While You Were Out: Oct. 1, 2019

Well this turned into a beautiful Tuesday after a very wet, dark and gloomy start, didn’t it, CivMixers? It feels like whiplash weather, for sure.

I’ve got to cut out early today…so here are some pre-close-of-business headlines for you to consider:

President Trump questioned why his administration isn’t “entitled” to talk to the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint about a phone call to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky prompted House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has long fashioned himself a defender of whistleblowers, said the fact that the individual’s knowledge of Trump’s phone call and the White House restricting records came secondhand should not invalidate his reporting.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back in a letter this morning on a demand from three House committees for American diplomats to sit this week for depositions on Capitol Hill, saying the effort amounted to “an act of intimidation” and did not allow enough time for the State Department to properly respond.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently admitted to employees that the prospect of an Elizabeth Warren presidency could “suck” for the company, according to leaked audio published by The Verge.

Warren tore into Zuckerberg on Twitter, saying: “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the Democratic primary field by 11 points, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

Former Rep. Chris Collins arrived at Manhattan federal court this afternoon to plead guilty to insider trading charges. The disgraced Republican’s appearance came mere hours after his resignation letter was read aloud on the House floor.

There have been at least 19 members of Congress since 1987 who were charged with a crime while still in office and who later were convicted or pleaded guilty, according to a review of previous media reports by The Buffalo News.

Collins’ resignation should make it easier for Republicans to hold his Buffalo-area sea because the GOP should have a nominee without legal problems. But New York’s multiple ballot lines could complicate the special election to replace the congressman, as they have in past contests.

“Western New York deserves representation, so I’m inclined to fill the vacancy sooner rather than later,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “…I don’t believe legally I can call it for this November, which would be convenient since people are going to the polls anyway. I tend to shy away from having numerous elections. Voters don’t want to go to the polls multiple times.”

As to whether LG Kathy Hochul, who lost the NY-27 seat to Collins in 2013 after it was redrawn to become even more GOP-dominated, should run this time around, Cuomo said it’s up to her, though he did previously encourage her to run in 2018.

A white former Dallas police officer has been found guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of her unarmed, black neighbor in his apartment.

TSMC, the world’s largest computer chip foundry, announced it is suing GlobalFoundries over more than two dozen chip innovations that it claims GlobalFoundries has stolen from the Taiwan company over the years.

Pioneer Bank told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it will have to delay issuing its annual report as it unravels how much money it may lose in the MyPayrollHR scandal.

Republican former Rep. Claudia Tenney this morning formally announced she’s running for the seat she lost a year ago to Democrat Anthony Brindisi.

Brindisi told reporters today that it’s “too early” to discuss the impeachment of Trump, and he wants to review the facts before making a final determination on that question.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering an appeal of the multi-state SALT-cap lawsuit that was rejected by a federal judge yesterday.

More than half of the state’s school board members think high schools should begin later to accommodate teenagers’ natural sleep cycles, according to a poll conducted last month by the New York State School Boards Association.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies took two males into custody after someone used Snapchat to threaten to shoot people at Amsterdam High School.

A Colonie-based health insurer – BlueShield of Northeastern New York – is opening two storefronts in the Capital Region that will focus exclusively on helping people enroll in Medicare Advantage plans.

Cuomo is allocating $3 million for local governments to purchase zero-emissions vehicles and the equipment needed to support them.

This week Rep. Paul Tonko is visiting the Voorheesville Public Library, the Troy City School District, and Skano Elementary in Clifton Park, donating books through the Library of Congress Surplus Book Program.

State Police are asking for the public’s help finding a Poughkeepsie man wanted for questioning after a dead woman was found inside his abandoned minivan at Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County.

New York Giants punter Riley Dixon this week tweeted his support of the state Senate bid of former Syracuse football captain Sam Rodgers, who is running for the seat held by Democratic CNY Sen. Rachel May.

They’re dropping like flies on “Dancing With the Stars.”

After almost two years in business, Niko’s in Colonie — a pizzeria and sub shop named after Niko Dinovo, a local teen who was badly burned in an October 2016 car accident — has closed.

Ravenous Creperie in Saratoga Springs will celebrate 20 years in business throughout October with a variety of specials, promotions and theme nights.

After more than 11 years and nearly 10 million visitors, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. will close on Dec. 31 due to financial struggles.

Manufacturing contracted for a second consecutive month in September, falling to its level of activity in a decade, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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