MetroFocus: November 8, 2021

FRONTPAGE FORECAST

The race for governor and city council speaker heats up as New York’s next mayor gets ready to take charge. We’ll unpack both major contests and where negotiations stand as the state’s political power players return from the influential SOMOS Conference in Puerto Rico. We’ll also dive into what the power shake-up at City Hall could mean for New Yorkers as Mayor-elect Eric Adams continues his transition, Mayor Bill de Blasio considers announcing a run for governor and Congress passes a trillion dollar infrastructure bill with billions for NYC. We’re breaking down what’s next for the tri-state with three Frontpage Forecast veterans whose shows keep you in the know every week- political strategist and “Sunday Civics” host L. Joy Williams, Conservative Color Coalition chair and “Saturday Agenda” anchor Joseph Pinion, and Gotham Gazette executive editor and “Max Politics” host Ben Max.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, THE PETER G.

PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO THE 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IN THIS WEEK'S LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR HEADLINES, THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR AND CITY COUNSEL SPEAKER HEATS UP AS NEW YORK'S NEXT MAYOR GET READY TO TAKE CHARGE.

WE'LL UNPACK BOTH CONTESTS AND WHERE THINGS STAND AS THE POLITICAL POWER PLAYERS RETURN FROM AN IMPORTANT CONFERENCE.

AND WE'LL DIVE INTO WHAT THE POWER SHAKEUP AT CITY HALL COULD MEAN FOR NEW YORKERS.

THIS AS MAYOR ELECT ERIC ADAMS HOPES TO POTENTIALLY END THE MASK MANDATE FOR CITY SCHOOLS.

BILL De BLASIO CONSIDERS ANNOUNCING A RUN FOR GOVERNOR, AND CONGRESS APPROVES A TRILLION DOLLAR INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE.

AND WE'RE TRACKING THE CASE AGAINST FORMER GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, WHICH WAS JUST THROWN DO SBO DOUBT.

THE HEAD PROSECUTOR ASKED A JUDGE FOR MORE TIME TO LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE.

SO LET'S GET THE CONVERSATION STARTED WITH THREE FRONT PAGE FORECASTS VETERANS.

NOW, FIRST WE HAVE ELJOY WILLIAMS, A POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND HOST OF SUNDAY CIVICS, WHICH YOU CAN FIND ON MOST MAJOR PODCAST SITES.

GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME BACK.

WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY JOSEPH PINNIAN, WHO IS A GOP STRATEGIST, CHAIR OF THE CONSERVATIVE COLOR COALITION, AND ANCHORS THE CABLE NEWS PROGRAM 'SATURDAY AGENDA.'

JOSEPH, ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

AND IT WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT THE GOTHAM EXECUTIVE EDITOR ON NEW YORK POLITICS.

MAX, GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON.

THANKS, JENNA.

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

SO BEN, LET'S JUST START WITH THIS TRIP TO PUERTO RICO.

SO WE UNDERSTAND THAT A LOT OF THE BIG POWER PLAYERS IN NEW YORK STATE WENT.

WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE PURPOSE OF THIS TRIP, AND DO WE KNOW WHAT, IF ANYTHING, CAME OUT OF IT?

WELL, THERE'S A FEW PURPOSES OF THE ANNUAL CONVERSATION, WHICH WAS CANCELED LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF COVID, SO MAKE THING YEAR'S CELEBRATION A IT WILL MORE LIVELY AND A DESIRABLE LOCATION FOR MANY OF NEW YORK'S POLITICAL POWER PLAYERS AND SUCH.

YOU KNOW, IN ONE ESSENCE, IT'S SUPPOSED TO BRING ATTENTION TO PUERTO RICO, BRING TOURISM THERE, AND HAVE ELECTED OFFICIALS WITH NEW YORK BEING HOME TO SO MANY PUERTO RICANS, PAYING ATTENTION TO THE ISLAND AND ITS NEEDS AND STRENGTHEN THE CONNECTION.

BEYOND, THAT IT'S CHANCE FOR THE POLITICAL CLASS TO PARTY AND NETWORK AND MAKE SOME DEALS OR POTENTIAL DEALS.

