New York: ‘The governor is a governor, not a king,’ argues attorney in hearing to force Cuomo to set special election |

The plaintiffs suing to force a special congressional election told a federal judge that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking away the voice of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn on serious national issues. “We’re talking about the disenfranchisement of nearly 750,000 people who will never have a voice in the XL pipeline,” said Staten Island lawyer Ronald Castorina Jr. in a hearing in Brooklyn federal court Friday morning, referring to the national debate over the building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. “The governor is a governor, not a king,” Castorina added. Castorina, also a city Board of Elections Republican commissioner, represents six Staten Islanders and two Brooklyn residents who argue that Cuomo is violating their constitutional rights by not setting a special election for former Rep. Michael Grimm’s vacant seat in the 11th Congressional District. Grimm resigned effective Jan. 5. U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein will decide the case.

New York: Teen admits vandalizing New York City Congressman’s office |

A teenager with a guilty conscience has complicated a New York congressman’s claim that there was a politically motivated break-in at his campaign office. The eighth-grader confessed to a guidance counselor at his school on Tuesday that he and a friend were the ones who smashed windows over the weekend at the Staten Island campaign office of Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, said New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. Police called it a random act of vandalism. They said the teen only became aware his target was Grimm’s office after a wave of news reports about a possible break-in. The boy was expected to be charged with criminal mischief as a juvenile, Browne said.

New York: Staten Island Rep. Grimm calls break-in ‘attack on free elections’ |

An overnight intruder smashed several windows and gained entry into Rep. Michael Grimm’s New Dorp headquarters over the weekend, possibly tampering with computers inside the office, authorities said. Grimm’s staff discovered the damage Sunday morning — two large chunks of cement and some smaller rocks had been hurled through three, 4×8-foot vertical windows, according to a campaign spokeswoman. They also believed that someone had deleted computer hard drives. The congressman and his campaign staff believe the vandalism was staged to cover up the computer tampering. On further inspection it was determined the intruder had caused a different type of damage — someone installed the Linux operating system on the office’s computers, Grimm told the Advance Sunday night, and in the process wiped the hard drives clean. “All of my polling data, all of the data from my IDs of voters, and a bunch of other campaign information. But fortunately we had everything backed up from literally hours before, so we don’t lose anything because we have backups,” Grimm said. He has no doubt his office was targeted, and called the incident cowardly.