Items tagged with 'David Paterson'

Lewis Black on Albany

lewis black closeup

One of our favorite Lewis Black lines, about mad cow disease: "What were these ranchers thinking when they started feeding cows to other cows? Hey, when I eat human, I get a little crazy myself!"

Comedian and playwright Lewis Black is heading for Albany in a few months to do his stand-up act at The Palace. Black is well known for his rants and observations about politics, which is pretty much our local sport.

So we gave him a call to ask what he thinks about some of the things that have been going on lately at the state Capitol.

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David Paterson's greatest hits

New York Now has put together an epic montage covering David Paterson's 34 months in office. It's all in there, from Paterson taking the oath of office and the legislature chanting "David, David, David!" -- to him asking "why me?" It's remarkable to watch his body language change over the course of the montage. He just seems beaten down by the end.

Paterson will also be appearing on New York Now tonight for another exit interview (7:30 pm on WMHT -- and Sunday at 11 pm).

The montage highlights some of the reasons we feel conflicted about David Paterson. On one hand, he was thrown into a job that even he probably never expected to have, sounded the alarm early about the state's fiscal crisis, kept the state solvent, took the initiative to get a lieutenant governor in place (and kept Pedro Espada from possibly being next in line for governor -- *shiver*), made a good pick for US Senator (KG), and basically stuck it to the legislature while it stalled on the budget.

On the other hand (and it's a big hand)... Paterson had a tendency to say one thing one day and something else the next, didn't necessarily surround himself with the best people, turned the selection of a new US Senator into a circus, seemingly ignored the guy he picked to help fix the state's fiscal situation, intervened in a case of alleged domestic violence involving a top aide, his administration tried to score free Yankees tickets, and he just seemed to generally be a scandal magnet. And that doesn't even cover all of it.

So long, Governor Paterson. It wasn't boring.

Four Loko voluntarily bans itself from New York

caffeinated alcoholic beverages four lokoUpdated Tuesday morning with additional links and info about research

The Paterson administration announced over the weekend that Phusion Products, the company that makes the caffeinated malt liquor drink Four Loko, had voluntarily agreed to stop shipping the beverage to New York State by this Friday. The administration also announced the state's largest beer distributors had voluntarily agreed to stop selling malt beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants.

Said David Paterson in the press release:

"New Yorkers deserve to know that the beverages they buy are safe for consumption. The voluntary agreement reached this weekend between beverage distributors and the State Liquor Authority is an important first step toward permanently removing alcoholic energy drinks from the marketplace. I'll continue to work with the beverage industry to protect the safety of all New Yorkers.

Despite some good tabloid-y lines -- "liquid cocaine" and "badness in a can" -- there doesn't actually appear to be any research showing that the caffeine/alcohol mix in these beverages is inherently unsafe, at least not yet (the FDA is currently reviewing the products -- there are suspicions ingesting alcohol and caffeine at the same time is more potent than consuming the substances separately). As devtob and others pointed out in comments here on AOA last week, the tales of drunkenness and other mishaps associated with Four Loko probably come from the fact that the beverage is 12 percent alcohol by volume. Considering a single can is 24 ounces, that's enough alcohol to get most people relatively well smashed. (If you can actually get past the taste.)

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David Paterson on SNL

David Paterson -- the actual David Paterson -- appeared on SNL this weekend to respond to the jokes the show has made about him.

He got one or two good ones in -- like this line: "Working in Albany is a lot like watching Saturday Night Live -- there's a lot of characters, it's funny for 10 minutes... and then you just want it to go away." But he's funnier doing his own material.

As it happens, the Fred Armisen Paterson was pretty funny this time around.

We can only hope "Carl Paladino" will eventually make an appearance.

Client 9, the movie

The trailer is out for the Eliot Spitzer documentary Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. It's directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney.

The early word on the doc has been positive. Spitzer apparently granted Gibney access without asking for editorial control (something Ashley Dupree reportedly wouldn't do). Joe Bruno appears in the film -- he's featured in the trailer pounding a punching bag and looking like a tough guy.

Client 9 debuts in theaters November 5.

It's remarkable how, more than two years after the spitzering, Eliot Spitzer keeps popping up in the conversation. His new CNN show starts up soon. And he's been very willing to say things that grab attention -- like in this segment on CNN this week quote from this week about Andrew Cuomo, and the matchup with Carl Paladino:

Well, what he needs to do is speak to the public and, of course, the problem that Andrew has is that everybody knows that behind the scenes, he has the dirtiest, nastiest political player out there and that is his reputation from years in Washington.

To which Cuomo responded today in Rochester:

That's saying something from Eliot Spitzer. I think Eliot Spitzer's record of performance and honor speaks for itself.

By the way: NYT reports that David Paterson will appear this weekend on Saturday Night Live

[via @rmadeo]

Independent counsel: Paterson made "errors of judgment"

Judith Kaye's independent counsel investigation of David Paterson's involvement with Sherr-Una Booker, the woman who accused Paterson aide David Johnson of domestic violence, released its report today. From the executive summary:

The Independent Counsel finds no evidence that the State Police or the Executive Chamber interfered with the NYPD response to the October 31, 2009 domestic incident. However, evidence revealed errors in the NYPD response to the incident and errors in judgment following the incident by the head of the Governor's State Police protection detail, by Johnson and another close aide to the Governor, and indeed by the Governor himself. There were numerous telephone contacts between the Governor and Booker, some that he initiated even after he became aware of the serious nature of her accusations, and even just after he referred this matter to the [office of the attorney general]. Regardless of any good faith reasons on the part of the Governor for contacts that he initiated, these were errors of judgment.

The report doesn't recommend that Paterson face any charges, but says the evidence "warrants consideration of possible charges against David Johnson." Booker recently said she would ask prosecutors to pursue charges against Johnson.

The news that state police may have had tried to influence Booker -- and that Paterson himself had contacted her -- prompted the governor to halt his bid for re-election.

About those Yankee tickets: the Kaye report says the Paterson administration's alleged attempt to score free Yankees tickets "remains under review."

The gubernatorial Flickr

David Paterson at Empire State Plaza July 4 2010News to us: there's a David Paterson Flickr stream. It's a bit like the White House photostream -- public appearances, flattering behind-the-scenes shots.

There's a lot handshaking, like in this set from the ESP on July 4th (let it not be said that Governor Paterson hasn't reached out to the shirtless guys wearing Uncle Sam top hats demographic). Or, in an occasion somewhat more formal, when the the governor accompanied Queen Elizabeth at the World Trade Center site last week.

thumbnail: Governor David A. Paterson Flickr

Paterson says "hand is forced," considering layoffs this year

David Paterson in profileAppearing on the Capitol Pressroom today, David Paterson said he's considering state worker layoffs this year:

... what bothers me is, it's gnawing me, I don't think I should be setting up a layoff plan for the next governor to do. I think if you're going to layoffs, you do them yourself. And so I'm really considering altering [the layoff plan for next year] and starting the layoffs sooner... [in] 2010.
We need $250 million in workforce reductions and we have not come close to that. That's why we tried to do the furloughs, the court told us we couldn't do it. That's why we tried to get five days extra lag pay in negotiation, and the workers wouldn't do it. And so I think our hand is forced here.

Paterson said his administration is "still calculating" how many layoffs might be involved -- the number of early retirees would play a role in the number.

I don't want to lay people off ... This is just the unfortunate situation that I turned up in going back to a little over two years ago when I became governor that it's the worst economic times in the state's history and I've had to do things that go against what I have felt in my heart, the same way those Republican senators had to vote against how they feel about the extenders. But what I'm doing and what I think they're doing and other are doing here at the Capitol is we're trying to adjust to a crisis.

If Paterson tries to layoff state workers, the public employee unions will almost certainly sue because of the no-layoffs agreement they have with him.

Also: The state Senate passed a bill today that would institute a "Question Time with the Prime Minister" style session between the governor and the legislature each month. We'd watch that. [TU Cap Con]

Yep, the Capitol Pressroom advertises on AOA. That's where the the governor said it.

file photo via Paterson press images

Judges orders preliminary injunction against state worker furloughs

Updated Friday at 3:09

Federal judge Lawrence Kahn today granted a preliminary injunction against the state worker furloughs and the withholding of the four percent pay raises. The Paterson administration was also blocked from including the furloughs and pay freeze in a future emergency budget extenders.

From the decision (the plaintiffs are the state worker unions and the defendants are the Paterson administration):

Plaintiffs have met their burden of showing that the permanent 20% loss in salary and wages that the furlough plan effects constitutes irreparable harm and that irreparable harm flows from Defendants' failure to pay the contracted-for increases in salaries and wages, which were negotiated years prior to the challenged extender bill, and upon wihch the affected employees have surely relied.

The unions had argued the furloughs and withheld raises violated the Contract Clause of the US Constitution. Among the evidence cited by the judge that the unions have a good case on that account is the state Senate's resolution criticizing the furloughs. From the decision:

To uphold self-interested impairments of contractual rights from suit under the Contract Clause, the Court must see that the impairments are reasonable and necessary, as established by real and demonstrable consideration of needs and alternatives. Instead, the Court observes both a complete repudiation by the Senate of such a judgment and an argument by Defendants that fails to show sufficient consideration and analysis of the kind required by the Contract Clause.

(The Senate grudgingly passed the budget extender that included the furloughs because not doing so would have shut down the government. Neil Breslin was one of the senators who proposed the resolution.)

In a statement, David Paterson says he's "disappointed" by the decision:

Today's ruling was determined in part by evidence submitted by the Legislature in opposition to the extraordinary action I took in proposing furloughs and withholding pay increases. However, both houses of the Legislature agree with my assertion that New York's public employee unions must contribute, along with all other New Yorkers, to solving this extraordinary fiscal crisis. This agreement is reflected in each of its individual budget resolutions, which count $250 million or more in workforce savings in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Said CSEA's president in a statement: "Today's decision is a victory for the rule of law in New York and should make it clear that no governor can run roughshod over people's rights." Said the president of PEF in a statement: "It is in the best interest of state taxpayers the governor accepts the court's ruling and avoids wasting more time and money needlessly appealing this decision."

The judge's decision is embedded after the jump.

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Speed reading the coverage of Andrew Cuomo's campaign announcement

andrew cuomo campaign announcement

Gubernatorial candidate.

Andrew Cuomo has publicly declared that he's running for governor (finally).

Here are a bunch of the quick scan highlights from the coverage, including bits about Cuomo's plan, his apparent cold shoulder toward Sheldon Silver, being an insider-outsider-upsidedownsider and Sandra Lee.

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"It is what it is."

New York Now has posted a condensed version of today's public state leaders meeting about the budget. (You might say it's a package of "highlights," but somehow that word doesn't seem appropriate for New York State politics.)

The meeting kind of reminded us of a really uncomfortable family dinner where a few of the people argue over some longstanding grudge while everyone else stares at their plates and contemplates the mashed potatoes.

Oh, and David Paterson would like Scottie to beam him up.

It should all be good material for Ira Glass.

State worker furloughs blocked

state worker furlough rallyA federal judge has granted a restraining order against the state worker furloughs.

WTEN has posted a copy of the order. Among the orders:

  • It temporarily blocks the Paterson administration from furloughing state employees
  • It also blocks the admin from including another furlough measure in upcoming budget extenders.
  • And, if we're reading it correctly (if), it also blocks the administration from holding back the four percent raises that are part of the union contracts.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for later this month.

Also: Jack McEneny apparently led some sort of sit-in this afternoon outside Paterson's office to protest inaction on the budget. [State of Politics]

Update: The temporary restraining order is embedded after the jump.

photo from anti-furlough rally earlier this week: Rob Gierthy

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Paterson: furloughs will be in next budget extender

David Paterson in profileDavid Paterson announced that he will include furloughs for state workers in the next emergency budget extender. From the release:

"I have repeatedly called upon the State public employee unions to work with me to achieve critical workforce savings. Because unions have not accepted any proposals to achieve necessary savings, I am left with no other choice but to move forward with this plan. I do not take this action lightly, but it is necessary given the unions' unwillingness to make any sacrifices and I will do whatever is necessary to protect New York's finances."

The Paterson admin says agency heads will be given the discretion to schedule "one furlough day for each of their employees during the week of May 17." Positions in "essential" fields such as health and safety won't be included. Management/confidential employees also won't be subject to the furlough because their annual raises were canceled.

The furloughs are being framed as a cost-saving measure by the administration, but it's likely Paterson is using them to squeeze the legislature. By tacking the furloughs on to the budget extender, he's forcing the legislature to pick between the furloughs (which will irk the powerful state worker unions extraordinarily) and shutting the down government. Or, of course, there's option three: passing a budget.

Paterson is also floating an early retirement incentive. Details after the jump.

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Paterson says he never promised to not lay off state workers, Paladino into the pool for governor, police officers suspended, local family going to White House for Easter egg roll

David Paterson on the deal he struck with the state worker unions last year to trade the new, cheaper pension tier for a no-layoffs pledge: "I never promised I would not lay anyone off." Appearing at an Easter egg hunt in Albany Sunday, the governor said: "it's time for everyone to make a sacrifice." [TU] [WNYT]

Buffalo-area real estate developer Carl Paladino is scheduled to announce this afternoon that he's running for governor as a Republican. He says he's willing to spend $10 million of his own money on the campaign. If he elected, he said: "I will chop and I will chop their budget until they stop their nonsense." The Buffalo news describes Paladino as "outspoken" and "a man of contradictions." [YNN] [AP/Troy Record] [AP/Troy Record] [Buffalo News]

An employee of the state Department of Labor has apparently been assigned to sit at home and call into the office twice a day -- at a salary of $115k/year. [TU]

A Rotterdam family has reached a $5.2 million settlement with two obstetricians and Albany Med over a mother's death following a Caesarean section. The family's attorney said the death was caused by a "cascade of errors." As part of the settlement, Albany Med is funding a 20-year lecture series on patient safety and is investing in equipment for additional training. More than a third of births in New York State are via C-section. [Daily Gazette $] [WTEN] [TU] [TU]

The 12-year-old girl authorities said was forced by her mother to climb through pet doors to assist in robberies, in her victim impact statement: "Tell my mom that I will never forgive her." [TU]

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Paterson up in the one poll he'd probably rather not be

Paterson in Runners WorldThe Boston Phoenix has ranked David Paterson #12 on its list of the "100 Unsexiest Men of the Year." The governor's ranking is up (or, uh, down) from #81 last year. In the politics category, Paterson is between Mark Sanford and Rod Blagojevich.

The Phoenix comments that Paterson looks like "the offspring of Stevie Wonder and Mel Brooks." Ouch.

Tiger Woods was #1 in the rankings.

photo: Runner's World

One in five living in poverty in Albany, Schdy, Troy; pressure on Murphy from all sides, state running out of cash, North Greenbush kid gets lead role on Broadway

New York State's poverty rate is 14 percent, according to a report from the New York State Community Action Association. More than 20 percent of the people in Albany, Schenectady and Troy live in poverty. And about one third of children in those cities live in poverty. Of the four core Capital Region counties, Saratoga had the lowest poverty rate at 6.9 percent. The poverty line for a family of four is $22,000. [NYSCAA] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Troy Record] [YNN]

As David Paterson's World Turns The governor said yesterday that he did not try to convince Sherr-una Booker to drop her domestic violence case against David Johnson. Paterson also said Kirsten Gillibrand threw him under the bus when she said he should resign if the allegations against him turn out to be true. Also yesterday: Marissa Shorenstein, Paterson's press secretary, resigned. "Due to the circumstances that have led to my unwitting involvement in recent news stories, I can no longer do my job effectively," she wrote in her resignation statement. Translation: I didn't know what Paterson might really have been trying to do when he told me to get in touch with Sherr-una Booker. [AP/YNN] [Fox23] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYT March 1]

Raucci Trial Day 12 Deborah Gray testified that her family's house and cars were vandalized on multiple occasions after Steven Raucci accused her of writing an anonymous letter to unions officials complaining about his leadership. Gray also testified that a former friend told her that Raucci was going to "take care of things" after the former friend told Raucci about her friends with a former partner (an unexploded device was later found at the former partner's house). A former co-worker of Raucci also testified that his vehicles were vandalized after he filed a sexual harassment claim after Raucci played the "man game" with him. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [WTEN] [YNN]

Ron Canestrari says talk of a cancelled racing season at Saratoga is a pressure ploy by NYRA. Roy McDonald and Tony Jordan have written a letter to David Paterson urging to review the already-existing bids for the Aqueduct racino (money from that deal was going to prop up racing in the state). [WTEN] [Saratogian]

The Schenectady man accused of killing two dogs and torturing another has pleaded guilty. The plea deal includes two years in prison. [YNN] [Daily Gazette $]

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Embarrassed to be New Yorkers

paterson favorability 2010-3

David Paterson's favorability ratings since becoming governor, as tracked by the Siena poll

The Siena poll out today reports that 54 percent of respondents said they agree that "What's going on in Albany makes me embarrassed to call myself a New Yorker."

SRI also reports that 55 percent of those polled said they think David Paterson should serve out his term. That reverses a recent slide for Paterson across a handful of polls:

March 2: Marist reports 66 percent say Paterson should stay stay
March 3: Quinnipiac reports 61 percent say stay
March 5: Quinnipiac reports 46 percent say stay
March 8: Siena reports 55 percent say stay

Not that people are warming back up to David Paterson. This most recent Siena poll reports that Paterson's unfavorable rating is at its highest point (67 percent).

Here's the full listing of the poll results.

Paterson say continues to say he's staying, state stepping up tax audits, another Republican into NY 20 pool, pay by mobile in Saratoga, Dickens letters found

David Paterson told a Brooklyn congregation on Sunday that he will "keep governing till the end of the year." He also said that finishing the term would "fulfill the mission in which God placed me." [NYDN] [NYT]

It's not clear which agency will end up investigating the allegations that Paterson perjured himself during questioning about the Yankees tickets. [TU]

If Paterson were to leave office, lieutenant governor Richard Ravitch appears to be widely respected at the Capitol for his competence, experience -- and bluntness. Of course, that would mean another lt gov appointment, which could be tricky. [TU] [TU]

During opening statements in the Steven Raucci trial, prosecutor Robert Carney alleged that Raucci planned his alleged attacks for night so as to maximize their impact. Carney also alleged the Raucci's actions stole his alleged victim's "peace of mind, their comfort, their security." It also came out on Friday that a key undercover witness for the prosecution is a former cop whom Raucci's attorney called a "crook.". [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Daily Gazette $]

Fred Lebrun says he thinks the state legislature will find a way to keep the state parks open. [TU]

The state has stepped up the number of audits in an effort to find more tax cheaters. [Daily Gazette $]

The state Board of Regents is reportedly considering cutting some Regents exams in order to save money. [TU]

One man died and a car hit a house as part of a two-car crash in Colonie Saturday. The driver who survived has been charged with Driving With Ability Impaired (drugs). Residents who live near the crash site say the residential intersection is notoriously dangerous because drivers often go through the stop sign there. (map). [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [CBS6] [TU] [Fox23]

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Paterson now snagged in Yankees ticket flap, new Troy city hall won't be cheap, Proctors expanding, cookies for Oscar

The state Commission on Public Integrity announced yesterday that it's asked prosecutors to look into whether David Paterson should be charged for giving false testimony during an ethics inquiry about Yankees World Series Tickets. The commission says it found:

"... there is reasonable cause to believe that Governor Paterson solicited, received and accepted an unlawful gift; and falsely testified under oath that he had always intended to pay for the tickets for his son and his son's friend when, in fact, the Governor's intention was to receive and accept the tickets without paying for them until a press inquiry caused him to submit a backdated check as payment for the tickets."

When asked yesterday whether he lied during the ethics investigation, Paterson said: "No." Paterson's story about how he ended up with the tickets has changed multiple times. In response to one of the Paterson administration's versions, the president of the Yankees told the NY Post the governor was "a liar." The Paterson aide who reportedly approached the Yankees: David Johnson. [NYS COPI] [TU] [NYT] [NY Post] [NYDN]

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio was in Scotia yesterday and told a gathering of Republicans that "the people of New York deserve better than what they've been getting." He also criticized Andrew Cuomo for "ducking and bobbing and weaving - avoiding taking positions." [CapNews9] [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23]

"Several hundred" people showed up for yesterday's state parks rally outside the Capitol. Jack McEneny said he's been getting more mail about the parks closures than all proposed budget cuts combined. [TU] [Troy Record]

The 12 jurors for the Steven Raucci case have been selected. Potential jurors were screened for their thoughts on firecrackers and the use of informants. As part of jury selection, potential witness lists surfaced -- and many current and former top officials for the Schenectady school district are on the lists. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [WNYT] [Daily Gazette $]

Consultants for the City of Troy report that building a new city hall could cost somewhere between $21 million and $25.5 million. Here's a live blog transcript from last night's meeting. [TU] [City of Troy]

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Conflicting reports about what Paterson said, Sararoga paid parking off the table, another potential Gillibrand challenger drops out

The friend David Paterson allegedly enlisted to talk with the woman who sought an order of protection against a top aide reportedly has told investigators that Paterson asked to pass along this message to the woman: "Tell her the governor wants her to make this go away." A Paterson spokesman said last night that it was not the message the governor sent -- and when he did talk with the woman, it was about getting the media off her back. [NYT] [TU]

Harry Corbitt, the New York State Police superintendent, announced last night on Capitol Tonight that he's retiring -- he said the "media fire storm has really disrupted my ability to function in that capacity." Denise O'Donnell, the state official who oversaw the state police, resigned last week after saying she couldn't "in good conscience" remain a part of the Paterson administration. The head of the State Troopers Police Benevolent Society released a statement yesterday trying to distance rank-and-file troopers from "the reported actions of a few people in higher positions." [CapNews9] [TU CapCon] [CapNews9]

David Paterson has called a cabinet meeting this morning at the Capitol. [Daily Politics]

Saratoga Springs' finance commissioner says downtown paid parking is now "off the table at this point." The city's budget had included $1.35 million in revenue from parking. [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

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Speed reading the coverage of David Paterson

paterson with spitzer

In retrospect, not exactly a dream team.

We've read (too) much of the reaction to David Paterson's decision to exit the race for the governor.

Here are a bunch of the quick-scan highlights -- about lame duck status, Paterson's work habits, calls for resignation, the budget, Andrew Cuomo and... yet another SNL skit.

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Paterson: I'm ending my campaign

David Paterson just officially announced that he's ending his campaign for re-election. "I'm being realistic about politics," the governor said.

Paterson touted his record after taking over for Eliot Spitzer -- on issues such as the budget and the reform of the Rockefeller drug laws. "I fought the good fight, I did what was hard and I put the people first."

The governor said he's "looking forward to a full investigation" of the allegations surrounding aide David Johnson. "I have never abused my office, not now, not ever. When the facts are revealed, the truth will prevail."

Paterson said he will serve out the "308 days" remaining in his term (you know, not that anyone is counting.)