THIS YEAR IS COMING JUST OFF THE HEELS OF THE CITY'S ELECTION, IT TURNED INTO A MAJOR CELEBRATION OF ERIC ADAMS AND A PLACE FOR JOCKEYING FOR THE DGUBERNATORIA CANDIDATES, AND A PLACE WHERE THERE WAS A LOT OF DISCUSSION FOR THE RACE TO BE THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER, WHICH WILL HAPPEN OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND MONTHS AND BE DECIDED BY THE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS IN THE NEW CLASS IN A VOTE IN JANUARY, AN INTERN ALECK SHUN FOR THE LEADER OF THAT LEGISLATIVE BODY, THAT IS THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL ELECTED OFFICIAL IN THE CITY BEYOND THE MAYOR, AND SOMEONE THAT WILL BE A KEY PARTNER FOR THE MAYOR OR MAYBE A KEY ANTAGONIST, OR MAYBE BOTH.

OF COURSE.

ELJOY, EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BE CURIOUS HOW THE GUBERNATORIAL RACE SHAPES UP.

BUT I WANT TO START WITH THE POINT BEN BROUGHT UP ABOUT THE CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER.

HOW DO YOU SEE THIS SHAPING UP IN ITS, I GUESS, PERHAPS INFANCY?

YOU KNOW, WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THIS HAS BEEN MENTIONED, THIS IS SOMETHING THE COUNCIL MEMBERS VOTE FOR THIS POSITION THEMSELVES.

IT IS NOT A POSITION WHERE WE GET TO GO TO THE BALLOT, GET TO GO TO THE BOOTH AND CAST OUR BALLOT.

THIS IS AMONG THE MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL.

BUT THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER ACTORS INVOLVED IN THE DECISION.

THERE ARE UNIONS, THERE IS THE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC LEADERS OR OTHER COUNTY LEADERS INVOLVED.

THERE ARE A LOT OF POLITICS IN THIS, BECAUSE THIS IS A POSITION THAT IS PICKED POLITICALLY, RIGHT?

BUT IT'S A VERY POWERFUL POSITION AND WILL SET THE STAGE OF WHO IS ULTIMATELY GOING TO BE THE SPEAKER, WILL SET THE STAGE ON HOW THE REST OF THE GOVERNMENT, WILLIBEING THE LEGISLATIVE BODIES OF THE CITY COUNCIL WILL WORK WITH ERIC ADAMS.

WILL THERE BE A SPEAKER ABLE TO CORRAL THIS NEW CLASS AND GET SOME POIGNANT THINGS DONE OUT OF THE COULDNCIL MEMBERS WHO PROMID A LOT OF THINGS.

IF YOU GO BACK THE PRIMARY ELECTION, DISTRICTS ACROSS THE CITY, COUNCIL MEMBERS PROMISE A LOT OF THINGS, WHAT THEY WOULDN'T DO, WHAT THEY WANTED TO GET DONE, SO WILL THIS BE A SPEAKER THAT WILL HELP SHAPE BOTH COUNCIL MEMBERS TO BE ABLE TO GET THAT WORK DONE, OR WILL IT BE SOMEONE WHO WILL WORK HAND IN HAND WITH MAYOR-ELECT ERIC ADAMS IN GETTING THE ADMINISTRATION'S AGENDA DONE?

OR DO THEY HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDA COMPLETELY?

SO THERE ARE A LOT OF VARIABLES THERE.

AND A LOT OF POLITICAL CONVERSATIONS ON WHETHER OR NOT BRO BROOKLYN HAS TOO MUCH INITIALS OF ELECTED LEADERSHIP ACROSS THE CITY.

SHOULD IT BE SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF BROOKLYN, OUTSIDE OF MANHATTAN, RIGHT?

AND THEN THERE'S THE CONVERSATION OF SHOULD IT BE A WOMAN, CONSIDERING THAT SO MANY OF THE NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS GOING IN ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR, ARE WOMEN AND IT'S TIME FOR ANOTHER WOMEN SPEAKER, SO WE DON'T HAVE MALE LEADERSHIP ACROSS THE BOARD.

