First Read - April 29, 2016

WEATHER: Cloudy, with a chance of showers in the early afternoon in Western New York and in late afternoon farther east. New York City, high 56; Albany, high 60; Buffalo, high 53.



* Is anyone ever 100 percent a winner? Or if you’re, say, a 12 percent loser, should you even make this list? As always, we present the week’s Winners & Losers, but we’ll leave it to our readers to determine the final percentages:

* Josh Lafazan, who became the state’s youngest elected official when he won a seat on the Syosset Board of Education in 2012, discusses how he got into politics, his recent book and whether he or state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was younger when first elected:

* Fordham University Professor Christina Greer joins Alexis Grenell and Nick Powell to discuss the context and meaning of the black vote for Democrats as it pertains to the presidential election cycle on a special episode of The Slant Podcast:



* Historians can’t find a New York City mayor who, along with his administration and inner circle, was the subject of as many simultaneous investigations as Mayor Bill de Blasio now faces, The New York Times writes in an explainer of the investigations:

* The investigations swirling the de Blasio administration led reporters to turn de Blasio’s short walk from an event to his car into a press gaggle, with the mayor again saying all actions were “legal and appropriate,” the Times reports:

* Contributions to housekeeping accounts for both parties have hit record levels in recent years, according to a report, as de Blasio’s team is being investigated for allegedly using such accounts to subvert contribution limits, the Times Union reports:

* Citing progress in moving homeless people off the street and into shelters, de Blasio announced that an annual survey had found a 12 percent drop from last year in the number of people living without shelter in New York City, the Times reports:

* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said de Blasio is using fuzzy math to tabulate the building of new affordable housing units, with his office finding so many errors and omissions in a required report that it was almost useless, the Daily News writes:

* More news below …



Join us on May 6 for Regional Plan Association’s annual Assembly. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and other leading experts and policy makers will be discussing issues vital to our region’s future, including the crisis of affordability, threats to our coastlines, deteriorating infrastructure and pressures on our quality of life. RPA also will be unveiling the first preliminary proposals of the Fourth Regional Plan. Register:



* New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito threw her support behind a controversial proposal to slap a five-cent fee on plastic and paper bags, all but guaranteeing the bill will pass in a vote next week, the Daily News reports:

* Disgraced Queens politician Dan Halloran, a former city councilman convicted of corruption and bribery in July 2014, lost his appeal in the Second Circuit, upholding his 10-year sentence, the Daily News reports:

* At least two of the three candidates knocked off the ballot for Tuesday’s Buffalo School Board election, including President James Sampson, are waging write-in campaigns, with a third deciding whether it’s worth it amid the turmoil, The Buffalo News reports:

* Manhattan lawyer Mark Warren Moody, in a class action suit, wants the current voter eligibility regulations for primaries tossed out after he lost a chance to pull the lever in New York's April 19 presidential primary, the Daily News writes:

* Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel helped win a prison transfer for convicted Assemblyman Larry Seabrook from a squalid Brooklyn jail to a minimum security prison in Pennsylvania, the Post reports:



City & State Celebrates Top 100 Powerful Leaders in Albany!

Every year, City & State honors Albany’s Power 100 leaders in politics, media, business, and beyond! The special publication ranking the Power 100 will debut at this luncheon. Be the first to know who made the cut, who gained power, and who got dropped. Join us on May 17th at Cornerstone at the Plaza for a networking experience you don’t want to miss – RSVP here! For advertising information please email  




* In the wake of the New York primary election, pollsters need to tighten up their sampling methodology if they expect the media to continue presenting their data as authoritative, political strategist Bruce Gyory writes for Slant:



ALBANY 40 UNDER 40 NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN! Submit your nomination(s) for rising stars under the age of 40 in Albany government, politics, advocacy or media before April 30 here.




