Spin Cycle

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

Suffolk: Legis. McCaffrey chosen as GOP minority leader

Suffolk’s freshman Republican legislator, Kevin McCaffrey, was chosen Friday to head the legislature’s five-member GOP caucus.

John Jay LaValle, Suffolk GOP leader, said McCaffrey, a Teamsters union leader, was the unanimous pick to replace Legis. John Kennedy, the Suffolk comptroller-elect. McCaffrey last year took an open legislative seat in Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone's home...

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Sammy Chu to leave Suffolk government

Sammy Chu, Suffolk’s $162,759-a-year commissioner of labor licensing and consumer affairs, is exiting county government, county executive aides confirmed late Friday.

County Executive Steve Bellone called Chu’s impending departure “bittersweet for me.” Bellone called Chu “an innovator and team builder” whose “contributions are evident in nearly every major policy initiative of my administration.”...

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Senate may consider measures after Eric Garner’s death

Esaw Garner, widow of Eric Garner, is surrounded

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

(Updates text with Stewart-Cousins talking about her sons' contact with police)

ALBANY — Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), the Legislature’s top African-American leader, said Friday that the grand jury system statewide must be re-examined after no charge was brought against a New York City police officer in the apparent choking death of Eric Garner.

“This is our moment to take...

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Cuomo plans broad changes for criminal justice after Eric Garner case

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Thursday promised broad legislative action following a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner.

"We have a large segment of the population that believes they do not get justice," Cuomo told public radio's "Capitol Pressroom." "And it is not just this case, it is not just this year."

Cuomo said new laws and procedures...

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Ex-Senate leader Bruno’s biography will lead off with Spitzer

Former Senate majority leader Sen. Joseph Bruno, in

(Credit: Getty Images)

ALBANY -- One of the most powerful state Senate majority leaders in New York history said he is working on a book of his political life, and the first chapter will be on former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

“I’m anxious to tell that story from my point of view, truthfully,” former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Brunswick) told WGDJ-AM in Albany. Bruno, 85, whose conviction on federal corruption...

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Senate Dem leader says Garner case will prompt state action

New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, whose 35th

(Credit: New York State Senate)

ALBANY -- Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she will pursue state measures including the assigning of special prosecutors in wake of tragedies such the Eric Garner case.

“This whole situation is so outrageous and heartbreaking I think every level of government has to take a look at what can be done,” said Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers), the top African-American leader in state...

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NY’s big fight over more charter schools is engaged

ALBANY _ A coalition of teachers and parents led by one-time candidate for governor Zephyr Teachout is fighting the move backed by billionaire campaign donors to create more charter schools.

The coalition includes the Alliance for Quality Education along with the liberal Working Families Party, which in May endorsed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over Teachout, a Fordham law professor. The coalition...

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Robert Stricoff, ex-Babylon Democratic chairman, lands new job

Former Babylon Town Democratic chairman Robert Stricoff withdrew

(Credit: Steve Pfost)

Former Babylon Town Democratic chairman Robert Stricoff, who last month withdrew from a $155,000 a year job offer as executive director of Suffolk’s Industrial Development Agency amid an ongoing prosecutor’s probe, has found another landing place.

Stricoff has become a vice president for sales and business development at EAM Land Services/American Land Services, a company with offices in Syosset.

Stricoff,...

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About that state surplus ...

ALBANY -- That surplus of up to $5 billion repeatedly cited in the fall campaigns by incumbents is looking a little lighter these days.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Monday said the money shouldn’t even be called a surplus. He said the funds -- mostly from settlements with banks to end enforcement actions -- are a one-time windfall and should be used for one-time costs, such as repairing...

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Rep. King defends Benghazi report blasted from within GOP

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) speaks to the media

(Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer)

An unusual clash surfaced last week when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) blasted as “full of crap” a recent report on the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya — issued by the GOP-run House Intelligence Committee.

Among the committee’s dozen majority members is Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who signed off on the report. Responding to Graham, with whom he’s been friendly,...

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

Sec. of State John Kerry seeking more authority for the administration to fight ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning of “dangerous concessions” if rivals win election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): “Is there ever a good time to admit our country tortured people?"

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