BUT THEN YOU HAVE OTHER FOLKS -- THERE'S CONVERSATIONS HAPPENING OVER THERE, BUT THEN THERE'S ADRIAN ADAMS IN THE QUEENS AND THE PRIDE DELEGATION.

BUT THEN YOU HAVE JUSTIN IN BROOKLYN.

SO EVERYBODY IS LIKE DEALING SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE MOST AFFECTED BY THIS DECISION.

JOSEPH, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, DO WE RELY ON WHAT WE HAVE SEEN?

BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW FACES ON CITY COUNCIL, SO DO WE RELY ON WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN HISTORY OR COULD THIS BE A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME HOW THE NEXT COUNCIL SPEAKER IS CHOSEN?

IT BETTER BE A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME.

I THINK TO ELJOY'S POINT, MANY PROMISES WERE MADE, PROMISES HAVE BEEN MADE YEAR AFTER YEAR, AND YET BY AND LARGE, THE CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO GET WORSE.

PUBLIC HOUSING IN NEW YORK CITY IS WORSE TODAY THAN IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO.

THE STATE OF OUR SCHOOLS ARE WORSE TODAY THAN THEY WERE FOUR YEARS AGO.

WE ARE NOT ON THE RIGHT TRAJECTORY WHEN YOU START TALKING ABOUT DELIVERING OUTCOMES FOR MOST VULNERABLE PORTIONS OF THE NEW YORK CITY POPULATION.

AND JUST -- I WOULD INCLUDE THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO, BECAUSE B BY AND LARGE, 58% OF PUERTO RICAN CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN POVERTY AND WE'RE DOING LITTLE ABOUT IT.

SO ON SOME BASIC LEVEL, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE IN PUERTO RICO GAINING INFLUENCE BUT DOING LITTLE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE OR HERE AT HOME, THE PROMISES ARE MADE, THE PROMISES ARE NOT KEPT, AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF THOSE PROMISES BEING FULFILLED ARE LEFT WITH THEIR NOSE PRESSED UP AGAINST THE GLASS.

SO LONG STORY SHORT, HOPEFULLY THIS COUNCIL TAKES THE JOB OF IMPROVING LIVES SERIOUSLY AND NOT JUST MAKING POLITICAL PROMISES TO HELP THEM STAY IN OFFICE AN EXTRA TERM.

OKAY.

WELL, NOW, BEN, I WANT TO CIRCLE BACK TO THE OTHER BIG RACE THAT'S GOING TO BE -- I SUPPOSE ALREADY HAS KICKED OFF FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE.

THAT, OF COURSE, IS THE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARIES.

HOW DO YOU SEE, I GUESS, THE WAY THAT THE REPUBLICAN AND THE DEMOCRAT, LIKE WHO DO YOU SEE HAVING A MORE CROWDED FIELD, HOW DO YOU SEE THIS SHAPING UP?

RIGHT.

WE'RE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM THESE JUNE PRIMARIES.

EVERYONE NEEDS TO REMEMBER WITH THE CITY ELECTIONS, NOW WITH ALL PRIMARIES MOVED UP TO JUNE, THIS IS HAPPENING FAST.

AND THAT'S ONE OF THE UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES AT LEAST IN NEW YORK CITY AND OTHER PLACES THAT ONCE YOU HAVE A MAYORAL ELECTION NOW, YOU'RE TURNING RIGHT AROUND INTO THESE GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARIES.

ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, THERE'S THREE CANDIDATES RUNNING, REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN OF LONG ISLAND SEEMS TO BE THE FAVORITE AT THIS POINT.

HE'S JUST RACKING UP SUPPORT FROM DIFFERENT COUNTY LEADERS AND THE STATE PARTY ACROSS THE STATE.

AGAIN, THAT IS SORT OF INFORMALLY BEFORE THEY GET TO THEIR CONFERENCE AS THIS GETS GOING.

HE'S THE FRONT RUNNER AT THIS POINT.

YOU ALSO HAVE ROB AND ANDREW, AND THAT FIELD ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE.

