Undoubtedly at the national scale the top talker this week was PACs, both regular and Super, as the 2012 presidential election heated up. But we note that Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to have his own massively successful quasi-Super PAC, the Committee to Save New York, whose financial disclosure forms released late last week show a huge amount of wealth concentrated in the hands of roughly 20 anonymous millionaire donors all stumping for the Cuomo budget plan. None of that seems to have affected Cuomo’s popularity, which hovered at around 65 percent this week according to a new poll. But tons of other stuff happened too – from the seriousness of a leaked ethics complaint against Sen. Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous to the unmitigated joy of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bro-down with Mr. Met. And in a week with that much range, there are of course, winners, and their dark matter counterparts, losers.
Charles Barron – Conventional wisdom was that Hakeem Jeffries would lock down all the labor support in his congressional race with Barron, but District Council 37 has often defied conventional wisdom in its decisions, especially in recent years. For good or ill, the Lillian Roberts-led union is reportedly likely to go its own way again, backing the controversial would-be congressman, a major and possibly game-changing coup for Barron. With private labor support all lined up behind Jeffries, it will be interesting to see how much weight the 125,000-member public sector union will have.
Eric Schneiderman – Was it a pander to the posterior-pondering members of his base or just general annoyance at false advertising that led Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to lay the $45 million smackdown on Skechers this week for their bogus butt-toning sneakers, which apparently did no butt-toning whatsoever? We may never know, but the lawsuit he filed against them made the meta-point that you can’t just claim magical properties for shoes, or anything else for that matter, without having some kind of evidence to back it up. Cellulite cream, wrinkle removers and diet cookies, consider yourselves on notice.
Dean Skelos – The Senate Majority Leader got his district lines this week, for real, and breathed a heavy sigh of relief, after two months of ongoing court challenges threatened the state’s redistricting process. The end of the redistricting nightmare leaves Skelos with hands free to deal with other problems, like the Assembly push for a minimum wage hike and an ethics probe into his senior Senator Tom Libous. Ah, but these are gravy so long as his conference remains in the majority, a current fact given added longevity by the solidification of new, favorable district lines.
Christine Quinn – We could not be happier for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is getting married Saturday and fulfilling her oft-stated goal of having her father walk her down the aisle. That’s real life, which political people sometimes seem to forget about, and we wish her a happy ceremony with cake that tastes really good and has buttercream or cream cheese frosting. On the other hand, it wasn’t a bad week politically for the flame-haired Speaker. She received Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s non-endorsement endorsement of her run for mayor, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo ended the city’s food stamp fingerprinting process, in a show of support for one of her pet issues. Both pretty good wedding presents, all things considered.
Richard Lipsky - Yes, it’s a little weird to call someone headed for a lengthy prison stint a winner. But the Willets Point Queens development is now back to square one after the Bloomberg administration opted to take a path of less resistance and develop elsewhere near Citi Field. And no one was more responsible for creating resistance to the Willets Point development than Lipsky, whose constant badgering of the Economic Development Corporation (and reporters, indictment be damned) created numerous, substantial hurdles. Score one for the little guy, even as Lipsky heads to the Big House.
Pedro Espada, Jr. -The former Senator’s rosary beads did not appear to have their intended effect. The trial of the former State Senate majority leader ended with convictions on four counts, including embezzlement at his nonprofit healthcare clinic, and a re-trial likely to come for four more counts – all the result of court proceedings Espada said were influenced by “evil spiritual powers.” It looks like the only lucky break he got was getting the struggling Soundview clinic to pay his legal bills. Mr. Espada, we hope you enjoyed all those Edible Arrangements, Broadway tickets, Madonna concerts and petting zoos, dearly bought with your constituents’ Medicaid dollars, because even the nicest penitentiaries don’t have those amenities.
Charles Hynes – The Brooklyn district attorney may have satisfied the ultra Orthodox Jewish community by giving them and their rabbis more leeway in dealing with child abuse allegations, which he has defended by saying it protects victims. But the double standard, exposed a week ago in the Times, hasn’t pleased anyone else, with notables like Ed Koch, Michael Bloomberg and their potential successors clamoring to criticize Hynes. This story has sticking power, and we bet this won’t be the last bad week Hynes has over the allegations.
Tom Libous - The Number Two man in the Senate is being investigated by the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics over indirect allegations raised in a Yonkers trial that suggested Libous pressed his political influence to get a job for his son. None of this may go anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing either, especially in an election year. It’s JCOPE’s first investigation into a sitting lawmaker (that we know of) and no one wants to be the state Ethics Commission test subject – least of all Tom Libous, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Albany.
Bill Thompson – Not a great way to start your first real week of campaigning for mayor. The New York World outed some potential conflicts of interest between Thompson’s tenure as Battery Park City Authority chairman and the developers he indirectly helped through his position there, who also happened to be big donors to his campaign. This is just the beginning of investigative reporting into the No. 2 most popular candidate for mayor in 2013, so we have to wonder – what other skeletons does Thompson have in his closet?
Lew Fidler/David Storobin- How is it possible for both people in a Senate race to lose? Answer: Wacky Brooklyn special election between David Storobin and Lew Fidler. We learned this week that the recount between the two will go so long that neither will assume office during the legislative session. And neither the Senate Republicans nor Senate Democrats want Storobin or Fidler, respectively, to run in the new “Super Jewish” district this fall. The two sides are redefining attrition warfare, and the biggest losers are their prospective constituents, the people who will have been without representation in the Senate since Carl Kruger’s plea deal last December.
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