When The New York Times and The New Yorker won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize last month for reporting on the sexual harassment and assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman applauded them on Twitter for spurring on a “critical national reckoning” that is finally holding powerful men to account. Little did Schneiderman know that one of those reporters, The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow, would team up with Jane Mayer on another blockbuster investigation into him – which prompted him to step down in record time.
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
Some weeks, it takes extensive deliberation and debate for the Winners & Losers team to decide who makes the cut. This week, not so much. A case was made for listing Eric Schneiderman as the loser five times, but there was plenty of bad news and bad behavior to go around. Here are the biggest Winners & Losers for an especially newsworthy week.
Time for a Simcha slushie! The man-in-the-middle, Democrat-turned-Republican-ally wild card got a whopping $1.2 million in discretionary funds, while some Democrats got as little as $5,000. “I love slush, every flavor!” Felder has said, and once again he’s leveraging his pivotal swing vote in the state Senate to bring home the … bacon? The Orthodox senator from Brooklyn might be a little full of himself after winning the pork barrel motherload – that is, full of “simcha,” which means joy in Hebrew.
Running a congressional campaign isn’t child’s play. Or maybe it is. Grechen Shirley has just won a case allowing her to use campaign funds to pay for child care when she is out campaigning. Not only does the decision help her personally as she runs, but it sets a precedent that will take a major obstacle out of the way for other parents looking to run for office.
Just look at the math. If the state Legislature wants to appoint a new attorney general, both houses would vote together. And the Assembly Dems make up 104 of the 213 votes. The speaker’s now making a play for good government, introducing some sort of high-stakes job fair to the Capitol, but we all saw how that turned out in 2007: a unilateral, Assembly-driven pick of one of their own, Thomas DiNapoli, who’s still in office today. Once again, the speaker’s in the driver’s seat.
The abuse allegations against former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have been described as shocking, disturbing, disgusting, horrifying and bone-chilling. And the governor just singled out Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as the special prosecutor who gets to investigate Schneiderman – a high-profile task targeting a man whose alleged treatment of women was in stark contrast to his public displays of feminism.
Crunk Cassidy was the Coke Crash Kid on Tuesday night, when the FDNY pension chief crashed his government vehicle in midtown Manhattan. The drunken number-crunching cowboy was found with cocaine in the car, arrested and fired immediately after the DUI bust. That’s quite a tumble for a man who was once the powerful leader of the New York City firefighters union.
It’s one of the oldest rules of journalism: Don’t become the story. The New York Post’s Shawn Cohen likely wishes he had heeded that advice, but the tabloid’s police bureau chief went ahead and had an affair with a prostitute – and if that’s not bad enough, the prostitute happened to be a key witness in a corruption case Cohen had been covering. The rival Daily News posted the salacious story, and now Cohen’s out of a job.
He wasn’t fired, he retired. It just happened to be very soon after the top cop in at the Port Authority Police Department was accused of providing a personal escort to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. The retirement came out of the blue and no other explanation for the departure was offered. But we’re sure the investigation into his favor to Limbaugh has nothing to do with Fedorko leaving his job.
The former attorney general, who made a name for himself as a feminist ally and Trump antagonist, suffered the swiftest downfall in recent political history on Monday night. Three hours after The New Yorker published a piece detailing stunning abuse allegations against Schneiderman by four women, the ambitious attorney’s career went kaput. Schneiderman’s alleged behavior was so abhorrent, and his fall from grace so complete, that he may even make our losers of the decade list.
Cy Vance did the crying dance Tuesday night after Gov. Andrew Cuomo pulled him off the case investigating Schneiderman. But the Manhattan DA picked a fight with the biggest dog in the park, and got predictably chewed out. Political posturing or not, having Vance investigate the man who – until his downfall – was investigating Vance sure looks like a conflict of interest. Instead of taking the high road, Vance ate crow, then stood next to Cuomo and promised to play nice.