This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

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This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?
May 6, 2021

Another week goes by, and everyone’s political fortunes are in flux. Congress member and erstwhile Trump crush Elise Stefanik is getting ready to join House GOP leadership in place of Rep. Liz Cheney, who she didn’t so much stab in the back as she stabbed in the face. Meanwhile, historical figure and consistent Cuomo crushChristopher Columbus is losing his nominal place on the NYC school holiday schedule, because genocide is categorically bad. 

Leroy Comrie and Danny O’Donnell

Just in time for New York’s June primaries, the state will restore voting rights to people released from prison immediately – rather than having them wait months or years for that to happen. Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Leroy Comrie and Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week, more than a decade after proposals to more quickly restore voting rights to people released from prison were first introduced in the legislature. Luckily, the criminal justice reform movement is used to a long wait for change. 

Pat Kane

Never mind the internal strife in the New York State Nurses Association – after more than a decade, NYSNA executive director Pat Kane has finally seen the union’s major legislative priority of Safe Staffing passed by both the Assembly and the state Senate. The bill carried by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera and Assembly MemberAileen Gunther will likely lead to more nurses – and more union members. Nice one for NYSNA. 

Sheldon Silver

The felonious ex-Assembly speaker is not going to serve the remainder of his prison sentence for corruption at home after all, but a few days on the outside must’ve felt nice compared to a cell in Otisville. Compare that to the typical experience of people in the federal big house who lack the resources to fight criminal convictions like a (political) boss. With more than five years left on his sentence, Silver has plenty of time to work on a sequel to this week’s episode. 

Heather C. Briccetti

While unions and Democrats may be thrilled about the possible passing of the HERO Act, which would create a series of workplace health regulations in the event of future infectious disease outbreaks, businesses are less than pleased. The Business Council of New York State, helmed by president Heather C. Briccetti, feels that the act could make many businesses vulnerable to “predatory” lawsuits, if anyone suspects they are not adhering to safety protocols. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to sign the act, which was passed by both houses of the state Legislature but with so much support backing the bill, it’s hard to see how Briccetti can win this battle.

Sean Patrick Maloney

Do as he says, not as he does. After telling his constituents last month to stay home as much as possible, and ending his in-person petitioning, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney managed to rack up nearly $30,000 in car-related campaign expenses over the next nine months. Most of it was for insurance and lease payments, but Maloney also dished out over $3,000 for collision repairs, over $2,000 in gas and another $2,000 in car rentals. Nothing inherently unethical here, even if using donor dollars to pay for car insurance seems odd. But the optics are a little sketch.

Glenn Scott

It hasn’t been a smooth several years for Mount Vernon’s Police Department. Thanks in part to reporting from Gothamist/WNYC on police misconduct in the city, the agency now faces multiple lawsuits related to strip searches, investigations from the Westchester district attorney’s office and plenty of officers exiting service. Now, DA Mimi Rocah has escalated the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice, calling for a federal investigation into “alleged civil rights violations” at the police department. It’s unclear whether the Department of Justice will take on the request, but it goes to show the scandal-ridden police department’s controversies are far from over. Even U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for the feds to take a look. 

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