Items tagged with 'Jim Tedisco'
State Assemblymen Steve McLaughlin, Jim Tedisco, and Michael Fitzpatrick announced today that they're drafting legislation that would prohibit state politicians, as well as state employees, from keeping frequent flyer miles and hotel/car rental points they accumulate while on official travel.
From the press release:
"Frequent flier miles for state travel should be banked to lower costs for taxpayers, not pocketed by politicians for personal travel clubs," said Tedisco. "In these challenging economic times, when state government is supposed to be reining-in unnecessary spending and asking people to do more with less, taxpayer-funded air travel should be rare. When air travel is absolutely necessary and when it passes the smell test of good and ethical government, the only ones who should benefit from accrued frequent flier miles, hotel discounts and other perks are the taxpayers who are paying the tab for the trips in the form of reduced costs for future state travel related to official taxpayer business," said Tedisco.
Here are the current state rules for employees and travel rewards.
+ Require convicted animal abusers "undergo a psychiatric evaluation and treatment as warranted"
+ Place the names of people convicted under Buster's Law on a statewide registry
+ Prohibit anyone convicted under Buster's Law from owning a companion animal (ie, a pet), unless a psychiatric evaluation concludes "clearly and convincingly that such person is of sound mind and possess the capacity and ability to properly care for such animal"
Said Tedisco in a press release:
"Pet owners have a responsibility to raise animals in a safe, sanitary and humane environment and only take in animals they can reasonably care for. Animal hoarding is a sickness and anyone who would engage in this disturbing behavior may have a mental illness and needs to be treated before they harm more animals or hurt people. Animal hoarding also impacts neighborhoods by causing dirty and unsanitary conditions where disease and infestations can spread."
The proposed legislation sounds reasonable. There are always the details, though: who pays for the psych evaluations, would rescue orgs be required to check the registry before adopting out animals, and the prohibition against abusers owning pets would probably be difficult to enforce. But in this most recent cat hoarding case -- and many other cases -- it does sound like the people really do need some sort of psychiatric help.
photo: Jim Tedisco Facebook
Update: Andrew Cuomo says he'll veto the new lines, which probably means negotiations and adjustments. [AP/WSJ]
The task force in charge of drawing new districts for the state Senate and Assembly released its slate of proposed maps this week. As this is New York State politics, there was much criticism. And we'll get to some of that in a bit.
The Capital Region could potentially end up being affected by a lot by the proposed new district lines. Most significantly, the task force is proposing to add a new Senate district that would cover the southwest corner of the area. But there are also shifts in the city of Albany, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy.
Reading about all this, we found it kind of hard to keep all the old and new maps straight. So we've we've put together before-and-after versions of the Capital Region's legislative districts -- the current districts side by side with the proposed new lines.
Citizens of the Capital Region, meet what could be your new gerrymanders...
Daniel emailed us this weekend after noticing that Client 9, the documentary about Eliot Spitzer is now available on demand on Time Warner Cable. (It debuts in theaters November 5.) He said he jumped at the chance to watch it.
He was also nice enough to send along a quick recap of the doc, focusing on the parts involving Albany. As he notes: "Some of this might be considered a spoiler about the movie, even though we all know how it ends." Right, the spitzering.
On to Daniel's quick overview...
Multiple shootings over the weekend, stats indicate drop in Troy crime, Tedisco calls for tougher animal laws, big research grant for Siena
Schenectady police say a woman was shot in the face Sunday morning in her apartment in Mont Pleasant (map). Police say witnesses reported that a man had been ringing the woman's door bell repeatedly and then kicked in her door. The SPD says it's looking for the suspect. [Fox23] [TU] [Daily Gazette $]
Albany police say a woman was shot yesterday evening on Broad Street. [Fox23]
Colonie police are investigating the death of a man found outside a muffler shop on Central Ave Saturday (map). The man's body was reportedly leaning against a building. Police say no cause of death was found during the initial autopsy -- foul play is not suspected. [CapNews9] [CBS6] [Troy Record] [Fox23]
The City of Troy reported that federal stats indicate the city's overall crime rate was down 2.5 percent last year compared to the year before -- and violent crime was down 11 percent. [City of Troy Facebook]
An arbitrator has ruled that an Albany cop accused of pointing a gun at a clerk should serve a 30 day suspension. [TU]
Extraordinary legislative session very ordinary, Army still investigating Colonie soldier's death, judge blocks Fort Orange Club demolition, prisoners to make new license plates
Today is Veterans Day.
