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Spin Cycle

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

Flap over fliers in Nassau County exec race

Former Freeport Mayor Andrew Hardwick, who was removed from the ballot as a third-party candidate for Nassau County executive by Democratic legal action, is at the center of another political controversy sparked by fliers charging Democrats with racial bias.

“To prevent the African-American community from having a candidate of their own choosing, the Democrat Party spent hundreds of thousands...

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Website retracts Hynes-Wachtler report, issues apology

An Oct. 27 Spin Cycle item referred to a BuzzFeed.com story which published an allegation involving emails purportedly between Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes and former chief state judge Sol Wachtler. BuzzFeed has issued a retraction and apology. The Spin Cycle item was taken down.

The following is BuzzFeed’s editor’s note:

An earlier version of this story included an...

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Resignations, accusations: More turmoil for state ethics panel

The state ethics panel stepped into more controversy Wednesday.

The panel, known as the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), surprised no one when it hired an ex-Cuomo aide to be its new director, Letizia Tagliafierro. The decision came after some non-Cuomo appointees on the board asked to do a national search for a new director.

Immediately after the vote, Ellen Yaroshefsky, the...

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11th-hour money blitz: Suozzi raises $194G, Mangano $123G

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, left, and former

(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

In an 11th-hour fundraising blitz, Thomas Suozzi, the Democratic candidate for Nassau County executive, garnered nearly $200,000 in campaign contributions over a three-day period, state records show.

His rival, incumbent Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, received a flurry of last-minute donations too, hauling in $123,000, according to records at the state Board of Elections.

The...

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Halloween safety fliers: Essential spending in Nassau?

Halloween flier from County Executive Ed Mangano.

(Credit: Handout)

For Nassau County, which remains under a state financial control board, essential spending appears to include the costs of providing tips about how to have a safe Halloween.

A Halloween flier was handed out in at least some school districts in Nassau to be sent home with students.

Entitled “Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano presents Halloween Safety Tips,” it advises such things...

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GOP: Corruption commission should investigate Lt. Gov.

The head of the state Republican Party said Monday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s corruption commission should investigate his running mate, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, for possible conflicts of interest.

GOP Chairman Ed Cox noted that Duffy last week admitted interviewing for a high-paying post with the Rochester Business Alliance. Duffy is the former Rochester mayor and, in his role as the state’s...

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Tension appears to rise over Cuomo ethics panel

Tensions appear to have escalated between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislators over a panel he launched to investigate them.   Cuomo says lawmakers would be “making a mistake” by fighting subpoenas issued by his Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Lawmakers, citing separation-of-powers arguments, have declined to turn over more information about outside clients than is already legally...

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Unions bankroll pro-casino PAC

More special interests are pouring money into a push for a “yes” vote on the statewide casino referendum. This time, it’s unions.

Just days ago, the New York State Laborers deposited $250,000 into a new political-action committee called “All in for Jobs Committee.” The committee has launched a website and radio ads.

Also last week, a committee backed by gambling interests and the New...

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Both parties walk off with contributions from Suffolk developer

Developer Gerald Wolkoff, who wants to build a

(Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)

Developer Gerald Wolkoff, who wants to build a major mixed use housing and commercial project in Brentwood, has spread more than $95,000 around in a bipartisan way since the beginning of the year, according to reports filed with the state board of elections.

Wolkoff, who needs town zoning approvals, and road work for his proposed 9,000 apartments and 4 million square feet of retail and office...

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Suffolk's top info tech official speaks of outdated computers

Don Rodgers, Suffolk’s head of information technology, last week gave lawmakers an unusually blunt response when asked how often county computers are being replaced.

“When they roll over and die,” Rodgers said. “At some point, they kick and they are not going to work.”

Until 2005, the county replaced desktop units every three years, then lengthened their use to five years. Since 2010,...

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