Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Governor Cuomo’s leverage
- Late to the party
- Tune in to retiring Israel
Cuomo’s bargaining chip with the right
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo threw his lot in with State Senate Democrats this election season, but Republicans will keep their Senate majority — pending the count of absentee ballots in the 8th District.
Cuomo will have to work again with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who has blocked the governor’s ethics reforms. And Cuomo no longer has the leverage of good feelings he once did with Senate Republicans. Although he was careful to avoid promoting Democrats who were running against longtime Republican incumbents, those feelings are strained.
Cuomo could use the promise of a pay raise for legislators as a bargaining chip. On Wednesday, the State Commission on Legislative, Judicial & Executive Compensation postponed for the second time issuing a recommendation on whether lawmakers should receive a raise, and how much. A Cuomo appointee to the commission, Fran Reiter, requested the postponement beyond Nov. 15 — keeping legislators in suspense.
Will the GOP accept a raise in return for agreeing to pass tighter ethics laws for lawmakers? Or is that an ethical violation in and of itself?
Partying with a new party
One of Nassau County’s newest Democrats, County Comptroller George Maragos, schmoozed with activists at the party’s Westbury Manor gathering on election night. Maragos left the Republican Party in September, saying he would seek the Democratic nomination for county executive next year.
However, at the end of the evening, it was another potential county executive candidate — Chuck Lavine, who had just won re-election to the Assembly — who appeared on the platform with county party chairman Jay Jacobs and State Senate Democratic leaders Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Michael Gianaris, who were hoping for a bigger celebration.
Meanwhile, Republicans might be locking in on a candidate. With County Executive Edward Mangano under federal indictment for corruption, Jack Martins appears to be on the short list of possible candidates. Martins left his safe seat in the State Senate to run in the 3rd Congressional District, but lost that race Tuesday. In any case, he drew praise from Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello.
In the two months since Maragos put the “D” next to his name, Mangano seems more unlikely to be the GOP candidate, and a stronger one has emerged.
Burying the button
Must-watch TV (and movies)
Steve Israel is retiring from Congress, but he still seems to be popping up everywhere, including on Turner Classic Movies.
On Monday, the Democrat will be the network’s guest programmer. He picked three political favorites and one “just for fun” selection.
His picks: “The Candidate,” a realistic look at the electioneering process filmed in 1972; Frank Capra’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” a 1939 Jimmy Stewart classic about a normal man sent to the U.S. Senate who, beset by corrupt politicians, takes a stand and makes a filibuster; and “The Best Man,” a 1964 Henry Fonda vehicle about two men fighting it out for their party’s presidential nomination.
His nonpolitical pick is “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House,” a Cary Grant-Myrna Loy pairing about a family’s disastrous attempt to move from their cramped New York City digs to a country home in Connecticut.
Beyond finishing up his second novel, Israel hasn’t said what he will do come January. So, he’ll have a lot more time to sit on the couch with the remote.
Be back Monday
The Point will be off Friday for Veterans Day, but will be back in your inboxes Monday afternoon.