Andrew Cuomo Tag All blog entries tagged as Andrew Cuomo http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:03:47 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Lead: Cuomo Won't Endorse in Mayoral Race http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/09/05/todays-lead-cuomo-wont-endorse-in-mayoral-race http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/09/05/todays-lead-cuomo-wont-endorse-in-mayoral-race

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters yesterday that he won't weigh in on the New York City mayoral primary after receiving multiple questions about Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund school programs. "I am going to stay out of the New York City mayoral," Cuomo said. "Let's find out who the mayor is and what policies they actually put forth, and then let's take a look at them and consider them, and we'll have an opinion." De Blasio, who has a long relationship with Cuomo, has publically pressured Cuomo on plans to save a number of failing Brooklyn hospitals. Cuomo has avoided major appearances in the city this summer--including the West Indian Day Parade. Cuomo has held numerous events upstate and in Western New York. Some pundits see Cuomo's reluctance to engage in the race as a way for him to avoid having his name associated with the likes of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer. Cuomo told reporters yesterday that things aren't that complicated. "I'm not registered to vote in New York City, so I don't think it's a situation where it's appropriate for me to express a preference."

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Bike Lanes May Be Increasing Traffic Speed (NY Times)

Looking For a Mayor Who Is a Friend to Immigrants (NY Times)

Mayoral Candidates Avoid Bloomberg's Backing (NY Times)

Crimes Spiking in Central Park (NY Post)

Thompson Struggling to Define Himself With Voters (Daily News)

Police Chafe at Scrutiny (Wall Street Journal)

Unions Might FInd a Friend in City Hall (Wall Street Journal)

What Can The Next Mayor Do About Affordable Housing? (Capital)

Poll Shows Spitzer and Stringer in Dead Heat (Crain's)

Quinn Promises Living Wage For All EDC Projects (Crain's)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Thu, 05 Sep 2013 12:37:53 +0000
Today's Lead: Cuomo Received Developer Cash Before Signing Tax Breaks http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/08/15/todays-lead-cuomo-received-developer-cash-before-signing-tax-breaks- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/08/15/todays-lead-cuomo-received-developer-cash-before-signing-tax-breaks-

Cuomo's Developer Donations

The New York Daily News reported today that Gov. Andrew Cuomo received $76,000 in donations from real estate developers just weeks before signing legislation that gave tax breaks to their properties. Three partners at Fisher Brothers donated $25,000 each to Cuomo on Dec. 27 of last year. Cuomo signed legislation giving tax breaks to their properties at New York Curb Exchange and 86 Trinity Place on Jan. 30. The Daily News reported last week that Extell Development Co. gave Cuomo $100,000 a few days before he signed the bill that gives creates $35 million in tax breaks on their One57 luxury apartment tower. The Moreland Commission that Cuomo created to investigate corruption has subpoenaed the five companies that received tax breaks from the bill. Cuomo administration officials say that the bill was supported by the city and wasn't their focus. The News writes however that legislators claims they don't know who inserted the tax breaks for the five subpoenaed companies.

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Cuomo Received $76,000 From Investors Before Signing Property Tax Bill (Daily News)

DOE Raises Price of School Lunches For Some, Makes It Free For Others (NY 1)

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Diaz Says Albany Has Ethical Double Standard (Gotham Gazette)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:51:12 +0000
Diaz Says Albany Has Ethical Double Standard http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/08/14/diaz-says-albany-has-ethical-double-standard- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/08/14/diaz-says-albany-has-ethical-double-standard-

The Daily News recently highlighted a $100,000 donation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo by Extell Development that appears to have been made the same day as a piece of legisaltion that granted the company tax breaks was passed in the Assembly. The tax breaks applied to the One57 building at 157 W. Fifth St., and others.

The bill had been scheduled for a vote in June 2012. Cuomo's representatives have denied any connection between Cuomo's approval of the bill and the donations but Sen. Ruben Diaz sees things differently.

He used his newsletter to imagine what would happen if he was caught up in similar controversy.

My dear reader, can you imagine if I did that kind of thing? Can you
imagine if I, Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr., received $100,000 from any developer right before I threw my support for a piece of legislation that benefited that developer?

Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t think there would be full-scale
local, state, and federal investigations claiming that I had accepted a
bribe in exchange for a political favor? Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t think that every single editorial board would be condemning me as corrupt? I can only imagine the torch and pitchfork crowds descending on my office.

This spring, as a number of minority legislators were busted in corruption cases and wiretapped by other minority legisaltors, some began to question whether minority legislators from the city were being singled out. The New York Times ran an article on the issue.

A number of legislators have recently mentioned an incident that took place during Gov. David Paterson's waning days in office. Paterson took tickets to The World Series from the Yankees and was subsequently fined $62,125 by The Public Integrity Commission — the ethics group that has now been replaced by Cuomo's Joint Public Commission On Public Ethics.

The scandal added to Paterson's many woes as he was trying to mount his campaign for governor. Paterson eventually dropped out and Cuomo — who had already announced his campaign — no longer had a primary against a black candidate as he did during his failed 2002 run for governor.

Some legislators point out that there have been a number of incidents that seem ethically dubious involving Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that have gone uninvestigated — incidents similar to the Yankee ticket scandal or perhaps worse.

No ethics group is investigating Silver's mishandling of sexual harassment charges or the fact that the Cuomo administration negotiated a deal to keep the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo that included a 12-seat luxury suite. The Cuomo administration said the box will be used to promote Buffalo and some elected officials will pay to use the box.

But others criticized the deal.

“No government agency needs to lease a luxury suite to market upstate New York,” former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky told The New York Times at the time. “If they need to buy tickets, that’s fine, then they buy them on an as-needed basis. The cost of the luxury suite is being paid by the taxpayer, remember that.”

Now that Cuomo has freed the Moreland Commisison to investigate corruption and campaign finance, Diaz and other lawmakers wonder if it will truly analyze powerful leaders like Cuomo. The commission has subpoenad developers who have donated to Cuomo but Diaz remains skeptical:

Let’s see how bold and fearless the Moreland Act Commission is when it pursues compliance with the subpoenas it served on the One57 building management Let’s see how the Governor’s Commission investigates what appears to be corrupt and improper influence by luxury developers.

Let’s see if the Commission investigates the role and timing of the $100K donation to the Governor’s political campaign.

Will we see a quiet resolution of these subpoenas with no inquiry into the Extell donations to Governor Andrew Cuomo?

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 14 Aug 2013 14:08:02 +0000
Today's Lead: The Brooklyn Hospital Crisis http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/02/todays-lead-the-brooklyn-hospital-crisis http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/08/02/todays-lead-the-brooklyn-hospital-crisis

Yesterday Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn filed a request to close in bankruptcy court. Most of the patients the hospital serves are without insurance and the hospital has suffered greatly since the state slashed Medicaid reimbursements. Unless there is some sort of bailout the hospital will close its emergency room in September and close totally in November. The news comes as Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill is on the verge of closure. Public Advocate and Democratic Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has made the hospital issue a focus of his campaign and has gone to court to keep LICH open. He has also released a plan that would create a super-authority to oversee Brooklyn Hospitals that would be run by the mayor and governor. De Blasio has continued to press his long-time friend Gov. Andrew Cuomo to act to save the hospitals. Meanwhile, the Cuomo administration holds out hope that the federal government will approve a request to use $10 billion the state saved from restructuring Medicaid payments to buoy the Brooklyn hospitals.

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Campaign Finance Board Seeks to Deny Liu Public Funds (Wall Street Journal)

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Spitzer Won't Answer Questions About Having a Girlfriend (Daily News)

State Leader Wants Donors Identified (Albany Times Union)

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Weiner Criticizes City's Hurricane Sandy Response (DNAinfo)

ICYMI: South Asians See 'Tipping Point' In 2013 NYC Elections by Minty Grover

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Fri, 02 Aug 2013 11:50:50 +0000
Today's Lead: Forgotten Coney Island http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/07/25/todays-lead-forgotten-coney-island- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/07/25/todays-lead-forgotten-coney-island-

Forgotten Coney Island

Only a few blocks down from the amusement district, where the sounds of the frolicking beachgoers and carnival games have come back with renewed vigor after the seashore neighborhood's near-cataclysmic meeting with Hurricane Sandy, there is a different Coney Island that most tourists and beach goers don’t see.

