* Queens Councilwoman Liz Crowley is the latest congressional hopeful to get help from an out-of-state group making independent expenditures on behalf of New York candidates. A group called “Working Families For Liz Crowley” reports spending $15,000 on an Internet ad in support of Crowley’s candidacy, which was produced by a D.C.-based firm called Revolution Messaging. The group is registered to an address in Maryland that is the same as that of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades – a fact that is not especially surprising, since Crowley, herself a former restorative painter, has the strong backing of the local painters’ union here in New York City. Crowley joins a number of congressional candidates in New York getting help from outside groups, including Grace Meng, Charlie Rangel and Clyde Williams. Meanwhile, both Rangel and Charles Barron are being targeted by groups opposing those candidates: The Brooklyn-based Sephardic Community Federation spent nearly $15,000 opposing Rangel in recent days.
* Mayra Linares, a former Manhattan district leader who is the daughter of Manhattan Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, has created a campaign committee to raise money to run for her father’s seat – further complicating an already complex political situation. Assemblyman Linares, her father, is running for the state Senate seat that will possibly be vacated by state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. Espaillat is running in a five-way primary race for Rep. Charlie Rangel’s seat. If Espaillat wins the congressional primary, that would definitely create a vacancy for the state Senate seat, which would then definitely vacate the elder Linares’ Assembly seat. But petitions are also being circulated for Espaillat to run for re-election in the Senate, though Espaillat says he has nothing to do with them. In addition, Linares has also made it clear he’s willing to run against Espaillat for the uptown Senate seat.
* Wynn Resorts is the latest major casino company to contract with a New York lobbyist, inking a six-month, $60,000 deal this month with Albany lobbying firm LJM Rad. The company’s move, which comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushes to legalize full-fledged casino gambling, follows several other major casino companies like MGM and Boyd Gaming signing up lobbyists in the state. Billionaire Steve Wynn, the company’s CEO, has expressed an interest in expanding in New York, and the chance to locate a casino in New York City may have opened up recently when negotiations on a proposal by rival casino company, the Malaysian casino conglomerate Genting, recently fell apart. Genting, which had hoped to get some sort of exclusivity agreement for full-fledged casino gaming in New York City in exchange for building a convention center at the site, will now have to compete with other companies, like Wynn. Wynn’s lobbying agreement with LJM Rad was made on June 1st, the same day the governor acknowledged that his administration’s talks with Genting had broken down.
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