January 3rd, 2016


Guests: Bill Samuels and The New York Daily News’ Albany Bureau Chief, Ken Lovett

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Read highlights: Bill Samuels calls on Governor Cuomo to lead by example when it comes to reform, instead of hiding behind what he can get the Legislature to pass:

Bill Samuels: “Let me give this simple piece of advice of what I believe the governor can do and must do. It’s very simple. He must lead by example. Let me repeat that. He must lead by example. One last time: Governor Cuomo, please, in 2016, lead by example.”

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Bill Samuels and Morgan Pehme discuss Andrew Cuomo’s quote from a recent interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC regarding why Cuomo thinks Glenwood Management gave his campaign in excess of $1 million:

Andrew Cuomo : “You know, why do people donate? Because a lot of reasons. They think it’s the best candidate. They don’t like the other candidate. They like their smile. Who knows? People donate and support candidates for all sorts of reasons.”

BS: “Wow. That is just incredible, in fact, offensive.”

MP: “I think it should troubling to anybody that any politician takes $1 million dollars, in excess of $1 million dollars, from a company, especially the way that the money came to him, slipped to him through these obscure LLCs in a way that appears designed to try to hide those transactions so that people wouldn’t find out that he was getting a million dollars from Glenwood Management.”

BS: “I’m not naive here. I have given fundraisers for politicians for years and in my case, I really did not want anything. … People do give a million dollars, especially in presidential campaigns and not want anything, but it just doesn’t happen at the state level.”

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Bill Samuels responds to a recent article in Politico contrasting the Governor’s silence on the Constitutional Convention with Samuels’ advocacy in favor of it and Rep. Chris Gibson’s proclamation on last week’s “Effective Radio with Bill Samuels” that he too supported it:

BS: “I believe that New York State’s decline nationwide as a leader is due to an outdated constitution that has many provisions in it … that make no sense. … Cuomo needs to say something about this in his January 13th address. He needs to have some specifics on it. It just upsets me because we need major change in Albany. I mean, who doesn’t agree that Albany is a mess?”

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Samuels calls on Gov. Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to make Retirement Security For All a major new policy thrust in 2016:

BS: “Let me give you one major thing that has to be done. We have a retirement security problem in New York State that’s outrageous. A third of the women in homeless shelters are low-wage workers. And, as a result, at best, have a tough time getting along day-to-day but in retirement they don’t have a penny. I challenge the governor or the mayor to do what California, Illinois and Oregon have done and set up a new private retirement system in New York that gives every New Yorker an opportunity to get a pension.”

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Samuels on how to judge if Gov. Cuomo is serious about supporting the Democrats’ bid to take over the majority in the State Senate:

BS: “My opinion I’m going to measure the governor by, in terms of the Democrats, simply by whether he makes a lot of money available [to the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee.] I don’t expect him to campaign.”

Samuels on the 2016 State Senate race:

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What Lovett expects Gov. Cuomo to say in his State of the State address on January 13th:

KL: “I would guess we may see the entire kitchen sink; you know, LLC loophole, more disclosure, potentially campaign finance reform, perhaps some kind of way to phase in a full-time legislature. That way he can say he proposed it and he’s pushing it. This is what we’ve seen in the past. He comes with an aggressive proposal and what ends up getting adopted is far, far more limited.”

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Lovett on what Bharara will do in 2016:

MP: “Ken, what about, ‘Stay tuned?’ … Do you think we’re going to see more bombshells from Preet Bharara in 2016 in Albany?”

KL: “I think there’ll be more. Whether they’re at the level we saw this year, I mean, other than when Spitzer went down and we had the Senate coup and all of that stuff, really, in my two decades here I’ve never seen anything like this where you started the year with two legislative leaders who, ultimately, were arrested, charged, indicted, lost their positions and then were convicted within thirteen days of each other. It’s going to be hard to top that. We know he’s looking into Cuomo and the administration. Whether he finds anything we don’t know. Obviously that would top it.”

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Lovett on the likelihood of the state passing a $15 minimum wage:

KL: “I think $15 will be a hard sell, but I think it’s the governor’s top priority of the coming year. He named it after his late father, the effort. I also think that the Republicans have been very quiet on it. You’ll hear some of them say $15 is out, but certainly they have not ruled out another [minimum wage] increase and some have even said maybe for a lower amount, not $15. Interestingly enough, a majority of New Yorkers support a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour.”

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