Cuomo On CD11 Special Election



Governor Andrew Cuomo today set a date to set a date, sort of.  Responding to questions concerning the scheduling of a special election in the 11th Congressional District, Cuomo said that “by Friday we’ll set the date.”

The congressional seat has been empty since Michael Grimm’s resignation on January 5th, with the governor solely empowered under state law to schedule a special election to fill such a vacancy.  (A governor has limited scheduling ability however, as state law requires that such a special election be held between 70 and 80 days from the date of a formal proclamation by the governor.)  Yesterday, Senior United States District Judge Jack B. Weinstein issued an order stating that if Governor Cuomo does not schedule an election by Friday, Judge Weinstein will issue an order setting such a date.

Governor Cuomo repeated earlier assertions that he is delaying such an election in order to reduce the costs to taxpayers.  He noted that there may be a second elected office vacancy nearby soon, as NY State Assembly Member Karim Camara is expected to resign his seat and join the Cuomo administration, and suggested that special elections filling those two vacancies should occur on the same day.

Somewhat curiously, however, Cuomo hedged on when/whether Camara will resign and join the administration, saying that “we believe there may be … one more vacancy shortly” and “we’ll know that by Friday.”

Despite referencing the costs of holding an election as a reason for delay, Cuomo did not have any estimate of what such an election will cost.

NY Governor Running For President



George Pataki at a Chesire County Republican Committee dinner in Keene, NH.  2/3/15
George Pataki at a Chesire County Republican Committee dinner in Keene, NH. 2/3/15

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Yes, a New York governor. As in former governor George Pataki. He’s actively campaigning with multiple visits to New Hampshire, a planned visit to Iowa and appearances in other states. His interest? High. His chances? Exceedingly low. Here’s a look at his prospects, with the benefit of my reporting on his two recent trips to New Hampshire.

Continue reading NY Governor Running For President

Mark-Viverito State of The City



Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito gave a wide ranging State of the City address on Thursday.  Speaking to an audience of approximately 300 people at the Johnson Community Center in East Harlem, Mark-Viverito called for new programs which would expand access to civil legal services, create new technology-focused programs in City high schools, as well as for expanding existing agencies and programs such as the Human Rights Commission.  In contrast to Mayor de Blasio, who did not address a topic at the center of the City’s past year, Mark-Viverito discussed the NYPD and the criminal justice system in her State of The City speech.

Here is her full State of The City Speech.

N.B.  Photos of Mark-Viverito’s State of The City are here.

Mark-Viverito SOTC: The NYPD



In her State of the City address, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito addressed a topic central to the City’s well-being; the NYPD and its relationship with the citizens of New York.  She noted the reality that all plans for changing and improving New York City depend on a basic underpinning, New York City remaining safe, and that such safety is “ensured by the diverse men and women of the New York City Police Department.”   Mark-Viverito lamented the “senseless murders” of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, saying that those murders “left a gaping hole in the hearts of New York.”  She also praised Commissioner Bratton and gave a shoutout to the “wonderful” local precincts.

Mark-Viverito again promised to seek a 1,000 person increase in the NYPD’s headcount and praised the City Council for a program in Mayor de Blasio’s proposed budget to fund replacing aging bullet-resistant vests for the NYPD.

Here’s what she had to say:

Pataki Positions



George Pataki at a Chesire County Republican Committee dinner in Keene, NH.  2/3/15
George Pataki at a Chesire County Republican Committee dinner in Keene, NH. 2/3/15

Here’s a recap of positions that former Governor George Pataki expressed during a recent New Hampshire campaign swing:

  • for reducing the federal workforce by 15%
  • for instant online disclosure of campaign contributions (despite a history of avoiding disclosure)
  • against super PACs (despite having his own)
  • for immediate forceful military action against ISIS
  • against “nation building”
  • against “spending a trillion dollars trying to … create a democracy in a place where none has existed”
  • against the Rev. Al Sharpton
  • against Bill de Blasio
  • for Congressional Republicans presenting an alternative to Obamacare
  • for New Hampshire retail politics
  • against campaigning via pollster-written TV ads
  • for pronouncing New Hampshire beautiful
  • against pronouncing New Hampshire the most beautiful place in America
  • for the Patriots winning the Super Bowl
  • for the Jets, Bills and the AFC
  • for optimism
  • against the sense of uncertainty and doubt about the future created by Obama

Continue reading Pataki Positions

Presidential Itch



George Pataki in Newport, New Hampshire.  2/3/15
George Pataki in Newport, New Hampshire. 2/3/15

George Pataki has an itch and he’s going to scratch it.  A presidential itch, that is.  A veteran of many presidential flirtations, Pataki is running hard in the early rounds of the 2016 presidential race, repeatedly visiting New Hampshire.

His candidacy elicits eye rolls among many New Yorkers, a product of his multiple past unconsummated presidential flirtations, his laconic presence and limited political visibility since leaving office eight years ago.  While his prospects are virtually nil, Pataki’s effort is real and may produce something for him.  It’s hard to predict precisely what that something may be, although it’s not going to be the Republican nomination for president. Continue reading Presidential Itch

Pataki On Sharpton



Former New York Governor George Pataki was asked about the Rev. Al Sharpton while on a campaign visit to New Hampshire.  His reaction, including a reference to New York City’s “terrible mayor”, was, to put it mildly, negative.  Pataki was sitting with a small group in a Newport, New Hampshire pizzeria when one of them posed the question:

Pataki On Silver & NY Legislature



Term limits, a ban on legislators “giving … government money to so-called charitable organizations”, but not a full time legislature.  Those were among the more concrete answers from former Governor George Pataki in discussing the New York State legislature in the wake of criminal charges against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  I also asked him about the selection of Carl Heastie as Speaker of the Assembly.

Pataki has a unique perspective on Albany’s governing triumvirate of  “three men in a room”, progressing from the most junior member of the Assembly minority to one of the those proverbial “three men” as governor for 12 years.  (He was also a member of the Senate between his time in the Assembly and becoming governor.)

We spoke during Pataki’s latest campaign visit to New Hampshire.

2014 – Year In Photos



From Bill Clinton swearing in Bill de Blasio on the steps of City Hall as 2014 began

Former President Bill Clinton administers the oath of office to Mayor Bill de Blasio.  1/1/14
Former President Bill Clinton administers the oath of office to Mayor Bill de Blasio. 1/1/14

to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara looking at Andrew Cuomo as 2014 ended

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (back of head to camera) looks toward Governor Andrew Cuomo as the funeral for NYPD Detective Rafael Ramos concludes.  12/27/14
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (back of head to camera) looks toward Governor Andrew Cuomo as the funeral for NYPD Detective Rafael Ramos concludes. 12/27/14

we have a photo gallery of 2014 in New York Politics.

Click here to view it. Continue reading 2014 – Year In Photos