This is the Coney Island that continues to struggle to return to normalcy nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy came ashore. The Coney Island where parks and playgrounds remain fenced off because of sinkholes or other damage done by last year’s storm.

“They say Coney Island is open for business. Sure, the entertainment district is, but no one talks about the parts of Coney Island where people actually live. They don’t talk about the neighborhoods,” said Ed Cosme, a resident who formed The People’s Coalition of Coney Island to raise awareness about the problems in the parts of the neighborhood that don’t normally draw tourists and bathers.

CONTINUE READING ON GOTHAM GAZETTE

EXCLUSIVE: Environmentalists Call on Bloomberg to Make the Most of Time Left: As Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure draws to a close, a coalition of environmental organizations is urging him to take action now to make the city more sustainable.“Now is the time to lock in forward-thinking sustainability policies and prioritize the most critical projects for completion,” the New York League of Conservation Voters and other organizations say in a new report being issued today. Continue reading more about the 2013 New York City Sustainability Countdown on Gotham Gazette and download the report. By Sarah Crean.

GothamVotes 2013: Daily updates on the historic 2013 elections.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:00:57 +0000
Groups Offer Suggestions For Moreland Commission http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/22/groups-offer-suggestions-for-moreland-commission- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/22/groups-offer-suggestions-for-moreland-commission- Common Cause New York and The Fair Elections For New York campaign both want Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Commission to follow the money when it comes to political donations from pro-hydrofracking groups.

Common Cause issued a report that found pro-hydrofracking groups have contributed over $14 million to candidates and commitees from 2007 to 2013. The group's analysis claims to show that the candidates who recieved the most money have been the most vocal on the subject of allowing hydraulic fracturing in the state.

"Powerful businesses and industries which stand to benefit from fracking use campaign contributions to gain influence with their local lawmakers, candidates, and party organizations," said Susan Lerner, director of Common Cause/NY, in a statement. "We see a wide spectrum of fracking related interests taking full advantage of New York's lax campaign finance laws in the hope of a future payday if fracking is permitted."

Citizen's Union is a member of The Fair Election For New York campaign and Gotham Gazette is published by Citizen Union's sister organization Citizens Union Foundation.

Common Cause wants the Moreland Commission to look at the following issues:

1. Examine the timing of the contributions made to the top legislative recipients in relation to the introduction or discussion of fracking related bills.

2. Examine the involvement of lobbyists and bundlers relating to the contributions to the top legislative recipients.

3.Examine the circumstances of, and any conversations which took place in relation to, the donations made to the Senate and Assembly campaign committees.

The Moreland Commission was created by Cuomo after a year of major political scandal and the indictments of a number of legislators on corruption charges. But the commission is tasked with looking at the campaign finance system and the influence of money on politics.

Cuomo has faced pressure since he took office to decide whether or not to allow hydraulic fracturing in Western New York. Supporters say allowing the technique would be a major boon to the upstate economy. Detractors say the chemicals used in the fracking process can taint local water supplies and destroy the environment.

A representative from the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York did not immedietly respond to a request for comment.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 22 Jul 2013 21:04:42 +0000
Today's Lead: Cuomo's Storm Recovery Program http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/07/19/todays-lead-cuomos-storm-recovery-program- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/07/19/todays-lead-cuomos-storm-recovery-program-

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new plan to get storm-ravaged communities to work together in planning their futures during his NY Rising: Storm Recovery Conference in Albany yesterday. The 102 communities impacted by flooding across the state will be eligible for up to $750 million in combined state and federal aid. “What does the community think is the best approach to rebuild?" asked Cuomo. "And what are the best ideas and what is the best vision and let’s fund the community’s vision rather than ask the community to fit in the template that’s established from up above.” The Cuomo administration unveiled a website designed to help communities apply for the program and to find out how much recovery funding they are eligible for. You can watch a video of the conference here.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Fri, 19 Jul 2013 12:03:03 +0000
As Cuomo's Cash Flows http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/16/as-cuomos-cash-flows- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/16/as-cuomos-cash-flows-

Campaign financing might not have been the first thing Gov. Andrew Cuomo wanted to discuss today.

Cuomo debuted a campaign finance reform proposal late in the legislative session this year without much of a public push and watched the bill arrive stillborn.

Now, with the July campaign finance filiing deadline having come and gone, Cuomo's cash and how he raises it is a major topic of discussion.

What stood out to many reporters and insiders was that much of Cuomo's cash comes from large donors who control limited liability corporations. The donors give as individuals and through their LLCs and to organizations that support him. This allows major donors to skirt the state's already-lax limits on individual donations.

Today on The Capitol Press Room, Susan Arbetter asked Cuomo about using "loopholes" in the campaign finance law. "Those aren’t loopholes,” Cuomo said. “Those are the laws that are written.”

Cuomo then repeated a phrase he has often invoked: "I want to change the campaign finance system, but in the meantime I have to live within the campaign finance system."

Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group took to Twitter to dispute Cuomo's assertion that those loopholes are "written."

Mahoney tweeted: "LLC loophole is not the law as it is written. No mention of LLCs in law. It is a loophole created by the BoE."

Arbetter also asked Cuomo about criticsm from Democratic activist Bill Samuels that Cuomo should lead by example and that his failure to do so has crippled the push for campaign finance reform.

"I haven't thought of anything he's said, no," Cuomo responded in a blur of words.

Here is Mahoney's list of the 2,741 campaigns that have filed with the state Board of Elections:

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:17:15 +0000
Most of Cuomo's Cash Comes From Large Donations http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/15/most-of-cuomos-cash-comes-from-large-donations- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/15/most-of-cuomos-cash-comes-from-large-donations-

Over 80 percent of the cash Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised this election cycle came from donors who gave $10,000 or more according to an analysis by New York Public Interest Group's Bill Mahoney. Only .89 percent came from those giving $1,000 or less.

Cuomo has raised $6.2 million in the past six months--giving him a total horde of $27.8 million for his relection campaign next year.

The news of Cuomo's successful fundraising and Mahoney's analysis comes as Cuomo has pledged that he is committeed to reforming the state's campaign finance system and has called a Moreland Commission to look into problems with campaign finance at the state Board of Elections.

Here is a list from Mahoney of those who gave Cuomo $40,000 or more in this election cycle:

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 15 Jul 2013 16:01:09 +0000
Advocates Want to Keep Teens Out of Adult Prisons http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/12/advocates-want-to-keep-teens-out-of-adult-prisons- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/12/advocates-want-to-keep-teens-out-of-adult-prisons- New York is the only state in the nation besides North Carolina that prosecutes 16 and 17 year olds in the adult criminal justice system.

The result? Over 45,000 16 and 17 year olds a year are arrested as adults. Many of them go into the adult prison system and advocates say their lives are then irreversibly changed by the experience — and not for the good.

Juvenile justice advocates think its time for New York to rethink its laws. Advocates, politicians, faith leaders, judges and the formerly incarcerated rallied outside the New York Metropolitan Corrections Center yesterday to kick off a campaign to change state law.

“We should be providing our youth the support and services they need to overcome challenges and be successful, not prosecuting and incarcerating them as adults,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, at the rally. “The time to end this cruel, wasteful and destructive practice is long overdue."

Advocates say that statistics shows 70 percent of those under 18 who are arrested are black and Latino. That group makes up 80 percent of teens who are incarcerated.

Angelo Pinto, the campaign manager of the Juvenile Justice Project, said that a visit to the Greene Correctional Facility in upstate New York was eye-opening. The median age of those incarcerated there is 23.

“One of the things we saw with those 16 and 17 year olds, and even 18 and 19 year olds in the facility," Pinto said, "is that they didn’t belong there. This facility is for an adult, the correction officers exploit the vulnerability of the youth and, sometimes, unfortunately, even other adult inmates exploit the vulnerability of those youth.”

Advocates note that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been extremely proactive on the issue of juvenile justice. Cuomo has shuttered a number of juvenile justice facilities and ordered up more alternative rehabilitation programs. They hope Cuomo and the Legislature will be open to changing the law and do it as quickly as possible.

However, efforts over the past two legislative sessions to pass laws to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana — which would likely decrease the arrests of juveniles — have stalled amid fierce opposition.

