Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

Islip dumping scandal could spotlight environmental enforcement in 2015

The recent uproar over alleged illegal toxic dumping in and around Islip -- highlighted by criminal charges against six individuals -- could rivet new political attention on environmental enforcement.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gets a chance to broach this matter, among many, a week from Wednesday in his annual State of the State speech, and later in January in his annual budget proposal.


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Unmended fences: Cuomo who? WFP omits governor in statement

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks to hotel workers

(Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton)

ALBANY — The message is loud and clear that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo still has unmended fences between himself and some influential liberal leaders, even if that message is between the lines.

Working Families Party director Bill Lipton issued a statement last week supporting calls to unify the city in the wake of protests following a grand jury’s decision not to charge a white police officer in...

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A Cuomo confronts improved budget times

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with his father, former

(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this week will decide how to confront an issue his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, always said he wished he had faced: flush times. The first Cuomo has long lamented that he wished he had one year with a big surplus to put into action long-term measures.

Now his son is writing his State of the State speech, to be delivered Jan. 7, and he has asked his cabinet...

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Kennedy favored to succeed M. Venditto in Nassau Leg. seat

With Nassau legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) elected to the state senate, a special election will have to be called to fill his 12th District county legislative seat.

GOP insiders say  the leading candidates to run in the heavily Republican district is James Kennedy, the son-in-law of the late Peter Schmitt. Until his unexpected death in Oct. 2012, Schmitt had...

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Former State Sen. Owen Johnson of Babylon dies at 85

Former State Sen. Owen Johnson (R-Babylon) has died

(Credit: Kathy Kmonicek)

Owen Johnson, the longest-tenured state senator in Long Island history, who helped form a powerhouse Republican core in the chamber for decades, has died, Senate officials said.

Johnson, 85, of West Babylon, represented a Babylon-Islip district from 1973-2012 as one of the "Long Island Nine," a moniker for the all-Republican Long Island delegation that had powerful influence over state spending...

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Cuomo: Slain cops' families to be helped, underscores need for respite in NYC (Update)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, center, leaves the Brooklyn

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

(Updates with confirmation, comment by foundation.)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday that a foundation will pay the mortgages of the families of the New York City police officers slain Saturday and that he will convene a panel to propose reforms in answer to concerns exposed in tensions over police confrontations with civilians.

But Cuomo, in a radio interview Tuesday, also...

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Bill covering cleanup of former Navy site on LI in Cuomo's hands

The governor has until Dec. 29 to sign

(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has until Dec. 29 to sign or veto a bill that orders the state Department of Environmental Conservation to outline a plan to contain a toxic waste site in Bethpage.

The site has contaminated underground plumes traced to aircraft manufacturing operations by the U.S. Navy and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., now Northrop Grumman.

DEC has issued a cleanup plan for...

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Activists: Don't try to link police killings to protest goals

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton at a news conference

(Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton)

Amid calls for police protesters to suspend their demonstrations during the grieving period for two officers fatally shot on Saturday, activists are pushing back, citing what they see as a politically motivated effort to "conflate" their constitutional right to assembly with the violent action of a deranged individual.

A letter drafted by the group Ferguson Action and co-signed by a number...

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Mangano nominates three district court judges

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, has asked the GOP-controlled county legislature to confirm three appointments to the district court.

All three nominees are Republican.

Mangano has nominated Hempstead Town Board member James Darcy to fill an opening in Hempstead district court created when Terrence Murphy was elected to county court in November.

The county...

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Cuomo meets with family of second slain NYPD officer

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo met with the family of the second slain police officer Monday as he warned the fabric of New York City was being torn by a string of tragedies.

The family of Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, “can’t understand why their son, who was a hero and was just trying to help people, is gone,” Cuomo said outside the Brooklyn house the police officer bought two years ago.


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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Rep. Michael Grimm saying he can continue to serve despite pleading guilty to felony tax fraud. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling on the GOP to push Grimm out. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declining to comment until he meets with Grimm.

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