* De Blasio’s fealty to donors warped his priorities, the Daily News writes, as he fought tooth-and-nail with 1199 SEIU to save Brooklyn’s private Long Island College Hospital while Health + Hospitals withered:

* As soon as he took office, de Blasio embraced the pay-to-play practices he once denounced, and his “progressive” City Hall is a place where lobbyists, consultants and fat-cat donors =hold sway, while transparency is a cruel joke, the Post writes:

* Perhaps former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos looks forward to a career as a jailhouse lawyer, as an Appellate Division unit has taken no action to disbar Skelos, despite his Dec. 11 extortion conviction, the Daily News writes:

* A lawsuit brought by Success Academy highlights the ugly fact that de Blasio doesn’t care about the quality of pre-K programs, as the school fights for access to city pre-K funding without signing the city’s contract, the Post writes:

* Buffalo will never be a tech heavyweight like Silicon Valley, but the new emphasis and word that IBM Corp. got a state contract to bring 100 jobs to Buffalo’s Key Center should start tipping the scales, The Buffalo News writes:



CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 646-442-1617. Visit www.CityandState.Careers to view all jobs.

Deputy Press Secretary, New York State Comptroller

The Office of the New York State Comptroller is accepting applications for the position of Deputy Press Secretary in its New York City office. The Deputy Press Secretary will help create and implement communications plans, as well as handle daily media queries, across a wide range of issues.   

Senior Policy & Advocacy Associate: Economic and Housing Stability

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc.

Job responsibilities center on the three components of our work: fact-finding; community education; and advocacy. Includes analyzing policy, budget and legislative proposals and their impact on child and family poverty; family homelessness, and runaway and homeless youth. Responsibilities include testifying at City and State budget and legislative hearings; meeting with elected and appointed government officials; participating in coalitions with direct service and advocacy colleagues; etc.

Administrative Assistant - Government Affairs, Business Council of NYS

Seeking an extremely well-organized candidate who has excellent written and verbal communication skills and a working knowledge of website posting and digital technologies. Will report directly to our Vice President and provide support to our seven-person lobby team. Experience working for and/or with the state Legislature, and/or knowledge of the New York State legislative process is preferred but not required.




* Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are digging in for a general election in which he is likely to attack her repeatedly because she is a woman, a calculated risk for the likely GOP nominee, the Times writes:

* Many GOP leaders, operatives, donors and activists arrived this week at the conclusion they had been hoping to thwart or at least delay: Donald Trump will be their presidential nominee, The Washington Post writes:

* Scores of protesters took to the streets Thursday night outside a Trump campaign event in California, drawing out police officers in riot and tactical gear and on horseback who sought to disperse the crowd, CNN reports:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Theo Moore, senior policy analyst for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito … to Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle … and to City Comptroller Scott Stringer … on Saturday, to Mark Dunlea, of the Green Education Legal Fund … to Fernando Ferrer, MTA vice chairman and co-chairman at Mercury LLC … to New York City Councilman Mark Levine … and to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner … and on Sunday, to Marilyn Bitterman, Queens Community Board 7 district manager … to Cee Lewis, deputy chief of staff to New York City Councilman Andy King … to Frank Marino, president and CEO of Marino … to Henry Stern, former city councilman and founder of New York Civic … and to Jeff Wice, elections and redistricting attorney.



We’re in Pennsylvania! Know someone who needs PA political news? Tell them to sign up for the City & State PA First Read morning e-brief here:




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

8 a.m. - New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli delivers the keynote speech at the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Holiday Inn, 308 N. Comrie Ave., Johnstown.

8 a.m. - Hillary Clinton headlines an Eagle Academy Breakfast, Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, Manhattan.

8:15 a.m. – New York Law School’s CityLaw breakfast series features Robert Capers, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, New York Law School, Event Center, 185 West Broadway, 2nd floor, Manhattan.

9 a.m. - Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan helps plant 14 trees to replace trees lost to the Emerald Ash Borer and old age, Lincoln Park near the corner of Morton Avenue and Oneida Terrace, Albany.

9:30 a.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul convenes the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and makes a funding announcement, SUNY Fredonia, Room G204 ABC, 280 Central Ave., Fredonia.

10 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appears live on “The Brian Lehrer Show” to discuss the executive budget, WNYC.

10 a.m. - Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announces the winners of 2016 Rain Barrel Competition, Albright Knox Art Gallery Auditorium, 1285 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.