RIGHT NOW, WE ONLY HAVE GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL WHO WILL RUN AS FULL TERM AS GOVERNOR, AND LA TISHA JAMES MADE THIS HER SORT OF REAL ENTRANCE INTO THE RACE, TRYING TO PUT HER MESSAGE OUT THERE AND GAIN SUPPORT.

WE'RE EXPECTING JAMANI WILLIAMS TO RUMP INTO THE RACE, EXPECTING BILL De BLASIO TO JUMP INTO THE RACE.

AND SO THIS RACE IS REALLY SHAPING UP, AND IT'S REALLY GOING TO GET GOING AFTER THE NEW YEAR.

BUT A LOT OF PIECES ARE IN PLACE RIGHT NOW AND WE'RE EXPECTING MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS VERY SOON.

OF COURSE, BEING NEW YORK STATE AND FOR US, NEW YORK CITY, SO MUCH ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO DEMOCRATS.

BUT JOSEPH, I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE ON HOW THE GOP FIELD IS SHAPING UP, CONSIDERING THAT NEW YORK DEMOCRATS HAVE JUST -- THEY'VE BEEN HIT SO MANY TIMES?

LOOK, TO ME THIS ELECTION HAS SHADES OF 2010 ALL OVER AGAIN.

YOU END UP HAVING REPUBLICANS WITH THE PROHIBITIVE FRONT-RUNNER IN SOMETHING LIKE ZELDIN.

HE'S RACKING UP COMMITMENTS AND DOLLARS.

HE'S ON PACE TO RUN THE MOST FORMIDABLE CAMPAIGN THAT WE HAVE SEEN RUN BY A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE STATEWIDE IN OVER 20 YEARS.

HAVING SAID THAT, I THINK THERE'S BEEN THIS NOTION THAT SOMEHOW THEY WILL NOT BE A FACTOR ON THE BALLOT.

YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE POLLING, IF YOU SAID NAME I.D. OR WHATEVER IT'S WORTH, ANDREW GIULIANI HAS NAME I.D. IN SPADES.

SO THE QUESTION IS, WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF DOLLARS REQUIRED TO CLOSE THAT GAP?

SO I DON'T THINK ANYTHING IS A FOREGONE CONCLUSION, BUT I CERTAINLY THINK, AGAIN, REPUBLICANS ARE POISED TO BE WELL SITUATED TO TAKE A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE.

BECAUSE DEMOCRATS ARE PREPARING TO EAT THEIR YOUNG, FROM THE GUBERNATORIAL, TO WHAT'S SHAPING UP TO BE A SHARP ELBOW RACE IN THESE RACES.

SO DEMOCRATS ARE SEARCHING ON THE ROCKS IN THE CREEK BED, LOOKING FOR DEMOCRATIC VOTES, AND THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REPUBLICANS TO SIMPLY, IN MANY WAYS, DO WHAT HAPPENED IN VIRGINIA AND JUST TAKE A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE ABOUT THE ISSUES AFFECTING US ALL.

OKAY.

SO WE HEARD BEN RUN DOWN THE LIST OF WHO WE KNOW WE KNOW IS GOING TO RUN.

THAT'S A CROWDED FIELD.

ARE THE DEMOCRATS POTENTIALLY GOING TO EAT THEIR YOUNG WITH THIS PRIMARY?

NO.

I THINK THE DEMOCRATS IN TERMS OF WHERE VOTES COME FROM FOR A GUBERNATORIAL RACE, HAVING A SPIRITED PRIMARY, WILL BE ABLE TO JOSTLE SOME OF THOSE VOTERS WHO DON'T GET ENGAGED ON A REGULAR BASIS.

IT WILL BE MIDTERM ELECTION.

OTHER THINGS WILL BE HAPPENING.

SO YOU WILL HAVE MORE ATTENTION PAID TO THE RACE.

AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE A SPIRITED PRIMARY ELECTION.

I DON'T THINK GIVEN THE FOLKS THAT ARE RUNNING CURRENTLY, AND WE'LL HAVE TO REMAIN TO SEE IF ONE OF THE THINGS WE DID NOT TALK ABOUT IS WHETHER OR NOT SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS WILL GO AWAY AND CUOMO WILL APPEAR IN A PRIMARY RACE IN SOME CAPACITY, WHETHER IT'S HIM OR -- OR HIM SUPPORTING OR HIS FOLKS SUPPORTING SOMEONE ELSE AND HOW THAT WILL PLAY OUT IN A PRIMARY ELECTION.

JUST THINKING ABOUT -- I WOULD BE EXCITED TO A DEBATE WITH CURRENT GOVERNOR HOCHUL AND ATTORNEY GENERAL LATISHA JAMES, VYING FOR THE GOVERNOR'S RACE.

I DON'T SEE THEM GOING AFTER EACH OTHER IN A WAY THAT WOULD TURN OFF VOTERS, AND I SEE THEM BEING ABLE TO DISCUSS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE STATE WHAT THEY'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT, AND THEIR PLAN FORWARD, AND THEN BEING ABLE TO BRING OUT MORE PEOPLE TO ENGAGE IN THE PROCESS.

AND THEN BEING ABLE TO TAKE THAT, CONTINUE THAT VOTER ENGAGEMENT AND GROW ALL THE WAY TO A GENERAL ELECTION TO BEAT WHATEVER REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE IS PUT UP BEFORE THEM.

JUST QUICKLY --

OH, SURE.

I WOULD SAY ONE OF MY EARLY POINTS THERE ABOUT THE PRIMARIES BEING MOVED UP TO JOUN, WHETHER IT'S ON THE REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRATIC SIDE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A TOUGH PRIMARY OR MULTIPLE PRIMARIES HAPPENING, THERE'S NOW THE LONGER GENERAL ELECTION PERIOD, SO CANDIDATES CAN RECOVER, THERE'S MORE OF AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE SOME TOUGH PRIMARIES AND THEN NOT HAVE THE WINNERS SO BLOODIED THAT THEY ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE FOR THE GENERAL.

I THINK ALSO TO THAT POINT, I WOULD AGREE THERE IS A LONG HISTORY OF SPIRITED PRIMARIES HELPING IDENTIFY VOTERS.

THAT BEING SAID, I THINK THE NATURE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE FIELD FOR GOVERNOR, WHEJ N YOU LOOK AT THE JUXTAPOSITION AT HOW THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS POSITIONED, IF SOMEBODY LIKE A TOM SWANZY HOPS INTO THE RACE, HOW THAT IMPACTS THE CURRENT GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL.

IT'S INEVITABLE THIS PRIMARY WILL BE QUITE CONTENTIOUS.

SO THE DEMOCRATS COULD BE WISE TO UNDERSTAND THAT, BECAUSE YOU COULD END UP IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED A TON OF VOTERS, AND A LOT OF THEM DO NOT SHOW UP IN NOVEMBER, BECAUSE THEY FEEL THERE'S A SOUR TASTE THAT'S BEEN LEFT IN THEIR MOUTH.

IS THAT A CONCERN STILL?

FOR THIS, I GUESS, OFF-OFF YEAR ELECTION, EVEN FOR THE NEW YORK CITY, VOTER TURNOUT NUMBERS WERE NOT THAT HIGH, ELJOY.

HOW CRITICAL IS THAT GOING TO BE TO ENSURE THAT THE COALITION, THE DELEGATE COALITION THAT SAY PUT BIDEN INTO OFFICE DOES COME OUT AGAIN?

WELL, AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, IT'S ALSO A MIDTERM ELECTION IN THAT YOU WILL HAVE GREATER ATTENTION.

YOU HAVE CONGRESSIONAL RACES HAPPENING AND RE-ELECTION.

THERE'S GOING TO BE NATIONAL ATTENTION ON ELECTIONS IN GENERAL ACROSS THE BOARD, BECAUSE IT'S A MIDTERM ELECTION.

AND FOLKS MAY NOT THINK ABOUT HAVING A SPIRITED GENERAL ELECTION IN NEW YORK, GIVEN THAT WE HAVE THIS SORT OF 8-1 DEMOCRATIC SITUATION.

