Winners & Losers 11/6/15
An off-cycle election on Tuesday produced a decent field of winners and losers, but few real surprises. So only a few lucky candidates are up for a vote for a second time this week, while we looked elsewhere to fill out the rest of the slots.
Fred Akshar – As expected, the Broome County undersheriff cruised to victory in the special election for the state Senate’s 52nd District, beating his Democratic opponent Barbara Fiala by a more than 50 points. On a statewide level, he also retained the seat for the GOP after it was vacated by Tom Libous following his conviction on corruption charges. With his resounding victory, he has been rewarded with the task of representing one of the most economically challenged regions in the state.
Cheryl Dinolfo – The Monroe county clerk enjoyed a comfortable victory in her campaign to move up the political ladder to become county executive, and she did so despite an oddly inordinate focus on her hair. Dinolfo, who replaces a term-limited Maggie Brooks, keeps the county’s top office in GOP hands with her victory – and now, we hope, she can focus on the real issues, like job creation and property taxes.
Carmen Fariña – Student discipline has been a controversial topic nationally, especially after a recent confrontation in a South Carolina classroom, but the New York City schools chancellor can stand tall this week. That’s because the de Blasio administration announced that student suspensions in public schools fell 17 percent, while arrests by school safety officers dropped 27 percent from the year before and summonses were down 15 percent. A+ job!
Michael McMahon - When running for office, it always helps to think strategically about which one to seek. McMahon took a pass this year on trying to win back his old congressional seat in a special election, and a fellow Democrat who did run was handily defeated. Instead, McMahon set his sights on being Staten Island DA -- and won in a fairly close race on Tuesday. With another former rival, Michael Grimm, sentenced to eight months behind bars earlier this year, it’s been a great 2015 for McMahon.
Madeline Singas – Going into Election Day, Singas was a first-time candidate running against a political veteran in a race that one poll said was too close to call. So it may not be the major upset that Newsday called it, but when you wake up uncertain of the outcome and go to bed as the DA-elect, then you are definitely a winner in our book.
Phil Church – This wasn’t a great week for jobs in New York, and the news of FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant’s closure was particularly devastating to those in Oswego County. More than 600 workers could find themselves unemployed with the plant’s closure, though Gov. Andrew “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” Cuomo has promised to fight Entergy from shuttering the plant. While the state and the energy company battle it out, we predict many sleepless nights for power plant workers with jobs on the line -- and County Manager Church will undoubtedly be taking many calls from unhappy constituents.
John Cryan – Sneaky little bankerses. Wicked, tricksy, false! For years, Deutsche Bank employed what one top executive described as “tricks” and “cunning” to get around U.S. sanctions on Iran, Libya, Syria, Burma and Sudan. So this week, the Fed and the state Department of Financial Services dealt the bank a blow with a $258 million fine and the firing of six employees. To be fair, Cryan only came on as chief executive this year -- and the violations occurred between 1999 and 2006 -- but it’s still a big embarrassment for the banker.
Ruben Diaz Jr. – The Beep probably felt like a winner partying it up with Kendall Jenner and Carmelo Anthony. But don’t you think at some point in the night he would have realized the No. 1 “New Bronx” cheerleader shouldn’t be at a #BronxIsBurning party decorated by a burnt-out and bullet-ridden car chassis? MMV put him in his place by criticizing the party, thrown by luxury real estate developers, for its “lack of empathy & basic awareness,” and calling it “beyond bad taste.”
Patrick Lynch – Lynch is going to have to clock in for overtime after a draft contract with New York City gives the police officers he represents just a 1 percent raise over two years. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association prez can stomp and yell as much as he wants outside whoever's penthouse he wants, but this will be hard to fight. He lost some leverage by choosing arbitration instead of following the bargaining pattern followed by the lieutenants, detectives and captains. Why can't the PBA just be uniform with their brothers in arms? And while the other law enforcement unions get seven years under one contract, Lynch - and the whole city - will be due for another headache in just two years.
Robert Taub – The defense is probably reaching when handmade matzoh is portrayed as a sign of true friendship. That’s what Dr. Robert Taub, a Columbia University cancer doctor and a star witness in Assemblyman Sheldon Silver's federal corruption case, was asked about in court this week. More embarrassing were details bolstering the government’s case that Taub’s research clinic took in $500,000 in state grants in a quid pro quo with Silver: the former speaker convincing him to direct cancer patients interested in legal action toward Silver; Taub accepting a state honor arranged by Silver; and Taub’s son settling into a job he found with Silver’s assistance.