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What SUNY Poly is up against ⋆ Epeak . Independent news and blogs

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Good morning! It’s going to be another freaky-warm day in the Capital Region as we celebrate the lives of two presidents who never got to use Twitter.  Things will be quiet during the holiday, though Rep. Paul Tonko will hold a 5:30 p.m. town hall meeting at Schenectady County Community College. And now — to headlines!

In the wake of scandal, SUNY Polytechnic Institute is “rudderless,” according to a Silicon Valley executive. It’s also grappling with significant debt and a series of cancelled projects. (TU)

There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud in New York. When it occurs, the offenses are usually local in nature. (Hearst DC)

In the months leading up to his suicide, Assemblyman Bill Nojay faced an increasingly dire combination of lawsuits and a federal investigation into a web of fraud and lies — including his apparent draining of a million-dollar escrow account. (D&C)

Cuomo recently urged mainline state Senate Democrats during a private meeting at the governor’s mansion to tamp down hostilities with the IDC. He also suggested they should think about a leadership change — a remark many took as a shot at Sen. Mike Gianaris, the mainline conference’s deputy. (DN)

A series of Saturday Town Hall meetings by Rep. Tom Reed did not go swimmingly. (BN)

The loudest applause at the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators’ annual Caucus Weekend labor luncheon came when New York City Public Advocate Tish James called for attendees to unite against President Donald Trump. “Stand up to that orange man!” she shouted. (PoliticoNY)

The Senate’s influential Independent Democratic Conference is pushing to include a program for student debt relief in the upcoming state budget. (DN)

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said the city is halting hiring while it awaits word on whether the city will receive $12.5 million from the state to close a looming budget gap. The action followed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision not to include any form of additional state aid for Albany in the 30-day amendments to his proposed state budget. (TU)

Albany’s fiscal troubles are in part a result of the city’s not having a particularly influential legislative delegation or a mayor with an especially chummy relationship with the governor. (TU)

A mayor who is close to Cuomo, Buffalo’s Byron Brown, is expected to announce Monday that he’ll seek a fourth term. (BN)

Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan said U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand need to do more to work with President Trump. (DN)

The lawsuit brought by COR Development against lobbyist-bagman Todd Howe is headed to mediation. (DN)

Cuomo Campaign Finance Director Thomas Giordano recently — and quietly — left his job. (TU)

The state Assembly has introduced a bill designed to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek legal recourse, though it does not go nearly as far as some survivors want. (DN)

Is Sandra Lee’s recent flurry of wedding-related social media postings meant to send some sort of message to a certain senior Cuomo administration official? (DN,NYP)

An Australian investor in Innate Immunotherapeutics is unhappy with what he contends are conflicts of interest related to Rep. Chris Collins’ stake in the company. (Kaiser Health News)

He’s from Jersey — are you from Jersey?: In a development we probably should have seen coming, early-’80s “Saturday Night Live” player Joe Piscopo is considering a gubernatorial run in the Garden State. (NYT)

From Washington, D.C.:

A group of Trump allies are pushing a plan that would lift sanctions on Russia despite its incursions in Ukraine. (NYT)

On Twitter (of course), the President called various leading media outlets “the enemy of the American people.” (WashPost — which for some reason was left off Trump’s list)

Asked to respond to that statement, U.S. Sen. John McCain observed that attempted to muzzle the media was “how dictators get started.” (NBC)

Trump held an energetic rally Saturday in Florida — his third consecutive working weekend at Mar-a-Lago — and puzzled at least two nations with his remarks about what happened “last night in Sweden.” Trump subsequently clarified that he was referring to a segment on immigrants in Sweden that he had watched Friday night on Fox News. (Guardian)

From the opinion pages:

The TU’s editorial board says Cuomo’s budget proposal contains too much can-kicking gimmickry.

That same editorial board says the Legislature should look hard at Cuomo’s plan to expand the power of his own appointees and agencies, especially in roles currently occupied by independently elected officials.

The Buffalo News’ editorial board says Cuomo’s apparent efforts to scare private colleges into lowering tuition costs go too far, too fast.

My column concerns Sen. Tony Avella’s backing away from settling once and for all the question of where upstate begins. (TU)

Fred LeBrun says “our despotic governor continues his quest to consolidate more and more power under his control while continuing to diminish independent oversight, accountability and transparency.” (TU)

Rex Smith examines the implications — notably hellfire — of Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger’s criticism of Capital Region elected officials who spoke out in support of Planned Parenthood. (TU)

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