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Andrew Cuomo

The Empire

Cuomo talks tax cap in new video

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Governor's office released a video today of Andrew Cuomo speaking directly to New Yorkers about the tax cap enacted earlier this year in Albany.

In his message, the Governor touted the work he and state legislators did to enact the cap. The video below comes a week after business and government groups called on state government to pass a series of mandate reliefs to help ease the burden of a tax cap.

A number of local governments are trying to get budgets passed that override the cap. The governor appears to be pushing voters to directly engage local governments to justify their spending and to see the cap as a tool for voters.

If you want to raise taxes, you can raise taxes. If you want to lower taxes, you can lower the taxes. If you want to live within the cap, or be below the cap, it's all your choice; but you decide, the people decide, not the politicians, that's the way it's supposed to be. ... I urge you to be there when your local government's budget is being debated. Attend the school board meetings. Ask your elected officials about their spending choices, talk to them about the cost of the bureaucracy and inefficiencies, ask them if their community should consider consolidating with other communities or sharing services to find economies of scale.

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The Empire

Lovin' the Gov'na: voters continue to give Cuomo high marks

Friday, November 04, 2011

Courtsey of the Governor's office

Governor Andrew Cuomo continues his string of good poll numbers. A NY1/YNN-Marist Poll released today says 55 percent of New York voters say the Governor is doing a good or excellent job. According to the poll 70 percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable impression of Cuomo.

“Governor Cuomo is successfully navigating against a difficult economic current,” Lee Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said in a statement. “What makes his numbers particularly impressive is his popularity despite the anti-government, anti-incumbent sentiment in our politics today.”

Case in point: Only about 20 percent of voters think either the Assembly or the State Senate is doing an excellent or good job.

Part of the Governor's popularity is likely stemming from the impression voters have that he's kept his campaign promises, with 65 percent of those surveyed saying he did. His ability to connect word and deed in the voters eyes helping his image as an Albany reformer (63 percent say he's changing the capital for the better) who is the right sort of leader for the state (75 percent).

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The Empire

Pre-gaming the remaining redistricting process

Friday, November 04, 2011

This week marked the end of the first round of meetings of LATFOR, the joint legislative committee responsible for drawing New York’s political lines. More than 400 people from across the state testified, providing hundreds of hours of comments for legislators to take into account.

So now what?

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The Empire

Three reasons Cuomo won't back down on the millionaires' tax (and one reason he might)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Update at the bottom.

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

It’s possibly the biggest issue facing Governor Andrew Cuomo heading into the next legislative session: the so-called “millionaires’” tax. Cuomo has held his ground against a growing chorus—including the leader of the Assembly, Speaker Sheldon Silver—that’s making the Governor’s opposition a real issue. The Occupation movement has changed everything, pitting the Democratic governor against protesters who are backed by major public support for extending the tax.

But there are three good reasons why Cuomo won’t back down—and a big one that could change his mind.

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The Empire

Cuomo delays state's fiscal reporting

Friday, November 04, 2011

By Karen DeWitt, New York Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

Governor Cuomo’s budget office delayed releasing its annual mid-year budget report and future financial forecast. They cited uncertainties over the European debt crisis and delays in collection of some business taxes due to two hurricanes that hit the state in late summer for the delay.

The governor’s budget office planned to hold preliminary hearings on next year’s state spending plan during the first week of November. But the hearings have been postponed, as have the mid-year budget report and financial forecast.

“There are a number of factors that we’re weighing, there’s significant volatility in the market right now,” said Cuomo. “We want to make sure we have the best information possible, because we’re going to start to make real decisions based on this information.”

Those decisions include how much to spend on key programs like school aid and health care, the largest portions of the budget. After Cuomo and the state legislature cut $10 billion dollars in last year’s budget, they promised they would increase spending on schools and health programs by 4% in the next budget.

In addition, the cost of two devastating hurricanes that hit New York in late summer have yet to be tallied, says the state budget office. Cuomo estimates the total cost at more than a billion dollar, and granted business affected by flooding from the storms a delay in filing their quarterly state income taxes. Payments due September 15th were not received until November 1st.

