Spin Cycle

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

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Paul LaRocco

Paul LaRocco joined Newsday in November 2010, covering the Town of Oyster Bay, City of Glen Cove and the nearby incorporated villages. In the fall of 2011, he began writing about Suffolk County government and politics. Before coming to Newsday, LaRocco worked as a reporter at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., and The Record-Journal in Meriden, Conn.

Faculty union unveils student loan forgiveness, refinancing proposals

To decrease college students’ debt, a state university union proposed Tuesday that the state allow students to refinance loans and begin a loan-forgiveness program for adjunct professors. 

United University Professions, which represents faculty and other professionals in the State University of New York system, said lowering student debt is essential to keeping higher education affordable.


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AG seeks power to probe civilian deaths in cop confrontations (Update)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has asked

(Credit: AP)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo may provide state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman temporary authority to investigate fatal confrontations between police and civilians until broad changes in criminal justice procedure occur, administration officials said.

"The law is broken. It has to be fixed," Schneiderman said Monday. "You have recognize the loss of confidence in the process."


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Nassau corrections union president criticizes county film commission over music video shoot

On Monday, as Nassau’s film commission hosted a tour of local landmarks for various production companies, the president of the county’s correction officers union took aim at county leaders for allowing a trio of entertainers who have rapped about killing cops to film a music video at the Nassau County jail in East Meadow.

John Jaronczyk, president of the Nassau County Sheriff's Correction...

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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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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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