MetroFocus: January 9, 2023

SPECIAL EDITION:  FRONTPAGE FORECAST

In this week’s look ahead at the major headlines, we’ll have analysis of the chaos on Capitol Hill and the House Speaker vote.  Then, Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State – her first as an elected governor – will take place on Tuesday, January 10th.  What will she address in it?  Joining us to discuss these issues and more are:  L. Joy Williams, a political strategist who has worked with some of the biggest names in New York politics and host of the “Sunday Civics” podcast; Ben Max, Executive Editor of the “Gotham Gazette” and host of the “Max Politics” podcast; and Tom Doherty, a veteran political strategist and former senior advisor to New York Gov. George Pataki.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGE FORECAST, THOUSANDS OF CITY NURSES GO ON STRIKE.

THEIR DEMANDS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR PATIENTS.

NEW CONGRESS, NEW RULES.

WHAT THE CONCESSIONS TO REPUBLICAN HARDLINERS SIGNAL FOR THE NATION AND THE TRISTATE.

AND WILL EMBATTLED CONGRESSMAN GEORGE SANTOS LOSE HIS SEAT FOR LYING TO NEW YORKERS?

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

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

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

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

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

IN THIS WEEK'S LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR HEADLINES.

THE REPRESENTATIVES FINALLY GET DOWN TO BUSINESS AFTER A WEEK LONG FIGHT TO ELECT KEVIN McCARTHY SPEAKER.

WHAT CONCESSIONS DID KEVIN McCARTHY MAKE TO GET DID JOB?

WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR THE COUNTRY AND THE STATE?

WE'LL DISSECT THE SCANDAL SURROUNDING GEORGE SANTOS WHO'S FACING CALLS FOR HIM TO RESIGN OVER REVELATIONS ABOUT HIS BIOGRAPHY.

AND WE'LL EXPLORE THE ISSUES THAT THOUSANDS OF NURSE GOES ON STRIKE AT TWO BIG NEW YORK CITY HOSPITALS.

JOINING US NOW FOR THESE STORIES AND OTHERS ARE, L. JOY WILLIAMS, A POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND HOST OF THE 'SUNDAY CIVICS' PODCAST.

TOM DOHERTY, A POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND PARTNER AT MERCURY, THE GLOBAL STRATEGY FIRM.

HE ALSO SERVED AS SENIOR ADVISER TO FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR GEORGE PATAKI, AND BEN MAX, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF 'GOTHAM GAZETTE' AND THE HOST OF THE PODCAST 'MAX POLITICS.'

WELCOME ALL.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

GOOD TO BE BACK.

GOOD TO BE HERE.

BEN, BEFORE WE GET TO THE POLITICAL STORIES THAT HAVE DOMINATED THE HEADLINES AND CONTINUE TO, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE NURSES STRIKE THAT BEGAN THIS MORNING AT MT. SINAI IN THE UPPER EAST SIDE AND AT MONTEFIORE IN THE BRONX.

WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THAT LED TO THE STRIKE?

IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THE NURSES UNION CAME INTO AGREEMENT WITH MOST OF THE HOSPITALS THEY WERE NEGOTIATING WITH, AND IT'S DOWN TO THESE TWO HOSPITALS.

IT COMES DOWN TEE COUPLE ISSUES, AND ALONG WITH COMPENSATION PAY, WHICH IS A SIGNIFICANT ONE, THE OTHER MAJOR ONE IS STAFFING AND THE QUESTION OF NURSE STAFFING AND REQUIREMENTS AROUND THAT AND NOT JUST REQUIREMENTS BUT ENFORCEMENT OF THOSE REQUIREMENTS, BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN CLAIMS OF CHALLENGES AROUND MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE ALREADY ON THE BOOKS.

THOSE FROM TWO BIGGEST OUTSTANDING ISSUES AND THERE'S OTHER RELATED TO BENEFITS BEYOND COMPENSATION AS WELL.

HOW IS THE STRIKE AFFECTING THE COMPENSATIONS AT THE HOSPITALS AND HOW ARE THE HOSPITALS AND CITY TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT?

IT'S TOO SOON AS WE'RE TALKING HERE TO KNOW HOW IT'S AFFECTING PATIENTS OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT AT THESE SYSTEMS, SOME ELECTIVE SURGERY VIOLENCE PUSHED OFF, AND THAT CAN SOUND LIKE IT'S NO BIG DEALING BUT ELECTIVE CAN MEAN ANYTHING OTHER THAN EMERGENCY SURGERIES.