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WNYC News

Disabled Residents Plead Their Case To Get More Accessible Cabs

Thursday, November 03, 2011

WNYC

A meeting among taxi industry stakeholders is taking place at the Governor's office on Friday, as he considers whether to sign the Bloomberg administration's 5 Borough Taxi Plan. Disabled New Yorkers say they're optimistic that in the process Governor Andrew Cuomo will help make the city's taxi fleet more accessible.

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The Empire

The EPA puts another piece in play in the ongoing battle over hydrofracking in NY

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hydrofracking advocates, in their request for the state to slow down its environmental review of the process, have used the Environmental Protection Agency’s own review as a reason to put on the breaks. More specifically, the EPA has been saying it will look into the overall process of hydraulic fracturing to weigh in on the procedure’s environmental impacts. Advocates are hoping the results, when they come, would make the case for slowing approval for or halting the natural gas extraction process all together in New York.

Up until now, the EPA piece was just something that could happen. But today the agency announced its time frame for reviewing the whole shebang. In a press release, EPA said the initial findings and results of the study, requested by members of Congress back in 2010, will be released to the public in 2012.

Upstate New York Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who pushed for the study, applauded the EPA’s announcement earlier today, saying, “Our country is in the middle of shale gas rush, but unbiased, scientific research into hydraulic fracturing is almost non-existent. This EPA study will provide invaluable information to the public and policy makers interested in understanding the impact of hydraulic fracturing on our water resources."

Environmental groups are hoping the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation and the Governor’s office are taking note.

“This gives Speaker Silver and other people who have been calling on the state to slow the rush to drill another way of saying, but wait, we've got information coming," said Katherine Nadeau, the Water & Natural Resources Program Director for Environmental Advocates for New York. “It’s not saying we should just wait until kingdom come. It’s saying we should wait until we've got the information we need to make informed decisions.

“I’m hopeful that the Department of Environmental Conservation and Governor Cuomo will take this into account when we're evaluating our proposed program [in New York].”

DEP has been under fire from advocates for what they’re calling a rushed process of review that could see fracking permits handed out as early as next year. Recently the agency’s head said there’s no timetable for approving the process in New York State. Through a spokesperson, the agency released the following statement:

DEC has been studying high-volume hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts for more than three years and the state’s final [Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement] SGEIS will be released next year. DEC’s permits incorporate both state and federal requirements under the state and federal Clean Water Acts. New York’s proposed regulations are the strictest in the nation. However, we always welcome new information. We will review EPA’s final report when it’s issued and amend the state’s requirements if necessary.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York’s executive director Brad Gill appeared to back up DEC, saying that EPA was just repeating work it and the state have already done.

“Even without having the benefit of a full review of the plan, the EPA’s approach appears to be consistent with what NY is already accomplishing with the SGEIS,” Gill said. “The EPA has studied water use in hydraulic fracturing many times and always came to the same conclusion: there have been no proven cases of groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing.”

A number of elected officials have been contacted to see how they see this impacting the state’s process. Hoping to put together their reactions in a future piece.

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The Empire

Cuomo 'very happy' to avoid PEF layoffs after union approves contract

Thursday, November 03, 2011

By Karen DeWitt, New York Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

The Governor after the contract was ratified. (Courtesy of the Governor's office.)

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s “very happy” that the Public Employees Federation ratified a second contract offer, and says he has rescinded orders to lay off nearly 3,500 workers on Friday.

Cuomo says he’s “surprised and gratified” at the margin of victory for the second contract offer, because he says the two proposals were not all that different. He says he thinks the vote changed because his administration and the union worked more collaboratively this time around to change union members’ minds.

“This is a dramatically different outcome for only relatively minor modifications on a contract,” said Cuomo “I think it was the tonality.”

After the first contract was rejected in September, Cuomo’s aides sent pink slips to 3,500 workers. PEF Vice President Tom Comanzo says he thinks that had an effect on the more than 50,000 other union members. Even though they were not losing their jobs right now, they likely knew someone who would be terminated if they voted no on the contract.

“We had names and faces,” said Comanzo. “I think that helped make a difference.”

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The Empire

PEF members approve contract, save 3500 from pink slips

Thursday, November 03, 2011

From PEF:

By a count of 27,718 to 11,645, members of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) ratified a revised four-year agreement with the state that averts significant layoffs.

