Spin Cycle

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

4th CD: Candidates differ on federal gas tax

Republican congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman is attacking his Democratic opponent Kathleen Rice for saying she would consider support for raising the federal gasoline tax, which has remained at 18.4-cents-per-gallon since 1993.

Rice on Thursday, in an interview with Newsday’s editorial board, was posed with a board member’s question that characterized one of the arguments for raising...

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Cuomo seeks to replace conservative judge, shifts power on NY top court

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at a meeting

(Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo nominated a veteran Albany-area judge to New York's top court Friday, seeking to replace a conservative jurist with a liberal one and shifting the balance of power at the Court of Appeals for the first time in 11 years.

Cuomo nominated fellow Democrat Leslie Stein for a 14-year term. Stein would replace Republican Victoria Graffeo, whose term expires Nov. 29, on the state's...

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Astorino's running mate says he would defund Cuomo's SAFE Act (Update)

Chris Moss accepts the nomination for republican candidate

(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

(Updates with Cuomo campaign comment)

ALBANY — Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Chris Moss said Friday that he and his running mate, Rob Astorino, would “defund” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's gun control law as a first step to repealing the SAFE Act.

Funding programs is within the powers of a governor in crafting a state budget. But any effort would face a battle in the Legislature,...

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Gov. candidate Hawkins offers bold approach to heroin, racism

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor,

(Credit: AP / Mike Groll)

ALBANY — Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins has a novel approach to the heroin epidemic: Legalize it.

“I would legalize, regulate and tax drugs, starting with marijuana and heroin,” Hawkins said Friday. “We should treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a criminal problem. Drug treatment on demand, not mass incarceration.”

He would fund some of his initiatives using savings...

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Blakeman calls for Ebola-related flight ban; Rice backs LGBT rights

Republican congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman is joining the chorus of politicians calling for a ban on commercial flights operating from West Africa due to the Ebola virus crisis.

Blakeman, who is running to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) in the 4th District, on Thursday said that he supported a “reasonable and timely” ban on flights from West Africa that come directly...

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Cuomo picks up tax award as unemployment drops

ALBANY _ Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo received some good and timely news on the economy Thursday.

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation gave Cuomo its award for Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform. The national organization credited the simplifying of the corporate tax code by Cuomo and the Legislature.

The state Labor Department also announced that the statewide unemployment rate dropped to...

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Skelos says he'd appoint Croci to veterans' committee

  Senate co-leader Dean Skelos said Thursday he’d appoint Tom Croci to lead the chamber’s committee on veterans, homeland security and military affairs if the Islip Republican is elected next month.

  Croci, the Islip town supervisor, is running against Democrat Adrienne Esposito to replace Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) who is running for Congress against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton).


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Skelos, Dems, activists spar over high court nomination

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) says Gov.

(Credit: NYS Office of Court Administration)

The top Republican in the state Legislature is urging Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to forget party labels and reappoint a Republican judge to New York’s top court.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) says Cuomo should reappoint Victoria Graffeo, whose 14-year term on the Court of Appeals expires Nov. 29. Graffeo, an Albany County resident, was first appointed by Republican Gov....

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High court hands Nassau victory in tuition dispute with North Hempstead

Nassau County has won a long-running dispute with local towns over the burden of covering community college tuition.

The state Court of Appeals, in a 7-0 decision issued Thursday, said that Nassau can charge North Hempstead for amounts it paid for local students to attend out-of-county community colleges. At stake was about $1.7 million in annual payments.

The ruling might also impact...

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SuperPAC funded by Long Islander runs ad for Astorino

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino speaks at a

(Credit: AP / Seth Wenig)

ALBANY — Some late financial help is coming to the aid of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

The group called Rescue New York, primarily funded by a Long Island hedge fund manager, says it has just completed airing its Hope TV ad in every region of the state. The group is funded with $500,000 from Robert Mercer of East Setauket who manages a Manhattan hedge fund, according to...

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