Who's up and who's down this week?

Grey box with words "Winners & Losers" written in black

Who's up and who's down this week?

May came in like a litigation lion. Vote for this week's biggest winners and losers.
May 3, 2018

America’s mayor has become one American’s lawyer, and he soaked up the spotlight Wednesday night … by contradicting President Donald Trump’s statements on three legal fronts. While Trump foes salivated over the developments, the president seemed to be happy with his old mayor, Rudy Giuliani, and then backed him up. And if chaos is White House strategy? Rudy’s an expert. This week’s other Winners & Losers should be less ambiguous.

Winners: 
Herman Bell

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the NYPD protested his release. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote a letter opposing it. Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he “would not have made the decision” to release him . Nevertheless, Bell – who killed two police officers in 1971 – is finally free. There was an uproar after the state parole board ruled in March that Bell could be released, but months of protest didn’t sway a state Supreme Court from ruling that he could go home.

Thomas Frieden & Thomas Farley

So what if the pundits griped about bans on smoking and trans fats and their boss got stuck with the nickname “Nanny Bloomberg?” In the long run, these two New York City health commissioners – Frieden, who served from 2002 to 2009, and Farley, who succeeded him – implemented a long list of innovative public health policies that have demonstrably improved the heart health of New Yorkers, a new study shows.

Grace Rauh & Yoav Gonen

As a reporter, it’s always nice to hear judges unanimously strike down bureaucratic B.S. as “without merit.” This NY1 reporter and New York Post reporter got to celebrate a Freedom of Information lawsuit win after Mayor Bill de Blasio improperly blocked access to emails to and from Berlin Rosen consultants who the mayor argued were “agents of the city.” Nice try, Bill, the court ruled. Those efforts were “counter to the public's interest.” After attorney’s fees were awarded, now there’s one more set of legal bills the city has to pay!

Juanita Perez Williams

She may have lost the race to be Syracuse mayor in 2017, but now Perez Williams is getting a second chance by running for Congress against Rep. John Katko. Local Democrats tried to disqualify her from the ballot so their preferred candidate, Dana Balter, could get the nomination with a primary. But the state Board of Election sided with Perez Williams, deciding enough petition signatures were valid and allowing her to stay on the ballot.

Michelle Wolf

Love her or hate her, now you know her name. The New York-based comedian is suddenly more famous than ever. Her controversial White House Correspondents’ Association dinner – where Wolf roasted press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her “smokey eye” accomplished with the ashes of burnt facts – set off a firestorm. As if to prove there’s no such thing as bad press, Netflix seized the moment and launched her new show.

Losers: 
John Flanagan

The Senate majority leader was a winner last week, but seven days is an eternity in politics. Five Republican state senators have recently announced that they will not seek reelection. Democrats are already foaming at the mouth to try to retake the state Senate, and a handful of open seats makes the calculus a bit easier for them. Republican state senators are fleeing for the exits, and J-Flan may not be able to prevent the stampede.

Wendell Jamieson

Just a few months ago, we were honoring The New York Times’ metro editor on our annual New York City Power 100 list. Now he’s out of a job and facing allegations from three unnamed female colleagues at the Times of “inappropriate behavior.” Jamieson apologized for his “mistakes,” and the Times, which has been applauded for aggressively exposing sexual misconduct, found itself under scrutiny itself for its lack of transparency on an internal matter.

Erik Bohen

No man is an island. Or is he? The newly elected assemblyman is a man without a home in Albany, forced to sit at a desk physically separated from either conference. A desk he says is like an island. Bohen, though a registered Democrat, was not allowed to join the Democratic conference since he ran on the Republican line. At least he may add a little palm tree to keep him company, and whatever desert island-themed desk ornaments he plans to decorate with.

Bill de Blasio

There’s “plenty of transparency” at de Blasio’s City Hall – thanks to a court ruling. Now the mayor’s got to hand over secret comms with “agents of the city” plus pay court fees for the hated New York Post and plucky NY1. But good luck making the payment at a courthouse – the mayor has failed on what seems like an incredibly easy pledge to put ATMs in every courthouse to help the accused pay bail. Speaking of incredibly easy pledges, de Blasio’s blown past the latest deadline to get a report out on supervised injection facilities. Better hope Councilman Steve Levin, who got arrested protesting the delay, had enough cash in his wallet to make bail.

Dov Hikind

It’s not just state Senate Republicans who are heading for the exits. The Brooklyn assemblyman is on the way out as well, in order to pursue what he vaguely described as “new opportunities.” Then again, a federal subpoena of a Brooklyn Jewish nonprofit with links to Hikind may have had something to do with his decision – though a Hikind spokesperson said neither the lawmaker nor his office were subpoenaed and that he just wants to “do new things after 36 years in office.”

Placeholder blue outline avatar
City & State
20201020