Winners and Losers 09/05/14
Winners and Losers 09/05/14
Labor Day has come and gone, and you know what that means: the real work of baby-smooching, hand-shaking and general electioneering has begun. The homestretch to Election Day is finally here. Meanwhile, here are this week’s Winners and Losers.
Vincent Alvarez - Rumors of New York City unions' demise have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to a recent study showing that one in four city residents belonged to a union, a rebound from 18 months ago. It's good news for Alvarez, whose Central Labor Council oversees the city's unions, especially given that the surge in membership has been fueled in part by the construction industry, which had previously lost some of its market share to nonunion workers. Alvarez is likely hoping the city's union density continues to trend upwards to solidify his standing as CLC president.
Bill de Blasio - That'll teach 'em a lesson! A few years ago, nobody was talking about prekindergarten. Even after Bill de Blasio won the 2013 mayor's race, there were doubts that he would be able to follow through on his ambitious UPK plan. Now, after getting the governor to agree to additional funding, and despite some hiccups with getting contracts sent over to the city comptroller, the mayor got to tout the 50,000 or so students now attending pre-K in the city.
Rose Harvey – New York’s state parks and historic sites were visited by nearly 36 million people this summer, a 2 percent increase over last year. That’s good news for the state, which gets some additional revenue, and also for Rose Harvey, the commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been a big proponent of state tourism.
Eric Schneiderman – New York’s attorney general, along with 30 other attorneys general around the country, successfully pressured the pharmacy chain CVS to stop selling tobacco products in their stores. One can understand the logic: selling a product that’s known to cause cancer and other serious side effects does seem a bit contradictory in a store that sells products that promote health.
Troy Waffner - Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the Jason Aldean headliner. But for whatever reason, Saturday’s crowd at the New York State Fair officially broke the record for the greatest single-day attendance at the fair. According to fair officials, Saturday’s attendance record was no less than 120,617, just squeaking by the previous record of 120,516. And much credit belongs to Acting Director Troy Waffner, who was charged with improving the fairground’s cleanliness and turning a declining attendance. Have a snow cone on us, Troy.
Fernando Cabrera – Cabrera's social conservatism came back to bite him this week. Not only did Cabrera accept campaign donations from a pro-life Republican (Cabrera is a Democrat), but he was caught on camera praising the Ugandan government for their anti-gay marriage laws. Elected officials are entitled to their opinion, especially on issues that are somewhat outside the political arena, but Cabrera's views sparked an outcry from LGBT activists and could undercut his chances of knocking out state Sen. Gustavo Rivera.
Andrew Cuomo – First he says that it’s up to his campaign whether or not he’ll debate his gubernatorial challengers. Then he says that debates aren’t always such a good idea, anyway. And so what if he proposed mandatory debates under his plan for public financing—that wasn’t even important enough to be part of the trade with lawmakers for shutting down the Moreland Commission early. Considering the fact that he won’t even utter the name “Teachout,” it’s clear that the governor doesn’t want to give his rivals any more publicity—even if that means shortchanging voters by skipping a discussion of the issues.
Dan Doctoroff - While the Jay Z/Beyonce divorce rumor mill has been churning all summer, the Dan Doctoroff/Michael Bloomberg split—while not as juicy—is one that few saw coming. Doctoroff has been Bloomy's right hand man dating back to their early City Hall days, but there had always been a firewall between Bloomberg's political work and Doctoroff's later stewardship of Bloomberg LP. Of course, Bloomberg is well within his right to resume his post at the helm, and while he claims he wanted his longtime pal to remain with the company, evidently Doctoroff felt working alongside his boss was not nearly as sweet as running his boss' empire.
S.J. Jung – It’s not exactly Ferris Bueller’s day off, but the candidate for a Queens state Senate seat was hoping kids would play hooky to help him out at the polls. The campaign emailed high school students and promised to provide an absence letter if they skipped class to volunteer for Jung’s campaign on primary day. As it turns out, their high school principal wasn’t too thrilled about that and said he expects every student to attend school on Tuesday.
David Paterson - The former lieutenant governor recently accused Tim Wu, who’s running for the spot, of treating the job “like it’s a joke.” But Paterson was singing a different tune back when he held the position in 2007: “I’ll tell you what the lieutenant governor’s job is,” he said. “You wake up every morning at 6:30 and you call the governor’s house. If he answers, you can go back to sleep.” Sounds similar to Wu’s recent remarks regarding the “traditional, lackey-like position.” Paterson’s memory may be very short, or maybe he’s feeling just as desperate as Wu says he is.