Yesterday's "extraordinary" session of the state legislature produced rather ordinary results -- there was no agreement on cuts to close the state budget gap and no Senate vote on the same-sex marriage bill. Late yesterday afternoon David Paterson said he will call the legislature back next Monday and Tuesday. He also said the Senate would vote on same-sex marriage "at a date not certain between now and the end of the year." [TU] [NYT] [Daily Politics] [NYO]
Joe Bruno trial Day Seven: the business manager of a Saratoga County plumbers union testified that Bruno recommended Wright Investment Services -- and didn't mention that he was a consultant for the firm. The union also got two state grants, perhaps at Bruno's discretion, around the time it invested $4 million with Wright -- and the timing of those came up yesterday during testimony by state Senator Betty Little. After one of Bruno's attorneys tried to introduce five years of member items as evidence, Judge Gary Sharpe scolded both sides. "This trial has lost its way for a long time. This is not an election campaign," he said. [Troy Record] [TU] [Fox23] [NYT]
The Army says "the facts and circumstances" surrounding the death of Colonie soldier Amy Seyboth Tirador in Iraq are "still under investigation." The military has called Seyboth Tirador's death "non-combat-related" -- her family has been telling the media that she was shot in the back of the head on a base in Kirkush. [TU]
The condition of 12 bridges in the Capital Region -- and 110 upstate bridges in total -- scored lower on state inspections than the now-closed Champlain Bridge, according to an analysis by a group of upstate legislators. There was a rally outside the Capitol yesterday calling for more state funding for upstate bridge maintenance. [TU] [Fox23]
The Troy city council has proposed budgets cuts it says will hold next year's tax increase to 2.2 percent. The slate of cuts includes the elimination of a handful of city jobs, including the commissioner of public works and the mayor's spokesperson. [TU] [Troy Record]
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]
Attorney calls ESP man cave allegations overblown, SPAC ticket surchage floated, Tedisco proposes "Madoff Bill," DEC building urinals criticized for backsplash
An attorney for one of the men accused of setting up a "man cave" in the ESP for smoking pot instead described the space as "a break room" and called the allegations "overblown." One of the accused men has a criminal record -- and there are some questions about whether the state knew that before hiring him. [TU] [CBS6]
The Albany Common Council has passed a resolution that calls on public agencies to not ask a person about his/her immigration status if that person is "not posing a threat." The resolution is non-binding. [TU] [CBS6] [Fox23]
Saratoga Springs' finance commissioner has floated the idea of tacking on a $2 surcharge to rock and pop concert tickets at SPAC. The fee could bring in as much as $500k. SPAC's executive director said the venue is "firmly opposed" to the proposed fee and called it "an onerous tax." [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Saratogian]
The Troy Fire Department says mayor Harry Tutunjian has asked it to tour the RPI campus -- EMPAC in particular -- to get a better sense of the layout of campus buildings. The TFD has been lobbying for RPI to pay a public safety fee to fund additional fire coverage of the campus. [TU]
Raucci report won't be released, cool summer may be setting up cold winter, Tedisco hints at run for different office, alleged cold cut heist leads to pepper spraying
The Schenectady school district's internal investigation into Steven Raucci -- the former district employee who's been accused arson and intimidation -- will not be made public. The district says its lawyer "strongly advised" it to not release the report. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
The package of state incentives for the Luther Forest chip fab project is actually closer to $1.37 billion -- and could be more if GlobalFoundries expands at the site. [TU]
A guy who was forcibly sedated at the direction of Albany County law enforcement so they could search his body for drugs in 2006 has settled his lawsuit for $125k. The search included a camera being put up his rectum. [TU] [AP/CBS6]
There's some historical data that indicates we could be in for a cold, snowy winter. [TU]
The Capital Region's tick population -- and the incidence of Lyme disease -- appear to be on the rise. [Daily Gazette]
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]
Hudson River dredging starts today, no pork for Tedisco, Brown's new brews held up by barcode confusion, prom dress rugby
The Hudson River PCB dredging project finally starts today. Years in the planning -- and fighting -- the project is
A fourth Skidmore student has been charged in the alleged assault of a fellow student in April. The four students -- all seniors -- are accused of breaking down multiple doors to reach the sophomore, who -- according to his attorney -- says the alleged attack was like something out of The Shining. The four seniors reportedly had a dispute with the sophomore over a woman.[Saratogian] [TU] [Post-Star]
David Paterson vetoed legislation that would have fined local governments for not complying with the state's open meetings law. He said the law was "problematic" because the $500 fine would have been assessed to the governmental entity -- not the officials. [AP/TU]
State comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a report recommending that the state adopt a two-year budget cycle and voter-approval of new state debt. [Biz Review]
Scott Murphy was sworn in this afternoon as the Representative from New York's 20th Congressional District today.
