Spin Cycle

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

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.

“This...

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Venditto joins chorus opposing Freeport Armory transfer

Sen.-elect Michael Venditto has joined a list of

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Add Sen.-elect Michael Venditto to list of those opposing the idea of giving the Freeport Armory to a church-affiliated nonprofit for $1.

Venditto, a Republican who takes office on New Year’s Day, has written a letter to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asking him to veto a bill backed by Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) to transfer the property to Cedarmore Corp., a nonprofit affiliated with Zion...

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Cuomo calls for 'peace and calm' in wake of NYPD officer deaths

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, second from left, visits

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, trying to restore peace to New York City following Saturday's fatal shootings of two NYPD officers, on Monday met with the family of one slain officer and spoke with the Rev. Al Sharpton, a spokesman said.

Cuomo called for calm and reflection this week in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers amid protests over the apparent...

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Future of Skelos-Klein Albany power pact unclear

With the State Legislature set to convene the first week of January, it’s still unclear if Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) will remain, in fact, joint leaders.

  After Republicans won an outright Senate majority last month, Skelos doesn’t need Klein and his band of five renegade Democrats to be elected leader. But both men have said they...

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Nassau's Blakeman could return to Hempstead Town board, GOP insiders say

Come January, unsuccessful Republican Congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman could wind up where he started in politics — on the Hempstead Town Board.

Here’s the scenario from three GOP insiders: If the GOP-controlled Nassau legislature confirms Republican County Executive Edward Mangano’s appointment of Hempstead Town board member James Darcy as a district court judge in January, the Republican-controlled...

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

Hollywood actor and director Danny Glover urging New York City to keep horse carriages. Actress Edie Falco making a TV ad to abolish horse carriages. Ex-Sony exec Mitch Singer, last week: “Why do so many believe that this is Sony’s war to fight?"

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