News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
BloggersDan Janison Rick Brand Tom Brune Robert Brodsky Paul LaRocco Yancey Roy Celeste Hadrick
Rick Brand, a Newsday reporter for nearly three decades, writes about politics and government on Long Island.
The veteran reporter has covered a variety of assignments for Newsday in Washington, Albany and around the country and was part of the Long Island staff that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800.
During his career, Brand has been the paper’s lead reporter covering Suffolk county government, and spent three years as the paper’s beat reporter covering LILCO during the height of the controversy over the Shoreham nuclear power plant. He has also headed the paper’s East End bureau and even spent a summer doing a gossip column on the Hampton’s social whirl.
Brand had also worked several stints in Newsday’s Albany Bureau during the Carey and Cuomo administrations. He covered the upset victory of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Long Island’s first woman congresswoman, and the 1997 U.S. Senate battle between Alfonse D'Amato and Chuck Schumer and part of the marathon Senate campaign that led to the election of Hillary Clinton.
Before joining Newsday, Brand, a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, worked as news editor of Suffolk Life Newspapers and as a reporter for the Long Island News and the Buffalo Courier Express.
For public officials, the thinking typically goes that you wait until after the election to wrestle with the risky stuff.
So three weeks after the polls closed, delayed actions are dominating government news.
On the national front, President Barack Obama made clear in early September he would stall his sweeping executive order on immigration until after the midterm elections on Nov....Read more »
New York City tenants who claim their landlords illegally deregulated certain rent-controlled apartments can bring class-action lawsuits, the state's highest court ruled Monday.
The state Court of Appeals, in a series of 4-2 decisions involving three cases, said tenants seeking reimbursements for rent overcharges can band together to sue landlords who allegedly violated statutes by lifting...Read more »
ALBANY — Advocates for the working poor said Monday that several factors are worsening the hunger problem for 3 million New Yorkers despite the economy’s recovery.
The social workers and clergy altered their annual Thanksgiving appeal for food donations to call for food to be treated by government as a higher funding priority. They said food needs to be treated as a human right, not an issue...Read more »
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...Read more »
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.
But...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »