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New York’s Cuomo, Nixon Clash Over Subways in Tense Debate

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, seeking his third term, and challenger Cynthia Nixon sparred over the New York City transit system and marijuana legalization in their first and only scheduled debate before the Sept. 13 Democratic primary.

“Can you stop interrupting?” Cuomo said to Nixon near the start of the debate at Hofstra University on Long Island. “Can you stop lying?” Nixon responded.

First-time candidate Nixon — a veteran stage and screen actress best known for playing lawyer Miranda Hobbes in HBO’s “Sex and the City” — is running as a progressive underdog against Cuomo, who if re-elected in November would match the three terms won by his late father, Mario Cuomo.

Cuomo appeared to take aim at Nixon’s career and political activism, saying the governor job was not about advocacy but action and management.

“This is real life,” he said.

Cuomo promised under questioning not to make a run for the White House in 2020, if re-elected. He also sought to make Donald Trump an issue, saying the U.S. president was a “main risk to the State of New York” and that his “extreme” conservative politics couldn’t be allowed to permeate the state’s culture.

Nixon shot back, saying New York needs a chief executive who will oppose the president “not just with rhetoric but with policy.”

She challenged Cuomo on why, if he’s against Trump policies, he hasn’t expanded access to state drivers’ licenses for undocumented New Yorkers or done more to fight for single-payer health care, abortion rights or laws to combat climate change.

One of the most heated exchanges centered on New York City’s aging mass transit system. Nixon claimed subway delays have tripled under Cuomo and that train speeds are slower today than in 1950.

Cuomo, when asked if the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority would consider scrapping a planned fare increase and have the state make up a reported $350 million transportation revenue shortfall, said that New York City owned the subway system and wasn’t doing enough — an apparent jab at the city’s mayor, Bill De Blasio, a rival.

‘Completely Disingenuous’
“If the city will do it 50-50, I will do it,” he said. “We need $33 billion — the state can’t do it,” he said. “It’s a shared city-state responsibility and I say let’s do it 50-50.”

Nixon, who said that if elected she would delay the fare increase and address the financing gap, argued that the subways were, ultimately, the state’s responsibility. “‘To pretend it’s anything else is completely disingenuous,” she said.

“Yes, it preceded Andrew Cuomo but he stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the MTA budget for his pet projects that have nothing to do with it,” Nixon said, adding that Cuomo has had more than seven years to avoid the crisis.

The governor, she said, “used the MTA like an ATM.”

Cuomo retorted: “My opponent lives in the world of fiction. I live in the world of fact.”

De Blasio Weighs In
De Blasio, who hasn’t made an endorsement in the race but has political ties with Nixon, backed her on the transit issue with a tweet on Wednesday evening.

“The state runs the MTA. @NYGovCuomo knows this. I know he’s really bad at it – every New Yorker does – but he can’t just pretend it’s not his fault because it’s election time,” the mayor said.

Nixon, raising the topic of corruption in Albany, sought to link Cuomo to the conviction of his former aide, Joe Percoco, on charges that he took bribes from companies seeking state economic development funds. Cuomo said Percoco had engaged in wrongdoing and would pay the price, but that everyone agrees he had “nothing to do with it, period.”

Cuomo said campaign finance reform was needed but wasn’t achievable without Democratic control of the New York State Senate. Nixon also brought up Cuomo’s shuttering of an ethics panel, the Moreland Commission.

Taxes and Marijuana
The governor sought to compare Nixon to Trump when it came to transparency, criticizing her for not releasing enough of her tax returns. She released five years of returns earlier this month.

On marijuana, both Cuomo and Nixon agreed the drug should be legalized. They clashed over how to use potential proceeds from sales of the drug, with Cuomo disagreeing with Nixon’s view that money should be used to help poor minority communities that she said had suffered under American drug laws.

Nixon also claimed that Cuomo didn’t approve of legalization until he came under pressure because of her campaign, a charge he denied.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive. The November general election is considered safe for Democrats. Still, regardless of the outcome on Sept. 13, Nixon already has secured the nomination of the state’s Working Families Party.

Nixon is hoping for the kind of primary upset seen in June, when progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat 10-term Democratic Representative Joe Crowley in a congressional district covering Queens and part of the Bronx.

Cuomo’s funding advantage is massive, with his $24 million campaign treasury dwarfing the $442,000 Nixon had as of Aug. 13.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-30/new-york-s-cuomo-nixon-clash-over-subways-in-tense-debate

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No love for de Blasio and his millionaires tax in Brooklyn swing district

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Mayor Bill de Blasio is counting on a Democrat-dominated Albany to approve his millionaires tax, but judging by only competitive state Senate race in the city, he’ll be waiting for a long time.

