The state Senate Republican leader just might end up on our list of the biggest losers of the year after his conference’s shellacking at the polls earlier this month. But as a consolation prize he got re-elected as the leader of the much-diminished GOP group. And while he might actually be better off jumping ship and running for something else – say, Suffolk County executive – he at least will help keep his own seat away from Democrats in the next cycle.
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
Most of you got the day off for Thanksgiving. But here at City & State, we’re not about to let a holiday get in the way of serving up a fresh batch of Winners & Losers. So read on to see who got the bigger piece of the wishbone – and who were the week’s biggest turkeys.
A mysterious pinging sound has been haunting Bay Ridge – and it might have been Gournardes’ vote counter, registering every time he padded his lead over Republican Marty Golden. Golden finally conceded two weeks after Election Day, giving Brooklyn a new Democratic state senator. The New York Post gave all credit to his buddy, city councilman and “punk rocker” Justin Brannan, but now Gounardes has a chance to raise his own profile – and maybe get a sandwich named after himself, too.
After all the pooh-poohing, sky-is-falling fear mongering over the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights foundation posting bail for people on Rikers who didn’t have the money, the charity’s “mass bail out” stunt seemed to be a success. Kennedy and numerous volunteers posted more than $1 million to set 105 New Yorkers free, and only two skipped on court dates after that. RFK, we think, would be proud.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the kind of leader who is more feared than loved, but say this about the guy – if you’re loyal to him, he’s loyal to you. And that goes for former Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, who’s set to make a whopping $224K in a new role as chief operating officer at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Is the Republican’s mutually beneficial political alliance with Cuomo part of the equation? All we know is it couldn’t have hurt.
Democrats may have seized control of the state Senate from her Republican allies, but Moskowitz, the founder and CEO of Success Academy Schools, just won 72 pre-kindergarten seats. The state Court of Appeals sided with Moskowitz, ruling that the New York City Department of Education does not have the authority to oversee the school’s prekindergarten curriculum – while giving her a victory over her nemesis, Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Just last week, we were extolling the New York City Department of Sanitation commissioner for, among other things, being able “to minimize headaches for the mayor” when it comes to snow removal. And then came the perfect snowstorm late last week that shut down roads and, for many commuters, sent the city spiraling out of control. Whether it’s actually her fault or not, some critics are already questioning Garcia’s recently expanded responsibilities – especially when one of them is dealing with the problem of lead in public housing.
He had said he’s got enough fight in him to go 12 more rounds, but it looks like the scrappy underdog finally got knocked out in this fight. Rep. Chris Collins, the Republican Trump supporter under indictment on insider trading charges, declared his victory over McMurray this week after all the absentee and emergency votes were counted. In the end, McMurray came just under 1,400 votes short of an upset.
Peeling paint fell on the floors of apartments in public housing and children continued to test positive for elevated lead, but for more than two decades the New York City Housing Authority stuck to its story: lead poisoning was a thing of the past. Despite the mounting evidence, NYCHA – under the leadership of Shola Olatoye and her predecessor, John Rhea – challenged 95 percent of Health Department orders to fix the problem – and succeeded in most cases. Until now.
The firing of the city’s top investigator marked not only the end of the professional working relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters, but also the dissolution of a friendship. De Blasio, who first befriended Peters in the 1990s when both served on a Park Slope school board, fired the investigator on Friday, citing Peters’ abuse of authority and mistreatment of his employees. But it’s possible that Peters’ habit of exposing de Blasio’s failings played a role, too.
The New York City Council turned up the heat on the city’s Board of Elections executive director who had to admit that, yes, Election Day in NYC was FUBAR. New York likes being first, but should the biggest city in the country be the first to ever try a two-page, perforated ballot? And should 34,000 poll workers have been trained on that ballot by a video they were alerted to by a robocall? If Ryan were up for re-election, the council would vote him out.