–David Howard King contributed to this report.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) State Fri, 12 Jul 2013 12:37:31 +0000
Appointment of Prolific Fundraiser to Moreland Commission Raises Concerns http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/02/appointment-of-prolific-fundraiser-to-moreland-commission-raises-concerns- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/07/02/appointment-of-prolific-fundraiser-to-moreland-commission-raises-concerns- Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nominees to head his Moreland Commission that will investigate corruption in Albany have already raised the hackles of some advocates and legislators.

Cuomo announced the formation of the commission this morning. The Daily News reported yesterday that the committee — which will have subpoena power — will be chaired by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Syracuse District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and lawyer Milton Williams. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also leant his staffers and the power of his office to broaden the scope of the investigation.

Rice, who ran for attorney general in 2010, has long been a Cuomo ally, which does nothing to allay the fears of some legislators that Cuomo will have undue control of what the commission will and won't look into.

Furthermore, good government advocates worry that Rice is too close to the largest political donors in the state to cast a critical eye on their behavior. Rice is in the middle of running for reelection and is one of the state's most prolific fundraisers.

"This isn't kind of message we were looking for," said one advocate who asked to remain anonymous. "We are talking about someone who is just as beholden to this system as anyone else in the state."

Rice had $2,385,505.67 in her campaign account as of January 2013. In comparison, co-chair Fizpatrick had $60,862.41 in his coffers.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:12:37 +0000
Today's Headlines: Pols Under Investigation Revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/09/todays-headlines-pols-under-investigation-revealed http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/headlines/2013/05/09/todays-headlines-pols-under-investigation-revealed

Yesterday the names of 9 individuals caught on wiretap by Sen. Shirley Huntley were made public. Six of those individuals were sitting Democratic State Legislators. The list includes already-indicted Sens John Sampson and Malcolm Smith and their colleagues Sens. Jose Peralta, Velmanette Montgomery, Ruth Hassel-Thompson and Eric Adams. Two political operatives were also taped as well as Councilman Ruben Wills. Huntley, who was facing her own legal troubles, invited pols to her home under the ruse that she had a broken ankle and then recorded them. Taped parties reacted in different ways to finding out their names were on the list. Officials said eight one of the recorded parties are under investigation for wrongdoing. Sen. John Sampson was indicted earlier in the week on embezzelment charges and he is just the latest in a long line of state legislators facing federal indicments. Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to convene a Moreland Commission if legislators don't pass major elections and ethics reform.


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Former State Senate Republican Majority Leader Claims Double Jeopardy (Albany Times Union)

FBI Asking Questions About Prominent Republican State Senator (Bloomberg)

Thompson Poised For Endorsement From Law Enforcement Unions (Daily News)

Cuomo Asks Feds For Help on Brooklyn Hospital Closures (Daily News)

Lhota Apologizes For Mall Cop Comment (Capital)

State Legislature to Get Scandal Holiday? (Gotham Gazette)

Quinn: Councilman Halloran Should Think Quickly About His Future (Capital)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) The Eye-Opener Thu, 09 May 2013 12:15:53 +0000
Who Is NY State Sen. John Sampson? http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/06/who-is-ny-state-sen-john-sampson http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/05/06/who-is-ny-state-sen-john-sampson

Who is state Sen. John Sampson? This morning, everyone knows Sampson as the man who turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to face multiple charges for embezzling money he was in charge of as a lawyer to fund his ill-fated run for Brooklyn District Attorney.

But Samspon has long been a player in Albany, and rumors of corruption have swirled around him for years.

Elected to his seat in 1996, Sampson has worked as an attorney for Alter & Barbaro, Esqs., since 1994. For a while Sampson was the answer for all the Senate Democrats' problems and became one of the most powerful men in Albany.

In 2009, during the Senate coup, the Democratic conference elevated Sampson to conference leader (a position that had previously not existed) in a bid to return Sens. Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada to the fold.

Sampson's time as a leader of a majority conference was brief; Democrats lost their majority in 2010.

