These congressionals hopefuls pulled in quite the endorsements this week. NARAL Pro-Choice America boldly backed Allison Fine's bid to take over Rep. Nita Lowey's seat, while former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito earned the support of Latino Victory Fund for her race. Maybe don't read too much into their endorsements, though. Fine and MMV were in top roles at the respective organizations just last year. But hey, shout-out to workplace loyalty!
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
In a month when most Democrats are sucking up to Iowa (like, it’s the best place ever and also please caucus for me), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams slammed the Hawkeye State, telling local gentrifiers to get outta town. But it was a gut check for many New Yorkers. Which do we hate more: intolerance, or hipsters?
The Knicks and Nets have been getting terrorized by LBJ for nearly two decades, so in what we assume is an apology for taking his talents to L.A., the noted actor and cyclist LeBron James is giving free Citi Bike memberships to low income 16- to 20-year-olds. Zimmer, who runs Citi Bike’s parent company Lyft, gets a boost too for the bike share service – even if it still hasn’t quite reached the West 135th Street YMCA where James made the announcement.
The Queens lawmakers revved up their ongoing efforts to legalize e-scooters now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he’s on board with the idea that he vetoed weeks before. New helmet requirements are ostensibly what is moving the issue forward, but maybe – just maybe – Cuomo held things up because he wants a bigger piece of the credit. If that’s the price of saving delivery drivers, many of whom are immigrants of color, from trouble with the police, then Ramos and Rozic appear more than happy to pay.
New York City Councilman Donovan Richards may have started planning his Queens borough president victory party this week. Fellow City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, the other frontrunner and leading progressive in race, unexpectedly dropped out this week. With Van Bramer gone, his voters don’t have a clear alternative, and Richards avoids his biggest competition. He also has enough progressive bona fides that some of those Van Bramer voters could swing his way, even though he’s got the Queens machine’s backing. It appears to be smooth sailing for Richards now going into the March special election.
He’s all about the dolla dolla bills, y’all. New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres’ legislation to require food and retail stores to accept cash payment passed the City Council on Thursday. As long as the mayor is on board, New York City will join cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco in protecting the unbanked and underbanked from stores that refuse to accept cash as payment – a valiant effort, even if fumbling around with coins and bills does hold up the line.
Resigning from a Western New York congressional seat was bad enough, but now former Rep. Chris Collins is heading to federal prison for 26 months after a judge sentenced him this week for his involvement in an insider trading scheme. The possibility of a pardon from President Donald Trump is not looking good, considering the lack of political benefits compared to the far-right firebrands that Trump has helped before. Collins better enjoy his new digs in Florida while he can, because he’s not going to get much sunshine inside the big house.
The guv is going to have to say bye bye Byford. Yes, New York City Transit President Andy Byford is leaving the MTA, this time for real. And apparently, it’s because Cuomo’s famous micromanaging caused tension between the pair and made Byford feel sidelined. He tried to resign last year, and even though Byford was persuaded to stay, Cuomo was reportedly livid. Hardly a salve for an already strained relationship. Now the governor’s left in a bind over who could possibly replace the beloved Train Daddy, who seems to be singlehandedly reviving the struggling transit system. When the city gets a new train step-daddy, can we still visit Byford on weekends?
A Cuomo aide is facing domestic violence and child endangerment charges but is expected to keep her position for now. Melissa Quesada – the state's director of Latino affairs and once winner of Miss Latin America – violently dug her nails into the neck of her child's father while leaving the baby unattended in a bathtub, according to the criminal complaint. The Cuomo administration is holding off on taking action against her for the time being, as the legal proceedings unfold.
You win some and you lose some. That’s been the story for ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the corruption charges he’s faced for the last five years, as he’s been convicted, seen those charges overturned, and then convicted again. This week, an appeals court threw out part of the case against him but upheld the rest, signaling that Silver will finally see a reckoning for the bribery schemes he was convicted of engaging in as a lawmaker. Slippery Shelly has avoided prison time thus far, but this time around he’s likely to get locked up.
Ah, the days when a district attorney could get elected and serve for a lifetime. Sadly for Cy Vance, voters are taking a closer look at DA races, and perhaps no incumbent is getting scrutinized more than the Manhattan prosecutor. New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and other politicians are openly calling for him to step aside, and his lackluster fundraising suggests that he’s losing support in other quarters as well. Cy no more?