How about Jim Tedisco? Bob Conner reports that Tedisco was at the (NY) Capitol this afternoon taking responsibility for his loss, sounding upbeat and eating jelly beans.
Update at 3:55: Tedisco's officially out.
Let's ask the special election magic 8 ball. Answer: the signs point to yes:
+ CapNews9 reported last night that "sources" told it that a concession could come as soon as this afternoon.
+ Liz Benjamin reports that she was told by "a source close to Tedisco" that the candidate was looking to get a hold of Scott Murphy's personal phone number. Presumably he wouldn't be calling to set up a man date.
+ PolitickerNY's Jimmy Vielkind reports that Tedisco's inner circle has been discussing concession -- and may be looking to bury it in the Friday afternoon news cycle.
The unofficial count has Murphy up 401 votes on Tedisco with about 900 absentee ballots still to be counted.
State worker union says it rejected another no-layoff deal, horse breeder charged with animal cruelty, whupping charges lessened, bakery's sales up with help of cupcakes and Facebook
Note: the TU's site was loading erratically, if at all, for us this morning.
One of the state worker unions says it rejected a deal offered by the Paterson administration in which the creation of a new pension tier would guarantee no layoffs. According to many reports last week, the Paterson administration has offered a handful of deals involving cuts in raises or other concessions in return for a no-layoffs guarantee. The unions have rejected these deals. [TU]
As of Friday afternoon the unofficial count from the New York State Board of Elections has Scott Murphy up 35 votes on Jim Tedisco in the 20th Congressional District special election. The counting of absentee ballots continues this week. Democrats in Columbia County accused Republicans participating in the count there of "acting in bad faith." What happens if the election ends up in a tie at the end of all this counting? You guessed it: we get to do it all over again. [NYS BoE] [TU] [Troy Record]
The horse breeder accused of not providing proper nourishment to horses on a farm in Coxsackie was formally charged with animal cruelty on Friday. A human society official described the farm as a "puppy mill" for horses. [AP/Saratogian] [TU]
The four Schenectady teens who recently committed suicide were linked by a common leader of sorts who was the the first to kill herself. [Daily Gazette]
Paterson administration details state worker layoffs, two banks robbed, popular track coach officially fired, common council urges census recognition of same-sex marriages
The Paterson administration released a list detailing how many jobs are to be cut at which state agencies as part of the state worker layoffs -- the biggest cuts are at Corrections and OMRDD. The governor also announced that no management/confidential employees will be cut because they're raises have been canceled, thus saving the state money. Paterson sent a letter to unionized state workers yesterday calling on them to urge their unions to accept wage concessions as a way to avoid layoffs. [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [WNYT]
The Tedisco and Murphy campaigns have been calling absentee voters in the 20th Congressional District in an attempt to find out how they voted in the special election. The count in the race is currently at Tedisco +17. The counting of absentee ballots will start today. [TU] [CapNews9]
A national suicide expert told a community forum in Schenectady last night that kids in the city have told him that they feel anxious and have problems at home. Said one teen who spoke up at the forum, "We need help." Four Schenectady High students have killed themselves during the last five months. [Daily Gazette] [TU]
