STATE RACES
CAMPAIGN TRAIL ARCHIVE
ABOUT EYE ON ALBANY

June 2002 Archive

June 30, 2002

Governor George E. Pataki vowed on Saturday to build a memorial where the World Trade Center towers once stood, while allowing for additional development on the 16-acre site. (New York Times) (Daily News) (New York Post)

The two Democratic candidates for governor, Andrew Cuomo and H. Carl McCall, want to use the clout of New York State's $112 billion pension fund to reform Wall Street. (New York Times)

June 29, 2002

The New York State Senate plans to return to the Capitol on Tuesday to deal with legislation, including the passage of a labor rights bill unpopular with employers. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Brunswick) said he would recall members if four or five deals had been struck with the Assembly. But with just the labor bill agreed upon, Bruno announced Friday that the chamber will return. (Albany Times Union)

Whatever fiscal cushion New York managed to build during the boom years of the late 1990s has all but vanished with adoption of the 2002-03 state budget, state Comptroller H. Carl McCall, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Governor George E. Pataki, said Friday. McCall called the 2002-03 spending plan the "governor's election-year budget," and said that once Election Day passes it "leaves the rest of the year up to hope. (Albany Times Union)

June 28, 2002

Andrew Cuomo, H. Carl McCall's rival for the Democratic nomination, assailed McCall again yesterday over poor performing investments - including WorldCom - that damaged the New York Common Retirement Fund, which is now worth $112 billion, down from its high of $127 billion two years ago. McCall, who has made the fund's performance part of his campaign for governor, said this drop is the largest single loss in the fund's history. (Newsday) (New York Post)

An aide to Andrew Cuomo demanded on Thursday that his Democratic gubernatorial rival H. Carl McCall dump Alliance Capital, a pension fund management firm embroiled in the WorldCom scandal. McCall's office refused, saying Alliance Capital has handled the state's investments prudently. (Albany Times Union)

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew Cuomo and H. Carl McCall have agreed to headline a gala in Manhattan on July 22 to raise cash for their party's coordinated campaign against Republican Governor George E. Pataki. The campaign will include a radio ad blitz bashing Pataki in his political base upstate that will begin to run next week. (Daily News)

For the second time, New York City's largest Spanish-language television station has rejected a pro-Rockefeller Drug Laws reform advertisement that is critical of Governor George E. Pataki after his administration demanded it be pulled because of inaccuracies. The ad stopped running last week after the station received a letter from state Director of Criminal Services Chauncey Parker that pointed out errors, including a claim that "thousands of New Yorkers have a family member who must complete an obligatory sentence of 30 years" as a result of the laws and another stating that Pataki's reform "will not reunite these families." (Albany Times Union)

June 27, 2002

As the legislative session winds to a close in this election year, Governor George E. Pataki has quietly put the brakes on several popular measures, including a minimum wage increase and a ban on smoking in restaurants. But the governor, who Republican allies say would suffer politically if he vetoed either bill, has not spoken publicly against those bills, and has even sent vaguely positive signals about some of them. (New York Times)

Governor George E. Pataki and legislative leaders reached a deal yesterday on a hotly contested measure that would ban employers who receive state dollars from using that cash to deter union organization. The measure was immediately criticized by the business lobby as a union organizing tool, while supporters contend that the measure will help curb what they called a common practice of employers threatening workers who choose to unionize. (Newsday) (Albany Times Union)

The New York State pension fund is among the big WorldCom losers - out at least $300 million, which prompted criticism yesterday of state Comptroller H. Carl McCall, who oversees the fund and is running for governor. His rival for the Democratic nomination, Andrew Cuomo, demanded that McCall release a report on the fund's performance for the fiscal year that ended March 31. The report is expected to be released this morning, aides to McCall said. (Daily News)

The collapse of WorldCom became a hot issue in the governor's race yesterday - as the two Democratic candidates, H. Carl McCall and Andrew Cuomo, pointed fingers at each other for ties to the scandalized telecommunications company. (New York Post)

After four months in the New York State Senate, Senator Liz Krueger has discovered what she believes to be an intractable Albany reality: that the governor and two legislative leaders control the legislative domain. (New York Times)

H. Carl McCall and Andrew Cuomo, the two Democrats running for governor, city council members, borough presidents, and the city comptroller showed up at New York City Hall yesterday to criticize the appeals court ruling which reversed a lower court's order to the state to spend more money on education in New York City. But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who just won control of the city's schools and who also supports Governor George E. Pataki, in favor of the court ruling, stayed out of sight. (New York Times)

