In a brief press conference outside the Manhattan courthouse this afternoon, District Attorney Cyrus Vance said his office would continue to pursue the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in the face of newly-reported doubts about the credibility of the accuser.
“Today’s proceedings did not dismiss the indictment or any of the charges against the defendant,” he said today, after a judge released Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance this morning.
very special elections
As expected, Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for all of the impending special elections for New York’s regularly-scheduled primary day, September 13.
In addition to the special election for Anthony Weiner’s vacated congressional seat in New York’s Ninth District, there are special elections for six Assembly seats, most of which were caused by appointments to Cuomo’s administration.
Those districts are: the 23rd; the 27th; the 54th; the 73rd; the 116th and the 144th.
Update: Capital Tonight notes Cuomo waited to announce these elections just long enough to give control of the nominating procedure to county leaders, rather than primary voters.
It’s unclear when the special election for New York’s Ninth Congressional District will take place, but with each passing day, the list of prospective candidates for the vacant seat seems to grow.
There are a few factors to keep in mind when considering who makes sense for the seat, and who doesn’t.
The company that hired away a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg, Jason Post, will have Tony Blair and Bill Clinton serving on its advisory board.
Here’s the email Post is sending to friends and colleagues about his new gig at Teneo.
Update: A reader notes one of the company’s co-founders, Doug Band, is a longtime Clinton aide (and star of an infamous Clinton video).
State Senator Adriano Espaillat sent an email to supporters this afternoon, inviting them to a fundraiser tonight to benefit Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
The fundraiser, which promises both cocktails and conversation, will be at his Espaillat’s home on Park Terrace West, at the very northern tip of the borough, way up near 218th Street. The email notes that Stringer was born and raised in the neighborhood, and served as a community board member and district leader.
New York State will reportedly lift its moratorium on hydrofracking the controversial drilling procedure environmentalists say could pollute the water supply, but advocates say is safe and could be an economic boom for the struggling upstate economy.
A spokesman for Cuomo said the report is premature and speculative.
A spokesperson for the state’s environmental agency did not immediately have a comment on lifting of the moratorium, first reported by The New York Times in a breaking news alert on their homepage.
The lifting of the moratorium by the state would be the first major position Governor Cuomo has taken on the controversial issue since taking office in January.
One environmental activist who has opposed hydrofracking is actor Mark Ruffalo, who said at a party on Tuesday “I’d like to see it banned in New York State altogether.”
Ruffalo was speaking to the Observer during a party celebrating the passage of same-sex marriage. At the event, Ruffalo said Cuomo reached out to him months ago to discuss energy issues.
“If Cuomo knew he had cover from New York City’s financial elite, for hydrofracking,” said Ruffalo, “then he would be much more bullish on the issue. He’s sort of playing the fence right now.”
Update: The state’s environmental agency will have an event tomorrow in Albany discussing the procedure for evaluating hydrofracking, which will include a lengthy period for accepting public comments. The agency has said no permits for hydrofracking will be issued until the review period is concluded.
When Republican State Senator Jim Alesi was introduced at the Human Rights Campaign party Tuesday night, celebrating last week’s passage of same-sex marriage, the audience exploded with cheers and applause.
“That’s exactly what it sounded like when I went to church on Sunday,” he said. The audience burst into laughter.
This morning at Gracie Mansion, Mayor Bloomberg heaped praise on Jim Alesi, the first Republican State Senator to say he would vote for same-sex marriage, which narrowly passed thanks to a handful of votes from his side of the aisle.
Bloomberg said Alesi “showed courageous leadership” and was the “tipping point in the debate.”
“I think you will go down in the history books as the legislator who turned the tide on marriage equality,” said Bloomberg, “Not only here in New York State but I think this is going to spread across the country.”
Alesi, said nine of ten constituents in his upstate district have thanked him for his vote, but admitted, there has been some political fallout.
Before the vote last week, “I did call my chairman in Monroe County and did give him a courtesy call,” said Alesi. “And I think shortly thereafter, in a matter of seconds, we had an understanding that our relationship was over.”
One other interesting note from this morning’s Quinnipiac poll: both U.S. Senators are especially popular at the moment.
Kirsten Gillibrand posted a 54-percent approval rating, tying the best she’s ever done in the poll. And with just 22-percent disapproving of the job she’s doing, it’s slightly better than her previous best.
“Say it loud! Say it clear! Scott Walker is not welcome here!” chanted a gaggle of union members and supporters gathered on a hot strip of strip of sidewalk in Grand Army Plaza Park on the Upper East Side this afternoon.
Walker, the first-year governor of Wisconsin, became a national villain of the labor movement in February, when–after a protracted stand-off that saw the state Capitol taken siege by activists–his bill to balance the state budget succeeded in stripping government workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.