Spin Cycle

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

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Dan Janison

Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997, much of which was spent as a staff writer for the New York City edition. He has also served as City Hall reporter and as Deputy Long Island editor for politics. Before coming to Newsday, Janison worked as a reporter for the Staten Island Advance, Albany Times Union and New York Post.

Get me rewrite: D'Amato in 2010 called Gillibrand a 'party functionary'

Four years ago, former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato endorsed lawyer Bruce Blakeman, a favorite son of the Nassau GOP, for U.S. Senate against Democratic appointee Kirsten Gillibrand. It sounded quite different from the way he did in Time magazine's latest edition, their 100 Most Influential People issue, where he's saying "she'd make a great president."

From this space Jan. 17, 2010:

While Gillibrand...

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4th CD: Hempstead Village mayor weighs in

Kathleen Rice’s congressional campaign, for the third consecutive day, has announced a sought-after local endorsement for the upcoming Democratic primary.

Wayne Hall, mayor of the 4th district’s largest incorporated village – Hempstead – said Thursday that he will back Rice, the Nassau district attorney, over her opponent, County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams.

Hall said...

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Gillibrand named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was named one of the 100 Most Influential People today by Time Magazine.

Time's editors chose her first political boss, former Republican New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, to pay tribute to her in a short essay -- and he proclaims that "she'd make a great president."

Not surprisingly, Gillibrand's press office immediately sent out...

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Court: Colin Ferguson encouraged fellow inmates to riot, kill prison guards

This Dec. 9, 1994 photo shows LIRR gunman

(Credit: Dick Yarwood)

Infamous LIRR shooter Colin Ferguson encouraged “inmates to riot and kill prison guards” at an upstate prison, according to a court ruling Thursday that upheld Ferguson’s conviction for violating prison disciplinary rules.

The midlevel Appellate Division said videotape and testimony provided at an internal prison-system disciplinary hearing “provide substantial evidence” that Ferguson engaged...

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Richard Ravitch: State fiscal crises aren't over

Former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and

ALBANY -- Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, who helped New York City escape bankruptcy 40 years ago, warned Wednesday that the fiscal crisis isn't over in New York and other states, despite election year plans to cut taxes and spend more.

Ravitch said the crises for states and local governments are building as health care costs rise and public pensions become unaffordable for taxpayers.

He...

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Cuomo & Co. step on de Blasio on news-conference timing

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo slightly stepped on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio again Wednesday, though the stakes were small this time.

De Blasio was in Albany along with officials of other local governments to receive superstorm Sandy recovery grants. All day, the mayor’s staff told the news media de Blasio was planning a news conference for right after the Sandy event. Meanwhile, Cuomo people were...

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Opportunity born of inertia: Lose for US Congress, run for state Senate

New York's crazy election calendar, which sets federal and state primaries 2 1/2 months apart, is giving some ambitious politicians a unique chance to hedge their campaign risks.

One prime example could be found in Suffolk, where state Sen. Lee Zeldin faces a well-funded rival, attorney George Demos, in a Republican primary June 24 for the chance to challenge Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton)...

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Poll: Cuomo's standing solid, but down a bit

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Feb. 12.

(Credit: AP / Mike Groll)

ALBANY -- Although Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo remains in a solid position in the latest poll, he's taken a rare slide since January in this re-election year.

Monday's Siena College poll showed the Democrat's favorability rating was 57 percent, down from 66 percent in January; 45 percent of voters now rate his job performance as good or excellent compared to 54 percent in January, and 50 percent...

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4th CD: Rice picks up endorsements of onetime contenders

Malverne Village Mayor Patricia Norris-McDonald, who had mulled running for Congress in the 4th district, is now endorsing the campaign of Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Norris-McDonald, a Democrat, announced her backing Tuesday in a statement released by Rice’s campaign. She called Rice, a Garden City Democrat, “exactly the type of tough, smart leader we need fighting for us...

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Assembly hires firm for $80G to help address sexual harassment

ALBANY -- The public’s tab is still running for sexual harassment scandals in the State Assembly.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Monday said he approved  the technical aspects of an $80,000 contract to an investigative firm hired by the Assembly’s Ethics Committee. The contract is with Roemer Wallens Gold & Mineaux LLP for investigations to provide expertise on sexual harassment/retaliation...

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