Mid-Morning Read: $12 Billion

Since the July 30 hiring freeze, 31,684 people have been added to the state payroll.

The state’s budget gap could hit $12 billion, said David Paterson.

That’s twice as large as projected in July.

Former Senator Bob Kerrey struggles with supporting Barack Obama and campaign finance limits.

State Senators-elect Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada, with incumbents Carl Kruger and Ruben Diaz, Sr., could join forces to push for a new leader of the State Senate after the election.  [3rd item] [NOTE: altered for clarification]

Dan Squadron for Majority Leader, one day?

The race to replace Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum may include Eric Gioia, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and others.

The Brooklyn Optimist says "Good Riddance” to Gotbaum.

Clyde Haberman continues railing about the term-limits extension.

The New York Times editorial board criticizes Michael Bloomberg for inadequately funding the city’s Board of Elections.

Despite ethical problems, Sam Hoyt was endorsed for re-election by the Buffalo News.

Onondaga County has 20,000 more registered Democratic voters than it did eight months ago.

The Syracuse Post-Standard endorsed Republican Representative John McHugh for re-election.

The Poughkeepsie Journal endorsed freshman Democratic Representative John Hall.

Dan Janison explains the two separate but equal William Cunninghams.

Robert Harding tells Dov Hikind to keep his endorsements to himself.

The Secretary to the State Senate gets paid more than the governor.

Albany County District Attorney Candidate Roger Cusick’s ad isn’t entirely truthful, says Irene Liu.

Sarah Palin’s state beats New York in high school graduation rates.

There's outrage over a Palin effigy hanging in West Hollywood.

Journalist, historian and swing voter Anne Applebaum writes in the Washington Post, " I would give anything to rewrite history and make McCain president in 2000. But in 2008, I don't think I can vote for him."

The Washington Times endorses McCain.

Former Republican congressman Charles Mathias, Jr. endorses Obama.

The Fighting 29th is getting lots of mailers and robocalls.

Republican State Senator James Seward criticized Democratic challenger Don Barber for taking money from people outside the 51st district.

Buffalo Pundit was bored at last night’s debate, where Alice Kryzan’s views were like Obama’s, and Chris Lee’s were like John McCain's.

Rock Hackshaw is exploring a run for City Council.

And this 2005 Bloomberg campaign commercial could, I think, be similar to what we see in 2009.

Mid-Morning Read: $12 Billion