Spin Cycle

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

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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In 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 CD: Rice war chest 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 SD: 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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