Items tagged with 'Albany mayor 2009'

Answers from Jerry Jennings

jerry jennings

Jerry Jennings

Over the last few months AOA has been putting your questions to Albany's mayoral candidates. Yesterday we posted answers from Republican Nathan LeBron, and earlier this year we spoke with Corey Ellis and Shawn Morris.

Last week we braved the road and sidewalk construction on Delaware Avenue (important to know since -- yep -- you'll hear it going on during the interview) to sit down with Albany mayor Jerry Jennings at his campaign headquarters. After the jump are answers to some of your questions, and a few of ours. Like the others in this series, they're arranged so you can watch each answer separately.

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Answers from Nathan LeBron

Nathan Lebron

Nathan LeBron

A couple of weeks ago we asked for your questions for Nathan LeBron, the Republican candidate for mayor of Albany.

We talked with LeBron at his headquarters on State Street in Albany, near what's left of the Wellington Hotel (the part about the Wellington is significant only because the thumping you'll occasionally hear in the background is the sound of it being torn down.)

After the jump you'll find the answers to your questions, and a few of ours. The video is arranged so that you can watch him answer each question individually.

Last week we posed some of your questions to Mayor Jerry Jennings. Those answers are coming soon. Earlier this year we spoke with Corey Ellis and Shawn Morris.

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Questions for Jerry Jennings

jerry jenningsWe have an interview scheduled later this week with Albany major Jerry Jennings. We'll be talking with him about his bid for re-election. We're hoping you might have some questions in mind.

Here's video from our earlier interviews with Democratic candidates Corey Ellis and Shawn Morris. We'll have answers from Republican Nathan LeBron later this week.

photo: Flickr user m00by

Questions for Nathan LeBron

Nathan LeBronWe have an interview scheduled this week with Nathan LeBron, the Republican candidate in the Albany mayoral race. As we did with both Corey Ellis and Shawn Morris, we're hoping you might have some questions in mind.

Here are the answers to those earlier questions from both Ellis and Morris.

Fight over funds for homeless in Troy, Ellis to continue mayoral run, attempted abduction reported in Schenectady, Cohoes goes flashy

A spokesman for Harry Tutunjian says the Troy mayor's move to turn down $845k in federal money aimed at helping the homeless was "politically courageous." The mayor's administration has said the city doesn't have the money necessary to hire someone to administer the funding -- though critics have suggested the move is political payback. [TU] [Troy Record]

It appears that Corey Ellis will continue his Albany mayoral campaign on the Working Families in the general election. Ellis lost the Democratic primary to Jerry Jennings 56-44. [TU]

Leif Engstrom has come out as the winner the Democratic primary for the newly created job of Albany city auditor. There's no general election opponent, so the job is his. [TU]

A Marist poll reports that a majority of New Yorkers don't want David Paterson to run for governor -- but they also would rather not have Barack Obama be the one to push Paterson out. [Marist] [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY]

In a radio interview yesterday David Paterson basically said that Andrew Cuomo would have bad poll numbers, too, if he were governor right now. [PolitickerNY]

PEF -- one of the two biggest state worker unions -- says it will be lobbying David Paterson to approve more $20k buyouts for its members. [TU]

RPI says it now appears five students have come down with the H1N1 influenza. The school has set up 90 isolation rooms to handle a potential flu outbreak. In an email, the school's medical director said "the number of cases could change very quickly." Sage also reported this week that two of its students have H1N1. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [RPInsider] [CBS6]

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Jennings wins Democratic mayoral primary, Joe Bruno takes a turn on the swings, plane headed for Saratoga crashes, dogs found shot

Jerry Jennings topped Corey Ellis in the Albany mayoral Democratic primary with 7,615 to 5,971 (that's 56 percent to 44 percent). At his victory party, Jennings told the crowd he "wasn't going to walk away from this city in a very challenging time." Ellis told supporters that he would "continue to fight for this city" and that "this fight is just beginning." Ellis also said problems at polling sites held down his vote total. [CBS6] [TU] [CapNews9]

In other Albany primary results: Carolyn McLaughlin beat Lenny Ricciuti for Common Council president, Kathy Sheehan won big over incumbent Betty Barnette for treasurer and Leif Engstrom holds a 225 vote lead over Darius Shahinfar for city auditor. [CapNews9] [TU]

The whole list of primary results: Albany County | Rensselaer County | Saratoga County | Schenectady County

As the jury selection process started for his federal trial, Joe Bruno took a turn on the swings at a new playground in Troy that was built with Bruno Bacon. [TU] [CapNews9]

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Jennings has big lead on Ellis

Ellis and Jennings

Ellis and Jennings -- the poll didn't ask about other candidates

That's from a new Siena poll out this morning. It reports that Jerry Jennings is up 54-33 over Corey Ellis. The Democratic primary is next Tuesday.

