Harry Wilson (R), a 2010 comptroller nominee, announced Monday that he will not run for governor in 2018, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
Wilson: “Of course, to be in a position to carry out this agenda, I would have to wage a winning campaign. I recognize that would be hard, both given the state’s voter registration rolls and the current political climate, but I have thought and continue to think there is a path to victory.” (Facebook)
“He made his final decision during ‘quiet family time over the Christmas holidays’ and took several extra days ‘to let it sink in,’ [a] source said. But he is not ruling out a future gubernatorial in four years.” (New York Daily News)
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R) “said Wilson called him Sunday to tell him he would not run. Molinaro said he expected to make his own decision in the coming days.” (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas Langworthy “said it’s time for the party to hit a ‘hard re-set’ on the process to find someone to challenge” Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). (New York Daily News)
THE BIG GUY. “Cuomo is expected to have roughly $30 million in his campaign account when he reports to the state Board of Elections later this month.” (Politico)
“The tiny Independence Party endorsed … Cuomo for re-election on [last month] — before even seeing what alternative the Republican Party is offering. Indy Party Chairman Frank MacKay cited Cuomo’s record of accomplishment on infrastructure, criminal justice reform and the tuition assistance for middle income students attending public colleges as reason to back him for a third term.” (New York Post)
“Cuomo is planning to unveil a ‘Democracy Agenda’ to safeguard the integrity of New York elections and require transparency for digital political ads as part of his 2018 State of the State address in January.” (New York Observer)
WORTH WATCHING. “Cuomo isn’t a defendant and he doesn’t expect to be a witness when the first public corruption trial involving a former member of his administration [Joseph Percoco] and some of his biggest contributors begins next month. But from the opening moments, potential jurors are likely to hear Cuomo’s name in a trial that could have political implications for the governor and his 2018 re-election plans.” (Buffalo News)
“Trade unions, which have closely aligned themselves with … Cuomo and other politicians, have secured deals requiring underground construction work to be staffed by as many as four times more laborers than elsewhere in the world.” (New York Times) “Cuomo, during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, is expected to endorse a congestion plan that would charge motorists to enter Manhattan’s central business district.” (Wall Street Journal)
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"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."
"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.
"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."