Rick Brand: 2012 Outstanding LI Journalist

Newsday politics reporter Rick Brand has been named the Press Club of Long Island’s 2012 Outstanding Long Island Journalist.

In his nearly 34-year Newsday career, Brand, 61, has covered assignments in Washington, Albany and around the country, and was part of the staff that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of the TWA Flight 800 crash.

Brand, who had stints covering Albany during the Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo administrations, has spent two decades writing about daily workings of Suffolk County government.

He wrote extensively about the administration of former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, from his ill-fated quest for governor and his decision not to seek re-election and turnover his $4 million campaign fund to end a probe by the Suffolk district attorney, to the administration’s firing of Santa Claus.

He also covered 2010’s closest congressional race in the nation, where U.S. Rep. Timothy Bishop narrowly edged out Republican millionaire businessman Randy Altschuler.

Brand wrote about the licensing of the Shoreham nuclear power plant, the only multi-billion nuclear power generator in the country that never opened; the rise and downfall of the late Suffolk GOP chairman John Powell, a one-time political wunderkind who helped make George Pataki governor and was later jailed on bribe taking; the congressional race that resulted in the election of Carolyn McCarthy, a widow from the Long Island Rail Road massacre who became a gun control advocate and Long Island’s first woman congresswoman; the 1997 U.S. Senate battle between Alfonse D’Amato and Chuck Schumer; and the early part of Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign.

His current beat includes writing a Sunday column on Long Island politics.

At one time, he wrote an East End celebrity gossip column.

In 2007, the washingtonpost.com’s The Fix blog named Brand one of the “best state political reporters” in the nation.

Before joining Newsday, Brand, a graduate of St. Bonaventure University in western New York, worked as news editor of Suffolk Life Newspapers, a reporter for the Long Island News and an intern for the Buffalo Courier Express.

Brand lives in Blue Point with his wife Katherine, a science research teacher and president of the Bayport-Blue Point Teachers Association. The couple have adult twins, Robert and Rebecca, who both live in the Washington, D.C., area.

Brand will receive the award at PCLI’s annual Media Awards dinner on June 7 at the Woodbury Country Club.

Dominick Miserandino
Press Club of Long Island


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