Spin Cycle

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Rick Brand

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.

On the public landscape, LIPA lives - if in lesser ways

LIPA remains part of the power scene.

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

The Long Island Power Authority has yet to vanish.

True, its role is sharply diminished by a new state law enacted last year. Yes, it has officially become subordinate in key ways to PSEG Long Island, now the Island's electricity operator, as part of what policymakers call a "hybrid" privatization.

Just the same, the pared-down LIPA, under new management, keeps cropping up in Nassau...

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4th C.D.: Rice warchest gets boost from Yankees, Mets execs

Congressional candidate Kathleen Rice, the Nassau district attorney, is covering all her bases when it comes to support from New York’s pro baseball teams.

Out of $1.47 million in campaign contributions collected through March, Rice received $2,600 from Yankees president Randy Levine and $4,000 from Sterling Equities, the Great Neck firm run by Mets executives Fred Wilpon, his son, Jeff Wilpon,...

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In governor race, Astorino gives it a pitch en Español

Top of the Nov. ballot is likely to

(Credit: AP/ Mike Groll)

Republicans expected to be at the top of the party’s ticket this fall have signaled that they pushing to woo Hispanic voters, a road the party hasn’t traveled much since the days of ex-Gov. George “Jorge” Pataki.

  Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, earlier this year, addressed a Bronx crowd in Spanish during his kickoff announcement and attended Somos el Futuro, the annual gathering...

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8th S.D.: Nassau Dem chair says he won't pu$h Denenberg bid

Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs says he is withholding his personal support and fundraising for Legis. David Denenberg’s bid for State Senate because of the Merrick Democrat’s recent vote in favor of an amended police contract when the party position was to abstain.

The party will continue its support of Denenberg’s effort to win the South Shore Senate seat vacated by Republican Charles...

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Dem ex-mayor had cross-party lift for $190G Garden City post

Reps. King and Israel helped push ex-Glen Cove

(Credit: James Escher)

Former Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi, a registered Democrat, had some high- powered references when he was hired last month to be the $190,000-a-year village administrator for Republican-controlled Garden City.

Not only did Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) recommend Suozzi but so did a conservative Republican, Rep. Peter King of Seaford.

“I am pleased to give former Glen Cove City...

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Top Suffolk Dem hopes for cross-party deal on judgeship

The state has created 20 new family court judgeships and Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer hopes at least one new judicial seat in the county might pave the way to save County Court Judge Barbara Kahn.

Republicans and Conservatives are eyeing Brookhaven Town Board member Tim Mazzei and District Court Judge Philip Goglas for County Court, but Schaffer hopes that the new Family Court...

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1st C.D.: Bishop's man challenges Green Party candidate's petitions

Jason Strom, the Green Party candidate for the first congressional district, is facing a challenge on his nominating petitions.

Keith David, deputy campaign manager for Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), filed specific objection with the Suffolk Board of Elections Friday challenging all the signatures and raised other objections to the petitions. Court papers are also expected to be filed sometime...

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Schumer IRS filing: The numbers

Sen. Charles Schumer disclosed his IRS filing last

(Credit: AP)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his wife Iris, a CUNY vice chancellor, will be getting a federal tax refund of $4,232, according to their 2013 IRS filing posted on the senator's official website. The couple reported $367,607 in wages and an adjusted gross income of $370,545. They paid $91,146 in federal taxes – a 24.6 percent rate.

Schumer is not considered...

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Straw campaign donor mastermind caught on tape on L.I.

Several of the secretly taped incriminating conversations by hotel magnate Sant Singh Chatwal that led him to admit illegally funneling $180,000 in campaign contributions through straw donors took place on Long Island, court records show.

Chatwal, 70, who owns the Chatwal and Dreams hotels and Bombay Palace restaurants, is a major Democratic donor and a big supporter...

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Nassau OTB extends deadline in search for gaming site

Nassau’s Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation has extended the deadline for bidders interested in selling their property to the agency to construct a mini-casino with 1,000 electronic slot machines

Property owners will now have until May 30 to respond to a Request for Statements of Interest issued by Nassau OTB earlier this month, soliciting commercial property owners who would be interested...

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