* City Comptroller John Liu is losing another deputy, which sources say is a symbol of deep unhappiness in the upper ranks of his office. First Deputy Comptroller Eric Eve, who was Liu’s point man for his now-stalled pension reform plan, is leaving Feb. 24 to become a partner at communications firm RLM Finsbury. He follows former deputy Alan van Capelle, who announced his departure last summer. Two sources said Eve, like others in the office, was unhappy at the influence Liu’s closest advisor, Chung Seto, holds over the office’s operations. Spokesmen for Liu did not immediately comment. Eve will be replaced by deputy comptroller Ricardo Morales, who will be replaced in return by Valerie Budzik.
* Adolfo Carrión Jr., the former Bronx borough president, may run for Congress if a new Latino-majority district is created in New York City, according to a Democratic source. Asked if he would run if the seat if created, Carrión did not deny being interested. “I think the redistricting exercise, if done properly, will result in a district where a Latino candidate can run a very strong and compelling campaign,” Carrión wrote in an email. “In the end, what will be important is who will be the strongest and most effective voice for a new urban district, one that represents the fastest growing sector of the American electorate. There are several highly qualified individuals that can do that, and they’ll have to make their case to the voters in due time.” State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is already itching to run for the potential seat, which community leaders say would encompass northern Manhattan, the west Bronx, and Corona and Jackson Heights in Queens. Espaillat, who is Dominican-American, could have an advantage since the district is expected to be largely Dominican. But Carrión, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is flush with cash from past campaigns, and has almost $1.1 million in a campaign account.
* With Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deadline for a statewide teacher evaluation system fast approaching, the United Federation of Teachers are again going to the airwaves. The new 30-second TV ad [http://bit.ly/zGWkwD], which includes one teacher asking “Why do some politicians go after teachers?,” doesn’t criticize Mayor Michael Bloomberg by name, and attempts to strike a more optimistic tone than the last commercial. “Work with us for better schools and a brighter future for all our students,” says UFT President Michael Mulgrew, while high-fiving students. The union and the Bloomberg administration have yet to come to an agreement on an evaluation system, at odds over an appeals process for teachers who receive negative evaluations. Cuomo has vowed to implement his own legislation if the two sides are unable to make a deal.
* Forest City Ratner, which has found both big wins and controversy over the last decade, appears to be rewiring its connections for New York’s new political realities. Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone left last week to start a new consulting firm, while the company just hired Ashley Cotton as vice president of external affairs. Cotton was a senior policy advisor to Robert Steel, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s deputy mayor for economic development, and previously was in the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he was attorney general. “Hiring Ashley Cotton is a clear indication that Ratner is trying to reboot,” one insider said. “She is connected to the Cuomo and Bloomberg worlds and also knows all the operatives that matter in business and labor. They are clearly shifting from an old guard approach to a younger, more politically savvy strategy.”
Tags: Adolfo Carrion, Adrian Espaillat, Andrew Cuomo, Atlantic Yards, Bruce Bender, Bruce Ratner, Eric Eve, Forest City Ratner, John Liu, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Mulgrew, redistricting, Scott Cantone
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