With the mayor
delivering the State of the City, the governor delivering yet another version
of his State of the State as the news of layoffs started circulating and just
about everyone else in the city and state filing their campaign finance
disclosures, it was another week of ups and downs in New York.
Here are City Hall’s picks of the five who did
the best, and the five who did the worst. Make sure to vote on your picks, and
let us know who should be on next week’s list by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending us
a DM on Twitter @CityHallNews.
Scott Stringer –
As of this week’s filing, the Manhattan borough president is still over $2
million behind Christine Quinn and $4 million behind Anthony Weiner in the
money primary for the 2013 mayor’s race. But raising $400,000 in the last six
months gave Stringer a burst of headlines, momentum, and, no doubt, more money
that will make his insistent mayoral candidacy ever harder to relegate to the
back burner. The last five Manhattan borough presidents have all, at least
briefly, run for mayor. Stringer is undoubtedly looking to follow in their
footsteps. But the real question is whether he’ll follow in the footsteps of
the two Manhattan borough presidents in the history of the city who went on to
win (extra points for readers who can name them both without checking Wikipedia).
David Carlucci –
Sorry, ladies. This young, gap-toothed, go-getting surprise senator is now
spoken for. By Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, that is.
Sure, Carlucci got married this week to his high school sweetheart, but the
real news was Senate Democrats trying to woo the freshman legislator away from
Klein and back into the fold. No dice, said Carlucci, who took a
front-and-center position at the IDC’s Wednesday press conference on mandate
relief. Klein and the other renegade Democrats were loud and clear in thanking
Carlucci for his leadership in devising their proposals. As the fight for
Senate supremacy continues, Carlucci has now solidified his position as one of
the keys to legitimizing or delegitimizing efforts. Ring on his finger or not,
seems like he’ll keep getting a lot of Valentines this year.
Mike Long –
Going into last year’s elections, the Conservative Party seemed to have run its
course. The hatchet had been buried with Carl Paladino in just enough time to
make sure Rick Lazio didn’t stay on the line and sink them, but Mike Long and
his minions were starting to seem like relics of politics and demographics that
had faded from New York. But wait. Not only did the Conservatives move up to
Row C, but they this week reported raising $1.1 million, putting them ahead of
just about everyone else. That will only be the start, if Long makes good on
his promise to fund and run a campaign in support of Andrew Cuomo’s budget
cutting agenda—something of a departure from the socially conservative issues
that have been the Conservative Party’s guiding principles for so long. The
rumors of the Conservatives’ death were, perhaps, greatly exaggerated.
Blair Horner –
Holy good government, Batman! The legislative director of the New York Public
Interest Group is furthering his reputation for blowing the whistle wisely.
He’s two-for-two with the state’s governors of late–first he called for a
probe into David Paterson’s ill-begotten Yankees tickets. Now he’s called on
the Committee to Save New York, a secretly funded PAC planning to help Andrew
Cuomo fight public sector unions, to register as a lobbying group. And as a
surprise to many, they agreed, once Horner added heft to complaints that might
otherwise have circulated around the blogs and gone nowhere. And for that oh-so
delicious bit of irony, Horner used to work for Cuomo, helping him set up
Project Sunlight, a website that shows government spending in the interest of
that high-minded ideal of “transparency.”
Bloomberg – And so the recovery, in typical Bloomberg style begins, not with
another mea culpa or the announcement of a mega-project, but with a dry
management speech that made nice with the outer-boroughs and riled the unions.
Those who were surprised that one of his most impassioned moments at the State
of the City was about saving $2 billion on sewer processing through the Green
Infrastructure Plan don’t know Mike. Those who complained that he didn’t do
enough to look back haven’t been paying attention the last nine years. But just
in case there was any doubt, the mayor showed this week that he will still forge right ahead and ignore his critics. As budget season,
the people who were hoping they’d get to negotiate with a bowed mayor got a
reminder this week that dreams don’t always come true.
Bill Thompson –
A year ago, when Bill Thompson kicked off his time as a private citizen by
going on NY1 to say he was going to run for mayor again in 2013, he justified
the super early announcement by saying it would allow him to get the
fundraising started. A year and two filing periods later, he still hasn’t even
opened a committee, let alone raised a single dollar. When Anthony Weiner and
Christine Quinn are both still making lots of news and have the benefit of
sitting on top of millions frozen from their never-run ‘09 races, when Bill de
Blasio and John Liu have their citywide perches and raised a few hundred
thousand dollars, and when Scott Stringer has been hustling both for headlines
and a lead in fundraising, Thompson has been mostly quiet. For a man who
struggled to convince insiders that he had the fire in the belly to run last
time around, time is ticking to light the ignition.
Cathie Black –
Not only was the joke about birth control being the solution to the city’s
school over-crowding problem not well received, it was also recycled. From Joel
Klein. Who also cracked the joke in front of a crowd of unsmiling parents.
Smooth. Meanwhile, her stilted performance at a recent press conference, where
she basically repeated the mayor’s remarks verbatim, and the public booing she
got at an open meeting just reinforces the notion that Cathie Black is not
ready for primetime. Her boardroom antics got a shrug and a “whatareyougonnado”
from the mayor, but parents and teachers looking at worsening overcrowding
conditions say her behavior makes her seem like nothing more than Klein in a
designer jacket and blonde wig.
Bob Megna –
There’s now 12 days until Andrew Cuomo presents his executive budget, but he
still hasn’t presented his budget director. The rumors that Paterson appointee
Bob Megna is getting to keep the job have been in full swing for weeks, but
even in a week when the governor appointed a VP at ESDC and a special assistant
for community affairs, there was still no official word on who will fill this
crucial spot. It’s hard to see how this ends well for Megna: there might be
something about him that’s making Cuomo hold off hitting send on the press
release, or he might be getting set up to be the fall guy after the budget is
inevitably criticized. Or, perhaps most frightening, he’s the victim of a Cuomo
appointment process that still hasn’t filled holes in his cabinet and at most
agencies, two and a half months after Cuomo coasted to his win. Not even the
best case scenario for Megna is much fun: if he does get to stay, he’ll have to
run a budget that’s got bigger gaps ahead than the GDPs of most countries.
Steve Levy –
Think he’ll get 96 percent of the vote this time? His old friends from the
Suffolk County Democratic Party sure don’t. Already this week, Babylon Town
Supervisor Steve Bellone announced that he had raised over $1 million for a
run. And that was far from the end of the bad news. He also tried quash a
subpoena ordering him to testify in the trial of former County legislator
George Guldi, who is facing charges of insurance fraud. It all may be enough to
make that mustache quiver just a little as he heads into this year’s election,
which he’s already indicated that he’d like to make step one of his Republican
entrenchment en route to a more fruitful Andrew Cuomo challenge in 2014.
Jack Ahern – It’s always lonely at the top, but life for the leader of the city’s
Central Labor Council got a little lonelier this week after three top staffers
at the union hive buzzed off, following news that Ahern had doubled his own
salary, mishandled criticism of sanitation workers post-blizzard, and failed to
stick up for his unions in a year when unions are turning into municipal and
state government punching bags. He’s no Brian McLaughlin—who’s serving out his
10-year prison sentence for embezzling more than $2 million—but there’s no
shortage of complaints.
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