Who's up and who's down this week?

Who's up and who's down this week?

Get on the double-decker bus and vote for this week's best and worst.
April 26, 2018

If New York City’s plan to revamp its buses is as good as advertised, then there will be hundreds of thousands of winners each week. Plus, who doesn’t like a double-decker bus? And apparently all it took was hiring a transit guy with experience in London. Commuters aside, here are the latest weekly Winners & Losers.

Winners: 
Geoff Berman

Things could have gotten ugly for Berman, the Trump-appointed interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Even before he was formally nominated for the post, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand indicated that she was unhappy with his appointment and might throw a wrench in his Senate confirmation. But now Berman doesn’t even have to face the upper chamber, as a vote of confidence from judges in the Southern District officially appointed him U.S. attorney. Berman can breathe a sigh of relief that he’s cleared a hurdle without having to face the hyper-partisan Senate.

John Flanagan

You lose some, you win some. For Flanagan, it was losing the eight-member IDC but winning over Simcha Felder – all before the special election results came in! Now, Flanagan gets to kick back while the Democrats continue their internecine warfare. Ah, yes, Republicans lost both state Senate special elections, but he kept his eyes on the Simcha-size prize and will remain in charge of the state’s upper house – and have some time to come up with a battle plan for November.

Shelley Mayer

Her victory in state Senate District 37 in Westchester didn’t deliver Democrats control of the chamber, but the win still feels good – and sets the party up to try to retain control this fall. Mayer defeated Republican Julie Killian by a decisive 14-point margin in what is cited by some as proof of anti-Trump sentiment in the suburbs. Sure, Felder spoiled the Democrats’ short-term prospects, but Mayer’s win narrows the Republican effective majority to just one seat.

Steve Stern

New York’s blue wave hit Long Island, and Steve Stern, a former Suffolk County legislator, flipped the seat after four decades. Stern is the first Democrat to be elected in the Assembly District 10 in decades, with an 18-point margin over Janet Smitelli. “The residents of the 10th Assembly District are very much now a part of the national story as well,” Stern crowed, and many experts agree that the special elections will be a barometer for the fall midterms.

Laura Walker

Like an old radio drama, WNYC had some bad actors – but no systemic discrimination, according to a probe into the public radio station’s workplace culture. It was about as good as president and CEO Walker could have hoped, after sacking star personalities like Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz over sexual harassment allegations. And the station seems to have learned an old PR trick from its weekly guest de Blasio – the report was overshadowed by Thursday’s WNYC-backed revival of Gothamist.

Losers: 
Leticia Astacio

Maybe you shouldn’t be a judge after you’ve been arrested. That was what the State Commission on Judicial Conduct decided about Albany City Court Judge Leticia Astacio, recommending her removal from office. The judge had already been suspended after an arrest for trying to buy a gun while on probation. And in 2016, she had tried to avoid arrest – and an eventual conviction – for drunken driving. Not exactly the kind of model behavior we expect from our jurists.

Patrick Burke

In the race for the 142 Assembly District, it was Democrat vs. Democrat. Burke, a registered Democrat, ran on the Democratic line, while his opponent Erik Bohen, also a registered Democrat, ran on the Republican and Conservative lines. In a surprise upset, Bohen pulled off the win. But at least Burke can take consolation in the knowledge that Bohen isn’t invited to join the majority Democratic conference, and thus won’t get any of the perks – at least for now.

Michael Cohen

Donald Trump’s seemingly inept fixer decided to plead the Fifth in a lawsuit filed against the president by porn actress Stormy Daniels, to whom Cohen gave $130,000 to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. That may be the legally smart tactic, but as his boss once said, invoking the Fifth Amendment right is what guilty people do. Cohen also reportedly believed he would get the position of chief of staff when Trump was elected, which, if it didn’t happen 15 months ago, sure isn’t going to happen now.

Bill de Blasio

Overheard at the mayor’s presser Thursday: “Men talking about sexual harassment should speak verrrry slowly and verrrry carefully.” De Blasio didn’t take the advice, blaming the high numbers of sexual harassment allegations in the Department of Education on a “hyper complaint dynamic.” But the progressive’s words weren’t well-received in the #TimesUp era that condemns a history of men disbelieving allegations of harassment. So while Chirlane hosted a “No More Silence” panel, her husband “stumbled over #MeToo.”

Caren Turner

Looking for a foul-mouthed, brazenly-unethical ethics czar? Call Caren! Turner berated police who had pulled over a car carrying her daughter, flashing her Port Authority badge, dropping an F-bomb and then name-dropping local officials – all caught on dash-cam video.  The recently-resigned PANYNJ ethics chairwoman violated multiple ethics rules that her former boss called a “profoundly disturbing” betrayal of the public trust. No one likes being embarrassed by their parents, but Caren turned it into an art form!

City & State
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