Conviction in triple murder case, special election absentee ballot counting starts this week, Albany Med expansion on hold, woman arrested for false mugging report, bobblehead lineup announced
Jovan Underdue was convicted yesterday of the triple murder in Albany last January. Underdue now faces life in prison without parole. His attorney says they will appeal. [TU]
The Albany Common Council voted unanimously last night to issue a subpoena to the president of the Albany Police Officers Union as part of the ghost ticket investigation. It's the first the time the council has issued a subpoena in 80 years. [TU]
A state Supreme Court judge ruled Monday that the count of paper absentee ballots in the 20th Congressional District special election will start Wednesday. After a re-check of voting machines in Saratoga County, the state Board of Elections reports that Jim Tedisco leads Scott Murphy by 97 votes. But a more up-to-date unofficial count has Murphy up by 83 (the numbers will keep changing as more votes re-checked and/or counted). [TU] [Saratogian] [PolitickerNY]
Central New York Assemblyman Brian Kolb officially replaced Jim Tedisco as state Assembly minority leader yesterday. Tedisco stepped down/was pushed from the position because of his involvement in the special Congressional election. [NYT] [TU]
According to state police, John Sweeney told troopers he was in "big trouble" during his traffic stop for suspected DWI this past weekend. The Saratoga County DA says he expects Sweeney to enter an inpatient treatment program for alcoholism. [TU] [Troy Record]
Dalai Lama visit cancelled, Sweeney picked up for DWI again, Tuffey's niece had bull's eye sticker, another Schenectady HS suicide, school district ordered to pay for not preventing beating, Albany Freenet expanding
A representative for the Dalai Lama tells the TU that the Buddhist spiritual leader will not be coming to Albany as planned. It seems concerns surrounding the sponsor organization's ties to NXIVM, the controversial "personal growth" training org, caused the Dalai Lama's people to reconsider. [TU]
The state Senate finished passing the budget bills Friday night. Assessments of the budget differed greatly between the two parties. Even with passage in both houses, the contents of the budget aren't entirely clear -- and it may have to be revised later this year. [TU] [Daily Politics] [NYT]
At the least for the moment, the vote totals for Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy are exactly tied. That number is almost sure to change as five counties have yet to finish re-checking the numbers on their voting machines. Tedisco announced Friday that he was stepping down as Assembly minority leader to "focus on his transition to Congress" -- though he also said he's not declaring victory. It seems Assembly Republicans were also keen to push him out of the position. The Saratoga Springs regional office for the 20th Congressional District has temporarily re-opened with its old staff while the election is sorted out. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [NYT] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star]
Former Congressman John Sweeney was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly driving drunk on Route 9 in Clifton Park. This is Sweeney's second DWI arrest, which bumped the charge up to a felony. Earlier in Sweeney's career he served as Rensselaer County's STOP-DWI coordinator. [Daily Gazette] [TU] [Troy Record]
Among those who had a bull's eye sticker: the niece of police chief James Tuffey (another one of her uncles was also police chief for a time). An unidentified source tells the TU that Tuffey's niece didn't get a ticket for a 2007 crash because of the sticker. [TU]
Special election vote totals shifting, Morris says Albany treasurer lied, arrest in Barnes assault, Shen coach suspended after old accusations come to light, state budget leading to Saratoga paid parking?
