Spin Cycle

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

Hochul's low profile earns jabs from left and right

Gov Andrew Cuomo introduces running mate, Kathy Hochul,

(Credit: Barry Sloan)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s running mate is getting criticized from the left and the right for her so-far low profile in the statewide campaign.

Cuomo foes – liberals and conservatives – say the governor is keeping his running mate, former Buffalo-area congresswoman Kathy Hochul, out of the spotlight in part because her views clash with Cuomo’s on immigration and gun control. Cuomo says the...

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New York becomes 23rd state to allow medical marijuana

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, seated,

(Credit: Charles Eckert)

Once an opponent of medical marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ceremonially signed a new law Monday that makes New York the 23rd state to approve the drug for medicinal purposes.

Cuomo actually signed the law Saturday and held a news conference Monday to highlight the program.

"There is no doubt medical marijuana can help people," said the Democrat, who is facing Republican Rob Astorino...

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Klein, Koppell say they've filed petitions for key Senate primary

Senate co-leader Jeff Klein and rival Oliver Koppell filed petitions Monday to square off in a key Democrat primary in September.

 Klein (D-Bronx) said he's filed more than 9,000 petitions signatures - three times the number needed to get on the ballot. Koppell said he's filed 5,000. The district straddles Bronx and Westchester counties.

 Candidates have to file petition signatures...

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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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State Legislature approves Grumman plume bill

Senator Charles Schumer holds a press conference on

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

State lawmakers have approved a bill that orders the Department of Environmental Conservation to outline a plan to contain a toxic waste site in Bethpage.

The site centers on contaminated underground plumes traced to aircraft manufacturing operations by the U.S. Navy and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., now Northrop Grumman.

The bill was one of slew of measures approved last week...

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Legislature approves controversial transfer of Freeport Armory

State senators gave final approval to a bill

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

State senators gave final approval to a bill early Friday that would transfer the old Freeport Armory to a church-affiliated nonprofit group backed by Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead).

And in a related bill, legislative officials said a proposal to overhaul Nassau County’s commercial property tax grievance system was expected to be approved before lawmakers adjourned for the summer on...

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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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Sweeney bill to crack down on ivory trade set to be approved

Assemb. Robert Sweeney, chairman of the Assembly Environmental

(Credit: Philip Kamrass)

Amid the last-minute flurry of legislative activity, New York lawmakers have agreed to a new law to crack down on the illegal trade of ivory and rhinoceros horns -- a bill championed by retiring Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst).

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said action was needed because “New York is a leading market in the world for illegal ivory sales.”

In 2012,...

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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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