Cuomo to investigate Paterson, Bruno sentencing pushed back, guily plea for mom accused of using daughter in burglaries, big snowfall totals in spots

Andrew Cuomo has reportedly agreed to David Paterson's request that the AG investigate Paterson aide David Johnson, the actions of the state police and the governor himself. Paterson announced last night that he had suspended Johnson after the New York Times posted an article in which it reported that a woman had sought an order of protection against Johnson -- and both the State Police and Paterson intervened in some way. [NY Post] [Paterson press release] [NYT]

Joe Bruno's attorney have reached an agreement with the feds on how much money the former state senator will have to forfeit as part of his sentencing. The figure hasn't been released, but it will probably be some portion of the $240k he was accused of receiving fraudulently. Bruno's sentencing has also been pushed to May 6. [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [Troy Record]

The state Senate passed the Family Health Care Decisions Act yesterday. The bill allows a surrogate to make decision on behalf of patient whom doctors have determined lacks decision-making capacity. The bill has already passed the Assembly -- and David Paterson reportedly will sign it. [NY Senate] [TU]

Albany County DA David Soares told the TU's editorial board yesterday that the Albany Police Department is "doing greater work in that department without the former chief there." At a community forum last night, residents suggested interview questions for the eight police chief candidates. [TU] [CapNews9]

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NYT: Paterson called woman who was seeking protection from aide

The New York Times has published yet another story about David Paterson and his reportedly influential aide, David Johnson. And while the first story fell short of the hype, the one posted tonight raises significant and specific questions about Johnson -- and the governor:

Last fall, a woman went to court in the Bronx to testify that she had been violently assaulted by a top aide to Gov. David A. Paterson, and to seek a protective order against the man.
In the ensuing months, she returned to court twice to press her case, complaining that the State Police had been harassing her to drop it. The State Police, which had no jurisdiction in the matter, confirmed that the woman was visited by a member of the governor's personal security detail.
Then, just before she was due to return to court to seek a final protective order, the woman got a phone call from the governor, according to her lawyer. She failed to appear for her next hearing on Feb. 8, and as a result her case was dismissed.

Paterson released a statement tonight in response to the article. In it, Paterson says Johnson has been suspended without pay. He also says asking Andrew Cuomo to investigate the matter.

The full text is after the jump.

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New York is waiting

gillibrand and ford

Voters say they're still unsure about KG -- and even more unsure about Harold Ford.

Or, so it would seem from a Siena poll out this week.

The poll reports that voters continue to want someone other than David Paterson to be governor, continue to like Andrew Cuomo, continue to be unsure about Kirsten Gillibrand, and continue to think the state is headed in the wrong direction.

A few highlights after the jump.

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Weekend of shootings, Victoria Pool on secondary closure list, college student killed on Thruway

Schenectady police say a man was shot five times and killed on Maple Ave in the Vale neighborhood early Saturday morning (map). It's Schenectady's first homicide of the year. The SPD says two officers were injured by a ricocheting bullet as the SWAT team executed a search warrant on the same street Sunday night -- one of the officers was reportedly saved by his bulletproof vest. Police aren't saying whether the warrant is connected to the earlier shooting. The SPD says eight people were detained. [Fox23] [CapNews9] [Daily Gazette $] [CBS6] [CapNews9] [TU]

Albany police say a man was shot four times while walking between apartment buildings near Tivoli Park in Albany Friday night (map). And a teen was shot in the leg Thursday night in south Albany (map). There were a total of five shootings last week in Albany. [WNYT] [TU] [WTEN]

The Victoria Pool, Grafton Lakes and Peebles Island are on a secondary list of state parks and facilities slated for closure, depending on whether the legislature allows the state parks office to use capital funds for operational costs. The planned closure of Thacher Park -- which was officially announced on Friday -- is expected to save $255,000. If the budget plan is approved (a big "if"), parks on the first list would start to close April 1. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [AOA] [TU] [Troy Record]

David Paterson officially announced his gubernatorial candidacy Saturday on Long Island. In his speech, he tried to position himself as the anti-establishment candidate and said, "I've done more in my two years as governor that most governors have done in two terms." Perhaps a bad sign for the governor: getting more than 100 people to show up at a campaign stop is described as "beating expectations." [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYO] [NYDN]

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Second teen pleads guilty in Bailey case, Paterson says he gets advice from Spitzer, Murphy talks about Afghanistan trip, appeals court ruling in mall peace tshirt case

Ricardo Caldwell, one of the three teens accused of being involved in the shooting death of UAlbany student Richard Bailey, took a plea deal yesterday that requires him to testify against the alleged shooter, De Von Callicut. The third teen that was charged -- King Modest -- took a similar plea deal in January. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany police say investigators have not yet met with the two officers involved in the fatal shooting this week on Quail Street. [TU]

A group of citizens -- including UAlbany students -- testified at last night's Albany common council meeting that they don't think the police chief search has been open enough to public input. [WTEN] [WNYT]

A spokesman for David Paterson called the New York Times' latest profile of the governor (perhaps the article that had been the subject of so many rumors) a "gossip-laden, subjective, and poorly-sourced narrative." [NYT] [press release]

David Paterson says he talks to Eliot Spitzer "from time to time and get[s] advice from him." [NY Post]

Two people have filed a lawsuit against the Schenectady school district alleging that top district did nothing after being warned about Steven Raucci. [Daily Gazette $]

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Is this the rumored NYT Paterson article?

The New York Times posted a long-ish article Tuesday night about David Johnson, the former intern and driver who reportedly has become one of David Paterson's closest advisors. From the piece:

David W. Johnson has worked for Gov. David A. Paterson for much of his adult life. He began as a young, ambitious intern from Harlem when Mr. Paterson was a state legislator. He rose to be Mr. Paterson's driver, serving as a kind of protector and scheduler.
In recent months, however, Mr. Johnson's ascent has been striking: he is now one of the most senior people in the governor's administration, paid $132,000. He is described as Mr. Paterson's closest confidant, a man with a designated room in the Executive Mansion, and a broadening role in areas like campaign fund-raising, government initiatives and the management of the governor's staff.

The story highlights Johnson's two arrests on drug charges as a teen -- and more recent accusations of altercations with women. It also features a photo of Johnson in ominous light (literally).

If this was the much-buzzed-about "bombshell," it's underwhelming. But, hey, read the whole thing and decide for yourself. The story credits six different reporters, so it would seem NYT has been working on this for a while. (For what it's worth, the NY Post reported last week that Paterson aides have "groused" about Johnson's influence in the administration.)

This post has been edited. We removed the photos because we couldn't be 100 percent sure they depicted Johnson.

Monserrate expelled, Paterson says he'll only leave office "in a box," the center of the nanotechnology universe, horse breeders say they're leaving

It's snowing. React accordingly.

The New York Senate voted to expel Queens senator Hiram Monserrate last night. The expulsion followed Monserrate's conviction on misdemeanor charge for dragging his bleeding girlfriend through the lobby of an apartment building -- though Monserrate alleged in a 16 minutes speech last night that political fallout from his role in last year's Senate coup was actually motivation for the vote. Eight senators voted against expulsion, including Monserrate. David Paterson says there will be a special election for Monserrate's seat on March 16. Monserrate is vowing to challenge the expulsion in court and may run in the special election. [TU] [NY Senate YouTube] [Daily Politics] [CBS6] [NYT]

Said David Paterson yesterday at a press conference: "The only way I'm not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box and the only way that I'll be leaving office before is in a box." Paterson also said he had met with NYT reporters and the much-buzzed-about piece that apparently is in the works is a "profile piece." The Paterson administration also sent a letter to NYT's public editor "to communicate our deep disappointment in the approach taken" to compiling the article. [CapNews9] [TU] [CBS6]

The Paterson administration's revised budget plan is banking on $1 billion in federal stimulus money. It also includes a proposed redistribution of funding between the Egg and NYSTI. [AP/Saratogian] [TU]

The five Albany plastic surgeons, a nurse and an administrator who pleaded guilty to giving unapproved off-brand Botox to patients were sentenced to community service and fines. They were also ordered to pay restitution to the patients who got the knock-off de-wrinkler. The attorney for the medical practice told the judge yesterday that it was on his advice that the practice kept quiet about the product's use when it first came to light. [Daily Gazette $] [CapNews9] [TU]

The public vote on the Troy schools capital project is today. [CBS6]

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Paterson attacks rumors, police say listening system reported gunshots first, county sending out prescription discount cards

In an interview with the AP, David Paterson defended himself against the still-unknown accusations that may or may not be included a New York Times article that may or may not be published. The frenzy of anticipation has led outlets to print all sorts of rumors. Rick Lazio called out the NYT yesterday in a letter, writing that if it doesn't have a story, it has "a moral obligation to stop the drama and the psychological warfare" on the governor. Neither NYT officials or reporters are commenting. And now some are saying Paterson might even come out ahead in all this. [AP/Post-Star] [NY Post] [Daily Politics] [Fox23] [NYO]

The bid to override David Paterson's veto of the ethics reform bill failed yesterday in the state Senate. Twenty-five Republicans and one Democratic voted to sustain the veto. Hugh Farley and Roy McDonald both voted to override. [TU] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

Troy police say a man was shot in North Central Friday night -- and they first heard about the shooting via the city's ShotSpotter system. The TPD says the system alerted officials 10 minutes before the first call related to the incident. [TU] [Troy Record] [WTEN]

A 19-year-old from Troy has been arrested for allegedly shooting an 18-year-old last week in north Albany. [TU]

During his State of the City address, Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton said last night that the city is freezing hiring and cutting other expenditures in an attempt to cover an upcoming $12.8 million budget gap. The city council also voted yesterday to move toward freeing itself from being responsible for taxes not paid to the school district. [WTEN] [Daily Gazette $] [CBS6] [Daily Gazette $]

The construction company that's building the GlobalFoundries chip fab at Luther Forest is moving its headquarters to the Watervliet Arsenal. Also: ATIC, the investment company funded by the government of Abu Dhabi, now owns 66 percent of GloFo. [TU] [Post-Star]

Two Ballston Spa teens were charged with felonies over the weekend for sending explicit text message pics. [WNYT]

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Rumors swirl about Paterson, Bruno bacon not delivered, clerk and robber crash through window, a Schenectady gift basket for Stephen Colbert

The big news at the state Capitol is... a NYT story about David Paterson... that hasn't been published yet... and no one seems to know when it will be. The story is rumored to include some sort of bombshell -- though that, too, is currently a mystery (Gawker commenters had some ideas). The governor reportedly met with Democratic party leaders over the weekend to discuss whether or not he will follow through on his vow to run for election this fall. And there are rumors about serious discontent within his administration. A spokesman for Paterson called all the recent rumors "a new low even by the standards of planet Albany." [TU] [Gawker] [AP/Post-Star] [NY Post] [CBS6]

Harold Ford accused Kirsten Gillibrand of using "underhanded tactics" in her attempt to gather early endorsements from county Democratic Party leaders around the state. Gillibrand is calling for Ford to disclose whether he got a bonus from Bank of America. [NYT] [NYO]

Much of the $75 million in state money promised by Joe Bruno just before he left office hasn't made it through. [TU]

The chairwoman of an inspector general's panel charged with tracking stimulus money says much of the federal funding distributed to New York State has yet to be spent. [TU]

The man accused of stabbing three people near the intersection of State and Henry Johnson following LarkFest last year was convicted on Friday on three counts of assault. He could get 25-50 years in prison. The victims said the man ran at them, shirtless, and yelled "I live for this, this is what I do!" during the attack. The man had been up for trial in 2008 for another alleged stabbing in Troy in 2007, but a judge tossed the case for procedural reasons. [CapNews9] [Troy Record] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU]

A Schenectady man died from carbon monoxide poisoning in his apartment after turning on his stove to keep warm because the apartment's thermostat was malfunctioning, keeping the heat down. [Daily Gazette $]

(there's more)

No jail time for pedestrian death, RPI mansion zoning app bounced, Ford and Gillibrand race for donors, Schenectady beckons to Stephen Colbert

The woman who pleaded guilty to hitting and killing a pedestrian -- and then temporarily driving away -- on Madison Ave in Albany a year ago was sentenced to probation, restitution and community service. The victim's family said justice was not served by the sentencing. The judge presiding over the case said the misdemeanor plea deal "on its face, does not look right." Prosecutors say the evidence didn't support a felony charge. [Troy Record] [WTEN] [TU] [Fox23]

Congress Street in Troy between 15th Street and Brunswick Ave will be closed today from 10 am - 4:30 pm for what the city says is the emergency demolition of a building (map). The city's engineer says the front wall of the former Industrial Tool and Die building "could rupture at any time." The building had already been slated for demo. (CBS6 says it will be streaming video of the demolition.) [@TroyMayor] [TU] [Troy Record] [CBS6]

Troy's Zoning Board of Appeals has bounced RPI's application for a height variance for the new president's mansion. [Troy Record]

David Paterson the vetoed the legislature's ethics reform package. The governor said the bill didn't go far enough. Legislative leaders are now talking about trying to override the veto. [TU] [NYDN] [NYT]

(there's more)

Holiday work for SPD union head, bar busted for being jammed with underage drinkers, dog granted order of protection, telethon raises $1.9 million

The head of the Schenectady police union worked for the department on just three days last year -- all of them holidays at 2.5 pay. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

A state Supreme Court judge has denied the FOIL request submitted by the Daily Gazette and TU for the Schenectady school districts internal report on Steven Raucci. The judge ruled the report was not subject to FOIL and its release could be an invasion of witnesses' privacy. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

Schenectady County legislature chairwoman Sue Savage is proposing legislation that would require calorie counts on the menus of chain restaurants. Five NY counties -- including Albany County -- and New York City already have such a law. The law would only apply to restaurants with 15 or more locations in the county. [WNYT] [TU] [CapNews9]

The Paterson Administration has finally picked an operator for the Aqueduct racino -- the revenues from which should help fund a bunch of improvements at Saratoga's track. That is, if the money actually comes in. [Paterson] [Saratogian] [NYT]

David Paterson has just $620k on hand right now to spend in a Democratic gubernatorial primary -- Andrew Cuomo has $12 million. But Paterson says he'll raise a lot more. [NYDN] [NY Post]

The smoke-filled room -- which was in Albany this past weekend -- appears to be leaning heavily toward Andrew Cuomo. [WNYT] [TU]

An assemblywoman from Long Island topped the legislature's travel reimbursement list for last year at more than $41,000. [TU]

Saratoga Springs' police chief says budget cuts will make it hard to assign officers to efforts that led to many arrests last year. [Post-Star]

The State Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license of The Garage, a bar at the corner of Western and Quail in Albany, after a raid last week allegedly found 500 people -- "most appearing to be underage" -- jammed into a space certified for 250. The SLA says the bar had so many it customers it drafted some to be "guest bartenders." The bar's owner wasn't commenting publicly on the raid. The bar is located in the middle of the "student ghetto" -- and the previous operations there have also been tagged for serving minors . [NYSLA] [TU] [Dowd on Drinks]

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Ford takes shot at Gillibrand and Schumer, TU Center turns profit, second ESP man caver sentenced, Phillip Livingston school up for sale

Harold Ford was in Albany yesterday to make the rounds at the Capitol and ESP -- and take shots at both Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. Ford said on Talk 1300 that both senators were elected to be independent and not act like a "parakeet" for for the Democratic Party. A Gillibrand spokesman shot back: "The notion that [Ford] is independent is completely contrived." Said one legislative intern to the TU after meeting Ford on the ESP concourse: "He should really look into getting a New York accent." [AP/Troy Record] [NYO] [NYDN] [NYT] [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday that his potential gubernatorial campaign opponents shouldn't be hiding in the "candidate protection program." [NYDN]

Annoyed that the governor keeps calling them back for special sessions, the legislature has decided to just not adjourn -- basically blocking more special sessions. [Daily Politics]

Albany County announced that the Times Union Center, which it owns, turned a profit of almost $1.8 million last year -- up from about $900k the year before. That's the second-highest profit in the facility's 20-year history (not adjusted for inflation). [Albany County] [TU]

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Suspended Schenectady cop arrested again, Cuomo to declare in March?, man arrested for 65th time, local pilot flies supply missions to Haiti

Suspended Schenectady police officer John Lewis has been arrested. Again. It's his sixth arrest in the last two years. In this most recent case, he's accused of causing a car accident in the Ellis Hospital parking lot after he allegedly left the emergency department drunk. The SPD first tried to fire Lewis in 1998 for allegedly using a racial slur. The department's waiting for a decision on its most recent attempt to terminate him. [WNYT] [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [CBS6]

A "source close to [Andrew] Cuomo" tells the Daily News that Andrew Cuomo will officially announce he's running for governor in March. David Paterson's campaign manager says "it's clear Mr. Cuomo is running for governor." [NYDN] [NYDN]

David Paterson is apparently going to try again to get the state worker unions to give up their raises this year. [TU]

Colonie assemblyman -- and outspoken MMA critic -- Bob Reilly says he's willing to support a compromise bill that would legalize ultimate fighting in the state if certain restrictions were placed on the sport. [TU]

UAlbany cancelled a cage fighting match scheduled for the SEFCU Arena this past weekend after a state commission said the event appeared to violate state law. [@albstudentpress] [Daily Gazette $]

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Chilly reaction to Paterson budget, shooting near school in Troy, mop protests at Bruno fundraiser, prof accused of growing pot

David Paterson's proposed budget doesn't seem to have gone over well with state legislators, some of whom are already vowing to make significant changes the proposed cuts in education and health care spending. Local elected officials also seemed cool to the budget plan. School district officials also weren't happy. Andrew Cuomo: good start, let's see it actually happen. And the conservative-leaning Empire Center said Paterson's budget didn't cut enough. One person who did seem enthusiastic: SUNY chancellor Nancy Zimpher (the Paterson plan would give SUNY more control over its tuition rates). [NYT] [TU] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Daily Politics] [Post-Star] [CapNews9]

The state legislature didn't vote yesterday on a plan to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. The legislature had been bouncing the plan around because of a deadline yesterday afternoon to file for federal education money. [TU] [NYT]

Troy police say a man was shot in the back yesterday afternoon in North Central, just a block from a school. (map). A witness said he saw two men run from the scene and drive off. [TU] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

The woman who was driving over the Dunn Memorial Bridge in 2005 when a section dropped two feet has settled with the state Department of Transportation for more than $100k, according to her attorney. The lawyer says her client has suffered from PTSD because of the experience. [TU] [Fox23]

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A quick scan of the Paterson budget

paterson budget 2010-2011

David Paterson at today's budget presentation.

Updated at 1:44 pm

The Paterson administration officially released its proposed 2010-2011 state budget today. David Paterson called the state's financial picture "lugubrious" and said his proposal was "a budget of necessity." He also criticized past budgets: "We can no longer afford this spending addiction."

A (relatively) quick scan of the proposed budget is after the jump. It includes items about a soda tax, wine in supermarkets, speed cameras, The Egg and ultimate fighting.

(there's more)

Paterson to propose budget today, questions about APD chief salary, protest planned for Bruno fundraiser, the "conscious" candy machine

David Paterson is scheduled to release his 2010-2011 budget proposal today.

Last night's special session of the legislature didn't include action on the proposal to increase the state's cap on the number of charter schools (though senators did find time to squabble over parliamentary procedure). The state has until 4:30 today to file its application for $700 million in federal funding -- and removal of the charter school cap is seen as a key part of that application. [AP/Post-Star] [TU] [Fox23] [TU]

Jerry Jennings is hoping to a close a gap in the next Albany budget by getting the state to advance almost $40 million in PILOT money for the ESP. [TU]

As Albany searches for a new police chief, the question has come up: does the job pay enough? [TU]

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The quick scan of Ford/Gillibrand

Harold FordWe've put off writing about the potential Harold Ford challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand all week.

It's probably because whenever the story's come up, we've just thought, "Dude. Run. Don't run. Make-up your mind. All this non-campaigning campaigning is boring." (Maybe we're fatigued by Andrew Cuomo.)

So it goes. Here's the quick scan of the whole week of will-he-should-he-what-if...

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State of the State speed read

paterson state of state 2010You could spend half an hour listening to David Paterson's State of the State speech from today... or you could skim through this quick scan version.

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Thruway tolls increase, Albany schools to use lottery, the weekend in crime, the first baby of 2010

Thruway tolls went up five percent on Sunday, for both cash and EZ-Pass. State comptroller Tom DiNapoli criticized the increase, calling it "the last thing New Yorkers need now." [AP/Saratogian] [Fox23] [NYS OSC] [WNYT]

A 78-year-old woman was killed in Schenectady Saturday night after she was struck by a pick-up truck while crossing State Street near Proctors. The woman had been volunteering at the theater. The SPD says it's investigating the accident. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Troy police say a man stole an idling SUV -- with two kids in it -- from outside a grocery store Friday morning. The TPD says the kids were found 45 minutes later, unharmed, along with the SUV. They say the suspect was arrested later that day. [Troy Record] [TU] [Troy Record]

Officials from the YMCA will be holding a meeting with the public this week to talk about what might be done to save the Washington Ave location in Albany. [Troy Record]

The Albany school district will be switching to a lottery system for filling slots in its pre-k programs. The old system was first-come-first-pick-wait-all-night. [TU]

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Delmar house burns to ground after explosions, DA says city worker chased down alleged mugger, gun buyback out of money, mansion a bargain?

An explosion badly burned a teenager in Delmar and burned his house to the ground on Saturday (map). Firefighters say they heard two explosions after arriving at the scene. Neighbors say they could feel the explosions. Bethlehem police say they're investigating the possibility that rocket fuel was involved in the explosion. The teen was taken to a burn unit in Westchester County -- an EMT says the teen lost a hand in the explosion. A web site has been set up to help organize aid for the family. [TU] [Fox23] [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [CapNews9] [CBS6]

David Paterson says New York would be "punished" under the health care reform bill moving through Congress. [Daily Politics]

The jurors in the Joe Bruno trial say the experience convinced them that the state needs stronger ethics laws. [TU]

Saratoga Springs' outgoing public safety commissioner is calling for the city attorney to resign after the attorney allegedly threw a folder full of resignation notices at the head of the public works commissioner. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

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Investigation finds fraud at state forensics lab, Paterson talking about layoffs again, homeless shelters jammed, another bank robbery attempt

A investigation by the state inspector general concludes that Gary Veeder, a former state police forensic scientist, "routinely" failed to conduct a required test on fiber evidence and then lied about performing the test in case records. Twenty-six of the cases were from the Capital Region. State police say it does not appear the fraudulent testing affected any convictions. The IG's report also concludes that Veeder was able to get away with the fraudulent work for years because "laboratory staff's technical, or peer, reviews of Veeder's fiber examinations were substandard, overlooking obvious indications that Veeder had omitted the required fiber test." State police say they're bringing in an outside consultant to address the problem. Veeder is now dead -- he committed suicide at his home in Vorheesville last year. [NYS IG] [Fox23] [WNYT] [NYT] [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's deputy accused of forcing an acquaintance to perform a sex act on him while he was on duty has been indicted on 11 new charges. Saratoga County DA James Murphy says three more women have stepped forward to accuse the deputy of similar crimes. [TU] [Saratogian]

Federal prosecutors are predicting jail time for Joe Bruno. [NYDN]

David Paterson says state worker layoffs will be back on the table if state revenues continue to drop. [NYP]

Steven Raucci will stay in jail after a state appeals court affirmed a lower court's decision to deny him bail. The TU and the Daily Gazette are now suing the Schenectady school district for access to its investigation of Raucci. The district has already released a version of the report -- but it was heavily redacted. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

State DEC scientists report that bat populations are down 90 percent in caves where they're studying "white nose syndrome." "We don't have a lot of years to figure this out," says a DEC scientist. [NYS DEC] [TU]

(there's more)

Troy budget veto overridden, APD leaning toward community policing, Paterson looking for a "hand back," trailer runs into overpass

The Troy city council voted to override Harry Tutunjian's budget veto last night -- and now Tutunjian says he'll take the issue to court. The mayor says he would go jail before certifying what he calls an "imbalanced" budget. He also accused members of the city council of lying and distorting the truth. Council president Clement Campana said the council was within its rights to adjust the mayor's budget. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [@TroyMayor] [CapNews9]

The Albany police department appears to be leaning toward an embrace of community policing again. (Question: Why are fundamental policy decisions being made before a new chief comes on board?) [TU]

Now that Colonie has tightened its rules on motels that house sex offenders, Albany County Social Services has been placing them in homeless shelters and apartments in the city of Albany, according to a county spokesperson. [TU]

Saratoga Springs police say they're still investigating an incident last Friday that resulted in a man being shot in the leg. [Saratogian] [TU]

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Paterson says he's cutting local aid to keep state solvent, downtown Albany Y could close, yet another bank robbery, sinkhole swallows car, more quakes in Berne

David Paterson announced yesterday that he's unilaterally withholding $750 million in aid to local governments and schools in order to keep the state solvent. Said Paterson at the announcement, "I can't say this enough: The state has run out of money. We are $1 billion short." He also blamed the legislature, again, for not addressing the state's budget gap. A spokesman for the state Senate majority called Paterson's action "self-indulgent theatrics." [TU] [NYDN] [NYO] [NYT]

A state panel's draft report, obtained by NYT, says that New York State's juvenile prisons are in such bad shape that family court judges should stop sending all but the most dangerous offenders to them. [NYT]

The lawyer for De Von Callicut, the teen accused of firing the shot that killed Richard Bailey, is trying to get Callicut's statement to police tossed because he didn't have an attorney present. [TU]

A state lawyer told a state Supreme Court judge that the planned expansion of the Albany landfill would be its last -- probably. [TU]

Saratoga Springs are investigating an early Friday morning shooting. [Saratogian]

Albany police are investigating a car-to-car shooting around noon on Saturday near Hoffman Park (map). [WNYT] [Fox23]

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Record snowfall yesterday, Paterson defends Wall Street, parking ticket plan approved, new license plates still on the way, again no ice skating at ESP

snowfall measure

We got just about 7 inches at the uptown office.

Yesterday's storm dropped 7.3 inches of snow on the Capital Region, according to the National Weather Service (forecasts on Tuesday had been predicting 2 to 5 inches). That's a record for December 9 (the previous high mark was 6.3 inches). Parts of Saratoga County reported getting as much as 10 inches. [NWS] [Saratogian]

A freight train hit a snow plow at a crossing in Northumberland yesterday morning, killing one of the the men on the plow truck and injuring the other (map). The crossing doesn't have gates or signals. [Post-Star] [CapNews9] [Saratogian]

Albany County's public works commissioner says yesterday's short, strong blast of snow made it hard to keep the roads clear during rush hour. Troy somehow found a way to clear its streets without Bob Mirch. [TU] [Troy Record]

David Paterson again vowed to hold back aid to local governments in order to keep the state solvent (his budget director compared the fiscal situation to driving in the snow). The chair of the state Senate finance committee says Paterson will be sued it he tries to do that. [NYO] [Daily Politics] [TU]

During the same speech yesterday, Paterson also defended Wall Street -- calling it the engine of New York State's economy. Said a state Senate "source" of the speech: "I half-expected to see Michael Douglas come out and reprise his role as Gordon Gekko." [NYT] [NYDN]

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Paterson addressing budget gap by himself, Porco appeal expected today, glut of apples this year, Salvo has to hire bell ringers

David Paterson said yesterday that he's decided to act unilaterally to save the state $1.6 billion through a series of cuts, transfers and accounting maneuvers. He also continued to blame the state Senate for the lack of progress on a deal that would close the state's $3+ budget gap. Paterson might also be considering declaring a "fiscal emergency," a move floated by John Faso. The legislature is expected to be back for a another budget gap special session today. The state is projected to have just $36 million in cash by the end of the year (the state comptroller says even less). [NYO] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [TU] [CapNews9] [NYT] [NY Post]

Joe Bruno Trial: Jury is back for deliberations today after a break for the holiday. [CapNews9]

Christopher Porco's appeal is expected to be heard today before a state appellate court in Brooklyn. Porco's attorney recently said prosecutors in the case "took a blow torch to the constitution." [CBS6] [CapNews9]

Kirsten Gillibrand, in the area to announce an initiative aimed at protecting seniors against fraud, said the Army has not been forthcoming about details surrounding the death of Colonie soldier Amy Seyboth Tirador. [WNYT] [TU]

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Paterson proposes unilateral authority cut budget, Troy residents irked by parking ticket sweep, reward grows for info about duct-taped dog

David Paterson introduced his own deficit reduction bill yesterday -- and said during a webcast that if the legislature wouldn't make cuts, they should give him the temporary authority to do it unilaterally. That second proposal didn't go over well with the legislature. One assemblyman said, "What's next, martial law?" And others, including Neil Breslin, questioned the constitutionality of the arrangement (though apparently some think it might fly). Ron Canestrari praised Paterson's attempt to move the budget ball. Paterson's speech did appear to make some progress -- in further uniting the state Senate against him. The legislature won't be back in session until next week. [NYO] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYO] [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [Daily Politics] [Fox23]

Joe Bruno Trial: day one of jury deliberations passed without a verdict. The jury will take a break for Thanksgiving and resume deliberations next Monday. [TU] [Troy Record]

One thing that was apparent from testimony in the Bruno trial: his second office was the golf course. [NYT]

Colonie police say a man died this morning when the pickup truck in which he was sitting exploded (map). [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson calls special session to address budget, Colonie solider dies in Iraq, Schenectady County ranks high for domestic violence reports, more H1N1 vaccine arriving

David Paterson has officially called a special session of the legislature for next Tuesday. Among the issues on the slate for the session: budget cuts to close the $3.2 billion gap and same-sex marriage. Paterson has also called for a joint session on Monday so he can he address the legislature about the budget gap. It sounds like many Senate Democrats won't attend, though -- a "senior official" called the session a "photo op" for Paterson. Neil Breslin says he intends to attend. [NYO [TU] [Daily Politics] [AP/Saratogian] [CapNews9]

Joe Bruno trial Day 4: labor union officials testified that Bruno approached them about using the investment firm for which he consulted to manage their pensions -- but they said there was never an exchange of legislative influence or favors for the business. A TU analysis indicates that unions that did business with Bruno's firm did get grants from the state labor department directly or indirectly through Bruno. [Troy Record] [TU] [TU]

The family of an Army soldier from Colonie says she died in Iraq this week. Amy Seyboth Tirador had been serving as an Arabic-language interpreter. [TU] [WTEN]

It sounds like the Rensselaer County DA's office and the Troy Police Department were not on the same page for the arrest of the suspect in the Second Street homicide. The suspect was released on his own recognizance this week after the DA's office said it wasn't ready for a preliminary hearing. [Troy Record] [Fox23]

(there's more)

Opening statements in Bruno trial, Aretha Franklin coming to RPI, investigation into Paterson World Series tickets, cops say man was wearing a Breathalyzer costume, naked sprint around the Nott

A jury was selected for Joe Bruno's federal trial yesterday. Each side also delivered its opening statement. The prosecution said Bruno used his influence at the capitol to rake in more than $3 million from clients. Bruno's defense said he's "a hardworking, honest public servant" and the feds had made a mistake. As he entered the courthouse yesterday, Bruno told reporter he had been "looking forward to this day." [CapNews9] [NYT] [Troy Record] [TU] [NYSNYS via Daily Politics]

GlobalFoundries has announced that Hector Ruiz is stepping down as chairman of the board. The WSJ reported in October that the feds had identified Ruiz as the AMD executive who leaked news of the impending formation of GlobalFoundries to a hedge fund last year. The new chairman will be Alan Ross, who had been the CEO of another semi-conductor company. GloFo says Ruiz's exit will have no effect on plans for the Luther Forest chip fab. [NYT] [San Jose Mercury News] [TU] [Saratogian]

The Albany County Department of Health reported its first death associated with the H1N1 flu. The ACDoH says the teen had a "longstanding underlying medical condition." The county health commissioner said the news was not cause for alarm and "the vast majority of individuals" will recover. [TU] [WTEN] [Troy Record] [CapNews9]

The Albany County Department of Health says the death of a county resident has been associated with the contaminated ground beef that was recently recalled. The beef was produced by a company in western New York and distributed throughout the East Coast. Locally, the beef had been available at Price Chopper, which has been contacting people to notify them of the recall. [Fox23] [NYT] [TU] [@ChrisRooney]

Aretha Franklin and Joshua Bell will performing at EMPAC in December as part of a celebration of Shirley Ann Jackson's 10 years at RPI (or, as @supraphonic @timesunion called it yesterday; Shirleystock). The performances will not be open to the general public. (Earlier on AOA: RPI's Jackson tops compensation chart) [RPInsider] [TU] [AP/CBS6]

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Investigators hope to pull DNA from bone fragments, big development planned for Troy, Paterson's deadline could be January, police car license plates stolen

Law enforcement officials say they found a jaw bone containing teeth near the site of the skull fragments in Greenfield. The hope is they'll be able to extract DNA evidence from the teeth. Forensic testing is expected to take weeks. Officials say the child-sized skull could be evidence in a handful of missing persons cases -- but they say it's unlikely the fragments belong to Jaliek Rainwalker. [Saratogian] [TU] [CapNews9] [WNYT] [Fox23]

Jerry Jennings has put together an eight member search committee for a new chief of police. The Albany mayor says the panel has no timeline. [CapNews9] [TU]

The union that represents Troy firefighters is using a house fire this past weekend to continue its push for more staffing at the station on Boulton Road (the station near RPI). They say it took crews an extra three minutes to respond to the fire because they were short staffed -- and that delay may have resulted in a firefighter sustaining minor injuries. The union would like to see two more firefighters added to the crew at the station. [Troy Record] [TU] [WTEN] [WNYT]

A developer is proposing a $160 million mixed used project in Troy at Ferry, Congress and Eighth streets (map). [TU]

(there's more)

Human skull fragments in Saratoga County, flu hitting some schools, school board hears Whalen appeal, Rensselaer stations Amtrak's 10th busiest

State police say fragments of a human skull were found in a wooded area in Greenfield (map). They say it appears the skull belonged to a child 10-12 years old. The state police lab will be testing the fragments for DNA. [TU] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [CapNews9]

The Empire Center reports that 1.5 million New Yorkers have moved out of the state since 2000. The one area to show a population gain: the Capital Region. [Empire Center] [CapNews9] [Post-Star]

A spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration says judges are leaving the bench because "they can't make ends meet" on their $136,700 salary. The state's judiciary has been pushing for a pay raise for years. [TU]

Albany police say four men, armed with guns, invaded a house on Washington Ave yesterday (map). Police say the it appears the house was targeted. They say the robbers used zip-ties to tie up seven people in the house. [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

Some Capital Region schools are reporting higher than usual rates of absenteeism because of the flu. Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons cancelled classes yesterday because so many students were sick. [TU] [WTEN]

(there's more)

Thomas found guilty, guilty plea in 40 year old murder, home sales falling through, upstate teaching jobs in high demand, busy beavers causing trouble

A jury found Adrian Thomas guilty of second-degree murder in the case of his infant son's death. The jury reached the decision Friday afternoon after 25 hours of deliberation. Thomas' stepmother says the verdict was influenced by race -- eleven of the jurors were white and one was African-American. Sentencing is scheduled for November 12. Thomas' attorneys say they will appeal. [Troy Record] [TU] [WTEN] [Fox23] [WNYT] [CBS6]

Nelson Costello, the man accused of killing David Bacon 40 years ago in Waterford, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Friday. Recordings of phone conversations between Costello and witness apparently helped prompt the plea. Costello's attorney says his client is remorseful and "almost wants to be punished." Costello has apparently agreed to help officials find Bacon's body in Virginia. [TU] [Saratogian] [WTEN] [WNYT]

There's been yet another report of an attempted abduction, this time in Albany (map). [Fox23] [WNYT]

Archaelogists have found the skeleton of an infant at the former grave site turned up during the Delaware Ave reconstruction in Albany. The remains will be re-buried at a cemetery in Glenmont. [CapNews9] [TU]

David Paterson has scheduled a special session of the legislature for November 10 to address the budget gap. He also wants a joint session on November 9. [NYO] [CapNews9]

(there's more)

State flu shot mandate cancelled, charges over ESP man cave, Paterson says Obama Admin cost state $1 billion, a big year for lady bugs

The state Department of Health has rescinded the flu shot mandate for health care workers. The DOH says there isn't enough vaccine to go around and the state would rather see the vax go to at-risk populations (young people, pregnant women). The Paterson Administration said the move was not related to the group of lawsuits filed over the mandate. [TU] [NYT] [NYDN]

The two men accused of being involved with the alleged "man cave" in the ESP have been hit with a bunch of charges that make the cave sound like some sort of stoner's paradise. Both men have pleaded not guilty. The attorney for one of the men said they were "shocked" to face charges over the cave "when there was actually a more publicized and egregious waste of tax money last spring as our state Senate sat around proud doing nothing while Rome burned." [Daily Politics] [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

A special meeting of the Troy city council turned into a bit of display as Democrats refused to show up and people ended up yelling at each other in front of TV cameras. Harry Tutunjian had called the meeting in an attempt to suspend three Democratic appointees accused of being involved with recent case of alleged voter fraud. [Troy Record] [TU]

Two alternate jurors from the Adrian Thomas trial say they would have voted "not guilty." [Fox23]

(there's more)

Troy police find guns during raid, suit filed over landfill expansion, local company dumps chamber of commerce over climate change legislation, sole tenant leaving Kiernan Plaza

Troy police say they found a shotgun and an assault rifle during raid connected to the investigation of last week's fatal shooting in south Troy. They also arrested a man. But they say the guns weren't used in the crime nor is the man a suspect. [Fox23] [CapNews9] [TU]

Save the Pine Bush is suing the City of Albany and the DEC in attempt to block expansion of the city landfill. A volunteer for the environmental org says the city "needs to adopt a rational solid waste policy that does not include destroying 15 acres of rare Pine Bush ecosystem." [AP/CBS6] [TU]

The judge in Adrian Thomas case has ruled that the jury will not hear testimony from dueling expert witnesses about the possibility of a coerced confession. Closing arguments are scheduled to start today. [Troy Record] [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday that he will be including the soda tax in next year's proposed budget. The Paterson Administration also said same-sex marriage will be on the agenda for next week's planned special legislative session. [WNYC] [NYDN]

(there's more)

Public voices concerns about Troy crime, questions about Paterson's budget cutting plan, supervisor race includes accusations of illiteracy, high demand for flu vaccine

More than a hundred people showed up last night at Troy City Hall for the public forum about a recent streak of crime in the city. Both mayor Harry Tutunjian and police chief Nicholas Kaiser stressed that crime is down for the year. Citizens said they were concerned about gangs in Lansingburgh and a lack of officers walking beats. [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [CBS6] [Fox23]

Saratoga Springs police say they're investigating a report from a Skidmore student that she was nearly assaulted by a taxi driver early Saturday morning. The student says she was able to escape when the cab stopped near campus. The SSPD says it hasn't identified the company that owns the cab. [Saratogian] [Fox23] [TU]

Critics of David Paterson's proposed $3 billion in budget cuts say the list includes a bunch of one-time shots and some questionable assumptions. It appears that Democrats in the Assembly are leaning toward along with Paterson's plan. It doesn't look like the state Senate is all that interested, though. [TU] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand released statements yesterday calling for state senator Hiram Monserrate to resign. Gillibrand said Monserrate doesn't leave soon, the state Senate should bounce him. State Senate majority conference leader John Sampson is expected to announce the formation of a committee that will look at what to do about Monserrate. [Daily Politics] [CapNews9] [NYO]

(there's more)

Court halts mandatory flu shots for health workers, stabbing in Glenmont, small pumpkin crop, Paterson-Schwarzenegger friendship

A state Supreme Court judge has issued a temporary halt to the state-mandated flu shots for health care workers. A handful of lawsuits, including one filed by three Albany Med nurses, argue that state Department of Health overstepped its authority in requiring the vaccinations. The state health department says it's "confident that the regulation will be upheld." [NYT] [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [WTEN]

Neil Breslin and a group of other state senators are calling for Hiram Monserrate, recently convicted of misdemeanor assault, to quit -- or get kicked out of the Senate. Breslin said that Monserrate's exit is a necessary step toward the state Senate earning back the public's trust. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

Shop owners and residents near Hackett Middle School in Albany say students have been causing a bunch of problems right after school as they walk through the neighborhood (map). [TU]

Investors with an Albany investment company currently under federal investigation say they raised red flags about the operation more than two years ago. [TU]

(there's more)

Reaction to Paterson's proposed budget cuts, investigators say RPI student's death was homicide, state says it didn't know hotel owner was behind on taxes, Saratoga sued over Taser info

David Paterson has proposed $3 billion in cuts to this year's state budget. He said yesterday that "all of us will have to sacrifice to save the state." Sheldon Silver said Paterson "took the bull by the horns" -- but the governor's proposals were met with skepticism by state senators, and outrage from interest groups. [AOA] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

The man who was stabbed in Albany's Grand Street neighborhood last week has died -- the city's 8th homicide of the year. [CapNews9]

Private investigators hired by the family of the RPI student found dead of a gun shot in a Troy apartment last year say they have concluded the student was murdered. Troy detectives have said the case was a suicide -- but the private investigators accused the TPD of coming to that conclusion in "a rather imaginative way." [TU] [Troy Record] [Troy Record]

The state's Division of Human Rights has ruled that Saratoga Springs must pay 8 city employees damages of $10k each because the city had not provided sufficient facilities for female employees of the city's police department. The decision prompted squabbling between mayor Scott Johnson and public safety commissioner Ron Kim (who are both running for mayor this year) over who's to blame for the situation. [Daily Gazette $] [TU] [Saratogian]

(there's more)

Paterson's proposed budget cuts

paterson budget cut presserUpdated Friday morning

David Paterson released his slate of proposed cuts today aimed at closing the $2 $3 $4 billion (it seems to just keep going up) budget gap.

The Paterson Administration says the plan would cut $5 billion over the next two years (including $3 billion this year).

(there's more)

State budget widens and Paterson warns of pain, Raucci to get pension even if convicted, Gillibrand pushes repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, goat kidnapped

New York State comptroller Tom DiNapoli now says the state's budget gap could be as big as $4.1 billion. David Paterson has said that he will release a slate of proposed budget cuts that would involve "pain." LG Richard Ravitch, who's helping Paterson with budget issues, says the plan will be "asking every agency in the government to cut back significantly." As bad as things might be this year, apparently the real problem is next year when the federal stimulus money ends. As one anonymous legislator told Liz Benjamin: "Then we're in deep sh*t." [TU] [NYT] [CapNews9] [Daily Politics]

Adrian Thomas, the Troy man charged with causing the death of his infant son, took the stand in his own defense yesterday -- and testified that he had lied during his videotaped interrogation by police. Thomas said he admitted to police that he slammed the child down so he "could go to the hospital and see my son and my wife." [Troy Record] [TU]

The Troy man shot in the head earlier this week has died. It's the third homicide of the year in Troy. The TPD says it's following leads. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Albany police have arrested two men -- one already in prison, the other 18 years old -- for a 2007 murder on Second Street. [TU]

The Lansingburgh High School student suspended for having a pocketknife in his car says he's been contacted by West Point and told the incident won't have any effect on his application to the service academy. [WTEN]

Steven Raucci, the now-retired Schenectady school district employee accused of arson, intimidation and harassment related to his former job, will receive a pension of $79,067 -- even if he's convicted. [TU]

(there's more)

DA says recent attempted abduction reports not unusual, man accused of throwing person into a fire, police taser man in Schenectady, David Hyde Pierce returns to Saratoga

Despite a recent string of reports, the Schenectady County DA says he doesn't believe there's been an unusual number of attempted abductions. [TU]

The state Department of Transportation says there's been an increase in the number of fender benders on Route 85 in Slingerlands where the roundabouts have been installed -- but fewer accidents involving injuries. The DOT reported a similar trend for the Malta roundabouts last year. [TU] [Daily Gazette $]

State Democrats have reportedly given David Paterson until December to turn his poll numbers around ahead of next year's gubernatorial race. [AP/TU]

The state has spent $19k to install hand sanitizer dispensers in state buildings -- including the Capitol -- around Albany. [PolitickerNY]

East Greenbush police say a man threw an 18-year-old into a bonfire during a party early Friday morning. The alleged victim reportedly suffered second degree burns on many parts of his body. The alleged tosser has been charged with first degree assault. [Fox23] [WTEN] [WNYT]

(there's more)

Paterson order state agencies to cut back, proposed Saratoga budget includes paid parking, natural gas prices down, teachers say they were secretly videotaped

David Paterson has ordered state agencies to cut their non-personnel expenses (travel, equipment, office supplies) by about 11 percent -- a move that his administration says will save the state $500 million. Paterson has been projecting that the state will face a $3 billion budget gap this year. He's been criticized for not setting an overarching lists of cuts -- but the governor says he's letting the legislature "participate in formulating that menu." [NYS DoB] [NYT] [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

The witness lists for both the prosecution and defense in the Joe Bruno trial include more than 100 names (with a lot of overlap). The lists include current state senators, current and former state officials, legislative staffers and two journalists. [Troy Record] [TU] [NYT]

The budget proposed by Saratoga Springs' finance commissioner includes a 7.8 percent tax increase, 50 job cuts and a plan for paid parking on city streets and lots. [Saratoga Springs] [Fox23] [TU] [Saratogian]

The first batch of H1N1 vaccine arrived in the Capital Region yesterday. Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties have all received limited quantities (in the hundreds of doses). Albany Med received 1000 doses. The focus on flu this year has apparently prompted a lot of interest in flu shots -- and local doctors' offices report that they they're having trouble getting shipments of the regular seasonal flu vaccine. [Daily Gazette $] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [Schenectady County] [CapNews9] [WTEN] [WNYT]

(there's more)

Finger pointed at "chief finger pointer," Luther Forest reportedly beat out Brazil and China, Schumer and Gillibrand hedge on Paterson, microloans in Watervliet

chester arthur birthday

A ceremony commemorating the 180th birthday of President Chester A. Arthur yesterday at his grave in the Albany Rural Cemetery. (Photo: Matt Ryan)

Democrats in Rensselaer County have hit back at allegations of absentee ballot fraud by accusing Republicans of similar electoral wrongdoing. The Dems are focusing their attention of Republican Bob Mirch, who they're calling -- we kid you not -- the "chief finger pointer." [TU] [Troy Record]

Brian Stratton's proposed Schenectady budget includes an almost 6 percent tax increase. Stratton says the city is facing "challenging times," which include big increases in pension and healthcare costs. [TU] [Fox23]

Albany police say a 16-year-old girl reported being temporarily abducted on Second Street yesterday. It's the second reported abduction attempt in the city in a week. [CBS6] [Fox23]

GlobalFoundries chairman Hector Ruiz told the National Press Club that Luther Forest beat out sites in Brazil, China and Russia for the new chip fab. [TU]

(there's more)

Reaction to APD shame sign, man found dead near the Egg, Paterson and Ravitch reportedly at odds, Other Guys shoot wraps, local woman on Jeopardy tonight

A spokesman for the APD says the light-up sign on Central Ave that's set to display the names of people arrested for soliciting prostitute is no different from mug shots appearing in the local news. The spokesman says city attorneys don't foresee any legal issues with the sign. Defense attorneys aren't so sure about that. [CBS6] [WNYT] [Fox23] [TU]

A state Supreme Court judge has thrown out 39 of the allegedly fraudulent Troy absentee ballots. [TU]

A man was found dead Saturday morning at the foot of the ESP wall below the Egg near Lancaster Street. Police say they're investigating, though it appears the man fell. [Troy Record] [Fox23] [WNYT]

GlobalFoundries' "Fab 1" in Dresden, Germany -- which was built by AMD in 1998 -- is now at the center of a cluster that employs 35,000 people. [Saratogian]

(there's more)

Paterson on Meet The Press

David Paterson was on Meet The Press yesterday. David Gregory tried to get him to say that the White House told him to not run for governor next year:

Here's another clip. He attributes his negative poll numbers to the difficult circumstances the state has been facing. (Last week he said Andrew Cuomo would have low poll numbers, too, if he were governor now.)