BUT THAT ATTENTION COMBINED WITH THAT LONGER RUNWAY TO A GENERAL ELECTION.

IF YOU HAVE NATIONAL MOVES TALKING ABOUT MIDTERM ELECTIONS AND BEING ABLE TO GO BACK, IF YOU HAVE LOCAL, YOU KNOW, ELECTIONS HAPPENING, PLUS A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION HAPPENING, I THINK ALL OF THAT IS A RECIPE, IF DONE CORRECTLY, ALL OF THAT IS A RECIPE FOR GREATER TURNOUT AND BEING ABLE TO GROW A PARTY, WHETHER THAT'S ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OR THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE.

AND LET ME JUST SAY THIS, EVEN HAVING, AS PEOPLE MAY DESCRIBE IT AS I THINK JOSEPH MENTIONED, EATING OUR YOUNG IN TERMS OF HAVING WHAT SOME DESCRIBE AS, YOU KNOW, A VERY LEFT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AND A MODERATE PARTY THAT.

IS A REALITY OF THE DEMOCRATS THAT EXIST IN NEW YORK STATE.

THERE ARE PEOPLE ALL OVER THAT SPECTRUM.

THE SAME THING ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN NEW YORK.

IT'S NOT LIKE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN NEW YORK HAS JUST BEEN THIS WELL-OILED MACHINE, RIGHT?

CERTAINLY NOT.

SO THERE IS VOTER ENGAGEMENT AND ACTUALLY GROWING A PARTY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN ON THAT SIDE, AS WELL.

NOT TO MENTION THE WFP AND THE OTHER PARTIES WHO WERE -- I CAN'T SPEAK FOR OTHER PARTIES, BUT I KNOW FOR WFP THAT IS CONTINUING TO BEAT THE BUSHES AND IDENTIFYING AND PULLING OUT VOTERS.

SO THERE IS OPPORTUNITY THERE, IF DONE RIGHT, IF PLANNED AND EXECUTED ON ALL PARTY'S STANDPOINT, NOT ONLY THE PARTY APPARATUS, BUT CANDIDATES SEEKING VOTES TO ACTUALLY ENGAGE VOTERS AND HAVE A HIGHER TURNOUT IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

I'LL JUST ADD VERY QUICKLY, DEMOCRATS CLEARLY WILL BE A FAVORITE BECAUSE OF THE VOTER ENROLLMENT ADVANTAGE FOR STATEWIDE OFFICES.

BUT IF THERE'S A YEAR FOR THE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE TO HAVE A SHOT, THIS IS GOING TO BE IT.

THERE IS A LOT TO BE SEEN.

IF REPUBLICANS NOMINATE A STRONG CANDIDATE AND THEY ARE ABLE TO REACH ACROSS THE MIDDLE TO CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS, IT WILL BE AN UPHILL BATTLE BECAUSE OF WHERE ENROLLMENT ADVANTAGE LIES.

TO ELJOY'S POINT, WE DON'T KNOW ANDREW CUOMO'S ROLE WILL BE IN THE GUBERNATORIAL RACE.

ASSUMING HE'S NOT ON THE BALLOT, THIS IS A NEW BALL GAME.

HE'S DOMINATED THE LAST THREE GUBERNATORIAL CYCLES IN NEW YORK, AND IT'S A VERY DIFFERENT PLAYING FIELD WHEN HE'S NOT INVOLVED.

I THINK TO THAT POINT, MAX, IF YOU LOOK WHAT TRANSPIRED IN 2010, YOU HAVE REPUBLICANS POISED TO DO QUITE WELL WITH THE PROHIBITIVE FAVORITE IN SOMEBODY LIKE RICK HASIO AND CARL PALIDINO UPSETTING THE APPLE CART.

SO I THINK, AGAIN, YOU HAD ELIOT SPITZER FORCED OUT OF OFFICE, YOU HAD A LAME DUCK IN GOVERNOR PATERSON.

