This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?
August 1, 2019

Who was this week's biggest winner?

It seems this year’s crop of Democratic presidential candidates didn’t learn from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s “New York values” comments in 2016 (we haven’t forgotten, Zodiac Killer). First, faceless mannequin and/or Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan railed on Brooklyn’s native son, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, for talking LIKE A NOO YAWKUH. Then, former Vice President Joe Biden had the audacity to question the mathematical aptitude of us in the Big Apple. Our response? TAKE IT EASY. And leave slamming New York to us New Yorkers. 

Kirsten John Foy, Tamika Mallory & Linda Sarsour

These high-profile protesters, joined by two others, followed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to Detroit to make a statement. And they did, stealing the spotlight from the long-shot presidential wannabe during his opening remarks by chanting, “Fire Pantaleo!” Arguably, that line dwarfed the rest of de Blasio’s debate performance, which is no easy task considering the guy is 6’5.” With de Blasio tweeting his acknowledgement of the protester's complaints during the debate, it’s clear that Foy and company got their message across. 

Judy Griffin & Todd Kaminsky

Long Island Assemblywoman Judy Griffin teamed up with her former boss, state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, to pass a bill limiting who can carry a firearm inside schools. Now that the governor has signed the bill, the two lawmakers ensured that teachers won’t be packing heat in class. While there was little evidence that any school districts in New York were seeking to do so, it’s also a way for the Democrats to show they’re standing up to President Donald Trump. 

Danny Harris

It hasn’t been a great year so far cyclists in New York City. It feels like every week another cyclist has died in a crash, including this past one. But there was also some good news for bike advocates like Transportation Alternatives’ Danny Harris: a highly anticipated Upper West Side protected bike lane, approved after a cyclist died along Central Park West last year, is moving forward despite an attempt by local residents to halt work. A lawsuit is ongoing, but a judge’s decision not to issue a temporary restraining order is a win for Harris and other bike advocates.

Melinda Katz

Too soon? The Queens borough president held a victory party this week after being certified the winner of the Queens district attorney primary by a scant 60 votes – a shocking reversal of progressive upstart Tiffany Cabán’s apparent election night victory six long weeks ago. But Katz can’t breathe easy until a court case over counting votes is settled. Then it’s up to the winner to start washing away all the bad blood in among Queens Democrats.

Shelley Mayer & Linda Rosenthal

Sure, you can use your campaign cash on liquor and vacations. But a babysitter? With a new state law passed this week, candidates can officially dole out their campaign funds on child care. It’s a big win for the bill’s sponsors – Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and state Sen. Shelley Mayer – and, of course, ladies looking to run for office. And it was actually a Long Island mom and congressional hopeful, Liuba Grechen Shirley, who paved the way for the bill last year. 

Bill de Blasio

Even by Hizzoner’s own standards, he had a bad week. And being upstaged at the second Democratic presidential debate by protesters calling for him to fire Daniel Pantaleo is just the tip of the iceberg. The hometown New York Times gave de Blasio the lowest score out of any Democrat on the second night, a 2.6 out of 10. Plus, his pledge to guarantee paid family leave and worker’s compensation were undercut by the news that his own 2017 mayoral campaign was fined for violating these very same kinds of laws. 

Kirsten Gillibrand

Things are not looking so hot for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s 2020 presidential bid, and a lukewarm performance at her second straight debate seems unlikely to, um, uh … add any fuel to her struggling campaign. It’s not all bad news, though. If New York’s junio senator fails to prevail in the crowded Democratic field, she could have a lucrative post-Senate career as a Clorox spokeswoman.

Joe Lhota

When the former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief resigned in the midst of a subway crisis last fall, it wasn’t exactly a parting of such sweet sorrow painted by Joe Lhota and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The two were caught redhanded this week when a resignation letter, obtained by Politico, found that Lhota’s departure was not in fact the result of his accomplished mission to stabilize the subway, but due to him being wrapped in potential conflicts of interest that required his resignation. Looks like Cuomo wasn’t the only one Lhota “fulfilled” his “commitment” to. 

Scabby the Rat

In a deflating development for organized labor, the National Labor Relations Board might exterminate one of New York City’s most union-friendly traditions: Deploying a massive blow-up rat named Scabby to target management. It is easy to think that this would be a yuge victory for union-busting fat cats – unless you are Fat Cat himself, Scabby’s 10-to-15-foot inflatable, cigar-chomping, feline frenemy.

John Venditto

It’s true what they say: Lightning doesn’t strike the same spot twice. Venditto avoided conviction in his first round of federal corruption charges from 2016 when a jury acquitted him earlier this year. But the former Town of Oyster Bay supervisor and deposed political power broker didn’t get so lucky with his state corruption charges from 2017. The Long Islander pleaded guilty as part of deal with no jail time. That much is fortunate for him, but there’s no saving his reputation. 

City & State