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.
Spokesmen for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Looks Great Services, a Huntington tree removal firm, are suggesting that Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs is a hypocrite for demanding Wednesday that Republican Mangano to return about $75,000 in contributions from eight Superstorm Sandy contractors, including Looks Great.
“The facts remain that the Democrats accepted nearly the...Read more »
Though he’s pushing for Long Island off-track betting parlors to add video slot machines, Sen. Phil Boyle said a bill he recently introduced doesn’t propose a major casino.
"It would not be – in any stretch of the imagination – a major casino. Or a casino at all,” said Boyle (R-Bay Shore).
Instead, his legislation, co-sponsored by Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauaket)...Read more »
Two women have allowed their names to be used as victims in the Vito Lopez scandal, and his actions read revoltingly in the state ethics commission report. An Associated Press summary is here.
One headline talks of how an aide had to touch his neck and "wear skimpy clothing."
Another speaks of Lopez being "shielded" by the leadership of the Assembly, per the report.
A...Read more »
The question may well be who former Sen. Al D'Amato was trying to help when he went on NY1 News last night and mocked Council Speaker Christine Quinn's tearful revelations to the Times of past bulimia and alcoholism. He called her a hack and said in mock whine, "I'm crying. My campaign is suffering. I'm going down."
A good roundup of it is here, from New York magazine.
D'Amato...Read more »
A special prosecutor announced Wednesday that he won’t file criminal charges against once powerful Assemb. Vito Lopez after investigating charges of sexual harassment.
Separately, a state panel released a civil investigation that Lopez violated the state's Public Officers Law. Now, it will be up to the Legislative Ethics Commission to determine whether to sanction the assemblyman.
Staten...Read more »
Nassau Comptroller George Maragos has appointed a Glen Cove Republican activist to be his deputy comptroller for audits and special projects.
Paul Meli, a lawyer and Glen Cove Republican leader, replaces Joy Watson, who was recently appointed to the district court bench. Meli, who starts Thursday, will make the same $130,000-a-year salary that she did, a Maragos spokesman said.
Meli...Read more »
While waiting for former Rep. Anthony Weiner to decide if he's running for mayor -- and if so for what reason -- we present one of his classic obfuscation performances that could one day provide great fodder in the Blue Room at City Hall. Here, he goes on and on and on, complaining about all the questions, suggesting others were to blame, griping that someone's a "jackass" all under the...Read more »
The state attorney general’s office served subpoenas Tuesday to the office of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and six other county agencies amid the ongoing probe into debris-removal contracts related to superstorm Sandy, a law enforcement source said.
In addition to Mangano, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office delivered subpoenas to the offices of Comptroller George Maragos,...Read more »
Suffolk Treasurer Angie Carpenter said the county’s above average collection of property taxes in 2011 may have contributed to a larger than expected budget hole last year.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone aides last week said the most surprising part of the $155 million deficit for 2012 was a $15 million expansion of the property tax gap. Jon Schneider, deputy county executive for finance,...Read more »
Few topics in Suffolk County have been as dissected and debated this year as the status of the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility.
And while County Executive Steve Bellone hopes to have the nursing home closed by summer, it’s almost certain you’ll continue hearing about the issue well into the fall – when all 18 seats on the county legislature are up for election.
The Legislature’s...Read more »