SNL also went back to the Paterson well last week. That Paterson New Jersey joke isn't getting any funnier -- no matter how many times they use it.

The clip is embedded after the jump...

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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]

(there's more)

Paterson says he never expected to be Gov, another person arrested for turtle bombing, chief suspended for slur, Schenectady overrun with kingergartners

Yesterday wasn't exactly a day of ringing support for David Paterson. Of Paterson's vow to run for governor in 2010, Sheldon Silver said, "I think, right now, I support him for governor." And at a Capitol leaders meeting, Senate leader John Sampson publicly doubted Paterson's estimate of a $3 billion midyear budget gap by saying his conference "doesn't believe in government by guesswork." Paterson says he'll be calling the legislature back at some point to address the gap. [AP/Troy Record] [PolitickerNY] [TU] [WTEN]

Paterson said yesterday in Syracuse that he never thought he'd be governor: "I did not sign up for this ... I wanted to be lieutenant governor. I had this grand plan that Hillary Clinton was going to become president. Maybe the governor would appoint me to the Senate." But he said he's still planning to run next year -- probably. [NYT] [NYDN]

The Schenectady County legislature has approved a county budget that will cut taxes a little more than two percent. Republicans -- who are in the minority -- criticized the cut as an election year ploy. [Daily Gazette $] [TU]

A group of Albany County legislators is proposing that the county build a new nursing home to replace the current facility. County exec Mike Breslin has been pushing to close the existing home in favor of placing residents in private facilities and in-home care. [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson loses key mustache demographic

paterson mustacheOne issue not covered by that Siena poll: the gubernatorial 'stache, which is -- sadly -- no more.

Laments the American Mustache Institute after David Paterson appeared completely clean shaven today:

As one of the only Mustached American U.S. governors, Gov. Patterson would have certainly been a fine candidate for the prestigious "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year" honor, which will be awarded at 'Stache Bash 2009 featuring John Oates on Oct. 30 in St. Louis.
But the Governor's calous, selfish, and ignorant act has done a great disservice to people of Mustached American descent who were willing to support him in his reelection efforts. Now, more than likely, our community will shun him, and in an election year, it was a decision that was clearly made without great thought.

As it happens, "people of Mustached American descent" was the only demographic still supporting David Paterson.

[via @tenacioustj]

photo: ny.gov

Stop us if you've heard this before

siena paterson chart

So it goes.

The latest Siena poll is like a replay of the last few months:

+ People continue to have an unfavorable view of David Paterson (29/59 favorable/unfavorable)

+ People continue to prefer someone else as governor (71 percent)

+ Andrew Cuomo continues to hold a strong lead in the hypothetical gubernatorial race (52-39 over Rudy Giuliani)

+ And people continue to say they don't know enough about Kirsten Gillibrand (47 percent)

Here's something new: the poll has started asking people whether they think the state budget gap can be closed without new taxes or fees. Eighty percent of people said they didn't think that was going to happen.

By the way: Paterson said today that it's looking like the mid-year budget gap will be $3 billion.

Source says alleged Bailey shooter talked about crime, Paterson says he's still running, big tax increases looming for Saratoga, police say isotopes point to local crime connection

A "person familiar with the investigation" says the alleged shooter in the Richard Bailey murder had been telling a bunch of people about his alleged involvement in the crime -- and that led investigators to him. [TU]

Police say a Saratoga Springs man stabbed his mother multiple times yesterday. A city court judge has ordered a mental health evaluation of the man. Police say neighbors came running to the woman's aid after hearing her scream -- and probably saved her life. [Saratogian ][TU] [Post-Star]

After the drama with Obama on Monday, David Paterson said yesterday: "Clearly I'm running for re-election." [PolitickerNY]

After yesterday's Court of Appeals ruling affirming Richard Ravitch's appointment as lieutenant governor, a top Republican in the legislature says the state's constitution should be changed to address LG succession. Now that Ravitch's job is official, he says "my golf game is going to go to hell in a basket." [CapNews9] [Daily Politics]

Rick Lazio officially declared that he's running for governor -- even Rudy Giuliani jumps in the race. Lazio said yesterday that it's time to "replace state government with a government that this state needs." [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY]

Filming on that Will Ferrell movie starts in downtown Albany today -- here's a list of street closings and parking restrictions. [AOA] [AOA]

(there's more)

State's high court affirms Ravitch appointment

Ravitch and Paterson

Richard Ravitch and David Paterson back in July when the appointment was first announced.

New York State now has a lieutenant governor.

The state Court of Appeals (New York's highest court) ruled today that David Paterson did have the authority to appoint Richard Ravitch to the vacant job.

Writes Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in the 4-3 majority decision:

The issue on this appeal is whether the Governor of the State of New York has the authority to fill a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant-Governor by appointment. We now hold that he does.

The decision goes on to argue that the post of lieutenant governor falls under "a catch-all" provision of state law that allows the governor to make appointments for positions that don't otherwise have rules laid out for their replacement (lieutenant governor being one of these jobs).

From the dissent, written by Judge Eugene Pigott:

Under the majority's rationale, the possibility exists that the citizens of this State will one day find themselves governed by a person who has never been subjected to scrutiny by the electorate, and who could in turn appoint his or her own unelected Lieutenant-Governor.

photo: ny.gov

Obama at HVCC today, Bruno not invited, Paterson told to drop out, transcript indicates chief used slur, men accused of blowing up turtle

obama hvcc before

The scene this morning before the event.

President Obama's appearance at HVCC today is scheduled for 11:30 am. There were no tickets made available to the public. Video from the event will be streamed on HVCC's web site. Update: Lou's posted details about how to get the stream working. [HVCC] [HVCC]

Obama's speech is expected to focus on the economy and industries such as alternative energy. HVCC was likely chosen because the Obama Administration has been touting the potential of community colleges to train workers for these industries. [Troy Record] [TU]

The usual assortment of state and local politicians will be at the Obama event -- including Paul Tonko, who's flying in on Air Force One with the POTUS. [TU] [Fox23]

Not on that list of officials: Joe Bruno, who says the White House told him specifically that he was not invited -- and told WNYT that he's "hurt by it." Bruno's pork prowess helped fund many of the projects Obama will be highlighting. [WNYT] [TU]

The White House has reportedly asked David Paterson to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race. Paterson says he's still planning to run. The President is expected to meet with Paterson today during his visit to the Capital Region -- and with gubernatorial candidate state attorney general Andrew Cuomo. [NYT] [AP/Troy Record] [NYDN]

(there's more)

Obama to visit Capital Region, man accused of carjacking in Troy, pilot hailed for emergency landing, he's a LEGO weirdo

President Obama will be speaking about the at HVCC on Monday about the economy. He's expected to highlight the college's role in training workers for high tech jobs. HVCC has a special program set up to train workers for the GlobalFoundries chip fab. There had been rumors Obama would appear at the GloFo site, but apparently time constraints ruled that out. (The president has to make it NYC later that afternoon so he can appear on Letterman.) Apparently Paul Tonko and Scott Murphy have been lobbying for Obama to make a visit here. There are no details on tickets for the event, yet. [TU] [TU] [Troy Record] [Post-Star] [CBS6] [Fox23] [WTEN]

Kirsten Gillibrand is catching criticism for her vote to continue federal funding of ACORN. The org has been in the spotlight after its employees were caught telling people how to cheat the tax and mortgage systems. A pundit says Gillibrand's support of the org is probably intended to help her win votes in New York City. [TU] [NYDN] [Fox23]

In a new Marist poll, 70 percent of respondents said David Paterson was not a viable candidate for governor in 2010. [Daily Politics]

Troy Police say a man fleeing from a thwarted home robbery hijacked a car from a woman at a car wash in Brunswick. A resident of the house where the alleged incident began said he chased the suspect off with a baseball bat. The suspect then allegedly ran to the car wash, told the woman -- who was vacuuming her car -- to get her young son out of the back, and then sped off. Police say they caught him in Troy. [Troy Record] [WNYT] [TU] [CBS6]

(there's more)

All hail the gubernatorial 'stache

paterson mustacheAs you might have heard, David Paterson recently shaved off his beard -- but kept his mustache. The governor joked that it was part of cutbacks in the state.

The American Mustache Institute (warning: that site plays music) hailed Paterson's decision. From a letter to sent to the Paterson administration, congratulating the now 'stached governor:

You see, the beard or goatee represent what is known in the facial hair community as the "spousal compromise," which is the half-way meeting point between the utter weakness of the clean shaven and the sheer, unvarnished power of the Mustached American. It's where your spouse says to you,"My dear, I cannot manage the sheer awesomeness of that mustache. But a beard or goatee -- I could deal with that." Hence, the "spousal compromise."
Understand, however, what your new mustache means. As a freshly minted Mustached American in a position of authority, you represent much more than simply the good people of New York. You now represent a community of downtrodden Americans - people of Mustached American descent - for whom you stand as a sign that we are not only fit to hold positions in waste collection, motorcycle repair, and hospital equipment maintenance. You are proof that a Mustached American can be a Governor, a leader, a respected beacon of excellence.

The full communication is after the jump. Apparently our governor is now eligible for a "Goulet" -- if only someone will nominate him.

(there's more)

School board member party photos draw interest from police, DMV fees going up, Albany FreeNet expanding, cutbacks come to David Paterson's face

The Schenectady County DA says police will be looking into photos (originally posted on Facebook) that show a Schenectady school board member and his wife -- who's a teacher -- drinking from a Jagermeister luge and doing a keg stand at their son's high school graduation party. [TU] [WTEN] [Daily Gazette $]

DMV fees go up today -- the cost of renewing a driver's license is going up $14.50. Next year, car registrations will require a new license plate ($25) -- and keeping the same license number will cost an extra $20. Jim Tedisco called the higher fees a tax increase. Rensselaer County's clerk said the state legislature is treating the DMV like "a cash cow." [TU] [Saratogian] [WNYT] [CapNews9]

David Paterson and other state officials were at a middle school in Albany yesterday to raise awareness about prep for flu season. Officials say the recently emerged H1N1 flu is likely to flare up in schools. Local school districts and colleges say they're getting the word out about preventive measures to parents and students. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [TU]

A state comptroller's report indicates that county sales tax receipts in the Capital Region are down more than six percent this year. In Saratoga County, which the report indicates is down 12 percent, officials said the numbers seemed off the mark. [NYS Comptroller] [Saratogian]

(there's more)

Second murder in Albany this month, Summer Bird wins Travers, hospital employees required to get flu shots, party invitation causes kerfuffle

2nd Street murder

The scene outside 327 Second Street in Albany, where police say a man was shot and killed this past weekend during a party. (Photo by Paul Esmond)

Albany police say a Troy man was shot and killed in a basement apartment in West Hill early Sunday morning (map). There apparently had been a party at the house. Police say they don't have suspects or a motive, yet. It was the fifth murder in Albany this year. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23 [WNYT]

Police have arrested another suspect in this month's Western Ave murder in Albany. This second suspect, who's been charged with second degree murder, just turned 16. [WNYT] [TU]

Summer Bird won the Travers by 3.5 lengths on Saturday. The horse also won the Belmont and is the son of Marylou Whitney's Birdstone, who also won the Belmont and Travers in 2004. Rain kept attendance to 34,221 -- the smallest crowd in 30 years. Among those in attendance: David Paterson. [CapNews9] [Post-Star] [Saratogian] [CapNews9]

Backstretch workers at The Track still haven't seen most of the money a state investigation concluded is owed to them by horse trainers. [TU]

(there's more)

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]

(there's more)

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]

(there's more)

New Yorkers: let's start over

NYS Capitol from ESP

Where's the reboot button on this thing?

In the Siena poll release today, 54 percent of respondents said they wish they could throw out all the state legislators and start over. In fact, it sounds like New Yorker are longing for the good old days (which are apparently about the same time as Sterling Cooper's heyday).

From the poll....

(there's more)

Shooting in uptown Albany, Paterson lashes out at media, concerns about pollution at Cohoes factory, GloFo tapping local firms

Albany police say man was shot outside his apartment on Manning Blvd in uptown Albany last night (map). The man reportedly was sitting in car when he took multiple shots in his upper body. A neighbor drove him to the hospital. The APD says it hasn't identified a motive. [TU] [Troy Record] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

The Albany cop car involved in last week's crash that killed a man in a civilian car on Madison Ave did not have an installed video camera. In fact, none of the APD's cars have cameras even though chief James Tuffey said more than a year ago that the squad's fleet would be getting them. [TU]

The median price for single family homes in the Capital Region was down 10 percent in July compared to the same month last year (median prices are down 5 percent for the year). The number of closed sales was about the same, though. That has real estate agents speculating that the market has reached its bottom. [GCAR] [TU]

David Paterson said on Friday that media has treated his administration unfairly because of his ethnicity. Later in the day Paterson said he hadn't accused the media of being racist, but rather said "certain media outlets have engaged in coverage that exploits racial stereotypes." In his original comments, Paterson the press would next go after Barack Obama for the same reason -- and apparently that assertion didn't go over well with the White House. [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics] [NY Post]

A Democratic state senator from Staten Island says David Paterson's impaired vision is making it hard for him to be an effective governor. [SI Advance]

(there's more)

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]

(there's more)

Authorities say alleged kidnapper knew gang members, Paterson hires friend despite hiring freeze, USPS says closure list is A STUDY, Unhappy Meals distributed

Authorities say the man accused of kidnapping a woman in downtown Saratoga Springs recently did know the two alleged Salvadoran gang members arrested this week. The Saratoga DA is asking people to take photos of unusual graffiti and send them to police so the tags can be investigated for connections to gangs. [Saratogian] [Saratogian]

Colonie's town council has approved a measure that would limit the number of sex offenders who can reside in a single hotel or motel. Leaders were concerned that a strip of motels along Central Ave had become a hot spot for sex offenders -- one motel reportedly has 25 sex offenders staying at it. [CapNews9] [CBS6]

David Paterson signed an executive order that sets a state goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels. New York's current level is 290 million tons -- 23 million tons more than in 1990. [TU] [AP/Saratogian]

Despite a state freeze on hiring, David Paterson added a longtime friend -- and fellow club partier -- to a $88k job in a state office in DC. The woman was reportedly "imposed" on the office. [NYDN] [NYP]

(there's more)

Hammertime for Paterson's birthday

If you've been wondering what MC Hammer is up to these days, now we know: he's wishing David Paterson a happy birthday:

Hammer is right after Malcom Smith. LL Cool J, Doug E. Fresh and Emmitt Smith also make an appearance.

[via PolitickerNY]

Another gap in the state budget, foreclosure rates stay low, authority moves to buy Albany's oldest building, big plans for bus rapid transit

The state Division of Budget is projecting that New York will be short $2.1 billion during this fiscal year. The reason: less-than-expected revenues from both income and sales taxes. The projected gap will probably bring the legislature back into session in September. [NYS DoB] [NYT] [TU]

A state appeals court has ruled that Richard Ravitch can serve as lieutenant governor until the legality of his appointment is argued in court August 18. One catch: he's not allowed to preside over the state Senate or cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber. Ravitch says he been working on budget issues in the administration. [Daily Politics] [Biz Review] [Fox23]

A handful of state governors will be in Saratoga this weekend for eating, drinking, horse racing and partying a conference hosted by David Paterson. [Daily Politics]

Albany police say a man -- dressed as a woman -- stabbed a stylist at a salon on North Lake in yesterday. Police say the man then ran off with the woman's purse before being arrested. [CapNews9] [CBS6]

(there's more)

Report: ambulance delay a result of "human error," state AG's office takes up ESP man cave case, GE reportedly building new plant in Schenectady, it's huuuuuge

The city report on the delayed ambulance response to the scene of a fatal crash between a car and a child on a bike in Albany in May concludes that "a single human error" was responsible for the delay. The dispatch error held up the city from calling another service, said the chair of the report task force. The report also concluded that a faster response would not have saved the child. [TU] [Fox23] [CapNews9]

Police are looking for a man who allegedly kidnapped a woman in Saratoga Springs Thursday night and attempted to sexually assault her. The woman, who had been forced at gunpoint to strip, escaped. Police credited her with being "brave and resourceful." The SSPD says it will release a statement about the case today. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

The ESP Man Cave case has been turned over to the state attorney general's office -- and felony charges are possible. [TU]

It seems that David Paterson's gubernatorial campaign is something less than fiscally disciplined, spending lavishly on consultants, hotels and -- in one case -- joke writers. That largesse apparently did not extend to reimbursing the state for airfare, though. [NYT] [TU]

(there's more)

Ravitch appointment blocked, motivational event jams traffic, Schenectady SD paid $13k for Raucci report, Troy dog park drama continues

A state Supreme Court justice in Nassau County has issued an injunction stopping Richard Ravitch's appointment as lieutenant governor. The justice also ruled that Malcolm Smith -- who's (again) the state Senate president -- would take over the role of governor if something happened to David Paterson. A spokesman for Paterson says the administration will appeal in the ruling. Despite the injunction, Ravitch says he'll be showing up for work today. [NYT][NYDN] [Daily Politics] [Fox23]

The "Get Motivated" event at the TU Center yesterday contributed to a big traffic jam in downtown Albany yesterday morning -- I-90 and I-787 had mile-long lines of standing cars. The event featured motivational speakers -- including Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani -- pitching optimism, faith, skepticism of government and motivational products. Powell's speech was apparently the highlight of the day. (Question for another day: if having this gathering during a weekday snarled traffic so badly, what will happen if/when there's a convention center downtown?) [Fox23] [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

Albany police say two banks -- one on New Scotland and another on Delaware -- were held up yesterday within a span of 15 minutes. And they say it looks the same person was involved in both. The guy apparently got frustrated during the first robbery attempt -- so he left without money and headed for the second bank. [Troy Record] [TU] [CapNews9]

The chairman of the Troy City Council's public safety committee says RPI needs to "bring more to the table" in assistance for fire department coverage of the campus. The union that reps Troy firefighters has been lobbying for RPI to pay a "public safety fee" to help fund firefighter staffing near the campus -- and it appears the union is going to keep pressing the issue. [TU] [Troy Record]

(there's more)

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]

(there's more)

State Senate portions pork in the middle of the night, more investment at Albany Nanotech, questions about near-drowning in Troy, common councilman owes back taxes

The state Senate was in session until 3 am this morning. It ended up passing a package of rules reforms for the chamber, including new guidelines for the distribution of pork and staff funding. The session was anything but smooth -- and the long delay prompted a few senators to leave. [Daily Politics] [TU] [Daily Politics]

Hiram Monserrate -- one of the state senators in the middle of the recent mess -- has been restored to his position as chair of Consumer Protection Committee and given his $12,500 stipend. Monserrate's chairmanship was taken away earlier this year after he was charged with slashing his girlfriend. [TU]

David Paterson's 2010 gubernatorial campaign racked up a $1000 bill for a campaign meeting at a bar in Jersey City. [NYT]

New York State announced that it will be spending $50 million on a "packaging" facility for computer chips at Albany Nanotech -- IBM is also part of the project and it will be putting up $75 million. Also part of the announcement: a new facility at SUNY IT (near Utica) that will work with Albany Nanotech. [Biz Review] [TU]

(there's more)

Bobble, bobble, bobble, bobble, bobble

Kim's bobbleheads

Jerry Jennings, Brian Stratton, Harry Tutunjian, David Paterson, Henry Hudson

We have to admit to turning a bit green with envy when we saw Kim Mazor's lineup of Capital Region/New York State bobbleheads.

Kim's posted a bigger version on Twitpic.

Game on in state Senate, documents indicate district officials may have known about Raucci, police say man used child as shield, popular Phish camp closed

The state Senate is back in session today, though it seems no one really knows what's going to happen. The session could take up NYC-related legislation -- or it could focus on reforming pork distribution. One possible complication: Democrats will only have a 31-30 majority because one of their members is on his honeymoon. [AP/Troy Record] [TU] [NYP]

David Paterson apparently wasn't a fan of the Democratic leadership signing Happy Birthday at their post-game press conference last week. Maybe he's just annoyed that he had to take time out from fund raising because of the Senate mess. [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Longtime Capital Region car dealer Ken Gowey says he's running for governor. His platform includes big tax cuts and belief that "man-made global warming" is a "boondoggle." [TU]

Documents filed as part of a lawsuit against the Schenectady School District indicate that district officials may have known about Steven Raucci's alleged acts of harassment as early as 2005. The documents include handwritten notes from the district's HR director that originally appeared as part of a workers compensation claim against the district. That claim alleged that an employee who worked under Raucci suffered emotional harm because of harassment. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A state Supreme Court judge has struck down Albany County's sex offender residency law because it's superceded by state law. A similar law in Rensselaer County was tossed recently for the same reason. [TU]

(there's more)

Everyone seems upset in Senate mess aftermath, Albany says sewer failure wasn't its fault, bar owners brought SLA with check of a box, rain leads to exploding cherries

David Paterson says the caucus switching that's been going on in the state Senate is "so blatantly quid pro quo that it borders on the boundaries of illegality." Jim Tedisco says that the recent mess has prompted him to work on introducing legislation in the Assembly that would allow elected officials to be recalled -- he singled out Pedro Espada for "selling his office." Roy McDonald says the legislature is "evolving into a branch of the New York City Council." And Neil Breslin says the recent events have him "less excited about being a senator." [AP/TU] [TU] [Fox23] [Saratogian] [AP/Troy Record]

Friday's special session of the state Senate was canceled and the body is next scheduled to meet on Wednesday. [PolitickerNY]

One thing the Senate ovethrow/unthrow didn't stop: big pay raises for a bunch of Senate staffers. [TU]

A hearing on the constitutionality of David Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch to the post of lieutenant governor has been scheduled for Wednesday. Even with the state Senate mess resolved, both Paterson and Ravitch say there's still a need for a lt governor. [AP/TU] [PolitickerNY]

Lawyers for Joe Bruno are arguing that his trial for "theft of honest services" should be delayed until the Supreme Court of the United State rules on a pair of similar cases. [TU]

They City of Albany has denied almost $300k in claims related to the flooding last August. The city says the deluge "exceeded all levels for which municipal storm sewers or municipal combined sewers are designed." [TU]

(there's more)

State Senate gets back to work, Biden in Clifton Park, Salvation Army says it didn't blow the whistle, chip fab has 20 year lifespan, good year for apples

The state Senate, with Pedro Espada caucusing with the Democrats, had a real session last night -- 135 bills were passed. The session was not without drama. Republicans held things up for about two hours because they said Democrats weren't supporting agreed-upon reforms -- Dean Skelos called Democrats "a bunch of phonies." The session got back on track shortly before midnight when both sides announced they had agreed to "a framework" for reform. [Biz Review] [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [Daily Politics]

The session also included Espada's installation as majority leader, though it wasn't by a vote because apparently some of the Democrats refused to directly vote for him. [Daily Politics]

David Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch to lieutenant governor is basically on hold until the courts review it. The first hearing is today. [TU]

Joe Biden touted the Obama Administration's stimulus program yesterday during his speech to about 600 people in Clifton Park. The VP announced that New York was getting another $275 million for unemployment insurance. And he said 6,800 jobs would be coming to the state. Among Biden's comments: he would never take the job of Mayor of Albany because it's too hard. (video from the event) [Post-Star] [Troy Record] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

(there's more)

Richard Ravitch, come on down...

paterson ravitch announcementYou're the next contestant on the bizarre reality show that is New York State government. David Paterson just announced that he's appointing Richard Ravitch to the post of lieutenant governor.