June 26, 2002

State legislative leaders admitted they have nothing to show for their return to Albany on Tuesday, reporting they have yet to reach an agreement on about 15 key bills. Governor George E. Pataki said they are far apart on at least three - dealing with extending the state cleanup program for hazardous waste sites, enacting a package of bills Pataki and New York State Senate Majority Joseph Bruno (R-Brunswick) say are needed to combat terrorism, and reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws. (Albany Times Union)

Mayor Bloomberg's aides waged an attack yesterday on a proposal by state lawmakers to allow the sale of novelty fireworks such as sparklers, contending fires and injuries would inevitably result. The bill was one of several pieces of legislation, including stiffer requirements for city tax assessors, that legislators were tackling on the eve of the session's end. (Daily News)

With a state appeals court ruling yesterday that Albany has not been swindling New York City's schools out of funding, Governor George E. Pataki racked up a significant victory in the area Democrats believe is his most vulnerable among city voters: his record on urban education. By signing legislation that gives Mayor Michael Bloomberg control over the school bureaucracy and providing enough state aid to ensure a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers, Pataki amassed two accomplishments to parry the complaints of his Democratic rivals that he has neglected the city's schools during his eight years in Albany. (Newsday)

Governor George E. Pataki said yesterday that he was "pleased" with a state appeals court decision to throw out a judge's finding that the state has been cheating city kids out of billions of dollars in public-school funding, noting that he's already increased education funding. (New York Post)

The United States Justice Department gave tentative clearance yesterday to the redistricting plan approved earlier this month by the New York State Legislature and Governor George E. Pataki, ruling that its review found it did not violate the rights of minorities covered by the federal Voting Rights Act. A three-judge federal court panel overseeing the redistricting effort scheduled a hearing for Friday in Manhattan when it is expected to formally adopt the state legislature's plan. The plan would eliminate two of the state's 31 congressional districts and threaten the careers of at least two veteran representatives. (Newsday)

After reviewing the plan approved earlier this month by the New York State Legislature and Governor George E. Pataki, the United States Justice Department issued a long-awaited ruling that the newly drawn congressional lines do not violate the rights of minority groups protected under the federal Voting Rights Act. The plan threatens the career of Republican United States Representative Benjamin Gilman by combining his district in Rockland and Orange counties with Republican Sue Kelly's district in Westchester County. (Albany Times Union)

When he jumped into the governor's race more than a year ago, Controller Carl McCall touted himself as a gifted investor and a shrewd manager of the $112 billion state pension fund. But with the fund hit by a stock market downturn as well as Enron and Global Crossing investment losses, McCall's office has yet to release an annual report on the fund's performance for the fiscal year that ended March 31. (Daily News)

On Monday, New York State Senator Ada L. Smith, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens, was one among a crowd of residents at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's town meeting in Ozone Park, Queens who booed and hissed when the mayor defended his plan to turn a hotel in Jamaica into a shelter for homeless families. Ms. Smith, making her point with a visual aid, by standing up, approaching the table where the mayor was sitting with several of his commissioners and slamming a package of homelessness facts in front of him, said that she was simply trying to underscore that 12 of 14 of the Queens' shelters were already in Community Board 12, where the proposed new one would be located. (New York Times)

Governor George E. Pataki's 23-year-old daughter has a starring role in his latest TV campaign ad, fueling questions about whether she's being groomed for future political office. The statewide 30-second spot, titled "Emily," features a personal testimonial from the pretty, brown-haired recent Yale graduate, who heads the youth-oriented "People for Pataki" arm of her father's re-election campaign. (New York Post)

Emily Pataki's father is the candidate running for governor, but some days it seems like First Daughter Emily is the Pataki seeking office. The photogenic Yale University graduate stars in a 30-second TV testimonial Governor George E. Pataki began airing yesterday, increasing the 23-year-old's already prominent role in his campaign. (Daily News)

Transit and community activists yesterday called on subway commuters to demand that Governor George E. Pataki reverse controversial changes on the Queens Boulevard lines. The coalition argues that last December's rerouting of the F express to a stop at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan from a station 10 blocks south has inconvenienced commuters, while the new local V train has not reduced crowding on the E express train. (New York Post)