The ratification of the new agreement saves the jobs of 3,496 PEF members and preserves the vital services our members provide.

The agreement preserves the pay-scale, the employment and the careers of PEF members. It maintains increments and salary-grade parity, longevity payments and co-pays for doctor visits at their current levels. It calls for no salary increases for years 2011, 2012 and 2013. A salary increase of 2 percent is included for 2014.

The new contract increases the share members will pay of their health insurance premiums, but includes changes to the productivity enhancement program which will allow members greater opportunity to use vacation time to offset health
insurance costs. The new contract includes reimbursement for the 9 furlough days payable at the end of the agreement.

“More than 75 percent of our membership voted on the agreement,” said PEF President Ken Brynien. “Although this was a difficult decision for our members, it demonstrates they are willing to do their part to put New York state on a stable financial footing, as all New Yorkers should, and are helping to resolve a fiscal crisis for which they were not responsible."

New York Public Radio's Karen DeWitt will be filing a reaction piece to this soon and we'll have that up.

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The Empire

The Divided Union: Why CSEA's contract was so much easier than PEF's

Thursday, November 03, 2011

To the outside observer, it probably seems strange that the state’s second largest public employee union—PEF, which is announcing the results of a new contract vote today—was unable to agree to terms with the state the same way the largest public employee union—CSEA—was able to.

The major points of departure between the two unions comes down to who makes them up. With CSEA, you have a younger, lower earning, less formally educated, more ethnically and racially diverse membership than PEF. During their labor negotiations, CSEA membership is said to have strongly empathized with the plight of fellow workers: they didn’t want to see their friend Suzy get laid off, or were worried about what Jack’s kids would do if he didn’t have a job.

This isn’t to say PEF members were more coldly willing to kick 3,500 of their union brothers and sisters to the curb. But in CSEA, the members were more closely linked—the gap between the highest CSEA member incomes and the lowest is far closer than in PEF. In the latter’s case, their specialized membership can mean one or two people in a job title in the entire state.

The more specialized—and higher earning—positions also tend to be older. So if you’re making $75,000 a year, and you’re within ten years of retirement, looking back at the PEF member who is less specialized, younger and making half your salary, the sympathy vote for that person’s job over a better deal for you can be a tough choice. Obviously, in the last round, that seems to partially account for the contract's downfall.

But that’s not the whole picture, said Ed Ott, the former executive director for the New York Central Labor Council and current a consultant with OT Solutions. PEF’s membership—about half the size of CSEA’s—is also plugged in, politically, to what’s going on, Ott said, which results in greater internal debates over these sorts of issues.

“They really, really have an internal political life and nothing gets through without a thorough discussing and I think that contributed to the vote,” he said, referring to the vote against the first contract. PEF leadership has reportedly been doing a major push to get members behind—something they didn’t do the first time.

Ott said the vote was also a rebuke of the anti-union sentiment that’s reached a peak this year. He said, with a better deal hammered out between the Cuomo administration and union leaders, the new contract would likely pass—but note assuredly.

“I would be really surprised if it went down again,” Ott said. “But this is PEF—it's possible."

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The Empire

PEF union leaders hopeful ahead of member vote tomorrow

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

By Karen DeWitt, New York Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

The state worker union PEF will announce Thursday afternoon whether members have accepted or rejected a second contract offer from Governor Cuomo.  If the vote is no, 3500 employees face likely lay offs.

The leadership of the Public Employees Federation has gone all out to try to convince the 56,000 PEF members to approve the contract this time around, after a resounding rejection of the initial contract back in September. They’ve distributed flyers in state office complexes, rented out a billboard in downtown Albany, and PEF President Ken Brynien issued a video message.

“As President of PEF, I’m going to share with you why I’m recommending that you vote yes,” Brynien says in the message, who lists job security as the number one reason.

PEF spokeswoman Darcy Wells says PEF leaders want to save the 3,500 jobs targeted for elimination, but also believe the second offer is a better deal for members.

“There were several improvements,” said Wells. “There’s some significant changes in this revised contract.”

After the first contract was voted down, the Cuomo Administration and PEF Leadership agreed to some “tweaks." Among them, nine proposed furlough days would be converted to essentially a pay lag: workers would be paid for those mandatory days off when the contract ends in four years.

