* Add Stephen Yodice, a telecommunications executive, to the roster of potential challengers to Republican Rep. Michael Grimm. Yodice, the president and chief executive of Syoptics Networks, is exploring a run against the freshman Staten Island congressman but could be a strong candidate for a state- or city-level position, Democratic insiders said. One of them likened Yodice to Mark Murphy, another political novice and the son of former Congressman John Murphy whose name has been floated as a potential candidate. “He wants to do something, but he’s not sure exactly what,” the source said. So far only one Democrat, restaurateur Alex Borgognone, has announced his candidacy in the 13th Congressional District, though others are reportedly waiting on redistricting and on whether former Congressman Michael McMahon decides to run for his old seat.
* Sen. John Sampson had strong words for Related Companies after the developer cancelled a community meeting this week about building a Walmart in East New York, Brooklyn. In a letter yesterday (http://scr.bi/uQfjDK) to Related’s President for Retail Glenn Goldstein, Sampson, along with City Councilman Charles Barron and his wife, Assemblywoman Inez Barron, excoriates the company for skipping the meeting, billed as an opportunity for Community Board 5 to meet representatives from Related and discuss the possibility of constructing a Walmart at the Gateway II development site. “It is incomprehensible that because one of your representatives unfortunately became ill, all of your other representatives had to cancel as well,” Sampson writes. “Dismissal of our opinions and concerns is unacceptable and intolerable. I think you will agree that regrets are in order.” A Related spokeswoman said the company was still committed to working with the community: “Related was asked to provide the Community Board with an update on the project and it did so in writing and remains committed to the development of Gateway.”
* New York’s regional economic development councils, which will present their proposals to a state panel next week, include members from business, academia, labor, nonprofits, finance, and local governments – but not Indian tribes. “No Indian nation has been included, and we’re the third largest employer in the 16-county region in central New York,” said Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. “We put nearly $1 billion into this development that we have here, and we’ve been operating for 18 years.” Empire State Development Corporation spokesman Austin Shafran said the agency took pains to hear from everyone who wanted to submit ideas and proposals: “Each council had over a dozen public sessions, meetings and forums, and there was an extraordinary opportunity for the public to get involved, and councils are being graded in part on how well how well they incorporated the public’s vision in their final strategic plan.”
CITY & STATE FIRST READ is our morning email roundup of New York politics and government. Every day before 7 a.m. we deliver daily exclusives from City Hall and The Capitol, a curated summary of the day’s headlines, editorials, schedules and milestones – and short tidbits like the “Heard Around Town” items below.
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Tags: Alex Borgognone, Austin Shafran, brooklyn, Charles Barron, Community Board 5, Congress, East New York, empire state development corporation, Gateway, Gateway II, Glenn Goldstein, Indian, Inez Barron, John Murphy, John Sampson, Mark Murphy, Michael Grimm, Michael McMahon, Oneida, Ray Halbritter, Related Companies, Staten Island, Stephen Yodice, Syoptics Netowrks, Walmart
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