Spin Cycle

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

Assembly speaker's outside salary at private law firm soars

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver attends

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's earnings at a private law firm rose significantly in 2013, according to newly filed financial disclosures.

Silver (D-Manhattan) was paid between $650,000 and $750,000 as an attorney at Weitz and Luxenberg, a large personal injury firm in Manhattan. In 2012, Silver reported getting between $350,000 to $450,000 from the law firm.

Combined with...

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Stewart-Cousins: Democrats' reunification talks began 'weeks ago'

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Friday that secret negotiations to reunify Democratic factions in the state Senate began weeks ago.

The five-member Independent Democratic Conference, in a joint statement with Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, announced Wednesday that it plans to drop its affiliation with Republicans and rejoin the mainline Democrats, a move that could shift...

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Amid Senate chatter, Klein, de Blasio meet

 With elections looming, State Senate co-leader Jeff Klein met Monday with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, sparking speculation about the future of Klein’s group of breakaway Democrats.

  Klein (D-Bronx) and his five-member Independent Democratic Conference share Senate power with 29 Republicans, including Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). Klein is facing pressure...

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In a switch, Skelos will vote in favor of medical marijuana

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) at the

(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

In a switch, the state Legislature's top Republican said he will vote in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), talking with reporters at around midnight Thursday, said the bill contains the restrictions he wanted to see -- especially a ban on smokable forms of medical marijuana, which he said could be diverted for nonmedical purposes.

“I...

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Advocates criticize Cuomo's delays on medical marijuana

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is trying to kill

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is trying to kill a proposal to legalize medical marijuana by throwing out last-minute demands and delaying negotiations during the final days of the 2014 legislative session, advocates said Wednesday.

"He's stalling. He's stalling it out," said Missy Miller, an Atlantic Beach resident who traveled to Albany accompanied by her son, Oliver, 14, who has a severe...

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GOP feud erupts between Astorino, Skelos forces

  A Republican feud broke out Tuesday between Senate Republicans who say the state is turning around and a spokesman for the party’s gubernatorial candidate who says New York ranks last in too many economic categories.

  The nasty exchange sprouted a day earlier when William F.B. O’Reilly, an advisor to GOP gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino, referred to Senate co-leader Dean Skelos...

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Astorino makes more Nassau stops

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino continues to visit Nassau GOP clubs even though the county party’s support as a whole has been less than overwhelming.

Some local Republicans speculate that Astorino is trying to take advantage of a possible chink in the relationship between Nassau Republicans and Democratic Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville...

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