The vote totals for the 20th Congressional District special election keep shifting as voting machines and emergency ballots are "re-canvassed." What appears to be the latest tally has Jim Tedisco now ahead of Scott Murphy by 12 votes. The election will ultimately be decided by the count of the absentee ballots -- which won't start until Monday at the earliest. Both campaigns continue to express confidence that they'll come out ahead. [Troy Record] [PolitickerNY] [TU]
The Saratogian reports that Jim Tedisco will be stepping down as state Assembly minority leader on Monday so he "can focus on this congressional district." The TU reports that Tedisco is facing a no-confidence vote on Monday because members of his caucus are annoyed that he's spent so much time on his Congressional campaign during the state budget process. [Saratogian] [TU]
The state Senate has continued its debate of the budget bills, though a vote could be coming soon. The Senate voted to allow Democratic Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who's been in and out of the hospital with pneumonia, to vote "yes" on all the budget bills ahead of time. The majority Dems didn't have enough votes to pass the bills without Hassell-Thompson. [TU]
Albany Common Council president Shawn Morris says she thinks city treasurer Betty Barnette "flat-out lied" when Barnette testified earlier this week that her office doesn't "fix" parking tickets. The Common Council is now seeking copies of every parking ticket dismissed in 2008. [TU]
Guilderland police have arrested a mixed-martial arts fighter for the assault of the TU's Steve Barnes and a friend last year in the parking lot outside Creo. According to the TU, the police are investigating "connections" between the fighter and an unnamed Albany restaurant that Barnes wrote about. [TU]
State budget voting held up, Murphy's lead down to 25 votes, TPD split over whether RPI student was murdered, bathtub full of drugs allegedly found in doctor's home
Voting on the state budget bills hit a snag yesterday when Democratic Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson had to return to the hospital because of pneumonia (the Dems need her vote for the required 32 "yes" votes). The Assembly finished passing all the budget bills yesterday morning -- though a handful of Democrats, most of them from upstate, voted "no." State comptroller Tom DiNapoli, also a Democrat, publicly criticized the budget for relying too much on federal stimulus and other temporary money. [TU] [AP/Saratogian] [NYT] [Biz Review]
There still seems to be a lot that's unknown about the 8,900 state worker layoffs David Paterson has ordered. [Saratogian]
Scott Murphy now leads Jim Tedisco by just 25 votes in the 20th Congressional District special election after a re-check of some voting machines. Counting of absentee ballots won't be begin until Monday at the earliest -- Republican hold an enrollment edge in the pool of absentee ballots. About 165,000 people voted in Tuesday's election, the largest turnout in a US special election in two decades according to a Skidmore prof. Both campaigns are saying publicly that they'll come out on top. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Post-Star] [TU]
Albany Common Councilman -- and mayoral candidate -- Corey Ellis has called for the council to issue subpoenas as part of its ghost ticket investigation. [CapNews9]
Special election not over yet, state budget hits snags, doubts about Tuffey's ghost ticket testimony, CDTA fare hike takes effect, milk spilled in Troy
The special election in the 20th Congressional District isn't over. Initial tallies indicate that Scott Murphy leads Jim Tedisco by as few as 59 votes and as many as 65 votes. Here's a county-by-county breakdown of the totals. There are about 6000 absentee ballots that need to be counted -- they've been impounded and won't be counted until Monday at the earliest. As you might expect, both campaigns think they'll come out ahead in the final count. There are some indications the parties are already gearing up for a Coleman-Franken-like recount. [TU] [Daily Politics] [WNYT] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [Saratogian] [Daily Politics]
Voters told reporters the top issue in the race was, surprise: the economy (great quote about Tedisco: "He's like a little bulldog."). There was a little bit of drama for voters on the Skidmore campus. And apparently some people in Schenectady showed up at the polls looking to vote -- except that Schenectady's not in the 20th (for what it's worth, Tedisco wasn't able to vote either). Many voters said they're just happy the TV ads, polling and robocalls are over. [Post-Star] [TU] [TU] [Saratogian]
The state budget isn't wrapped up yet (the official deadline was midnight last night) -- in part because Republican Senators, upset about the budget, stalled for a while yesterday and a Democratic Senator had to be taken to the hospital. [TU] [Daily Politics]
Three state Senators, including Neil Breslin, have asked David Paterson to meet with the state worker unions about the layoffs Paterson says are on the way. [Biz Review]
Still stung by the cut to Saratoga County's VLT aid, political leaders there seem to be missing Joe Bruno. [TU]
The polls haven't even closed yet for the 20th Congressional District special election, but we're ready to move on. Heck, we've been ready to move on for what seems like weeks now.
If anything, we just want to be able to watch live TV without being deluged by attack ads -- and now web ads, too. (We know, we also see them on AOA -- blame Google.)
To help send this election into the past, we've picked our two favorite ads from the race. Of course, by "favorite" we mean awful or unintentionally funny. Alas, neither of the campaigns chose to use the scripts suggested by @KevinMarshall:
"Eating babies. Scott Murphy just doesn't get it."
"Jim Tedisco devours infants. That's an Albany politician for you."
If only. Our picks are after the jump. If you have a favorite, post it in the comments.
Updated at 2:38 pm
Make it stop. Just make it stop. For whatever reason (probably the non stop ads) this shortened special election seems to be going on forever. As @AmyMengel recently joked: "Maybe they will let us just text our votes to 1-866-Congress01 or 1-866-Congress02." Then we could all move on.