Ravitch theoretically will now be able to cast a tie-breaking vote in the frozen state Senate (if quorum ever comes together). The key word is theoretically -- because Paterson's appointment will almost surely set off a flurry of lawsuits. If Ravitch's appointment holds, it would at the very least clear up some of the questions about the gubernatorial line of succession.

So who is this Ravitch guy? A quick primer after the jump.

(there's more)

State Senate break reportedly near, Biden coming to area, layoffs at the TU, mouthwash defense surfaces, liquor license denied because of Salvation Army

It's now been a month since the state Senate upheaval started. The two sides are reportedly nearing some sort of resolution. The Democrats known as "The Three Amigos" (that includes Pedro Espada, who's sided with the Republicans) are threatening to do something (it's not clear what) if there isn't a deal by Thursday. Two of the Amigos plus another senator walked out of the Dems' session yesterday -- and apparently other rank-and-file members are feeling "frisky." [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY] [TU] [AP/Troy Record]

It does seem like something is up -- David Paterson has requested statewide TV time for 5 pm this evening. That's prompted speculation that he might try to dislodge the situation by appointing a lieutenant governor (which would, in turn, probably set off legal throwdown). [Daily Politics] [TU]

If it's any consolation, the senators' pay has been stopped. [NYDN]

Joe Biden will be in Clifton Park tomorrow to tout the federal stimulus effort. He'll be speaking at Shenendehowa High School. This will be the first Vice Presidential visit to the area since 2000. [TU] [WTEN] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

Plotting and scheming in the state Senate, vote on landfill delayed, Lake George beaches closed, bowling-spectator cop promoted

Today's forecast includes the possibility of severe weather this afternoon and evening. The chance of rain is 80 percent and conditions could include "penny size hail or greater and wind gusts 58 mph or stronger." [NWS] [NWS]

Monday in the state Senate: lots of talking and plotting, but little action. An Assemblyman and a few good government groups are saying that David Paterson could fix the situation by simply appointing a lieutenant governor, and thus giving the Senate a tie breaker. Republicans -- and AG Andrew Cuomo -- say Paterson can't do that. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics]

On a different front, one of the senators has sued the Assembly in an attempt to get it to accept the bills "passed" by the Senate during last week's V8 quorum -- though David Paterson has said he won't the sign the bills even if the Assembly accepts them. [Daily Politics]

Another potential solution that bubbled to the surface yesterday was the idea of co-leadership of the Senate. But it seems the Democrats can't agree with each other, nevermind the Republicans, because many now despise Pedro Espada. And speaking of Espada, he was apparently plotting with the "four amigos" yesterday over lunch at Bongiourno's. [TU] [Daily Politics] [Daily Politics]

The Albany Common Council delayed its vote on the bonds that would fund the landfill expansion. Apparently there's some question as to whether there are enough vote to approve the debt. The landfill could be full as soon as the end of this year. [TU]

(there's more)

No progress in state Senate, mid-year budget change could be necessary, alleged pharmacy robber nabbed, stimulating the sign economy, hunting for what's left of Henry Hudson

The state Senate had two more in-and-out sessions this past weekend. Negotiations are apparently going on behind the scenes. The big sticking point remains leadership of the chamber -- specifically Pedro Espada's role as president pro tem. David Paterson is reportedly telling Democrats they may just have to get over it. [Newsday] [Daily Politics] [Buffalo News] [NYDN]

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli says it's looking like the state will be short on money later this year -- and a mid-year budget adjustment will probably be necessary. Of course, the would be virtually impossible with the state Senate locked in its current mess. [NYDN]

A state audit of the Schenectady Metroplex Authority reports that the org isn't tracking whether its investment projects are meeting job creation targets and that it's leaving parking money on the table. The authority disputed many of the findings -- and said it's purposefully not charging for parking. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Is it a coincidence that the owner of the construction company with a virtual lock on big projects in the City of Albany is BFF with the mayor and police chief? [TU]

(there's more)

Governor Bobblehead

Paterson bobblehead

Last night was David Paterson bobblehead night at the ValleyCats game. The smile could be a little more sly -- it doesn't quite capture the Paterson one-liner smirk. That said, maybe the bobblehead is just upset about the state Senate.

If you want to be really jealous, check out @kimmieoftroy's collection of Capital Region mayors -- it now also includes the governor.

(Thanks, Patrick!)

Judge orders state Senate back to work, Paterson warns of another fiscal shortfall, trans-fat ban adjusted, police get DNA evidence from soda bottle

A state Supreme Court judge ordered the state Senate -- both caucuses -- into session today. The judge scolded senators for their behavior and said they risked appearing "rude, inconsiderate and egotistical." Democrats say they'll show up for the session (though they're promising not to take up anything controversial) and the Republicans have already filed an appeal. If the Senate doesn't take action a handful of measures will expire tonight, including sales tax extensions in many counties. [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYDN] [TU]

If it seems like the Senate mess would put incumbents at risk of being thrown out of office... well, behold the power of pork. [TU]

At the NY Conference of Mayors meeting yesterday in Saratoga, David Paterson said that state tax revenues "may be down 35 percent this year from where they were projected." [Post-Star]

Police say two men were shot on Kent Street in Albany yesterday afternoon (map). Witness says four people jumped out of car, ran up to a porch and started shooting. [TU] [Fox23]

(there's more)

State senators agree to hate on David Paterson, landfill expansion gets official OK from DEC, Troy dog park becomes political squabble, Dino looking for big tax breaks, rabid fox alert, gastropub opening in Saratoga

The state Senate's two caucuses held separate, brief -- and pointless -- sessions yesterday. The two sides apparently are close to working out some sort of deal to share power -- and asked for more time to negotiate. David Paterson essentially told them to stuff it and called another "extraordinary" session for today. He also directed the state treasurer to withhold senators' per diems. [Daily Politics] [NYT] [PolitickerNY]

One thing senators of both sides can apparently agree on: they're annoyed with David Paterson. Brooklyn Dem Kevin Park even called Paterson a "coke snorting, staff-banging governor" (he later retracted his comment -- at least he didn't hit the governor). Paterson said it's not him versus the legislature, but rather "governance versus chaos." [Newsday] [PolitickerNY] [NYDN] [TU]

It looks like the Senate chaos has put the same-sex marriage bill on hold indefinitely. [AP/Daily Gazette]

Former state health commissioner Antonia Novello has pleaded guilty in the case that alleged she used her state employees as personal assistants. She's getting off with no jail time, but will have to do community service, pay $22,500 in restitution and pay a small fine. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette]

A spokesman for Rick Lazio says the former Long Island congressman and US Senate candidate "fully intends" to run for Governor of New York. Lazio has called for New York to replace the Assembly and Senate with a unicameral legislature. [AP/TU] [Daily Politics]

A draft of the Albany Common Council's ghost ticket investigation report concludes that the "intent of the system itself was not bad ... it was the impropriety in how the benefit was granted that is a cause for concern." One version of the draft report also apparently includes sharp criticism of city treasurer Betty Barnette's office. [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson threatens state Senate, landfill expansion needs another permit, Troy dog park controversy, another pizza person mugged, gourmet market coming to Latham

The state Senate was in session for all of five minutes yesterday -- and the Republicans weren't even there. [Daily Politics]

David Paterson has called another "extraordinary" session for today. If senators don't show, he says he'll move to withhold their pay. He's also threatening to send the State Police after missing senators. A Brooklyn senator responded to Paterson's threats by calling him a "coward" who "will not be returning as governor." Leaders of both caucuses say their memberships will be at the Capitol today. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT] [Buffalo News]

A business run by Pedro Espada, one of the senators who set this whole circus in motion, owes almost $350k in back taxes. In 2007, Espada made almost $460k at the org, which gets funding from the state. [TU]

Even if the DEC approves the Albany landfill expansion, the project will still have to get the OK from the Army Corps of Engineers (though it won't stop the landfill from being piled higher). [TU]

(there's more)

Paterson calls special Senate session, twins die in accident, lottery winner allegedly sold crack, man accused of syruping gas tanks

David Paterson is calling the state Senate into special session this afternoon. Whether anything of actual substance will happen is uncertain, though -- in large part because it's not clear who will be running the chamber. Paterson can set the agenda -- and he's putting up 90 largely uncontroversial bills for consideration (he can't make the senators vote, though). When/if the bills are voted on, Paterson says he'll keep the Senate in session for bills related to "reform, fiscal discipline and also civil rights." One of those bills is probably the same-sex marriage bill, though Paterson didn't say that exactly -- probably because Democrat, and outspoken same-sex marriage opponent, Ruben Diaz has been threatening to switch parties if the bill is brought up. [TU] [NYDN] [Buffalo News] [Daily Politics] [PolitickerNY]

While the Senate drama lurched forward yesterday, the Assembly finished its session. [AP]

Twin teenage brothers died Sunday in Rensselaer County after the ATVs they were driving collided head-on. A teen girl was also seriously injured. The teens were not wearing helmets (the TU story says state law requires helmets, the Gazette story says it does not helmets are required). [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

Police say a Schenectady man stabbed his adult step daughter and her friend after the man got into an argument with his wife at a Father's Day party on Sunday. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

(there's more)

We're going the wrong way

wrong way sign

Turn around.

The Siena poll out today has some interesting -- if not necessarily surprising -- results.

People are still down on David Paterson (though marginally less so) -- but they've also turned against pretty much everyone else in state government (with one exception).

(there's more)

Paterson says he will force Senate into session, judge snagged in DWI sweep, bristling at being New York's pay toilet, vinyl records store opens in Schenectady

David Paterson says he will call the state Senate into special session tomorrow if the body doesn't get to work today. Said Paterson yesterday of all the drama: "Over the last couple of weeks, the senators' conduct has been laughable." Paterson says Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman would preside over the special session -- a provision that some say could be unconstitutional or create a conflict of interest. The session would focus on "emergency" issues such as the sale tax extension for some counties. Not on that list: same-sex marriage, though Paterson says he intends for the Senate to vote on the bill before the summer break. [TU] [NYDN] [PolitickerNY] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

Two things that might prompt Senators to start moving: they can't hook up their cronies with patronage jobs until the situation's resolved; and all their pork is currently locked in the barrel. [TU] [TU]

A man was stabbed to death in Schenectady Saturday morning. Police say they haven't identified a motive. [TU] [Fox23]

Police say an Albany County family court judge was snagged as part of the county-wide drunk driving sweep last Thursday. Green Island police say the judge tried to evade a checkpoint at the Troy-Green Island Bridge and led police on a short chase. [TU] [Troy Record]

The Albany Police Department is reportedly trying to fire two members of the force -- the detective accused of driving drunk through Albany into Bethlehem in February; and the sergeant who's been accused of trying to cover for the detective. [TU]

(there's more)

David Paterson stands out

paterson oprah

This situation may be beyond even Oprah's abilities.

Reporting that David Paterson is "deeply unpopular" these days is a little bit like reporting "Earth revolves around sun" -- tell us something we don't know.

This new NYT/Cornell/NY1 poll just adds to the already-established story -- the short version of which is: people have very little confidence that David Paterson can lead the state in the right direction.

OK. But here's the story from a perspective we hadn't seen: how does Paterson's (un)popularity compare to that of other governors around the country?

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Scanning the coverage of the Senate switch

coup in progressIt looks like Republican have taken back control of the state Senate by getting two Democrats to caucus with them. Dean Skelos was voted majority leader (again) and Bronx Democrat Pedro Espada -- one of the two switchers -- becomes Senate president pro tem (he's also now the person who becomes governor if something happens to David Paterson). [TU] [NYDN] [AOA]

Here's a quick read of the coverage of yesterday's big switch...

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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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Deal to avoid state worker layoffs "expected" today, Albany landfill expansion approval could come soon, Rensselaer County computers being de-wormed, UAlbany getting new building

The announcement of a deal between the state worker unions and the Paterson administration to avoid layoffs is "expected" to come today. The deal will reportedly include $20k buyouts for employees eligible for retirement -- which has some observers asking where the money is going to come from. The deal also apparently includes a new, less generous tier in the state pension system. [NYDN] [TU]

It's looking like the state DEC could approve the expansion of the Albany landfill soon. The dump is projected to be full before the end of this year -- six years sooner than originally planned. [TU]

The search has been called off for the man who went missing in the Mohawk on Sunday. A friend who accompanied the man that day said strong currents tipped their canoe. Rains earlier that week had increased the Mohawk's flow that weekend. [Troy Record] [TU] [USGS]

Among Scott Murphy's first slate of requested Congressional earmarks (pork): $2 million for a new Saratoga Springs public safety building. Murphy has posted his full list of requested earmarks online. [Saratogian] [Post-Star]

Another potential 2010 primary challenger to Kirsten Gillibrand has announced she won't be running against KG. [NYDN]

David Paterson's new top advisor described himself as being "like the 300-pound offensive tackle blocking for the quarterback called Governor David Paterson." [NYT]

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State concludes Tuffey's police officer certification expired, murder on Central Ave, student sues former Union roommate for $1 million, Friday's biz reportedly down after snakehead

A state agency has concluded that Albany police chief James Tuffey's certification as a police officer has expired. Tuffey can still serve as an "administrative" police chief -- but he can't carry a firearm. (Tuffey turned in his department-issued gun last week.) Common council president -- and mayor candidate -- Shawn Morris has called for mayor Jerry Jennings to fire to Tuffey for carrying a gun without a permit. [TU] [CapNews9]

A man was shot and killed Saturday morning at a club on Central Ave in Albany (map). Police say they have no suspects or motive. It was third time this man had been shot in his life -- he'd been hit by bullets twice as a teenager. [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

That state pension fund dropped almost 29 percent during the last fiscal year and that will probably mean... wait for it... higher taxes. [TU]

The state budget crunch hasn't stopped David Paterson from making frequent use of state aircraft. [TU]

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Poll respondents: when does Cuomo start?

siena paterson 2009-05

Fair to say his public opinion ratings are, uh, less bad?

The Siena poll out today reports that the public's perception of David Paterson hasn't gotten any worse -- but it's not really any better, either.

Seventy-one percent of people polled said they still preferred "someone else" as governor in 2010. And people say they still prefer Eliot Spitzer to Paterson (21/11).

In hypothetical 2010 matchups, people say they prefer Andrew Cuomo to David Paterson 70-19 -- and Cuomo over Rudy Giuliani 53-41

A few more tidbits -- about same-sex marriage, Kirsten Gillibrand and tax caps -- after the jump.

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SNL needs new material

SNL used the "people prefer Spitzer to Paterson" poll numbers for a skit on this week's show. It was... uh... well... here it is...

We can only hope the next poll of New Yorkers includes a question about whether these skits are funny.

Paterson proposes spending cap, man arrested after 29 years on the run, more suspected H1N1 cases test negative, Schenectady's empty neighborhoods

David Paterson has proposed capping increases in state spending at the average rate of inflation over the previous three years. Paterson says a cap "will force government to live within its means." The Governor says that if such a cap was already in place, the state would have spent $17 billion less over the last five years. A spending cap would probably have to be added to the state constitution to have any real effect. [AP/Saratogian] [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [NYT]

Police arrested a Troy man yesterday who had escaped from a Tennessee prison 29 years ago. Robert T. Henry had been serving a 15 year sentence there for robbery. Henry apparently saw that Tennessee officials were looking for him as part of a sweep of old fugitive cases -- and he contacted them to proclaim his innocence. Henry says he was pardoned, though there doesn't seem to be a record of it. Though he apparently kept an apartment, police say he told them he'd been living in Prospect Park. [Troy Record] [TU] [Tennessean] [CapNews9] [Fox23]

The sister of Albany police chief James Tuffey testified before the Common Council last night that her daughter's car did not carry a bull's eye sticker when it was involved in a 2007 crash. The TU has reported that Albany cops didn't ticket the chief's niece for the crash because she had a sticker. [TU]

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New Yorkers: we'd rather have Spitzer back

paterson_with_spitzer.jpgFifty-one percent of New Yorkers would rather have Eliot Spitzer as governor right now than David Paterson, according to Marist poll out today.

In fact, a plurality of voters in every demographic category preferred the Steamroller. Only two categories were even close: NYC suburbs (44/43 Spitzer) and 18-29 (49/46 Spitzer).

Possible backhanded compliment by the populace: 66 percent of respondents in the Marist poll said they thought David Paterson was working hard at his job. But 77 percent said his performance in that job was only fair or poor.

Earlier on AOA: It's all downhill for David Paterson

photo: ny.gov

Officials expect H1N1 flu in every county eventually, first local stimulus project starts, mixed-use development planned for downtown Albany, Dr. Z gets stiffed, the weekend in chase and taser

There were 96 confirmed probable cases of the emerging H1N1 influenza in New York State as of Saturday night, according to the state department of health. Seventeen of the those cases were outside NYC -- and the state health commissioner says they expect that the virus will pop up in every county at some point. Three suspected cases from Schenectady and Albany counties have tested negative -- a suspected case in Saratoga County has gone for testing. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus is now "circulating all over" the country. [NYS DoH] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [NYT]

The Capital Region's first stimulus-funded project -- the reconstruction of Delaware Ave in Albany -- starts today (map). [TU]

The final tally for spending in the Tedisco-Murphy special election: $3.6 million -- $2.05 million by Murphy and $1.55 million by Tedisco. [TU]

Scott Murphy opened an office in Saratoga Springs Friday (it was Kirsten Gillibrand's old office). Murphy mentioned KG at least six times during his public comments. Apparently the biggest complaint at Murphy's first "Congress on Your Corner" event: Murphy supporters were blocking the nearby drive-up mailbox. [Post-Star] [Saratogian]

A state commission is looking into whether the ghost parking tickets given to some state officials in Albany violated a ban on gifts. [TU]

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Suspected case of H1N1 tests negative, Salt filming continues, acre of garbage revealed, cop crashes through storefront window, bakeries call for cupcake exemption

One of the local suspected cases of the emerging H1N1 influenza has already tested negative. Samples from as many as six suspected cases in the region are still being tested. [TU]

Andrew Cuomo says his office is widening its investigation of kickbacks and other fishy stuff going on with the state pension fund. Andrew Cuomo says "a national network of actors" was involved in defrauding the fund. A handful of people with connections to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, who ran the fund, have already been indicted. Allegations of wrongdoing at the fund stretch back to at least 2002. [TU] [NYT] [Daily Politics]

A group of politically-appointed attorneys that allegedly maneuvered their way into protected jobs at the state Department of Taxation and Finance have been told by civil service that they need to explain why their jobs shouldn't be revoked. [TU]

The state recently settled a civil rights lawsuit filed by a Schenectady man who said he was fired from his job as a photographer for the state Senate in 2003. The man, who's white, alleged that he had been fired by then-Senate minority leader David Paterson's staff because he wasn't an African-American. [NY Post]

Albany Common Councilwoman Barbara Smith says she wants to know whether it was just a coincidence that a former Albany cop was picked for child porn shortly before he was scheduled to testify about the ghost ticket scandal. [TU]

Filming for Salt continues today through Monday in downtown Albany. Traffic was reportedly all tied up downtown yesterday after filming started again. [TU] [@rmadeo]

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State is monitoring swine flu situation, murder in Schenectady, Angelina makes shows up, baby born on Thruway, Fountain Day draws record crowd

David Paterson says the state is monitoring the swine flu situation, but doesn't see "any real danger ahead." There have been eight confirmed cases of swine flu in Queens. (Some perspective.) [Fox23] [NYT] [NYT]

The 911 call in which an off-duty Schenectady cop followed an allegedly drunk off-duty Albany police detective driving through Albany and Delmar indicates that the APD may have held off on pursuing the detective. According to the off-duty Schenectady cop's comments on the call, the APD detective could barely stand and almost hit cars coming in the opposite direction. [TU]

"Several" Albany Common Council members tell the TU that Jerry Jennings' executive assistant has been trying to convince them to drop the council's investigation of the ghost ticket scandal. [TU]

A man was shot and killed in the parking lot of a State Street topless bar in Schenectady Friday night. The SPD has identified the victim as a Schenectady resident. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [@schdypolice]

Scott Murphy said Jim Tedisco concession was a "very gracious" end to the special election. With about 700 ballots still uncounted, Murphy was up 399 votes on Tedisco Friday afternoon. Murphy got a congratulatory call from President Obama. Republicans, wondering how they lost again in a district with more enrolled Republicans than Democrats, pointed to a lack of party unity and backfiring negative ads as contributing factors to Tedisco's loss. There's speculation now that Tedisco could be on his way out of the Assembly. Murphy wouldn't say on Friday whether he plans to run again next year. [Daily Gazette] [NYS BoE] [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [PolitickerNY]

Angelina Jolie was in town yesterday to shoot scenes for Salt (video -- pics of the crew and shot setup). It seems locals can't get enough of gawking at the scene. Apparently the paparazzi prefer NYC, though. Oh, Brad Pitt was not here -- he was in Niagara Falls. [TU] [TU] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [TU] [Telegraph UK] [TU] [Buffalo News]

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It's all downhill for David Paterson

siena poll graph

November was the high point.

Just when you thought that David Paterson couldn't get any more unpopular -- he has. According to a Siena poll out today, Paterson's favorable/unfavorable numbers hit 27/63. That's the lowest point so far.

A few more notes -- including one about New Yorkers' support of same-sex marriage -- after the jump.

