Adolfo Carrión – Not since Malcolm Smith fiddled with his BlackBerry instead of paying attention to Tom Golisano has poor phone etiquette been so politically costly. This week Staten Island Republican power broker Guy Molinari withdrew his support of Joe Lhota for mayor after growing furious at the former MTA boss for not returning his phone calls. Instead, Molinari announced that he would back former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión for mayor. The nod for Carrión ended up being his second big endorsement of the week, with the Independence Party also announcing their support for his candidacy.
Timothy Dolan – Dolan has gently brushed off interest in becoming the next Bishop of Rome after Pope Benedict XVI announced this week he was abdicating the papal throne. Vegas put his odds to become the next pope at 25 to 1 (Bono is a distant 1,000 to 1) and many papal experts said he remains a dark horse candidate because cardinals are unlikely to select an American. But his Irish Eyes are smiling from the attention he has received from the city’s top public figures, the press, and his “best friend” Stephen Colbert. Trend on, #DolanforPope, trend on.
Stephanie Miner – The Syracuse mayor took her fight against the governor mainstream, penning an op-ed in The New York Times this week that takes him to task for a budget proposal that she says does little to help municipalities in dire financial straits. Miner could be accused of biting the hand that feeds her, considering that Cuomo partially controls the state’s purse strings and also made her co-chair of the state Democrats. But Miner’s job, first and foremost, is as an advocate for her city, and if that means calling out the governor for “budget gimmicks” that could increase the long-term fiscal pressure on Syracuse, then so be it. Not to mention, her courage could serve her well politically, as her re-election campaign just kicked into gear.
Jenny Rivera – The CUNY Law School professor may not have been qualified enough for a judicial appointment for some lawmakers, but Rivera passed muster with enough of the Legislature and is now on her way to joining the New York State Court of Appeals. Republicans in both houses criticized her lack of any experience on the bench, which some saw as a sign of a broader split with the governor. Still, Cuomo once again got his way – and it’s a safe bet that “Judge Jenny Rivera” sounds just as good to her as it does to the governor.
Shelly Silver – The leading advocate for a minimum wage hike in the state found himself in good company this week when President Obama surprised the country by calling for an even larger increase to the federal minimum wage in his State of the Union address than Silver has been pushing for. And even if Obama doesn’t get his proposed $9 minimum wage through Congress, Silver just introduced legislation that also pegs the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour. The only downside is that Senate Republicans may use Obama’s federal proposal to delay any action in Albany.
Vivian Cook and Ruben Wills – What’s the deal with Southeast Queens? These two Queens legislators got tangled in the web of Shirley Huntley and her theft of taxpayer dollars. The former senator submitted another guilty plea this week, this time to falsifying evidence, and it looks like Cook and Wills might go down with the Good Ship Huntley. Cook reportedly was a party to Huntley’s thievery, with the two using the money to go on shopping sprees at upscale shopping outlets. Wills, formerly Huntley’s chief of staff, is under investigation for failing to account for $32,000 in taxpayer money that Huntley steered to his nonprofit organization, and took the fifth when asked about it by state investigators and auditers. Wills is up for re-election, and considering he’s been on the periphery of legal trouble since he took his Council seat, the voters might want to go in a different direction. As for Cook, she was apparently fingered by Huntley herself, so unless Huntley is lying (and with two guilty pleas already, she would have little reason to do so), Cook might also be trading in those fancy new threads for an orange jumpsuit.
John Fusto and Jose Castillo – When he was running for governor in 2006, then-AG Eliot Spitzer scored big political points branding Brooklyn dentist Leonard Morse a poster child for Medicaid fraud. This week those accusations came unraveled when Dr. Morse was awarded a $7.7 million judgment against former Spitzer deputy John Fusto and investigator Jose Castillo for fabricating evidence against him, smearing his reputation and destroying his practice. While Spitzer was not named in the suit, Morse, who said he felt “totally vindicated,” slammed the former Gov, saying “his finger prints are all over it.”
Robert Haggerty and Daniel O’Hara – Some states battle over which fair is the best in the country. New York’s might win the title for most dysfunctional. The state Inspector General issued another report this week blasting the lax oversight and poorly run operations of the New York State Fair, and it singled out O’Hara, the former fair director, for awarding contracts to former colleagues. Haggerty, O’Hara’s boss, was already fired last year, but he may now face further investigation from the state ethics commission. It isn’t all bad for O’Hara, however: he is now making $110,000 a year at the state’s Division of Homeland Security.
Vito Lopez – Roses are red, violets are rough; JCOPE’s findings reveal some disgusting stuff. The latest in a string of allegations against the disgraced assemblyman, unveiled in a New York Post story, involve Lopez leering at a 14-year-old female intern and asking women staffers to rub his hands repeatedly because they went numb. Gross. Sources described the ethics commission’s conclusions as “eviscerating,” but Lopez’s lawyer dismissed its findings as “stuff that’s already in the press.” We can’t wait for the entire report, which we hope reads like a cross between The Power Broker and 50 Shades of Grey.
Catharine Young – The state senator engendered some good will by appearing at a news conference with Lydia Cuomo, the victim of a rape by a New York City police officer, and calling for changes to the state’s rape law to include oral and anal sex. But Young decided to drop that change from a bill she introduced hours after the news conference without telling Cuomo (no relation to the guv). Young defended the decision by claiming the bill had not been finalized and that the proposed changes might make it harder for juries to convict. But if Young simply didn’t agree with the victim, then hugging her at a press conference where Cuomo openly advocated for the change was probably not the wisest move.
Correction: A previous version of this post said that Guy Molinari was chairman of the Staten Island Republican Party. In fact, Bob Scamardella is the chair of the Staten Island GOP.
Tags: Adolfo Carrion, Annie Hall, Barack Obama, Catharine Young, CUNY Law School, Daniel O'Hara, Division of Homeland Security, Eliot Spitzer, guy-molinari, Independence Party, Jack Donaghy, Jenny Rivera, joe lhota, John Fusto, Jose Castillo, Leonard Morse, Lydia Cuomo, Malcolm Smith, Michael Bloomberg, New York State Court of Appeals, Robert Haggerty, Ruben Wills, Shelly Silver, shirley huntley, Stephanie Miner, Stephen Colbert, Syracuse, timothy dolan, Tom Golisano, Vito Lopez, Vivian Cook, Wilson-Pakula