If he were a book, New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer said that people may look at his cover and say “I’m not sure I want to read that.” That candid self-assessment may not be inaccurate for a 60-year-old, white male politician who has thus far failed to muster the same kind of enthusiasm as other candidates. But getting the backing of the Working Families Party is akin to adding an Oprah’s Book Club sticker onto his metaphorical book cover. It’s a sign that he’s got the goods with progressives and is sure to create some much needed buzz around Stinger’s campaign.
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
Change happens pretty slowly in New York. Take, for example, the repeal of 50-a, the state law shielding the disclosure of police disciplinary records. Though the repeal happened last summer, New York City police and other unions fought it in court up until this week, when they withdrew a lawsuit to stop the release of those records. Advocates for police reform aren’t this week’s only winners, however. Read on to see who else is celebrating – including someone who knows a thing or two about waiting a while for justice.
Thirteen years ago, Cariol Horne was fired from her job as a Buffalo police officer, after 19 years on the job and with one year to go before earning her pension, for intervening while a fellow officer put a suspect in a chokehold that threatened his life. Now, Horne is finally seeing some justice. On Tuesday, a state judge ruled that Horne was wrongfully terminated and granted her back pay for all of the benefits she has been previously denied.
“If you plan on running for mayor, make sure you’re only committing federal crimes” seems to be the lesson in Spring Valley this week. Former Mayor Noramie Jasmin, after serving four years on a federal count of mail fraud and extortion, managed to boot opponent Vilair Fonvil off the ballot because of his criminal history. The difference? A judge ruled a legal loophole allows those with federal felony convictions to run but state felony convicts can’t. Thank goodness moral upstarts like a woman who supported a community center in exchange for cash are here to protect New Yorkers from, well, other felony convicts.
Dogs are known as man’s best friend. Robot dogs, however, seem to inspire much less loyalty. You may have seen these four-legged metal machines created by Boston Dynamics on the internet for the past several years, dancing to Uptown Funk and, uh, even twerking. But in the minds of several New Yorkers and local elected officials, they’re a nightmare straight out of a "Black Mirror" episode. A video went viral this week showing the so-called Digidog alongside NYPD officers responding to a dispute at a public housing building. Cops say the metal pup helps them scope out potentially dangerous situations safely, but skeptic onlookers say it’s used to unnecessarily expand surveillance of overpoliced communities. As Rep. Jamaal Bowman simply put it: “What the hell, do we need robot police dogs? This is some ‘Robocop’ s***."
The New York City Campaign Finance Board has “deferred” its decision on whether to give the Donovan campaign public funds, because there might be a violation with an independent expenditure supporting him. The campaign issued a statement that they’re “confident this will be resolved quickly”, but it can’t be fun to be sitting in suspense while competitors celebrate an influx of cash. Before you start feeling too sorry for Shaun Donovan, he still has that $2 million from daddy in the I.E., which everyone speculates is what started this mess with the possible violation in the first place.
The attention-loving former state senator and one-time New York City Council member clearly loves attention, so he must have been flattered when the council passed a law tailor-made to keep people convicted of felony corruption charges – like him – from running for office. But it bit him in the behind this week, when he was kicked off the ballot in his attempt to run for office, yet again. Salt in the wound, once-convicted former Council Member Ruben Wills was exonerated and made the ballot for his comeback attempt.