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.
Backers of congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman are trying to make it very difficult for his potential primary opponent to get a coveted minor party line.
Executive leaders of Nassau’s GOP Committee – which endorsed the Republican Blakeman to succeed Carolyn McCarthy in the 4th District – recently received a memo asking them to seek the same ballot petitioning signatures that Republican...Read more »
ALBANY -- Republicans who share control of the state Senate said they will include protections for charter schools among their budget priorities as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo also promises to support the innovative public schools.
Senate Education Committee chairman John Flanagan (R-East Northport) said Thursday that the Senate will push to make sure charter schools have the space they need to operate.
The...Read more »
ALBANY -- State Senate Republicans are joining Assembly Democrats in opposition to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s property tax freeze plan, which would require local governments and schools to cut spending, merge or consolidate.
Emerging from a one-hour closed-door session Thursday, Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and Sen. Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton) said the governor’s complicated plan to...Read more »
Westchester County Executive and likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a featured guest speaker Friday night at a Nassau GOP “Inaugural Ball,” honoring last year’s reelection of County Executive Edward Mangano.
The annual $500-per-plate fundraiser at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury is hosted by the Nassau County Republican Committee and is closed to the press,...Read more »
ALBANY -- The state Assembly's Democratic majority Wednesday gave its critical support to cut a "temporary" state utility tax paid by families and businesses which had been extended to balance state budgets.
The Assembly will propose an end to the Temporary State Energy and Utility Service Conservation Assessment, known as "18a" for its provision in law. The tax is next scheduled to expire...Read more »
ALBANY — New York's state budget process was off to a rocky start this week as the Senate's bipartisan majority stalled when it came to putting dollars to priorities that divide the coalition.
The Senate's Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference, which shares majority control of the chamber, struggled to agree on a combined budget proposal. Sticking points include the proposed...Read more »
Brookhaven’s Republican Receiver of Taxes Louis Marcoccia has become the first person to formally declare as a candidate for Suffolk comptroller, even though the job may go out of existence by the year’s end.
Marcoccia, 64, of East Setauket, disclosed his candidacy in letters Tuesday to Brookhaven GOP chairman Jesse Garcia and Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle. Several other...Read more »
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio oversaw his first disaster – the East Harlem building explosions – surrounded by agency chiefs held over from the Bloomberg administration.
De Blasio, who is still filling jobs 71 days into his mayoralty, has kept most of Mike Bloomberg's emergency-response team -- on an interim basis, at least -- including the FDNY's Sal Cassano, the Office of Emergency...Read more »
A Hempstead schools advocate said Wednesday that she would seek Conservative Party support for a 4th Congressional District bid.
Caprice Rines, 46, a retired insurance claims adjuster, said she’s joining the already crowded field looking to succeed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy because she hasn't seen a candidate who can relate to all segments of the diverse Nassau district.
"We have everyone...Read more »
From the strange-bedfellows department, perhaps, comes Conservative Party chairman Michael Long's reaction to the story by Celeste Hadrick Wednesday reporting that Jay Jacobs, Nassau Democratic chairman, has called on politicians from both major parties to reject the Independence Party nomination, thus denying it automatic ballot status.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who would most likely get the...Read more »