Big Tech Target

NY Social Media Crackdown, NYC Mayor's Race, Planet Albany Spoof

Good morning from Albany, New York where lawmakers are entering the penultimate week of the 2024 Legislative Session!  Buckle up. 

As we head towards the end, Governor Kathy Hochul and key legislators are pushing a duo of internet safety bills—the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act (SAFE Act) and the Child Data Protection Act. The SAFE Act seeks to “prohibit social media platforms from providing an addictive feed to children younger than age 18 without parental consent and prohibits social media platforms from withholding non-addictive feed products or services where that consent is not obtained” while the Child Data Protection Act would significantly reign in youth internet data collection. Hochul, joined by Senate bill sponsor Andrew Gounardes and Assembly bill sponsor Nily Rozic offered, “Parents, everyone from infants to 18-year-olds, are worried about the uncontrolled world of social media influences, and… the uncertain future that lies ahead if we don’t put on the brakes now.” 

Both measures face heavy opposition from the tech industry and their lobbyists who advise against a patchwork of state-by-state regulations, claiming that will make administering social media and tech platforms near impossible. Still, the bill enjoys a healthy roster of support, including from groups like Common Sense Media, the state School Boards Association, New York State United Teachers union, multiple urban leagues, Mothers Against Media Addiction, and the United Federation of Teachers who counter that something must be done now and, furthermore, point out that counting on anything out of Washington these days is a fool’s errand. Outlook is likely. 

Other major measures, including NY HEAT Act, Expanded Producer Responsibility, Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act, and the Elder Parole and the Fair and Timely Parole Act are trending towards no agreements this year.  That said, Governor Hochul, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins met late last week to discuss end of session priorities.  While nothing was agreed to, there was an agreement to keep talking on a couple key issues, so stay tuned.

What’s happening in Albany in the final days of the Legislative Session?

Our Jack O'Donnell talks to WBEN’s ‘A New Morning’ team about the issues on the table, including an expanded bottle bill…

Listen here.

As the amount of support for a primary challenge to New York City Mayor Eric Adams grows, Governor Hochul is electing to keep her powder dry. When asked by reporters if she supports Adams’ reelection campaign, Hochul said, “I’m not doing endorsements for elections even this November yet, other than my president. Read into it all you want, but I’m not doing endorsements for an election that is a year and a half away.”

As we mentioned in an earlier memo, progressive state Senator Zellnor Myrie is exploring a primary challenge, as is former Comptroller Scott Stringer. Hochul has enjoyed a productive relationship with Adams, despite the onslaught of federal ethics investigations and a declining approval rating. While an endorsement this early would be outside of the norm, it should be noted that Adams declined to endorse Hochul in her 2022 primary until 2 weeks before the election. Furthermore, there were rumblings this week that Director of State Operations Kathryn Garcia, who finished a close second to Adams last cycle, is exploring her own campaign.  Garcia denied reaching out to anyone.  More to come here.

In Washington, D.C., Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) has emerged as an underdog to succeed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as the leader of the Senate Republicans. Scott’s fortune is largely tied to the success or failure of Donald Trump in November given his close personal relationship with the former President. When asked about his motivation for seeking the position, Scott said, “We need a sea change. I talked to Trump about this today. He said he’s excited I’m getting into the race. We’re going to change the Senate. And we’re going to be the Senate that helps Donald Trump get his conservative agenda done.”

Senators John Thune (R-SD) and John Cornyn (R-TX), the presumptive favorites to be the next leader, welcomed Scott’s addition to the race saying, “He’s talked about it. Again, it’s an open race. Anybody who wants to run is entitled to run.” 

Speaking of Floridians, Governor Ron DeSantis has officially declared it “Freedom Summer” and has directed his Department of Transportation to refrain from lighting up the state’s bridges with any color other than red, white, and blue.  Hmm. 

As we inch closer to November, many of New York’s Congressional races—which could very well decide which party controls the House—are continuing to come into focus. The nonpartisan political analysis, the Cook Political Report, recently ranked NY-04 on Long Island and NY-17 and NY-19 in the Hudson Valley as lean Republican while the Syracuse-based NY-22 seat, currently held by Republican Brandon Williams, leans to the Democrats. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and his Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) are keenly aware of the importance of New York’s swing districts. The CFL announced a $141 million series of ad buys and the highest percentage—over $30 million—will be spent in New York.

In a statement, the CFL said, “The map is undoubtedly small, and we are in a dogfight. Yet we are in a stronger position than the mainstream narrative suggests, with a promising political environment and standout Members and candidates in the toughest races. Effective campaigns and resources will really matter.” 

Former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has announced she will be voting for Donald Trump in November. Her harsh criticism of Trump on the campaign trail led many to speculate that she would potentially support President Joe Biden, or at least refrain from making any public endorsement.

Nonetheless, Haley made it clear she might want to run in 2028 saying, "I will be voting for Trump. Having said that, I stand by what I said in my suspension speech. Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him. And I genuinely hope he does that.” The Biden campaign is hoping that enough Haley voters will still cross party lines to make a difference in November, particularly in key states like Wisconsin and Georgia. 

In case you missed it, a new third party candidate has joined the race. He was robbed in 2000.


Congrats to the journalists in the Legislative Correspondents’ Association on another successful LCA show.  The group that covers politics and government in Albany has been hosting the roast for 122 years. Proceeds are donated to charity.

Dubbed Kathy-Land this year, the show featured several spoofs, including one with Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay responding to the question of what there is to do in Albany.

In the satire video, Barclay goes fishing in the Hudson River. He finds a copy of former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's COVID-19 book, which he shows to former Gov. George E. Pataki.

Watch here:

Not to be outdone, Rockland County Congressman Mike Lawler jumped into the fray with a video taking plenty of shots of his own.

Check out his tweet and heed the warning.

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Michael Cinquanti, OD&A’s Senior VP & Counsel, is honored to be recognized for his work leading the fight against climate change. Cinquanti joins OD&A clients & partners named to City and State NY’s 2024 Trailblazers in Clean Energy list!

City and State NY writes: Michael Cinquanti is not just a lobbyist for the clean energy industry – he is working across multiple sectors advocating for clean energy from an economic, labor, construction, and environmental perspective. In his work with the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, he assisted workers adapting to the clean energy transition. He has also worked on developing projects in representing RWE Clean Energy and RWE Offshore Wind. As part of the team for Community Offshore Wind, he helped the project win an award to develop 1.3 gigawatts of wind energy.

Congrats Mike!

Client in the News

Endeavor Health Advances East Side Mental Health Facility

Plans to construct a 16,000-square-foot counseling facility on Buffalo’s East Side by OD&A client, Endeavor Health, a West Seneca-based mental health agency, are advancing through municipal reviews. [Read more.]

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As part of Governor Hochul's crackdown on addictive social media feeds to minors, she is also considering a ban on kids using cellphones at school. Do you support or oppose this idea?

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Results of the Last Poll

As we near the unofficial start of summer, we've brought back our popular seasonal food poll. What is your favorite topping on a hamburger?

This Day in History

May 27, 1975-Stanley Cup Final, The Aud, Buffalo, NY: Philadelphia Flyers win back-to-back titles; shutting out the Buffalo Sabres, 2-0 for a 4-2 series win. Watch the game here.


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