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Eric Schneiderman

The Empire

A former top Dem operative heads to prison

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hank Morris, a top Democratic consultant to the former state comptroller, has been sentenced to "one and one third to four years in prison, the maximum sentence available by law," according to NYS Attorney General Eric Schneidmerman's office.

Morris was a key figure in the NYS pension scandal Cuomo launched four years ago, that ensnared the former comptroller, Alan Hevesi, Obama's car czar and Democratic fundraiser Steven Rattner, and numerous other figures.

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The Empire

Spotted: Rice and Katz

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A reader says they spotted Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice meeting with former City Councilwoman Melinda Katz, at Pershing Square, about an hour ago.

Wonder what they were talking about?

Rice was considered the front-runner in the Democratic primary for attorney general last year, but was overtaken by Eric Schnedierman and his support from New York City-based elected officials and unions.

Katz too lost a close race, in 2009, when she ran for the Democratic nomination to become the city's next comptroller. That race was won by John Liu, who put together a multi-ethnic coalition and field operation not entirely dependent on the venerable Working Families Party organization.

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The Empire

New York's new AG gets sworn in

Friday, January 07, 2011

Among those at the event yesterday at City College were same-sex marriage advocate and actor Alec Baldwin.

The other recognizable face in the crowd - who pops up in the first 12 seconds - is Marla Klinger, who helped raise money for former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson. Klinger also raised money for Schneiderman [added].

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WNYC News

Attorney General Says Pa. Power Plant Is Polluting NY Air

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The New York Attorney General has filed suit against the owner of an out-of-state power plant he claims is polluting New York's air.

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The Empire

Blocking Cuomo from Endorsing

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Andrew Cuomo endorsed Eric Schneiderman, after the primary. (Azi Paybarah / wnyc)

That was one key goal of Eric Schneiderman's successful attorney general campaign, according to aides who spoke at a roundtable yesterday.

 

Ben Smith's story is here.

My version:

Andrew Cuomo could have gotten the attorney general candidate he wanted, if only he had endorsed her.

That's the lesson from the post-election roundtable hosted by the New School yesterday, where aides to the six attorney general campaigns discussed their campaigns.

Blake Zeff, who worked on the winning campaign of Eric Schneiderman said they had internal polling numbers showing what the impact of a Cuomo endorsement would be on the race. "I would say somewhat hyperbolically, the poll showed us specifically that if Kathleen Rice got the Cuomo endorsement that we were done," he said. "She had so many advantages to begin with, the money not being the least, that [endorsement] would be nearly fatal to us."

Schneiderman aides said they never considered themselves in the running for Cuomo's endorsement, since Schneiderman was a member of the deeply unpopular state legislature. So the goal, Schneidmerman aides said, was denying the endorsement of the popular Cuomo from going to their chief rival.

"How do we stop Andrew Cuomo from endorsing Kathleen Rice?" was the question that "really informed a ton of what we did," said Zeff.

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It's A Free Country ®

A Look Back: Snapshots from the Political Insiders' Campaign Roundtable

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

WNYC

Why did the Rick Lazio campaign fall flat on its face? What accounted for Carl Paladino's grassroots appeal? Who took whom seriously? What gave Eric Schneiderman the winning edge? Was Andrew Cuomo really a control freak?

All these questions were answered, analyzed and fought over by the political consultants and insiders that made the 2010 election campaigns tick. Here are the best quotes from a political roundtable hosted by The New School's Center for New York City Affairs.

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WNYC News

AG-Elect Schneiderman: Now Hiring

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WNYC

Eric Schneiderman, the man who will succeed Andrew Cuomo as New York’s Attorney General come January, says he’s seeking to build on the work of his predecessors rather than attempting a “reinvention” of the office.

At an announcement held at the NYU Law School Monday, Schneiderman said his transition committee’s main mission is to recruit top legal talent to make the office of the attorney general the “best public interest law firm in the nation,” and to advise him on policy.