June 25, 2002

Governor George E. Pataki has worked hard to build his popularity among two important groups of voters normally viewed as loyal to Democrats - labor unions, from whom he already has received endorsements, and Hispanics. But the biggest test of Pataki's campaign strategy comes this week in Albany, as the New York State Legislature extends its session by one week to act on some key measures that have the support of labor union members and Hispanics, but face opposition from Pataki's Republican base. (Daily News)

Gubernatorial candidate H. Carl McCall pledged on Monday to reduce the size of kindergarten and first grade public school classes to 18 students if he is elected governor. Critical of his opponents' commitment to educational reform, McCall's proposal calls for pumping an additional $8 billion into the public school system over four years, with most of the money coming from increased federal and state aid. (Albany Times Union)

More than a few eyebrows were raised yesterday when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican, threw his support behind Guillermo Linares, a Democrat and former city councilman, for New York State Senate. This recent move by Mr. Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat who became a Republican to run for mayor, has caused some to wonder whether the mayor was reverting to his Democratic roots, trying to bolster the case for his new project - nonpartisan elections in New York - or attempting to build on his relationship with Hispanic voters. (New York Times)

Seen as a jab at New York State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman (D-Manhattan), Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed his challenger, former Democratic New York City Councilman Guillermo Linares, for New York State Senate yesterday. (Newsday)

On Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced that he will be chairman of Republican state Assemblyman John Faso's campaign for state comptroller. Assemblyman Faso will face either Democrat Alan Hevesi, a former state assemblyman and New York City comptroller, or investment broker Bill Mulrow in the upcoming election. (Albany Times Union)

June 24, 2002

Over the past month, Democratic candidates for governor Andrew M. Cuomo and H. Carl McCall have been overshadowed by problems when trying to present a challenge to Republican Governor George E. Pataki. While Cuomo and McCall are plagued by unpopularity, Pataki is enjoying the highest approval ratings of his entire time in office. A key to Mr. Pataki's continued success, his advisers say, is that voters pay as little attention to this campaign as possible, allowing him to glide to victory in what is an increasingly Democratic state. (New York Times)

Gubernatorial candidate Andrew M. Cuomo sent a letter to Governor George E. Pataki yesterday, recommending random anti-terror checks on fuel tankers coming into New York State, comprehensive identification checks of tanker drivers at fuel stations, and the inclusion of synagogues and Jewish centers in the locations that now receive special attention. Cuomo's letter follows warnings from federal authorities on new terrorist threats. (New York Post)

Governor George E. Pataki, running for re-election this year, said the statistics of a report issued yesterday show the success of his administration's anti-crime efforts. Since 1994, the Pataki administration claims, violent crimes have decreased by 45 percent in New York State and property crimes by 38 percent - outpacing nationwide declines of 23 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in those categories. (Newsday)

Proponents of a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.75 are assailing Governor George E. Pataki, who critics claim is urging the New York State Senate to resist the bill under pressure from upstate business groups. (Newsday)

Governor George E. Pataki announced his proposal for legislation that would make it illegal to secretly create and disseminate images of intimate parts of another personžs body on Thursday. A video voyeurism bill similar to Patakižs was introduced by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger in 1999, after an incident in the Buffalo-area when a woman discovered a video camera in an air vent of a dwelling she was renting. (Albany Times Union)

On Friday, one day after State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. went to Federal Court to block his removal from the Democratic party and the Democratic line in the September primary, the county Democratic organization opened expulsion hearings against him. Espada, Jr. faces elimination from the party and the Democratic primary after switching his allegiance from the Democratic to Republican caucus. (New York Daily News)

June 23, 2002

The state legislature is expected to pass a bill this week that would ease sanctions against stores that sell cigarettes to minors. The measure reworks a 2-year-old law that convenience-store and bodega owners argued was too harsh and has the potential to force many stores to close. (New York Post)

A tense showdown between Governor George E. Pataki and West Village residents over a plan to build two new PATH-station exits on historic Christopher Street is coming to a head, as construction on the exits could begin as early as July. The Port Authority claims additional stairways at the Christopher and Ninth Street stops are needed to evacuate passengers effectively in case of fire or terrorist attack. But neighborhood residents say the changes will damage the neighborhood. (New York Post)