Democrat Andrew Gounardes, challenging GOP Sen. Martin Golden in Brooklyn, told Crain’s Wednesday that he is opposed to the mayor’s call to raise the city income tax on individuals earning $500,000 or more and funneling the proceeds to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Both candidates, appearing at a Bay Ridge Council for the Aging forum, voiced general support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s counterproposal: charging cars and trucks for entering Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

“I think we need to look at a way that affects people across the board, and I think the most effective way to do that is to lower congestion in the central business district,” said Gounardes, an aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The candidate added that he would vote no on the heightened excise on high earners.

Gounardes’ comment is unsurprising in some ways and startling in others. The Senate district, comprising a broad, diverse swath of middle-class southern Brooklyn, is center-right in orientation and hostile to the liberal mayor but warm toward the governor. Gounardes received Cuomo’s endorsement the evening before the debate.
But Gounardes also is known to be close to Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris, a fellow Greek-American and chairman of the Democratic State Senate Campaign Committee, who has championed the millionaires tax in the upper chamber.

Citywide polls have shown stronger support for heavier levies on the wealthy than for congestion pricing.

Golden, a 15-year incumbent, indicated he also opposes de Blasio’s solution for subway funding.

Both candidates said they would reject any congestion-pricing plan that did not reduce tolls on MTA spans linking the outer boroughs. One foot of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge sits in the district, and motorists crossing into Staten Island pay the highest tolls in the city.

“I am a definite ‘no’ unless that happens,” Golden said.

Pundits anticipate that local Democrats will ride a wave of antipathy toward the Republican government in Washington and win total control of state government for the first time in a decade. That would require capturing at least one seat currently in GOP hands on Nov. 6.

Democratic gains are expected on Long Island. Progressives in New York City also hope to also dislodge Golden, the lone Republican officeholder in Brooklyn (not including Sen. Simcha Felder, a nominal Democrat who caucuses with the GOP).

Golden—a former police officer, catering hall owner and councilman—has remained in power thanks to strong support from his district’s white ethnic, religious Jewish and Eastern European immigrant communities. The incumbent also has an enormous advantage in fundraising and name recognition. But the district’s demographics are changing, thanks to waves of immigration from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East—and, more recently, influxes of white progressive voters from more expensive sections of Brooklyn.

Source: https://www.crainsnewyork.com/politics/no-love-de-blasio-and-his-millionaires-tax-brooklyn-swing-district

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Street closures, security measures as Trump and other world leaders arrive for UN General Assembly

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President Donald Trump and world leaders are coming together in New York this week for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

New Yorkers are bracing for another week of international bedlam as the General Assembly continues through Oct. 1, with weekdays designated as gridlock alert days.

To ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and world leaders, the NYPD and law enforcement agencies will provide highly trained officers throughout the area.

Heavily armed members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force will be on duty, serving as the first line of defense. Security arsenal will also include aviation and marine units as well as devices to detect chemical or biological weapons.

Alternative modes of transportation are strongly encouraged.

The following traffic advisory has been issued by the NYPD:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th, 2018

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:

42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2ndAvenue from 41st Street to 57th Street
The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:

1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:

42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted:

Battery Place from Little West Street to Second Place.
1st Place from Battery Place to Little West Street
Little West Street from Battery Place to 2nd Place
50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
51st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
55th Street from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue
55th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
56th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
58th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
58th Street from Plaza to 6th Avenue
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th, 2018

The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:

1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
49th Street from 3rd Avenue to Lexington Avenue
The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:

42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2ndAvenue from 41st Street to 57th Street
The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:

42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted:

Battery Place from Little West Street to Second Place.
1st Place from Battery Place to Little West Street
Little West Street from Battery Place to 2nd Place
50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
51st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
55th Street from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue
55th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
56th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
58th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
58th Street from Plaza to 6th Avenue
61st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
61st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
61st Street from Madison Avenue to 5thAvenue
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2018

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:

42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2ndAvenue from 41st Street to 57th Street
The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:

1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:

42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted:

Battery Place from Little West Street to Second Place.
1st Place from Battery Place to Little West Street
Little West Street from Battery Place to 2nd Place
51st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
51st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
55th Street from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue
55th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
56th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
58th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
58th Street from Plaza to 6th Avenue
61st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
61st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
61st Street from Madison Avenue to 5thAvenue
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th, 2018

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:

42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2ndAvenue from 41st Street to 57th Street
The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:

1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:

42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session.