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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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WNYC News

Schneiderman Wins New York Attorney General Race

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Democrat Eric Schneiderman won the New York Attorney General's race Tuesday over Republican candidate Dan Donovan with 55 percent of the vote. Schneiderman said his first priority was to restore the public's trust in New York government.

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The Empire

Schneiderman explains the 'annex'

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eric Schneiderman tells The Jewish Week what he meant when he said Al Sharpton's National Action Network would have an "annex" in his AG's office:

"No one who was there took this at all literally. No one will get special treatment in my office. I was making a reference to the idea that in my office, all those who feel they are voiceless, will have a voice. That was the point, and I think enough has been said on it."

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WNYC News

All Hands on Deck for Dan: Christie, Pataki, Bloomberg and Koch

Monday, October 25, 2010

Down to his last $300,000, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan's campaign for Attorney General said it got a major life line Monday in the form of a $1 million fundraiser in midtown Manhattan attended by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former New York Governor George Pataki, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New York Mayor Ed Koch.

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The Empire

NARAL hits Donovan for funding misleading pregnancy center

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NARAL's Kelli Conlin said Dan Donovan helped fund an organization whose "purpose is to mislead" pregnant women about abortions and access to reproductive care.

Conlin cited a Staten Island Advance article which said Donovan, now the Republican attorney general candidate, received an award from the Crisis Pregnancy Center of New York for securing grants for them. Conlin said she was not sure how much money Donovan helped them get or where the grants originated.

Conlin said Donovan's support for the group runs counter to his claims now of upholding the state's law currently allowing abortion and guaranteeing safe access to abortion providers.

In response, Donovan's campaign said the father of his Democratic rival is a major contributor to abortion groups, and specifically NARAL.

"Irwin Schneiderman, the candidate's wealthy father…has been the single largest donor to [NARAL's] political action committee, giving at least $75,000 in the last six years," said Donovan spokeswoman Virginia Lam.

Conlin said abortion was an important issue in the attorney general's race because "the rest of the nation depends on New York State to lead the way" on filing legal briefs in federal cases.

[Disclosure: Irwin Schneiderman serves on WNYC's Board of Trustees.]

UPDATE: Schneiderman's campaign emails to ask, "Did Mr. Donovan secure grants for an anti-choice activist group [and] why did the group award him for this anti-choice activism?"

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The Empire

Democrats lead in Senate race; Schneiderman has NYC vote

Friday, October 08, 2010

Democrats have commanding leads in two US Senate races in New York, but the race for attorney general is closer, according to a Quinnipiac poll of likely voters.

Kirsten Gillibrand leads former GOP congressman Joe DioGuardi, 55-34 percent. That's up from the 48-42 percent race that Quinnipiac had in their poll two weeks ago.

Chuck Schumer leads Republican Jay Townsend 63-32 percent, with 65 percent of respondents saying they don't know enough about Townsend to have an opinion.

In the attorney general's race, Democratic State Senator Eric Schneiderman leads Republican District Attorney Dan Donovan 43-32 percent. Another 24 percent of voters remain undecided.

Donovan leads Schneiderman among independent voters, 36-30 percent. Schneiderman narrowly leads Donovan among upstate voters, 37-35 percent, (which is within the poll's 2.9 percent margin of error), and nearly splits the suburban vote, 40-39 percent.

Schneiderman's biggest leads is among New York City voters, where he leads Donovan 54-24.

In the state comptroller's race, incumbent Tom DiNapoli (who was appointed to the position and has not run statewide before) leads his Republican rival, Wall Street financier Harry Wilson 49-31 percent.

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The Empire

Donovan: 'Schneiderman grew up rich' and dad is 'bankrolling his political life'

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

In response to the ad earlier today, a spokesperson for Republican Dan Donovan hits the Democratic AG candidate, saying he "deliberately and cavalierly tries to stigmatize an entire industry -- just because some pollster tells him to."

The statement also goes on to say, "Schneiderman grew up rich and still has his Wall Street lawyer father bankrolling his political life.”

(FYI - Schneiderman's dad is on WNYC's board of trustees.)

