Early voting kicked off this weekend in New York’s second of two summer primaries, but voters are not exactly flocking to the polls. Turnout is looking low so far, as befits an unusual August election where some of the hottest races are centered in affluent neighborhoods whose denizens tend to skip town this time of year
Candidates hit the stump as the New York Times delivered some key endorsements. They’re going for Dan Goldman in the crowded race for the vacant seat in NY-10, and Rep. Jerry Nadler in his battle with crosstown Rep. Carolyn Maloney, two districts where the paper’s nod could be crucial among Democratic voters. The Times is also backing Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney against primary challenger Alessandra Biaggi in the Hudson Valley.
Nadler was eager to tout that one while out on the trail Sunday. He also has a fundraising edge heading into the final stretch of the race.
Over in NY-10, rivals are beating up on Goldman for his free spending ways. The Levi Strauss & Co. heir and Trump impeachment lawyer pumped another $1 million of his own fortune into the race, on top of a million he committed previously, and has spent $2.8 million on TV ads upping his name recognition. Besides the Times, he landed the support of a major Orthodox Jewish voting bloc in the Borough Park section of the district.
Sparks are also flying in the upstate district that’s home to the most interesting Republican primary in the state, where Carl Paladino is accusing state GOP chair Nick Langworthy of misusing party resources to aid his own campaign.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, waded into one of the most competitive state Senate races — backing Bronx state Sen. Gustavo Rivera in his race against lawyer Miguelina Camilo, who has the support of the Bronx Democratic party.
Early voting will continue through Sunday, ahead of the Aug. 23 primary.
WHERE’S KATHY? In Buffalo making a waterfront investment announcement and in Long Island making a LIRR third track announcement.
WHERE’S ERIC? In Manhattan speaking on India’s 75th Anniversary of Independence Flag Raising and in the Bronx making a workforce development-related announcement.
ABOVE THE FOLD — Biaggi wants to defeat the DCCC boss in New York. Her ex-staff has a story to tell, by POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold: When Leanne Evans flipped her kayak during a Saturday trip to Connecticut in June 2020, her first reaction was panic. Her phone was now at the bottom of Lake Waramaug, and that meant state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi wouldn’t be able to reach her. Evans, Biaggi’s then-legislative director, sent an email when she hit dry land, explaining the situation to Biaggi and other aides. The senator’s response came Sunday in an email with the subject line “responsiveness.” “Hope you got it replaced,” Biaggi wrote, sharing a text message Evans had missed and adding a note of admonishment for being out of touch when the legislative session was in its final days. “The nature of this work is that our jobs never stop, which is not the same as taking time to reset or relax — however, if i’m texting you, I’m expecting a response. No response does not work.”
Polio found in New York City wastewater, indicating a silent spread, by POLITICO’s Julian Shen-Berro: Weeks after the nation’s first polio case in nearly a decade emerged in the New York suburbs, public health officials warned Friday that it’s likely in New York City too. That’s while the city is still reeling from Covid-19 and the emerging monkeypox outbreak. New York proved a petri dish for both contagions, and now polio, which is largely asymptomatic but can cause paralysis, could be silently spreading. “For every one case of paralytic polio identified, hundreds more may be undetected,” State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a statement. “The detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming, but not surprising. Already, the State Health Department — working with local and federal partners — is responding urgently, continuing case investigation and aggressively assessing spread.”
“Adams Adviser Leaves Second Job as Casino Executive,” by the New York Times’ Dana Rubinstein, William K. Rashbaum and Michael Rothfeld: “A retired Police Department inspector and confidant of Mayor Eric Adams has left his job as an executive at New York City’s only casino, the company said Sunday, four days after The New York Times reported that he was collecting salaries from both the casino and the Adams administration. The mayor hired the retired inspector, Timothy Pearson, without fanfare earlier this year under an unusual arrangement that allowed Mr. Pearson to keep both his job at the casino, Resorts World New York City, where he was a vice president overseeing security, and collect his police pension. Officials have declined to say how much he is earning from the city-paid position.”
“NYC Dept. of Investigation Opens Probe Into Alleged Shelter Cover-Up: Sources,” by NBC 4’s Melissa Russo: “The New York City Department of Investigation has opened a probe into the city’s Department of Social Services, after News 4 reports on allegations DSS tried to cover up legal violations at its homeless shelter intake center, two sources familiar with the matter said. On Thursday, the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless demanded an investigation into the social services agency, after News 4 first reported the DSS spokeswoman was fired after pushing back on efforts by department leadership to conceal legal violations in the shelter system. Two sources confirmed Friday that the DOI acted quickly, opening a probe, with one source saying DOI has called in at least one witness for an interview next week.”
