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Andrew Cuomo

The Empire

Cuomo mum on funding Vito Lopez's non-profit

Friday, November 12, 2010

Askedwhether it's a "good idea" to fund the Ridgewood Buschwick Senior Citizens Council - the nonprofit founded by influential Democratic lawmaker Vito Lopez - Andrew Cuomo today would only say that the matter is "under investigation" and that he won't comment.

But as David Seifman points out, the city is moving ahead and sending the group $12.5 million in city money. Along with the AG's office, the federal authorities are also investigating the group.

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The Empire

How and when to fund a nonprofit under federal review

Friday, November 12, 2010

David Seifman reports that City Hall "quietly restored" $12.5 million to the nonprofit founded by influential Democratic lawmaker Vito Lopez. The nonprofit is the subject of two federal reviews (investigations, right folks?), as well as "a thorough review" from the state attorney general's office.

So, why did the city send the money to group?

A few reasons:

1) The group is still providing services, like food to home-bound seniors, and they're incurring bills that need to be paid, according to a person I spoke with.

2) The city conducted their own vetting of the group, and improvements they recommended have already been put into place. So, in the city's eyes, the group is fair game for funding.

3) So, when the city turned to the state, the AG had a limited role: "The only question we asked the charities bureau was whether the paperwork was up to date," according to a City Hall spokeswoman. The answer they got - in the form of a "verbal confirmation" - was yes.

Aides in City Hall and the Attorney General's office acknowledge that the charity is still under review by federal investigator and the AG's office and the status of those investigations has not changed.

"Their paperwork remains under review in conjunction with two federal investigations," said a spokesman for the attorney general's office.

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WNYC News

Governor-Elect Cuomo Announces Transition Team

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has named the members of his transition team and they are a racially diverse and bipartisan group. Its members include Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, former State Comptroller Carl McCall, Republican Joanie Mahoney, the executive of Onondaga County and investment banker Felix Rohatyn.

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The Empire

Cuomo will 'lift the veil of secrecy' on Albany

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Andrew Cuomo, who's meticulously controlled his public exposure, is out with a new video, vowing to never "betray your trust."

"I will lift the veil of secrecy that is now around Albany," Cuomo says in the video. In prior statements, he's recalled how other governors have had their ambitious budget efforts scaled back in the face of heavy ad campaigns launched by "special interest" groups in Albany.

This video, Cuomo's first major video since winning the governor's race, could be part of his arsenal against such incoming fire.

UPDATE: In announcing the video, the Cuomo campaign says it will appear Thursday on television stations throughout the state.

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The Empire

Cuomo gets the Paterson question

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

At their first formal meeting together in midtown today, the out-going governor and incoming governor spoke about being long-time friends and having worked together.

Then, a Wall Street Journal reporter asked about the two (yes, two) investigations into Paterson, that Cuomo's office conducted.

The answer was not long.

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WNYC News

Governor-Elect Cuomo Lays Out Transition Plan

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Following a meeting with current governor David Paterson Thursday, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo said he will be naming a transition team within days and will begin an inventory tour of state facilities.

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Transportation Nation

Facebook Support for High Speed Rail in NY has Ray LaHood Wondering

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) In his latest blog post, Ray LaHood talks about an "explosion of notes from people urging Department of Transportation support for high-speed rail in New York State."

Ever since governor-elect Andrew Cuomo wrote to LaHood last week to say New York would be happy to take federal money for high-speed rail that other states turned down, people have taken to LaHood's Facebook page to post variations on the theme "I support HSR for NY!"

"I don't know who started it," LaHood writes, "but (it) sure got my attention!" He goes on to say "I hope other states will join the engaged New Yorkers who have reached out to me this week by saying a resounding, 'Yes' to high-speed rail.

Do you know?  Post a comment, or send us an email at transponation@gmail.com

Meantime, LaHood isn't saying if NY will get more money.

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The Empire

'You couldn't have done it without us'

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

After waving a finger at Andrew Cuomo, Amsterdam News' Elinor Tatum takes a bow, and waves a finger:

"He was elected with a great margin to this seat, but his strongest base is in communities of color...Many Blacks went out on a limb to support him without the governor-elect having the kind of record that we know we can really depend on. We still have concerns about his commitment to us and our interests. Cuomo did little to support the Democratic State Senate majority, and now that remains in questions. He had $10 million left in his campaign war chest that could have been used to help counteract the dollars that Republicans raised from big business."

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It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo's Circle: Who Might Head to Albany?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

WNYC

The top dog in New York is the leader of a very large pack -- and a lot of barking is letting loose by those vying to be part of team-Cuomo. The governor-elect has been on the political scene a long time, and he's got a tightly knit inner circle, and many pundits suspect his close allies will follow him up to Albany.

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WNYC News

Cuomo: I'll Take Transit Money Other New Governors Are Giving Up

Friday, November 05, 2010

WNYC

In one of his first actions as New York's governor-elect, Andrew Cuomo is looking to bring home more money for high-speed rail projects around the state.

