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Comptroller DiNapoli Endorsed By CSEA

Comptroller DiNapoli, at right.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A key New York union has made a political endorsement public.

The nearly 300,000-member Civil Service Employees Association represents state and local government employees, school district employees, child care providers and private sector employees throughout New York State. CSEA President Danny Donohue:    "We're all proud to be here today, endorsing our candidate for Comptroller, DiNapoli. We did it four years ago, we're proud to be here today."

DiNapoli, a Democrat facing Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci, believes turnout will be a major determinant in the coming election, four years after he won reelection by about 4 points.   "There's no presidential race this year. No U.S. Senate race in New York. Some parts of our state have some contested races for Congress or State legislature, but, it really is a year when we're gonna have to remind people that 2014 is an important election year. Certainly, it's always a challenge when you run for comptroller. We're not exactly the front page top of the line race. We want people to understand the important work that we've been doing in our office. That's why this endorsement means so much. The men and women of CSEA keep a close eye on what we're doing in the Comptroller's office in terms of looking at the state budget, promoting accountability at the state and local level and certainly how we manage our pension fund."

The endorsement came the same day DiNapoli released a review of first quarter state revenue collections, which, for fiscal year 2014-15 were $1.3 billion higher than Division of the Budget projections, largely reflecting growth in business tax collections and increased personal income tax receipts in June.

DiNapoli’s report on the state’s first-quarter results found that year-to-date tax collections were $632.3 million, or 3.3 percent, lower than collections for the same period last year, primarily reflecting a $1.6 billion drop in personal income tax collections in April and May but higher than DOB projections. Tax receipts rebounded during the month of June, coming in $762.9 million higher than collections from June of last year.

Donohue wouldn't reveal what other endorsements might be under union consideration, and when asked about a nod for Governor Andrew Cuomo.    "We're here today about Tom DiNapoli because he's our choice. We'll deal with the governor when we have to deal with the governor. But today it's about Tom and where we're going from here."

DiNapoli says New Yorkers are still going through a tough time.   "People feel very anxious, particularly with regard to our economy, and where our future is headed. I think the state is in much better shape today and we are headed in the right direction. But when people become cynical, they see too many public officials in trouble, they get turned off, and they don't turn out and vote. That really chokes off what needs to be the lifeblood of our democratic system."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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