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 recent uproar over alleged illegal toxic dumping in and around Islip -- highlighted by criminal charges against six individuals -- could rivet new political attention on environmental enforcement.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gets a chance to broach this matter, among many, a week from Wednesday in his annual State of the State speech, and later in January in his annual budget proposal.
Comptroller...Read more »
ALBANY — The message is loud and clear that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo still has unmended fences between himself and some influential liberal leaders, even if that message is between the lines.
Working Families Party director Bill Lipton issued a statement last week supporting calls to unify the city in the wake of protests following a grand jury’s decision not to charge a white police officer in...Read more »
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this week will decide how to confront an issue his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, always said he wished he had faced: flush times. The first Cuomo has long lamented that he wished he had one year with a big surplus to put into action long-term measures.
Now his son is writing his State of the State speech, to be delivered Jan. 7, and he has asked his cabinet...Read more »
With Nassau legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) elected to the state senate, a special election will have to be called to fill his 12th District county legislative seat.
GOP insiders say the leading candidates to run in the heavily Republican district is James Kennedy, the son-in-law of the late Peter Schmitt. Until his unexpected death in Oct. 2012, Schmitt had...Read more »
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...Read more »
(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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »