Morning Read: ‘She’s a Strange and Reclusive Character’

Governor Cuomo canoeing with NYT’s Thomas Kaplan. (Photo: @NYDNHammond)

The New York Times took a dive into what role Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s presidential ambitions are getting in the way of Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s, and how he’s coping with the situation. The governor seems concerned: “Another Democrat close to Mr. Cuomo said the situation was making the Cuomo camp cranky, in part because the governor, a skilled strategic thinker, did not like to be captive to others’ ambitions.”

Governor Cuomo donned “sporty black fleece and cargo pants” to take reporters on a field trip in the Adirondacks yesterday. Mr. Cuomo was showing off a new 22,000 acre tract that has been added to the Adirondack Park, which he described as “such a magnificent site that it’s indescribable.”

District Leader Lincoln Restler finished 53 votes ahead of  Chris Olechowski after the absentees and affidavits were counted Friday evening. However, that number is within the threshold to trigger an automatic hand recount and the Olechowski camp thinks that a couple hundred favorable votes were miscounted at a Kent Ave precinct and will show up during the recount.

The Post accused Bill Eggler, a staffer for of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, of using a female alter ego to defend Mr. Silver online during the fallout over his post-sex scandal payout to the women who accused former Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez of inappropriate conduct. Mr. Eggler maintains the woman, who posted multiple comments attacking Mr. Silver’s critics, is real. “She’s a woman who lives in London. She’s a strange and reclusive character. It’s really her idea. She’s the one who started it and brought people in,” he said. Mr. Silver’s office has vowed to investigate the issue.

City & State made up for some of its recent departures by hiring Nick Powell as a staff reporter. Mr. Powell is the son of New York Times columnist Michael Powell who encouraged other reporters not to hold Nick’s “lineage against him” on Twitter. The younger Mr. Powell has previously contributed to the Philadelphia InquirerThe Brooklyn Paper, Philadelphia WeeklyGreenpoint Gazette, The Spirit News and, of course, The New York Times.

The two candidates vying to replace outgoing South Shore Assemblyman Lou Tobacco, Republican Joe Borelli and Democrat Anthony Mascoloheld a televized debate at the end of last week. It was a fairly tempered discussion for the very conservative district, and interestingly, both candidates flirted with the borough’s potential secession from the city. Quote Mr. Borelli, “Secession is a fun topic and it’s something that should never, ever, ever be taken off the table for Staten Island.”

“Florida. Pennsylvania. Wherever Romney needs need me, I’ll be there,” Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind declared. It’s not exactly a surprise from the conservative lawmaker, but it’s his strongest statement yet in favor in Mitt Romney. Will Mr. Romney take him up on the offer?

Alt-weekly chain Village Voice Media spun off its controversial classifieds site, into a separate company in a move widely seen as an effort to insulate the papers from the criticism and legal liability stemming from the site’s sex ads. The New York City Council passed a resolution calling for the shutdown of Backpage last month.

Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder is considering caucusing with Republicans if he wins his state Senate race against David Storobin. Insiders think Mr. Felder is basing his allegiance off the number of perks he’s able to extract from each party. “He will go to the highest bidder,” one said.

Democrat Dan Maffei has a new ad out hitting GOP Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle on … *drumroll* Medicare:

Morning Read: ‘She’s a Strange and Reclusive Character’