SO THE CONDITIONS WE SEE TODAY ARE SIMILAR TO THEN, BUT WHAT WILL REPUBLICANS DO, WILL THEY CIRCLE THE WAGONS OR PUT FORTH THEIR BEST EFFORT AND WILL DEMOCRATS BE ABLE TO AVOID THE TYPE OF SHARP DIVISIONS THAT WE SAW IN THE AFTERMATH OF PERHAPS HILLARY CLINTON AND BERNIE SANDERS OR BEFORE THAT, HILLARY CLINTON AND BARACK OBAMA?

CONCERNING THAT HIS NAME HAS COME UP SEVERAL TIMES, FORMER GOVERNOR CUOMO, BEN, CAN YOU TELL US WHERE THE POTENTIAL CHARGES PERHAPS STAND?

BECAUSE SOME STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN ALBANY.

YEAH.

I WON'T GO INTO ALL THE DETAILS BECAUSE IT'S MURKY AND THINGS COULD CHANGE BY THE HOUR, BY THE DAY.

BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THERE IS SOME REAL TENSION BETWEEN THE ALBANY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE SHERIFF AND QUESTIONS AROUND THIS COMPLAINT OF FORCEABLE TOUCHING AGAINST CUOMO FROM A FORMER AIDE.

SO THE COURT DATE HAS BEEN MOVED BACK AS YOU SAID.

WE'RE NOW LOOKING AT A POTENTIAL DATE IN JANUARY, BUT WE'LL SEE IF THAT HAPPENS.

SO THERE WILL BE A LOT OF QUESTIONS FOR THOSE OFFICIALS, AND A LOT OF DEBATE CONTINUING IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE THAT PROBABLY SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING, THIS SHOULD BE HANDLED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS MORE QUIETLY.

AND IT'S JUST AS A MATTER OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS, PRETTY STRANGE TO SEE THEM CRITICIZING EACH OTHER IN THE PRESS AND THAT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD FOR ANYBODY.

SO WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS THERE, BUT IT'S GOTTEN MESSY AND MURKY AND WAE DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT WILL HEAD.

WE TALKED ABOUT WHO MIGHT BE RUNNING FOR WHAT OFFICE.

BUT I WANT TO SORT OF TOUCH ON GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING, OR POTENTIALLY DOING SOMETHING WITH.

THAT, THE MASSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE BILL DID PASS IN D.C.

WE'RE EXPECTING JOE BIDEN TO SIGN IT.

BUT ELJOY, I WANTED TO GET YOUR TAKE ON WHAT YOU SEE THAT DOING FOR NEW YORK STATE?

WE'VE SEEN NEW YORK POLITICIANS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO SUPPORTED IT.

AND NEW YORK HAS BEEN IN A LOT OF NEED OF INFRASTRUCTURE.

AS A NERD, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS I FRY TO TELL PEOPLE ON MY OPEN SHOW IS THINKING ABOUT THE AGE OF THE COUNTRY, AND THEN THINKING ABOUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND THINKING ABOUT THE ABLE OF SOME OF OUR STATES AND CITIES.

NEW YORK CITY AND NEW YORK STATE, BEING ONE OF THOSE IN TERMS OF HOW WE BUILT THINGS ACROSS THIS STATE, WHETHER IT'S OUR SUBWAYS, PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDINGS, WHICH I HAVE A HEARD FOR, TO AMTRAK, TO OTHER, YOU KNOW, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS, WHETHER IT'S THE SEWER.

WE DID ALL OF THIS MASSIVE DEVELOPMENT IN NEW YORK CITY AND PLUGGED RIGHT INTO A SEWER SYSTEM THAT IS, YOU KNOW, DECREPIT, RIGHT?

SO THERE ARE ALL THESE THINGS THAT YOU CAN POINT TO, TO NEW YORKERS.

JUST STAYING ON THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THAT NEED INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT.

AND THEN YOU LOOK AT PLACES ACROSS THE STATE, NOT JUST LOOKING AT NEW YORK CITY.

BUT THERE'S INFRASTRUCTURE THAT COULD BE DEVELOPED UPSTATE AND ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADDRESSING OTHER ENERGY USES.

BUT THEN ALSO BRINGING JOBS TO THE STATE.