WHEN YOU GET TO THIS STAGE OF THINGS, TOUGH THINK THAT A RESOLUTION WILL BE IN THE OFFERING RELATIVELY SOON FOR A SITUATION LIKE THIS, ESPECIALLY WHEN ALL THESE OTHER SYSTEMS HAVE COME UNDER CONTRACT, SO HOPEFULLY THE DISRUPTION TO PATIENTS AND HEALTH CARE DELIVERY WILL NOT BE TOO SIGNIFICANT.

THE STATE AND CITY HAVE BOTH BEEN INVOLVED.

OBVIOUSLY THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE AND CHALLENGE, SO WE'LL SEE IF GOVERNMENT LEADER CAN ALSO GET A LITTLE MORE INVOLVED TO GET TO A RESOLUTION.

L. JOY OR BEN, ANYTHING TO HAD?

THE ONLY THING I WOULD ADD IS WE HAVE LAWS ON THE BOOKS THAT DON'T ALLOW RAILROAD WORKERS TO STRIKE BECAUSE PEOPLE NEED TO GET TO WORK, AND THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE THAT WHILE MAYBE ELECTIVE SURGERY, THERE CAN BE ELECTI SURGERY FOR BREAST CANCER SURVIVES.

THIS IS HEALTH CARE, AND EVERYBODY'S GOT TO DO A BETTER JOB, AND I DON'T THINK HEALTH-CARE WORKERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO WALK OFF AND SAY, LOOK, WE'RE NOT SHOWING UP TODAY.

I'M A SUPPORTER OF NURSES.

THEY HAVE GONE THROUGH HELL BUT YOU GOT TO HAVE A BETTER SYSTEM.

PEOPLE GOT TO SAY, LET'S GO ARBITRATION, TAKE A BREATHER, LET'S FIX THIS WITHOUT PEOPLE, THEIR HEALTH CARE BEING AT RISK.

L JOY?

I THINK WHAT HEALTH CARE WORKERS HAVE GONE THROUGH, WHAT ALL OF US HAVE GONE THROUGH, THE REASON SO MANY OF US ARE SYMPATHETIC.

AT THIS POINT IN JUNCTURE HAS BEEN MENTIONED, SOME OF THOSE THINGS HAVE BEEN DECIDED.

BEING ABLE TO SAY THIS WILL BE NEGOTIATED SOON, AND HOPEFULLY IN FAVOR OF THE NURSES SO THAT THEY CAN GET THE COMPENSATION, THE BENEFITS BUT ALSO THE CARRY THAT THEY NEED FROM THEIR EMPLOYERS.

ALL RIGHT, SO LET'S TURN TO THE POLITICAL STORIES OF THE -- IN THE HEADLINES.

AND BEN, LET'S START WITH YOU.

CAN YOU GIVE US A SUMMARY OF THE KEY CONCESSIONS THAT KEVIN McCARTHY HAD TO MAKE IN ORDER TO BECOME THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE?

YEAH, THERE IS A LOT OF THEM.

I'LL GIVE YOU A FEW EXAMPLES.

BUT ALSO IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT AS WE'RE SPEAKING HERE, THE HOUSE STILL -- NOW THAT THEY'VE ELECTED THEIR SPEAKER IN KEVIN McCARTHY, THE REPUBLICAN OF CALIFORNIA, THEY STILL HAVE TO PASS THE RULES PACKAGE, AND THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY A DONE DEAL, SO WE'LL SEE EXACTLY WHERE THIS GOES.

I SHOULD SAY, THAT'S BECAUSE WE'RE TAPING THIS IN THE MORNING, AND IT MAY HAPPEN LATER IN THE DAY.

YES.

BUT ALSO AFTER THE SORT OF CHAOS WE SAW AROUND THE SPEAKER ELECTION AND THE NUMBER OF TRIES IT TOOK, WE SHALL SEE.

BUT IN TERMS OF THE CONCESSIONS THAT EITHER HAVE BEEN STATE ORD REPORTED, A FEW OF THE BIGGEST ONES ARE THAT HE AGREED TO LOWER THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE NEEDED TO CALL FOR A MOTION TO VACATE THE SPEAKER'S CHAIR DOWN TO ONE, WHICH COULD REALLY CAUSE REAL CHAOS IN THE HOUSE AND REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO HAVE HIM REMOVED.

SO WE'LL SEE HOW THAT GOES.

