Spin Cycle

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

NYC: Firefighters' union pushing for fairer rookie disability deals

Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York, says his union's push to improve disability benefits for newer members is unrelated to talks toward an overdue contract settlement with the city. 

Rather, Cassidy said, it's prompted by a recent resumption of FDNY hiring stalled by years of litigation over diversity.

Hundreds are now joining...

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Tale of two Senators -- Webb and Gillibrand -- and a 2010 bank-bonus bill

Former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia last week became the first well-known Democrat to launch a presidential exploratory committee for 2016 -- setting him on a potential collision course against former Secretary of State and ex-New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Earlier this month, Webb was quoted in the New Yorker magazine on his effort in 2010, alongside Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), to...

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Civic activist launches petition drive to repeal Nassau speed cameras

Nassau political activist Pat Friedman has launched a petition drive to encourage county legislators to repeal the controversial speed camera program.

Friedman, a longtime registered Conservative, said several political, civic and social media groups will be collecting signatures in hopes of forcing the 19 county lawmakers, who unanimously approved the program last summer, to repeal the law.

“And...

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Albany eyes aid package for Buffalo as Legislature pay raises mulled

ALBANY — A state aid package for snow-walloped Western New York is in the works, an official confirmed Friday.

The talks come as leaders are already considering a special session in December which would likely include a pay raise for lawmakers.

“The governor reached out to legislative leaders on the need for an emergency appropriation, and they agreed,’’ said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s spokesman,...

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Cuomo thanks LI, other local governments for help in Buffalo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks about the state's

(Credit: AP / Mike Groll)

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday took time out in the continuing snow disaster in Buffalo to thank governments statewide, including those on Long Island, that have provided immediate help.

“I say ‘Buffalo,’ they say, ‘Whatever you need. Just tell me’ and that’s it,” Cuomo said at a news conference. He noted that trucks, equipment and crew from municipalities statewide are in Buffalo...

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Conservative heaps praise on DiNapoli for positive campaign

ALBANY -- A conservative is giving a shout out of praise to how a liberal campaigned in an uncommon postscript to 2014’s markedly nasty campaign season.

Conservative Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx) heaped praised on state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli of Great Neck Plaza for running the cleanest statewide campaign, which Diaz credited for giving DiNapoli the biggest vote total of all candidates.

“Of...

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Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations calls for halt to speed camera program

Speed cameras in front of the Dutch Broadway

(Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)

A coalition of Nassau County civic groups has joined the chorus calling for the halt to the county’s speed camera program.

Leaders of the Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations wrote to Nassau's 19 county lawmakers on Thursday, requesting an immediate moratorium on the issuance of speed camera tickets and an immediate legislative hearing on the issue.

While county officials said...

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Watchdog issues scathing report on Tappan Zee funding (Update)

(Updates with comment from EFC and sponsor of bill that created watchdog)

ALBANY - A report states the Cuomo administration used secretive means to push through its questionable proposal to use an environmental fund to pay for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s high-profile project to the replace the Tappan Zee bridge.

The state Authorities Budget Office, based on a complaint by the Environmental...

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Cuomo gets praise, defends decisions in Buffalo snow emergency

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday drew some praise for his order to bring state resources and National Guard troops to Buffalo as it was pounded by more than 6 feet of snow.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Thursday that Cuomo’s order is speeding removal of the snow even as more snow was expected to pile up at a rate of 3 inches an hour.

But Cuomo, in Buffalo, also had to defend...

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Rochester-area politician re-elected leader of Assembly GOP

   Assembly Republicans re-elected Assemb. Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) as their leader Thursday.

   Kolb, 62, whose district covers all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca, has been Assembly member since 2000 and minority leader since April 2009.

  In recent days some of the conference’s more outspoken conservatives, including Assemb. Steve McLaughlin (R-Schaghticoke),...

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