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

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

Vote for this week's biggest Winners & Losers!
August 9, 2018

Don’t let the alleged insider-trading Rep. Chris Collins soak up all the attention – it’s been a banner week for pols and the law. Former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano may have a tougher retrial facing down a beefed-up new indictment. Former state Senate Minority Leader John Sampson may be stuck in prison even longer after new charges were brought against him. And New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams was convicted! But with no punishment for his act of civil disobedience, Williams may be the rare politician coming out of court a winner.

Winners: 
Bhairavi Desai

She may not have a driver’s license, but she’s still stoked about easing traffic congestion.Well, OK, maybe she’s more excited about better wages for taxi drivers. After a tragic year for New York cabbies, good news has come for them, and by extension Desai, the founder and president of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. The New York City Council passed a year-long cap on new drivers for Uber and other ride-sharing apps, while the city considers a minimum wage for drivers, the first of its kind in the U.S. Time to break out the bubbly – as soon as your shift is over.

Letitia James

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney told City & State that a bell rings every time his opponent Letitia James gets an endorsement. Well, those bells were deafening on Wednesday, after the public advocate racked up the endorsement of every Democratic New York City member of Congress – minus Rep. Jerrold Nadler. It's not terribly shocking, considering James has endorsements from nearly every meaningful official or group in New York, but who doesn't like an extra hit of validation, especially from an opponent's peers?

Nate McMurray

One person’s arrest is another person’s opportunity. That may not be a saying, but maybe it should be. McMurray was an extreme underdog, a small-time Democrat attempting to unseat Rep. Chris Collins, who’s buddy-buddy with President Donald Trump, in the heart of Trump country. But now that Collins is facing federal securities fraud charges, McMurray’s slim shot just became slightly less slim. He still faces long odds, but it must be validating to see the district move from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican” in the Cook Political Report.

Keith Powers

Nothing is certain except death, taxes, and your rent going up – unless you live in Waterside Plaza. The highrise on Manhattan’s far East Side hasn’t found the fountain of youth, but thanks to negotiations including City Councilman Keith Powers, many units in the old building are going affordable, and some tenants may actually see rent go DOWN. Powers’ constituents will notice his involvement – unless the building’s 85-year-old owner overshadows him. Dick Ravitch: He’ll fix the MTA, and your rent.

Ydanis Rodriguez

The Inwood rezoning is happening. City Councilman Rodriguez has been pushing for the rezoning for years and, on Wednesday, that dream was realized. But he needs to be careful what he wishes for. The rezoning angered a ton of his constituents, who threw Monopoly money at Rodriguez and other lawmakers – and someone even sent him a death threat. Here's hoping an extra $200 million in city funds to the neighborhood will help the medicine go down.

Losers: 
Chris Collins

If you know your house is on fire, you call your kid to make sure he gets out. But if that house is a pharmaceutical company you’re invested in, well, that’s called insider trading, and it’s illegal. The charges may not lose Collins his seat, but Paul Ryan has already kicked him off the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And Democrats are thrilled that the president’s most unshakable supporter in New York apparently pulled a Martha Stewart. If nothing else, he’s proving an emerging pattern: If you’re tight with Trump, it’s only a matter of time before you’re arrested for something.

Gary LaBarbera

LaBarbera’s Building and Construction Trades Council umbrella group has been at a standoff with Related Companies over the next phase of the Hudson Yards development, insisting that the developers negotiate with the unions as a bloc. But he went ballistic about Related’s “underhanded tactics” this week, when the developer went around his back to lure the carpenters union into a standalone agreement. Related’s answer? They said it was “fake news,” as if anybody’s done that un-ironically since early 2017.

Wayne LaPierre

It’s hard to hurt America’s most powerful lobby. A lunatic could slaughter a room full of children, and – like a sci-fi supervillain – it only makes the NRA stronger. So when the NRA claimed in a new lawsuit that New York is endangering its very survival, we were skeptical – there’s no way Andrew Cuomo is that much of a badass. (Still trying to prove how liberal he is, Cuomo was quick to gleefully take the credit.) So either LaPierre’s NRA is really in some dire straits, or they’re lying in their lawsuit, and handing Cuomo a huge political freebie.

Thomas Rutledge

What’s so loathed that you’ve even got the ex-IDC senators ganging up on you? Charter cable, of course! Rutledge, the chief executive of Spectrum’s owner, Charter Communications, faced a non-stop barrage of bad press this week after the state decided to give his company the boot for allegedly failing to expand its high-speed internet upstate. On top of all that, the Times reported that the local Spectrum stations mysteriously failed to report the story when Cuomo attacked the company via one of its reporters, prompting many to wonder if they were too intimidated to risk their already shaky relationship with the state.

Risa Sugarman

After months of tension, she may have seen it coming. In what is considered a highly political move, the state Board of Elections’ commissioners officially voted to rein in Sugarman’s investigative powers in her role as the agency’s chief enforcement counsel. Now, she will need to run all her subpoenas by board members and forced to disclose aspects of her investigations. With the new restrictions, both Sugarman’s bark and bite will likely be diminished.

City & State
20180814