The poll also looked at favorable/unfavorable. Jennings scored 67/29 and Ellis 49/25 -- with 26 percent saying they didn't know enough about Ellis.

Jennings also came out ahead of Ellis on seven of eight issues when voters were asked who would do a better job. Jennings and Ellis tied (at 44 percent each) on city government reform.

Crime was the issue people said they were most concerned about (23 percent), followed by property taxes (21 percent).

The poll also asked about other topics/orgs:

+ The Common Council's favorable/unfavorable was 60/22

+ The Albany Police Department's favorable/unfavorable was 57/34

+ The Albany public schools' favorable/unfavorable was 58/33

+ Respondents were opposed to the convention center project 52-38.

Here are the full results.

Jerry Jennings photo: Flickr user m00by

Shooting death in Albany, Bruno says he feels vindicated, sheriff says DWI sweep netted mother with kids, forklift used for robbery

Albany Police say a man was found shot and killed at an apartment complex on North Pearl Street late last night (map). There have now been three shooting deaths in Albany during the last 11 days. [TU] [WNYT]

Prompted by the recent spike in violent crime, three Albany Common Council members -- including mayoral candidate Corey Ellis -- called on the city yesterday to implement the recommendations of the Gun Violence Task Force, which issued its final report in January. Jerry Jennings said yesterday that he was tired of people "politicizing the tragedies we are having in the city." [TU] [CapNews9]

While Andrew Cuomo's investigation of the State Police (pdf) did not find evidence of special political unit, the AG's office says it found "several troubling situations in which, at the highest levels of the State Police, political considerations played an improper and determinative role." In a letter, David Paterson said he was concerned about "troubling politicization of certain actions and decisions that occurred at highest levels of the State Police." This investigation grew out of the "Troopergate" scandal -- in which Joe Bruno accused the Spitzer Administration of using state police to spy on him. Bruno said yesterday that the report makes him feel "totally vindicated." [NYS AG] [TU] [NYT] [CapNews9]

The state Committee on Open Government has concluded that the Schenectady School District should have released the entire report produced by its Steven Raucci investigation. [Daily Gazette $]

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Shooting in Albany, Jennings and Ellis debate, rolling billboard targets police chief, snakeheads!

Jennings and Ellis

Jerry Jennings and Corey Ellis just before the start of last night's debate

Police say a 19-year-old man was shot and killed last night in Albany's Delaware Ave neighborhood, just a few blocks from the Spectrum (map). There weren't a lot of details -- the APD was canvassing the neighborhood for info. The police say they're not even sure the man was shot at the location he was found. The shooting pushes Albany's murder count to six this year. Update: Police now say the shooting appears to have been an accident. [TU] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [WNYT]

Jerry Jennings and Corey Ellis debated last night in front of an overflow crowd at the Albany Public Library's main branch. Jennings said his top priority is the city's children and economic development -- Ellis said transparency and public safety. The exchanges were mostly calm. One exception: Jennings got a little stirred up when Ellis said he had been ignoring the city's gang problem. There was only one mention, by Ellis, of retiring police chief James Tuffey. The candidates answered a wide range of questions that had been written on notecards by the audience before the debate -- a format that didn't allow follow-up questions. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU] [AOA was also there]

For a quick read through of the debate, here's the stream of live tweets from AOA and the TU. Also, CBS6 has posted video, helpfully broken down by issue.

At last night's Schenectady school board meeting, the board president briefly addressed the now infamous graduation kegger, saying it demonstrated "a lack of parental boundaries." James Casino, the board member shown taking a Jager shot from an ice luge in one photo, was not at the meeting. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

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Schenectady High "persistently dangerous" again, Ellis says people don't feel safe in Albany, state texting while driving ban signed, parking permits for Troy?, Paterson finds catharsis and a milkshake

Schenectady High School made the the state Department of Education's list of "persistently dangerous" schools for the second straight year. Superintendent Eric Ely says the district didn't ask to have the school removed from the list because "We're not happy with what we're seeing." Ely also Schenectady is reporting all of its incidents to the state -- he said other districts are not doing that. [NYSED] [TU] [Fox23]

