Developers pushing campaign cash through loophole, state eyeing Troy's finances, Vega denied bail in Milligan murder case, so many campaign profiles

A look at how a handful of prominent developers in the Capital Region use the "LLC loophole" to get around, and far exceed, political campaign contribution limits. [TU]

More than $5 million has collectively been spent on the state Senate 46th race, a rematch between incumbent Cecelia Tkaczyk (D) and George Amedore (R ). A Siena poll out this past weekend has Amedore ahead. [Daily Gazette] [Siena SRI]

The state comptroller's office has told Troy leaders that a state control board could take back oversight of the Troy's finances if the city doesn't close a budget deficit projected to be $800k. [TU]

"Multiple sources" tell the Times Union that NYRA's executive committee had been considering extending the season at the Saratoga Race Course to two full months, but push back from some groups has prompted them to not follow through on the idea. [TU]

Gabriel Vega -- accused of killing Vanessa Milligan in Lansingburgh -- was denied bail on Friday. Vega's attorney argued prosecutors don't have hard evidence connecting his client with the death or the fire. [Troy Record] [TU]

Albany police say they're investigating two reported robberies -- one an apparent armed robbery of a convenience store on Quail near Central Thursday morning, the other a mugging on Western Ave near Quail Thursday evening. [APD FB x2]

Waterford police say two women were arrested for allegedly stealing a small amount of cash from a vehicle after a mobile phone found in the car -- and a subsequent text requesting whoever found the phone to return it -- led them to the women. [News10]

The federal case involving the former Saratoga Springs mortgage brokerage First Guarantee Mortgage and allegations of loan fraud has ended with misdemeanor plea agreements a group of loan officers -- no charges against the company's founders. [TU]

A campaign profile of the state Senate 49th, a rematch between incumbent Hugh Farley (R ) and Madelyn Thorne (D). The two campaigns have been at odds over the abortion plank of the Women's Equality Act. [TU] [Saratogian]

A campaign profile of the state Assembly 109th race between incumbent Patricia Fahy (D) and challenger Jesse Calhoun (R ). [TU]

A campaign profile of the 111th state Assembly race between incumbent Angelo Santabarbara (D) and challenger Pete Vroman (R ).

A campaign profile of the 112th state Assembly race between incumbent Jim Tedisco (R ) and challenger Jared Hickey (D). [Daily Gazette]

A campaign profile of the 113th state Assembly race between Steve Sallmer (R ) and Carrie Woerner (D). [Saratogian]

A co-worker at the state Office of Children and Family Services has accused a Schenectady City Council candidate of racial taunt in a complaint filed with the state. [TU]

Because Halfmoon politics: The town supervisor's stepped up enforcement of rules for political yard signs has prompted allegations that it's politically motivated. [TU]

Troy is looking at the possibility of leaving the Rensselaer County dispatch system for the city of Albany's system. [TU]

A state comptroller's office audit concluded it's unclear exactly what services the Henry Johnson Charter School in Albany is getting from the Brighter Choice Foundation, and recommended the school explore whether it can get some of the services cheaper from elsewhere. [NYS OSC] [TU]

The number of English-as-a-second-language students is increasing in many local school districts. [TU]

New York City's Department of Environmental Protection says the re-inforced Gilboa Dam at the Schoharie Reservoir can now handle a rain storm 2.5 times the size of Irene. The $138 million project was completed two years ahead of schedule. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

An Albany-based attorney is getting wider attention for her work representing federal whistleblowers. [Troy Record]

Germania Hall in Troy is for sale. [TU]

Comments

Right now Mike D has a comment on the home page asking what to do as someone who "is interested in developing downtown and possibly starting a business there, but isn't Columbia development?"

Mike after reading the first article linked here about political donations, I think you have your answer. Either start buying up politicians or plan to do everything the hard way.

LLC Loophole, baby!!

Did you see the recent article in the Times Union about how Joe Nicolla and Columbia are spending $52 million on the DeWitt Clinton hotel project.That is a lot of money!! Of course not as much as the over $70 million in tax breaks and grants they are getting for the project.

Legalized bribery is very very lucrative. So either get in the game or stay out of the way and let the big boys eat!!

@The Real World - too funny, I was just about to comment about that first article when I saw your response.

I'd like to believe that all of the nonsensical tax breaks are just a result of misguided policy, but articles like that make me realize that they're much more likely to be complete abuses of power. It's unconscionable.

It is a very, very big problem, but believe or not, a whole lot of people think it's ok (including the "development" authorities). I find it absolutely insane that Albany would give tax breaks much, much greater than the budget deficit, which Albany is trying to plug with State money and dubious income from a number of "initiatives." I also find it particularly offensive for these companies to basically refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. This is a national problem, not just an Albany problem. Most of what is being built today interms of industrial/commercial development is basically being subsidized or paid in full by taxpayers (i.e.: the new solar plant planned for western new york). While I don't necessarily oppose government incentives for private development, than government should own the profits in the same proportion as their investment. If we give out 50% of the cash for a private inestment, then we should collect 50% of the profits. What we are doing is socialism for the welathy and the connected, without the benefits of our investment.

Sorry about the typos...

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