Winners and Losers 08/29/14
Winners and Losers 08/29/14
Fast food workers will be allowed to march in the Labor Day parade next week—a win for sure, but they didn't make the cut this week on our list. Neither did Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who many might have thought would be a shoo-in for the losers list for not receiving the New York Times’ endorsement. There was heated debate in the City & State newsroom this week... and here are the Winners and Losers we landed on:
Fred Amoafo -New York City cabbies are known for zipping through traffic, weaving in and out of lanes and exceeding the speed limit. Then there’s Amoafo, a yellow taxi driver from Queens who was honored for having the best safety record of all his peers. According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which also recognized nearly 300 other cabbies on its new “Safety Honor Roll,” Amoafo gave rides to more than 50,000 passengers without any passenger injuries, traffic violations or other penalties. We think he deserves a hefty tip.
Alicia Glen, Carl Weisbrod and Robert Linn - When Mayor Bill de Blasio talks about income inequality, he can turn to several key members of his administration to learn what life is like at the top. Robert Linn, the mayor’s top labor official, has a personal wealth of more than $4.5 million, according to figures released this week. Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod is worth more than $3.5 million. And Alicia Glen, a Goldman Sachs alum, lives in both of de Blasio’s “two cities” in her role as a deputy mayor: while she’s in charge of meeting the mayor’s ambitious affordable housing goals, she has $3.7 million.
Al Sharpton - It’s always been difficult to get a true sense of just how influential Sharpton remains after all these years, not only as a prominent figure in the black community, but as a political power broker. According to a Wall Street Journal poll, the reverend is surely benefiting from being placed on a pedestal by his new BFF, Mayor Bill de Blasio, as 49 percent of New Yorkers say he is a “positive force” in the city. Sharpton said this week that he “never believes in polls,” but perhaps that’s because he never found a poll that looked at him this favorably.
Eliot Spitzer - When Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace from the governor’s office, he had little to worry about other than his reputation: the family real estate holdings amassed by his father over the years provided him with a lucrative job and even the resources to finance his attempted return to politics in his failed 2013 bid for New York City comptroller. Now Spitzer has sold off 144 apartments at the Corinthian—a midtown Manhattan building built by his father in the ’80s—for a cool $147 million. Why bother with public office when everything you need comes down through the family?
Tim Wu -Tim Wu's running mate, gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, was passed over by the wishy-washy New York Times, but the venerable publication did venture to come out in support of Wu’s long-shot run for lieutenant governor this week. His rival, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, still has certain advantages—in fundraising, experience as a candidate, etc.—but the Times endorsement shows that some things are going Wu’s way.
Bill Bratton - While his one time foe Al Sharpton is enjoying an unprecedented level of popularity and political influence, Bratton found himself on the short end of the same poll, as his approval rating dropped nine points since June, lower than the approval rating at any point during the tenure of his predecessor, Ray Kelly. While the numbers certainly reflect the fallout from the controversial death of Eric Garner, there is no question that Bratton’s return to New York City has not gone as smoothly as he would like. On the bright side, most New Yorker support Bratton’s “broken windows” policing strategy, so perhaps his numbers will rise again if he can prove that this theory is a good practice, reflected in low crime stats.
Margaret Chin and Corey Johnson - After the Daily News revealed details of the closed doors deliberations of the Manhattan delegation of the New York City Council, its chairs, Chin and Johnson, issued a stern email threatening to shut out from future meetings lawmakers who leak to the press. So this is the new era of transparency we’ve heard so much about from the new Council? As much as it might embarrass the Council for its laundry to be aired, if the Council is acting incompetently or improperly, the body’s first concern should not be punishing those who break rank to sound the alarm, but getting its house in order.
John Katko - Pro-gun congressional candidate John Katko of Syracuse said he has “no regrets” about that time 14 years ago when he was a federal prosecutor and his loaded pistol got stolen out of his pickup truck and was subsequently found on a man implicated in the armed robbery of an illegal gambling house that left two men dead. “This incident was fully investigated by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Marshals Service and no wrong doing was found,” Katko said in a statement. “tests confirmed the weapon was not used in the commission of that crime.” Murder weapon or no, this little skeleton from Katko’s closet gives plenty of ammunition to his Democratic rival, Rep. Dan Maffei.
Robert Marcus - People may be grouchy in the morning without their coffee, but it doesn’t compare to waking up without Internet access. Time Warner Cable, of which Marcus is the CEO, experienced an outage Wednesday morning that left about 11 million people nationwide without Internet access. On top of that, it brought on much greater scrutiny and criticism about the company’s pending merger with Comcast. Also, it almost made City & State unable to send out First Read ... and for that reason alone Marcus and Co. make our losers list.
New York Times Editorial Board - At the end of its apologia for its non-endorsement in the governor’s race, the Times editorial board acknowledged that “not many” of its readers understood “what we were reaching for.” That’s because what the edit board was “reaching for” was utterly nonsensical. The Times wrote in its follow-up that the point of an endorsement is “not to see a specific politician elected or removed.” Actually, that’s precisely the point of an endorsement. And the edit board’s claim to the contrary is either a tacit admission of its impotence to affect the outcome of elections, or, as one of its readers put it, evidence that the Times “doesn’t have the guts for a strong and risky endorsement.” Either way, based upon the success rate of the edit board’s picks in recent years, if the Times really didn’t want Cuomo to win it should have given him its endorsement.