Spin Cycle

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

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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Syracuse mayor says she'll quit as state Dem co-chair

ALBANY - Stephanie Miner tells Newsday she is resigning as chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.

The Syracuse Mayor said her decision has nothing to do with her disagreements with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Miner says that she feels she had a successful two-year run as co-chairwoman of the state party. She says it is now time for her to step aside and for the party to move on.

Miner famously...

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Nassau legislative leader declines to meet over sales taxes

Nassau’s presiding officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) says it is too soon to call a meeting of the county legislature’s Budget Review Committee to examine dropping sales tax revenues.

In a letter Thursday to Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), Gonsalves said “No real trend can be determined until at least the middle of May” in regard to county sales taxes.

Abrahams had...

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C.D. 4: Blakeman enters NRCC 'Young Guns' program

GOP candidate Bruce Blakeman leaves a news conference

(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Thursday that 4th District hopeful Bruce Blakeman has qualified for the first stage of its program that highlights and promotes priority candidates. 

Blakeman, of Long Beach, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, is running to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). He has the backing of the county...

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Haber gets backing of United Food and Commercial Workers

Adam Haber announces his run for the New

(Credit: Chris Ware)

Businessman Adam Haber, the Democratic candidate in the 7th Senate district, was endorsed Thursday by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 -- his first union endorsement of the campaign.

Haber, who last year lost a Democratic primary for Nassau County executive, is challenging Republican Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) in November.

“As I fight to make state government...

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Basil A. Paterson (1926-2014)

Basil A. Paterson was a pioneer in African-American

(Credit: Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein)

ALBANY -- Basil A. Paterson, the father of former Gov. David A. Paterson and one of the pioneering lions of Harlem politics, died Wednesday night, according to a spokesman for his son.

He was 87.

"Basil was well known throughout the community as a man of action, as someone who set his mind to accomplishments and always met those goals," the former governor said in a statement. "He was...

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Suffolk's Bellone backs higher minimum wages but stops short on local rates

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone supports raising the minimum wage at the federal and state level, but balked at a labor proposal that would give local governments autonomy to raise wages during a community forum in Brentwood on Wednesday night organized by a coalition of progressive, labor and minority groups.

Bellone told about 100 people in the audience at the Brentwood Public Library...

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State court upholds SAFE Act; says there's no 'absolute' right to own a firearm

A Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the weapon believed to

(Credit: AP)

ALBANY -- A state judge has ruled that New York's 2013 gun control law is constitutional because there is no "absolute" right to own a firearm.

The activist who lost the decision promised to appeal what he sees as a state law that infringes on the right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara cited a civil rights law that said the U.S. Constitution's...

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State court says SAFE Act gun control law is constitutional

ALBANY -- A state court has ruled that New York’s 2013 gun control law is constitutional and not an infringement on constitutional rights.

The decision in state Supreme Court in Albany is a blow to activist Robert Schulz who argued Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s centerpiece legislation violated the right to bear arms.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara ruled that the U.S. and state...

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