PARTICULARLY IN THE WESTERN PART AND UPSTATE NEW YORK, THERE ARE THESE SMALLER TOWNS THAT HAVE SEEN OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DECADES NOT ENOUGH INDUSTRY TO SUSTAIN, REALLY BUILDING COMMUNITIES AND COLLEGE STUDENTS COMING BACK AND BUILDING FAMILIES AND SORT OF BUILDINGS DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE STATE.

AND A BIG INFRASTRUCTURE BILL LIKE THIS, THAT ALLOWS MONEY TO FLOW DOWN TO REALLY DO THAT AND PLAN APPROPRIATELY, ALLOWS STATES TO DO THAT.

SO YOU DON'T HAVE THIS CONGREGATION OF POPULATION JUST IN URBAN CENTERS, WHERE YOU CAN BUILD OUT PLACES ACROSS THE STATE, BUILD THE INFRASTRUCTURE, BUILD COMMUNITIES, AND ULTIMATELY, BUILD POPULATION TO MAKE A WELL-FUNCTIONING STATE THAT CONTRIBUTES AND HELPS TO GROW FAMILIES ACROSS THE BOARD.

WE ALREADY OBVIOUSLY GIVE MORE MONEY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAN WE GET BACK.

BUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS, AND THE REASON WHY YOU SEE BIPARTISANSHIP ACROSS THE BOARD HERE IN NEW YORK STATE ON THAT IS BECAUSE WE SEE THE POSSIBILITY BEYOND PARTY OF WHAT WILL ALLOW THE STATE TO DO, AND HOW IT WILL BE ABLE TO BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE FROM THERE.

BECAUSE WE KNOW IF YOU BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE, IF YOU BUILD ON ENERGY, IF YOU BUILD JOBS, IT CONTINUES TO BUILD THE STATE TO BE MORE POWERFUL IN THE UNION.

JUSTIN, DO YOU SEE THIS PERHAPS SOMETHING REPUBLICANS COULD BE RUNNING ON IF THEY SUPPORTED THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION?

I THINK, AGAIN, IT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO OFTEN, IT'S HOW YOU DO IT.

CERTAINLY, WE HAVE DIRE NEED FOR INFRASTRUCTURE ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.

WE HAVE PEOPLE LIVING IN STATES AND CITIES WHERE THERE IS EFFECTIVELY NO SEWER INFRASTRUCTURE.

WE HAVE WASTE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.

HERE IN NEW YORK, WE DON'T SEEM TO HAVE THAT 21st CENTURY THINKING ADAPTED OR FOR THE NATION FOR THAT MATTER.

YES, WE NEED TO INVEST IN CLEAN ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY.

BUT IF YOU TALK ABOUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE, US FIXING THE BROKEN RAILS ON AMTRAK IS GREAT.

BUT DOES THAT MAKE SURE PEOPLE GET FROM POINT A TO POINT B FASTER?

MOST LIKELY IT DOES NOT.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO MAKE SURE WE CAN DO THINGS TO BREAK THE BACK OF POVERTY, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HIGH SPEED RAIL OR DRONE TECHNOLOGY.

NONE OF THESE THINGS ALLOW US TO TAKE THE NEXT QUANTUM LEAP THAT WE UNITED THE EAST AND THE WEST WITH THE RAILROADS.

THEY'RE NOT HAPPENING.

SO YES, ON SOME BASIC LEVEL, ANY MONEY THAT WE CAN GET ON OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS GOOD, BUT IF WE WASTE THE OPPORTUNITY AND WE TRY TO RETRO FIT A 21st CENTURY WORLD WITH 19th CENTURY IDEAS, WE'LL FIND OURSELVES LAGGING FURTHER AND FURTHER BEHIND AT A TIME WHEN AMERICA CAN LEAST AFFORD IT.

SO THAT TO ME IS THE CONCERN.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE'LL HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY GUESTS, BEN MAX, ELJOY WILLIAMS AND JOSEPH PINION.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE 'METROFOCUS' ROUNDTABLE.

ABSOLUTELY.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, THE PETER G.

PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

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