Spin Cycle

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

In Albany, a so-called GOP wave passed the Assembly by

Looks like the “Republican wave” passed the Assembly by.

Though three elections are still being disputed, it is possible Republicans will return to the Assembly with the same number of members they had in January 2013 — 43, compared with the Democrats’ 107.

Right now, Republicans have won at least 43 seats in this year’s elections; they lead in just one of the disputed contests.


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Suffolk extends convention-visitors bureau contract

A Suffolk executive-legislative committee gave a waiver to extend the $2 million annual contract of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau for another year without going through a process to seek competitive proposals.

The three-member committee voted unanimously last week for the waiver noting that the current state legislation which increased the hotel motel room tax expires next...

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Suffolk: Top Sawicki deputy moves on to Bellone administration

Departing Suffolk County Comptroller Joseph Sawicki's chief deputy, Christina Capobianco, is joining the administration of County Executive Steve Bellone as the health department's top fiscal aide.

Capobianco, a Republican, starts Monday as deputy health commissioner for finance operations at the same $150,101-a-year salary she received in the comptroller's office. Capobianco, a certified...

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Nassau chief deputy exec Rob Walker credited with life-saving move

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's hard-charging chief deputy, Rob Walker, may be a lifesaver, according to Deputy County Executive Ed Ward.

Ward said Walker and he recently lunched late at Arturo's Italian restaurant in Floral Park, where an elderly man at the next table began choking. While others froze, Walker "went over like a football player and tackled him," giving him the Heimlich...

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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.


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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.


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