Sampson later faced scandal relating to bid-rigging at the Aqueduct Casino. Reports and rumorshave swirled around Albany for years about Sampson's involvement in securing Aqueduct Entertainment Group win a lucrative contract to run the Aqueduct Casino. The Inspector General rescinded the bid, alleging favoritism and Genting eventually won the contract.

Sampson promised an investigation into the bidding process in 2010 but the report has still not been made public.

In December 2011, Sampson as Senate Minority Leader named Ravi Batra to serve as his pick on the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Sampson was required to fill out a form disclosing his relationship with Batra. Sampson failed to note that he was "of council" to Batra's law firm. Batra was already known as a controversial figure and his appointment drew the concern of many of Sampson's colleagues.

Late last year, Senate Democrats replaced Sampson as Minority Leader with Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Some saw the move as an effort to put a clean new face on the Democratic Conference in the hope that the Independent Democratic Conference and Gov. Andrew Cuomo would take them more seriously.

Today Sampson was stripped of all his committees and his seniority by Stewart-Cousins.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 06 May 2013 17:53:00 +0000
What Happened to Cuomo's Women's Agenda? http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/24/what-happened-to-cuomos-womens-agenda http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/24/what-happened-to-cuomos-womens-agenda It has been three months since Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State Address and announced a 10-point plan to address injustices facing women in today's society.

Since then, Cuomo has successfully passed major gun law changes and enacted a state budget.

Supporters of the plan expectthe legislation will resemble the already-proposed Reproductive Health Act that would take abortion out of New York's penal code and make it part of health law. But the wide-ranging proposal was also supposed to deal with human trafficking, pay discrepency and sexual harassment.

Cuomo indicated earlier this week on Susan Arbetter's The Capitol Pressroom radio show that he is in no hurry to introduce precise bill language on the issue.

“Oftentimes they don’t want the bill to come to the floor for a vote because they don’t want to take the position,” Cuomo told Arbetter, adding, “What we need to do is strip away the devil is in the details as just an excuse.”

Despite not introducing actual bill language, Cuomo told Arbetter that legislators are ducking the details. "Legislators sometimes don’t want to take the votes that will clarify: choice, corruption, public finance. Raise your hand! Yay or nay!” Cuomo told Arbetter. “The quote-unquote IDC coalition, they’re either going to end up going to be a facilitator of transparency and progressive politics or an enabler of obfuscation. I think all of this is going to be for the positive.”

Sen. Dean Skelos said Cuomo's act would legalize late-term abortions.

The question seems to be whether, at this late point in the session, how much political capital Cuomo wants to spend on his women's agenda with Albany fixated on ethics reform and anti-corruption measures thanks to a number of recent arrests. Cuomo hasn't made it exaclty clear what he wants from legislators on that either.

But it is likely he will have to expend quite a bit of energy molding legislators to his will on ethics issues.

The National Organization for Women held a press conference in Albany yesterday and pushed for actual legislation. Sen. Diane Savino indicated at the press conference that she was looking for bill language sooner rather than later. "We're waiting for the governor to give us direction," Savino told reporters.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 24 Apr 2013 20:03:47 +0000
Cuomo Talks Corruption http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/08/cuomo-talks-corruption- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/08/cuomo-talks-corruption-

Following a week littered with indicments and arrests of state legislators and their cronies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to the airwaves to talk reform.

Cuomo didn't get into specific fixes today, but floated the targets of possible reform — Wilson Pakula, the enforcement wing of the state Board of Elections and cross-party endorsements. “These are crises, but they’re also opportunities,” Cuomo said. He added that he would want to "pull back the lens and do as much as we can."

RELATED: For a look at Cuomo's previous efforts to fight legislative corruption and what others think can be done to fight it, check out today's stoy: "Can Anything Be Done About Corruption in Albany?"

Cuomo also took time on Susan Arbetter's Capitol Pressroom to address Fred Dicker's latest column in The Post that said Cuomo is plotting to use recent scandals to overthrow Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Cuomo and Dicker used to be two peas in a pod with Cuomo appearing regularly on Dicker's show to float ideas until Dicker began attacking Cuomo for a more liberal agenda.

“I’m a partner to Assembly Speaker Silver, I’m a partner to Dean Skelos and Sen. Klein on the other side. But it is wholly up to the legislative bodies to select a leader,” Cuomo said. “I would never even for a moment try to influence that decision. And, again, in this case I don’t see what the Speaker had to do with any of these purely personal individual acts by two Assembly people.”

