Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- A hard day’s night for Albany legislators
- Unforgettable, by Bill de Blasio
- Rudy Giuliani forgets
More money, more problems
A potential 47 percent pay raise for Albany legislators may turn into a litmus test in this year’s election contests.
Two senators in tight races — Democrat George Latimer and Republican Sue Serino — have already come out against the potential pay increase, months before a study commission makes its final recommendation, which is due in mid-November. One proposal before the Commission on Legislative, Judicial & Executive Compensation bumps legislators’ $79,500 base salary to $116,900. All 213 Senate and Assembly seats are on the ballot in November.
The raise would match the inflation rate in the 18 years since legislators had a pay increase. But that rationale isn’t convincing Mary Calamia, a Holbrook Republican who lost her challenge to Suffolk County Legis. William Lindsay III last fall. Calamia ran as a fiscal conservative. Last week, she launched an online petition to stop the Albany pay hikes. As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the petition had 9,966 signatures.
“In a year when we’ve seen nothing but corruption and scandal, and massive numbers of people leaving New York, 47 percent is a tad much, don’t you think?“ she said. “My goal was to make people aware this is happening.”
Calamia says she hasn’t decided whether she will run for office again ... but she is sitting out the current cycle.
No Brownie Points
“Forgotten No More”
That’s what Mayor Bill de Blasio was going to call the blog he wanted to create to detail everything he had done for Staten Island — the only borough that didn’t vote for him in 2013.
The idea never came to fruition. But that’s not to say Staten Island remains forgotten. De Blasio’s administration instead is using Twitter to promote Staten Island news, events, photos, and more, through the hashtag #OnStatenIsland. A quick look through Twitter shows a host of city agencies — from the Economic Development Corp. to the Fire Department — have used the hashtag. The mayor has promoted his own Staten Island appearances, too.
De Blasio’s relationship with Staten Island is complicated; it’s the most conservative of the five boroughs, and home to many NYPD officers. It’s even the site of one of de Blasio’s first faux pas — when he dropped Staten Island Chuck during the 2014 Groundhog Day ceremony.
De Blasio’s efforts to woo Staten Island are about more than a groundhog. But if he’s trying to get the borough to embrace him as he heads toward a re-election effort in 2017, it’ll take far more than a hashtag.
His approval rating in the borough, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, is just 19 percent.
Randi F. Marshall
Can you always get what you want?
- Donald Trump campaign’s continued playing of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at rallies has a little different resonance these days, doesn’t it?
- A Town of Oyster Bay spokeswoman said a Democratic candidate for State Assembly calling for a DA investigation into $2 million paid to former planning commissioner Frederick Ippolito by a town contractor seeking a property rezoning from Ippolito was “political grandstanding at its worst.” Which is not at all the same as corruption at its worst.
- The FBI is giving Congress some of its interview notes and copies of 110 messages containing classified information from its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and private server — and it says the information will not be made public. OK, OK, you can stop laughing now.
- A 9-year-old has won the title of “tastiest girl” at the Russian Mosquito Festival in recognition of the 43 mosquito bites she accumulated during the competition. Her prize: a ceramic cup. No, we’re not making this up.
- State Assemb. Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island plans to introduce a bill to exempt the cash awards Olympic medalists receive from state income taxes. No word on whether Malliotakis will seek to exempt cash awards to winners of science, math or other academic competitions.