Encouraged by the recent political successes of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Senator John Corzine (D-NJ), a trio of wealthy newcomers to state politics are the latest in a long line of multimillionaires who have sought public office. Dennis Mehiel, the Westchester chairman and principal shareholder of S.F. Holdings which runs the Sweetheart Cup Company, is running for lieutenant governor while Bill Mulrow, an investment banker, is vying for the Democratic nomination for state comptroller, and B. Thomas Golisano, owner of a Rochester check processing company, makes his third bid for governor. (Newsday) (Newsday)

June 22, 2002

In response to recent attacks on New York City mass-transit workers, the New York State Assembly approved a bill designed to make such assaults a felony. (New York Post)

State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi delivered a setback to two candidates for lieutenant governor and state comptroller Friday when he ruled they were inappropriately placed on the Independence Party ballot line by the state Board of Elections. Teresi removed lieutenant governor candidate Dan Mahony and state comptroller hopeful Alan Hevesi from the line, saying they lacked formal permission from Independence leaders to run. Representatives for Mahony and Hevesi said they will appeal. (Albany Times Union)

Kimberly Wilder, a 34-year-old Suffolk County piano teacher and educator, began circulating petitions last week to add her name to the Green Party ballot in the race for governor. If Wilder succeeds in gathering signatures, she will face the Greens' nominee, Stanley Aronowitz, 69, a City University of New York sociology professor who was placed on the ballot at the party's convention in May. (Albany Times Union)

June 21, 2002

Would-be governor Andrew Cuomo, who snubbed the Democratic Party to take his campaign "to the people'' and petition his way into the September primary, on Thursday began collecting the 15,000 signatures he needs to get on the ballot. (Albany Times Union)

Continuing his effort to reach out to Hispanic voters, Republican Gov. George Pataki on Thursday named a Spanish-speaking spokeswoman to his campaign for a third term. (Albany Times Union)

Clergy members would be required to report allegations of child abuse to the authorities under a tentative agreement between the Senate and the Assembly today, one of the few compromises lawmakers forged on the last official day of the legislative session. But as the day wound down, it became clear that the Republicans in control of the Senate and governor's office would not reach agreements with the Assembly's Democratic majority on a host of significant bills. (New York Times)

When local governments complain of financial burdens too heavy to bear, Albany often comes to the rescue, plugging budget holes with millions of dollars in state money. But for New York City, the pumping heart of the state's economy, that has not held true. (New York Times)

June 20, 2002

H. Carl McCall said yesterday that ex-convicts should get preference in the awarding of college tuition grants by the state and federal governments, arguing that government assistance was the best way to guard against inmates' returning to jail. (New York Times)

Bills to allow more flexible sentencings of drug offenders and make restaurants smoke-free ran into trouble Wednesday, leading to substantial pessimism the issues will be resolved this session. (Albany Times Union)

The leaders of the Senate and Assembly labor committees are looking at bills that would raise the minimum wage to $6.75 per hour, extend unemployment benefits 13 weeks and boost workers' compensation payments by about 50 percent. (Albany Times Union)

June 19, 2002

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful H. Carl McCall on Tuesday said Republican Gov. George Pataki should withdraw state certification of the Indian Point nuclear power plant evacuation plan, arguing it won't adequately protect nearby residents from radiation released by an accident or attack. (Albany Times Union)

Despite resistance from Gov. George Pataki, the New York State Senate and Assembly have reached a consensus on raising the minimum wage to $6.75 an hour from $5.15 over the next year and a half. The AFL-CIO and Working Families Party have campaigned ardently for the raise, and the passage of a bill enacting the increase could lead to endorsements for Republican senators running in close races for re-election. (New York Times)

The race for governor hit Westchester yesterday - with Gov. Pataki getting the backing of a union there, while Carl McCall called on him to revamp the evacuation plan for the Indian Point nuclear power plant. (NY Post)

The race for governor hit Westchester yesterday - with Gov. Pataki getting the backing of a union there, while Carl McCall called on him to revamp the evacuation plan for the Indian Point nuclear power plant. (NY Post)

June 18, 2002

The United States Justice Department today approved New York's new legislative district lines, but a federal court blocked the circulation of candidates' petitions to get on the ballot, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday. It is the second time the petition process has been postponed. Lawyers involved in redistricting lawsuits said the court's objections were technical and would probably be easily addressed, but lawmakers said the delay could force them to shorten the petition period and reduce the number of signatures needed. (New York Times)

 



Eye On Albany 2002 is a guide to the races for the 91 seats of the New York State Legislature that represent residents of New York City.

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