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.
Suffolk’s Democratic legislative caucus met for the first time this week with party chairman Richard Schaffer to begin weighing who will be legislature’s next presiding officer.
No decisions were reached at the meeting held at a restaurant in Riverhead after Tuesday’s county legislature session, according to several sources, but almost everyone in the caucus — save newly elected Monica Martinez...Read more »
Drew Biondo has taken a newly-created $106,000 a year post as communications director for Suffolk County Community College.
Biondo, 53, of Port Jefferson, started the job a week ago after three years as the $83,000 a year spokesman for State Sen. Kenneth Lavalle, chair of the Senate’s higher education committee.
Earlier in his career, Biondo was top spokesman for late Suffolk District...Read more »
Former Gov. George Pataki will headline a $1,000 a head fundraiser for Republican Congressional contender George Demos next week at the Women’s National Republican Club in Manhattan.
The Dec. 10 event also offers donors to be "co-hosts" at $5,200 a head or event sponsors for $2,600.
Kevin Tschirhart, Demos' campaign manager, declined to say how many invitations were mailed...Read more »
Rep. Pete King's presidential testing of the waters is back on after a brief hiatus.
The Seaford Republican congressman said today he will travel to Concord, New Hampshire on Dec. 16 to give a couple of speeches and take a meeting or two.
During the one-day trip, King said he will speak to the Eastern Region of the National Troopers Coalition at about 1 p.m., and then at about 5:15...Read more »
Supported by Republicans who control the towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano campaigned for re-election by attacking his opponent, former Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi, on two main issues:
Suozzi raised property taxes and gave himself a hefty raise, Mangano complained in numerous campaign ads.
After Mangano won the rematch -- and...Read more »
The guy who ran Carl Paladino’s ill-fated gubernatorial campaign in 2010 took to Twitter Wednesday to post photos of his meeting with Donald Trump.
“You’ll never know who you run into in NYC,” political consultant Michael Caputo teasingly wrote, accompanying the photo of him and Trump at what appears to be a conference table.
Trump aides have said previously he’s not interested in running...Read more »
State Republican Chairman Ed Cox has been bashing a special corruption commission Wednesday as nothing more than vehicle to drive Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s agenda.
That he did so again Wednesday wasn’t surprising. But in a slight change-up, Cox also criticized two Long Islanders at the hub of the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption: Nassau County District Attorney...Read more »
Former Nassau Democratic Presiding Officer Diane Yatauro -- handpicked by county party chairman Jay Jacobs and former County Executive Thomas Suozzi to lead the Democrat-controlled legislature from 2008 through 2009 -- contributed $5,000 to Republican County Executive Edward Mangano on Election Day.
State campaign finance records also show that Yatauro, who lives in Suozzi’s hometown of Glen...Read more »
Jesse Garcia, Brookhaven Republican chairman, reacted to GOP congressional hopeful George Demos' new cable TV ads, calling Demos a “two-time loser” who should “drop his quixotic third bid for this seat."
“It’s simply wrong and a mistake for George Demos to run for congress...for a third time,” said Garcia. Local and state GOP officials have lined up behind State Sen. Lee Zeldin, who is...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo continues to set the table for some sort of tax-cut proposal for 2014, when he's up for re-election.
Though the state faces a $1.7 billion deficit by the March 31 end of the fiscal year, Cuomo contended there will be a surplus "in essence" if he holds the line on spending for the next few months.
"We do have funds to do a tax cut," Cuomo said...Read more »