Spin Cycle

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

Astorino raises $3.4 million so far, $2.4 million on hand

Rob Astorino, Republican challenger for New York State

(Credit: Uli Seit)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Monday he raised $3.4 million since declaring his candidacy, and has $2.4 million in the bank heading into the heart of the campaign season.

Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to announce Tuesday that he has $40 million to $50 million stockpiled.

Candidates for statewide and state legislative offices must submit their fund-raising...

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Influential Niagara senator will step down; says it's unrelated to federal probe

Another veteran Republican senator has said he won’t run for re-election.

Sen. George Maziarz (R-Niagara) made the decision amid a federal probe of his campaign funds, The Buffalo News reported Sunday.

Maziarz, a 20-year Senate veteran, is one of the most influential upstate lawmakers, playing a big role within the GOP ranks and serving, at times, as an ally of Democrat Gov. Andrew M....

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Nearly halfway into final term, Obama draws Democratic heat

AFT President Randi Weingarten addressed reporters last week

(Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

President Barack Obama's incumbency is showing clear signs of wear and tear as constituent groups within his own Democratic Party grow bolder in criticizing various White House policies.

On Friday, New Yorker Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers president and Democratic National Committee member, stood before her organization's convention in Los Angeles and said, "We are deeply...

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Schumer: Of course House would shun LIRR involvement

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on July 10, 2014.

(Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla)

After Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had it publicly demonstrated that Congress wouldn’t act in the Long Island Rail Road labor dispute, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer told NY1 News: “You didn’t need to be a PhD in political science to know that the House of Representatives would never help New York out of a strike situation.”

From that channel, here's Bob Hardt's take.

And contract talks are expected...

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Albany: Primary challenge could free Cuomo to spend more

Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout on June

(Credit: AP / Bebeto Matthews)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo could face a Fordham University professor in a Democratic primary — and benefit financially in one important way.

Zephyr Teachout, who says Cuomo favors corporations and the wealthy, said she has submitted 45,000 petition signatures to qualify for a gubernatorial primary, more than three times the minimum required. The Cuomo campaign hasn’t said yet if it will challenge...

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3rd SD: Fritz fan challenges Esposito's petitions for Dem line

Adrienne Esposito on March 19, 2014.

(Credit: Johnny Milano)

A backer of Democratic State Senate contender Joseph Fritz has filed general objections over Adrienne Esposito’s nominating petitions, the first step toward trying to disqualify her from the ballot.

Rafaela Vazquez, fiance of former Suffolk Legis. Rick Montano, mailed the challenge application late last week and specifically requested copies of Esposito’s party authorization to run on the...

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6th AD: Mata takes aim at fellow Democrat Ramos, again

He-e-e-e’s back.

Giovanni Mata, one-time chair of former County Executive Steve Levy’s Hispanic advisory committee, has filed petitions to run a Democratic primary for a second time against Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood), a 12-year Albany veteran.

Mata, 34, filed by mail 590 signatures with the Suffolk Board of Elections, which arrived at the Yaphank offices Friday. Mata, of Brentwood,...

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New to modern memory: No Becker heads Lynbrook GOP

Francis X. Becker Jr. on June 29, 2007.

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

For the first time in more than 70 years, there is no Becker is at the helm of the Lynbrook Republican Party.

Nassau Legis. Francis X. Becker Jr., who has been GOP area leader in Lynbrook for nearly a decade, quietly stepped town from the post in late May in favor of Assemb. Brian Curran.

“It’s hard to let go there’s so much family history and tradition,” said Becker. “We called it the...

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Suffolk GOP leader takes a hands-on approach to fundraising

John Jay LaValle on May 21, 2014.

(Credit: James Escher)

Suffolk Republicans don’t want to rub donors the wrong way.

So John Jay LaValle, Suffolk GOP chairman is offering free “on course massages” as part package of attractions like handrolled cigars, martini bars and wine tastings at a July 28 golf fundrasier at Baiting Hollow Country Club..

LaValle said the club has an on premise masseuse who will provide a “professional service” like is...

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Judging by what's visible, LIRR strike can be avoided

Emergency measures for a Long Island Rail Road Strike got a tentative airing today (see link below). But at least there are glimmers of promise that the mess can be avoided.

Latest from Newsday's main Web page:

As the MTA continues to evaluate the unions' latest counter-offer Friday, there were no communications between the parties as of late afternoon, according to one of the negotiators...

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