Spin Cycle

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

Lawmaker questions 8.6 percent budget increase for Mangano's office

Although Nassau Democratic legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton of Glen Cove spoke in a soft voice Wednesday, she asked hard-hitting questions about County Executive Edward Mangano’s proposed $2.98 billion budget, which would raise property taxes by more than 3 percent.

In fact, she took a direct swing at Republican Mangano’s own office spending during a legislative hearing on the 2015 spending...

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Nassau Democrats accuse GOP of bending rules for Venditto

Michael Venditto, Republican candidate for the State Senate

(Credit: James Escher)

Nassau Democratic lawmakers Wednesday complained that the Republican-controlled county legislature did not put next year’s proposed $2.9 billion budget before the Finance Committee as a way to protect State Senate candidate Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massadequa) from voting on the spending plan that would raise property taxes by more than 3 percent.

“This is obviously an attempt...

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Cuomo says his debate record is consistent with his transparency pledge

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, on

(Credit: AP / Mike Groll)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday that one radio debate and one TV debate in Buffalo with Republican Rob Astorino strikes “the right balance” for voters and is consistent with promise for a more transparent administration.

Astorino, however, is still seeking a series of TV debates statewide, one-on-one with Cuomo. Cuomo has rejected that, and Astorino hasn’t accepted the two debates...

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Queens assemblyman charged with 23 felonies

Assemb. William Scarborough (D-Jamaica) was arrested Oct.

(Credit: AP / Jim McKnight)

(UPDATES: Arraignment completed and charges filed)

A Queens assemblyman, whose offices were raided by law enforcement in March, was arrested and charged with 23 felonies Wednesday, law enforcement officials said.

Assemb. William Scarborough (D-Jamaica) was arraigned Wednesday in Albany on two felony counts of grand larceny and 21 felony counts of filing a false instrument.

 An...

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Astorino proposes significant income tax cuts

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino on Wednesday proposed sharply cutting New York’s personal income-tax rate and reducing the number of tax brackets from eight to two.

Astorino, who is taking on Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, unveiled the proposal in speech to the Association for a Better New York in Manhattan.

Astorino said he would cut the tax rate for individuals earning...

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Cuomo aide kept in loop on probe of Republican candidate (Update)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sept. 15, 2014.

(Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton)

(Updates with comments from Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday he hasn’t tried to influence his new independent corruption unit in which an email from the enforcement counsel went to one of Cuomo’s press aides about a case involving a Republican.

“I was told that the counsel wanted press inquiries directed to her directly, and was telling people who could...

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CD 3: Lally and Israel trade barbs on abortion after Rick Perry fundraiser

Texas Gov. Rick Perry started his daylong trip through New York on Tuesday by headlining a fundraiser for 3rd Congressional District Candidate Grant Lally, before stumping for GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

Perry addressed a crowd of more than 60 Lally supporters at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho. Guests included Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) and Queens GOP chairman Robert Beltrani.

Reporters...

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CD 4: Blakeman goes after Rice on carbon tax

The congressional candidates in New York's 4th District

(Credit: James Escher, Mike Stobe)

Republican Bruce Blakeman has criticized his Democratic opponent, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, for accepting the endorsement of an environmental group that supports a tax on the carbon contents of fuels.

“Unlike Kathleen Rice, I do not support a carbon tax,” said Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature who is running to replace Rep. Carolyn McCarthy...

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Skelos defends Cuomo appearances, voices Astorino support

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, left, Gov. Andrew M.

(Credit: Uli Seit)

The state’s top Republican on Tuesday defended his recent public appearances with Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, while saying he still supports GOP candidate Rob Astorino.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said his appearances with Cuomo have been about supporting Israel and beefing up state security, not politics. Skelos and the Senate Republicans have had a cordial relationship...

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Dems: Astorino's fundraising practices fall under 'pay-to-play,' too

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, on

(Credit: AP / Mike Groll)

One week after Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino accused Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of “pay-to-play” practices, Democrats on Tuesday threw the same charge back at Astorino.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has accepted $1 million in campaign contributions from companies that hold about $700 million in county contracts, Democrats claimed.

Democrats also knocked Astorino...

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