— “Jose Rodriguez came to America looking for a brighter future. He ended up a casualty in the political battle over immigration between Texas and New York,” by New York Daily News’ Josephine Stratman: “Jose Rodriguez was tired, hungry and beaten down when he crossed the border from Mexico into Texas after a two-month journey. He didn’t have money, and he didn’t have many options. Although he had originally hoped to go to Miami, he heard there was a free bus to New York. Officials told him that if he boarded the bus, there’d be help waiting for him. Rodriguez believed there was a plan — that Texas and New York were working together. He knows now he was wrong.”
— Some of the asylum seekers bused by Texas tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.
“City Jails Fail to Protect or Properly Identify Transgender People, Task Force Finds,” by The City’s Reuven Blau and George Joseph: “In 1979, the city Department of Correction created a special unit within the men’s jails on Rikers Island to house gay men and transgender women. The separate housing area — the first of its kind in the country — was initially a major success and touted as a revolutionary way to protect that vulnerable population. But 43 years later, a new report from a task force convened by the Board of Correction finds that the city jails system continually fails to identify, protect, and properly care for transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, and/or intersex (TGNCNBI) people in custody. Among some of the report’s findings: transgender women are routinely sent through a men’s jail intake facility, sometimes for days. Guards threaten to switch trans detainees to opposite-sex housing for not following mundane rules. Many struggle for months to get basic medication.”
“After attack on Salman Rushdie, Hochul says ‘the pen will always prevail over the knife,’” by Buffalo News’ Charlie Specht: “Two days after a would-be assassin stabbed the author Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution, a defiant Gov. Kathy Hochul had a blunt message about the New Jersey man who was arrested for the attack. ‘He failed,’ Hochul said Sunday to reporters and a group of more than 200 Chautauquans gathered at the institution’s Hall of Philosophy. ‘He failed.’ Rushdie, 75, who was stabbed multiple times, is expected to lose an eye and has a severely damaged liver, his literary agent said, though he is able to speak. His interviewer, Ralph Henry Reese, 73, was also injured. The man accused of the attack, Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, N.J., has been charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault. Hochul flew to Chautauqua County on Sunday to speak with first responders and crew members who helped tackle and disarm Matar before he could assassinate the controversial author.”
— Rushdie is on a slow ‘road to recovery’ according to his agent, but “his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact,” according to his son.
“New York reproductive care eroding amid Catholic-secular hospital mergers,” by Times Union’s Rachel Silberstein: “When faith-based hospitals merge with or take over other facilities, health care deserts that cover swaths of the state widen. This is particularly evident in the Capital Region, where two health systems have swallowed up the majority of hospitals and clinics in the 11-county region. Albany Medical Center offers a full range of reproductive health services and the other, St. Peter’s Health Partners, does not. And continuing merger negotiations between St. Peter’s and Ellis Medicine in Schenectady County, if finalized, could deprive an already medically underserved community of reproductive care options, critics say. …It has also drawn interest from Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Letitia James’ office, though neither office has directly intervened. According to NYCLU Capital Region Director Melanie Trimble, the merger would force Ellis’ health practitioners to prioritize religious directives over medical science.”
“Underfunded ‘supervised release’ programs in NY struggle to keep up,” by Times Union’s Joshua Solomon: “New York City’s supervised release program, funded by the city and previously found by researchers to be successful, has in recent years shown spottier success. The program — funded by an annual budget of roughly $116 million — now serves a far larger population of people who, before changes to the state’s bail laws approved in 2019, would have been sent to jail but whose cases are no longer eligible for bail based on their alleged offense. This boom in the number of people funneled into the program as jail populations have declined has created new challenges: Caseloads have more than doubled from three years ago. Outside the city, where pretrial release programming is often run on shoestring budgets by probation departments, the state has provided little top-down guidance and limited financial resources to counties to accommodate the changes to the state law.”