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Paterson introduces same-sex marriage bill, two shooting deaths in Schenectady, high-speed rail gets Presidential attention, Troy might bring in The Pothole Killer

David Paterson officially introduced a bill yesterday that would make same-sex marriage legal in New York State. Paterson framed the measure as a civil rights issue: "We have a duty to make sure equality exists for everyone." This same bill passed the Assembly in 2007, but failed in the state Senate. Majority leader Malcolm Smith wasn't at yesterday's announcement, though he says he's "fully committed to the process of securing the votes" necessary to pass the bill. State Senator Ruben Diaz -- a Democrat who's against the measure -- called the bill "a challenge the governor is sending to every religious person in New York." [NYT] [AP/TU] [Daily Politics] [NYP]

The state Department of Labor reported that the Capital Region's unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in March -- that's down from 7.6 percent in February, but up from 5 percent a year ago. A labor department analyst says the numbers may indicate that unemployment has hit a bottom -- maybe. [NYS DoL] [TU]

Authorities say two shooting deaths in Schenectady last night may have been a murder-suicide -- though the Schenectady County DA says "there's still a lot of legwork to be done." The first shooting was on Union St, about a block from the Union College campus (map). The Schenectady PD reported the incident on Twitter. [Daily Gazette] [TU] (Earlier on AOA: Schenectady mugshots on Twitter)

Absentee ballot counting in the NY20 special election has slowed over the way disputed ballots are to be counted. It also probably didn't help that some elections officials in Dutchess County decided to go to the Yankees game yesterday. The unofficial count at the end of yesterday from the New York State Board of Elections has Scott Murphy up 178 votes on Jim Tedisco. [TU] [PolitickerNY] [NYS BoE]

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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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State worker union turns down no-layoff deal, Paterson pushes for same-sex marriage bill, Hearst cancels guild contract at TU, rescued animals pack humane society shelter

CSEA says it has rejected a deal offered by the Paterson administration in which state workers would give up this year's scheduled three percent raise in return for a no-layoffs guarantee. Liz Benjamin reports there may be a "pay lag" agreement coming together behind the scenes, though. Also: as promised, David Paterson has sent 10 percent of his salary ($18k) back to the state. [AP/TU] [Daily Politics] [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday he thinks the public will accept same-sex marriage and he wants to see a same-sex marriage bill come up for a vote in the state Senate -- whether it's guaranteed to pass or not. That call didn't go over all that well with same-sex marriage advocates. [NYT] [Daily Politics]

The state budget has lead to cuts in open hours at state parks this season. The local regional state park director calls the cutbacks "fairly unprecedented." Among the local consequences: the Peerless Pool will be closed on Tuesdays (the day it gets the smallest number of visitors, according to officials) and the beach at Grafton Lakes will be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. [TU] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette]

As of this morning, the New York State Board of Elections was reporting that Scott Murphy had an eight vote lead over Jim Tedisco in the 20th Congressional District special election. The count of absentee ballots will continue today. The NY 20th may be missing out on federal stimulus money because it doesn't have a House member right now. [NYSBoE] [AP/TU]

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Scanning reaction to the state budget

nys capitol

One person described this year's budget process as having "Kremlin-like secrecy."

This year's almost $132 billion state budget has provoked quite a few, uh, passionate reactions.

Here's the condensed version of what people are saying...

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Paterson's (not) too sexy

Paterson in Runners WorldPoor David Paterson can't catch a break these days. The economy's tanking, his poll numbers just keep on dropping-- and now this. Boston's alt weekly newspaper, The Phoenix, has named New York's accidental governor to its list of the 100 Unsexiest Men of 2009.

The Phoenix doesn't define sexy the same way as, say, People Magazine. Their "most unsexy" list is made up of what they call "the 100 most karmically bankrupt men on the planet."

Where did NY's governor land on the list? And who is he keeping company with?

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Paterson fans can now be counted on one hand

paterson favorability chart

It's just been one long slide. (Numbers from Siena Research Institute)

OK, that's exaggerating... a little.

A new Siena poll out today reports that David Paterson's favorable/unfavorable numbers are now at 29/58. And when people were asked whether they'd prefer Paterson or "someone else" in 2010, people picked "somone else" 67-14.

Of course, that "someone else" is increasingly looking like Andrew Cuomo (AKA "the hottest thing in politics," according to the Washington Post) . The Siena poll asked about a hypothetical primary between Cuomo and Paterson. The result: Cuomo 67-17 over Paterson. Paterson also loses big to Rudy Giuliani in a hypothetical general election 56-36.

And how about Cuomo vs Guiliani? AC on top 51-41.

By the way, Eliot Spitzer in a Slate piece from Friday: "There has never been a tougher time to be a governor." Heh. Maybe he really has ended up a winner.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Piling on Paterson
+ Everybody hates David Paterson
+ Speculate about 2010? Sure, why not.

Siena leaves its mark on the NCAA tournament, Morris calls for more community policing, stabbing in Ballston Spa, baracking

Siena put up a good fight against #1 seed Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but ultimately lost 79-72. After trailing at halftime by five, the Saints took the lead a little more than 10 minutes into the second half and held it until about four minute mark. [TU] [ESPN]

The org that runs New York's electricity market says an arrangement in which buyers of electricity pay more than the lowest bid is a feature, not a bug. [TU]

A study sponsored by a free market academic center concludes that New York State has the lowest level of personal and economic freedom in the country. [TU]

A 2005 report about then-state Senate minority leader David Paterson's office describes an operation with problems very similar to those exhibited during Paterson's first year as governor: chaos, indecisiveness and jumbled communication. [NYDN]

Albany Common Council president -- and mayoral candidate -- Shawn Morris says the APD has shifted its focus away from community policing -- and that's contributed to a recent surge in crime. [TU]

Forty percent of children in Albany County live in poverty -- as do 25 percent of people in Schenectady -- according to a report out from an advocacy org. [Daily Gazette]

The manager of the TU Center says he'd like to see mixed martial arts fighting legalized in New York State. He estimates ultimate fighting could sell out the arena and generate $1 million to $2 million in economic activity. [Daily Gazette]

After two of the three finalists for the job of UAlbany president dropped out, a source tells the TU the search will likely be reopened. UAlbany has been looking for a new president for more than two years. [TU]

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Another quick scan of Tedisco-Murphy

Tedisco-MurphyWhat, you haven't been closely following every exciting turn in the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat?

Worry not. We've been paying attention so you don't have to.

Here's the quick rundown on where things are at in the race between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy for the 20th Congressional District.

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The spitzering: one year later

paterson_with_spitzer.jpg

No one's clapping now.

The news that Eliot Spitzer had been caught in a prostitution sting went public a year ago today.

It almost seems like it's been even longer than that -- so much has happened since then. After a year, who's up? Who's down? We've put together a scorecard.

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DA says scratched car prompted bombing, new rail plan for state, Siena's going to the NCAA Tournament, Breslin warns of budget deficit, big plans for Troy Proctors

A Schenectady County judge denied bail yesterday for Steven Raucci, the school district employee accused of arson and terrorism. In arguing against bail, the Schenectady DA said Raucci bombed a person's car after the man scratched Raucci's car in a parking lot. The DA says Raucci has continued to make threats since being taken into custody. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Underground explosions blasted four manhole covers off the ground yesterday afternoon in downtown Albany. National Grid says burning cables may have caused a build up of gases. Power near the site of the explosions will be shut off as investigators try to figure out what happened. [AOA] [TU] [CapNews9]

David Paterson and seemingly every other upstate elected official were at the Rensselaer train station yesterday to announce a new state rail plan. State officials hope the plan will increase New York's chances of scoring federal stimulus money for rail projects. As part of the plan, officials would like to spend $3 billion on somewhat higher speed rail service throughout the state. [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

As David Paterson announced that he's freezing the pay of some 160 of aides, it came out that he just re-hired his recently fired top aide for $170,000. [Newsday] [NY Post]

The Albany Common Council chose not to issue subpoenas last night after the heads of the unions that represent Albany police officers chose not to testify under oath as part of the investigation in the ghost ticket scandal. The council has gotten 5,000 documents from the APD as part of the investigation. [TU] [CapNews9] [Fox23]

The Siena men's basketball team is going to the NCAA tournament. The Saints beat Niagara 77-70 last night in the MAAC Tournament final. Kenny Hasbrouck, playing with an injured calf, led Siena with 19 points. The tournament set a conference record for attendance, drawing almost 51,000. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

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Timmons gets maximum sentence, Westboro protesters in town, APD fires a cop, national experts to assess Schenectady High suicides, lucky shot was insured

Jermayne Timmons, the teen convicted of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, got the maximum sentence today -- 15 years to life. [TU]

Five members of the Westboro Baptist Church showed up this morning at Albany High School to publicize the church's anti-gay message. A counter protest of 300 people was also there. Rev. Charlie Muller, one of the counter-protesters, told Capital News 9 he was there to make the point that "Jesus never hated -- he loved." [TU] [CapNews9]

The head of the State Insurance Fund resigned yesterday, reportedly after the Times Union told him it was preparing a story about why his compensation ($185,400) was way higher than the level set by law ($120,800). The state inspector general this week announced that the agency is under investigation because of a whistleblower's accusation that the org had become have for political patronage. (Earlier on AOA: The $94,000 secretary.)

State Senate Republicans have proposed an alternative budget to David Paterson's plan. The Republicans' plan leans heavily on using federal stimulus money to cover the budget gap -- and doesn't include many of the tax and fee increases in the Paterson budget. [TU]

David Paterson said yesterday he will in fact take a 10 percent pay cut -- but he won't ask anyone else in state government to do so. Ten percent of Paterson's salary is $17,9000. [AP/CapNews9]

The attorney for Steven Raucci, who's now been charged with crimes in three different counties, says he will argue on Monday that his client should be allowed to go free on bail. Local law enforcement authorities have kept Raucci in jail by charging his serially on counts including arson, criminal mischief and terrorism. The Gazette found out via FOIL this week that Raucci made $129,364 with the Schenectady School District last year. [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

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Chip fab company says it's committed, Paterson says he'd take a pay cut, DA says frozen man may have overdosed, Albany High to be delayed for protest

While the paperwork hasn't all gone through, officials from GlobalFoundries -- the new AMD spinoff -- say they are committed to building the new chip fab at Luther Forest. "I don't know how much more formal of a commitment we can make," said the new company's president. GlobalFoundries says it expects to be turning out chips at full capacity by 2012. [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [TU]

David Paterson told a crowd in Buffalo yesterday that he would consider taking a 10 percent pay cut -- and he said he doesn't think a similar cut for the Legislature is a bad idea. Paterson also reiterated his support for a high-speed rail connection between Buffalo and Albany. (Earlier on AOA: High-speed rail? Maybe not so fast.) [Buffalo News]

Competition for federal stimulus money is fierce at the state Capitol as the team led by New York's stimulus czar -- AKA Captain Asphalt -- sifts through more than 7,500 projects. Local officials have proposed almost $42 billion in stimulus-funded projects -- the state has been given $4 billion. [NYT]

A bill that would reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws was passed by the state Assembly yesterday. Such reforms have been passed many times by the Assembly, but always died in the Senate. But now that Democrats control both chambers, the odds of passage seem higher -- though it's far from a done deal. [TU] [NYT]

A bunch of downstate Democrats are lining up for a potential primary challenge to Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010. [NYT]

RPI President Shirley Jackson announced yesterday that she will be taking a five percent pay cut. [AOA]

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Behold, the gubernatorial thighs

Paterson in Runners WorldAn interview with David Paterson appears in this month's issue of Runner's World. And it includes a pic of the Gov -- in running shorts -- with his foot up on his desk. (And you thought his poll numbers were low before this.)

From the interview:

It's difficult to find the time to run because we travel back and forth to Albany a lot. And I'm unable to read my speeches so I have to memorize them which takes time. These days I might get out [for a run] every couple of weeks. That's why I like some of these local races, because they're projects. If I see it as part of my work, I'm a lot more disciplined.

Paterson ran in the Utica Boilermaker last year. And he ran in the 1999 NYC Marathon (he talks in the interview about being hospitalized after that race).

The New York Post has a bigger version of the pic -- if you dare.

photo: Runner's World

Winter storm will mostly miss us, Ellis to run for Albany mayor, Porco's lawyers appealing conviction, alternate side parking grace period proposed, Saratoga Rec Center saga continues, Siro's for sale

It looks like the storm moving up the East Coast today will mostly miss us here in the Capital Region. Snow accumulation is projected to top out at around 4 inches, but it will be cold -- with temps around 20. Noted: March is still winter. [NWS] [TU]

The Saratoga County DA says terrorism charges are being prepared in Schenectady County against Steven Raucci, the Schenectady School District employee accused of arson. [Daily Gazette]

Albany Common Councilman Corey Ellis is expected to announce today that he's running for mayor. Council president Shawn Morris is also expected to announce soon that she's officially in the running. [Facebook event page] [TU]

Scott Murphy will be on the Independence Party line for the upcoming special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat -- the first time a Democrat has been on the line in the district. In other Murphy news: he says he's good at simple arithmetic. And in case you hadn't heard: his wife has a bid family. [Daily Politics] [Post-Star] [Post-Star]

Jim Tedisco, Murphy's opponent in the special election, says it shouldn't matter that he doesn't actually live in the Congressional district that he wants to represent. [AP/TU]

The man who police say threatened them with a knife at the scene of the murder in Troy last week has previously served time on assault and unlawful imprisonment charges -- as of Friday he still wasn't officially tagged as a suspect, though. Troy police have called in the State Police to help out with forensics at the "gruesome" murder scene. [TU] [Troy Record]

Christopher Porco's attorneys have filed an appeal seeking to overturn his conviction. The appeal focuses on the nod that police say his mother gave when asked if he had been involved in the attack. Porco is currently serving 46 years to life in prison. [TU]

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Towns sue EPA over dredging, stimulus money headed for local schools, comptroller takes up ghost ticket investigation, big hospital merger, home prices down

A handful of municipalities in Saratoga County -- including the county itself -- have sued to stop the EPA's Hudson River dredging project. The governments argue the feds have not adequately guaranteed people in the county will have a safe supply of drinking water during the project, which is scheduled to start in May. State senator Roy McDonald told a meeting last night that the EPA is "taking advantage of us" and said people should tell the feds to "go to hell." [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]

Chuck Schumer says about $50 million in aid for schools is headed to the Capital Region from the federal stimulus bill. The Albany ($6.3 million) and Schenectady ($4.8 million) school districts are getting the biggest chunks of that money. Schumer also says $3 billion is on its way to help New York State cover planned cuts in aid from the state to local schools. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson has replaced many of his top advisors. On his new communications director's resume: experience with "strategic and crisis communications work." [NYT] [TU]

The state comptroller has informed the City of Albany that his office will be conducting an audit of the city's "ghost ticket" system. [TU]

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Paterson aide: staff is a disaster, Albany County moves toward texting while driving ban, teacher accused of selling pot, modern dance at SPAC

With poll numbers sliding, David Paterson says he will be addressing "structural problems" on his staff. A "a source close to the governor's staff" tells the TU that Paterson's office is currently a "disaster." Adds an ex-aide: "Under David there was a 'Lord of the Flies' environment where you claim your territory and hold on to it." [AOA] [TU]

The state's leader all agree: the budget gap could top $14 billion. [Biz Review]

Yesterday during the course of a trial for an unrelated case, an Albany police officer testified that he had bought one of the infamous (and illegal) APD machine guns from the head of the Albany Police Officer's Union. [TU]

Albany police say they've id'ed the body found in an abandoned building on Broadway this past weekend as Ruel Torak of Schenectady. Police are treating the case as a homicide -- they say they're not sure if Torak was murdered at the location or taken there afterward. [TU] [Troy Record]

Steven Raucci, the Schenectady School District employee accused of arson and intimidation, was released on bail yesterday -- and then picked by Schodack police on new arson charges related to a separate incident in 2007. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Piling on Paterson (updated!)

Paterson favorability 2009-02

Not a favorable trend for the Gov.

The Siena poll out today reports that David Paterson's favorable/unfavorable is now at 40-47. And it's been all downhill since the peak he hit at Thanksgiving of last year (chart above).

The poll also asked people about a hypothetical primary between Paterson and Andrew Cuomo. According to the poll, Paterson would go down hard in the matchup, 53-27 -- which lines up with the result a Q Poll got last week.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Stumbling out of the gate
+ Everybody hates David Paterson
+ Speculate about 2010? Sure, why not.

Update Wednesday morning! Check out Sebastien's interpretation of the graph after the jump!

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Stumbling out of the gate

PatersonIt seems like all of sudden everyone hates David Paterson. So, how'd this happen?

Well, like most overnight stories (of success or failure), it sounds like this one has been building for some time. From a story in yesterday's NYT (emphasis ours):

Not long after David A. Paterson became governor, he gathered his senior staff at a mountainside estate 30 miles from the capital to shape an agenda for his fledgling administration.

A former executive from the Dale Carnegie Institute was brought in, and gave the bewildered senior advisers promotional T-shirts and copies of his book, which featured advice like "Don't let your BlackBerry become a CrackBerry."

But the real surprise, said several people who attended, came when Mr. Paterson spoke on the second day. He seemed unfocused, even rambling, in a brief appearance, offering few clues about what he wanted to do as governor and leaving many staff members confused and frustrated.

We'd actually be OK with a few crackberry-addled staffers if it meant getting the state on the right track. If anything, crackberry addiction sounds more plausible than "late-filing syndrome."

Oh, yeah, one more thing: Paterson did give staffers the OK to go after Caroline Kennedy.

School district employee accused of arson and intimidation, first homicide of 2009 in Albany, crowds gets testy at "super" sale, looking for council candidates on Craigslist

The Schenectady County DA says investigators think a Schenectady school district employee engaged in "systematic acts of intimidation" -- including arson -- against people who had "crossed" him. The man has been charged with arson for blowing the door off a Rotterdam home in 2001. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A body was found in an abandoned building on Broadway in Albany over the weekend. The APD says it's treating the case as the city's first homicide of 2009. [TU] [Fox23]

The president of the Schenectady police union only worked for the city 13 days last year -- yet the city paid him $129,908. Mayor Brian Stratton says the arrangement is "crazy." [TU]

A stun gun, tucked in a stroller, made it through the security checkpoint at ALB a week ago. A gate worker found the stun gun as he was putting the stroller into the baggage hold. [TU]

David Paterson and his entourage charged the state more than $23,000 for their trip to the inaugural. [TU]

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Pataki to take on Gillibrand?, Albany council pursuing ghost ticket scandal, Troy could be among first for stimulus money, cable bills going up, crustacean capers hot right now

George PatakiThe head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has reportedly approached George Pataki about running against Kirsten Gillibrand in 2010. [AP/Troy Record]

State Democrats "familiar" with the situation say David Paterson is considering the return of Charles O'Byrne, who was his top advisor until O'Byrne resigned over tax problems. Paterson is reportedly frustrated by accusations that his administration is coming apart. [NYT] [NYP]

The Albany Common Council has scheduled sworn testimony in March from police department and union officials about the ghost ticket scandal. Officers called to testify will have to be paid three hours of overtime if the hearing doesn't occur during their regular shift. [TU]

The Schenectady police officer accused of being serially absent from patrol has been suspended without pay for a month. The officer topped the department's pay list last year after racking up enormous amounts of overtime. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

One of the Albany River Rats says "guys were flying around like ping-pong balls" as the team bus rolled over on the Mass Pike during its crash early Thursday morning. Four players and one of the team's broadcasters were hospitalized overnight. A spokesman for Yankee Trails, the company that owned the bus, says the driver at the wheel yesterday is an "exceptional" operator. Mass state police are investigating the cause of the crash -- ice appears to be the leading candidate. The Rats' game scheduled for tonight has been postponed. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]

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Everybody hates David Paterson

Paterson close cropAs we mentioned in Morning Blend today, things haven't exactly been going David Paterson's way lately.

Somehow he's managed to piss off liberals (for picking Gillibrand), conservatives (for trying to tax porn), state worker unions (for giving his staff pay raises), and blind people in wheel chairs (for proposing to cut healthcare spending).

And now Andrew Cuomo is lapping him in a hypothetical 2010 Democratic primary for governor. A Quinnipiac poll out this week reports that registered Democrats prefer Cuomo more than 2-1 over Paterson in such a match-up. Ouch. (A Siena poll had them basically tied in such a race back in January.)

The Q Poll also had some bad news for Kirsten Gillibrand.

Registered Dems in the poll said they preferred anti-gun Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to KG 34-24. That said, "don't know" was leading the pack at 39 percent.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Speculate on 2010? Sure, why not.

Paterson under fire from every direction, Gillibrand says guns no longer under her bed, job cuts at GE Research, Rensselaer waterfront developer says if they come -- they will build it

David Paterson is catching criticism from what seems like every direction right now. State worker unions are wailing at the news that many aides in the Paterson administration have gotten pay raises since last summer's hiring freeze and spending cuts. The proposed "iTax" on digital downloads is being criticized by conservatives because it potentially could tax pornography downloads (they say taxing it legitimizes it). And in response to the barrage of TV ads criticizing his proposed healthcare cuts, Paterson said this past weekend: "I don't care how many blind people in wheelchairs you roll out. I'm going to get this budget balanced and I'm going to get it balanced by April 1." [NYP] [NYDN] [AP/TU] [Newsday]

A spokesperson for Kirsten Gillibrand says the senator has moved the guns out from underneath her bed now that everyone knows that's where she stored them (because, you know, she told everyone). Also: Gillibrand says her mom has eight guns. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette] [AP/Troy Record]

Chuck Schumer endorsed Scott Murphy yesterday in the race to fill Gillibrand's former House seat. He and Murphy also made pretzels. [Saratogian]

Roy McDonald (the guy who replaced Joe Bruno in the state Senate) says Saratoga County's share of money from a state road maintenance fund could be cut more than 25 percent in the next state budget. Saratoga County got more than $2 million from the fund last year (as did Albany County). [Saratogian] [NYDOT]

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Scramble on for stimulus money, Paterson says soda tax has gone flat, big condo project put on hold, Dunn Bridge closing temporarily, Springsteen tickets are pricy

Local officials are scrambling to line up for the some $20 billion of stimulus money that's probably headed toward New York. Albany, Schenectady and Troy have already proposed projects worth a combined $600 million. Now Saratoga Springs is asking for about $17 million -- $10.7 million of which would go toward the construction of the new police station. Chuck Schumer said yesterday that the Capital Region would be getting $108 million for Medicaid from the bill. [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Albany Common Council has decided it will ask city and police officials to answer questions about the ghost ticket scandal under oath. It won't be issuing these people a subpoena -- at least, not yet. [TU]

David Paterson says the state legislature will probably not pass his proposed soda tax. [AP/TU]

State Senate Democrats says they will not be using the recently discovered "Brunomobile." The custom van gets 8 miles per gallon and reportedly has "retained a ghost of its new-car smell." [TU]

Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy, the two candidates in the race to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former seat in the House, are arguing over whose job creation number is bigger. Neither candidate will say whether they would have voted for the stimulus bill that's moving through Congress. It sounds like Murphy, the Democrat, has the support of his in-laws -- even though they're Republicans. [Daily Gazette] [Fox23] [Saratogian]

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Stimulus stimulates budget talk, chip fab deal hits snag, guilty verdict tossed over racial remark, candy maker expects subdued Valentine's Day

Both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted for the federal stimulus bill yesterday -- they say New York State could be getting about $20 billion from the bill. That has state leaders thinking about the impact on the state budget. David Paterson says the state still needs to make significant budget cuts. He also said he wouldn't support the proposed tax on high-income households -- unless the Legislature could come up with $11 billion in budget cuts. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [NYDN]

The AMD shareholder vote on the spin-off that would own the Luther Forest chip fab was delayed yesterday after the company couldn't get enough votes together for an official decision. The vote was rescheduled for next week -- both company and local officials seemed confident the deal would still go through. AMD's stock dropped 12 percent on news of the delayed vote. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]

The FBI and State Police raided tenant offices at the Port of Albany yesterday. The raid is part of an ongoing investigation into extortion and bid-rigging among businesses there. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Joe Bruno's federal trial has been scheduled for November of this year. His attorney says they'll be trying to get charges dismissed before then. One complication for the trial: finding jurors with an open mind about Bruno's guilt or innocence. [TU]

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Local governments line up stimulus projects, sniping in the Governor's office, DA says 40-year-old case will be hard to prosecute, group trying to raise money for cat's heart surgery

Local governments have quite the wish list lined up for the federal stimulus money that could be on they way. The cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy combined have more than $600 million of proposed projects. On the list: a new city hall for Troy, money for the Albany convention center, and a new rail line connecting Schenectady and Albany. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

As Kirsten Gillibrand becomes more of a "Democratic team player" in the Senate, constituents around Saratoga say they feel betrayed. [Newsday] [NYT]

The state worker unions have been meeting with the Department of Civil Service to discuss procedures for layoffs. There has been no official word that mass layoffs are in the works. [TU]

The chatter around the Capitol: David Paterson's staff is incompetent, fighting with itself over stuff like office space.