THERE'S ALSO CONCESSIONS AROUND MOVING -- IF THE HOUSE IS GOING TO MOVE TO RAISE THE COUNTRY'S DEBT CEILING IT MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY SPENDING CUTS.

ESTABLISHING A HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE 'WEAPONIZATION' OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

A VARIETY OF MEASURES RELATED TO HOW THE HOUSE CONSIDERS SPENDING BILLS.

AND ACTUALLY A VERY GOOD SORT OF TRANSPARENCY MEASURE AROUND MAKING SURE LAWMAKERS HAVE 72 HOURS TO REVIEW BILLS BEFORE THEY COME TO THE HOUSE FLOOR.

WE'VE SEEN ATTEMPTS AT OTHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT HERE IN NEW YORK TO MAKE SURE THAT GET SKIRTED SOME TIMES.

THAT'S ONE THAT CAUGHT MY EYE.

THOSE ARE HIGHLIGHTS BUT THERE ARE A FEW OTHERS.

I KNOW ANOTHER, IT OFFERS MEMBERS A OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER AMENDMENTS TO BILLS.

BILLS THAT AT THE TIME THEY WON'T HAVE TO OPPORTUNITY TO AMEND.

L. JOY, THERE'S BEEN PLENTY OF HYPERVENTILATING AMONG MANY IN THE MEDIA ABOUT THESE, PARTICULARLY THE RULE CHANGES IF THEY TAKE PLACE, BUT ONE THING THAT HASN'T BEEN COVERED EXTENSIVELY IS THAT IT APPLIES OBVIOUSLY TO BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS THE RULE CHANGES.

SO DEMOCRATS CAN ALSO -- ONE INDIVIDUAL DEMOCRAT CAN CALL FOR A VOTE TO OUST THE SPEAKER.

THE DEMOCRATS WILL HAVE THE 72 HOURS TO READ A BILL.

THE DEMOCRATS WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE AMENDMENTS TO BILLS THAT THEY CAN'T DO BEFORE, AND A NUMBER OF OTHER STUFF LIKE THAT, TRANSPARENCY ISSUES LIKE THAT.

SO IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT THE CONCESSIONS ARE MORE OF A MIXED BAG THAN AN UNADULTERATED DISASTER SOME HAVE PAINTED IT?

WELL, I THINK IT'S HARD TO PREDICT WHAT ANY OF THESE CHANGES AND ALSO GIVEN THE LANDSCAPE OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE ELECTED SOLELY, I BELIEVE, THEY BELIEVE THEIR JOB IS JUST TO CREATE CHAOS AND MAKE SURE NOTHING HAPPENS AT ALL.

THEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY REALLY WANT TO CHANGE OR START INVESTIGATIONS AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

AND THEN YOU HAVE EVERYBODY POSTURING.

WE SAY THERE'S ONLY TWO YEARS TILL THE NEXT ELECTION AND THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CYCLE, BUT EVERYBODY IS REALLY POSTURING IN THIS -- IN THESE NEXT 18 MONTHS.

AND SPEAKING TO THE BASE THEY BELIEVE ELECTED THEM TO THE OFFICE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

SO I THINK IT'S REALLY HARD TO PREDICT, AND I KNOW THAT'S OUR BUSINESS AS COMMENTATORS, BUT I THINK IT'S REALLY HARD TO PREDICT WHAT THE LANDSCAPE WILL BE IN THE HOUSE OVER THE NEXT 18 MONTHS, OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS, BECAUSE REALLY FOLKS -- THE ONLY THING THAT HAS BEEN CONSISTENT IS THEM CREATING CHAOS.

SO THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT HAS BEEN REALLY CONSISTENT IN THIS VEIN, AND I THINK I HAVE CERTAINLY NO OPTIMISM IN TERMS OF THEM ACTUALLY GETTING ABLE TO GET ANYTHING CONCRETE DONE THAT WILL AFFECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND THAT'S A SHAME, BECAUSE WE REALLY NEED THEM TO DO SOME THINGS.

AS IT PERTAINS TO OUR ECONOMY, TO TRADE, TO HEALTH CARE, TO EDUCATION.

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT WE NEED CONGRESS TO ACT ON, INCLUDING VOTING RIGHTS, THAT I THINK AT THIS POINT I HELD NO OPTIMISM THAT WILL ACTUALLY GET DONE.

WHAT ABOUT YOU, TOM, DO YOU THINK THESE CHANGES ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU OPTIMISM, OR DO THEY GAY YOU AGITAS?

