* Guess who’s now running unopposed for an elected position within the Queens Democratic Party? None other than Jeffrey Gottlieb! That’s the veteran Queens Democrat whom Assemblyman Rory Lancman angrily accused of being a “plant” on behalf of the Queens Democrats (meant to split the Jewish vote) during the now-completed NY-6 congressional Democratic race. Gottlieb eventually dropped out after some of his past problems were exposed by the New York Post, but not before Lancman’s allegations created quite a headache for Assemblywoman Grace Meng, who was backed by the Queens Democrats in the race (and eventually won). While the Queens Democrats appear to be rewarding Gottlieb by supporting him for a state committee position – a position Gottlieb had not previously held – others who similarly had the audacity to run for Congress against Meng are being punished. Lancman faces a primary challenger for district leader, while the Queens Democrats refused to help Councilwoman Liz Crowley petition for her district leader spot. Gottlieb, who denied being a “plant,” also raised eyebrows by petitioning for Meng only days before he jumped into the congressional race.
* Assemblyman Vito Lopez celebrated state Supreme Court justice Gus Reichbach’s life at his memorial service in Brooklyn Heights on Sunday, recounting stories of how he won election to the bench. Lopez helped Reichbach win a judgeship to Brooklyn Civil Court by only 141 votes in a contested primary. The two had grown close ever since. “He always wanted reassurance, he always asked, ‘Did I do well?’ ” said Lopez. “He loved politics. For someone who was outside the political scene, he loved regular politics. He became a friend.” Lopez suggested jokingly that the city rename the Brooklyn Bridge, the Reichbach Bridge, or at least rename the corner of Bond and Dean streets where Reichbach lived after him and encourage Reichbach’s longtime friend, developer Bruce Ratner, to honor him at a Brooklyn Nets game this fall.
* Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Friday joined Smart Power NY, a coalition of community organizations, elected officials, and environmentalists supporting the Astoria Repowering Project, an effort to rebuild an existing Queens power plant to be more environmentally friendly. “Changing the way we are dealing with energy, changing the way we are dealing with power is a citywide issue,” said Quinn, adding that project could “help every resident of the city of New York.” Backers of NRG Energy’s project say it would cost $1.5 billion, increase energy output enough to power 320,000 homes, and create 500 construction jobs. State Sen. Michael Gianaris said that the project was a “win-win-win-win-win situation” and had “no opposition.” In May, NRG submitted a proposal for the project to the governor’s Energy Highway Task Force; support from the task force would aid NRG in securing a long term contract with the New York Power Authority, which it needs to acquire financing for the project. An NRG representative said that the proposal was “the premier project in New York City” and the only one with permits by the Department of Environmental Conservation in order and shovel ready.
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