Spin Cycle

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

Green Party candidate for NY governor calls for $15-an-hour minimum wage

Howie Hawkins is the Green Party candidate for

(Credit: Facebook)

ALBANY -- A night shift truck driver on Wednesday announced his candidacy as the Green Party candidate for governor by calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Howie Hawkins of Syracuse announced his latest candidacy for governor on a platform of a “New Green Deal” aimed at helping the working poor. The platform is based on President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression.

Hawkins...

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More petition filings in LI congressional races

Both Republican contenders in the First Congressional District filed petitions Tuesday to wage a GOP primary June 24 for the right to challenge Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) in November.

George Demos, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer, filed 4,482 signatures to qualify for the ballot, while state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), the GOP’s congressional designee, filed about...

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Nassau OTB widens search for mini-casino property

An unidentified man reads a betting sheet in

(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Nassau's Off-Track Betting Corp. is casting a wider net in its efforts to purchase property to construct a mini-casino with 1,000 electronic slot machines.

Tuesday, OTB released a Request for Statements of Interest, soliciting commercial property owners who would be interested in selling their land to the agency.

OTB officials plan to equip the new facility with at least 1,000 video...

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Maragos missing from meeting on new union pacts

Nassau Comptroller George Maragos did not attend Monday’s special legislative meeting in which county lawmakers were asked to approve union agreements that would lift a three-year wage freeze even though he issued an analysis of the deals a week earlier.

Usually, on items expected to have a large impact on county finances, the county administration presents its view, the comptroller gives...

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NY’s Legislature adjourns for longer break after passing budget

ALBANY -- If Mark Twain was right that no one’s “life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session,” then New Yorkers are safe this spring break from Albany.

The Senate last met on the night of March 31, congratulating each other for passing a fourth on-time budget. They aren’t due back in session until at least April 23.

That includes calling off the April 1-2...

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Candidates file petitions in congressional races

Republican-backed candidates Bruce Blakeman and Grant Lally have filed petitions to get on the ballot for what are expected to be GOP primaries.

Blakeman, former Nassau legislative presiding officer, filed nominating petitions with 15,304 signatures, far more than the 1,250 required in the 4th Congressional District, where he seeking the seat held by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), who...

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DiNapoli says he won't join new system of public campaign financing

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli addresses the

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

ALBANY -- State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Monday he will not participate in New York's new system of public financing of campaigns, which he doesn't consider true reform and which a good-government advocate called a "sham."

"The pilot program for public financing of the comptroller election is a poor excuse to avoid the real reforms New Yorkers deserve," DiNapoli said. "I was always...

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Association for a Better Long Island wants Adrienne Esposito to quit planning board

The Association for a Better Long Island is calling on Adrienne Esposito, an environmentalist running for the State Senate, to resign as a member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission.

“You cannot have an individual running for public office that's part of a commission that makes public policy decisions related to land use,“ said Desmond Ryan, executive director of the group, which lobbies...

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says medical marijuana has 'no future' this session, then seeks to clarify

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver appeared to throw cold water Monday on the prospects of the State Legislature legalizing medical marijuana; though an aide later said the speaker wasn't implying the issue was dead but was focusing on the State Senate’s inaction.

Silver (D-Manhattan) and the Democrat-dominated Assembly support medical marijuana but indicated its prospects weren’t great because...

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State replaces company managing Sandy rebuilding grants

 ALBANY – The Cuomo administration has hired a new company to help get superstorm Sandy rebuilding grants to New Yorkers, a state official confirmed Monday.

  IEM, a North Carolina-based security consulting firm will supplant ProSource Technologies of Minneapolis as the case manager for thousands of state residents looking for rebuilding aid. IEM will take over April 21 with a 15-month,...

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