Here's the latest scan of the coverage.
Election day is just a week away in the race to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat. We've been reading the coverage so you don't have to. (The last scan.)
The big news this week: two debates!
We've been reading the cover of the special election for the 20th Congressional District so you don't have to. (The scan from last time.)
In the last few days "bonus" has become a dirty word. Let's get to it...
Special election candidates fight over what's pork, SPAC director's salary in spotlight, man accused of threatening garbagmen with cleaver, new job for McNulty
The two major party candidates for the 20th Congressional District, Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy, went back and forth at each other yesterday over the federal stimulus bill. The super condensed version -- Tedisco: it's pork; Murphy: no, it's not. Tedisco, who said this week that he would not have voted for the stimulus bill, also said he would have voted for it -- if he could have amended it. [CapNews9] [Troy Record]
Schenectady mayor Brian Stratton says he wants to fire five of the city's cops. The city hasn't successfully fired a cop since 1982. [Daily Gazette]
Organizers of the Dalai Lama's visit to Albany say the event will "change the face of Albany if the population of Albany embraces it and gets excited about and really understands the fortitude of something like this coming to this city..." The organizers of the visit are connected to a Clifton Park management training program that's been accused of being a cult. [TU]
The salary for Marcia White, SPAC's executive director, is catching criticism after a survey revealed that the leaders of other local arts organization make much less. White was paid $244,865 in 2006. [Daily Gazette]
Updated at 3 pm Tuesday
There are only two more weeks until the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat.
We've been reading the coverage of the race between Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy so you don't have to. This time around, Tedisco takes a stand, Congress members write checks and apparently Republicans are "self-suppressing."
Here we go...
What, 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.
Tedisco and Murphy debate, Raucci charged with terrorism, Schenectady school district struggles with teen suicides, chip fab company gets new name, UAlbany student sues Facebook
Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy found a lot to agree about during their debate yesterday in Saratoga Springs. One point of departure: the federal stimulus bill, which Murphy said he supports and Tedisco said had enough pork to "create trichinosis for most of us in this room." They also disagreed on union "card check" -- Murphy supports it, Tedisco doesn't. The debate drew an overflow crowd of more than 250 people to the Saratoga Springs Public Library. [Daily Gazette] [Post-Star] [Saratogian] [TU]
Police say a woman walking her dogs in Spa State Park yesterday morning found a partially frozen body (it seems her dog was the first to find it in the tree line). There are conflicting reports on whether authorities consider the situation suspicious -- "unusual" seems to be the word being used. The man was found fully clothed and dressed for winter. Witnesses says the body was covered in vomit. An autopsy is scheduled for today. [Saratogian] [Fox 23] [Post-Star] [Daily Gazette] [TU]
Steven Raucci, the Schenectady school district employee accused of arson, was charged with terrorism yesterday -- the state's highest felony. Officials say they've been filing charges against Raucci sequentially so they can keep him in jail. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
The state's inspector general has ordered an investigation of the State Insurance Fund because of accusations of mismanagement by a whistleblower. The whistleblower came forward after the story of the guy making $94k/year to do nothing came to light in the TU. Noted: John Sweeney's first wife, Elizabeth, works at the Insurance Fund as a secretary and makes $94,000 a year. [TU] [SeeThroughNY]
Debate today for special Congressional race, man charged with Troy murder, bankruptcy filings up, Luther Forest spinoff company a done deal
The latest from the very special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat: Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy will debate today at the Saratoga Springs Public Library at 1:30 pm. Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani campaigned with Jim Tedisco in Dutchess County. And Scott Murphy was endorsed by the AFL-CIO. [CapNews9] [Fox23] [Saratogian]
Joe Bruno was taken to the hospital yesterday after he was involved in a car wreck on Rt. 7 in Colonie. A spokesman for Bruno says an oncoming car jumped the median and hit Bruno's car. The spokesman says Bruno is sore and slightly bruised, but otherwise OK. [TU] [Troy Record]
A Schenectady cop was arraigned yesterday in Colonie on charges of DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. The Schenectady police chief says the officer has been suspended 30 days without pay. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
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]
Updated Monday at 11:15 pm
What, 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 sort of 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.
