City & State: This Week’s Winners and Losers
It was another banner week for Cuomo the Barbarian. He got knocked for twisting arms over his tax deal, and anointed the new Governator for his ability to get things done. John Liu saw a dip in his approval numbers, but given the general malaise over the 2013 mayoral candidates, it hardly seems to matter. And the tragic death of a Brooklyn cop gave an unfortunate boost to Michael Bloomberg’s crusade against illegal guns. Here’s our weekly look at who’s up and who’s down in New York politics.
Christine Quinn — Former Mayor Ed Koch’s endorsement of the City Council speaker was no surprise, but reminded the political world that she has more institutional strength behind her than any of her 2013 mayoral rivals. And while none of them had inspiring numbers in the latest Quinnipiac poll, it matters that hers were the least uninspiring.
David Grandeau — The former ethics czar-turned-blogger has been a persistently strident critic of Albany-style dysfunction. And when new stat ethics commissioners were announced this week, Grandeau took to his blog to pick apart the nominees and highlight their numerous ties to lobbying groups and incarcerated pols. A blog is probably a more respectable outlet for fair and impartial judgment than a New York state ethics panel anyway.
Larry Seabrook — The Bronx councilman didn’t get a lot of good press during his corruption trial, and prosecutors are vying to retry the case against him. But for now Seabrook is a free man, thanks to a deadlocked jury that prompted the federal judge presiding over the case to declare a mistrial. It was another blow for Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan who also saw Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. walk free. Maybe Seabrook and Boyland can get together and toast their mutual good fortune – over toasted bagels.
Mike McKeon — Show me the money! The business-backed Committee to Save New York spent an astounding $9.7 million on Albany lobbying through October, according to a report released this week. The firm was represented by DKC then, but it’s now repped by McKeon’s firm, Mercury Public Affairs – which means dollar signs in his eyes. The only catch is that with the tax overhaul finished, the fight against the millionaire’s tax the Committee was prepping to lead may not materialize at all.
Eva Moskowitz – Her enemies are loud and many. But the charter school magnate barely batted an eye at the fierce opposition to her effort to open one of her Success schools in tony Brownstone Brooklyn. After all, Moskowitz has a short, Jewish billionaire angel watching out for her – namely Michael Bloomberg, champion of all downtrodden charters! Look for Moskowitz’s next Success charter to open up in the apartment across from you, and another in your kitchen nook.
Ravi Batra — What’s worse than being named to an ethics panel filled with a few people of questionable qualifications? Answer: Being considered the least ethical of the ethically questionable people. Enter Ravi Batra, a lawyer who has sued Law & Order and maintained ties to imprisoned politician Clarence Norman. Now every decision Batra makes is going to get the third degree, no matter how clean it really is.
Betty Little — The upstate senator can’t seem to let go of her problems with the prison gerrymandering bill passed by the Senate in 2010. And why should she? Even though the lawsuit against the bill was deemed frivolous and thrown out earlier this month, Little’s very survival is at stake. She has 13 prisons in her district and is the senator who stands to lose the most from the gerrymandering bill. But it still just makes her look like another politician bending the rules to justify her own existence.
Greg Floyd — So what was that all about? The leader of Teamsters Local 237 considered running for mayor as the labor candidate in 2013, then changed his mind just as flippantly. He still kept up the attacks on city Comptroller John Liu for his pension reform plan, but given Liu’s other troubles, it seems like kicking a man when he’s down.
Carl Paladino — The Buffalo developer kept his holiday tradition of firing off a rant-filled missive to the Albany press corps this year. And boy was it a doozy! This time the target was the indefatigable Times-Union reporter Jimmy Vielkind, whom Paladino accuses of rolling over for Andrew Cuomo. Sounds more like a desperate bid to remain relevant in a Cuomo-dominated era – after all, Cuomo was the one who really brought that baseball bat to Albany.
Cyrus Vance Jr. — After failing to reach a plea deal with Vance, hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters flooded into Manhattan court this week. And a number of them are still refusing any sort of dismissal agreements, hoping to have their days in court – and clogging up the system for the Manhattan D.A. That came on the heels of Vance’s general counsel, Caitlin Halligan, being blocked from the District of Columbia appeals court by U.S. Senate Republicans. Still, Vance has to be thankful this brutal year is almost over.
Read the full post at City & State.