News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
BloggersDan Janison Rick Brand Tom Brune Robert Brodsky Paul LaRocco Yancey Roy Celeste Hadrick
Rick Brand, a Newsday reporter for nearly three decades, writes about politics and government on Long Island.
The veteran reporter has covered a variety of assignments for Newsday in Washington, Albany and around the country and was part of the Long Island staff that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800.
During his career, Brand has been the paper’s lead reporter covering Suffolk county government, and spent three years as the paper’s beat reporter covering LILCO during the height of the controversy over the Shoreham nuclear power plant. He has also headed the paper’s East End bureau and even spent a summer doing a gossip column on the Hampton’s social whirl.
Brand had also worked several stints in Newsday’s Albany Bureau during the Carey and Cuomo administrations. He covered the upset victory of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Long Island’s first woman congresswoman, and the 1997 U.S. Senate battle between Alfonse D'Amato and Chuck Schumer and part of the marathon Senate campaign that led to the election of Hillary Clinton.
Before joining Newsday, Brand, a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, worked as news editor of Suffolk Life Newspapers and as a reporter for the Long Island News and the Buffalo Courier Express.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said Monday he raised $3.4 million since declaring his candidacy and has $2.4 million in the bank heading into the meat of the campaign.
By contrast, Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to announce he has $40 million to $50 million stockpiled. Candidates for statewide and state legislative offices must submit their fundraising and spending...Read more »
President Barack Obama's incumbency is showing clear signs of wear and tear as constituent groups within his own Democratic Party grow bolder in criticizing various White House policies.
On Friday, New Yorker Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers president and Democratic National Committee member, stood before her organization's convention in Los Angeles and said, "We are deeply...Read more »
After Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had it publicly demonstrated that Congress wouldn’t act in the Long Island Rail Road labor dispute, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer told NY1 News: “You didn’t need to be a PhD in political science to know that the House of Representatives would never help New York out of a strike situation.”
From that channel, here's Bob Hardt's take.
And contract talks are expected...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo could face a Fordham University professor in a Democratic primary — and benefit financially in one important way.
Zephyr Teachout, who says Cuomo favors corporations and the wealthy, said she has submitted 45,000 petition signatures to qualify for a gubernatorial primary, more than three times the minimum required. The Cuomo campaign hasn’t said yet if it will challenge...Read more »
A backer of Democratic State Senate contender Joseph Fritz has filed general objections over Adrienne Esposito’s nominating petitions, the first step toward trying to disqualify her from the ballot.
Rafaela Vazquez, fiance of former Suffolk Legis. Rick Montano, mailed the challenge application late last week and specifically requested copies of Esposito’s party authorization to run on the...Read more »
Giovanni Mata, one-time chair of former County Executive Steve Levy’s Hispanic advisory committee, has filed petitions to run a Democratic primary for a second time against Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood), a 12-year Albany veteran.
Mata, 34, filed by mail 590 signatures with the Suffolk Board of Elections, which arrived at the Yaphank offices Friday. Mata, of Brentwood,...Read more »
For the first time in more than 70 years, there is no Becker is at the helm of the Lynbrook Republican Party.
Nassau Legis. Francis X. Becker Jr., who has been GOP area leader in Lynbrook for nearly a decade, quietly stepped town from the post in late May in favor of Assemb. Brian Curran.
“It’s hard to let go there’s so much family history and tradition,” said Becker. “We called it the...Read more »
Suffolk Republicans don’t want to rub donors the wrong way.
So John Jay LaValle, Suffolk GOP chairman is offering free “on course massages” as part package of attractions like handrolled cigars, martini bars and wine tastings at a July 28 golf fundrasier at Baiting Hollow Country Club..
LaValle said the club has an on premise masseuse who will provide a “professional service” like is...Read more »
Emergency measures for a Long Island Rail Road Strike got a tentative airing today (see link below). But at least there are glimmers of promise that the mess can be avoided.
Latest from Newsday's main Web page:
As the MTA continues to evaluate the unions' latest counter-offer Friday, there were no communications between the parties as of late afternoon, according to one of the negotiators...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who agreed to throw his weight behind Senate Democrats, met quietly this week with the chamber's top Republican, Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), several sources said.
The governor and Skelos met Tuesday in New York City, sources said. Details of the discussion weren’t immediately available but one source said the get together was “interesting,...Read more »