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The Empire

Hitting Donovan

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The NYS Democratic Party is out with an ad hitting Republican AG candidate Dan Donovan for not denouncing Carl Paladino's offensive emails. Donovan says that as sitting district attorney of Staten Island, he's prohibited from commenting on much political activity (which did not prevent him from delivering a blistering critique of Albany when he launched his campaign).

The campaign for the Democratic AG candidate, Eric Schneiderman, is also pointing out that Donovan had once said he would participate in debates "on any issues." So far, there have not been any debates.

For Democrats, hitting an opponent for not debating could lead to some collateral damage.

UPDATE: An interested reader notes the issue Schneiderman's campaign is pushing is Donovan's refusal to have a debate specifically dedicated to Wall Street issues. More generally-themed debates "will happen," I'm told.

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The Empire

Dodger Donovan

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Democratic AG candidate Eric Schneiderman spoofs his rival. (Eric Schneiderman's campaign)

Down-ballot candidates seeking media attention have their work cut out for themselves, thanks to the high-minded discourse at the top of the ticket.

But Democratic attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman is making a valiant effort. He posted an image of his Republican opponent, on hisFaceBook page, calling him "Dodger Dan Donovan."

Schneiderman claims Donovan is evading important issues, such as denouncing the controversial emails sent by his fellow Republican, Carl Paladino, and declining to say whether he thinks Paladino's opposition to abortion for rape or incest victims is "extreme," as critics have said.

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The Empire

Corruption cases

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman's campaign scores a coup today. The Village Voice reports that his Republican rival, a sitting district attorney, has not tried a public corruption case since taking office on Staten Island.

Tom Robbins writes:

[A]sk Donovan's team about his experience at tackling wayward politicians or their cronies since he became D.A. in 2004 and there's a pause. 'You have to understand, we operate on a much smaller playing field," said Bill Smith, spokesman for the District Attorney. "We have three and a half Assembly members, three Council members, one and a half state senators, and one congressman. So if you're asking in terms of specific elected officials, we haven't had any of these.'

Schneiderman, for his part, led a committee in the state senate which eventually led to the expulsion of a fellow Democrat, Hiram Monserrate.

The article goes on to detail a number of possible leads for corruption probes, which the Schneiderman team want to know more about.

Donovan's campaign notes "All of the allegations in the article in question actually occurred under the watch of Dan's predecessor as district attorney, who ironically was of the same political party as State Senator Schneiderman."

Here are the questions Schneiderman's camp released in a public statement:

1) Will Donovan return $5,000 from "Cubby" Calcagno, a co-conspirator in a mob case?

2) What did Donovan know about his Staten Island Borough President Office colleague's scheme to help the Genovese crime family shake down vendors at Little Italy's San Gennaro street fair?

3) Did Donovan ever consider alerting authorities to Leonard Cerami's job as an all-around political go-fer for Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari?

4) What did Donovan know about city employee Daniel Carrique's December 2000 stint in Florida on city time organizing political protests against the presidential recount for George W. Bush?

5) Did Donovan ever raise an objection to the wasted $126 million that was paid to his mentor Guy Molinari's developer pal to build housing for the Navy near the planned Homeport, that was ultimately never built?

6) Did Donovan ever feel at all uneasy about Molinari making a $100,000 profit by selling his own parcel to the builder, Robert Mazzuoccola, whose partners in other projects included a pair of Colombo crime family captains?

7) "How will Donovan take on public-corruption when by his own spokesman's admission, "we haven't had any of these" cases during Donovan's tenure as Staten Island District Attorney?

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The Empire

The Predictors: Ohara and Naparstek

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Carl Paladino's resounding defeat of Republican establishment pick Rick Lazio was completely unexpected, judging from predictions sent to me before polls closed.

The closest was former attorney (and Brooklyn political gadfly) John Ohara. His call: Paladino-57; Lazio-43.

In the Democratic primary for attorney general, blogger Aaron Naparstek nearly hit the nail on the head with his prediction. Naparstek called it at: Eric Schneiderman-33, Kathleen Rice-31.

I'll work on getting them on air shortly to brag, and tell us more about what they know, when did they know it, and how?

