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.

Suffolk: A smaller legislature for efficiency's sake?

Freshman Suffolk Legis. William J. Lindsay III is looking to pare the size of the county legislature, according to county sources.

Lindsay (D-Bohemia), author of the most recent merger of the comptroller's and treasurer's office, has not put a number on how small he would make the 18-member body, but his aim is to cut costs and make the legislature more efficient, according to the sources....

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Suffolk: Bellone mulls seeking to abolish sheriff job; DeMarco responds

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is seriously exploring the idea of eliminating the elected job of sheriff and putting the county jail and corrections operations under an appointed commissioner who would be responsible to him, several county sources said.

Bellone first raised the idea quietly last year but recently renewed talks and even considered putting the issue before voters in...

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L.I. Congressional delegation on break: Both home and away

Five weeks -- that’s how long Congress is out for the August recess. But Long Island’s congressional lawmakers swear they’ll be working by meeting with constituents and local leaders. It is an election year, after all, but some get to travel: Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) has an eight-day trip to Israel (referring to the House, Rep. Israel said, “I’m going from one war zone to the other”).


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Cuomo campaign will pay for Moreland attorney

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center left, is

(Credit: AP / Frank Eltman)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will use campaign funds to pay a criminal defense lawyer to represent the governor’s office in the Moreland Commission probe, an aide said Friday.

On Thursday, well-known criminal defense lawyer Elkan Abramowitz confirmed he was retained “a while ago” to represent the Cuomo administration as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara threatened to widen an investigation into the governor’s...

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Schneiderman tight-lipped on Moreland probe

State Attorney General T. Eric Schneiderman, who is

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman remained tight-lipped Friday about a federal prosecutors’ look into a state anti-corruption commission – other than to say he, unlike Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, hasn’t hired an outside attorney to represent him in the matter.

Schneiderman, a Democrat like Cuomo, was in Schenectady to tout his “land bank” program that invests money the state received from a...

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UPDATED: Mastic Beach mayor recounts surprise call from NY Rising

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino talks with superstorm

(Credit: James Carbone)

The mayor of Mastic Beach said he hadn’t heard from anyone from New York Rising since March -- until Thursday, just before GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino stopped by to talk to homeowners frustrated with the state’s post-Sandy bureaucracy.

Mayor Bill Biondi said the call came from a New York Rising supervisor for the local area, whom he declined to name. She said she had heard Astorino...

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Esposito, Croci trade barbs over Brentwood dumping scandal

     Democrat Senate candidate Adrienne Esposito on Thursday sought to link Republican Tom Croci to a toxic dumping scandal at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood.

  Republicans, noting that Croci was on active duty with the U.S. Navy, when the issue broke, called it a “desperate” attempt by Esposito to generate news coverage.

  The sparring is just latest...

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Congress: Zeldin says he would vote for U.S. House to sue Obama

State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), the Republican candidate running against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), said he would have voted to authorize House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to sue President Barack Obama for overreaching.But Zeldin is the only Republican congressional challenger on Long Island to say how he would have voted yesterday, when Republicans approved the authorization in a largely...

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Cuomo says he talked to ‘relevant parties’ about Moreland

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks about ongoing economic

(Credit: AP / The Buffalo News, John Hickey)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday confirmed he had discussed public criticism of his role in his corruption commission with “relevant parties” he wouldn’t name, and won’t comment further during a federal investigation.

Cuomo confirmed a letter from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara first reported by The New York Times that advises Moreland commissioners to refrain from further comment....

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Law professor says U.S. attorney’s letter revives questions about Moreland conflict


ALBANY -- A reported letter from the U.S. attorney’s office shows concern about recent comments by Moreland Commission members statement during a federal investigation.

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office sent a letter to the attorney for the Moreland Commission on public corruption after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and some...

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