The moment Dov Hikind wakes up, before he puts on his makeup, he says a little prayer for you. The Brooklyn assemblyman did a lot of praying this week, but it was the makeup and combing his hair that got him in trouble and earned him headlines across the world. Forever and ever, it will stay in our heart, Dov’s sorry too. Forever and ever, we’ll remember the Purim costume, Dov meant to do. Together, forever, that’s how it must be. To live without Dov, would only mean heartbreak for me… and your winners and losers:
Michael Bloomberg – The mayor makes this week’s list mostly for exerting his influence outside New York City. His Super PAC provided a boost for Illinois Rep.-elect Robin Kelly, who handily won a special election on Tuesday over a pro-gun candidate. Bloomy was also ubiquitious down in D.C., schmoozing with Vice President Joe Biden and hobnobbing with some U.S. senators. And in case we all forgot he’s still running a city, a poll showed that 69 percent of voters agree with Bloomberg’s plan to ban foam food and drink containers and also gave him middle-of-the-road marks for his restrictions on large sugary drinks.
Tom DiNapoli – The comptroller was seemingly everywhere this week, and we almost mistook him for a member of the Syracuse basketball team’s swarming zone defense. The Times Union proclaimed that he was “setting the standard” in requiring a large corporation, the wireless company Qualcomm Inc., to reveal how it spends its money on campaign contributions and lobbying. DiNapoli also put out his annual Wall Street bonus figure ($20 billion) to wide acclaim, helped finish off former state Sen. Shirley Huntley with three of her associates pleading guilty, and the state is eagerly waiting for his opinions about the governor’s pension plan.
George McDonald – The Doe Fund founder is a long shot to win the New York City mayoral election, but this week he won a small battle in his war against the city and its strict campaign contribution limits. McDonald, who filed a lawsuit against the the New York City Campaign Finance Board, has argued that he doesn’t have to comply with limits on contributions to his campaign because he is opting out of the city’s matching fund program, and that the rule unfairly puts him at a disadvantage against a candidate who can self-fund. In a temporary compromise reached with the CFB, McDonald can raise money beyond the city’s limits but will still have to abide by city restrictions on spending the money for now. While the courts have yet to make a ruling, McDonald won’t get in trouble for raking in more cash.
Donovan Richards – After a razor-thin victory difference of 26 votes led to a recount, Richards emerged victorious in his City Council election in southeast Queens this week, with the margin increasing to 80 votes. Richards, the former chief of staff to James Sanders (now a state senator), will add another progressive voice to the Council, and his win validates the widespread support he received from city officials, labor and the Working Families Party. He was even gracious in victory, complimenting opponent Pesach Osina for a well-fought campaign and pledging to work with him in the future, a nod to Osina’s influence within the Orthodox Jewish community. How often do we see a recount not fraught with legal challenges and vitriol from boths sides? Here’s hoping Richards can be a unifying force for an ethnically diverse district.
Peter Vallone Jr. – The Astorian centurion has pulled ahead of a pack of challengers in a recent poll of the Queens borough president’s race. It’s still early to award Vallone frontrunner status – he only has 26 percent of the vote – but with seemingly half of the Queens political establishment running for the seat, Vallone was the only candidate with name recognition above 50 percent. The field will likely get less crowded in the coming months, but Vallone has as good a chance as anyone to survive a runoff in this summer’s Democratic primary.
Dan Cantor - The ongoing saga of Data and Field Services refuses to come to an end. This week two officials of Cantor’s Working Families Party received subpoenas from a special prosecutor in connection with an investigation into campaign assistance the WFP provided in 2009 to then Public Advocate candidate Bill de Blasio, then Staten Island City Council candidate Debi Rose and others. Cantor says the most recent investigation into the relationship between DFS and WFP will exonerate his left-leaning party of any wrongdoing, but it’s never good to be in a position that requires one to be exonerated.
Howard Glaser - After the New York State Transportation Department fired an engineer for giving an unauthorized, yet complimentary, interview about the job that agency workers did in repairing roads and bridges during Tropical Storm Irene, Glaser took to the airwaves and read aloud the disciplinary history of the engineer in what amounted to a smear tactic. For a top Cuomo aide to exacerbate a public relations blunder like this is incomprehensible, and the engineer, Mike Fayette, threatened to explore legal action against Glaser for publicly humiliating him. The firing may have been justified, regardless of the interview, but Glaser’s statements showed a lack of tact and class.
Clement Gardner - In yet another shameful instance of fleecing taxpayer-funded nonprofits, Gardner, the former chief fiscal officer for both the Christian Community Benevolent Association (CCBA) and Christian Community in Action (CCIA), pleaded guilty this week to grand larceny for embezzling $560,000 from the organizations, both of which have long ties to state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. Though Diaz had no comment on the guilty plea, the outspoken senator has weighed in on Gardner’s predicament in the past, slamming the FBI for not arresting Gardner earlier after Gardner allegedly confessed to an agent back in 2007.
Dov Hikind - Who knew that Purim could be such a politically calamitous holiday? Hikind’s decision to don blackface this week and then post a picture of him doing so on Facebook was one of those blunders so epic that in the age of the Internet it instantly spread around the word, even earning the ridicule of Jon Stewart. Go ahead and cast your ballots now. We all know who is the clear frontrunner for loser of the week this cycle.
Bob Scamardella - Scamardella was supposed to unify the Staten Island GOP when he took over as its chairman in 2011, and for a while it looked like he was the right man for the job. But a recent spat between Scamardella’s organization and GOP Councilman Jimmy Oddo over who should run to be Oddo’s replacement (Oddo is backing his chief of staff, while other key players support a party vice chair) have unraveled the party’s ties again, with Scamardella announcing this week that he’ll be packing his bags and leaving. But even those on Oddo’s side had good things to say about Scamardella, including his work building the party, making it seem the GOP is losing a valuable leader who just got caught in the crossfire.
Tags: Bill De Blasio, bob scamardella, Christian Community Benevolent Association, Christian Community in Action, clement gardner, Dan Cantor, data and field services, Debi Rose, dfs, Doe Fund, donovan richards, Dov Hikind, George McDonald, Howard Glaser, James Sanders, Jimmy Oddo, Joe Biden, Jon Stewart, Michael Bloomberg, Mike Fayette, Pesach Osina, Peter Vallone Jr., Qualcomm, Queens Borough President, Robin Kelly, ruben diaz sr, shirley huntley, Super PAC, Tom DiNapoli, wfp, Working Families Party