Cuomo warns a union against linking donations to specific votes

Briefing: Union rally in Albany. (Glenn Blain via Twitter)
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The topics of public corruption and transparency usually get more attention from reporters and editorial boards than with the public, except when there are specific allegations of wrongdoing.

A report yesterday giving New York, and most states, a failing grade in these matters was the subject of a New York Times editorial, and prompted a few minutes of discussion in Governor Andrew Cuomo's radio interview with Post state editor Fred Dicker this morning.

That Cuomo defended the state's, and his own, record of combating public corruption isn't exactly news. He's spoken about it before, and rattled off a list of politicians he went after while attorney general.

But in the interview, Cuomo also suggested that the same ethical standard be applied elsewhere, to unions. He was reacting to news that the state's largest organization of public employees was reconsidering its endorsements and political contributions to state legislators in light of their vote to create a new, cheaper pension plan for future workers.

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"Obviously any union can choose who to support and who not to support, however, if you are linking political contributions to a specific vote, you may get a call from the attorney general, a district attorney or JCOPE," he said, referring to the Joint Committee on Public Ethics.

This would be new. 

Some Links:

Fidler and Storobin

Fidler supporter David Greenfield tweeted that a campaign volunteer was struck by a van and the driver drove off after taking campaign fliers. [Twitter]

"Nobody from our campaign is driving around hitting people," said Storobin's spokesman. [Chris Bragg]

The L Magazine sees deeper meaning in the race. [Henry Stewart]

NY-06

Halloran conducts an unscientific poll about who should replace Ackerman. [Patch]

Lancman said he can fill Ackerman's shoes as an advocate for Israel in Congress. [Twitter]

NY-14

Espaillat is circulating petitions to enable him to challenge Rangel. [Andrew Grossman]

Espaillat still "hasn't made a final decision" on whether to run. [Hunter Walker]

Albany

Protesters note News Corp. "takes advantage of tax breaks such as the Empire State Film Production tax credit" and hires Greenberg Traurig as its lobbying firm here. [Scribd]

U.F.T. and NYSUT are pulling their support from the upcoming Somos conference because of the recently passed Tier 6 legislation. [Celeste Katz]

Cuomo cautioned a union against linking their financial support to any one particular vote. [Jimmy Vielkind]

A NYSUT executive V.P. took a direct shot at Cuomo, saying, "I don't consider it public debate when you go through the night twisting arms." [Jimmy Vielkind]

State troopers prevented O.W.S. protesters from demonstrating right outside Dicker's office during his live interview with Cuomo. [Tom Precious]

Legislators and the public may "finally" read the state's billion-dollar budget bills before they're actually voted on, notes a Syracuse Post-Standard story. [Teri Weaver]

Crime

The second high-profile defendant facing a mandatory jail term for bringing an out-of-state weapon into Manhattan made a deal with the Manhattan D.A. and won't face fail time. [Laura Italiano]

Former councilman Miguel Martinez is getting five years in prison for stealing. [Ray Rivera]

NYPD

Protesters called for Ray Kelly's resignation. [James Thilman]

Media

Pro Publica's first MuckReads Podcast is with Matt Apuzzo, talking about the NYPD surveillance of Muslims. [Minhee Cho]

The Village Voice  wants to know what Dicker thinks of the people protesting outside his office. [James King]

An inside look into AOL's Patch. [Sean Roach]

Images

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Photos taken today by Daily News reporter Glenn Blain. [@GblainnNYDN]