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The Empire

Schumer beats Cuomo

Friday, November 05, 2010

If you're counting top vote-getter in the state, it goes to Schumer:

2,710,735-Schumer
2,602,443-Cuomo
2,519,806-Gillibrand
2,207,728-Schneiderman
2,014,091-DiNapoli

That's according to AP reports of the polling numbers. So, New York is still Schumer country, even if Cuomo is its governor.

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Transportation Nation

NY Gov-Elect Wants HSR Money Other New Govs are Giving Up

Friday, November 05, 2010

In one of his first acts as Governor-Elect, Andrew Cuomo says wants high speed rail money other governors are giving up.  As a candidate, Cuomo's transportation plans were only given in outline, but if he follows through on aggressively pursuing federal funding for transportation projects, things could get interesting -- Transportation Nation

Here's the release:

Press Release from the office of Governor-elect of NY Andrew Cuomo.

CUOMO ASKS LAHOOD TO REDIRECT MORE THAN $1.2 BILLION IN HIGH-SPEED RAIL MONEY TO NEW YORK

Governors-Elect in Ohio and Wisconsin Have Promised to Cancel Major Federally Funded Rail Projects in their Home States

Action Would Free Up $1.26 Billion in Stimulus Funding for High-Speed Rail Projects

New York Governor-Elect Andrew Cuomo today sent a personal letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking that if Governors-Elect in Ohio and Wisconsin move forward with campaign promises to cancel major federally funded high-speed rail projects in their states, he redirect the $1.26 billion in stimulus funding already dedicated to those projects to New York.

“High speed rail is critical to building the foundation for future economic growth, especially Upstate. If these Governors-Elect follow through on their promises to cancel these projects, a Cuomo Administration would move quickly to put the billions in rejected stimulus funding towards projects that would create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers.

Below is a copy of the Governor-Elect’s letter to Secretary LaHood:

November 5, 2010

Hon. Ray LaHood

Secretary

U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Ave., SE

Washington, DC 20590

Dear Secretary LaHood:

High speed rail could be transformative for New York—with the potential to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy with construction jobs now and permanent jobs created by the new high speed rail links to New York City, Toronto and Montreal in the future. That is why I made high speed rail a priority during my campaign, and that is why it will continue to be a top priority for me as Governor.

To date, New York has received only a small fraction of federal money for high speed rail, but we want to make it a success now, and my Administration will aggressively pursue all funding opportunities to make high speed rail a reality.  Recent reports have stated that incoming Administrations in other states, particularly Ohio and Wisconsin, are seeking to cancel their high speed rail projects and the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid associated with those projects.  Therefore, I would ask you to consider redirecting the federal funding to New York because the project is a top priority.

High speed rail could be the 21st Century Erie Canal for New York State and help rebuild Upstate New York’s economy. Now is the moment to build. Thank you for the consideration and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate and call.

Best wishes,

Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor-Elect

# # #

Here's the DOT response to our follow-up on this Cuomo's requst:

"We recognize that there is an incredible demand for high-speed rail dollars around the country. The Obama administration’s high-speed rail program will create jobs, spur economic development and provide people with cleaner, greener alternatives to driving and flying."

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The Empire

Remembering Cuomo's tour

Friday, November 05, 2010

Adam Dickter has [link fixed]one more sign of how much Cuomo didn't need to campaign, in light of Paladino's implosion:

"This week, when I asked Paladino if he had campaigned before any non-Orthodox Jewish groups in the state, he confessed to not knowing the difference between the Orthodox and the larger Reform or Conservative denominations. Which explains how he got mixed up early in his campaign with a fringe rabbi, Yehuda Levin, whose entire agenda consists of fighting gay rights and abortion. So desperate was he for Jewish friends after being accused of anti-Semitism, Paladino never had an opportunity to learn that for the vast majority of New York Jews, like those in the rest of the country, their priority is opportunity for all people and programs that improve the communities where they live.

[skip]

"In his emailed response to the same question I asked Paladino about Jewish diversity, Cuomo (or his campaign) said: "Throughout my career I have traveled the state meeting with a wide variety of Jewish leaders in different communities." That may be true of his time as an advisor in his father's administration and as attorney general, but he didn't show it in this campaign. The sole foray into organized Jewish life, as far as I can see, was a visit with Satmar and other chasidic leaders in Williamsburg and Borough Park on a single day."

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The Empire

Cuomo: staff will 'reflect the diversity of New York' including LGBT

Friday, November 05, 2010

Cuomo is focusing on staffing his administration. (Azi Paybarah / WNYC)

In his only interview since winning the governor's race, Andrew Cuomo said he is now focusing on assembling an administration, having already done all the policy work, courtesy of his 8 "books."

Convincing people to work for state government is "not an easy sell right now,"Cuomo said. There's talk that many of the people who surrounded him in the AG's office and campaign will find places in the new administration.

I'd only add this one, possibly telling, point: in his letter to the Empire State Pride Agenda (which Cuomo sent instead of filling out their candidate questionnaire), Cuomo signaled he's looking to hire staffers who are not just qualified, but also diverse.

