Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

State high court upholds locals' right to ban fracking

The New York Court of Appeals ruled June

(Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz)

ALBANY -- New York's highest court ruled Monday that municipalities may prohibit drilling for natural gas within their boundaries in a decision that is expected to impact whether or how Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo expands the practice.

The Court of Appeals ruled 5-2 that local governments may use local zoning rules to prohibit drilling, through the "hydrofracking" method, deep into an upstate shale...

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Cuomo pressured over fracking as court creates a possible break

ALBANY -- The woman challenging Andrew M. Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor is one of the headliners of a rally Monday night to protest Cuomo’s lack of a decision on whether to approve hydrofracking for natural gas.

Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor taking Cuomo on, said she will join an anti-fracking protest outside Cuomo’s political fundraiser in a Manhattan hotel.

“Governor...

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Pollster: NY liberals stick by Obama, despite pundit warnings

President Barack Obama arrives at Kennedy Airport on

(Credit: James Carbone)

Remember how, just a few months ago, many analysts worried that New York liberals would abandon President Barack Obama this year? Maybe it’s still possible, but Steven Greenberg of the Siena Poll thinks not. “Obama is doing great with the liberals,” he said, citing his April poll. Among self-identified liberals, it shows, 89 percent had a favorable view of Obama -- up from 80 percent in November...

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Martins tops LI delegation in bills passed, ranks second overall

[From the Spin Cycle page in Newsday's Monday edition]

Counting bills is a limited way to measure a state legislator’s productivity. The number is influenced by whether his/her party is in the majority and by what committee he/she leads. That said, a recent report by the New York Public Interest Research Group shows that Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) led the Long Island delegation with 34...

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Top court upholds conviction of ex-Bloomberg consultant

New York’s top court on Monday upheld the conviction of a Republican political operative for stealing $750,000 from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the 2009 campaign.The Court of Appeals, in a 6-0 decision, dismissed the appeal of John F. Haggerty Jr., a Queens native, who was convicted in 2011 of grand larceny and money laundering and sentenced to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

The...

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Stewart-Cousins: Democrats' reunification talks began 'weeks ago'

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Friday that secret negotiations to reunify Democratic factions in the state Senate began weeks ago.

The five-member Independent Democratic Conference, in a joint statement with Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, announced Wednesday that it plans to drop its affiliation with Republicans and rejoin the mainline Democrats, a move that could shift...

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NY top court strikes down NYC big-soda ban

Lori Middleton drinks a large soda on Oct.

(Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt)

Call it the last straw.

New York's top court Thursday ended New York City's attempt to ban large-sized sugary drinks, ruling that the city had "exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority."

In a 4-2 decision that was more about procedure than the merits of the ban, the state Court of Appeals said that the city's Board of Health, under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, tried to make...

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Democrats' plan to take over Senate comes just before Dem primaries are final

ALBANY -- Republicans see the potentially historic announcement by Democrats to unite to form a Senate majority coalition next year as an unsavory political deal to avoid damage from several Democratic primary fights this year.

The announcement came Wednesday from the Independent Democratic Conference, which shares majority control of the Senate in a bipartisan coalition with Republicans....

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Republicans’ grasp on state political power could soon end, experts say

ALBANY -- The potentially game-changing announcement on Wednesday of a plan to create a Democratic majority in New York’s Senate could end the era of Republican control of the chamber, said two authorities on state politics.

“It could be the end of the historic century-long GOP’s near total dominance of the Senate and the beginning of almost total marginalization of this party in statewide...

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Independent Dems to end Senate majority coalition with GOP

ALBANY -- The state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference in a surprise move Wednesday said it will end its historic, bipartisan coalition with Republicans to form a Democratic coalition to run the chamber next year.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo applauded the move, which could end the last bastion of power for Republicans in state government. Republican senators under co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville...

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