Here comes the stimulus money, APD says Bailey case isn't cold, jailhouse marriages, TV station's parent company files for bankruptcy, the flamingos are back
New York State is in line to get almost $25 billion in federal stimulus money, according to an analysis by the state. Among the many projects that could get funding in the state: high speed rail service from Buffalo to NYC. Local municipalities have also been getting their wish lists together. [AP/TU] [Troy Record]
The two candidates in the race for Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat are in a race to see who can smear the other guy first. The mud boiled down: Jim Tedisco's campaign says Scott Murphy is a light-weight and tax dodger, Murphy's campaign says Tedisco is a career politician who's milked taxpayers for car costs. In a more positive direction, Murphy is hoping to get his wife's large extended family -- many of them Republicans -- to vote for him. And Tedisco is picks up his dogs' poop. Also: Kirsten Gillibrand and Paul Tonko were in Albany over the weekend to endorse Murphy (no, Albany is not in the 20th Congressional district). [TU] [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]
The Albany Police Department says the murder of UAlbany student Richard Bailey "is absolutely not a cold case." Bailey's father, a retired NYC cop, says he has faith in the APD's ability to find the murderer. [TU] [TU]
The vast majority of restaurants in Albany County did OK on county health inspections in 2008, according to a Times Union analysis. Among the few that didn't: Tandoor Palace on Lark Street, the Corner Food Court at the corner of Lark and Washington, and the Metro 20 Diner on Western. [TU]
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]
Special election candidates could spend $4 million total, state worker says he gets $95k for nothing, new baggage scanners at airport, ice cream recall
One expert predicts each candidate in the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat could end up spending $2 million on the race. The chairman of the Republican National Committee was in Albany yesterday to meet with Jim Tedisco about the race. Scott Murphy, the Democrats' candidate, was in DC earlier this week to meet with Nancy Pelosi and Kirsten Gillibrand. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]
The Siena Research Institute reports that consumer confidence in New York State was up a bit last month. The state's consumer confidence is a little lower than the national mark. [Daily Gazette] [Troy Record]
CDTA could get about $14 million over two years from the stimulus bill that's passed the House of Representatives. But the transit org says it's experiencing a "revenue crisis" and the stimulus money would only be a short-term help. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
A state worker with the State Insurance Fund says he's been relegated to a do-nothing $93,803-a-year job because he sued the Pataki Administration 10 years ago. The man says he sued because he was being discriminated against for being a Native American. [TU]
There are a bunch of interesting tidbits in a NYT piece today about Kirsten Gillibrand. Among them is Jim Tedisco's apparent admiration for her ability to, well, tell people what they want to hear:
On Sunday, Ms. Gillibrand said she no longer favored branding immigrant-friendly cities such as New York as "sanctuary cities" and denying them federal tax benefits. On Monday, she no longer favored deputizing police officers as immigration officers.
"It's not so much of changing my view as broadening," Ms. Gillibrand said.
Perhaps, although James Tedisco, a Republican assemblyman who is running for her old congressional seat, complimented her: "She's very good at listening and regurgitating it back at you intelligently," he said.
Admiration swells in his voice. "That's the mark of a good politician and a fine public servant," he said.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Everybody into the pool for Gillibrand's seat, first homicide of the year in Schenectady, apartments planned for downtown Albany, chicken wing prices up
Kirsten Gillibrand's now-former seat in the House is attracting the interest of, well, everyone. All sorts of candidates are either already in the race or are having their names floated. Among them: Betty Little, Jim Tedisco, John Faso, Sandy Treadwell, Tracey Brooks, former TV anchor Tracy Egan and former NY Rangers goalie Mike Richter. [TU] [Saratogian] [CapNews9] [TU]
A Schenectady man died this weekend after being shot in the head Saturday night at a party. A woman was also shot -- her injuries aren't considered life-threatening. Schenectady police say they don't have many leads -- and they say witnesses are not cooperating. This was the city's first homicide of the year. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
CDTA's planned route cuts and consolidations began Sunday. The transit org is paring back service as part of its plan to cover a multi-million dollar budget gap. [TU]
Saratoga Springs mayor Scott Johnson delivered his state of the city address yesterday. He called for "fiscal conservatism" and pushed for paid public parking. (By the way: how many people were there? The TU reports 75, the Gazette 100 and the Saratogian 200.) [TU] [Saratogian] [Daily Gazette]
Jury deliberating Kathina case, selection process for Hillary replacement criticized, crash closes major intersection, new life for vacant anchor space at Crossgates?