LISTENING TO CHIP ROY WITH JAKE TAPPER YESTERDAY, THE HYPE HYPERBOLE OTHER THESE CHANGES WAS -- WHEN YOU LISTEN TO THE CHANGES.

NO MORE OMNIBUS BILLS.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT EVERY BILL AND TAKE THEM INDIVIDUALLY AND VOTE ON THEM INDIVIDUALLY.

WE NEED 72 HOURS TO ACTUALLY READ A PIECE OF LEGISLATION.

I MEAN, THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE TO ME.

THE PEOPLE IN ALBANY WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING, WHETHER DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS.

SO I THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DEBT CEILING, ALL WE DO IS KEEP RAISING THE DEBT CEILING.

WE DON'T SAY WE NEED TO CONTROL SPENDING.

L. JOY WANTS TO PUT A NEW ROOM ON OUR HOUSE.

SHE HAS TO LOOK AT, DO I HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO DO THIS?

WE ALL DO AS AMERICANS.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

SO, THE FISCAL CONSERVATIVE SIDE IN ME -- AND I'M NOT A FREEDOM CAUCUS MEMBER.

NOBODY WOULD EVER ACCUSE ME OF THAT, BUT THIS IS A GOOD THING, MORE TRANSPARENCY.

I BET THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE OF THE AISLE -- I BET YOU AOC IS VERY MUCH IN FAVOR OF SOME OF THESE THINGS.

SO I THINK BEFORE WE ALL GO CRAZY AND PULL OUR HAIR OUT -- SOME OF US HAVE NO HAIR TO PULL OUT, BUT I THINK IT'S A GOOD THING.

LET'S GIVE IT A CHANCE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS OVER THE NEXT SIX MONTHS WHETHER OR NOT WE MOVE FORWARD.

L. JOY?

TOM -- YEAH, I JUST WANT TO JUMP IN.

I WOULD AGREE ON THE FACE OF IT THERE ARE SOME THINGS I WOULD AGREE ON DEFENSE SPENDING, RIGHT?

WE NEVER ASK THE QUESTION, DO WE HAVE ENOUGH MONEY?

HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?

AS WE CONTINUE TO BALLOON THE DEFENSE BUDGET AND ALL THESE CONTRACTS THAT EXIST.

BUT I DON'T HOLD FAITH THAT THE FOLKS THAT ARE ACTUALLY BRINGING THIS UP ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT, LET'S LOOK AT THESE PRIVATE CONTRACTS.

LET'S LOOK AT HOW MUCH WE'RE SPENDING IN TERMS OF DEFENSE IN ALL THESE OTHER PLACES, RATHER THAN LET'S REDUCE SOME OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT, YOU KNOW, BE GOOD FOR YOUR CONSTITUENTS IN TERMS OF -- AND THINGS LIKE THAT BUT NOT GOT TO THE HEART OF THE ISSUE.

BUT THE DEMOCRATS CAN NOW DO THAT.

THE DEMOCRATS CAN NOW AMEND BILLS AND DO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.

BUT ONE LAST QUESTION TO -- I GUESS TO YOU, BEN.

THAT RULE THAT WE TALKED ABOUT, ABOUT ONE VOTE -- ONE MEMBER CAN CALL FOR A VOTE TO OUST THE SPEAKER.

IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, THAT WAS IN FACT IN EFFECT BEFORE NANCY PELOSI CHANGED IT.

SO THAT WAS WHAT WAS IN EFFECT, SO WHAT'S THE RUMRUMBLINGS?

I THINK THE ISSUE A LITTLE BIT MORE IS THE QUESTION OF, ARE THERE THIS CERTAIN NUMBER OF ACTORS IN THE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE WHO ARE SEEKING TO SORT OF GRIND GOVERNMENT TO A HALT?

OR THEY HAVE SOME ISSUE WITH McCARTHY WHERE THEY'RE GOING TRY TO MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR HIM TO THE POINT OF TRYING TO GET SOMEONE ELSE IN POWER.

IT'S A QUESTION OF HOW MUCH CHAOS THERE WILL BE.

BUT TO TOM'S POINT AND L. JOY'S POINT,S THE NOT NECESSARILY JUST ABOUT THE REFORMS.

IT'S MORE ABOUT WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE, RIGHT?

AND THE FACT YOU MIGHT HAVE THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG WAY TOO OFTEN FOR GOVERNMENT TO FUNCTION.

ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO'S GOING TO BE IN CHARGE IS HAKEEM JEFFRIES.