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The Empire

Predictions for the NY Primaries

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A few brave souls, including Carl Paladino's campaign manager, my mom, and Newsday reporter Reid Esptein, offered their predictions on tonight's races.

The consensus from the predictions (submitted before polls closed) is that Tea Party-backed Carl Paladino overtakes Rick Lazio in the Republican primary; progressive Eric Schneiderman holds off the opposition in the Democratic attorney general's race, Rep. Charlie Rangel cruises to re-election; embattled State Senator Pedro Espada succumbs to unified opposition, and former State Senator Hiram Monserrate gets denied a return to the legislature.

We'll see.

Anyway, here are the predictors (If I missed yours, stick it in the comments section):

NY GOP GOV PRIMARY

Newsday Reporter Reid Epstein
56: Lazio
44: Paladino

Operative Eric Kuo
55: Lazio
44: Paladino

Publisher/Editor Michael Schenkler
53: Lazio
47: Paladino

My Mom, Myra Paybarah
53: Lazio
47: Paladino

Fake Sheldon Silver Twitter Person
56: Lazio
40: Paladino

Former Attorney John Ohara
57: Paladino
43: Lazio

Consultant Evan Stavisky
55: Paladino
45: Lazio

Consultant Bob LIff
54: Paladino
46: Lazio

Blogger Aaron Naparstek
54: Lazio
46: Paladino (or "Sith Lord Palpatino" as Naparstek calls him)

Union Organizer Neal Kwatra
53: Paladino
46: Lazio
1: Other

Pollster Peter Feld
53: Paladino
47: Lazio

Paladino's Campaign Manager Michael Caputo
52: Paladino
48: Lazio

Sliwa Radio Producer Frank Morano
52: Paladino
48: Lazio

NY Observer Blogger David Freedlander
51: Paladino
49: Lazio

Operative Michael Fragin
51: Paladino
48: Lazio

Democratic Operative Al Benninghoff
49: Paladino
47: Lazio
3: Other

AG DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY

My Mom, Myra Paybarah
46: Schneiderman
20: Brodsky
17: Rice
11: Coffey
6: Dinallo

Former Attorney John Ohara
44: Schneiderman
41: Rice
5: Brodsky
5: Coffey
5: Dinallo

Democratic Operative Al Benninghoff
39: Schneiderman
31: Rice
13: Cofffey
8: Brodsky

Consultant Evan Stavisky
38: Schneiderman
32: Rice
15: Coffey
9: Brodsky
6: Dinallo

Operative Eric Kuo
38: Schneiderman
35: Rice
21: Coffey
3: Dinallo
2: Coffey

NY Observer Blogger David Freedlander
36: Schneiderman
31: Rice
14: Coffey
13: Brodsky
6: Dinallo

Newsday Reporter Reid Epstein
35: Schneiderman
28: Rice
18: Coffey
15: Brodsky
5: Dinallo

Union Organizer Neal Kwatra
35: Schneiderman
25: Rice
20: Coffey
12: Brodsky
8: Dinallo

Blogger Aaron Naparstek
33: Schneiderman
31: Rice
16: Coffey
14: Brodsky
6: Dinallo

Sliwa Radio Producer Frank Morano
32: Schneiderman
28: Rice
19: Coffey
13: Brodsky
8: Dinallo

Consultant Bob Liff
28: Schneiderman
21: Rice
19: Dinallo
16: Brodsky
6: Coffey

Operative Michael Fragin
28: Rice
27: Schneiderman
19: Coffey
13: Dinallo
10: Brodsky

Fake Sheldon Silver Twitter Person
28: Scheiderman
26: Rice
19: Brodsky
18: Coffey
9: Dinallo

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
26: Rice
25: Schneiderman
19: Brodsky
17: Coffey
13: Dinallo

Pollster Peter Feld
29: Rice
27 Schneiderman
19: Brodsky
13: Dinallo
12: Coffey

NY-1 GOP PRIMARY

Consultant Bob Liff
54: Altschuler
42: Cox
4: Demos

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
40: Altschuler
34: Cox
26: Demos