The jury in the trial of Jermayne Timmons, the teen accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas, heard closing arguments yesterday before going into deliberations. The jurors were sent home at 9:30 pm and will continue deliberating today. [TU]
The gunman in the I-90 shootout had been on probation after pleading guilty to a handful of charges related to a 2006 robbery in Connecticut. He died Monday night after being taken off life support. [TU]
Jim Tedisco says Hillary Clinton's replacement in the US Senate should be picked by voters in a special election. It would seem that the chances of that actually happening are extremely small. [TU] [AP/Troy Record]
The New York Daily News reports that Andrew Cuomo has interviewed with David Paterson for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat -- though Cuomo's people called the story "factually inaccurate." [NYDN]
We're not excited about the prospect of a tax on digital music sales, either -- but Jimmy, why you gotta go and do that to Frank?!?
That is, of course, Jim Tedisco. He's put up a site to campaign against David Paterson's proposal to tax sales of music downloads in New York State.
Maybe we need a tax on karaoke instead.
The 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.
Bank robbery involves chase, fake beard and -- possibly -- gunfire, local unemployment rate up again, DA says RPI student's death a mystery, that's not Jimmy Tedisco
State police say a man, wearing a "a fake Abe Lincoln-style beard," robbed a bank in Latham at gunpoint yesterday afternoon before leading cops on a high-speed chase up the Northway and into Saratoga. They say the man the sped down Rt. 50 before striking another vehicle and flipping his SUV. Police are also investigating whether gunfire was exchanged -- there are indications a state trooper did fire his weapon. [TU] [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian] [Post-Star] [TU]
The Capital Region's unemployment rate hit its highest point for a November (5.2 percent) since 1992's November. Retail jobs have been among the hardest hit. A state labor department analyst says he expects the numbers to get worse, but compared to the rest of the country, they're not that bad. [Biz Review] [Daily Gazette] [TU]
The number of calls last month to the state's unemployment insurance call center was almost triple that of the same period a year ago -- and as a result, about 40,000 calls went unanswered. Things are so bad the head of the center asked the TU not to reveal its location for fear that angry people would show up at the building. [TU]
Plug Power laid off 90 workers yesterday, most of them at its Latham headquarters. [Biz Review]
Big investments for research facilities, Guilderland teachers' transfers upheld, gun buyback in Troy, Tedisco getting married
An IBM plan to invest $1.6 billion toward chip fab facilities in New York State will reportedly include at least 325 new jobs at the UAlbany nanotech center. [TU]
UAlbany and Albany Med are teaming up to build a new research center in E. Greenbush focused on cancer, cardiology and neurological disorders. The two institutions hope the new center will enable them to attract more money from the National Institutes of Health. The center will be funded by a $42 million slab of pork secured by Joe Bruno. The headed-for-the-door state Senator says another $25 million in state money will go toward building a new neonatal intensive care unit at AMC. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
The Guilderland School Board voted yesterday to uphold the transfer of two popular teachers from the high school to a middle school. The board also released a copy of the "culture climate report" that led to the transfer, though one board member described the released report as "useless" because it had been stripped of many details. One of the two transferred teachers says she's still not sure exactly what she's been accused of doing wrong. The board president says the district will be conducting more such inquiries. [TU]
Prompted by cases such as that of Jermayne Timmons -- the 15-year-old accused of firing the shot that killed Kathina Thomas -- advocates are arguing that New York State should require that any suspect under the age of 16 have an attorney present during questioning by police. Timmons reportedly confessed to the shooting without representation. [TU]
The Knicks are looking at the possibility of moving their training camp to Skidmore. [Daily Gazette]
The new Hampton Inn on High Rock in Saratoga opened yesterday. Apparently "new hotel smell" is that of "freshly cut lumber." [Saratogian]
Jimmy Tedisco is marrying his long-time lady friend, Mary Song. [Daily Gazette]