HE'S NOW THE MINORITY LEADER.

HE SUCCEEDED PELOSI, AND IN TWO YEARS HE MAY BE THE SPEAKER.

HE'S FROM BROOKLYN, AS IS CHUCK SCHUMER.

WHAT IS THE NIF SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT?

HOW MAY THAT AFFECT NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK STATE?

I CAN SAY, FROM BROOKLYN, THERE DEFINITELY IS SOMETHING IN THE WATER.

BUT WE HAVE NO MORE ROOM.

NO MORE PEOPLE MOVE BROOKLYN.

YOU KNOW, THAT IS SIGNIFICANT.

I THINK, ONE, IT SIGNALS A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP AND DEFINITELY A LEADERSHIP STYLE.

YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE CONTRACTS THAT YOU SEE -- AND THE REASON WHY THE CHAOS WAS SO STRIKING IS THAT YOU HAD THIS, YOU KNOW, COMPLETE COALITION THAT WAS ACTING TOGETHER VERSUS, YOU KNOW, THE OTHER SIDE.

AND I THINK, AGAIN -- I THINK THAT IS BECAUSE THE LANDSCAPE IS BECAUSE YOU HAD THAT STARK DIFFERENCE.

BUT I THINK THE SIGNIFICANCE IN HAVING SCHUMER IN THE SENATE, HAVING HAKEEM JEFFRIES IN THE HOUSE, THEY HAVE WORKED TOGETHER FOR A NUMBER OF TIMES AND WILL CONTINUE TO COMMUNICATE, AND WE HAVE A VERY STRONG NEW YORK DELEGATION OVERALL WITH A LOT OF SENIORITY THAT WE WILL HOPEFULLY BE ABLE TO SEE SOME BENEFITS AS THE NEW YORKERS TO ALL OF THE TAX MONEY, MORE THAN ANYBODY THAT WE SEND TO WASHINGTON.

SO THAT'S, YOU KNOW, WHAT I SAID TO BOTH OF THEM, AND THAT'S WHAT I THINK WE ARE ALL EXPECTING OUT OF THIS NEW YORK DELEGATION WITH INCREASED SENIORITY.

ALL RIGHT, WE HAVE TO MOVE ON, BECAUSE YOU'RE REALLY RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

LET'S TALK BRIEFLY -- WE HAVE TO TALK BRIEFLY ABOUT THE NEWLY SWORN IN REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FROM LONG ISLAND'S THIRD DISTRICT, GEORGE SANTOS, IF THAT IS INDEED HIS NAME.

I JOKE.

UM, UM, YOU KNOW, HE'S COPPED TO A BUNCH OF FABRICATIONS.

THERE ARE A BUNCH OF OTHER FABRICATIONS THAT JOURNALISTS HAVE DISCOVERED THAT HE HAS NOT YET COPPED TO.

BEN, GIVE US A SUMMARY OF THE FIBS AND THE WHOPPERS.

YOU GOT IT WITH THE HALF JOKE ABOUT HIS NAME.

IT'S EVERYTHING.

IT'S HIS RELIGION.

HE SORT OF TRIED TO WALK BACK CLAIMING HE WAS JEWISH.

HIS EDUCATION, HIS WORK EXPERIENCE.

THERE'S STILL SOME BIG OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE HIS MONEY CAME FROM THAT HE GAVE TO HIS OWN CAMPAIGN.

IT'S ALMOST EVERYTHING.

WE LIED ABOUT HAVING EMPLOYEES IN THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB KILLING.

REALLY JUST AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT AND IT LOOK LIKE AT THIS POINT HE'S TRYING TO RIDE OUT THE STORM, AND I THINK IT WILL BE AN INTERESTING TEST FOR THE NEW REPUBLICAN MAJORITY AND FOR THE SPEAKER KEVIN McCARTHY WHETHER THEY DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS OR LEAVE IT UP TO THE INVESTIGATIONS THAT ARE ALREADY ONGOING TO LOOK INTO HIS --

YOU MEAN THE LEGAL INVESTIGATIONS.

YES, THERE COULD BE ETHICS AND LEGAL INVESTIGATIONS THAT KIND OF COULD GO ON WITHOUT THE HOUSE DOING ANYTHING ITSELF.

L. JOY, HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR SANTOS TO GET THROUGH THE WHOLE CAMPAIGN WITHOUT ANY OF THESE THINGS COMING TO LIGHT?

