Former Republican County Executive Joel A. Giambra, a trusted adviser to State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, remains focused on how best to preserve his Repubican protege in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.
Indeed, The Buffalo News reported just short of a year ago that Giambra was counseling Grisanti to join the Independence Party. The theory then was that Grisanti had carved out his own popular niche while proving a survivor. Democrats and Republicans would field their own candidates in future elections, allowing him to split the defense and run down the middle.
And once in Albany, Grisanti could caucus with whichever party he wanted.
That never happened. But several sources report that Giambra is now proposing that Democrats authorize Republican Grisanti to also run on their line this year, assuming he survives a Republican primary threatened by Kevin Stocker of Kenmore.
Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner said he and Giambra have engaged only in fleeting conversations about the possibility, but have not talked seriously.
Giambra was not available for comment on Wednesday, but the sources familiar with the idea say major opposition is already developing in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
At least one firefighter, William Buyers, received confirmation from the county's department of Central Police Services that in 2009 Deputy Commissioner Joseph Tomizzi, then an arson investigator, ran Buyers' name through the background check system, which can be used only in the course of investigating crimes, according to state guidelines.
ALBANY – Donald Trump may be thinking about a run for governor in New York, but he’s heading across the Hudson River to help raise money for a local New Jersey GOP group.
The Daily Record newspaper is reporting today that Trump will be the keynote speaker at the Somerset County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 26. People will have to pay the local party group $80 to hear Trump speak.
Some GOP leaders in New York have urged Trump to get around the state - more than just his very brief trek to Buffalo last week -- and meet with GOP organizations if he is serious about running for governor. But Trump has demanded that the New York GOP clear the way for him – no campaigning, no convention fight, no primary – if he is to run for governor on the GOP line.
By the time Trump speaks in New Jersey, it may all be moot anyway. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is promising a decision by the end of this month about whether he will seek the GOP nomination to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the fall. If Astorino announces, Trump has indicated he won’t run.
UPDATE: The New York State GOP sent around an invitation this evening from the New York County Republican Committee for its annual Lincoln Day dinner on Feb. 12 that will feature Trump as the keynote speaker. Tickets for the event at the Grand Hyatt start at $500 and go to $1,000 for "preferred seating'' and a photo op presumably with Trump.
ALBANY -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is burying his head in the sand when it comes to the state's controversial Common Core program.
Hours after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and two co-leaders of the Senate demanded a two-year moratorium for the Common Core's implementation, the Cuomo administration said such a delay would be premature before a task force Cuomo wants to create gets to recommend its solutions before the session ends in June. (Cuomo has not yet created the task force and critics say another round of standardized tests under Common Core will be administered in April).
“I don’t need a task force to tell me that Common Core is a disaster and the Cuomo Common Core has been a nightmare for everyone around the state,’’ Astorino, considering a run against Cuomo, said in an interview this evening.
ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Education Chairwoman Cathy Nolan today called on the state Board of Regents to delay the state's common core program for two years. The views of the Assembly Democrats generally influence the Regents, since its members are essentially selected by the Democrats who control the Assembly.
In a written statement, the two lawmakers said:
"New Yorkers share the same goal – to improve our schools and help prepare our students to be successful and college- and career-ready upon graduation. However, given the serious issues that have been raised over the past year, we feel it is both prudent and wise to take the following actions. The use of Common Core aligned tests for high-stakes decisions for teachers, principals and students should be delayed, at a minimum, for two years. At the same time, SED (State Education Department) should continue to develop Common Core aligned curricula and assist local school districts in developing their own curricula so that teachers will be able to successfully teach Common Core aligned subjects while at the same time helping students reach their maximum potential.
"As we have stated in the past, there are equally serious concerns and potential flaws regarding plans to share student data with a private third party vendor. There are persistent questions regarding the ability to protect such data from security breaches, the necessity of the details and categories of such student data that is being shared, as well as the highly inappropriate potential for commercialization. SED should delay the use of inBloom or any third party vendor in developing a “data portal” until all these questions have been answered and the concerns fully satisfied."
A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.
Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.
Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.