The Albany Times Union reported late 11/30 that a deal to close more than $2.8B of the estimated $3.2B budget deficit “has been hammered out” by Gov. David Paterson (D) and the Legislature. The deal included the “spinup” of stimulus aid from next year to the current year, but included “no midyear cuts to education.” The paper also wrote that after a budget deal was reached, the state Senate would then vote on the same-sex marriage bill (Seiler, “Capitol Confidential,” 11/30).
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But Paterson was interviewed this a.m. on WWRL-AM and said the Legislature’s plan “doesn’t go far enough,” and said plans to “spinup” federal education aid to prevent mid-year cuts is “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, which is not necessarily a good strategy” (Benjamin, “Daily Politics,” New York Daily News, 12/1).
On 11/30, Paterson “declared talks with legislative leaders over and said he had directed” the state’s Budget Division to “withhold payments that are due” to local gov’ts over the next several months. He made the move so the state “would not run out of cash.” Paterson: “If the Legislature won’t stand up for the people of New York because they’re worried about the next election, then I will do so on my own” (Peters, New York Times, 12/1).
Paterson As Truman
Paterson has been accused of taking a “hard line” in deficit reduction negotiations in order to “boost his political standing.” Now, he’s touting it in a letter to his supporters.” Paterson: “The legislature has been choosing to sit on the sidelines while our state risks running out of cash. Running out of cash has severe consequences for the state, just like it would for any family” (Vielkind, New York Observer, 11/30).
Give Us This Day, Our Daily Headline
The front page of the New York Daily News featured a headline that read: “3,500! That’s how many convicted New York sex offenders Attorney General [Andrew] Cuomo [D] helped sweep off Facebook and MySpace.”
Inside, the story mentions that the offenders were kicked off the two sites due to a law Cuomo “aggressively pushed” (Lovett, New York Daily News, 12/1).
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."