States want to better patrol social media. These are the challenges, by POLITICO’s Katelyn Cordero: In the wake of some of the deadliest mass shootings in the country’s history, states want to thwart the attacks by aggressively investigating violent extremist messaging posted online. Doing so is proving to be difficult. Efforts in tackling radicalization online are in their infancy, remain underfunded and face a bevy of legal hurdles. Enter New York as the latest state to try to address the issue after passing a sweeping gun control package in June that aims to deploy state and local law enforcement, create a new task force to patrol online hate speech and put the onus on social media networks to better manage themselves. In the weeks following a Buffalo shooting in May in which 10 Black people were killed at a supermarket, New York lawmakers passed two bills that would create mechanisms to require more oversight on extremist and violent messages. They are also creating grant programs to help police add staff.
#UpstateAmerica: Upstate (is trying to) ♥️ Public Transport: Amtrak is offering direct service straight to the State Fair and Metro Bus is bringing back service to Bills games.
Trump Org. can’t shake Manhattan DA’s criminal fraud case, by POLITICO’s Janaki Chadha: The Trump Organization and former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg couldn’t shake the Manhattan District Attorney’s bombshell fraud case on Friday, as a New York judge nixed their bid to dismiss the case. The decision caps off a stunning week for former President Donald Trump that included federal agents searching his Mar-a-Lago estate and a deposition with the New York Attorney General in which he pleaded the Fifth more than 400 times in a separate investigation. On top of it all, a civil suit by several people who say Trump Tower security roughed them up during a 2015 protest is slated for trial next month. Weisselberg and the Trump Organization on Friday wanted New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to toss a 15-count indictment variously alleging fraud, tax evasion, grand larceny and falsification of business records.
— Adams signed legislation to bolster access to abortion.
— At least three Brooklynites were injured in a mass shooting in Jerusalem.
— Sen. Chuck Schumer called for $22 million in federal funding for New York to combat the spotted lanternfly.
— A cab driver died when he was beaten by a group of passengers he was chasing after they attempted to rob him.
— A new fund has been set up for survivors of the Buffalo supermarket shooting who have yet received financial assistance more than three months after the massacre.
— Nearly 1,000 complaints about Brooklyn’s Maimonides Hospital were submitted to a group campaigning for changes at the hospital.
— A City Council member asked for a criminal probe into the treatment of carriage horses.
— An accused identity thief named Guy Cuomo worried the jury would think he was related to the ex-governor and it would hurt his case.
— The track in Saratoga is headed for a record season in both handle and attendance. Horses are still dying.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) … NBC’s Rich Hudock … Karen Finney … McClatchy’s Kevin Hall … Devin O’Malley … Larry Cohen … Elise Labott … ABC’s Mariam Khan … (was Sunday): NYT’s Adam Goldman and Katrin Bennhold … Boris Epshteyn … White House’s Rob Flaherty … Elliott Hulse of the World Bank … Edelman’s Jere Sullivan … Gabe Chaleff … Tiffany Stecker …
… (was Saturday): Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen … White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre … CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham … Sarah Huckabee Sanders … IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva … Andrew Malkin … AP’s Kelly Daschle … BlackRock’s Allison Lessne … Bloomberg’s Joanna Ossinger … Chris Dhanaraj … Emily Myerson
MAKING MOVES: Hochul adviser Bryan Lesswing is temporarily moving to the reelection campaign just through Election Day, where he will be “focusing on holding Zeldin accountable,” he says.
“Ahead of Key Votes, Little Support in Throggs Neck for New Apartments and Supermarket,” by The City’s Candace Pedraza: “Walking along Edison Avenue in Throggs Neck, you’ll see the same sign with the same word — ‘upzoning’ — with a red ‘X’ through it, hanging in the windows of house after house. It’s a signal to onlookers that some residents there are opposed to a recent proposal to upzone — meaning to change rules to allow for denser future development — a portion of nearby Bruckner Boulevard. Developers want to remodel a supermarket there and create almost 400 new apartments. Christina Reda, a 30-year-old local resident, said she thinks it’s ‘ridiculous’ that the applicants for the development are trying to put more housing in the area.”
“Mets’ Casino Gamble Could Crap Out in Parking Lot,” by The City’s Katie Honan: “The owner of the Mets has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying city officials in connection with his push to build a casino near Citi Field — but there could be multiple legal hurdles to bring the slots to Queens. Both state law and the team’s own lease agreement with the city stand in the way, in particular a financing deal tied to the parking spaces, and rules about building on park land. Owner Steve Cohen’s dream of turning Willets Point into a gambling hub materialized earlier this year when Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed creating three more downstate casino operator licenses.”