Good Evening
Good Evening

Political chatter

Then-Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner speaks during a roundtable

Then-Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner speaks during a roundtable discussion on manufacturing in Syracuse on April 1, 2016. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point! To subscribe, click here.

Daily Point

A math problem

Less than two weeks before the June 26 federal primary, Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory reported having just $12,358 in the bank in federal campaign filings. Gregory had raised just more than $132,000 in this campaign cycle as he seeks the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.

Meanwhile, his opponent for the nomination, Liuba Grechen Shirley, reported nearly $143,000 in cash, and had raised $462,128 in her grass-roots campaign, according to the federal filings.

Of course, neither comes close to King, who has more than $3 million. He has raised more than $800,000 in this campaign season alone.

Two years ago, when Gregory ran against King, Gregory held nearly four times as much cash as he has now — about $47,000 as of the 2016 pre-primary filing. But that time around, he didn’t have competition for the Democratic nod, never mind from a tenacious opponent.

Grechen Shirley has relied on full-color mailers showcasing her children, meetings in the living rooms of women who never before got involved in politics, and a full press of canvassers.

If she wins, will she get the big influx of funds needed against the formidable King?

Randi F. Marshall and Sam Guzik

Talking Point

Another hat in the race for governor

Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced Monday she is kicking off an independent run in New York’s gubernatorial race, adding to the intrigue springing up on the left side of the fight. Browsing voters, though, may need miner’s hats to find her line on the ballot, assuming her petition drive is successful.

To get on the ballot under the Serve America Movement label she is touting, Miner needs to gather 15,000 signatures overall, and must include at least 100 each from at least half of New York’s 27 congressional districts. The petition period for the general election starts July 10.

And while that’s doable if the one-time ally and recent foe of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has the money to spend, the position it would place her on the ballot would be likely to diminish her chances.

In New York gubernatorial races, the ballot order for party lines is set by the finish in the previous race. In 2014, the finishing order was:





Working Families


Women’s Equality

Stop Common Core (now the Reform Party).

Miner, and the candidacy of Libertarian Larry Sharpe, assuming both make the ballot, would come in at 9 and 10 after those entries.

Whose name will be on at least one of those lines is increasingly unclear. Marc Molinaro has the Republican, Conservative and Reform nods. Cuomo is expected to easily beat actress Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic line, and he will have the Independence and Women’s Equality lines as well. Howie Hawkins is the Green returning to the scene, after garnering more than 250,000 votes in 2014.

Nixon has the Working Families Party, but there is intrigue. Why is Miner really getting into this slog? She doesn’t have any beef with Nixon, and recently dined with the “Sex and the City” alum and their two spouses. So what’s the play? Will Nixon, who’s been taking a lot of bruises in this race, really stay on the WFP line if/when she loses the Democratic primary?

The political chatter is that so many lefties in the race would make things easier for Molinaro, but that might be a shallow take on a governor who plays a very deep political game. With more than four months until Election Day, there are still plenty of twists and turns to come.

Lane Filler

Pencil Point

Making North Korea Great Again

Quick Points


  • Commenting on the LIRR’s Belmont Stakes day delays, president Phillip Eng said riders “deserve nothing less than reliable train service and accurate communications.” With all due respect, LIRR riders have known that for decades.
  • After President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t sign a “moderate” compromise immigration bill being discussed in the House, White House officials said he had misspoken and did not realize he was being asked about that bill. Really? The only other bill being discussed in the House is the harsher, more conservative bill he’s been touting.
  • Which revelation is the least surprising? 1) Donald Trump adviser and dirty trickster Roger Stone took a meeting during the 2016 campaign with a man offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. 2) Stone and Trump campaign official Michael Caputo did not disclose the meeting to congressional investigators. 3) Both men now say they were set up by FBI officials hostile to Trump. Or was it perhaps this one? Stone declined the offer and its $2 million price tag, saying that Trump doesn’t pay for anything.
  • President Donald Trump says Democrats are responsible for the policy of separating children from immigrant parents crossing the border. He’s right, if what he means is that they stayed home in large enough numbers on Election Day to allow him to be elected and set immigration policy.
  • Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is beset by numerous ethics investigations, but is holding on to his job, Washington insiders say, because he’s exhibited great loyalty to President Donald Trump. But as many others no longer in their jobs can attest, it wasn’t their loyalty in the end that mattered.
  • First lady Melania Trump said through a spokeswoman that she hates to see children separated from families at the border and hopes “both sides of the aisle” come together for immigration reform. A perfectly sensible comment, except that only one side of the aisle is responsible for the separations.
  • With Mexico upending defending champion Germany, Portugal’s Ronaldo single-handedly forcing a 3-3 tie with Spain, and tiny Iceland tying Argentina, 1-1, is anyone really missing the United States at the World Cup?

Michael Dobie