The resulting decrease in pay over the first two years of the contract would not affect workers' pension rates. And anyone who retires before the contract ends would be reimbursed for the
furlough days. Health benefit costs would rise on a sliding scale, and workers could trade unused vacation time to help pay for premiums.

Governor Cuomo says this is his last, best offer to the union. He says the outcome is now in the members’ hands.

“It’s up to PEF,” Cuomo said.

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The Empire

LATFOR holds final meeting before line drawing begins

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Colby Hamilton / WNYC

12:07 pm

The committee is going to meet on Friday, November 18, at 1:30 pm in Albany. At that point, the issues of prisoner reallocation are set to be decided, as well as the calendar for the second round of hearings.

The court's decision on the state's primary date should be decided on November 17, which will certainly play into the meeting. Specifically, if the primary date is moved up, as anticipated, it will compact the next round of hearings to review the maps.

11:55 am

"This does not end. this is only half-time," Nozzolio said, ending public comment section. The committee is going to meet now, and discussing issues.

Now the Senate and Assembly need to draw maps. More than one conversation I've had indicated that Senate Republicans have their maps drawn--but don't expect to see anything until the prisoner reallocation case is decided early next month.

I'll following up with a piece on where things stand later. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me at chamilton @ wnyc.org.

11:50 am

Assemblywoman Janet Duprey is the final speaker today.

11:20 am

Nozzolio and McEneny have, at other meetings and in other reports, bristled at the idea that independent redistricting would be some sort of magic bullet. I've written here that, indeed, it's not.

A local Democratic Party leader, sitting next to his Republican counterpart, chastised the committee for not giving up the line drawing to an independent commission, which is heavily supported in the polls.

McEneny was--and has been--most forceful in rejecting the idea that there's such a thing as an independent redistricting process. He noted that most independent commissions are appointed by legislators, which makes the idea that the commission is truly independent a sham.

Case in point, noted McEneny: Arizona's independent redistricting chair was impeached yesterday over concerns over the way districts were drawn.

McEneny, who has chaffed at the Governor's veto comments, said it was irresponsible for the Governor to suggest he'd veto districts before he's seen the maps.

"Do you think its a good thing when a chief exec ... says that he's going to veto a piece of leg before he's read it," McEneny asked. "That's not good government."

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The Empire

New Yorkers continue to support OWS, consider Tea Party more influential

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Marist Poll put out a new survey today that adds a wrinkle to the Occupation movement. According to the poll, New York voters support Occupy Wall Street more than the Tea Party, 44 percent versus 21 percent. It should be noted that, inversely, a majority of voters don't support either, although 54 percent said OWS comes closer to their views. The poll also is underrepresented by Democrats, only representing 44 percent of those polled, while, statewide, the Dems have 49 percent of active registered voters.

All that aside, what's really interesting is that, while the Occupation continues to enjoy (relative) support, their strategy so far of not having an overt agenda leaves them with little influence in voters eyes. Nearly half--the plurality--felt the Tea Party will have more influence in the coming presidential elections than the Occupation.

“Not surprisingly, there is substantial support for the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York State as compared to the Tea Party movement,” Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said in a statement. “However, when it comes to the potential political impact of the two groups for campaign '12, New Yorkers believe the Tea Party movement has the advantage.”

Maybe that's why Governor Andrew Cuomo can continue to oppose extending a surcharge on higher-income earners (despite his tense relationship with the Albany Occupation), even as voters continue to support by large majorities an extension of the measure. More than 60 percent of voters in the Marist poll said they, too, support a "millionaires' tax."

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The Empire

Coalition Pushes for Mandate Relief

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

By Karen DeWitt, New York Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

A coalition of business lobbyists, city and village mayors, and school boards are pushing hard for reduced pension and health benefits for their employees, as part of a package of mandate relief that they say is necessary to help communities around New York live within the new 2% property tax cap law.

The groups want public workers and teachers to pay a minimum amount for their health insurances, at least 15% for individuals and 25% for families. They’d also like them to accept reduced pension benefits in the form of portable 401(k)s, and require that injured workers are awarded less money in some cases if they are hurt on the job.

