While the Cuomo Administration was creating an international incident and the Attorney General was riling super PACs in Washington, a coalition of activists was prevailing upon Christine Quinn for paid sick days. We were watching it all, and tallying up the winners and also, the losers.
Joe Martens – It seems like every time Martens is in the press he’s getting beaten up over hydrofracking, so it must have been a breath of fresh, clean air over at the Department of Environmental Conservation this week for the commissioner to announce news that wasn’t just largely noncontroversial, but cause for practically every New Yorker who doesn’t work in the lumber industry to celebrate. By acquiring 69,000 acres from the Nature Conservancy, Martens and the Cuomo administration pulled off the largest single addition to the Adirondack State Forest Preserve in more than a century—a significant triumph for conservationists, recreationists and a host of local businesses. While Martens will still have to move mountains to get a statewide consensus on hydrofracking, at least he has six new mountains taller than 2,000 feet in his portfolio to elevate his spirits.
Eric Schneiderman – The Attorney General is a kind of a trendsetter these days, with his nonprofit regulations and bath salts investigations paving the way for new state laws. His latest effort, to investigate the shadow nonprofit world of 501(c)4s, has groups on both sides of the partisan divide quivering.
Mark Murphy – Even with his opponent, Rep. Michael Grimm, getting his share of bad press about investigations and ties to folks in legal trouble, it still looks like Murphy will have a hard time ousting the incumbent in relatively Republican-friendly Staten Island (and a bit of Brooklyn, of course). But he got a big boost this week when the DCCC put him on its Red-to-Blue list, which could help him make connections with big-dollar donors. Now Murphy will have to show Rep. Steve Israel, the DCCC chair and a fellow New Yorker, that he can capitalize on the support and join him in Washington.
Janette Sadik-Khan – This was a bad week for Sadik-Khan’s beloved bicycles. After it was announced that the launch of Chicago’s bike share program will be delayed until next year, New York’s own initiative, which is being rolled out by the same company, Alta Bicycle Share, quickly seemed to lose air. Perhaps the administration will still be able to get the bike share program back on track for this year, as planned, but the city’s reluctance to issue a new starting date does not bode well for the immediate future. As if that news weren’t deflating enough for bike enthusiasts, the Daily News picked this week to unchain their fury at cyclists speeding through Central Park and to call for a ban on riding across the Brooklyn Bridge. Hey, at least there will be more room in all those bike lanes Sadik-Khan keeps putting down.
Michael Grimm – This year, it seems that hardly a month passes that there’s not another shady story touching upon Michael Grimm. The Staten Island congressman just can’t seem to shake the continuing run of negative news, which may be due to an unfair bias from the likes of The New York Times (which is what Grimm, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, says), or perhaps some ethically or legally questionable behavior (which his congressional opponent has recently started suggesting). This time, it was a trip to Cyprus that Grimm failed to file paperwork on – until just after the person who paid for the trip was arrested on federal corruption charges.
Christine Quinn – People who might otherwise support the Council Speaker, like Gloria Steinem and some LGBT activists, are mobilizing against her on the issue of paid sick leave, putting her squarely between the business community she’s trying to court and the elements she would like to be her base, and illustrating once again the pitfalls of having a position of real power.
Tom Libous – The crafty deputy majority leader, who often finds himself on our winners list, instead this week became the face of a loophole in the state’s ethics law. The Wall Street Journal reported that Libous, who apparently doubles as a Florida landlord, refuses to list the addresses of the properties he owns — nor is he required to. There’s no fire burning yet about the issues raised, but with Libous also facing scrutiny from other quarters, the smoke isn’t helpful.
Craig Eaton- By our count, there are only two Republican elected officials whose district are solely in Brooklyn: State Sen. Marty Golden and State Sen. David Storobin. Yet this week, Brooklyn GOP chairman Craig Eaton bashed Storobin in the press after Storobin blamed the Brooklyn GOP for petitioning problems. The whole affair is strange since Eaton was the one of the main people who got Storobin elected in the first place. Regardless, when your ranks are that small, it’s not a good idea to have any disunity.
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