Former state Supreme Court judge Thomas Spargo, whose chambers were in Albany, was convicted yesterday of trying to shake down attorneys with cases before him. The prosecution alleged that Spargo was soliciting the bribes so that he could pay for his defense in an ethics investigation. Spargo was booted from the bench in 2006. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23]

Saratoga Springs police say two people were arrested yesterday after it appears that one of them accidentally shot himself at the Adelphi Hotel in downtown Saratoga. The woman staying with him, who's from New Jersey, was charged with felony weapon possession because she doesn't have a permit for New York. The cops say they were tipped off when the man, who's been charged with reckless endangerment, showed up Saratoga Hospital and wouldn't say how he'd gotten the wound in his leg. [TU] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Albany mayoral candidate Corey Ellis said yesterday during a campaign appearance that there "far too many violent crimes in this city, and that too many people don't feel safe in their neighborhoods." Jerry Jennings' campaign has been touting statistics that indicate crime has been dropping in the city. [Ellis press release] [TU]

Jennings held a campaign fund raiser at Michael Bloomberg's home in Manhattan earlier this month. [TU]

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Health care forum raises blood pressure, arrest in Albany murder, plan proposed for Troy Proctors, Green Island Bridge up and down today

About 1,500 people showed up for Paul Tonko's health care bill public forum last night in Bethlehem. Both supporters and opponents of the Obama Administration's health care reform plan were there -- and it led to some heated exchanges. When one speaker asked Tonko about where Congress gets the authority to pass health care reforms, Tonko pulled out a pocket constitution and started reading from Article I. [TU] [CapNews9] [Lydia Kulbida] [WNYT]

Schenectady police say a man was shot three times on Park Place last night -- just a few blocks from Union College (map). The shooting appeared to be the result of some sort of argument. No arrests have been made. [Fox23] [CBS6] [WNYT]

Albany police have made an arrest in the Western Ave murder earlier this month. Police say the shooting was part of a robbery. The suspect told police he didn't pull the trigger, but he says he saw who did. [CapNews9] [TU]

The Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, will take up the dispute over Richard Ravtich's appointment as lieutenant governor next month. [CapNews9]

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Jennings and Ellis spar over vacant buildings, state Senate paying lease on empty offices, Joe Bruno still alive, socialite's tiny dogs on display

Jerry Jennings and mayoral candidate Corey Ellis went back and forth yesterday over vacant buildings and the city's plan to paint boarded up windows to look like real windows. At a press conference on Henry Johnson, Jennings said the painted boards will help deter crime. At his own presser nearby, Ellis said "There's not enough paint in this city to solve these problems." [TU] [WNYT] [CitizenAction YouTube via PolitickerNY]

A former state Senate employee has alleged that David Paterson was having an affair with a staffer while he was lieutenant governor. That prompted a lawyer for the alleged mistress to call the former staffer "a lying weasel." [NYT]

The state Senate is paying $1.5 million on a lease for empty office space near the Capitol. [TU]

The Schenectady Free Health Clinic is on the verge of closing after its state funding didn't get renewed. [TU]

Saratoga public safety commissioner -- and mayoral candidate -- Ron Kim says the Saratogian has been too lax in allowing what he calls racist comments to be posted on its web site. (Kim is part Korean and apparently some of the comments make references to him being like Kim Jong Il). The Saratogian says Kim didn't report the offensive comments to the paper. [TU] [Saratogian]

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Opening day at The Track, child dies after being hit by police vehicle, bill would allow supermarket wine sales, Schenectady could turn down money for cops, tanker spills milk on I-90

It's opening day at The Track. Racing starts at 1 pm.

The state Department of Labor says it will be continuing to scrutinize whether trainers are paying overtime and minimum wage to backstretch workers. An investigation the agency conducted last year found that adequate records were not being kept and many workers were not getting full compensation. [Fox23] [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Many businesses in Saratoga are pulling for a strong track season -- the city's finance commissioner said the season is "like our Christmas." Hotels in Saratoga are apparently almost completely booked up for this weekend. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A child died in Troy yesterday after being hit by unmarked police vehicle. Police say the vehicle was not responding to an emergency. There are reports the child might have entered the street between two parked cars. The city says it's conducting an investigation. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

A bill has been proposed in Albany County would require chain restaurants to post calories counts on menus. One of the supporters of the bill is Panera -- the chain says its local restaurants already have plans to post calorie counts. [Albany County] [TU] [Fox23]

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Albany mayoral race: campaign expenditures

Ellis and Jennings

Apparently they're both fans of Dale Miller.

