A Hagel nomination that could turn on Schumer, after Gillibrand
Chuck Schumer won't say exactly how he plans to handle the nomination of Chuck Hagel, whose past reference to a "Jewish lobby" and opposition to Iran sanctions have rattled some staunch supporters of Israel.
"All I can say is that I have an open mind and I'm ready to sit and listen to him," he told the Wall Street Journal yesterday, echoing the noncommittal statement he put out after President Obama announced on Monday that he would nominate Hagel for defense secretary.
Hagel could certainly use Schumer's help. The nomination faces lots of opposition from his former Republican colleagues, who haven't forgotten when he became the public face of opposition to the Iraq War, which means he'll need near-unanimity from Democrats, who might feel safer supporting him with the cover provided by a staunch pro-Israel voice like Schumer.
But while all eyes are focused on Schumer, the Washington Post suggests Kirsten Gillibrand is the real bellwether. She sits on the Armed Services Committee, which will hear from Hagel first. The committee is split 14-12 in favor of Democrats, so any defection could endanger a positive report.
Gillibrand put out her own skeptical statement after the nomination, highlighting questions about Hagel's positions on Iran. She's been careful since becoming senator to be at least as pro-Israel as Schumer (whose bona fides are much better established) on various issues, and it's unlikely that she and Schumer will break on the Hagel nomination.
"Could somebody get Courtney a stiff drink?" — John Liu
Cuomo hopes to be the first governor to pass new gun-control measures following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. [Thomas Kaplan]
Cuomo's gun-control agenda: broaden the category of weapons that fall under the assault weapons ban; require regular renewal of gun licenses; limit the size of gun ammunition magazines; and, possibly, institute more vigorous review of mental health records. [Laura Nahmias]
Cuomo raised more than a million dollars at his Waldorf-Astoria fund-raiser last night, emceed by Whoopi Goldberg, who joked: "There are no black people [living] upstate." [Carl Campainile]
Goldberg was told to stick to her script after that remark. [Danny Hakim]
An editorial faults federal judge Shria Scheindlin's ruling against the NYPD's Clean Halls program. [Daily News]
Scheindlin is a "loony-lefty judge." [New York Post]
Democrats have re-established a lead in party affiliation. [Gallup]
City officials handed over to the New York Times the same info about city gun permits that Gawker published. The Times wanted addresses, too, and sued. [Dana Rubinstein]
Randi Weingarten said Bloomberg undermined his ability to advocate nationally on education and guns with his remark about the teachers union and the N.R.A. [Azi Paybarah]
"Who needs the Independence Party most of all?" [Azi Paybarah]
"We're going Obama-style," said Democratic consultant Bill Lynch, who is working on Zead Ramadan's campaign for City Council. [Azi Paybarah]
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. says a soccer team in Queens "must be called 'the Queens' whatever." [Dana Rubinstein]
Republicans attacked Democrats over Rep. Jerry Nadler's advocacy for the trillion-dollar coin, and Stephen Colbert proposed some art for the coin. [Reid Pillifant]
9:30 a.m. The City Council's Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections considers changes to certain committees, subcommittees and chairs, at the Committee Room inside City Hall.
10:15 a.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo hosts a "special ceremony" in the War Room of the State Capitol, in Albany.
Noon. The City Council has its Charter Meeting, inside the Council Chambers at City Hall.
1 p.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends the governor's State of the State speech, at the Convention Center inside the Empire State Plaza, in Albany. It will stream live here
1:30 p.m. Cuomo delivers his State of the State speech, at the Convention Center inside the Empire State Plaza, in Albany. It will stream live here.
On "The Road to City Hall" tonight: Rudy Giuliani.
At his birthday fund-raiser last night, City Comptroller John Liu told the crowd that despite allegations against his campaign treasurer and a fund-raiser, none have been proven. [David Seifman]
Liu announced he would have an announcement soon. [Colin Campbell]
Bloomberg mocked the Times story about him and his aides trying to recruit some very unlikely mayoral candidates to run in this year's race. [Michael Grynbaum]
Potential Republican mayoral candidate Rev. A.R. Bernard said he personally would not perform a same-sex marriage. [The Road to City Hall]
City Hall / City Council
The 4,173 complaints lodged against public school educators is a record high number, according to the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the Department of Education. [Al Baker]
City and union officials are resuming negotiations over teacher evaluations ahead of the January 17 deadline. [Ben Chapman and Rachel Monahan]
An educator defends the city's strategy of closing failing schools and opening new, smaller ones. [Eric Nadelstern]
Councilman Jumaane Williams mocked the idea, advanced by an education group on Staten Island, for placing armed guards at schools. [Sally Goldenberg]
NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly said Scheindlin's ruling "unnecessarily interferes" with cops. [Chuck Bennett and Bruce Golding]
More on the judge's ruling. [Joseph Goldstein]
A columnist offers another anecdote in defense of Scheindlin's ruling against the NYPD. [Juan Gonzalez]
One editorial board cheers the sentencing of former councilman Larry Seabrook. [Daily News]
The judge did not hit Seabrook with a fine. [Bruce Golding]
The feelers sent to Chuck Schumer, Mort Zuckerman, Ed Rendell and Ed Skyler about running for mayor were "often playful ... sometimes a little more serious," according to a reporter who wrote about it. [TimesCast]
Cuomo is expected to call for raising the minimum wage, reforming the state's campaign finance rules and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. [Ken Lovett]
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman helped win support from California's attorney general after Schneiderman's chief of staff helped organize a grassroots effort in that state. [Jacob Gershman]
Both state senators Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein have signs outside their office that read "Temporary President of the Senate." [Erik Kriss]
The Republicans and independent Democrats have "a memorandum of understanding" and "a working relationship of trust," explained Republican state senator Hugh Farley. Details of that memorandum were not yet made available. [Jimmy Vielkind]
The chairman of the Assembly's environmental committee and others want the public to have more time to comment on fracking. [AP]
An overview of the state unions negotiating with Cuomo's administration and facing potential job layoffs. [Rick Karlin]
One editorial board tepidly welcomes Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's signaled support for barring welfare recipients from accessing their benefits at ATM machines in strip clubs and other sensitive locations. [New York Post]
The Conservative Staten Island borough president who endorsed Cuomo in 2010 is endorsing the governor's gun-control agenda. [Carl Campanile]
Obama's new cabinet "will continue to be dominated by men well into his second term." [Annie Lowrey]
Nancy Pelosi on gun control: "If we come out of the Newtown experience and all we do is talk about it and not have a result ... that would be a dereliction of duty on the part of us in public office." [Carl Hulse]
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is worried about the nomination of John Brennan for C.I.A. director. [Donovan Slack]
Rep. Dan Maffei moved his district office, citing high rent. [Mark Weiner]
Bloomberg launched a gun-control ad to coincide with the second anniversary of the shooting in Tuscon. [S.A. Miller and David Seifman]