Local governments scored a win when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (sort of) restored $60 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities funding, a.k.a. AIM. However, they’d like the Guv to aim a little higher. The return of this aid is contingent on a new online sales tax. For Baynes – executive director of the state Conference of Mayors – this means that the end of one budget fight has ignited another, because he says collecting more sales tax is just another mandate on local governments.
Public advocate rivals Williams, Ulrich top winners list
Public advocate rivals Williams, Ulrich top winners list
Update: Two candidates in the New York City public advocate race were voted the top winners last week, with City Councilman Jumaane Williams picking up the coveted New York Times endorsement and City Councilman Eric Ulrich getting the backing of the Daily News (and, after publication, the New York Post). Meanwhile, Trump ally Roger Stone was voted the biggest loser of the week after his latest dirty trick backfired.
There’s only one debate more politically potent than City & State’s weekly Winners & Losers, and that’s the eternal question of “where is upstate?” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous phrase that “I know it when I see it” may apply here, but newly elected Republican state Sen. Daphne Jordan from the Capital Region thought she could do better, introducing a surely doomed bill to study whether New York should be split in two. Who would win and lose in such a scenario? We’ll plead the Fifth.
Queens may not have wanted him last year, but D.C. isn’t tired of him yet. The former congressman announced that he’s joining the Washington law firm Squire Patton Boggs, along with former Republican Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania. The duo signed on with the influential firm whose clients include Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble. Though Crowley is facing backlash from his fellow Democrats – Zephyr Teachout said he’s selling out 20 years of goodwill – this comeback kid’s going to get a fat paycheck on K Street.
The prodigious Twitter account run by an anonymous cabal of good government crusaders has successfully raised the issue of parking placard corruption to the point where Mayor Bill de Blasio could no longer avoid it. No, the tweeters were not happy with de Blasio’s long-delayed and inadequate response to the scourge of bad parkers, but Thursday’s press conference was a testament to the power of righteously indignant Twitter cranks.
Freshman congressman Max Rose has something to brag about: He got his wall before the president – a seawall, that is. The 5.3-mile Staten Island barrier, funded by $400 million from the federal government, will be a multi-purpose structure, acting as a dam during flooding, and as a recreational space, with bike paths, beach access and a boardwalk. First proposed in 2015, the project, which has been stalled due to bureaucratic red tape, is expected to save $30 million a year in flood-related damages. Build that wall!
Running for public advocate as a Republican in New York City ain’t easy. But City Councilman Eric Ulrich is trying to capitalize on the crowded field in next week’s citywide special election, especially as the only leading candidate to fully support the failed – but popular – Amazon HQ2 deal. Ulrich also got endorsed by the Daily News – but then he was one-upped by fellow City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the frontrunner in the race who added the influential New York Times to his impressive list of endorsements.
A New York appeals court ruled this week that the public has a right to see footage from police body cameras, delivering a blow to Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, which sought to block the release of body cam footage. Arguably, though, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that technology intended to increase transparency and public accountability will be ultimately be made public.
Airbnb’s initial success in blocking a New York City disclosure law earlier this year was diminished on Sunday when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a subpoena for info on 20,000 listings in the city, giving Airbnb and its head of public policy, Josh Meltzer, another headache to deal with. The subpoena is bad, but what may be worse is the sinking feeling that this back-and-forth regulatory fight with the city will never end.
The New York Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators was charging $225 a head and up to party on Caucus Weekend in Albany, but where that money will go remains a mystery. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, the group’s treasurer, and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, its chair, might have answers, but the best they have offered to reporters are no comment and a locked door. Attorney General Letitia James has issued a “notice of delinquency” over the nonprofit’s failure to file required reports the last few years, so at some point the party has got to end no matter who is having fun.
When the Trump whisperer was arrested last month, The New York Times drew a curious conclusion: Roger Stone’s Dirty Tricks Put Him Where He’s Always Wanted to Be: Center Stage. You’d think any sane person would rather not actually be indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But Stone lent credence to the notion when he went on to post an Instagram photo of the federal judge assigned to his case alongside a cross-hairs symbol – and while it made headlines, it didn’t seem to help. Crazy political genius or fiendish self-promoter whose past is catching up with him? We’ll have to wait and see.
NYC settled with the federal government this week, admitting to making fraudulent claims to damages following Superstorm Sandy. The claims, filed by the Trottenberg’s Department of Transportation, sought FEMA funds for agency vehicles that were damaged during the storm. However, the agency included vehicles damaged before the storm hit. The city will reimburse the feds $5.3 million, a relatively small price given its multibillion-dollar budget.