Spin Cycle

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

Powerful union pushes for wage benefit in state budget

Tucked into the state budget is a proposal that would give a salary boost to workers affiliated with New York’s most powerful health-care union.

  Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union is lobbying lawmakers to include a passage in the state budget that would set a “standard wage” for nursing home employees.

   The union says the provision is necessary...

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Election absurdity: NYS board upholds non-existent NYC 'remedy'

The Alice-in-Wonderland-like annals of election-law laxity have a new chapter, courtesy of the New York City Citizens Union. Today, the Citizens Union reports, the state Board of Elections “has closed an ‘investigation' ” into an Assembly member that “it never conducted.”

Sixteen months ago, the nonprofit good-government group filed a complaint to New York City’s election board regarding court...

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Liberals consider dumping Cuomo, weigh alternate candidate

The Working Families Party, which pushes a progressive platform, is wrestling over whether to endorse a governor who calls himself progressive.

WFP committee members aired their grievances against Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a lengthy conference call Tuesday with many “urging leadership to look for alternate candidates,” participants said.

The labor-backed party endorsed Cuomo in...

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Rep. Greg Meeks to face Democratic primary; no GOP opponent yet

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, seen on May 11,

(Credit: Steven Sunshine)

Rep. Gregory Meeks, whose Southeast Queens district stretches into western Nassau, will face a Democratic primary on June 24 but the winner is unlikely to face a Republican opponent.

Joe Marthone, an account and community organizer for tenants in Rochdale Village, has announced that he will challenge Meeks, a Democrat who has served eight terms in Congress. Marthone was one of three primary...

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Advocates bash idea of constitutional amendment on campaign-finance

Good-government groups, pressing lawmakers to back publicly financed political campaigns, issued a report Tuesday saying Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was the biggest beneficiary of the state’s weak campaign-contribution regulations.

  The groups also said lawmakers shouldn’t duck the issue of publicly financed campaigns by asking voters to decide in a statewide referendum – one of many ideas...

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DiNapoli, Schneiderman announce arrests in public integrity case

ALBANY -- The state is accusing two Long Island contractors of filing false bills then doubling and tripling them in a scheme to steal from taxpayers, said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

DiNapoli and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accuse the operators of Classic Air Conditioning Corp., of Eastport, and AM/PM Supply Corp., of Maspeth. in the case involving $200,000 in public money.


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Nassau man claims Cuomo gun law is unconstitutional

A Nassau County man has filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other state officials, claiming the strict gun law the state adopted in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre is unconstitutional.

Lawyers for Gabriel Razzano, a Freeport resident, filed the claim in U.S. District Court on Monday. Razzano claims the law, dubbed the “Safe Act” by Cuomo, violated his Second...

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In private 'horse trading,' Albany close to spending $142B in public money

ALBANY -- Legislative leaders emerged Tuesday from their latest closed-door negotiations with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proclaiming great progress on the state budget due Monday, but providing no details.

“I think we have tremendous progress, we are moving along, we are breaking down the major issues,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos (R-Rockville...

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GOP chair Cox sets out argument against NYC-style campaign board

GOP chairman Ed Cox said in an op-ed

Recently in this space we described the lawsuit by former NYC comptroller John Liu against the Campaign Finance Board, which charges essentially that the board crushed his campaign by wrongfully denying him matching funds.

Rarely does attorney Richard Emery, who's often allied with progressive causes and is representing Liu, sound a similar message to that of the state Republican Party. But...

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Silver: Dream Act, tax credit deal discussed

ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said a deal has been discussed in closed-door budget negotiations which could approve an education tax credit for donations to charter and private schools in exchange for approval of the Dream Act.

But Silver (D-Manhattan) said he's not sure that deal is "viable," even though he supports the Dream Act to provide college financial aid to children of...

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