Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

Cuomo OKs gambling expansion; LI to get 2 video-slot parlors

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday signed a law to greatly expand casino gambling in New York — including creating new video slot machine parlors in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The plan authorizes four upstate casinos — which must also win approval in a statewide referendum this fall.

But, under the legislation, Long Island will get two video slot parlors even if the statewide...

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Court strikes down NYC big-soda ban

A couple drink soda beverages in Manhattan. (May

(Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

A midlevel court Tuesday struck down New York City’s big-soda ban.

The State Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled unanimously that the city’s board of health exceeded its authority when it imposed serving-size limits on soft drinks served in restaurants and other venues. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to appeal.

Here’s more on Tuesday’s ruling....

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Commissioner resigns from NY ethics board

Patrick Bulgaro, whom The Associated Press calls “one of the most respected members” of the state’s ethics commission, has resigned. No reason was given.

Last year, another member, Ravi Batra, resigned, citing the commission’s lack of independence from the Cuomo administration.

Here’s more on Bulgaro's departure....

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Pelosi headlines Bishop fundraisers

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi headlined two fundraisers that perennially embattled Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) held on the South Fork over the weekend.

One was a $500 a head event Saturday at the home of major Bishop backer Robert F.X. Sillerman that drew about 150 people, according to several who were present.

The next morning Pelosi was the feature attraction at a pancake breakfast...

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Sen. Rand Paul Hits Christie, King on Superstorm Sandy Aid

Nothing like a good fight to stoke fundraising.  First Long Island's Rep. Peter King last week took shots at Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for his libertarian and isolationist views of national security - including his bid to end the NSA's collection of American phone records. Then on Thursday evening New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie picked up King's blast and repeated it, calling the libertarian strain...

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Suffolk lawmaker's kin moves up in county attorney's office

Suffolk Legis. Thomas Barraga. (July 9, 2013)

(Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)

Elaine Barraga, daughter of Republican Suffolk Legis. Thomas Barraga, has gotten a promotion and a hefty raise in the county attorney’s office.

Barraga, who has worked for the county for about three years, moved up from a principal assistant county attorney to a deputy chief of the general litigaiton bureau, raising her salary from $101,242 to $120,425 annually.

The lawmaker, who has...

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Dem primary in Suffolk 14th Legis. District?

Thomas Dolan, the Democratic legislative candidate who replaced Legis. Wayne Horsley as the party’s designee in the 14th District, has also inherited a primary challenge.

A West Babylon resident, Daniel E. Harrington, filed primary petitions to run when Horsley was still the candidate. Democrats are challenging the petitions.

Harrington, 57, could not be reached for comment, but party...

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Suffolk: 3 of 4 Supreme Court elections are for open seats

State Supreme Court Judge Marion McNulty, who announced she will be stepping down at the end of September, is moving up her departure date to Aug. 3, so a special eleciton can be held in November to fill her vacancy.

McNulty’s departure would make the fourth state Supreme Court spot up for election in Suffolk this fall — three which will be open seats. While McNulty is stepping down from her...

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Suffolk: Pols' allies line up on Bellone merger bid

Two paid canvassers who worked on a campaign to oust one of County Executive Steve Bellone's biggest critics also turned out to testify last week in favor of Bellone’s proposal to merge the comptroller and treasurer offices.

Both men, Michael Iasilli and Kenneth Lewis, earlier were paid to get petition signatures for legislative primary candidate Monica Martinez, who is challenging Legis....

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Nassau: The why's and why-nots of the 'President King' buzz

Rep. Peter King’s latest presidential “musings” have all the appearances of another attention-grabbing, risk-free political sideshow.

So far, the other major-party politicos seem to have no problem with it.

King (R-Seaford) has a pattern of letting the concept of “Governor King,” “Senator King,” and “President King” be floated. King’s friends and colleagues, much of the news media, and...

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