Not every freshman lawmaker has her name dropped on the first day on the job. But state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi has created waves in the chamber with her plans to reinvigorate the Ethics and Internal Governance Committee by having it aggressively pursue both legislation and investigations. Republicans are not happy about one change in particular, which would have Democrats outnumber Republicans on the committee. Party politics aside, at least the legislative body appears eager to take ethics seriously this session.
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
How does Andrew keep putting his foot in his Cuo-mouth? On a day the state Capitol was buzzing with feminist energy for ASC’s ascension as Senate majority leader, the Guv felt no luv, and made a flippant crack about #MeToo. He’s going to need to start talking the talk before progressives trust that he’s walking the walk for the right reasons, and not just blowing with the wind. Here’s five New Yorkers that could give him a pep talk, and five that might bring him down.
“The Simpsons,” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and The Washington Post all in a week? That’s the sweet smell of national attention for our towering mayor. Like a prophet without honor in his own country, Hizzoner hates how the local press treats him, and relishes the opp-uh-tunity to be seen by the all-important Iowan eyes. Now that pesky local concerns like the State of the City are out of the way, it’s time to hail a horse carriage on Central Park South and ride across the nation.
It’s not every day that a member of the Albany press corps becomes a martyr, but Lovett holds that distinction. For years, the state Senate had a rule in place forbidding cell phone use in chambers, as well as in the lobby. Although the lobby rule was rarely enforced, Lovett found himself in handcuffs last year when he was caught red-handed. Luckily, Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly got him out. But now, the state Senate has passed new rules allowing cell phones not just in the lobby, but in chambers as well, allowing tweets galore on the first day of session. Call it the “Ken Lovett Clause.”
You might think that a “five-borough ferry system” would actually offer boat rides to all five boroughs in New York City, but alas, this is not so. In this instance at least, Staten Island has a legitimate claim to being the forgotten borough – and it left Borough President Jimmy Oddo with a terrible sinking feeling. So now that his old friend Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced an expansion of the NYC Ferry system, it’s going to be smooth sailing for Oddo.
The undisputed star of the first day of the legislative session on Wednesday was state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the first woman – and the first black woman, for that matter – to be elected leader of the state Senate. The historical significance of her accomplishment was not lost on her colleagues, who gave her several standing ovations. Now with the gavel on hand, Stewart-Cousins gets to show what a woman can accomplish in state politics. Men of state government beware, because the days when three men in a room made all the big decisions are officially over.
“In a process like this there shouldn't be winners or losers,” Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said following an arbitration panel’s ruling that the Seneca Nation of Indians must keeping paying hundreds of millions of dollars in casino revenue-sharing payments to the state. Of course, it’s easy for Dyster to say, since his city is poised to get an influx of much needed funds if the Senecas comply. And Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. certainly isn’t too happy with his hand.
Were the sweeping losses by New York Republicans last year anybody’s fault but President Donald Trump’s? Eleven upstate GOP party chairs have an idea about who’s truly to blame, and they are speaking up about their desire for state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox to step down after the disastrous 2018 elections. Cox has weathered threats to his leadership before, but change may be unavoidable given how bleak the party’s situation is.
Once heralded as a savvy power broker in the state Senate, the Brooklyn lawmaker now finds himself a man without a conference after Democrats rejected him and he opted not to rejoin Republicans. His situation is not dissimilar to former Assemblyman Erik Bohen, a Democrat who ran as a Republican and was blocked from joining either conference. Perhaps Felder will take a page from Bohen’s book and buy himself a palm tree to represent the symbolic island he finds himself delegated to. Or perhaps he’ll use his cell phone and pass the time rocking out to some Simon and Garfunkel.
One can’t blame Jaime Getto for naming his luxury shuttle service “The New L,” considering that up until last week the L train was set to be out of commission for at least 15 months, making his startup idea to fill that transit gap a timely alternative. Sure, Getto might have caught some flak for charging $155 per month to ride in a luxe van stocked with chargers, WiFi and breakfast bars, but nearly 5,000 people signed up. Now, Getto calls The New L’s fate “TBD” – not all that different from the old L.
In the end, Dean Skelos didn’t actually have the last laugh. The former state Senate majority leader had risen through the ranks to amass impressive political powers in Albany, but a corruption conviction brought it all crashing down. He did have some success in delaying his punishment – even getting his first conviction overturned – but this week he finally was ordered to report to federal prison to begin his sentence of four years and three months.