SENATE REPUBLICANS HIRE CONSULTANT WITH ABRAMOFF TIES: The Senate Republican Campaign Committee has paid $92,640 to a firm run by consultant Susan Ralston, who resigned as an aide to Karl Rove because of her involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal:


* Gov. Andrew Cuomos Queens convention center plans are raising eyebrows among convention experts, who say the distance from Manhattan will deter prospective event holders and hoteliers, the New York Times writes:

* New Yorkers gave $13.3 million to so-called Super PACs in 2011, making the state second only to Texas in fundraising for the groups, the New York Post writes:

* The State Board of Elections proposed guidelines for Super PACs are designed with a loophole that may allow the PACs not to disclose any fundraising information at all, the Times Union reports:

* A state judge ruled in favor of the upstate town of Drydens right to ban hydrofracking within town borders, the Times reports:

* Amid reports that controversial NYPD stop and frisk tactics increased 600 percent under Mayor Michael Bloombergs administration, the policys critics formed a new coalition to make the practice a 2013 mayoral race litmus test, the Times writes:

* State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has received more than a quarter of his campaign contributions from the unions he is trying to defend from Cuomos proposed pension reforms, the Daily News writes:

* But according to a profile of the comptroller in the New York Observer, public sector union contributions only make up 12 percent of DiNapolis campaign account: