This week was all about money. We learned that the gap between rich and poor New Yorkers is widening, that Mayor Bloomberg is the tenth richest man in the U.S., and that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay federal income tax, mostly because they’re very poor or elderly. But we also learned that money can’t buy happiness or even guarantee a Senate Republican’s seat in a primary, and so we present this week’s winners, and their diametric opposites, the losers.
Frank Seddio – Three out of the last five Brooklyn Democratic bosses have been tossed into prison and a fourth might be on his way. But the new chairman hopes to avoid the pratfalls that plagued prior party leaders by using his sweaty charm to win over progressives. He’s had a good start by eliminating at-large district leaders, condemning his predecessor’s groping scandal, and putting a rival on the party’s rules committee. We also hear he’s a mean chef!
Brian Kavanagh – The Manhattan assemblyman stood out from the pack this week when a bill he sponsored making it easier to read paper ballots got some good press, including an editorial devoted to the issue in the New York Times. Kavanagh’s quiet winning streak began last week when his former staffer Nily Rozic won an upset Assembly victory in Queens against Jerry Iannece.
Nan Hayworth – Maybe there is something to Hayworth positioning herself as a centrist. Sean Patrick Maloney’s campaign is trying to spin it as a close race, but a new poll on his challenge against the congresswoman showing him behind by 13 points is just the kind of news Hayworth wants. Maloney’s response – that a WFP candidate who got 11 points will drop out – isn’t exactly baloney, but there’s no guarantee that those polled would necessarily cast their ballot for Maloney.
Jumaane Williams – Nobody is helping New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams make his point about the need to reform the NYPD more than the NYPD. Last year, he was the subject of police brutality at the West Indian Day Parade when he was wrongly arrested on his way to an official event. This week, while peacefully attending an Occupy Wall Street rally as an observer, Williams was photographed being shoved by a member of the NYPD apparently without provocation or cause. It’s sad to think that Williams has to be the repeated subject of mistreatment to get his point heard about stop-and-frisk, which he says unfairly targets minorities, but at least Williams can take consolation that now his message is being broadcast loud and clear.
Robin Andrews – As the Times Union noted this week, Robin Andrews, the Democratic challenger in Roy McDonald’s 43rd Senate district, could be on the receiving end of a windfall of money if McDonald loses his primary challenge against Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione. Pro same-sex marriage groups already donated millions to McDonald and are prepared to pull out all the stops to ensure the anti-marriage Marchione doesn’t take McDonald’s seat.
Mike Gianaris – The Senate Democrats didn’t officially endorse in the primary to decide who will take on Buffalo’s Mark Grisanti in November, but Gianaris, the chair of the Dems’ fundraising committee, said Chuck Swanick was the stronger candidate and personally donated to his campaign. However, Swanick ended up getting creamed by his opponent, Michael Amodeo, who racked up 58 percent of the vote, more than double Swanick’s measly 26 percent. Now Gianaris’ bad bet could further undermine the fractious Democratic conference, as Amodeo has said that he won’t rule out joining the rebel IDC—a move that could push Gianaris’ dream of regaining the majority farther out of reach, or at least give Jeff Klein more power at the bargaining table if a reconciliation comes into play.
John Liu – The New York City comptroller is in lukewarm water for recently bypassing a competitive bid process and hiring a money management firm that mismanaged some of the city’s pension funds in 2010. Liu also had to endure the embarrassingly outlandish comments from an ally who invoked the Holocaust (on Rosh Hashanah!) when describing his suffering at the hand of the FBI. Hey, everyone deserves a second chance, right? Unless …
Pedro Espada – … you’re Pedro Espada, who could end up in jail ahead of schedule because he may have violated the terms of his release. Federal prosecutors asked a judge to revoke his bail when they revealed Espada and his family had drained his Bronx health clinic’s remaining assets when it was sold in June, a year after he was convicted for stealing $400,000 from the nonprofit.
Juan Reyes – Reyes didn’t just lose his state Senate primary race last week – he lost it in an embarrassing fashion. In the closing days of the race, a mailer from Reyes’ campaign surfaced which criticized his primary opponent, City Councilman Eric Ulrich, as a “gay-friendly, ‘cosmopolitan’ Republican.” The tactic cost him the support of his old boss, Rudy Giuliani, and, after the loss, prompted a personal apology from Reyes.
Roy McDonald – The famously outspoken senator was rewarded for his flip on same-sex marriage with millions of dollars in campaign donations intended to insulate him from defeat. But money doesn’t always equal votes in a low turnout Republican primary and the legislator is fighting for his seat, vote by vote, even as the governor and Mayor Michael Bloomberg admit now they could have done more to help both him and Sen. Steve Saland hang onto their places in the legislature.
Tags: Brian Kavanagh, Chuck Swanick, Eric Ulrich, Frank Seddio, IDC, Jeff Klein, Jerry Iannece, John Liu, Juan Reyes, Jumaane Williams, Kathy Marchione, Mark Grisanti, Michael Amodeo, Michael Bloomberg, Mike Gianaris, Nan Hayworth, Nily rozic, NYPD, Occupy Wall Street, Pedro Espada, Robin Andrews, Roy McDonald, Rudy Giuliani, Sean Patrick Maloney, wfp