Winners and Losers 8/01/14

Winners and Losers 8/01/14

Winners and Losers
July 31, 2014

Summertime and the livin' is easy... Unless you are Larry Schwartz and his boss AC. The Moreland Commission, it isn't going bye-bye. Preet is doing more fishin', and Schneiderman is cozying up to the guy. Take a tip, take a tip, take a tip from me. Winners and Losers, it's the place to be.

 

WINNERS

Rafael Cestero - Nothing like having an influx of $350 million to play with. Cestero is New York City’s former commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and current CEO of the Community Preservation Corporation, the organization that will be in charge of administering a revolving fund for financing affordable housing construction established by Mayor de Blasio. The fund, with contributions from many of the city’s leading financial institutions, puts CPC squarely back on the map after teetering on the brink of bankruptcy before Cestero’s arrival, and allows the organization to be flexible with the type of lending capital it can offer housing developers to further the mayor’s affordable housing goals.

Robert Grossman – They say the sun shines brightest after the storm, so perhaps it’s fitting that NYU Langone Medical Center, a facility devastated by Superstorm Sandy, will receive the second-largest award for a single project in FEMA’s history. Grossman, Langone’s CEO, must truly be kissing Chuck Schumer’s feet, because not only does his medical center get the financial aid they wanted, but it gets the money in a lump sum as opposed to incremental payments, a snipping of the red tape that surely has many Sandy-impacted homeowners and NYCHA residents envious.

Craig Jelinek - Who wouldn't want to take their vacation to beautiful, sunny Costco? Well, the retail giant might be getting tax breaks to build a store in Oceanside, Long Island, because the Nassau County Development Agency has concluded the store would be a tourist destination. (Retailers in New York are not typically eligible for tax breaks, unless the project is in a blighted area, offers services not available in that area, or is tourism-related.) Regardless of whether it gets the breaks, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek deserves props for his company having the gall to lobby for such an audacious giveaway.

Eric Schneiderman - The state attorney general has been under fire for refusing to comment on the recent Moreland Commission drama. Schneiderman has said he can’t comment on an ongoing investigation and instead had lunch with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara ... at City Hall Restaurant, a very public place known for its proximity to New York City Hall. Schneiderman might as well have been holding up a sign declaring “See, I’m not being investigated!”

Elise Stefanik - Stefanik, an up-and-coming congressional candidate running for the North Country seat being vacated by Rep. Bill Owens, already beat fellow Republican Matt Doheny in a primary battle. Now, Doheny’s recent decision to drop out entirely—despite having his name on the Independence Party line—means Stefanik won’t have to battle him again, seriously bolstering her chances in November. The development is also great news for the House GOP, which views the seat as a key pickup opportunity this cycle.  

 

LOSERS

Andrew Cuomo - First, the Moreland Commission was billed as an independent body that could investigate anyone. Then, when the Cuomo administration was accused of meddling in its investigations, we were told that the commission actually wasn’t supposed to be looking at entities linked to the governor. Now, the latest word is that Moreland truly was independent. Of course, some folks still have their doubts—including U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who just this week reprimanded the administration for potential witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Dan Halloran - Many have pointed out that the former New York City Councilman’s corruption conviction this week, for which he is looking at up to 45 years in prison, is yet another horrible blow to the public trust—if there is any left to be lost. But where’s the discussion about what a terrible setback Halloran’s guilty verdict is for pagan-American children across the Empire State, who dreamed of one day following in the First Atheling’s footsteps and becoming elected officials just like him?

Bill Samuels - Samuels has built his brand in the good government community being Andrew Cuomo’s foremost public antagonist. But this week—just days after the Second Floor’s inference with the Moreland Commission became a national story—Samuels shocked political observers by endorsing Cuomo for reelection. Whatever the reason for this sudden change of heart, this endorsement couldn’t have come at a worse time from an optics standpoint for Samuels, and now if there are any further negative developments for the governor’s office, Samuels will have to grin and bear them.

Aaron Woolf -  Mr. Woolf, does being a millionaire make you out of touch with North Country voters? … (crickets chirping) … Uh, no. … That was pretty much how it went down this week when a reporter from the Watertown Daily Times caught the Democratic congressional nominee in NY-21 off-guard by asking him about the millions of dollars in personal assets he declared in his U.S. House-mandated financial disclosure. Everyone has a brain freeze on occasion, but isn’t this a question that Woolf, who has struggled to demonstrate he is ready for primetime, should have been prepared to answer? Unfortunately for Woolf, the more than 30 seconds that elapsed before he finally mustered a response spoke volumes before he eventually managed to verbalize anything.

 

Correction: In an earlier version of this post we named state Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox a loser. The premise for the decision was because 40 tax preparers had their licenses revoked for not filing their taxes. We incorrectly reported that the tax preparers were state contractors, which is not the case. 

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