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.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) has given $100,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and $12,000 to the Nassau County Democratic Party since she announced in January that she's retiring at the end of the year.
McCarthy reported the donations in her campaign finance filing with the FEC Tuesday, the first indication she is emptying her coffers as she looks to leave Congress.
While...Read more »
Rep. Charles Rangel and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, battling for Rangel’s congressional seat in Manhattan and the Bronx, are neck-and-neck in fundraising, according to figures provided Tuesday by their campaigns.
Rangel, the Harlem Democrat runnng for his 23rd term in the House, raised about $272,000 in the first quarter of this year and has about $223,000 in cash-on-hand, his campaign spokesman...Read more »
ALBANY _ Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy reported $191,231 in income for himself and his wife, Barbara, and another collected $70,255 in pension from his earlier career in the Rochester Police Department, where he was chief.
Duffy showed his 2013 tax return to reporters Tuesday as part of an Albany tradition for statewide officials. He doesn't collect a pension for his tenure as mayor of Rochester.
In...Read more »
ALBANY - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has pulled down $188,333 so far, or more than his state salary, to write a book about being governor.
The fee is his first installment on his advance from HarperCollins. The advance was reported in Cuomo’s 2013 tax returns shown to reporters on Tuesday as part of an Albany tradition for statewide officials. Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing wouldn’t release how much Cuomo...Read more »
ALBANY -- Business tax cuts in New York’s 2014-15 budget when in full effect are deep enough to improve the state’s business climate, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation think tank.
The business tax cuts to be phased in would move New York to the fourth best business tax climate from its current ranking as 25th.
The state’s overall ranking in term of taxation would also improve...Read more »
How 'bout them apples?
The NYPD's rank-and-file labor union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, is turning up the pressure on City Hall with newspaper ads like this.
The PBA's is just one of the 150-plus expired labor contracts the de Blasio administration must settle.
The ad states in part:
Since our contract expired in 2010, NYC police officers have continued to bring...Read more »
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Monday appointed Andrew Spano, who lost the Westchester County executive's office to Cuomo's Republican opponent, to the state Board of Elections.
As county executive, Spano's top deputy was Lawrence Schwartz, who is now Cuomo's chief of staff. The New York City suburbs from Westchester through Long Island are expected to be a major battleground in this year's...Read more »
Today’s announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio that the July Fourth Macy’s fireworks show would return to the East River, and even feature new launchings off the Brooklyn Bridge, had an obvious Brooklyn subtext.
De Blasio lives there, the first mayor in a generation to live in Brooklyn as an adult.
Other elected officials squinted in the very warm sun beside him on the Brooklyn Heights...Read more »
ALBANY _ The co-chairman of the now disbanded Moreland Commission on corruption chided lawmakers Monday for refusing to voluntarily disclose “what it is they do to earn lucrative outside income.”
That was “not an unreasonable request of a person purportedly entrusted with serving the public good,” said William Fitzpatrick, the Onondaga County district attorney and co-chairman appointed...Read more »
ALBANY -- Some Democrats aren’t allowing one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s toughest weeks in office to fade away.
Longtime Democratic consultant Blake Zeff wrote Monday in Capital New York that, “This time, Andrew Cuomo may be in some trouble.” He referred to last week’s stinging criticism of Cuomo from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The governor had abruptly shuttered his anti-corruption...Read more »