WHAT WERE THE OPPOSITION RESEARCH OF HIS OPERATION, OF HIS OPPONENT ROBERT ZIMMERMAN?

THEY DROPPED THE BALL ON THIS, RIGHT?

ACTUALLY, I ADVISED ON A RACE ON LONG ISLAND, AND I GOT TO SAY, THIS INFORMATION WAS NOT NEW TO ME, AND I WASN'T EVEN ON THIS CAMPAIGN.

AND I'M NOT SAYING THAT ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE SINCE CAME OUT, BUT ZIMMERMAN'S CAMPAIGN AND THE OTHERS RIGHTFULLY DURING THE CAMPAIGN POINTED OUT THAT THIS PERSON IS NOT WHO WE WANT REPRESENTING US BECAUSE HE HAS A BAD, YOU KNOW, HISTORY WITH THE TRUTH.

AND IT WAS SAID.

IT WAS INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING AND I KNOW IT'S DIFFICULT WHEN CONSULTANTS AND KPRANS SAYING, LOOK INTO THIS.

LOOK INTO THESE CLAIMS.

AND FOR A NUMBER OF JOURNALISTS OR VOTERS THEMSELVES, THEY THINK IT'S MORE OF A PARTISAN ISSUE WHERE YOU'RE JUST TRYING TO WIN A CAMPAIGN, AND NOT THAT THERE ARE SOME SERIOUS ISSUES HERE.

AND SO BEN'S POINT, I DON'T HOLD MY BREATH THAT THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE WILL ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT BEING ELECTED TO CONGRESS DOES IS OPEN HIM UP TO, YOU KNOW, HOUSE ETHICS AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND ALL OF THAT.

AND SO I WOULD HOPE THAT THAT PROCESS WILL CONTINUE TO BRING TO LIGHT SOME OF THESE DETAILS.

REALLY, ALSO, FOR THE VOTERS IN THAT DISTRICT, RIGHT?

BECAUSE HE'S GOING TO BE MARRED IN THIS CONTROVERSY.

AND WHAT REALLY SERVICE WILL HE AND HIS OFFICE BE GIVING TO THE PEOPLE OF THAT DISTRICT DURING THAT TIME?

QUICKLY, WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THIS CLAIM HE MADE A WHITE POWER SIGN DURING ONE OF THE VOTES FOR SPEAKER IN CONGRESS?

YOU KNOW, I DON'T -- I DON'T KNOW.

YOU KNOW, OUT OF THE CHAOS THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS NEW TO ME IN FOCUSING ON THE SPEAKER VOTE.

BUT I WILL SAY THAT WHEN WE CONTINUE -- AND I'M SAYING WE COLLECTIVELY -- DO NOT DENOUNCE ANY FORMS OF HATRED AND ANTI-SEMITISM AND RACISM AND ALL THINGS, PEOPLE THEN THINK EVEN MAKING JOKES OF THINGS IS OKAY.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T SEE IT.

I DIDN'T WATCH IT, I DIDN'T SEE THE REPORTS OF IT.

I CAN'T SPEAK IN DETAIL TO IT, BUT I DO THINK IN THE LANDSCAPE AND CULTURE WE ARE IN AT THIS TIME, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE ON ALL SIDES IMMEDIATELY CALL OUT THOSE THINGS AND DENOUNCE THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

SO, TOM, HOW BADLY HAS THE SANTOS SITUATION HURT THE NEW YORK REPUBLICAN PARTY, WHICH WAS -- HAD SUCH MOMENTUM AFTER THE ELECTION, IF AT ALL?

AND HOW'S THE NASSAU COUNTY REPUBLICANS TREATING SANTOS?

THEY HAVE CALLED HIM OUT IMMEDIATELY.

THEY SAID HE WILL NOT GET THE LINE IN TWO YEARS.

VERY GOOD SOURCES, AND I THINK IT'S WIDELY KNOWN NOW, THE DCCC KNEW ABOUT THIS IN AUGUST.

THEY HAD THIS INFORMATION AND DECIDED NOT TO RUN WITH IT.

THEY DECIDED TO GO WITH, HE'S A TRUMP GUY AND THOUGHT THAT WOULD PLAY BEST FOR THEM ON LONG ISLAND.

SO AS I THINK L. JOY SPECULATED, THIS IS NOT NEW.

THEY KNEW ABOUT THIS AND KNEW ABOUT THE LIES, AND IT'S BEEN SAID -- LOOK, THE INVESTIGATION -- THE HOUSE WILL WAIT FOR THE INVESTIGATION TO TAKE PLACE, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY ALWAYS DO.