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He's blind! And New Jersey stinks! Get it!

SNL took another swing at a David Paterson sketch this past weekend. It seems the results were about the same as last time.

Dems pick candidate for Gillibrand replacement race, stabbing in downtown Saratoga, RPI involved with Africa education intiative, local sales of YakTrax up

The Democrats have picked Glens Falls venture capitalist Scott Murphy to run in the special election for Kirsten Gillibrand's seat. Murphy emerged as the choice after former TV anchor Tracy Egan and AFL-CIO official Suzy Ballantyne dropped out. The 10 Democratic county chairman made their pick yesterday at the Gateway Diner in Albany (no, that's not in the district) while, apparently, wearing lots of Gillibrand flair. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU] [@pattigibbons]

Murphy will face Jim Tedisco in the special election -- and people are already lining up to replace Tedisco should he win. [Saratogian]

Police say a man was stabbed multiple times early Sunday morning at Club 388 on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. The victim was airlifted to Albany Med. Police arrested two men shortly after the incident -- the cops had been on patrol in the area. [CapNews9] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Saratoga Springs mayor Scott Johnson says the city's council "has already embraced the concept, but not the details" of paid parking downtown. That's not going over well with downtown business owners. [TU]

As David Paterson's public profile has taken a hit (or, hits) over the last few weeks, it appears that Sheldon Silver is controlling the agenda at the Capitol. [AP/Saratogian] [TU]

Joe Bruno, who's under federal indictment, in a recent memo to employees at the consulting firm he now heads: "If there was ever a time to be righteously indignant, that time is now." [TU]

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Ice and freezing rain on the way, budget process again focus of Capitol, Bruno calls indictment "garbage," texting gets UAlbany teams in trouble, don't be a spigot pig

The storm that's moving the through the area today has already glazed large portions of the South and Midwest. Ice and freezing rain are expected here this afternoon. [AP]

With the Senate selection circus over, things returned to normal at the Capitol -- which is to say, gridlock and complaining about the budget. [AP/Troy Record] [TU]

New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says year-end bonuses on Wall Street were down 44 percent this year -- and that will cost the state $1 billion in tax revenue. [Biz Review]

David Paterson says he won't pursue the source(s) of the leaks about Caroline Kennedy from his administration. That's created a weird situation where many members of the press know who the leaker (or leakers) is -- and the governor's telling them not to tell anyone. [AP/Troy Record] [NY Post]

Kirsten Gillibrand officially became a US Senator yesterday (99th on the seniority list), as she continued to take heat over her views on guns and immigration. [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [NYT]

After officially being tapped as the Republican candidate in the upcoming special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand, Jim Tedisco said his focus will be "jobs, jobs, jobs." Tedisco doesn't actually live in the Congressional district (he's not required to), but says he'll move there. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

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Speculate about 2010? Sure, why not.

gov primary polling chart

Cuomo's been gaining on Paterson for 2010. (Numbers from Siena poll)

It seems that "playing against type" is working for Andrew Cuomo. Or, at least, it's working for the public.

A Siena poll reports that Cuomo and David Paterson are pretty much even in a hypothetical 2010 Democratic primary for governor (35-33 in favor of Paterson). And Cuomo's favorable rating is actually higher now than Paterson's (64-60).

And when you throw Rudy Giuliani into the mix, things get even more interesting.

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Speed reading the coverage of Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten GillibrandWe read all the coverage about Kirsten Gillibrand's appointment to the Senate so you don't have to.

And there certainly has been plenty of it.

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Gillibrand is the Top Senator winner

Kirsten GillibrandIt's official. David Paterson has publicly announced that he is appointing Kirsten Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

And we're now reminded of the line uttered by Alec Baldwin's character in State and Main after he flips the station wagon he's driving: "So, that happened."

Toward the exciting Top Senator finale

Thumbnail image for Top Senator compositeUpdated at 9:15 pm: This TU article contains the best evidence we've seen that Paterson will name Gillibrand on Friday.
___

After supposed front-runner Caroline Kennedy dropped out last night because of (a tax problem?, a nanny problem?, a public speaking problem?, a who-knows-what problem?), the media has picked a new front runner. And it's Kirsten Gillibrand.

As you can probably imagine, that has people scrambling.

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People gather to watch inauguration, Paterson keeps everyone guessing, Alaei brothers sentenced, hot fudge business is sweet

People got together in places all over the Capital Region yesterday to watch the inauguration, including living rooms, restaurants, senior citizen homes, Proctors Theater, fraternal organizations, a think tank and a lot of schools. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Saratogian] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

There were also a bunch of local people at the actual event, some with better spots to view the ceremony than others. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [Saratogian] [Fox23]

Hillary Clinton was not confirmed by the full Senate yesterday as Secretary of State. The vote on her confirmation was held up by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who expressed concerns about donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. [NYT]

David Paterson told reporters yesterday morning that he had a "good idea" about who he's going to pick to replace Hillary Clinton. Then he told Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer later that he's "not totally sure who I'm going to appoint yet." (video) He also told Couric and Schieffer that Andrew Cuomo is among the people he's considering. [Daily Politics] [CBSNews] [Buffalo News]

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Paterson says he's narrowed the field for Clinton's seat, storms straining snow removal budgets, shootout in Schenectady, dry cleaner closing stores

David Paterson says he's narrowed the field of candidates to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, but says he still hasn't made up his mind -- though he expects to do so by the end of this week. Paterson says he hasn't yet gone through all the questionnaires submitted by the hopefuls. [TU] [NYT]

One way you might have scored an inauguration ticket from Kirsten Gillibrand: promise to "love you so much" in a handwritten letter. It probably helps to be 10-years-old, too. [TU]

A rapid exchange of gunfire yesterday afternoon in Schenectady left bullet holes in cars and sent neighborhood residents diving for the floor. The shooters got away before police arrived. [TU] [Fox23]

Increased prices for salt -- and a series of weekend snow storms -- are straining the snow removal budgets of local municipalities. [Daily Gazette]

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New York's next senator is...

paterson on larry king

Well, OK, because I'm a fan...

David Paterson was on Larry King last night and apparently he decided to pull Larry's chain a little bit:

Larry King: I know you're not going to tell me, but are you leaning any way?

Paterson: Well, Larry, I think I'll surprise you. When I was growing up and I didn't have much access to information, I used to listen to your radio show. [snip] So in tribute to you, the next Senator from New York for the United States Senate will be... announced in a few days.

Paterson told King the actual answer would come "two or three days" after Hillary Clinton is confirmed by the full Senate.

By the way, Paterson felt light-headed this morning and had to skip out on an interview with CapNews9's Brian Taffe.

Update at 2:55 pm
Liz Benjamin reports that Paterson said he was feeling bad after eating some bad raw seafood. Hmm. Maybe he ate the Ethiopian place Bourdain hits on tonight's No Reservations.

Top Senator final prediction: murky

caroline kennedy

What are her chances? It depends on who's guessing.

The full US Senate is expected to confirm Hillary Clinton next week for Secretary of State, which means David Paterson will probably announce her replacement shortly thereafter.

So who's the best bet to get the job? Well, it appears the (conventional) wisdom of crowds points toward... well, it points a couple of directions.

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Soda tax losing its fizz?

can of cokeAccording to a Quinnipiac poll out today, public opinion has shifted a little more against David Paterson's proposed tax on sugared soda.

The Q Poll reports that respondents now oppose the tax 64 - 32 percent -- that's up from 60 - 37 almost a month ago. Or, as the Q Poll's Maurice Carroll put it: "One month after Gov. David Paterson rolled out his 'Fat Tax' proposal, and one week after he gave it a big push in his State of the State message, opposition is growing weightier instead of slimmer." (Those pollsters never miss a chance.)

There also seems to be a bit of split on the tax according to level of education. People with a college degree oppose the soda 57 - 40, while people without a degree oppose it 68 - 28.

A few other tidbits about New York State from this poll after the jump.

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More details about I-90 shootout, Paterson criticized for Clinton replacement process, federal money could stop new taxes, elderly clerk staves off robbery with phone

Updated at 11:50 am

State police released more details about the I-90 shootout yesterday. They say the gunman yelled at police, urging them to kill him -- though they're still not sure what prompted the incident. They also released video from the police car that made the original traffic stop -- the video shows the man firing through the back window of the taxi. State police say the man, who was eventually taken out by a police sharpshooter, is not expected to survive his injuries died Monday night. [TU] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [CapNews9]

Jermayne Timmons, the teen accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, took the stand at his trial yesterday. He testified that he did fire a shot that day, but not with the type of gun police say he used. [TU]

Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing for Secretary of State is this morning. [USA Today]

David Paterson is being criticized for keeping secret the selection process for Clinton's replacement in the Senate. Paterson says he's interviewed 15 people for the job -- including Caroline Kennedy, of whom Paterson said he was "impressed." [AP/Daily Gazette] [NYDN]

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Shootout on I-90, Paterson meets with Kennedy, four day state work week?, former police chief admits to gambling, recession means red sauce

A traffic stop on I-90 in E. Greenbush on Saturday turned into a shootout. Police say Darryl Brown, who's from Hartford, opened fire on police with an AK-47 after the taxi he was riding in was stopped for speeding. The incident closed the interstate and sent as many as 100 motorists "running down I-90 for my life." Apparently the only person hurt in the exchange was the gunman himself, who's now in critical condition with at Albany Med with multiple gunshot wounds. (Video from the scene.) [TU] [WTEN] [TU] [Troy Record] [WTEN/CNN]

David Paterson met with Caroline Kennedy on Saturday for a formal discussion about her interest in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. [NYT]

An assemblyman from Queens has proposed that non-essential state employees start working four-day weeks to help the state save money. [NYT]

A economics consultancy projects that prices in the Capital Region's housing market will fall by three percent this year. Compared to other places, that's actually pretty good -- and it's landed the region on a Forbes list of the 25 strongest real estate markets. [TU] [Forbes]

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Top Senator rolls on

Thumbnail image for Top Senator compositeOn the latest episode of Top Senator: David Paterson refrains from getting his gut involved, Maureen Dowd says "thank God," and candidates answer questions about their kids' Facebook accounts.

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Reaction to State of the State, rally in downtown Albany, more weird twists in Kathina trial, sewage might have ended up in vegetable compost, pet deer attacks man

Elected state leaders praised David Paterson for being direct about the state's situation in yesterday's State of the State speech. (They also apparently envy his memory.) But some said the speech was short on specifics. (The Record has put together an extensive compilation of reaction from interest groups and local elected leaders.) [Fox23] [Troy Record] [CapNews9] [Troy Record]

About 4,000 people got together in downtown Albany before the speech for a protest organized by the civil service unions. They turned out to oppose Paterson's proposed budget -- to the sounds of Twisted Sister. [Troy Record] [NYT]

After control of the state Senate passed to the Democrats yesterday, Dean Skelos' name was scratched off the door of the majority's office space. [Daily Politics] [TU]

Paterson's proposals for more research into renewable energy and efficiency could benefit the Capital Region. [Daily Gazette]

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A quick read of Paterson's State of the State

Paterson State of the State 2009

The state of our state: perilous.

Sure, David Paterson spent 60 hours memorizing today's State of the State speech. But who else has that kind of time? Here's a quick paraphrase/recap of Paterson's speech...

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State of the State today, Democrats organize control of state Senate, unemployment claim system crashes, two-year-old found wandering snowy streets

David Paterson will deliver the state of the state speech today at 1 pm. A group of labor unions representing state, local and healthcare workers is planning a march through downtown Albany before the speech -- traffic is being re-routed as thousands are expected to take part. Paterson has largely been out of sight the last few weeks because he's needed the time -- some 60 hours -- to memorize his speech. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [CBS6] [Daily Politics] [ABCNews]

It appears the Democrats have worked out an arrangement to take control of the state Senate. The deal may -- or may not -- have included an agreement to block a vote on same-sex marriage. Malcolm Smith will become the state's first African-American Senate majority leader. And with the change of party control, there are a bunch of new committee chairs -- including the guy who was recently charged with felony assault. [NYT] [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Politics] [NYT]

On the first day of testimony in the trial of the teen accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, a prosecution witness admitted he had lied during his testimony. The girl's mother also testified yesterday and her account of the incident was heartbreaking. During opening arguments, the attorney for the accused teen said his client did fire a shot that day -- but not with the type of gun police say killed Thomas. [TU] [AP/Daily Gazette]

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The ongoing scramble to replace Hillary

Top Senator compositeUpdated Wednesday at 11 am

While you were opening presents and downing egg nog, the contestants on Top Senator were angling to set themselves up for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

Here's where things are at...

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Paterson annoyed by Senate chatter, horse found murdered, mortgage rates way down, shoe repair business way up

David Paterson says the chatter about who will get Hillary Clinton's Senate seat has "reached a new high and new low in areas of gossip, speculation, mind-reading." A Q poll reports that the public thinks Paterson will appoint Caroline Kennedy -- a conclusion that apparently frustrates the Gov. [TU] [Quinnipiac] [NYT]

The attorneys for a Troy man accused of killing his infant son in September say charges against their client should be dropped because the child named in the indictment is actually the deceased infant's twin brother -- who's still alive. [TU]

The chairman of CDTA's board says he realizes the 50 cent fare hike will be difficult for some people, but the transit org had "no other alternatives." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

A horse in Hoosick Falls was found dead this week, its throat slashed during what appears to have been an attempted robbery. [Troy Record]

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Eliot Spitzer is highly ranked

New York mag Spitzer coverThe end of 2008 is almost here. And, of course, that means year-end top 10 lists. As it happens, our one-time governor made it onto a few of those this year.

OK, it was actually more than a few.

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It snowed, pharmacy held up with a grenade, man stewed before bank heist, Paterson in Iraq, hope for ESP skating rink?

It snowed. The National Weather Service estimates the Capital Region got between 14-20 inches over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A snow emergency is in effect in Albany until 8 pm Tuesday -- and in Troy, you can park free in downtown city lots and garages until Monday at 8 pm. [Daily Gazette] [City of Albany] [City of Troy]

After the recent ice storm and power outages, the state Public Service Commission says it will be watching how well utilities keep trees trimmed around power lines. One potential culprit for some of the downed trees: the white pine weevil, a beetle that weakens otherwise ice-resistant pine trees. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

Police say a man robbed an uptown Albany CVS of narcotics Friday night using the threat of a grenade. [Daily Gazette]

Police say yet another pizza delivery guy was robbed in Albany in apparent setup. This is the third time that's happened in the last few weeks. In this most recent robbery, it seems the muggers only got away with pizza and chicken wings. [CBS6] [CapNews9] [TU]

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Totaling up the "other" taxes

Thumbnail image for tattered dollar billThe state Assembly Republican Ways and Means Committee (apparently they had to start their own) has put together an estimate of how much increased fees and the "other category" taxes in David Paterson's proposed budget would cost "the average New York family." (We found it on Jim Tedisco's blog -- a copy is also posted after the jump.)

The analysis concludes that the taxes on items such as soda and music downloads will cost that average family $3,875.48 a year.

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A quick read of Paterson's proposed budget

paterson budget address

David Paterson at today's budget proposal release.

David Paterson released his proposed 2009-2010 budget today. In a short speech, Paterson reiterated that this is the worst fiscal crisis the state has faced since The Great Depression. He also said the proposed budget is not perfect and that he welcomes critiques and other ideas -- though he said that "endless ridicule" is not helpful.

Here's a very quick summary.

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SNL's David Paterson skit

This week's SNL included a Weekend Update skit about David Paterson:

He's blind! Get it!

Um, right. The real David Paterson is usually funnier. But he wasn't laughing this time.

Tens of thousands still without power, Paterson to propose "obesity tax," friend says Bruno indictment likely, SPAC renovation on ice

As of this morning, 75,000 homes in the Capital Region were still without power. National Grid says homes are being returned to the grid "every minute of every day." The utility company says it could be Wednesday before all the repairs are made -- and now there's concern that high winds today will set things back. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record] [TU]

A married couple in Glenville died this weekend from carbon monoxide fumes produced by their generator. At least 15 other people around the region were taken to hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning caused by using grills inside. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

With no power at home, people flocked to stores and restaurants this weekend. An Italian restaurant in Schenectady was so busy it ran out of spaghetti. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]

Many of the Amtrak trains running between Rensselaer and NYC are still canceled. [CapNews9]

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Top Senator

top senator

All the buzz and speculation about who will get Hillary Clinton's Senate seat seems to be getting to David Paterson. The Gov said yesterday, "[F]rankly, this is a serious issue, which I think is starting to be treated as some sort of reality TV show. No, this is reality of life."

Hey, wait a minute. Turning this into a reality TV show might not be such a bad idea...

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Sweet Senator Caroline?

caroline kennedy with obama

Caroline Kennedy earlier this year with Barack Obama, to whom she was an advisor

The big buzz right now is that Caroline Kennedy could be in line to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.

David Paterson says the daughter of JFK has talked to him about the seat, but he called the conversation "informational" and said Kennedy didn't outright express an interest in the job -- though he did indicate she's "thinking about it." (He also used the situation for some humor at a dinner this past weekend.)

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Kaczmareks got "family plan" plea deal, early retirment incentives for state workers?, drug stores everywhere, bus fare price war

The attorney for former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek says prosecutors offered Kaczmarek and his wife the "family plan" plea deal in their drug cases -- and that Kaczmarek took a longer term in prison to shorten the term for his wife. As part of the deal, Greg Kaczmarek was sentenced to two years in prison -- but he could be out in 17 months with good behavior. [Daily Gazette] [TU]

The state legislature is reportedly working on a plan that would offer early retirement incentives to state workers as a way of trimming the state payroll. David Paterson says he's not on board with the plan. [AP/TU]

David Paterson is currently being treated like the "prom queen" as people lobby him about the decision of whom to appoint to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. [NYT]

Albany police say a group of "backpack bandits" (the TU's phrase) may be responsible for a string of muggings around the city. The group may have been in involved in a reported robbery late Monday afternoon in a which a man says five muggers stopped his car, bashed him in the head with a gun, and stole $2000. [TU] [Troy Record]

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Joe Bruno is all about sunshine now

joe_bruno.jpgNo, really, it's true. He says so in today's New York Times.

OK, what he actually said was:

"I feel like technology is a place that governments at all levels are going to have to look at for relief, to create efficiencies that they want and need, to create the service that people demand these days, to be responsive and to do it in a cost-effective way."

"[The press] can have some fun with that, but I've always really been kind of on the leading edge of being open."

Of course, this is the guy who fought to keep member items (you know, pork) secret. Now that he's pitching computer systems for Latham-based CMA Consulting -- hey, open databases for everyone!

A few other tidbits about what else Bruno's up to these days, after the jump.

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Former Schenectady police chief to plead guilty, chip fab clears another hurdle, Paterson "disturbed" by list, Jumpin' Jacks waterfront to get makeover

Both former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek and his wife are expected to plead guilty today to drug charges. The former top cop is expected to get two years in prison as part of the plea deal. [Daily Gazette]

State police incorrectly identified the victim in a fatal car crash over the weekend in Clifton Park. The mix-up led to the wrong family being notified. The situation was resolved after the grandmother of the man who actually did die noticed something was wrong. [TU]

Super Steel is closing its plant in Glenville. The manufacturer of train cars says it's seen "a steep decline in orders." The shutdown will put 175 people out of work. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The Malta chip fab project cleared another hurdle yesterday. The Empire State Development Corp. approved the transfer of $1.2 billion in state incentives from AMD to the new spin-off company that will run the plant. [Daily Gazette]

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Scenes from a breakdown

New York Now has put together a highlight reel from yesterday's bizarre leaders meeting at the Capitol (though "lowlight" might actually be the better word).

Watch as David Paterson talks about auditory hallucinations, Sheldon Silver steams as Jimmy Tedisco tries to lecture him, and Malcolm Smith gives Dean Skelos the hand.

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wonder how our state government became an episode of the Jerry Spring Show.

The folks at New York Now promise more clips and analysis on this week's show, which airs Friday at 7:30 pm on WMHT (it also repeats Sunday 11 am and 11 pm).

(Thanks, Matt!)

Reaction to Paterson's proposed budget cuts, DA candidates broke rules, beer can DNA leads to plea, paying for horse retirement

A very quick overview of David Paterson's plan to cut $2 billion from this year's state budget. [AOA]

David Paterson's proposed budget cuts went over pretty much as you would expect with the state's various interest groups: not well at all. [TU] [Biz Review] [Troy Record] [Daily Gazette]

Dean Skelos, the lame-duck state Senate majority leader, basically said the Senate wouldn't act on Paterson's proposals during next week's special session. Skelos also said he didn't "see anything creative" in Paterson's plan. [Daily Politics]

A big portion of the proposed budget cuts come from school aid. Among the proposed cuts for local districts: Albany $2.6 million (3.4 percent), Schenectady $2.7 million (3 percent), Guilderland $2 million (10 percent), Troy $1.4 million (3 percent). [TU]

Also among the proposed cuts: VLT money that goes to cities and counties. Saratoga Springs could lose $1.8 million next year under the Paterson plan. The city's finance commissioner says the city's going to plan on still getting the full amount. VLT money makes up about 10 percent of the city's budget. [Saratogian]

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A quick read of the Paterson budget plan

tattered dollar bill

David Paterson unveiled his plan for cutting $2 billion from the current state budget today. He says this plan will cut $2 billion from this year's budget and $3.2 billion from next year's (in which a $12.5 billion gap has already been projected).

We've put together a quick rundown of the cuts/savings. It includes some possibly bad news for Saratoga.

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Paterson's top advisor quits, woman murdered in Schenectady, local home prices steady, gambling with sick days, upside to global warming?

David Paterson's top advisor, Charles O'Byrne, resigned Friday because of the furor over him not paying taxes between 2001 and 2005. O'Byrne had been described as "the second-most-powerful man in New York" while working for Paterson. [NYT] [TU]

Police say a woman was murdered in her Schenectady home over the weekend. They say it appears Jaiwanti Mangar, a Guyanese immigrant, was killed after being struck in the head. [Daily Gazette]

Despite the stepped up police presence in the neighborhood following the nearby murder of UAlbany Richard Bailey, a man was stabbed four times at the corner of Madison and Ontario in Albany early Saturday morning. The attack was related to a fight over a woman, apparently. [Fox 23] [TU]

The president of the Pine Hill Neighborhood Association says there's been "an outpouring of outrage" in the neighborhood after Bailey's murder. APD chief James Tuffey says he's "certain" his department will find the murderer. [TU] [TU]

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Search continues for UAlbany student's killer, number of local foreclosures jumps, push to register organ donors, ready for NANOvember?

