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?
September 17, 2020

No matter how polarizing the political climate may be, one thing still unites New York lawmakers of all stripes – ensuring that those harmed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks get the benefits they deserve. So when it came to light that millions of dollars were diverted from a program for firefighters stricken by 9/11-related ailments, New York’s entire congressional delegation called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to deliver the missing funds to FDNY vets. For other uplifting anecdotes – and dastardly deeds – read on.

Winners: 
Joe Borelli

He may be a Trump-supporting Republican outnumbered 16-to-1 by New York City Council Democrats, but that doesn’t mean Joe Borelli sits there twiddling his thumbs. He also eats! And while he’s got meatballs and sausage at home, he also likes eating out, so he found a way to convince his flag-hating colleagues to overwhelmingly pass his bill that lets restaurants add a 10% surcharge to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Mangia!

Steve Cohen

After a dogged pursuit and a few balks along the way, hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen finally hit a home run with a multibillion-dollar deal to buy a majority stake in the New York Mets. Now he’ll get to call the shots for one of Major League Baseball’s most unpredictable franchises, while pissing off everyone from J-Lo to Jessica Ramos in the process. Now the only question is whether Cohen's billions will translate into on-field success for the team and its long-suffering fans.

Andy Pallotta

The state withholding aid to school districts has been a complicating factor in planning for an already complicated school year. And with federal aid increasingly looking far out of reach, school officials have started slashing budgets and laying off teachers and staff. So NYSUT’s Andy Pallotta decided to sue the state on Wednesday to stop it from holding back money for schools – and the next day, stats budget director Robert Mujica committed to not withholding school aid due by the end of the month and not finalizing cuts until after the presidential election. It's not a total victory for educators, but it shows that a little litigation can go a long way.

Losers: 
Michael Caputo

The Roger Stone protégé and “bomb-throwing Waldo” of state Republican politics is taking a two-month medical leave from his busy work at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after ranting on Facebook about seditious scientists and their purported plot to kill the president. Nothing makes someone a bigger loser in Trumpland than apologizing. That could work in favor of actually achieving national public health goals – assuming Caputo is not back at it come November.

Bill de Blasio & Richard Carranza

If at first you don’t succeed, delay, delay again. Just days before New York City students who opted for blended learning were set to return to the classroom, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced – to the surprise of no one paying attention – that schools were not actually ready yet, with staffing shortages still looming and the union unsatisfied with safety measures. So de Blasio and his schools chancellor made the abrupt decision to postpone the start for most students by a week or two, which many teachers did not learn about until the words came out of the mayor’s mouth at a press conference. Talk about not having a lesson plan.

La’Ron Singletary

Rochester’s police chief was fired by the city’s mayor, Lovely Warren, on Monday – one week after he tendered his resignation. La’Ron Singletary made the decision to resign after he was accused of attempting to cover up the high-profile death of Daniel Prude, who died of suffocation when police placed a hood over his head. Despite Singletary being two weeks away from stepping down, Warren decided to abruptly dismiss him in light of stinging criticisms facing the city’s police force. Is the mayor the next one to go?

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