THE HOUSE WAITS FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS BEFORE THEY DO ANYTHING INTERNALLY.

WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM?

HOW DID HE LOAN HIMSELF $700,000?

THAT'S A BIG QUESTION, AND THAT I THINK ULTIMATELY WILL BE HIS DOWNAL.

NOBODY'S BRINGING HIM IN, PUTTING THEIR ARM AROUND HIM.

YOU SAW DURING THE WHOLE SPEAKER STUFF HIM SITTING BY HIMSELF.

THIS WILL PLAY OUT.

I THINK AS WE SAW OVER THE 15 VOTES THAT STARTED TO CHANGE.

PEOPLE WERE CHATTING HIM UP.

I THINK TOM'S POINT IS INTERESTING ABOUT HOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DEALS WITH THIS FOR THE NEXT ELECTION, WHICH IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, RIGHT?

EVERYBODY'S BASICALLY SAYING TO HIM, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE THE NOMINEE AGAIN.

RIDE OUT THIS TERM.

MAYBE YOU WIND UP GOING TO JAIL.

WHO KNOWS.

BUT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE OUR NOMINEE.

DON'T MAKE A BIG SCENE ABOUT IT AND JUST FIGURE YOUR LIFE OUT.

THAT WILL BE INTERESTING, AND IT WILL BE ACTUALLY A PRETTY STRONG ACCOUNTABILITY FROM WITHIN MOMENT, ALTHOUGH THERE SHOULD PROBABLY BE CALL HIM TO RESIGN GIVEN THE FACT THAT HE GOT TO ELECTED OFFICE ON AN IMMENSE SERIES OF LIES.

EXACTLY.

WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT FIVE MINUTES LEFT.

LET'S TURN TO GOVERNOR HOCHUL'S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS SHE'LL BE DELIVERING TOMORROW.

BEN, YOU AND I WILL BE TALK ABOUT THIS ON WEDNESDAY.

LET'S TOUCH ON IT.

WHAT DO YOU FORESEE WILL BE THE PRINCIPLE POLICY ISSUES SHE'LL BE BRINGING UP IN THE STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS?

I'LL JUST SAY QUICKLY, SHE'S ALREADY MADE CLEAR HOUSING IS AT THE TOP OF 1A OF HER AGENDA, AND THAT'S GOING TO BE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

AND THE DETAILS WILL BE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

AND THEN SHE'S ALWAYS GOING TO TIE THAT INTO BROADER ISSUES OF AFFORDABILITY AND LIVABILITY IN NEW YORK.

SHE'S TALKED ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THE NEED TO TRY TO REDUCE SOME OF THE DEPARTURES FROM NEW YORK WE'VE SEEN FROM PEOPLE MOVING OUT OF THE STATE, WHICH IS A DECADES LONG TREND.

AND ALSO PUBLIC SAFETY COMING OUT OF THE ELECTION.

IT WILL BE VERY INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT THE TOP PLANKS OF HER PLATFORM AROUND PUBLIC SAFETY ARE AND WHETHER SHE REALLY WANTS TO KEEP GOING INTO THE DISCUSSION ABOUT CHANGING BAIL REFORM OR SHE HAS SOME OTHER SOLUTIONS SHE'S POINTING TO.

TOM, ARE THOSE THE RIGHT ISSUES SHE SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON?

CERTAINLY AFFORDABILITY AND LIVABILITY IN NEW YORK, WHICH SHE MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY, AS PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE STATE.

I HEAR 800,000 UNIT OF HOUSING OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.

WHAT I WILL SAY, AND L. JOY HEARD ME TALK ABOUT THIS FOREVER.

YOU HAVE A HOUSING SITUATION, THE CITY OF NEW YORK, WHERE NEW YORKERS, MANY LIFE LONG NEW YORKERS, ARE LIVING IN SQUALOR.

THEY'RE LIVING WHERE THEY CAN'T GET HEATING, CAN'T GET WATER, THEY CAN'T GET PLUMBING, AND BEFORE WE START BUILDING NEW HOUSING, WHICH WE NEED, WE SHOULD FIX EXISTING HOUSING FOR THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK.

ALL OF US CAN AGREE THAT THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK SHOULD NOT LIVE IN THIS TYPE OF SUBHUMAN HOUSING.

AND SO ANY MONEY THAT'S SPENT, I WOULD SAY LET'S GO FIX THOSE UNITS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK FIRST AND FOREMOST.

