1. Lobbying Albany is big business: The state Commission on Public Integrity corrected a computer error, revealing that lobbying is not in decline — 2009 revenue nearly hit $200 million, an increase of about twenty percent from the year before. [The Business Review (Albany)]
The few legislators without side jobs, unpaid since they missed the April deadline to approve a state budget, struggle to make do. Take Michael Benjamin of the Bronx:
Mr. Benjamin, another Democrat, said he and his wife had to ask creditors for more time to pay credit card and cellphone bills. “We’ve made no vacation plans, we cut back spending and are eating a lot more rice,” he said. “We haven’t gotten to the ramen noodles yet.”
2. Most of them understand the voters won’t be especially sympathetic. [The New York Times]
3. If you are friends with the wife of the Chairman of the Independence Party, you’ve won almost $20,000 in fees for “social media consulting!” (Whatever that is.) [New York Post]
4. The Republican Primary for Governor continues to revolve around who has a greater dislike for the mosque near Ground Zero. Carl Paladino, says he’ll fight the “ACLU” and use eminent domain to take over the property. Here’s an excerpt from his new ad:
ANNOUNCER: Andrew Cuomo says it’s about religious freedom and the construction of the Mosque should proceed.
Carl Palaldino says it’s an affront to those murdered on 9-11, it’s an insult to all Americans and it must be stopped.
PALADINO: “This is Carl Paladino. As Governor I will use the power of eminent domain to stop this Mosque and make the site a war memorial instead of a monument to those who attacked our country.”
In the ad, Paladino pretends Republican primary opponent Rick Lazio doesn’t exist. [New York Daily News]
5. Sherra-Una Booker, the women who indirectly brought David Paterson down–she was allegedly abused by his aide David Johnson, was considering her charges, and the governor called her in a clumsy attempt to make the mess go away–speaks to the Daily News and WNBC. She’s refiling charges, and speaking out. [New York Daily News and WNBC]