While You Were Out: June 27, 2019

Another hot and busy day is almost in the books. I’m a bit on the early side with the round-up this afternoon, but will include late-breaking news in tomorrow morning’s post.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Part II of the NBC debates between the Democratic 2020 hopefuls is tonight. It will feature heavyweights like former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well has U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Also on stage tonight: California Sen. Kamala Harris, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and businessman Andrew Yang – a Schenectady native – among others.

When NBC, MSNBC and Telemndo are all added up, Nielsen says last night’s showdown drew 15.3 million viewers, -well below what both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew in the early stages of the 2016 Presidential election, but equal to the record of the most-watched Democratic primary debate.

By contrast, the first Republican debate in the 2016 election cycle brought in a record 24 million viewers on Fox News Channel.

Note: That 15.3 million figure does not include streaming viewership on YouTube, Twitter and other sites.

NYC Mayor de Blasio, who was in last night’s debate, today fired a broadside at Biden, asserting that he was the better candidate to take on President Trump because the ex-veep was “out of touch” with today’s progressive Democrats.

Actress Rosario Dawson was noticeably missing from the debate when her boyfriend, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, took the stage. She’s on set in Albuquerque, where she has been cast in USA Network’s new series “Briarpatch.” A friend said Dawson watched her beau on TV.

Busy with her uphill campaign for the White House, Gillibrand has missed more than three dozen roll call votes in Congress since Jan. 3, a new report shows.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Donald Trump a stinging defeat, ruling his administration gave a “contrived” explanation for its plan to include a contentious citizenship question in the 2020 census in a decision that will make it difficult to add the query to the population survey.

Trump called for delaying the 2020 Census altogether after the court’s ruling.

The conservative justices also ruled that federal courts have no role to play in the dispute over the practice known as partisan gerrymandering. The decision could embolden political line-drawing for partisan gain when state lawmakers undertake the next round of redistricting following the 2020 census.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to state charges of carrying out a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme in New York.

A gray-haired Manafort, who is serving a 7 1/2-year prison sentence on federal charges brought by former special counsel Robert Mueller, barely uttered a word during the proceeding at Manhattan Supreme Court.

Presidents and other world leaders and political figures who use Twitter to threaten or abuse others could find their tweets slapped with warning labels. The new policy comes amid complaints from activists and others that President Donald Trump has gotten a free pass from Twitter to attack his enemies in ways they say could lead to violence.

While on a solidarity trip to Israel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $2 million partnership deal with the Israel Innovation Authority that covers a range of technological industries.

Former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall join the Rockefeller Institute and work with local author Paul Grondhal to to write his memoir, reflecting on politics, social justice and education.

State lawmakers should return to Albany to take up bills meant to strengthen limousine safety in New York, Republican state Sen. Jim Tedisco said.

Wegmans Food Markets, a popular supermarket chain based in Rochester, won’t be able to claw back more than $227,000 in sales taxes after the New York Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment assessing that amount in tax liability.

More women are coming forward to lodge accusations of inappropriate contact and/or outright harassment against former state Committee on Open Government head Robert Freeman, who was fired Monday after a reporter filed an official complaint.

Of eight women interviewed by the Democrat and Chronicle, three described Freeman looking at photos of them online and remarking about their appearances while they sought his advice about public-records laws. Others alleged inappropriate touching or unwanted kisses when they met him in person.

The young man who accused Kevin Spacey of groping him at a Nantucket bar in 2016 has filed a civil lawsuit against the actor, which is separate from the felony indecent assault and battery charges to which Spacey has pleaded not guilty in Massachusetts District Court.

A reminder: Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins is meeting with the NAACP and the public tonight to discuss the increasing number of marijuana arrests of blacks in the Capital Region. The meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. at 230 Green St., in the Centro Civico Room.

Union workers at General Electric Co.’s steam turbine plant in Schenectady and research campus in Niskayuna are scheduled to vote next week on a new four-year contract with the company.

Only two construction firm consortiums have expressed interest in submitting bids on the new $690 million Wadsworth Center laboratory being built by the Department of Health at the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany.

Today marked the 15-year anniversary of the disappearance of Craig Frear. He was last seen on June 27, 2004 near Cambridge Manor Apartments in Scotia, walking towards the woods and railroad tracks.

The New York Power Authority and the city of Albany are teaming up to install LED streetlights throughout the city.

The Yankees will again have to wait to see Giancarlo Stanton on the field. General manager Brian Cashman said “it’s going to be a while” due to a strained PCL, and Stanton is unlikely to return in July.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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