THIS IS ONE OF MY RANTS FOR MANY, MANY YEARS.

L. JOY, ARE THE PRIORITIES OF THE GOVERNOR ALIGNED WITH THE PRIORITIES OF THE DEMOCRATIC -- DEMOCRATS RUNNING ALBANY WITH VETO POWER MAJORITIES?

I THINK CERTAINLY THE HOUSING AND AFFORDABILITY.

HOUSING HAS BEEN A PRIORITY ISSUE FOR THE LEGISLATURE FOR SOME TIME, AND NOW HAVING A GOVERNOR WHO IS MAKING IT A PRIORITY WITH THIS LEGISLATURE HOPEFULLY WE WILL BE ABLE TO, YOU KNOW, GET FOLKS TO COME TO THE TABLE, YOU KNOW, ADVOCATES, LEGISLATORS, THE ACTUALLY BUILDERS, YOU KNOW, AND FINANCERS TO THE TABLE TO ACTUALLY COME TO AN AGREEMENT OF WHAT WE NEED TO DO.

PRIMARILY REGARDING AFFORDABILITY.

BECAUSE LISTEN, THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF MILLION DOLLAR HOMES AND CONDOS BEING BUILT.

THERE'S NO PROBLEM IN THAT INSTANCE.

WHAT WE NEED IS HOUSING THAT IS AFFORDABLE FOR WORKING CLASS, MIDDLE CLASS, AND PEOPLE AT THE POVERTY LINE IN THIS STATE.

AND IN ADDITION TO THAT IS NOT JUST IN NEW YORK CITY -- AND I AGREE WITH YOU TOM, AND THIS IS WHERE I THINK THE LEADERSHIP BOTH IN THE HOUSE AND IS THAT THE AND THE SENIORITY THAT OUR DELEGATION HAS IN WASHINGTON WILL BE ABLE TO HELP WITH SOME OF THAT HOUSING POLICY AS WELL.

BUT THERE'S ALSO, HOW DO WE CREATE CENTERS ACROSS THE STATE WHERE HOUSING IS NOT JUST A PRIORITY IN NEW YORK CITY BUT THAT THERE ARE OTHER PLACES ACROSS THE STATE WHERE WE CAN BUILD HOUSING THAT CAN ALSO BUILD JOBS AND SORT OF CREATE THOSE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE STATE.

WE DON'T WANT TO CONTINUE TO CONCENTRATE HOUSING, JOBS, TRANSPORTATION, ALL OF THAT IN OUR CITIES IN THE STATE.

I THINK WE NEED TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE STATE SO THAT SOME OF THAT SHIFT IN MOVING YOU SEE THAT IS NOT PEOPLE GOING OUTSIDE OF THE STATE -- YOU KNOW, THE STATE OF NEW YORK IS BEAUTIFUL.

LIKE, YOU CAN BE RURAL, YOU CAN BE SOUTHERN, AND YOU CAN, YOU KNOW, BE URBAN IN NEW YORK STATE, AND I THINK WE SHOULD BUILD ON THAT.

WE HAVE A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT.

SORRY TO THROW THIS AT YOU, BUT CAN EACH ONE OF YOU GIVE ME A QUICK PREDICTION, QUICK POLITICAL PREDICTION THAT MAY SURPRISE THE REST OF US, WHETHER IT'S NEW YORK CITY OR NEW YORK STATE?

BEN, LET ME START WITH YOU.

OH, BOY.

I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE'RE FACING CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS HERE IN 2023 ACROSS NEW YORK CITY IN ALL 51 DISTRICTS, AND I THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE SORT OF A MAYBE NOT THAT SURPRISE BUG SOMEWHAT SURPRISING NUMBER OF DISTRICTS THAT ARE COMPETITIVE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION AS WE'VE SEEN, YOU KNOW, REPUBLICAN GAINS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY.

I THINK IT WILL BE AN INTERESTING ELECTION CYCLE IN DIFFERENT PART OF THE CITY.

L. JOY, 15 SECONDS.

I THINK THE SAME, THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS WILL BE ONE TO WATCH.

TOM IN.

THEY WILL CONTINUE TO ELECT REPUBLICANS AT THE CITY COUNCIL LEVEL UNTIL THEY FIX THE CRIME PROBLEM IN NEW YORK CITY.

OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO END IT THERE.

THANKS A LOT, GUYS.

IT'S BEEN A VERY FRUITFUL DISCUSSION.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

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