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.
In his first day of his campaign for governor, Republican Rob Astorino gained the important personal endorsement of state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long.
The Conservative Party line has been essential for Republicans seeking statewide office in the state dominated by Democratic voters.
“I am personally endorsing him,” Long told Newsday after standing with Astorino at his campaign...Read more »
ALBANY -- Republican Rob Astorino jumped into the race for Governor Wednesday, saying he'll challenge Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Astorino, the Westchester County executive, harshly criticized Cuomo in an online video announcement, saying the Democrat has been "dividing" New Yorkers. He accused the incumbent of painting a rosy and false picture of the state's economic direction.
"I'm...Read more »
ALBANY -- The Assembly was expected to defy Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Wednesday by passing a bill to delay teacher evaluations under the new Common Core curriculum for two years.
The bill, however, faced uncertain support in the Senate and strong opposition by Cuomo, who would have to sign it.
Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said Wednesday that the issue won’t even be considered...Read more »
Nassau Off-Track Betting Corp. plans on issuing about $3 million in bonds in March to cover some unexpected expenses and revenue shortfalls created by the snowy winter, OTB President Joe Cairo told Newsday in a recent interview.
“Our handle has been badly hit by the snow,” Cairo said, referring to the amount of bets handled at OTB outlets. He said OTB has lost 11 business days due to storms...Read more »
ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said a space “crisis” in New York City schools should be fixed before Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo helps secure space for charter schools.
Silver noted Cuomo hasn’t identified any funding to back up his promise to provide the resources, space and support needed for charter schools to thrive and grow. However, Silver stopped short of saying he would oppose...Read more »
As reported here by Newsday’s Michael Gormley, irascible Buffalonian Carl Paladino, who lost a landslide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo four years ago, says of newly declared GOP candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester executive, that the latter cannot and will not win.
Paladino added: “Nevertheless if (Donald) Trump does not run and Astorino does denounce the RINOs and purge them from the party,...Read more »
Nassau’s control board meets Monday and there still is no agreement on whether it will lift or extend a three-year wage freeze, which expires March 14.
After coming close to a deal, labor leaders have balked at what they say is a demand by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority that county unions give up their state court challenge to the legality of the freeze.
If county unions win the...Read more »
ALBANY -- 2010 Republican nominee for governor Carl Paladino said Wednesday that GOP candidate Rob Astorino can’t beat Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“I don’t feel he can or will win,” Paladino told Newsday. The Buffalo millionaire wouldn’t say whether he would challenge Astorino, but said Astorino must purge moderate Republicans who Paladino calls "RINOs" -- Republican in name only.
Astorino,...Read more »
ALBANY -- Two powerful Democratic leaders are pushing bills that would provide paid family leave for workers struck by serious illness, to take care of sick relatives, or for the birth or adoption of a child.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) released his majority conference’s package of bills on Wednesday. It includes a measure that would require employers to purchase paid family...Read more »
Heading into this new election season, a union that regularly contributes to political campaigns suddenly finds itself swamped in the New Jersey-based scandal over those now-infamous George Washington Bridge lane closings.
The political implications of this span the Hudson River. In New York, the union, the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, donated tens of thousands of dollars...Read more »