Friday. They were found guilty of a scheme where Dean Skelos used his power as Senate Majority Leader to influence companies to employ or pay his son. The conviction comes only a week after that of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on charges that he illegally used his influence for financial gain of $4 million.

    The convictions speak to a larger campaign by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose

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  • Tenant Activists Trace Road to Corruption Trials, Eye Elusive Reform

    rent protest albany

    Tenants sit-in at the Albany capitol


    "It's just surreal," said Jaron Benjamin a week after the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and on the day of closing arguments in the federal corruption case against former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, knowing that those cases may have been bolstered by work he did years ago in the fight to strengthen the state's rent laws.

    In the span of less than a year Benjamin went from issuing a report exposing the connections among the real estate industry, holes in New York's campaign finance laws, and major

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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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  • Cuomo Waves Left with Executive Actions, Is Met with Shrugs

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    Cuomo at Wednesday's rally (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    On Wednesday, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo streamed live video of the wage board he convened as its members recommended a multi-year plan to phase in a $15 per hour minimum wage for fast food workers across the state. As the meeting ended the same stream cut to a jubilant rally in New York City. In stark contrast to previous

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, June 22-26

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday June 26

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:Gov. Cuomo shakes hands with Sen. Flanagan at their Thursday 'big ugly' announcement (top; via The Governor's Office on flickr); Mayor

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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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  • Advocates: Cuomo, Legislature Squandered Moment for True Reform

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    Gov. Cuomo & AM Nolan shake on an ethics deal (photo: the Governor's Office via flickr)


    The arrest of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was supposed to spark the moment for true reform in Albany. It felt to many a simultaneously shocking and galvanizing event, strong enough to splinter, if not destroy the dam, allowing the flow of real discussion about regulating lawyer-legislators, loopholes allowing unlimited LLC donations to candidates, and conflicts of interest. It was a time for bold

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  • Frustrated and Confused, Legislators Vote on Largely Unseen Budget

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    Gov. Cuomo during Sunday's Greek Independence parade (photo: @NYGovCuomo)


    Voting on a murky budget "framework" began in Albany on Monday evening under a cloud of confusion and anger. Debate in both houses of the state Legislature stretched from afternoon into evening, with the Assembly adjourning around 9 and the Senate around 10 p.m. Both will be back to finish voting on budget bills Tuesday morning - legslation that members mostly have not had a chance to read.

    As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators sprint to

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  • Outside Experts, Inside Employees Agree: Cuomo's Email Purge Misguided

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo's new 90-day email deletion policy for all state agencies is being met with widespread disapproval. Experts say it is terrible for transparency; the people who have to abide by the mandate say they don't feel qualified to implement it and that it isn't good for their productivity.

    According to a number of state workers who spoke to Gotham Gazette on the condition of anonymity, regular work habits have been disrupted by the policy that sees emails

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