Rise and Shine: Nov. 5, 2019

Good Tuesday morning, CivMixers. It’s Election Day! Poll sites are open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. all across the state.

If you need assistance in locating your polling site – and finding out whether you’re registered to vote in the first place – click here. Be aware if you’re in Herkimer County that some sites have been changed due to storm damage and flooding. More on that here.

If you’ve already cast a ballot in New York’s first ever early voting period – good for you! (Maybe drop us a line and let us know how it went?)

If not, please get out there and do your CIVic duty. It’s a local election year, or an “off” year as some call it. Next year is going to be the big one – with both chambers of the state Legislature, all the congressional districts and the White House up for grabs.

But “all politics is local,” as the late great Tip O’Neill used to say, and this is where the rubber really hits the road. Decisions that immediately impact you – how the trash gets collected, how much you pay in property taxes, whether parks get built and maintained – all occur at the local level. So, now is your time yo weigh in.

A lot more information about who’s on the ballot and where can be found here.

If you happen to live in New York City, don’t forget that there are five ballot questions up for consideration today – one of which has five parts.

Also in NYC, a public advocate and Brooklyn City Council member will be chosen to serve two more years. And Queens voters will choose a new district attorney for the first time in nearly three decades.

The current public advocate, Jumaane Williams, who unsuccessfully challenged LG Kathy Hochul in last year’s Democratic primary, is defending the seat he won in a February special election to replace the current state attorney general, Letitia “Tish” James. Republican Councilman Joe Borelli, from Staten Island, is challenging Williams.

Across the state there are a number of contested district attorney and county executive races to keep an eye on.

There are some active mayoral contests taking place in the Capital Region.

Observers will also be watching tonight’s returns for a hint of what might be brewing for 2020 – especially how the early voting impacted turnout and whether the leftward trajectory this state appears to be on is continuing. This is of particular concern to incumbents – Democrats and Republicans – who will be defending their seats next year, some from primary opponents who are running on progressive/liberal planks.

Even the president (and his tacticians) will be watching – paying especially close attention to off-year elections in Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi that will give Donald Trump his last multistate report card before 2020.

There is one state Senate race taking place in the westernmost part of the state, where former Republican Sen. Cathy Young left a vacancy when she abruptly resigned to take a job with Cornell University after clashing with Senate GOP leadership.

Democrat Austin Morgan is running against Republican George Borrello in the 57th SD, and the outcome of this contest will NOT have any impact on who controls the chamber.

And in case you’re wondering: Cybersecurity at the polls is still an issue.

The weather shouldn’t (ahem) dampen turnout too much today. It will be cloudy with just a slight chance of a shower, and temperatures in the mid-50s, according to The Weather Channel.

Reality TV star Kris Jenner is turning 64 today. She shares her big day with football player Odell Beckham (27), Kevin Jonas of The Jonas Brothers fame (32), singer Bryan Adams (60), actor Luke Hemsworth (38) and actress Tilda Swinton (59), among others.

Also today: The trial of Roger Stone, a longtime Republican provocateur and former confidant of President Donald Trump, over charges related to his alleged efforts to exploit the Russian-hacked Hillary Clinton emails for political gain, gets underway.

In the headlines…

A federal appeals panel said that President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, a setback for the president’s attempt to keep his financial records private.

House Democrats released transcripts from the closed-door testimony of 2 officials into the impeachment inquiry of Trump. Both said they were concerned about the relationship between the Trump Administration and Ukraine.

An associate of Rudy Giuliani who was involved in a campaign to pressure Ukraine into aiding Trump’s political prospects has broken ranks, opening a dialogue with congressional impeachment investigators and accusing the president of falsely denying their relationship.

The Trump administration notified the United Nations that it will formally withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, marking the first step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change.

The administration also moved to weaken an Obama-era regulation aimed at limiting the seepage of toxic pollution into water supplies from the ash of coal burning power plants – a change coal industry leaders say could keep plants open longer and which environmental groups fear will increase the risk of water contamination.

Trump will deliver a speech at the Economic Club of New York on Nov. 12 during a luncheon at the New York Hilton Midtown.

While he has railed against former VP Joe Biden’s son for allegedly profiting from his father’s office and noteriety, Trump used his Twitter feed to publicize a new book by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., telling his 66.5 million followers that they should “Go order it today!”

Journalist and columnist E. Jean Carroll, who publicly accused Trump of raping her two decades ago in the dressing room of an upscale department store in New York City – a charge he vehemently and publicly denied – has sued the president for defamation.

At least three women and six children in a prominent local Mormon family were killed yesterday when their vehicles were ambushed in northern Mexico by gunmen believed to be members of organized crime, family members said. The attack alarmed a nation already reeling from record violence this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned to a record yesterday, joining other market gauges at all-time highs, as the stock market’s rally carried into a fifth week.

