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.
The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has agreed to reform its internal controls in the wake of a bribery scheme involving its former executive director, state officials announced Thursday.
The influential charity agreed to hire a new general counsel and a new compliance officer, revamp its auditing practices and appoint at least two independent directors to its board, among other changes,...Read more »
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Thursday called on the state Education Department to suspend a plan to share student data with a private high-tech corporation, lending significant political muscle to a burgeoning movement.
Silver (D-Manhattan) and more than 40 other Assembly Democrats signed a letter to Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. saying they had “serious concerns about the...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a controversial bill that would have turned over the former Freeport Armory to a nonprofit church affiliate for $1.
The bill, sponsored by Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead), was strongly opposed by Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy.
That bill was one of 33 bills the governor vetoed at midnight Wednesday. Cuomo approved 35 bills. One of the measure's expands...Read more »
It was a day of swan songs at the Suffolk Legislature Tuesday.
County Executive Steve Bellone made a rare appearance at the legislature building in Hauppauge to sign a bill that would name the Hauppauge North complex after the late Presiding Officer William Lindsay.
Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley ran his last meeting in his 36-day reign as official legislative leader, although he had...Read more »
Rep. Pete King wasted no time firing back at the Tea Party Express, which attacked him as a "country-club Republican" and "big government" proponent after King created a leadership PAC to continue campaigning against the GOP's Ted Cruz wing.
"Obviously I have touched a raw nerve of these people because I have exposed them for the frauds that...Read more »
For months now Rep. Pete King has regularly and publicly attacked the tea party wing of the Republican Party for shutting down the government over Obamacare and sounding soft on national security, but it took his creation of a leadership political action committee to get a response out of a tea party group.
In New Hampshire today on his fourth trip testing the waters for the presidency,...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo didn’t bite Monday when asked about a proposal by Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) to eliminate some student testing, re-evaluate the Common Core academic standards and tighten student-data privacy.
Flanagan, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, unveiled his proposed legislation last week.
"Who is this?" Cuomo said when a reporter asked him...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo opened the door Monday to delaying a decision on natural gas drilling even further. The governor signaled he might not make a decision on whether to allow a high-volume, horizontal drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") until after Election Day.
This would be the latest in a series of postponements by the Democrat, whom the New York...Read more »
[From the Cuomo Watch column in today's Spin Cycle page]
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has until midnight Wednesday to sign or veto a controversial bill determining the future of the former Freeport Armory.
The bill, championed by Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead), would transfer ownership of the old military facility to Cedarmore Corp., a non-profit that shares space with the Zion Cathedral...Read more »
In the wheeling and dealing for the Suffolk County Legislature’s next presiding officer, several legislative sources say a behind the scenes maneuver is under discussion to have Assemb. Robert Sweeney not run for re-election next fall as a lure for Legis. DuWayne Gregory to seek the state seat next November rather than presiding officer in January.
The move, sources say is to clear the way...Read more »