Winners and Losers 10/03/14
Winners and Losers 10/03/14
Rob Astorino wanted his debates and he got his debates. Though, he had to find out about it along with the rest of us through a press release from Gov. Cuomo that came while he was paying the troops a surprise visit. Not clear who won that exchange, but we do have some clear-cut winners and losers this week. Vote here:
Ken Adams - Yes, he's a white man, but the president and CEO of Empire State Development Corporation and commissioner of the state Department of Economic Development deserves credit for overseeing the state successfully surpassing its goal of 20 percent of state contracts going to MWBEs and now setting an ambitious 30 percent goal for MWBEs going forward. The state has come a long way since 2008, when only 5 percent of state contracts went to MWBEs. Honorary mentions go to the state's chief diversity officer, Mecca Santana, and Alphonso Davis, the governor’s deputy secretary for civil rights.
Bill de Blasio - Bill de Blasio may not have a good track record when it comes to handling animals. And he may not have the best judgment when it comes to vetting the private lives of his administration’s advisors, either. But he does have some premium real estate down there in Park Slope, which is now on the market for a mere $4,975 per month. The place has three bedrooms and one bathroom… looks like we know who’ll be getting the best of this deal.
Elizabeth Garrett - Cornell is getting its first female president! Garrett, the current University of Southern California provost, will make Cornell the fourth Ivy League school to be led by a woman. (There are eight in all, you know.) It’s one small step for women’s rights, one giant leap for Cornell, and on the whole, a pretty sweet job offer for Garrett.
Jack Martins - The lawmaker’s Long Island district has long been pegged as a potential pickup for Democrats, who hope to wrest it from GOP control in November on their way to retaking the majority in the state Senate. But with a new poll out that shows Senator Martins with a 25-point lead over his Democratic rival, Adam Haber, it looks the like the Dems don’t know Jack.
Victor Pichardo - Hey, a win’s a win, even if it’s by two votes. Pichardo had a rocky road to keeping his Bronx Assembly seat, after having taken over for the disgraced Nelson Castro last year and quickly ramping up for re-election this cycle against a seasoned opponent. It is perhaps a bad sign for the Bronx Democratic machine, however, that their handpicked candidate barely eked out victory
Kristin Davis - She coulda been somebody. She’s coulda been a comptroller! When Davis was arrested abruptly last August for illegally selling prescription drugs, she denied comedians and lovers of chaos everywhere one of the most outrageous political campaigns there ever would have been: The Manhattan Madam vs. her alleged former client, Eliot Spitzer. Instead, it’s back behind bars for Davis, who this week was sentenced to two years in prison.
Barry Kamins - Resigning from the bench alone does not make Kamins a loser, but when it happens two months after the judge allegedly gave improper campaign advice to his buddy, former Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes, the optics don’t look great. Kamins had already been relieved of his posts as the chief of policy and planning for the state court system and as the administrative judge for the city’s criminal courts, so this was the logical next step for the Brooklyn Supreme Court justice, but it was nonetheless an ignominious end to his judicial career.
Jay Jacobs - This fall Democrats hope to steal a state Senate seat or two on Long Island, where all nine senators are currently Republicans, but the odds are getting longer. One reason is the departure of Democrat David Denenberg, who was seen as a strong candidate for an open seat until he was caught up in allegations of bogus legal billing. And now, after trying to replace Denenberg, Jay Jacobs, the local Democratic chair, said Denenberg will stay on the ballot, even though he is not running.
Bill Scarborough - Yet another Albany lawmaker arrested. The Queens Assemblyman is facing a 23 count indictment with charges like fraud and embezzlement. Apparently, the guaranteed pension plan he’ll receive even if he’s convicted wasn’t enough of a retirement nest egg, as Scarborough allegedly stashed away more than $80,000 for a rainy day. But now rainy days are the least of his troubles, as Scarborough stares down a potential sentence of 37 years in prison.
Risa Sugarman - While Mayor de Blasio apparently needs a thesaurus to help him expand his vocabulary beyond the word “historic,” it appears that Gov. Cuomo would benefit from a dictionary. Asked whether his administration had infringed upon a supposedly “independent” unit investigating state election law violations, helmed by Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman, who the Daily News revealed this week has been keeping the governor’s press shop in the loop about her work, Cuomo told reporters that the answer to that question all depended upon how one defines the word “independent.” How true. While most of us think that “independent” means something along the lines of “not influenced by the thought or action of others”—as in how the Moreland Commission was portrayed as being—Cuomo clearly favors the 22nd definition of the word, which, in British English, is "a Congregationalist." Take that, Merriam and Webster!