As promised, here are the sortable lists of expenditures for the campaigns of Jerry Jennings and Corey Ellis. If you see anything interesting or notable, please share in the comments.

We posted sortable lists of campaign contributors yesterday. (JVG noticed that DiCarlo's (the strip club) had made a contribution.)

We were able to break out these lists thanks to a package of campaign finance data put together by NYPIRG. That package, which includes data for candidates from Albany County, is available for download (it's an xls file). Thanks to NYPIRG for its help.

We've also put together a few notes based on the lists. They're also after the jump.

To the data...

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Albany mayoral race: who's donating

Ellis and Jennings

Corey Ellis and Jerry Jennings

Thanks to to a major helping hand from NYPIRG, we've broken out the campaign contributors for the two leading candidates in the Albany mayoral race. Sortable lists after the jump.

Tomorrow we'll post lists of campaign expenditures.

NYPIRG provided AOA with a spreadsheet listing all the campaign contributions and expenditures for Albany County during the first half of 2009. If you'd like to check out that spreadsheet, we've posted it for downloading (it's an xls file).

Thanks to NYPIRG spreadsheet savant Bill Mahoney for his help.

On to the lists...

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Strong thunderstorm sweeps through area, unemployment rate highest in more than two decades, Cheerio Paterson is a biter, his name really is Harry Potter

The severe thunderstorm that swept through the area yesterday evening dropped hail and more than half an inch of rain very quickly. More than 40,000 National Grid customers lost power -- many of them in Saratoga County. The power at Crossgates was also knocked out for a few hours. There was flash flooding in Schenectady County (photos). Some of the hail in Albany County was 1.75 inches in diameter. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [WNYT] [CapNews9] [kmg] [@tcrpmg]

The Capital Region's unemployment rate hit 7.4 percent in June, according to the state Department of Labor -- that's up from 4.8 percent during the same period a year ago. An analyst with the labor department that could be the highest local rate since 1977. The two job categories that took the biggest hits were government and construction. [NYS DoL] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Shawn Morris dropped out of the Albany mayoral race yesterday. She said in a press released that she didn't think it was possible to beat Jerry Jennings in a three-way race (the other person being Corey Ellis). Morris told the TU no deal had been made between her and the Ellis campaign. [AOA] [TU]

The bill that would allow the City of Albany to create a residential parking permit system near the state capitol was set aside in the state Senate after not enough Democrats were present to push it through. The bill has already passed in the Assembly. [TU]

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Shawn Morris drops out of Albany mayoral race

shawn morris 2009 cropFrom a campaign press release that just arrived via email:

I got into this race to affect change, to make government open, transparent and available to all its citizens. I got into this race to make sure city government focused on the people who live here and on the neighborhoods in which we live.
But in recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that, in a three way race, there is no way to achieve that. Although the most efficient way to affect change in Albany is through the Mayor's office, when the vote is divided into too many wedges, the status quo will rule. I don't want that to happen. And rather than expend so many resources in a race where there is no route to victory, I am withdrawing from this race.

The whole release is posted after the jump.

That leaves mayor Jerry Jennings and councilman Corey Ellis -- both Democrats -- as the frontrunners. As the TU reported today, Jennings is crushing everyone in fundraising.

Earlier this year, Morris -- who's currently the Common Council president -- talked with AOA about how she would address some of the challenges facing Albany.

Earlier on AOA: Answers from Corey Ellis

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Woman killed in Schenectady deli stick-up, Tonko endorses Morris, Paterson reaches out to Bruno on same-sex marriage, Price Chopper alleges grocery espionage, plane lands on Route 9

A woman was shot and killed in a deli on Eastern Ave in Schenectady Friday night (map). Police say it appears the woman got caught up in the middle of a robbery -- but they're not sure whether the she was intentionally shot. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

A Troy man has been arrested for the death of his girfriend's three-year-old daughter. Police haven't said yet how the girl died. [TU]

Paul Tonko has endorsed Shawn Morris in the Albany mayoral race. Responded Jerry Jennings: "... the people behind me are the people that live in this city, that work in this city, and that will vote in this city." [TU] [CapNews9]

David Paterson has reached out to Joe Bruno to help him lobby Republican state Senators to support to the same-sex marriage bill. [Liz Benjamin]

The Obama Administration has found many of its appointees in New York State. [TU]

Another New Yorker the Obama team has leaned on heavily -- whether they like it or not: Chuck Schumer.

