This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?
August 6, 2020

Just when the coronavirus appeared to have killed off the modern office, Mark Zuckerberg came along with Facebook’s new lease on all the office space at the revamped James A. Farley building. But while more tech jobs may be coming to Manhattan, City Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s move to axe the Industry City rezoning may stymie job creation in Brooklyn. Though it’s tradition is to back the local council representative on land use matters, two of Menchaca’s colleagues called him out. New York welcoming a tech giant and council members openly squabbling over a zoning project? The world really has turned upside down.

Winners: 
Emily Gallagher & Suraj Patel

They fought the law, and unlike The Clash, THEY won. Emily Gallagher and Suraj Patel sued the state Board of Elections over ballots invalidated for missing a postmark, a mistake made by the Post Office. This unjustly disenfranchised voters who did everything right, including mailing ballots on or before June 23, they argued – and a judge agreed. Gallagher already won her race by the time of the ruling, but Patel lost anyway. At least Gallagher and Patel know they won a victory for voters.

Brad Hoylman & Linda Rosenthal 

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown off the schedule for pursuing litigation under the Child Victims Act, a 2019 law that lets child sex abuse survivors to file lawsuits over the course of a year regardless of how long ago the alleged crime happened. But that year-long "look-back window" functionally closed earlier amid court shutdowns and slowdowns starting in March. But the bill's sponsors, state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, managed to extend the window through next August to give survivors more time to seek justice. 

Carolyn Maloney 

The Associated Press called it for the incumbent House member in her primary battle with her opponent Suraj Patel after the New York City’s Board of Elections certified the election’s results on Tuesday. Patel, who filed a lawsuit requesting that more absentee ballots be counted in the election after it was revealed that thousands would be tossed due to postmarking errors, said he would not concede to Maloney. But as far as Maloney is concerned, her win “reflects the will of the voters.”

Losers: 
Oxiris Barbot

The New York City health commissioner could only grit her teeth and bear it for so long, whether it was apologizing to the NYPD after she rebuffed its attempt to seize PPE or her boss’ infamous decision to give strip her agency of authority over a crucial COVID-19 contact tracing program despite the department’s in-house expertise. While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to downplay Barbot’s abrupt departure, she made clear she was deeply unhappy with his performance in fighting the pandemic – and ended up making him look even worse. 

Wayne LaPierre

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a lawsuit is a good guy with a lawsuit. So when state Attorney General Letitia James put the National Rifle Association on blast with a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the gun rights group, NRA head honcho LaPierre fired back with its own lawsuit claiming James was politically motivated. But LaPierre might want to put that one back in the holster – James’ suit isn’t about the right to bear arms, it’s about LaPierre abusing the org’s nonprofit status by charging the NRA for hunting trips and yacht cruises in the Bahamas. 

Michael Ryan

When running an election during a pandemic with an unprecedented number of absentee ballots, some hiccups are to be expected. But when about 1 in 5 absentee ballots are invalidated or otherwise not counted, that’s more than a hiccup. As does taking six weeks to certify results. Under Michael Ryan’s watch, the New York City Board of Elections did not count or invalidated over 84,000 mail-in ballots, amounting to about 21% of those they received for the Democratic presidential primary. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the BOE “must do better” come November, and it’s hard to disagree. 

City & State
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