More Bad News for Sweeney
Lobby inquiry into Sweeney donor, Bill Powers:
The state Lobbying Commission has opened an inquiry into whether former state GOP Chairman-turned-lobbyist Bill Powers failed to register for lobbying work he did for Siena College in 2003, a source with knowledge of the action said.
In an Aug. 28 story on local colleges hiring lobbyists, The Business Review reported that Powers helped "shepherd" a bill through the Legislature in 2003 that gave Siena the right of first refusal on state-owned land near its Loudonville campus and has been tracking the deal's progress ever since.
Siena has agreed to pay $1.3 million for the Route 9 property, but, under a lease agreement, will allow its current resident -- State Police Troop G -- to remain there for several years until a new headquarters is built.
Powers did not register to lobby for Siena until last summer, according to Lobbying Commission records. Siena College President Father Kevin Mackin said last week his records showed Powers' contract began July 2005. He could not recall whether Powers did any work for Siena in 2003.
Powers did not return a call for comment. Lobbying Commission Executive Director David Grandeau said he could not comment on "ongoing investigations."
In 2003, Powers was working with Powers, Crane & Co. The firm was not registered to lobby on the right-of-first-refusal legislation, commission records show.
Powers, Crane & Co. split in 2004 into two firms -- Powers & Co. and Crane & Vacco. (Times Union)
The same story reports that the internal poll Sweeney has wasn't as rosey as he claimed it was and has him leading by only single digits. Keep in mind these polls were all before the Sweeney/Abramoff/CNMI story came out and that Gillibrand's internal poll shows her leading even before then but read on:
...an internal Sweeney poll showed the incumbent leading by single digits, according to two people briefed on the results. ... The other person briefed said the lead could be as slim as 7 points and that the GOP is worried about losing five House seats, including Sweeney's.
PS. Today's Note Reports:
However, "a strategist close to the White House said Mr. Bush's own political team had polling that showed as many as 14 House seats were probably already lost to Democrats, just one shy of the 15 seats they need to gain to win control," write Rutenberg and Stolberg.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) meets with GE Global Research leaders to discuss renewable energy technologies at 9:45 am ET in Niskayuna, NY and campaigns for Kristen Gillibrand, the Democrat running against Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) in New York's 20th congressional district, in Averill Park, NY at 3:45 pm ET.