Spin Cycle

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Rick Brand

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.

Albany: Place your bets on upstate casino locales

On Wednesday, a panel on gambling established by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will announce as many as four new casinos upstate.

The Gaming Facility Location Board — headed by Kevin Law, who also is president and CEO of the Long Island Association, the Island’s largest business group — will disclose its selections a year after New York voters amended the constitution to allow non-Indian-run casinos.


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Hempstead's Goosby urges voices be heard on village project

Hempstead Town Board member Dorothy Goosby, who was not allowed to speak at a recent Hempstead Village planning board meeting about a 336-unit apartment project proposed by Renaissance Downtowns, has sent a letter to all village residents urging them to call Mayor Wayne Hall, a fellow Democrat, “and let him know that we deserve to have our voices heard.”

Goosby successfully sued Hempstead...

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Suffolk: Nardelli to replace Chu in consumer-labor post

Frank Nardelli will be named to replace Sammy Chu as commissioner of labor, licensing and consumer affairs when Chu leaves in January.

Nardelli, 50, a Sayville Democrat, is currently the department’s $110,272 a year senior deputy commissioner and will receive $140,000 a year in the new post.. He has worked for the county since 2005.

Chu, who now makes $162,760 annually, disclosed a week...

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Suffolk comptroller moves to recoup jail officer's illegal pay

Ex-Suffolk corrections officer Steven Compitello pleaded guilty last week to federal charges of illegally collecting $28,122 in county salary. County Comptroller Joseph Sawicki has already made sure the county gets its restitution by freezing Compitello’s exit pay.

Sawicki withheld Compitello’s payments for what is popularly known as “scat” pay for unused sick and vacation time, totally $38,397...

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Law Enforcement Foundation dropped nearly $250G on Gaughran bid

The single biggest spender in the recent Suffolk comptroller race was the police unions’ Long Island Law Enforcement Foundation, which spent nearly $249,925 backing losing Democratic candidate James Gaughran.

The biggest part of the foundation’s spending in the race, $184,288, only showed up in the 27-day post-election campaign finance report, filed in Albany earlier this month. The union...

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Cuomo’s slower speed on Garner case contrasts with rushed SAFE Act a year ago

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to take it slow to thoroughly develop a response to deadly confrontations between police and suspects contrasts with his speedy effort a year ago to pass the nation’s first gun control measure after the Newtown tragedy.

“Often you tend to have a knee-jerk after a situation like this,” Cuomo said Thursday. “I think on this one, it’s more complex, we should...

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Amid school wars, how much does John King's leaving matter?

Compared to the politics of the classroom, the party backroom seems quaint.

Consider the forces now in play on the school scene:

— An educational-industrial complex nurtures private testing companies — much as the military-industrial complex once grew defense contractors.

— Federal officials are prodding states into uniform standards through the Common Core curriculum.


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Doctors 'pleased' with Mario Cuomo's progress, Gov. Cuomo says

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, with his

(Credit: AP / Mike Groll)

Doctors are "pleased" with the progress former Gov. Mario Cuomo is making, his son, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said Thursday.

The 82-year-old former governor was recently hospitalized for a heart condition. Another son, CNN's Chris Cuomo, reported Tuesday on Twitter that his father was back home.

Andrew Cuomo, in his first comments since his father left the hospital, said: "He is at home...

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Skelos: No need for special prosecutors to handle claims of excessive force by police

ALBANY -- Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Thursday rejected state proposals to assign special prosecutors to take over cases of alleged excessive force by police.

"I don't see a need for them," said Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who controls whether legislation reaches the Senate floor. Several Democrats have proposed removing the cases from local district attorneys who work closely with...

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'O'Reilly Factor' staffer makes a show of inviting de Blasio on air

A correspondent for Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” disrupted a Bronx news conference yesterday and demanded to know why liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to appear as a guest on conservative host Bill O’Reilly’s show.

“We’ve been trying to book you on the show for weeks, and your staff hasn’t been very respectful towards us,” said Jesse Watters, of the segment Watters’ World, standing...

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Which was the most fevered lunge for self-promotion by a power player?

Hollywood actor and director Danny Glover urging New York City to keep horse carriages. Actress Edie Falco making a TV ad to abolish horse carriages. Ex-Sony exec Mitch Singer, last week: “Why do so many believe that this is Sony’s war to fight?"

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