A newly filed lawsuit claims retired Bishop Howard Hubbard told a teenage boy more than 60 years ago that he should “forget about” alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of another priest who had what Hubbard allegedly described as “a moment of weakness.”

State AG Letitia James is suing 3M, DuPont and a number of other chemical and firefighting foam makers for what she says is their role in contaminating the water in a number of spots across the state — from Long Island and Greene County to Oswego and Rochester — with products derived from PFOA and PFOS.

Common Council members Kelly Kimbrough and Ginnie Farrell were unanimously voted in as council president pro tempore and majority leader respectively last night. The leadership shakeup was prompted after longtime president pro tempore Richard Conti announced his resignation during an October public meeting of the Council.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill announced his resignation amid record-low New York City crime rates, while reportedly privately warning that extreme criminal-justice reform could unravel the hard-won gains.

O’Neill’s replacement, Dermot Shea, 50, the current chief of detectives, has spent more than half of his life with the department, and is part new-school thinker, part throwback.

Democratic Queens Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz tweeted that she was not happy that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio chose “another white guy” to be the NYPD commissioner.

The Schenectady police sergeant who fired a single shot through the driver’s side window of a stolen car with two youngsters inside as it traveled toward him on a city street is scheduled to be interviewed by police investigators today as part of the department’s internal probe into the confrontation.

The mother of an Albany man gunned down in a contract killing stared down his murderer in court yesterday before the judge sentenced the hitman to 26 years to life in state prison.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed he didn’t know about the plans to release hundreds of NYC prisoners early under his new bail-reform law and then offer perks like Mets tickets to entice them back to court.

Across Oklahoma yesterday, 462 inmates doing time for drug possession or similar nonviolent crimes had their sentences commuted as the first step in an effort by state officials to shed the title of the nation’s incarceration capital.

Schenectady officials are hoping Cuomo brings good news of a $10 million grant award when and if he visits their downtown today.

Rochester police officer Manuel “Manny” Ortiz died Saturday after he accidentally shot himself as he was driving to work, said Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter.

State education officials have officially launched their quest to reform the state’s graduation standards with a focus on schools’ use of high-stakes testing to determine students’ proficiency.

Starting Nov. 13, the legal age for buying tobacco and e-cigarettes will go from 18 to 21 years old in New York.

Nauman Hussain, the operator of the limousine company involved in the deadly Schoharie crash, was back in court yesterday for a Huntley hearing – a pretrial hearing reviewing how police obtained statements from the defendant.

State health officials admitted that they haven’t identified a cause for the ongoing epidemic of lung-related illnesses linked to vaping.

Years after securing millions of dollars in funding to revitalize the Port of Albany, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to launch a new push for additional federal financial assistance.

Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, New York’s first openly gay member of Congress, made the seemingly unusual decision to support a Republican who in the past has espoused opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion rights: Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison.

The Gloversville community came together last night to remember Allyzibeth Lamont, 22, whose body was found last week after she was allegedly murdered by two men with whom she worked at a sub shop called “Local Number Nine” in Johnstown.

Someone posing as a Schenectady priest is trying to scam people out of their money.

Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for a local priest, Rev. John Thomas Connery, who was killed in historic flooding in Western parts of the Capital Region.

A high school football coach on Long Island is suspended after being accused of running up the score against an opponent.

New legislation was introduced by two state lawmakers to create a task force to study the impact of road salt in the Adirondacks.

Caregivers, lawmakers, and union members are pushing back against changes to nursing home Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Alec Baldwin is suing the man who accused the actor of punching him during a dispute over a Manhattan parking spot last year — and the star wants a jury to decide whether he’s been defamed.

King Arthur Flour is expanding the recall it first announced in early October.

A man fatally stabbed another customer outside of a Maryland Popeyes restaurant in a fight over the recently rereleased chicken sandwich, police say.

A rain and wind storm on Halloween night managed to move an 80 foot barge which had been lodged in the upper Niagara rapids for more than a century.

Congrats to John Howard, a veteran state government operative, who has worked for Cuomo for a number of years. The governor spoke at his retirement reception at the executive mansion last night. (Former LG Bob Duffy attended and tweeted about it).

Cuomo’s re-election campaign will hold a fundraiser timed with his birthday next month, with tickets running as high as $5,000 and bundled tickets reaching $25,000.

The decision to rollback energy efficiency standards for light bulbs is not a bright idea, according to a new lawsuit filed by a coalition led by attorneys general in New York and California.

A black cat ran onto the field during a Monday Night Football game at MetLife Stadium, flummoxing would-be corrallers as it danced along the goal line and, eventually, darted into the end zone to the wild cheers of the crowd.

If you see Biscuit, a Chihuahua/Shi Tzu mix, please help her get home safely.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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