NY-13 GOP PRIMARY

Pollster Peter Feld
62: Grimm
38: Allegretti

Consultant Bob Liff
54: Grimm
46: Allegretti

Sliwa Radio Producer Frank Morano
55: Grimm
45: Allegretti

NY-14 DEM PRIMARY

Pollster Peter Feld
83: Maloney
17: Saujani

Former Attorney John Ohara
73: Maloney
27: Saujani

Fake Sheldon Silver Twitter Person
68: Maloney
32: Saujani

Blogger Aaron Naparstek
66: Maloney
34: Saujani

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
54.5: Maloney
45.5 Saujani

NY-15 DEM PRIMARY

Consultant Bob Liff
59: Rangel
21: Powell
8: Johnson
7: Tasini
5: Morgan

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
48: Rangel
30: Powell
11: Tasini
6: Morgan
5: Johnson

Former Attorney John Ohara
47: Rangel
38: Powell
6: Johnson
6: Tasini
3: Morgan

Blogger Aaron Naparstek
44: Rangel
24: Powell
18: Johnson
8: Morgan
6: Tasini

Fake Sheldon Silver Twitter Person
41: Rangel
26: Powell
17: Johnson
9: Tasini
7: Morgan

Conservative GOV PRIMARY

Former Attorney John Ohara
55: Largio
45: Lazio

Consultant Bob Liff
67: Lazio
33: Largio

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
56: Lazio
44: Largio

Sliwa Radio Producer Frank Morano
65: Lazio
35: Lorigo

GOP PRIMARY US SENATE (vs Gillibrand)

Consultant Bob Liff
41: Blakeman
40: Malpass
19: DioGuardi

Aaron Naparstek
41: Malpass
40: DioGuardi
29: Blakeman

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
34: DioGuardi
33: Malpass
32: Blakeman

GOP PRIMARY US SENATE (vs Schumer)

Consultant Bob Liff
61: Berntsen
39: Townsend

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
56: Berntsen
44: Townsend

DEM PRIMARY US SENATE

Democratic Operative Al Benninghoff
95: Gillibrand
4: Goode

Consultant Bob Liff
78: Gillibrand
22: Goode

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
77: Gillibrand
23: Goode

Blogger Aaron Naparstek
74: Gillibrand
26: Goode

Former Attorney John Ohara
74: Gillibrand
26: Goode

State Senate: 30

Consultant Bob Liff
55: Perkins
45: Smikle

Democratic Operative Al Benninghoff
55: Smikle
45: Perkins

Former Attorney John Ohara
56: Perkins
44: Smikle

State Senate 31 (Schneiderman's Seat)

Consultant Bob Liff
48: Espaillat
41: Levine
8: Lewis
3: Munoz

State Senate 33

Democratic Operative Al Benninghoff
45: Rivera
42: Espada
2: Padernatch

Consultant Bob Liff
54: Rivera
41: Espada
0: Padernacht

Blogger Aaron Naparstek
50: Rivera
46: Espada
4: Padernacht

State Senate: 39

Democratic Operative Al Benninghoff
75: Moya
25: Monserrate

Consultant Bob Liff
66: Moya
34: Monserrate

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
56: Moya
44: Monserrate

State Senate: 10

Publisher/Editor Michael Schnenkler
61: Huntley
39: Nunes

Consultant Bob Liff
53: Huntley
47: Nunes

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The Empire

Schneiderman's Robocall

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here's a copy of the robocall going out from attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman, which was referenced by a caller to the Brian Lehrer Show this morning. The woman who got the call, a woman from Queens, said she found it distasteful, since it immediatley references his religion at the beginning of the call.

The woman went on to say she voted for Kathleen Rice, in no small part, because Rice is a woman.

After the call, a source forwarded me a copy of the Schneiderman robocall.

(Disclosure: Schneiderman’s father Irwin Schneiderman, who has been a significant donor to his son’s campaign, is a long-time member of the WNYC Board of Trustees and has been a generous donor to the station over the years.)

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