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?
October 8, 2020

SoHo and affordable housing are rarely found in the same sentence, but Mayor Bill de Blasio are bringing them together with a new plan to rezone the chic Manhattan neighborhood. Rezonings tend to target lower-income areas and sow fears of gentrification, but this one may well spur opposition from wealthier locals. But never fear, stalwart SoHo-ians – you’ll never feel displaced or endangered by our weekly Winners & Losers.

Winners: 
Anthony Brindisi & Elise Stefanik

Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik have little in common, but the two lawmakers are on a hot streak ahead of the November election. New filings show Stefanik has roughly three times the campaign cash on hand as challenger Tedra Cobb. Meanwhile, Brindisi holds a whopping 9-point lead over his challenger, Claudia Tenney, in a new poll, after only narrowly edging then-Rep. Tenney in 2018. For these two upstaters, the incumbent’s edge appears to be paying off.

Rory Lancman

He hasn’t won the war yet, but New York Council Member Rory Lancman has triumphed in a skirmish over his police chokehold ban. Police unions sued in August to repeal the law that makes it a criminal offense for cops to use chokeholds or kneel on someone’s back in such a way that it restricts airflow. The unions asked for a preliminary injunction to halt the ban as the case makes it way through court. But a judge denied the request. So for the time being, cops will still be criminally liable for choking or otherwise asphyxiating people while on the job, as Lancman intended.

Julie Menin

The census has historically been a dry affair, but this year’s different. The Census Bureau decided in August to cut its door-knocking efforts by a month, even if it would result in inaccurate data. Litigation ensued over whether to stop in September or October – but a new ruling allows the count to continue through this month. This makes a huge difference for Julie Menin, who’s trying to boost the count in New York, which risks losing a congressional seat or two. However, the Trump administration is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let census operations end.

Losers: 
Luis Diaz

The Boogie Down Bronx is buzzing with speculation about why the state would raid the office of County Clerk Luis Diaz. Whatever it is, the former Assembly member had to hand over his courthouse keys and is now suspended without pay from the plush patronage job he’s enjoyed for the past decade. We’ll see how this all works out, but it’s sure looking like Broxites got a new bad boy Diaz to fret about just as longtime political lightning rod Rev. Rubén Díaz Sr. (who is unrelated) get ready to exit the political stage.

Latchmi Gopal

When this Bronx candidate for City Council got caught red-handed plagiarizing a policy platform directly from other candidates, she blamed it on an “overzealous intern.” So did this DSA member let an intern write her platform? Sure hope the kid was getting paid! Anyone who’s been to a candidate forum knows that candidates often end up sounding alike and promoting the same policies, but copying and pasting your own opponent’s words is taking it too far.

Andy King

The former Bronx Council member may complain about getting expelled from the City Council for a litany of ethical violations, but some Kings have had it much worse – Charles I was beheaded in 1649. Still, after allegedly harassing and then retaliating against staff, misappropriating $2,000 of public money and simply ignoring most of the earlier punishments imposed by the legislative body, Council Speaker Corey Johnson probably didn’t mind deposing this King.

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