Winners and Losers 07/18/14
Winners and Losers 07/18/14
This week it was time for politicians to show us the money, preferably without multiple mistakes in their filings (here’s looking at you, Eric Adams). It seems everyone’s raking in the dough. You’ve got to love politics when taking in only $1.2 million makes you a loser compared to Cuomo’s Scrooge McDuck-like campaign chest of $35 million. If you weren't among the folks swimming in gold this week, cheer up. At least it's free to vote for this week’s winners and losers:
Maria del Carmen Arroyo - Those Arroyos sure are lucky. The assemblywoman-New York City Councilwoman mother-daughter team has often seemed on the verge of legal disaster in recent years, but somehow when the chips are down they always get off scot-free. And legal matters aren’t the only area where fortune smiles upon the Bronx duo. In her most recent filing, Maria del Carmen Arroyo disclosed between $5,000 and $44,000 in gambling winnings in 2013, which means that she’s not just following in her mother’s footsteps in politics, she is also doing so on the way to the casino. In 2012, Carmen Arroyo reported $28,467 in gambling winnings on her Assembly disclosure form.
Andrew Cuomo - ’Ello, Gov’na! Money isn’t everything, but it’s hard to argue with $35 million. That’s how much Cuomo has in the bank after raising $8.5 million in the latest filing period. Compare that to the $3.4 million raised by that Republican guy running against him, and it’s starting to look like Cuomo will get the landslide he wants—and that’s not even counting any outside spending, like all those Empire State Development ads—oh wait, those aren’t campaign ads? To top it off, Cuomo parachuted into the MTA-LIRR union contract dispute and once again saved the day.
Letitia James - If most New Yorkers had no idea how the obscure succession order for mayor worked in the Big Apple, a lot more have learned who is first in line since BdB announced that he was jetting off for a vacation in Italy. That’s because Public Advocate Letitia James has been publicly licking her lips, running through the thought experiment that she could wind up the Big Kahuna if the mayor liked Italy so much he decided to stay more than 9 days in his ancestral homeland—thus triggering a city Charter provision that vests some of his executive authority in the public advocate. Perhaps as a not-so-subtle way of auditioning for his job, James is apparently planning on holding press conferences to lay out new initiatives when de Blasio is gone—including the immediate deployment of snow machines to shut down all of the city’s airports.
Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu - For the longest of long shots, the late-entry ticket of Teachout-Wu is certainly making the most of their attack on the governor’s left flank. A week ago, they turned in three times as many petitions as they needed to get on the ballot. Then this week they announced more than a quarter million dollars from a month and a half of fundraising. And while they have a minuscule fraction of Cuomo’s cash, they are touting their small-donor prowess by highlighting that their total amount of contributors exceeds the governor's this filing period. While these numbers may very well add up to little come September, compared to Rob Astorino's lumbering campaign, these upstarts are showing some sizzle.
Angel Salazar, Aryeh Eller, Wayne Miller and George Addison: It’s every slackers dream: getting paid large amounts of money for not doing a job. The New York Post reported this week that Eller, Miller and Addison, three of New York City’s longest-running “rubber room” teachers, have received a total of more than $1 million each for a decade of not working in classrooms, while Salazar has pulled in more than $100K for not teaching since 2010. And despite the fact that all four men were taken out of commission because of unproven sexual-misconduct charges, they've even gotten raises during their long periods of dormancy. As far as losers go, these guys are winners.
Rob Astorino - Last week he was 35 points down in the latest polls. This week he is down $30 million in campaign funds. Could it get any worse?
Howard Glaser - The upside for Glaser is that a critical ProPublica story didn’t break until after he left the Cuomo administration, but it’s still an embarrassment—or worse—that he was a consultant and lobbyist for the mortgage industry when he advised then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on investigations into the mortgage industry. The insider knowledge Glaser had could have helped such an investigation, but there is a good deal of evidence that the mortgage industry might have gotten the better end of the bargain.
Ken Adams - Cuomo's New York may be "Open for Business," but his administration has not been very open when it comes to the details of that state-run marketing campaign. Gannett reported this week that it tried for a year to get info on how many taxpayer dollars are spent on the program, overseen by Adams' Empire State Development, and where exactly all the money is going. The administration finally released details on Thursday, but only after hounding by the press, criticism from gubernatorial challenger Rob Astorino and the promise of an audit from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. If nothing else, the governor's motives are transparent.
George Maziarz - So much for becoming the next Dean Skelos. State Sen. George Maziarz waited until the last minute before shocking New York’s political world with his decision to decline a run for reelection. He insisted that it has nothing to do with an investigation into fishy campaign expenditures, but the explanation that it simply was time to make way for the next generation of leaders didn’t pass the smell test—especially since Maziarz, at only 61, is a power broker in Western New York and the No. 3 Republican in the state Senate.
Sean Patrick Maloney - Everybody's entitled to a big wedding day, but is it really necessary to hire a drone to record it in all its over-the-top luster? Rep. Maloney opened himself up to distracting criticism by contracting an aerial photographer to use a drone, despite the fact that the FAA has been sending letters to commercial operators across the country to cease using them or else face fines. The GOP congressional committee was only too happy to point out that Maloney just happens to be on the House subcommittee that oversees the FAA, thus painting Maloney in one fell swoop both as out of touch with regular people's lives and someone who doesn't think the rules apply to him.