Winners & Losers 5/27/16

Winners & Losers 5/27/16

Winners & Losers
May 26, 2016

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, but it also means the end of the legislative session is around the corner. So while New York politicians enjoy beaches and barbecues this weekend, they’ll soon be scrambling to push through the last important pieces of legislation. Before the flurry of deal-making starts, sit back, relax and enjoy the weekend – and this week’s Winners & Losers!



Byron Brown – The Queen City mayor became the first Buffalonian to be nominated as chairman of the state Democratic Committee since Joe Crangle held the position in 1974. As the state’s top Democrat, Brown has said he will work with Senate Democrats in an effort to regain control of the chamber. Even if he will act as a “figurehead” for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the Post’s Fred Dicker suggested this week, it’s still a great resume builder.

Melissa Mark-Viverito – After a year and a half, the City Council speaker saw criminal justice policies she put at the center of two State of the City addresses advance with the mayor’s blessing. Sure, the measures are more malleable than she may have initially envisioned, giving police the option to continue pursuing criminal charges in addition to the new parallel system of civil penalties. But, she’s one of few in a body brimming with criminal justice reform proposals to enjoy such success.

Totes McGoats – The mascot of Niagara Falls’ media campaign to help boost the city’s anemic recycling rates seems to be doing a heckuva job. McGoats is being credited, in part, with a major surge in recycling, with the city seeing a 50 percent increase in materials recycled and cutting the amount of trash going to the landfill by nearly 20 percent in the first year of a new recycling initiative. Apparently, an anthropomorphic farm animal really is the best motivator.

Lyndon Rive – The co-founder and CEO of SolarCity got a reprieve from bad news this week when a state board approved the disbursement of a final round of funding in a joint project to build a massive solar panel factory in South Buffalo. In addition, the company’s stock, which plummeted after it reported missing goals the last two quarters, has been slowly climbing the last few weeks. So while the economic development project funding his factory remains under scrutiny and questions continue to swirl about the long-term viability of the company, at least the construction on a factory that will significantly increase capacity will go forward.

Sue Serino & Linda Rosenthal – The legislators locked in every one of their colleagues’ votes on legislation repealing taxes on tampons, pads and other similar products. And for those that think this was an easy task, consider that efforts to repeal taxes on toilet paper have not gained such traction. The governor commended the lawmakers and said he looked forward to signing the legislation into law.



Bill de Blasio – The investigations aren’t going away. His approval rating is plunging. The editorial boards are on the offensive. The comptroller determined that city’s budget gap is bigger than the mayor says. Even de Blasio’s NYCLASS friends are deserting him. So it’s really no surprise that he tried to get City Council members to send out statements of support.

Andrew Cuomo – U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara better have vacation plans this weekend, because apparently his job is no longer needed. Cuomo’s “independent” investigator is probing the Buffalo Billion himself – even though Bharara has said his office is investigating the signature economic development plan. Plus, even as the governor tries to change the subject, the media scrutiny hasn’t let up.

Brad Hoylman & Mort Zuckerman – When you’ve got Democrats and the Daily News in your corner, it’s usually a good sign for your legislation. But Hoylman’s Child Victims Act, which would have eliminated the statute of limitations on criminal and civil cases involving child sex abuse, was shot down in a narrow vote. Zuckerman’s Daily News, which campaigned heavily for the bill, with cover story after cover story shaming the legislation’s opponents, couldn’t convince a single Republican senator to vote in favor of the bill.

Bill Nojay – It’s always best to write down everything on your disclosure forms. But when Albany is roiling from the conviction of the Assembly speaker based on, in part, what he left off his disclosure form, then not reporting your outside jobs is just dumb. Could it be that the Trump-supporting “conservative activist” wanted to hide his work for liberal Lovely Warren’s campaign for mayor of Rochester? Or maybe he didn’t want people to find out his connection to an animal feed company embroiled in a multi-million dollar lawsuit? Well, now we know, Nojay. When in doubt, don’t leave it out.

Norman Seabrook – Two corrections officers in Seabrook’s union were caught taking bribes and smuggling contraband into Rikers Island jails, just the latest bad behavior by COs. And if you’re an officer unhappy with Seabrook’s leadership (did we mention he’s being investigated in a federal corruption probe?), you don’t have any other options – the COBA president is getting sued for unfairly keeping a challenger off the union ballot.  And his lawyer’s excuse for not rescheduling the election – how can we find a venue during prom season? – REALLY needs correction.

City & State