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.
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.
Three...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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.
—...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »
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...Read more »