Police say there are still no leads in the murder of UAlbany student Richard Bailey. But another person has said he saw two people on bikes hurrying away from the scene. "Those guys were in a hurry to get somewhere," the neighbor told the TU. A woman driving by the scene said earlier this week she believed the two bikers were somehow involved. The APD says it's looking for the pair, but also says they're not suspects. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [CBS6]

A lawyer for Charles O'Byrne, David Paterson's chief of staff, says his client suffers from "late-filing syndrome." Yes, he really did say that. No, it's not a recognized psychological condition. O'Byrne owed almost $300,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest after not filing a return between 2001 and 2005. Paterson aides attribute O'Byrne's filing problems to bouts of clinical depression. [NYT] [TU]

The number of home foreclosures in the Capital Region more than doubled last quarter from the same period a year before. Even so, the region has one of the nation's lowest foreclosure rates. [TU]

A former Saratoga Springs employee is suing the city for racial discrimination. The man says he was passed over for promotion because he's an African-American. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in 2007 that the city had discriminated against the man. [Daily Gazette]

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No leads in UAlbany student shooting, probable safety violations at site of ditch death, Paterson dials wrong number, spellcheck blamed for Obama/Osama mixup

Richard Bailey, the UAlbany student shot in the head Monday night, died yesterday afternoon. He was from Long Island and planned to become a cop. The APD hasn't identified a motive for the shooting. It says it's looking for two people who were riding bikes past the intersection of South Lake and Yates at the time of the shooting. Police say the two bike riders aren't considered suspects, but a woman who was driving past the same point that night says she thinks the they were involved. [TU] [NYDN] [Daily Gazette] [CBS6]

Kirsten Gillibrand and Sandy Treadwell met for their first debate / candidate forum last night in Poughkeepsie. The main exchange between the seems to have been of the "Yes, you did/No, I didn't" variety on tax increases. [TU] [Fox23]

OSHA says the death of a construction worker after a ditch collapse in Clifton Park this week was "preventable." An official says a complete investigation could take several weeks. An attorney representing the contruction contractor says it appears the man who died did not follow instructions on how to properly dig the ditch. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

Leaders of the state worker unions met yesterday with David Paterson to talk about ways the state could cut costs. Layoffs did not come up in the discussion, though the Gov reportedly did say "there are no sacred cows." [TU]

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Top Paterson aide didn't pay taxes, Barnes believes he was targeted, chip fab company to get new name, Little League bleachers stolen

David Paterson's top advisor, chief of staff Charle O'Byrne, admitted this weekend to not paying his federal or state taxes from 2001-2005 after the TU reported there were warrants out for his back taxes. O'Byrne says he neglected to pay because he was clinically depressed. O'Byrne was $200,000 behind his taxes. The Gov has said O'Byrne did disclose the problem, though it's unclear to what to extent. The conventional wisdom seems to be that O'Byrne won't lose his job over this. [AP] [TU] [TU] [NYT] [Newsday]

Albany County DA David Soares says he'll meet with Steve Barnes to talk about the attack on the food writer and his friend Friday night. According to the TU, Barnes believes he was specifically targeted. [TU]

Rensselaer County's proposed 2009 budget does not include a tax increase. County executive Kathleen Jimino says the county's expanding tax base made an increase unnecessary. [TU]

As many as 7,500 absentee ballots in Albany County did not correctly list David Soares as a candidate on the Independence Line in the district attorney race. The board of elections says it was a simple oversight and new ballots will be ready this week. [TU]

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David Paterson is aiming, not shooting

Paterson NY Mag coverNext week's NY Mag has a long article about David Paterson (that's him, really close up, on the cover.) There are a lots of juicy tidbits in the piece: about his favorite Albany hangout, his dance moves, his dating life and why, as a kid, he hit another kid in the face with a lunchbox.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Paterson: cut another $2 billlion, Gillibrand votes no again, two Broadway shops closing in Saratoga, pumpkin prices up, tapas in Cohoes

David Paterson says he will call the state Legislature back after the November election so they can work on making another $2 billion in cuts from the current budget. At a leaders meeting on Friday, Paterson said the Leg doesn't understand how bad the situation is, to which Dean Skelos said: "I don't need to be lectured." [NYT]

Kirsten Gillibrand voted against the Wall Street bailout bill again on Friday -- her second no vote on it. She said the plan was "could be dangerous." Mike McNulty voted "yes" on it for the second time. [TU] [CapNews9]

National Grid says natural gas prices will be up 11 percent this winter. [TU]

Many of Schenectady County's top managers are getting a raise in next year's proposed budget. That's not going over well with some people because the budget also includes a 13 percent tax hike. [Daily Gazette]

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Eliot Spitzer hails his own cabs now

spitzer tragedy composite

Apparently he agrees it is more like Aeschylus than Shakespeare.

Over the weekend, NYT followed up on what Eliot Spitzer's doing these days (aside from, you know, "hanging out" with his kids). A few of the highlights...

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Local House members split on bailout, kid curfew in Albany?, state workers could get four day work week, Gov involved in local septic tank dispute

The Capital Region's two members of the House voted differently yesterday on the Wall Street bailout bill. Kirsten Gillibrand voted against, saying in a release that the bill was "fundamentally flawed." (Sandy Treadwell, her Republican opponent in the November election says he also opposed the bill.) Mike McNulty voted for the bill. (His probable replacement, Democrat Paul Tonko, said he hasn't read the bill.) Incidentally, yesterday was supposed to be McNulty's last day in DC as a Congressman -- though now it looks like he'll be going back for another vote. [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]

New York State's comptroller says it now looks like the Wall Street meltdown will cost the state $3.5 billion in lost tax revenue over the next year-and-a-half. He's projecting the state will lose $1.75 billion just from decreases in year-end bonues given out by financial firms. [Biz Review]

Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton has proposed a budget for next year that would raise taxes 3 percent and increase water and garbage fees. It would be the first tax increase in three years for Schenectady. It was also the first time in three years no one clapped at the budget unveiling. [TU] [Daily Gazette]

Albany County comptroller Mike Conners says his most recent audit of the DA David Soares' office will include allegations "more serious" than money missing from a safe -- though Conners won't say what until October 6. Also present at this announcement: Soares' opponent in the November election, Roger Cusick. [TU]

Albany Common Councilman Glen Casey is proposing a curfew for kids under 17 as a way to reduce crime. Troy and Schenectady already have curfews. [TU]

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Albany HS still working on schedules, did Paterson "spitzerfy" himself?, Saratoga Lake park plans revealed, talk of Troy Proctor's rebirth, meeting Sarah Palin

Albany High was still trying to straighten out scheduling issues yesterday, its second first day of the school year. [TU]

David Paterson called some state legislators "bloodsuckers" yesterday. Dean Skelos called the comment "Spitzeresque." Richard Brodsky, an Assemblyman, said he's worried Paterson is trying to "Spitzerfy" himself. [TU] [NYDN] [NYT]

The company that owns the Lafarge Cement plant in Coeymans, the state's single largest emitter of mercury, thinks it should get a million dollar tax cut because it's pledged to reduce its emissions. [TU]

The City of Saratoga Springs released plans for a new public park and beach on Saratoga Lake. There are currently no public beaches on the lake. [Daily Gazette]

Bethlehem police are investigating whether a woman was assaulted Friday night for wearing an Obama button in Delmar's Four Corners neighborhood. [TU]

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David Paterson on the Colbert Report

The Gov appeared on a rare Friday night edition of the Colbert Report. And as Stephen Colbert pointed out, neither he nor Paterson see race.

Legislature cuts $1 billion, many in Rensselaer didn't have flood insurance, rider dies at The Track, Troy official's ability to spell questioned, adults argue over basketball hoop, OMG! Brian Stratton loves texting

The state legislature has agreed to cut about $1 billion from the state budget over the next two years, including a little more than $400 million from this year's budget. That falls short of David Paterson's $600 million goal. The cuts include $50 million in member items (that would be pork). [TU]

Paterson will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver. [NYT]

FEMA maps indicate that most of the City of Rensselaer is in a flood zone, but only six of the 60 homes and business affected by the recent flooding have flood insurance. One resident says no one told them they were in a flood zone. [WNYT]

An exercise rider at The Track died yesterday after being thrown from a horse Monday. [Saratogian]

Local colleges and universities are facing a housing crunch. Students are being forced to live in lounges and tripled up in rooms intended for doubles. [TU]

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Can the state spend hyperbole?

migrant mother depression photoDuring a radio appearance today, David Paterson compared the state's fiscal situation to the Great Depression. "We may be as challenged as we have been since the Great Depression," said the Gov.

Um, really?

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Guilderland "culture climate inquiry" to go public, Congressional candidate stops to help, Paterson rakes it in, mega-mansions in Saratoga, urination leads to struck pedestrian

The Guilderland School Board will release the "culture climate inquiry" today that led to the re-assignment of two popular high school teachers to a middle school. The situation has prompted protests by parents and students -- and even led to the school board walking out of an earlier meeting when the topic came up. [TU]

A Schenectady murder suspect led police on a chase from the city into Clifton Park this past weekend. They finally nabbed the suspect after he stopped to eat at a fish fry. [Daily Gazette] [Fox23]

Congressional candidate Michael Rocque was one of a group of people who stopped Saturday night on the Northway to help two people get free from a flipped-over car. Rocque is a Republican in the running for the seat currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand. (Earlier on AOA: A resumé that reads like a character from an action movie.) [CapNews9]

A state legislator is floating the idea of a four-day school week to help school districts save money on heating and transportation costs. Local school officials don't appear to be warm to the idea. [Daily Gazette]

David Paterson has already raised more than $3 million for a potential re-election campaign. Observers say the the haul is a good indicator that Paterson does intend to run in 2010. [AP/TU]

The City of Saratoga Springs is trying to figure out how to tax two "mega-mansions." For at least one of the properties, there's a bit of a gap between the city's assessment and the owner's number -- the city says $25 million, the owner says $6 million. [Saratogian]

See if you can keep this straight: police say a Rotterdam man hit a pedestrian with his car while fleeing from a group of men that had attacked him because he yelled at them for urinating on his grandmother's house. The alleged urinator is still on the lam. [Daily Gazette]

The US Water Ski Show Team (the team that practices by Jumpin' Jacks in Scotia) has had to cut back on the number of boats it uses because of high gasoline prices. The team says it uses about $500 of gas during each show. [Daily Gazette]

The Houston Astros' number one draft pick from this year's draft will make his debut for the ValleyCats tonight. [WTEN]

David Paterson at the movies

colonie center theater exteriorGovernors -- they're just like us!

They go to the movies at Colonie Center on a Saturday night! They see the 9 pm showing of the Sex and the City movie! With their entourage! And security detail! And after the movie they shake the hands of all the mall security guards! And hop in their motorcade of ethanol-powered SUVs!

OK, maybe governors aren't just like us.

State agencies told to recognize same-sex marriages, college campus goes completely smoke-free, more development in Troy, trolley tours for Schenectady

David Paterson has directed state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The directive is said to be an indication that the governor will at some point push for legalization of the marriages here in New York. [NYT]

Five years ago a safe with thousands in cash, rare gold coins and $2 million in bearer bonds was stolen from an office building near the Port of Albany. An arrest in the case was finally made last week just before the statute of limitations kicked in. Police picked up one person, though they believe three more are at large. A guy who reportedly helped open the safe says it -- and the millions in bonds -- ended up at the bottom of the Hudson. [TU]

Maria College is going to a totally smoke-free campus. It will be the first college or university in the region to do so. [Daily Gazette]

That huge building across the street (444 River St) from the outdoor farmers' market site in Troy is being developed into apartments, live/work spaces and retail spots. [TU]

SCCC wants to take over the castle-like Schenectady Armory after it's vacated by the New York National Guard. The school would use the space for athletic facilities. [Daily Gazette]

The Capital Region's carbon footprint per person ranks right in the middle among the nation's 100 biggest metros, according to the Brookings Institution. [TU]

The company that runs the Albany Aqua Ducks will start trolley tours of Schenectady this summer. [TU]

Rensselaer Iron Works coming down, Paterson up for another surgery, McNulty says he's replaceable, Central Ave reconstruction to begin, elm trees coming back

The Rennselaer Iron Works building in south Troy is being demolished after a massive fire there over the weekend. Fire officials say it was arson. [Troy Record] [TU]

After have surgery to relieve pressure in his left eye early last week, David Paterson had the same procedure performed on his other eye Friday. And it looks like he'll be in more surgery later this summer. (Earlier on AOA: what happens if something happens to David Paterson.) [NYT]

Mike McNulty says he's just an average guy who made into Congress because he worked hard. The soon-to-be-former Congressman, who describes himself as replaceable, says he'll be looking for a job outside of Washington come next year. Presumably his slate will continue to include announcing Green Island Little League games. [TU]

Albany city attorneys are urging the common council to hold up plans to borrow almost $7 million dollars to expand the city dump (which will soon be full). The attorneys say the city should wait until the state finishes its environmental review of the plan. [TU]

The high price of oil -- and thus asphalt -- is leading to fewer road construction projects around the region this summer. [Daily Gazette]

Not being held back: the big Central Avenue reconstruction. It's scheduled to begin this week. [TU]

Another 84 units are being added to the Paddocks of Saratoga luxury apartment complex. [Daily Gazette]

Schenectady is looking to plant elm trees again now that disease-resistant strains are available. All of the city's elm trees were wiped out 70 years agao by Dutch elm disease. [Daily Gazette]

Who's in charge around here?

david paterson

If something happens to him, then what?

So, when David Paterson had to go to the hospital earlier this week, we thought "Oh wow, if something happens to him, that means Joe Bruno is governor." But then we thought, "Wait, what if something then happens to Joe Bruno? Then what?"

So we asked Bennett Liebman, the Executive Director of Albany Law School's Center for Government and Law to set us straight. Here's how it works...

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Paterson has surgery, school budgets pass, NanoCollege joins up with Army, talented dog adoption gets more expensive

The "migraine" that sent David Paterson to the hospital yesterday was actually a buildup of pressure in his left eye. The governor had laser surgery yesterday to relieve the pressure, which is a form of glaucoma. Doctors will repeat the procedure on his right eye -- the one in which he still has some vision -- as a preventive measure. [NYT]

School budgets passed in almost everywhere yesterday, including Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs, Bethlehem, Guilderland, Shen and E. Greenbush. The Albany library budget also passed with an increase that will allow for a new branch in Arbor Hill and expansion of the Pine Hills branch. [TU]

UAlbany's NanoCollege announced it will be working with the US Army to develop technologies like tiny sensors, "smart" bandages and (gulp) nanobots. [Daily Gazette]

New York State has recommended that Saratoga Springs pay female employees $2000 in compensation for, among other things, not having a women's bathroom at the city's police station. [Saratogian]

How does the Larfarge cement plant in Ravena, the state's largest mercury polluter, win an environmental award? Having a company VP sit on the environmental group's board probably doesn't hurt. [TU]

Saratoga County is studying the possibility of a horse park. [Daily Gazette]

The Albany Common Council raised many administrative fees, including the one paid for adopting a "talented" dog. The fee for taking in such a dog is increasing from $50 to $65. Adoptions of "other dogs" will be $15. [TU]

Paterson in hospital, Albany to expand dump, Tonko officially in, knockoff handbags busted, TU cuts staff

David Paterson was taken to the hospital this morning with a severe migraine and is reportedly now doing fine. It's also his birthday -- he's 54. [Capitol Confidential] [Newsday]

The Albany Common Council has approved a plan to borrow almost $7 million to expand the city's Rapp Rd. landfill. The facility as currently configured will be full by next year. The city makes $13 million a year -- 10 percent of its budget -- taking trash from other municipalities. [TU]

Paul Tonko says he's now officially in the race for the 21st Congressional District. He will formally announce today. Tonko becomes the 10th person to jump in the pool, which includes eight Democrats and two Republicans.[CapNews9]

Stop the count, we may a winner for Creep of the Year and it's only May. Police have accused a Latham man of drugging an eleven-year-old girl, taking explicit picutres of her and then sending the pictures to other people. And get this: this same guy has been fighting lymphoma -- and people in the community have been raising money to help pay for his treatment. [TU]

Wait, keep the contest open: in something like an outtake from the Jerry Springer show, two adult women -- a mother and an aunt -- in Mechanicville have been accused of egging on their teenage daughter/niece in a fight against another teenager. The whole scene was apparently caught on video and posted on the web. [Daily Gazette]

State police have nabbed a Troy couple for trying to sell $50,000-worth of counterfeit handbags and jewelry, including knockoffs of Louis Vitton, Kate Spade, Burberry and Prada. The bust also snagged a trio of "Pocketbook Party" planners. [Daily Gazette]

The TU is looking to cut 30 people from its staff. It will try a round off buyouts first, but enough people don't bite it might have to resort to layoffs. [TU] [Business Review]

Thousands of new cards because of Hannaford, Paterson says no more, libraries are popular places, dog story a fish story, Mangia closing

Local banks say they're in the process of replacing tens of thousands of debit and credit cards because of the Hannaford security breach. [Daily Gazette] (AOA item from yesterday about this)

David Paterson bristled yesterday when reporters continued to ask him about his private life. "I think that more than any elected official on this planet, and probably in outer space, I have discussed my personal situation over the last week," Paterson said. [AP/Troy Record]

Yet another Democrat has tossed his hat into the ring for the 21st Congressional District (McNulty's seat). This time it's Arthur Welser, a real estate broker from Latham. There are now eight candidates for that seat, six Democrats and two Republicans. [Daily Gazette] (AOA's Local Congressional Race Scorecard)

Local libraries report that circulation numbers are up and librarians attribute the higher volume to people seeking cheaper entertainment as the economy slows. [TU]

That story about the dog left in the trash seems like it might be garbage. But the dog is still actually up for adoption and people are lining up for her. [TU]

The leader of the Northway Church says attendance keeps rising and it might already be outgrowing its newly opened third location. The minister, Buddy Cremeans, is described as having "awesome administrative abilities and a clear plan for growth." [Daily Gazette] (AOA item about the church's direct mail)

The Mangia in Clifton Park has closed and its parent company is planning to close the Stuyvesant Plaza location, too. The company says it will knock down the Stuyvesant building in order to build a new restaurant based on a different theme. An executive attributes the Stuyvesant location's failure partly to the opening of the Cheesecake Factory. [Business Review]

Appeal for Albany mosque members, more about Paterson's past, lawsuit over Great Escape illness, house prices up, a big bag of cash

The lawyers for Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain argued in federal appeals court yesterday that their clients were convicted with "prejudicial evidence." They're also pushing to have a secret court order from the case made public. They allege that order will show that the NSA illegally spied on the two members of an Albany mosque. [TU] [NYT]

David Paterson past-filter: he may have used state funds on a trip to South Carolina with his former lady friend to work for Hillary Clinton. And he says he used cocaine and marijuana decades ago. Oh, and he's apparently a fan of the 74 State hotel. [TU] [Newsday]

The body pulled from the Hudson near Troy over the weekend was apparently weighed down by concrete blocks and a lawn mower. [Troy Record]

The Great Escape reported illness count is up to 388. The norovirus has been confirmed as the culrpit. And now four of the people who got sick have filed suit. Their lawyer says the suit is "about keeping kids safe." [Saratogian]

The median sale price for homes in many parts of the Capital Region rose compared to the same period last year. But the number of houses sold was down. [TU]

A state supreme court has ruled that a bag with hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash does in fact belong to the owner of the house in which it was found. Despite all the money involved, the five-year case seems to have left a lot of people poorer. [TU]

State budget cuts proposed, Patersons talk about affairs, protest in Troy, water park illness

Governor Paterson has proposed a two percent cut at all state agencies plus another $800 million from the Spitzer budget proposal because of budget deficit concerns. [Daily Gazette]

Paterson and his wife addressed the story around their affairs. The governor says there were multiple women -- one of whom worked for the state. He also said the delay in him taking office was partially the result of him needing time to figure out how to address this issue. [NYT]

About 100 protesters showed up at Troy City Hall Tuesday evening to protest the code enforcement against the Sanctuary for Independent Media. The city says its enforcement action had nothing to do with the gallery showing Wafaa Bilal's "Virtual Jihadi." [Troy Record]

Hannaford says it's still trying to figure out the extent of the breach of its credit card processing system. Customers have apparently deluged the company with calls about the lapse. [Daily Gazette]

The Spitzer-to-Paterson changeover may have set things back in formalizing the NYRA deal. [Saratogian]

The Albany School District is thinking about plan that would ship at least some of its students on long-term suspension to a farm in Columbia County. [TU]

The state health department says it's gotten reports from 27 people that they suffered vomiting and diarrhea after visiting the Great Escape water park this past weekend. [CBS6]

Paterson's swearing-in speech: the quick scan

Sure, you could actually take the time to read -- or listen to (video link) -- David Paterson's speech from yesterday. But why read when you can scan? Here's the text of the speech broken down into the 75 words that appeared with the greatest frequency. Think of it a little like that refrigerator magnet poetry -- just arrange the words into some sort of plausible order to make it sound like you actually know what's going on. For example:

Co-worker: Hey, how about Paterson's speech?

You: Yeah. Wow. He really focused on working to serve people going forward... and, um, New York.

So, yes, there are limits. Use with care...

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Speed reading coverage of David Paterson

David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer

Starting today, David Paterson will be in the foreground.

We're Spitzered out, so... on to the next guy! We've sifted through the growing mountain of David Paterson coverage to pick out the essential and the interesting. Among the details this time around: the unusual past of Paterson's top adviser, questions about conflicts of interest, lobbying by the Obama campaign, and hugs for Jimmy Tedisco.

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Paterson says budget will be focus, Troy gallery vows to fight, free emergency contraception, white squirrels

Soon-to-be governor David Paterson said Thursday during a press conference that his first priority will be getting the budget together. After entering to applause from staffers, Paterson remarked, "If most of you weren't being paid, I'd be flattered." [TU]

But if something happens before Monday, Spitzer still really is in charge. [CapNews9]

One Monday, not only will Paterson become governor, but Joe Bruno will assume the duties of lieutenant governor. And what does that mean? Not much. One of the only real powers of the lt. governor is break ties in the senate, but Bruno won't actually have that power in his role. So who will? No one's sure. [Troy Record]

Just in case you're wondering, Paterson's neighbors in Guilderland are fans. And he takes out the garbage, apparently. [WNYT]

The $50 million redevelopment plans for the old American Locomotive plant in downtown Schenectady may have come off the rails. [TU]

The Sanctuary for Independent Media says it now has a lawyer and it will fight the City of Troy over code violations that closed gallery to public gatherings. [TU]

Local Planned Parenthood centers are giving out free emergency contraceptive pills today. [Troy Record]

It looks like the long-vacant restaurant building across Western from Crossgates will be turned into a Japanese restaurant. [Daily Gazette]

White squirrels have been popping up around the area. Make of that what you will. But know this: they like peanuts. [TU]

Speed reading even more of the Spitzer coverage

Spitzer's Kristen

Yep, according to the Times, that's her.

OK, here we go again. We've picked through piles of the coverage of Spitzer spitzering himself to pull out facts and details so you don't have to.

(there's more)

Seven things to know about David Paterson

paterson and spitzer

David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer in 2007.

+ Yes, he really is legally blind. He lost his vision due to an infection in his childhood. One eye is totally blind and the other has 20/400 vision. He can see enough to read for short periods of time, though.

+ He comes from a politically-connected family in Harlem (though he grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island). His dad, Basile Paterson, was in the state senate and later became NY's Secretary of State. David held the same senate seat as his dad before becoming lieutenant governor.

+ He went to Columbia, and then Hofstra law -- but he never passed the bar. He ran out of time in his first and only attempt with someone reading the questions to him and then writing down his answers. (He later worked to change the rules to make the test more accommodating of people with visual impairments.) Paterson apparently intended to re-take the test, but he won a special election for state senate before it ever happened.

Four more after the jump, including where he picked up tips on how to deal with Joe Bruno...

(there's more)

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