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Mon, 08 Apr 2013 16:09:50 +0000
Carlucci "Shocked and Outraged" By Smith's Alleged Conduct http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/02/carlucci-qshocked-and-outragedq-by-smiths-alleged-conduct http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/04/02/carlucci-qshocked-and-outragedq-by-smiths-alleged-conduct Sen. David Carlucci is "shocked and outraged" over the alleged bribery scheme that his fellow Independent Democratic Conference member Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested for today, according to a statement from Carlucci's office.

Carlucci represents Spring Valley, New York and a Senator from Spring Valley is mentioned throughout the complaint against Smith. However, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told reporters today that there is no evidence of wrongdoing involving the Senator from Spring Valley.

Here is Carlucci's ful statement:

Like many New Yorkers, I am shocked and outraged over the alleged misconduct undertaken by various public officials at the state, city, and local government. This conduct is reprehensible in its entirety, and public corruption in any form cannot be tolerated at any layer of government. I look forward to hearing the details of this wide-ranging investigation as they begin to unfold. As the United States Attorney had indicated, in no way whatsoever was I, or any member of my staff, involved in the alleged criminal misconduct and subsequent charges filed this morning. On the contrary, these actions speak to a broader, more fundamental reason as to why I ran for office in the first place – to clean up the culture of corruption that pervades our politics.”Three years ago I came to Albany to shake up the status quo and bring change to our State Capital. While we have made great strides since, there clearly remains much more work to be done. I am committed to working to reform our system of government in a way that increases transparency and holds public officials accountable to the people they serve.

IDC head Sen. Jeff Klein has stripped Smith of his chairmanship and committee assignments and issued a statement saying Smith might want to consider resigning.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 02 Apr 2013 18:08:02 +0000
Today's Lead Story: City Population Hits Record High http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/15/todays-lead-story-city-population-hits-record-high- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/03/15/todays-lead-story-city-population-hits-record-high-

More People Moving to City Than Leaving

According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg the city's population has reached an all-time high of 8.3 million and for the first time since the 1950's more people are moving into the city than moving out. The city's population grew by 161,000 between 2010 and 2012 bringing the population to 8.3 million. Each borough saw an increase in population but Brooklyn trumped them all with a jump of 61,000 people. "The facts bear out that this is a great place to come, to live, to vacation, to get medical care, to get an education," Bloomberg said.


Other Stories We're Following

Lawsuits Feared From New Unemployment Law (Crain's)

Report Says Bronx Rent Disputes Favor Landlords (NY Times)

Meth Trail Leads to Chinatown (NY Times)

Outsiders Blamed For Unrest in Brooklyn (NY Times)

State Budget Begins to Take Shape (Albany Times Union)

Tax Cuts Eyed in State Budget (Buffalo News)

Gun Show Operators Agree to New Controls (NY Times)

Board of Elections Fears Workers Would Steal iPads (Daily News)

Mayoral Hopefuls Detail Funding (Wall Street Journal)

Pataki Endorses Castamatidis For Mayor (NY Times)

Senate Republicans Push Private Busing Plan (Daily News)

State Budget Is Looming (Gotham Gazette)

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Fri, 15 Mar 2013 11:40:40 +0000
Ban On Large Sugary Drinks Not Cuomo's Priority http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/02/27/ban-on-large-sugary-drinks-not-cuomos-priority http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/02/27/ban-on-large-sugary-drinks-not-cuomos-priority Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to see the state adopt the city's ban on large sugary beverages, but that isn't Gov. Andrew Cuomo to-do list.

During a press conference this afternoon, Cuomo bluntly responded to a quesiton about the drinks ban saying: "We're not considering it. I haven't really studied it ether."

It seems a bit of a switch for Cuomo, who had positive things to say about the ban in June 2011.

"Obesity is a major problem that we desperately need to address,” Cuomo said on former Gov. David Paterson's now-cancelled radio show in June 2011. “So I don’t see that this can do any harm.”

The soda industry wants to do its best to make sure the restriction on the sale of large sugary beverages does not move beyond New York City.

