Winners and Losers 10/17/14
Winners and Losers 10/17/14
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a big, important week—he finally signed the legislation making yogurt the official state snack! Oh … and he also released his memoir. Three weeks before Election Day voters and reporters (but, let’s be honest, probably mostly reporters) got to read Cuomo’s thoughts on his failed gubernatorial bid in 2002, being known as the “Prince of Darkness” by reporters while his father was in office, and that apparently the OnStar lady has an “angelic” voice. Now it's time put down the book and vote on this week’s Winners and Losers.
Adrienne Esposito - Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged that he would go to bat for his fellow Democrats running for the state Senate this year, but it’s still a bit startling to see him go out on a limb and endorse a candidate down 27 points in a recent poll. Regardless of whether Cuomo continues to actively support her, his endorsement could still provide a nice bump for Esposito, who has made a name for herself as an environmentalist but is lagging in name recognition with voters on Long Island.
Carmen Fariña - The New York City schools chancellor scored a win this week when the city’s public schools posted single-year gains on the SAT that were higher than the rest of the state's and country's. While still lagging 177 points behind the rest of the state, the city is clearly showing that it’s headed in the right direction—and, hey, didn’t we all boast that our SAT scores were some 100 to 150 points higher than they actually were when talking to our friends, anyway?
Svante Myrick - The mayor of Ithaca may now have become the first American politician to have an entire dinner date named after him. The local restaurant Collegetown Bagels has named one of its munchables the Myrick Mac & More, and Sweet Melissa’s Ice Cream Shop will be happy to serve you a few scoops of its “Svante’s Inferno” chocolate and cayenne confection. And as of this week, Myrick has his own beer: Svante’s Legislative Session IPA, courtesy of Ithaca’s Bandwagon Brew Pub. Plenty of politicians have been loved before, but what is it about Mr. Myrick that makes that love so gastronomical?
Mark Poloncarz - The Erie County executive had a solid week as the rating agency Fitch upgraded the county’s credit rating from “stable” to “positive,” as well as letting the hard-luck county keep its “A” credit score just in time to borrow a lot of cash. In addition, Poloncarz just released the details of the county’s 2015 budget, which will be a remarkable $40 million over last year's without going into debt. Unless you count the bonds he’s going to take out.
John Sexton - We all know how hard it is to get approval for new buildings in hip Manhattan neighborhoods. However, despite public outcry New York University got the green light for a massive 2-million-square-foot project in the South Village this week when an Appellate court threw out an earlier ruling blocking the plans. Community activists pledge an appeal—but the signs point to NYU being able to break ground in the coming years—which is a big win for President Sexton.
Jennara Cobb - The New York City police lieutenant, who was tried in relation to the ticket-fixing scandal whereby police officers were letting friends and family off the hook for parking and traffic fines, is now facing up to a year in prison for tipping off her colleagues about the investigation while it was ongoing. Judging from news reports, her supporters and fellow officers were a bit taken aback by the guilty verdict—she was by no means at the center of the scheme—and seeing as Cobb is just the first of over 21 people to be tried in connection to the case, a whole slew of accused officers and civilians are now a lot more worried than ever.
Brian Chesky - It turns out all those Airbnb ads portraying regular New Yorkers opening their homes to travelers in order to make a little cash does not show the full picture. According to the state attorney general—it’s election season, so be sure to remember that his name is Eric Schneiderman, folks—the majority of the home rentals offered through Airbnb are illegal, with many of them offered by commercial operators. So for Chesky, Airbnb's CEO and co-founder, there’s some serious tidying up to do.
Ernest Davis - The Mount Vernon mayor may have pleaded guilty on federal charges of knowingly failing to file income and corporate tax returns, but that’s not stopping him from vowing to stay in office, despite calls for his resignation. While the mayor faces up to two years in prison and a fine of $100,000—on top of having to pay back the taxes he ducked—United States Attorney Preet Bharara has recommended no more than six months and a fine of $10,000. Still, we can safely say Davis is having a pretty shabby week, and even if the hullabaloo dies down for now, it’ll all come bubbling back up when he gets sentenced on January 26.
Sean Eldridge - New Yorkers have always been forgiving of carpetbaggers—think Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. But it's looking increasingly like New Yorkers are far less welcoming to Silicon Valley millionaires, especially if they only got their money by marrying one. So when Eldridge, the Montreal-born venture capitalist, environmentalist, and husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, decided to buy a house in the Upper Hudson Valley to challenge incumbent Rep. Chris Gibson, he might have taken the time to notice that his neighbors might not embrace this sort of calculation. Well, he’s certainly noticing now. This week Roll Call named Eldridge one of "The 9 Biggest Candidate Flameouts" of the midterm elections and a new poll conducted by the Gibson campaign has Eldridge trailing by a disconcerting 26 points, with less than a month before Election Day. This poll is in line with others that altogether say to Eldridge: We’re just not that into you.
Domenic Recchia - It's hard to understand how a candidate running against someone under federal indictment who has no campaign funds still manages to get bad press week in and week out. The Democratic challenger skipped a debate with incumbent Rep. Michael Grimm this week—which in itself is not a big deal—but somehow the story became about Recchia's excuse for not debating being that he had other events on the schedule. That's the best you got?