Winners and Losers 08/22/14

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Winners and Losers 08/22/14

Winners and Losers
August 21, 2014

It’s fitting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo kicked off the Great New York State Fair this week after he was once again unable to kick Zephyr Teachout off the ballot. Fortunately for Bill de Blasio, if he decides to take a trip up to Syracuse to attend he won’t have to worry about gas money—that’s on us. So take a moment away from the butter sculptures and the deep-fried cheese curds to vote for this week’s winners and losers.

WINNERS

Jim Kelly - The former Buffalo Bills quarterback was exploring a potential alliance with Jon Bon Jovi on a bid to buy his old NFL team, but it fell through, according to reports citing his fears that the rocker would still try to relocate the team to Canada. But the football great had a huge victory this week when a doctor found that Kelly, after getting treated with radiation and chemotherapy, appears to be cancer free. 

Melissa Mark-Viverito - Whatever your opinion about her leadership style or political views, there is no question that Mark-Viverito broke ground as one of the most prominent female and Latina public leaders in the city, which is why her announcement of her HPV diagnosis was so important. Although HPV is the most commonly transmitted sexually-transmitted disease there is a clear stigma around women getting tested frequently, so having someone with the profile of Mark-Viverito raising HPV awareness is a noble and worthy cause.

Tom Reed – He’s the biggest loser on our winner’s list! The upstate congressman is displeased that his challenger, Martha Robertson, is using old photos of him in her campaign ads because they highlight how overweight he used to be. We prefer to applaud him for the 110 pounds he lost after getting bariatric surgery, which helped him slim down to a healthier size. That compares to an estimated 85 pounds lost by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who underwent weight loss surgery too but still has some catching up to do.

Scott Stringer - Scott Stringer’s new ClaimStat initiative seeks to reduce the sky-high cost of settling lawsuits and claims against New York City by harnessing the techiest of trends: big data analysis. The project earned him a barrage of good press coverage this week, including two articles in the Times—one a glowing pat on the back from the editorial board that even manages to slip in a mild jab at the de Blasio administration for sounding defensive about the comptroller’s wonderful idea. It's always good to read something nice about yourself in the Times.

Zephyr Teachout - Another week. Another court victory. And a bunch more positive press. She still has a long way to go before the primary election on Sept. 9, especially since the vast majority of the state's voters still don't know who she is, but overall this was another good week for the Democratic upstart. 

 

LOSERS

Robert Duffy - Duffy without Twitter!!! It's like Picasso without a paintbrush. Luckily his account was only hacked for a short time, and then he was back to making 140-character wise cracks. 

Oliver Koppell - On the campaign trail, it's never a good idea to insult the voters. But Koppell, while handing out fliers for his state Senate bid, was caught on video saying, “They’re not the most broad-minded people.” It’s not shown on video who he was talking about and Koppell has said he doesn’t remember who he was talking about, but Klein’s campaign was quick to pounce. This also wouldn’t be the first time Koppell has made questioned voters’ intelligence. In 2009, while he was a city councilman, Koppell was quoted saying voters were not “sophisticated enough” to make decisions on term limits.

Michael Mulgrew - It was hardly surprising that the police unions were all over Mulgrew for the UFT sponsoring and promoting Rev. Al Sharpton’s planned protest in Staten Island next weekend, but evidently some of Mulgrew’s own members are none too pleased with their union’s involvement. Mulgrew’s intentions may have been noble—protesting the death of Eric Garner from an apparent police chokehold—but he clearly misjudged his membership’s view of policing. A brief poll of Mulgrew’s members before sponsoring the rally would probably have stemmed the tide of criticism.

John Sampson - You gotta give Sampson credit, the man has soldiered on through his corruption indictment (physical threats from his staff notwithstanding), and somehow has stayed competitive in the race to hold on to his Senate seat this summer, despite few prominent supporters. Unfortunately, it looks like his former buddy Melvin Lowe may have dimmed Sampson’s hopes for dodging controversy, as Lowe admitted to prosecutors that he defrauded the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000 and reportedly gave $75,000 to Sampson himself. Sampson likely won’t face a trial until after the primary election, but even if he keeps his seat, this week’s news means he may not have it for long.

Michael White - Lockport’s finances are in such bad shape that the city could run out of money next month—and the state comptroller’s office is laying the blame with White, the embattled city treasurer. According to an audit by the comptroller, White’s accounting records were inaccurate and “materially misstated” account balances. Whether it was White’s error or—as he claimed—the fault of the former mayor, perhaps the only good thing to come out of the mess is a proposal to eliminate the position of an elected treasurer and instead hire a qualified financial professional to run things.

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