Bloomberg and Cuomo are known to have a contentious relationship.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 27 Feb 2013 18:47:19 +0000
Nader To Cuomo: Here's How To Get $16B For Sandy Relief http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/21/nader-to-cuomo-heres-how-to-get-16b-for-sandy-relief http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/21/nader-to-cuomo-heres-how-to-get-16b-for-sandy-relief

Former Green Party presidential candidate and consumer advocate Ralph Nader has some advice for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor has said he has no "Plan B" for paying for Hurricane Sandy relief if congress doesn't come through, but Nader suggests Cuomo stop refunding the stock transfer tax that he says would net the state $16 billion in revenue.

Here is Nader's letter to Cuomo:

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Dear Governor Cuomo,

The people of New York are working to recover from the devastation left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. But as you know, much remains to be done. While some tragic losses can’t be mended, we can – and should – do our best to rebuild, to limit the suffering inflicted and the displacement endured, and to do our best to prevent such destruction from natural disasters in the future.

In that spirit, I am sure that citizens of New York who faced untold damages on the morning of October 30, were happy to see their Governor fighting for federal disaster relief. In the many weeks since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, you have been in Washington, D.C. lobbying the White House and members of Congress to provide disaster relief assistance for your state. Unfortunately, with this Congress nothing is guaranteed – despite the fact that natural disasters know no political affiliation.

The Senate’s $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill slogs along at an excruciatingly slow pace. For many New Yorkers, the longer they wait to receive those funds, the more their pain is prolonged. You seem to understand this and have been increasing the pressure on Congress to act – having been quoted recently saying that “There is no Plan B. Plan B is to go back to Plan A.”

However, it is curious for you to say this considering that New York does in fact have a Plan B for disaster relief: stop refunding the New York State stock transfer tax. With each purchase of stock, New York collects a tiny tax – pennies per share. New York State then instantly rebates 100% of the tax back to Wall Street. Each year, because of this arcane process, New York loses out on $16 billion of revenue.

In the vacuum left by Congress, tapping this could be a significant stopgap measure to help New Yorkers begin to recover – and to recover now: A source of funds. And the ongoing revenue from a stock transfer tax could be used to start the process of establishing storm surge barriers, bulkheads, levees, dikes, and beach strengthening with sand dunes to limit the impact of future hurricanes.

I hope you will consider this proposal more seriously this time. New York can’t wait.

Sincerely,
Ralph Nader

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Fri, 21 Dec 2012 21:49:11 +0000
Squadron Called For Special Session on Gun Violence in October http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/20/squadron-called-for-special-session-on-gun-violence-in-october- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/20/squadron-called-for-special-session-on-gun-violence-in-october-

State Sen. Daniel Squadron was ahead of his time as far as dealing with gun violence in New York goes.

The senator who represents parts of Brooklyn and lower Manhattan wrote an op-ed in the Daily News and held a rally where he called for legislators to return to Albany to pass bills that are aimed at reducing gun violence. One of those bills would crack down on assault weapons. At the time, legislators were considering coming back to Albany for a special session to give themselves a pay raise.

Now, following the massacre in Newton, Conn., legislators may return to Albany for a special session to pass tougher gun laws – including a measure that would patch holes in the state's assault weapons ban.

Squadron issued this letter to his supporters today:

Dear Friend,

Some important news: a special legislative session I called for in October to immediately pass vital gun measures into law now may be happening.

A package of common sense measures -- including my bill to crack down on assault weapons, as well as critical background checks and limits on guns sales, and the vital crime-solving tool of microstamping -- would create the basic protections we need to truly save lives. In fact, my assault weapons bill would ban the military-style weapon used in last week's Newtown tragedy.

Thank you to Governor Cuomo and all of my colleagues working to immediately push critical gun protection measures forward. I'll be standing with Assemblymembers Kavanagh and Schimel and others today at 2PM at City Hall to continue the call.

You can read my Daily News op-ed calling for a special legislative session on gun protections here and below, and let me know if you'd like to get involved with the push.

Thanks,

Daniel

Daniel Squadron
New York State Senator

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Thu, 20 Dec 2012 17:33:17 +0000