"I am committed to making appointments that reflect the diversity of New York State, including the LGBT community," Cuomo wrote in the October 3, 2010 letter to the Empire State Pride Agenda. A copy of the letter was sent to me recently.

Cuomo has come under criticism for not having enough diversity on his legislative or campaign staff.

It's worth noting that not every lawmaker has jumped at the chance to raise expectations of staff diversity.

During the 2005 mayoral race, the Democratic mayoral candidates were asked during a debate in Chinatown if they'd pledge to hire at least one high ranking Asian American in their administration. Fernando Ferrer, Gifford Miller and Virginia Fields all answered yes. Anthony Weiner, speaking last, refused to make pledge, saying he'd hire only the most qualified applicants, and joked that he'd take resumes that night.

The response by Weiner was enough to earn him a kind word from the New York Post editorial page at the time (which I'll link to once I find out how to dig that far back online).

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Election Outcome Stops HSR Work in Wisconsin, Top Int'l Transit Systems, and What Cuomo's Plan Now?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Outgoing Wisconsin governor halts work on its high-speed rail line "temporarily" after rail opponent Scott Walker's victory in the governor's race (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).  Walker repeated his vow this week that he would kill the project.

On today's Brian Lehrer Show, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) talks about what this week's election might mean for the future of transportation legislation.

Capital New York asks: post-campaign, will Cuomo get serious about public transportation?

Taxi drivers in New York want a 19% fare hike--which means the base fare would increase to $3. (New York Daily News)

Does Jim Oberstar have a future in Washington after all? Say, in the Department of Transportation? Let the guessing begin! (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

The Transport Politic tries to assess John Mica's transportation goals, but points out that "he will have to operate within a labyrinthine system of conflicting goals and limited funds. Whether he — or anyone — will get anything done under those conditions remains an open question."

AOL ranks the top ten international transit systems. You go, Curitiba, Brazil!

The victory celebration for the San Francisco Giants shattered records for both BART and Caltrain. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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The Empire

The other third party, on the left

Thursday, November 04, 2010

...is the Green Party. Since their gubernatorial candidate got more than 50,00 votes yesterday, the Green Party will now have, for the next four years, a designated row on the ballot.

So, who is this newly established party?

They're self-identified progressives, who, in many ways, hold traditionally liberal fiscal and social positions. They fell out of favor with some voters after Ralph Nader ran for president on their line, spoiling Al Gore's Democratic bid. The presidential bid by controversial former Rep. Cynthia McKinney only further damaged the party.

But in New York, the party is back, thanks to Howie Hawkin's passionate performance in the only gubernatorial debate this year. And since Cuomo didn't face a serious challenge from his Republican opponent, a lot of voters were free to vote for one of the other candidates in order to make a statement.

Thus, the Green Party is back.

A spokesman for the Green Party told me they're not like the other progressive political party, the labor-backed Working Families Party, mainly because Greens want to run their own candidates. WFP often cross-endorses Democrats (and withhold their WFP line from Democrats as a form of punishment).

"Very few people in the party are fans of fusion voting," Green Party co-chair Eric Jones told me. "We try to run as many of our candidates as possible, rather than run just the same guy on a different line."

"When you look at the issues, we have a lot in common," with the WFP, sayd Jones. The agendas of the two parties are "almost identical" he said.

WFP executive director Dan Cantor emailed supporters this afternoon, reasserting his party's role as a guiding force to pull Democrats further left.

"The only force powerful enough to push back against an emboldened Fox News, corporate Republicans and overly-timid Democrats is you," Cantor wrote.

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Gives Cuomo a Reality Check

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg criss-crossed the country in the runup to the election, endorsing a raft of candidates. Most of them won; in those cases where his picks lost, he was gracious to the winners he'd opposed. As for the governor-elect of New York, whom he also backed, he said Andrew Cuomo's "the man" and would do a great job. But his main message to Cuomo was this: This is Albany, so don't get your hopes up.

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It's A Free Country ®

New Yorkers Start Writing Cuomo's To-Do List

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

WNYC

It's the day after Andrew Cuomo was elected Governor of New York State, and New Yorkers are hoping he'll hit the ground running. On the Brian Lehrer Show, listeners flooded the phones with '30 second postcards' for the Governor-Elect. Popular issues were hydrofracking,gerrymanderingmarriage equality, and job creation. 

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The Empire

Thank (most of) you

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tom DiNapoli thanks colleagues after winning vote to become the state comptroller. (Azi Paybarah / WNYC)

In an email to supporters, Democratic State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he congratulated the head of his party, governor-elect Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo notably shunned DiNapoli, refusing to endorse or even appear with him in the waning days of the campaign.

In the email, DiNapoli goes on to say, "I owe thanks to everyone who has believed in me and in my candidacy over these past few months and throughout my career: my family, my friends, my colleagues in government, the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party and especially my brothers and sisters in the labor movement."

Not in that list, is Cuomo.

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WQXR News

Cuomo Wins Governor's Race, Schumer and Gillibrand Returning to Senate

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Andrew Cuomo is elected governor of New York State, taking over the office his father won 28 years ago.

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