The FDR DRIVE will be subject to intermittent closures:

Southbound at 63rd Street
Northbound at South Ferry
The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted:

Battery Place from Little West Street to Second Place.
1st Place from Battery Place to Little West Street
Little West Street from Battery Place to 2nd Place
50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
51st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
55th Street from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue
55th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
56th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
58th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
58th Street from Plaza to 6th Avenue
61st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
61st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
61st Street from Madison Avenue to 5thAvenue
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th, 2018

The following streets will have one traffic lane dedicated to emergency vehicles for the duration of the General Assembly:

42nd Street from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue
57th Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue
2ndAvenue from 41st Street to 57th Street
The following streets in the vicinity of the United Nations will continued to be closed to vehicular traffic:

1st Avenue from 42nd Street to 48th Street. The tunnel underpass from 41st Street to 48th Street will remain open for passenger cars. Trucks and other large vehicles will not be able to access until the end of each day’s session.
44th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
45th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
46th Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue
The following will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at approximately 5:00 a.m.:

42nd Street from the FDR Drive to 2nd Avenue
42nd Street Exit and Entrance Ramps of the FDR Drive
Please note: These areas will reopen each evening after the day’s session.

The following streets will have managed access and no vehicle parking permitted:

Battery Place from Little West Street to Second Place.
1st Place from Battery Place to Little West Street
Little West Street from Battery Place to 2nd Place
50th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
51st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
51st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
55th Street from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue
55th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
56th Street from 5th Avenue to 6th Avenue
58th Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
58th Street from Plaza to 6th Avenue
61st Street from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue
61st Street from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
61st Street from Madison Avenue to 5thAvenue

Source: https://pix11.com/2018/09/23/street-closures-for-2018-un-general-assembly/

 

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Cynthia Nixon Loses New York Primary to Incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo

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Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial primary bid against incumbent Andrew Cuomo has come to an end.

Going into the primaries, Cuomo had a greater amount of support from the Democratic party, as well as greater financial resources than Nixon, and pre-primary polls suggested the incumbent governor had more support from New York voters.

The Associated Press called the race for Cuomo based on projected totals at 9:30 p.m. ET. With nearly 50 percent of total votes counted, the 60-year-old career politician held an insurmountable 66.3 percent lead over Nixon’s 33.7 percent.

Following the defeat, Nixon took to Twitter to thank her followers and fans for their support. “Thank you all for believing and fighting and leaving it all on the field,” she wrote. “We started something here in New York, and it doesn’t end today. This is just the beginning. And I know that together, we will win this fight.”

Nixon first announced that she would be running for governor, and challenging the two-term establishment Democrat, in March, when she released a video explaining her motivation and inspiration to throw her hat in the political ring.

“New York is my home. I’ve never lived anywhere else. When I grew up here it was just my mom and me in a one-bedroom, fifth floor walk-up. New York is where I was raised and where I am raising my kids. I’m a proud public school graduate and a prouder public school parent. I was given chances I just don’t see for most of New York’s kids today,” the 51-year-old actress said at the time. “Our leaders are letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the entire country. With both incredible wealth and extreme poverty… How did we let this happen?”

Nixon first announced that she would be running for governor, and challenging the two-term establishment Democrat, in March, when she released a video explaining her motivation and inspiration to throw her hat in the political ring.

“New York is my home. I’ve never lived anywhere else. When I grew up here it was just my mom and me in a one-bedroom, fifth floor walk-up. New York is where I was raised and where I am raising my kids. I’m a proud public school graduate and a prouder public school parent. I was given chances I just don’t see for most of New York’s kids today,” the 51-year-old actress said at the time. “Our leaders are letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the entire country. With both incredible wealth and extreme poverty… How did we let this happen?”

ET’s Nischelle Turner was with Parker on Thursday morning, hours before the results of the primary were determined — at the launch of her new brick-and-mortar shoe store, SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker, in the Seaport District of New York City — and the actress-turned-fashion mogul said she was standing by her friend.

“We had to be [at the store opening] super early but we’re we’re gonna go [cast our votes] when I finish,” shared Parker, who said she’d been texting with Nixon the night before the primaries kicked off.

Source: https://www.etonline.com/cynthia-nixon-loses-new-york-primary-to-incumbent-governor-andrew-cuomo-109624

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