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UAlbany students say alleged "Craigslist killer" was nerdy and nice, Barnette rebuffs request for dismissed parking tickets, building inspector says he was fired over rec center, Potato Playground closes

UAlbany officials say there are no indications that Philip Markoff, the alleged "Craigslist killer," was involved in any criminal cases during his four years as an undergrad at the school (he graduated in 2007 with a degree in biology). One of Markoff's lab partners at UAlbany called him "a nerdy science lover." A person who says he was one of Markoff's best friends at UAlbany called him "a great guy" who was "an intellectual, nice, friendly guy." Though one of Markoff's lab partners at Boston U's school of medicine said Markoff had exhibited extreme mood swings and she was "not even remotely surprised" that he'd been charged with murder. [AP/Daily Gazette] [TU] [MSNBC] [Boston Globe]

Albany city treasurer Betty Barnette says she can't comply with the Common Council's request for copies of all the parking tickets dismissed in 2008 because doing so would violate HIPAA. Yep, the medical privacy law. Council president Shawn Morris said the explanation is "absurd." [TU]

Columbia Pictures is paid just $25 for the permit to rent I-787 and ramps to/from the ESP for the filming of that Angelina Jolie movie. The production company is also paying for costs associated with the necessary detours. A state official estimates the production will inject $500k into the local economy. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Benzie Johnson, a resident of Pine Hills, says he's running for mayor of Albany. Johnson is a registered Democrat but says he'll be seeking nomination on another party's ticket -- he says he doesn't think any Democrat can beat Jerry Jennings in the primary. [TU] [CapNews9]

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Answers from Corey Ellis

Corey Ellis

He's currently a member of the Common Council.

As promised, here are the video answers from our conversation with Albany mayoral candidate Corey Ellis. Answers from Shawn Morris, who's also running for mayor, were posted last week. We hope to get time with other candidates at some point, too.

We asked Ellis a bunch of questions -- including many that you suggested. The video is posted after the jump. It's arranged so that you can watch him answer each question individually.

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Paterson to introduce same-sex marriage bill, Gillibrand's absentee ballot challenged, Dalai Lama visit back on, "tea party" in Corning Preserve, local professor salaries ranked

David Paterson reportedly plans to introduce legislation on Thursday that would make same-sex marriage legal in New York State. Paterson says allowing same-sex marriage is "the only ethical way to treat people who want to live together in peace under the civil law." A similar bill has passed the Assembly in previous years, but stalled in the state Senate. Democrats now hold a 32-30 majority in the state Senate, but four Senate Dems say they won't support the bill. The state Senator who plans to sponsor the bill says he thinks some Republicans may cross the aisle to support the measure. [NYT] [AP/Daily Gazette] [NYP] [TU]

The Tedisco campaign has challenged Kirsten Gillibrand's absentee ballot for the 20th Congressional District special election. A Tedisco campaign lawyer said Gillibrand, who appeared in the area with Scott Murphy, should have voted at her polling place in Columbia County. Gillibrand called the challenge "frivolous and without merit." The Tedisco campaign has been focusing their ballot challenges on people who may live part-time in the district, including students from schools such as Skidmore. A attorney for the Murphy campaign says the Tedisco campaign is basing its challenges on whether "the person is likely to vote Democratic." [TU] [Saratogian/Troy Record] [HuffPo] [PolitickerNY] [NYT]

The unofficial count from the NYS Board of Elections had Murphy up 47 votes on Tedisco at the end of yesterday. [NYS BoE]

Albany mayor Jerry Jennings says rumors that he was not going to run for re-election this year were "wishful thinking." He's expected to officially announce his re-election bid next week. [TU]

It looks like the Dalai Lama is coming to Albany, afterall. The Buddhist spiritual leader is now scheduled to appear at The Palace Theater on May 6. [Metroland] [TU]

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Answers from Shawn Morris

Shawn Morris

She's currently the Common Council president.

AOA recently talked with Albany Common Council president Shawn Morris about her candidacy for mayor. We asked her a bunch of questions -- including many that you suggested.

Video of her answers is after the jump. It's arranged so that you can watch her answer each question individually.

We'll have video answers from our interview with Corey Ellis, who's also running for mayor, later this week on Monday. We hope to get time with the other candidates at some point, too.

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