10 a.m. - Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon, state Sen. Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Michael Cusick announce that New York and New Jersey will share prescription information through the National Association of Pharmacy Boards “InterConnect” database to combat the opioid epidemic, 130 Stuyvesant Place, 7th Floor Media Room, Staten Island.

11 a.m. - New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, state Sen. Martin Dilan and the city DOT announce the opening of Pulaski Bridge bike lanes, Eagle Street and McGuiness Boulevard, Brooklyn.

11 a.m. - “The Capitol Pressroom” features City & State’s Ashley Hupfl with this week's Winners & Losers, TWC News’ Nick Reisman and the Times Union’s Casey Seiler, Mental Health Association of NYS’ Glenn Liebman and Michael Carey, an advocate for the developmentally disabled, WCNY.

11:15 a.m. - Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz and parents of Success Academy students announce first court date in a lawsuit seeking to keep the network’s pre-K program running, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

11:35 a.m. - De Blasio discusses the executive budget on the “John Gambling Show” in a taped appearance, AM 970.

12 p.m. - New York City Public Advocate Letitia James delivers remarks at Bronx Community Board 9's Symposium, Sonia Sotomayor Community Center, 1000 Rosedale Ave., Bronx.

12 p.m. - Hochul joins elected official for a groundbreaking at the Rochester Public Market expansion, 280 Union Street North, Rochester.

2 p.m. - Hochul delivers remarks during an installation ceremony for SUNY Brockport President Heidi Macpherson, SUNY Brockport Special Events Recreation Center, 350 New Campus Drive, Brockport.

3 p.m. - Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Hakeem Jeffries join public defenders, professional and community allies to discuss their legislative proposal to fix the indigent defense system, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, 40 Rector St., 5th Floor, Manhattan.

6 p.m. - New York City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and Release The Grip / Bronx Connect mourn the death of Rahmel Johnson and call for an end to violence in our streets, 111 Findlay Ave., Bronx.



8:30 a.m. - “Reaching Out with Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd” features Elsie McCabe Thompson, president of the New York City Mission Society, AM 970.

9:30 a.m. - Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance joins the Legal Aid Society and Grand Street Settlement to host an all-day “Clean Slate” summons warrant forgiveness event, 80 Pitt St., Manhattan.



10 a.m. - “Effective Radio with Bill Samuels” features Florida Rep. David Jolly and state Sen. Brad Hoylman, AM970.



8:35 a.m. – Sidewalk Labs’ Daniel Doctoroff, Related Companies’ Stephen Ross, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer participate in a panel discussion on Hudson Yards at the Crain’s New York Business Real Estate Conference, Sheraton New York Times Square, 811 Seventh Ave., Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. - The New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

9:40 a.m. – REBNY’s John Banks, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been, Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York’s Gary LaBarbera and other participate in a panel discussion on the future of the 421-a tax break at the Crain’s New York Business Real Estate Conference, Sheraton New York Times Square, 811 Seventh Ave., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - “Effective Radio with Bill Samuels” features Florida Rep. David Jolly and state Sen. Brad Hoylman WVOX 1460AM.

11:05 a.m. - Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia, AECOM’s Chris Ward and The Municipal Art Society’s Gina Pollara discuss the governor’s plans for Penn Station at the Crain’s New York Business Real Estate Conference, Sheraton New York Times Square, 811 Seventh Ave., Manhattan.

1 p.m. - The New York City Council Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor committee room, Manhattan.

2 p.m. - The New York City Council Governmental Operations Committee meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.



NYC Department of Education's Internship Program

New York City's Department of Education is seeking startups to host students participating in the Youth Career Connect summer internship program. It's FREE and simple for companies to participate (students are paid by DOE through a Federal grant). To apply to be a host for the summer (7/11 - 8/19), visit or contact Richard Robbins at


“Boehner is right. Nobody in Congress likes Ted Cruz and Cruz gives Lucifer a bad name. He’s the present-day devil in Congress.” - Rep. Peter King, on John Boehner comparing Ted Cruz to the devil, via Newsday.