Brian Sampson with the pro business group Unshackle Upstate says the newly passed 2% property tax cap is not going to work, unless local governments and schools  get easements from those rules in order to cut costs.

“This is what the taxpayers are asking for,” said Sampson. “They want government that’s affordable.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a mandate relief task force. It issued its first report last March, but contained no major shake ups to existing mandates. Sampson says the panel just “nibbled around the edges”.

Heather Briccetti, with the New York State Business Council, agrees.

“It’s very modest recommendations,” Briccetti said. “This is broader than what that task force has offered up.”

Governor Cuomo says mandate relief is “a work in progress”, and admits more needs to be done.

“It’s a continuing process, it’s an evolving process,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo was at a bill signing ceremony to require more health insurance coverage for autistic children.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who also attended the event, says he thinks the governor and legislature took a “large step” this year toward mandate relief, and the Speaker says municipalities still want state money for the programs, they just don’t want to be told how to spend it.

“Which has its pluses and minuses,” says Silver, who cites instances of school districts receiving money for pre- Kindergarten  programs, and saying they want the extra cash, but do not want to implement pre-K programs.

Unions, whose members would feel the brunt of many the mandate changes requested, were incensed.  Danny Donohue, President of the state worker union CSEA, in a statement, accused the coalition of being a “front group” for Cuomo, and his “corporate allies”, who he says are using public workers as a “scapegoat”.

The coalition says they are responding to a request from the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Robert Duffy, who asked the audience at a recent Business Council meeting to provide specific examples of mandates that they find onerous.

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The Empire

Cuomo appoints new economic deputy, head of NY Power Authority

Monday, October 31, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who's in New York City today, announced two new appointments today. Leecia Eve, most recently of the Empire State Development Corp, was nominated to be the Deputy Secretary for Economic Development. The Governor also recommended Gil Quiniones to be President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, pending legislative approval.

“Economic development and creating jobs have been my number one priority since I took office, and Leecia is the perfect candidate to continue putting New York back on the path to prosperity,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “Her extensive credentials and years of public service make her especially suited for this position. Together with the ESD team, I am certain Leecia will play a major role in creating jobs and growing our state’s economy.”

YNN's Nick Reisman has a good run down of Eve's political background, most notably being former Assemblyman Arthur Eve's daughter and a potential replacement to then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

What's also interesting is that Eve, now elevated to a cabinet level position, will be outranking her (former) boss at EDC, Ken Adams, who has been the point person for the Governor's regional economic program. It will be interesting to see how this relationship works. I'll try and get back in to this soon.

Quiniones comes out of the power authority, having been serving as its COO. Of Quiniones, the Governor said:

He is a dedicated public servant who knows every aspect of the Power Authority- from the power lines to the extraordinary potential to harness New York’s energy resources to support economic development and job creation. In addition, Gil will ensure that NYPA continues to forge a path towards making our state more energy efficient.

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The Empire

The pension deal: What does John Liu walk away with?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getty / Slaven Vlasic

Yesterday’s announcement that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Comptroller John Liu had agreed to a major overhauling of how the city’s pension system would be run surprised many people. These two haven’t exactly seen eye-to-eye when it comes to pensions. And considering the fact that Liu wants the job currently occupied by Bloomberg, it’s worth looking at the deal a little further to see what Liu actually gets out of it.

First, what exactly did they agree to? The mayor’s and comptroller’s offices, along with labor leaders who’s members pay into the funds, agreed to push to have the city’s five separate funds brought under the control of one board, with an outside manager hired to run the whole thing.

I say “push” because the plan, which is being hailed as a financialboon to both city taxpayers and pensioners, has to clear major hurdles—like having the state legislature and the Governor sign off on the change, among other things—to clear before any changes would take effect.

That being said, the most interesting thing is that the agreement essentially strips the Comptroller’s office—this or future ones—of one of its main duties. There’s this line from the press release:

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The Empire

Cuomo continues push: nationwide same-sex marriage

Friday, October 28, 2011

Courtsey of the Governor's office

Two awards for leading the way on same-sex marriage in New York, two speeches on the need for equal rights for same-sex couple across the country.

