The Lede: Gun Play, Ground Zero, Charity Work

Excessive compensation.

"I was taking a risk by being unwilling to call the President a socialist."

Stu Loeser's argument: "If nonpartisan elections were in effect then, New York may well have had Mayor Ferrer instead of Mayor Bloomberg."

Rangel won't say if he signed a plea deal.

Rangel defends a troubled non-profit he helps fund.

Rep. Mike Arcuri distances himself from Rangel.

Schedule mystery: "[Deputy Mayor Patti] Harris, along with two City Hall aides, were chauffeured in a city-owned Buick Lucerne to the foundation's $45 million Beaux Arts six-story mansion at 25 E. 78th St.

Gunplay in Harlem leaves two cops injured.

It's A1 in the Times.

Douthat: "The lifelong commitment of a gay couple is more impressive than the serial monogamy of straights."

The Times calls a constitutional convention to fix Albany "a distraction."

Lazio pushes the Islamic center issue.

Hertzberg: "Nationally, opposition to Park51 is rapidly becoming a matter of Republican discipline and conservative orthodoxy."

The Post hits Bloomberg for his defense of the project.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver doesn't agree with Bloomberg on the issue.

Reforming Albany is Ed Koch's "last hurrah."

Andrew Cuomo declined to be interviewed about his mom.

Cuomo also declined to speak about his daughters.

John Kerry, seriously.

$12.5 million in member items in the state budget.

Lovett: "In all, nearly $13.5 million for 666 local projects approved in last year's budget were paid by the state since the beginning of last month, according to a Gannett News Service report."

An Assembly candidate says she's not really a lobbyist.

Wrobleski finds a conspiracy theory behind the "Jewish money" story.

Dadey and Avlon want two-terms for city officials, except City Council members.

Lisberg: "Bloomberg is principled about freedom when it comes to religion, but practical about freedom when it comes to crimefighting."

Rep. Ed Towns evolves on the war.

Live debate on hydrofracking, on August 12.

State Senator Tom Libous: "Yeah, OK, state government came to a standstill, but the way I look at it -- we stopped them from taxing more and spending more."

Reisman: "The number of tax credits due to be received by businesses in the 2010-11 fiscal year will be sharply reduced from $550 million to $50 million."

AGNY candidate Sean Coffey's tax returns.

And Coffey's political donations raise questions of pay to play access.