Things are looking good for a governor who fancies himself as a master of disaster. After failing to persuade President Donald Trump to help New York on a variety of fronts, Cuomo got federal approval for state-administered coronavirus tests. Voters on Super Tuesday agreed with Cuomo’s months-old assessment that former Vice President Joe Biden is best positioned to rescue Democrats from a second Trump term. They say you should never let a good crisis go to waste, so here’s hoping that Cuomo will prove his critics wrong and does not abuse those new emergency powers he strong-armed state lawmakers into passing this week.
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
It’s a bad time to be a boss. After a 2019 that saw Democratic county leaders replaced in Staten Island and Queens, Brooklyn Boss Frank Seddio stepped down this January, and now Bronx Democratic Party leader Marcos Crespo is dropping out of politics entirely. And days later – not to gloss over the loss of a boss – but cross Bloomberg off your presidential list. Take a good look at this week’s Winners & Losers – we never go easy on the bosses.
While everyone has been focused on which Republican and Democratic candidates will be on New York’s presidential primary ballot in April, few people have paid attention to Hawkins, the clear frontrunner of the Green Party who’s likely to appear on the state’s ballot. The former UPS facility worker has run for office 24 time and lost 24 times. You might say he’s a winner when it comes to losing as well.
Brushes with the criminal justice system don’t always end well for the accused, but for Peggy Herrera, things worked out in her favor in the end. Herrera had been charged with obstruction of justice after she attempted to prevent police from entering her house when her son experienced a brief mental health crisis. She called 911 for assistance, but by the time police arrived, her son had calmed down. And after advocates coalesced around the case as an example of how New York City mishandles mental health responses, the Queens district attorney dropped the charges.
If you’ve got a sticky legislative issue in New York City that needs working out, who you gonna call? Suri Kasirer! As founder and president of her eponymous lobbying firm Kasirer, Suri Kasirer is on a hot streak, with her firm reporting the highest lobbying compensation in New York City for the third year in a row. With controversial clients like Uber and Charter Communications, it can’t be an easy job, but at least Kasirer can celebrate raking in nearly $13 million in 2019.
The much anticipated plastic bag ban is finally here, though it wasn't a smooth process getting to March 1. Grocery stores, bodegas and your average Joe – who now has to buy actual garbage bags and grab a canvas tote bag before heading out to shop – all had complaints about the ban. And environmentalists griped that plastic bags will still be used aplenty for everything from restaurant takeout to newspapers. But it does represent a major accomplishment for advocates like Jennie Romer, who want to see more New Yorkers going green.
Bloomberg’s billions, it turns out, weren’t enough to make voters love him. After a disappointing Super Tuesday for the former New York City mayor – and close to half a billion down the drain – Bloomberg made the decision to abruptly end his once-promising presidential campaign. But this recent blow hasn’t gotten in the way of Bloomberg sparring with the president on Twitter.
There’s a new information technology sheriff in town, and CityBridge – the consortium of companies that administers the city’s LinkNYC kiosks – is quaking in their boots. Jessica Tisch, the new head of the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, offered a forceful testimony before the City Council this week, threatening to hold CityBridge accountable for unfulfilled payments and unbuilt kiosks, by any means at the city’s disposal. One report said that may include terminating the CityBridge contract. Nick Colvin, vice president of Link at Intersection – one of the companies that’s a part of CityBridge – better get to a LinkNYC kiosk, hope it’s working and call Tisch stat.
Given its weakened alliances with labor, the Working Families Party’s very survival may depend on its ties to the new left, as personified by AOC. So endorsing Elizabeth Warren – and not Bernie Sanders – was a gamble back in September, and the WFP just lost it with Warren’s exit. Now the newly-appointed New York state director is going to have to beg the Bernie Bros of Burlington for forgiveness to keep the WFP from going the way of the dodo.
The Child Victims Act has inspired thousands of people to come forward with lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. And no institution in New York has seen more lawsuits than the Buffalo Diocese, which faces 260 cases. So it wasn't surprising to see that Scharfenberger's diocese filed for bankruptcy last week, to the chagrin of survivors who wanted to see justice delivered in court. But bankruptcy won't put an end to this chapter of the diocese’s tragic legacy – church officials anticipate seeing as many as 400 child sexual abuse claims coming ahead.
It’s not every day that someone earns a rebuke from a sitting U.S. Supreme Court chief justice, but just that happened to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this week. Schumer appeared to threaten two of Trump’s appointees to the court during a rally during abortion rights, saying they would “pay the price” if they limit abortion rights in their rulings. Chief Justice John Roberts did not take kindly to this, issuing a rare statement condemning Schumer’s remarks. Schumer later said he regretted his word choice, adding that he’s from Brooklyn where they “use strong language,” but didn’t outright apologize. Perhaps he thinks that Roberts should just fuggedaboutit.