Governor Andrew Cuomo took to the stage at a Empire State Pride Agenda dinner last night to accept an award for his efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. During his remarks, the Governor stated in no uncertain terms his vision of a nation where same-sex couples were able to marry everywhere.

Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times:

And in his most forceful terms to date, Mr. Cuomo called for his counterparts across the country to embrace what he framed as an issue of equal rights and to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage in their own statehouses.

“We need marriage equality in every state in this nation,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Otherwise, no state really has marriage equality, and we will not rest until it is a reality.”

Forceful, yes, but the Governor's statements last night were built on statements he made a few weeks ago at another event where he was handed an award for the same efforts by the news website the Huffington Post.

"I'll tell you the real power and the real import of passing marriage equality in New York," the Governor said earlier this month. "You're going to see this victory not just reverberate within this state, but it will reverberate coast-to-coast and the battle doesn't stop until we change the law of the land."

The same-sex marriage is a great public position for the Governor at a time when his liberal flank is coming under attack from the Occupy movement. The Governor deserves these awards; it was his guidance that made same-sex marriage in New York a reality. And not having Occupy Wall Street show up helped focus the event exactly where the Governor undoubtedly wanted.

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The Empire

Cuomo to receive (another) award for leadership on same-sex marriage

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Governor receiving his last award. (Huffington Post/AOL / Billy Farrell Agency)

The last time the Governor received an awardfor helping same-sex marriage legislation become law, protesters from Occupy Wall Street showed up and turned the coverage of the event more towards the arrest of Naomi Wolf than the Governor.

And that was before Occupy Albany. And Scott Olsen.

As of yet, there’s no sign that there’s an organized plan to protest the Governor’s acceptance of the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Douglas W. Jones Leadership Award. If they fail to show, it would be a good day for the Governor. He’s gotten some political cover from Speaker Sheldon Silver—the only leader left in Albany who supports extending the millionaires’ tax.

The Governor’s bifurcated governing strategy—social liberalism with economic centrism—has been looked at lately, and tonight’s award ceremony will continue to burnish the Governor’s standing as a leader in civil rights. I mean, Sir Elton John’s even giving the Governor props.

This, despite the growing focus of Occupiers on the Governor’s economic policies, specifically said millionaires’ tax. Then again, his stance doesn’t seem to be hurting his poll numbers. So if you’re position doesn’t leave you politically broken…

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The Empire

Silver says Occupiers aren't 'allies'

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anna Sale / WNYC

It's A Free Country's Anna Sale caught up with the man who might be proponents of continuing the tax on higher-income earners--the "millionaires' tax"--best bet.

But that doesn't mean Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is looking to march with the Occupiers any time soon:

"I don't consider them political allies," Speaker Silver said at a press conference at his Manhattan office on Thursday. "I think they make a point. Clearly they highlight a point of frustration among Americans."

Silver had a conference call with reporters later in the day, as well, where he reportedly defended the Governor against some of the negative sentiments of the protesters. The Occupy Wall Street protesters are encamped in Silver's district and the Speaker hasn't been too happy about it.

Putting distance between himself and the protesters likely helps the Governor, who opposes continuing the taxes. Speaker Silver has said he won't jeopardize the budget process over keeping the taxes, essentially giving up the one tool he had to force the issue.

It appears, at least for now, that the Occupy movement is without a true champion when it comes to the millionaires' tax.

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It's A Free Country ®

Silver: On Millionaire's Tax, Occupy Protesters 'Not Political Allies'

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Albany protesters are gathering in the state capitol to call for an extension to the so-called millionaire's tax. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver also supports re-upping the tax, but stopped short of embracing the protesters. 

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Description: I don't consider them political allies. I think they make a point. Clearly they highlight a point of frustration among Americans.
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The additional tax on taxpayers earning more than $200-thousand a year is set to expire on January 1. Governor Andrew Cuomo has consistently opposed extending the tax, but Speaker Silver said that in the coming months, he and others will continue to press for the additional revenue. 
New York voters support extending the millionaire's tax by a two-to-one margin, according to a Quinnipiac poll out today. 

"I don't consider them political allies," Speaker Silver said at a press conference at his Manhattan office on Thursday. "I think they make a point. Clearly they highlight a point of frustration among Americans." 

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