The polls didn’t look good for this congressional candidate trying to flip the Finger Lakes from red to blue. But somebody check the filter because she’s swimming in green lately, raising $1.5 million in her race to unseat Republican Rep. John Katko. Good news has streamed in since, with an endorsement from former President Barack Obama and top pundits upping her chances of winning.
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
The Bronx rapper Cardi B landed in legal trouble, while another rapper, Common, made a statement by bailing someone out in Brooklyn. And in the Hudson Valley, congressional candidate Antonio Delgado, formerly the artist known as A.D. the Voice, is taking a hit – fairly or not – for his hip hop past. So this week, here’s who’s got 99 problems – and who’s making it in the Empire State.
Machine politics are alive and well in New York’s Democratic committees. At this week’s fall meeting, which dragged on for nearly six hours, Brooklyn County Committee Chairman Frank Seddio continued to flex his power (and his proxy votes) and kept a strong hold on the committee despite an influx of new, progressive members who sought reforms. Similarly, state Democratic Committee Chairman Geoff Berman successfully quashed resolutions that a progressive caucus tried to put forward in an astoundingly short meeting. Berman and Seddio may be accused of being shams, but certainly not of being weak.
The governor is a winner two times over this week: He kicked off the weekend by winning a year-long fight against federal officials, that resulted in letting him keep many of his “I ♥ NY” highway signs up. The alternative could’ve been a $14 million fine, so there was a lot on the line. Cuomo came back from the weekend to learn that he was well ahead of opponent Marc Molinaro in the polls for his reelection – a 50-28 percent lead, to be exact. And the Working Families Party, it seems, needs him to be a winner just as much as he wants to be, and – reluctantly or not – they’re offering him their line.
It’s a good week for Giovanni da Verrazzano, the 16th century Italian explorer who will finally be properly memorialized thanks to a slight spell-check on the Verrazano – make that Verrazzano – Bridge. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Monday that will officially add the missing second “z” to the spelling of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island and Brooklyn, and has no doubt had Giovanni da Verrazzano rolling in his grave since its opening in 1964. At last, da Verrazzano can rest – and so can we, as lawmakers assure use the gradual sign replacement will have no cost to taxpayers.
Experienced in running high-profile campaigns? Check. Skilled in building strong coalitions? Check. A sincere commitment to equity? Check. Voted in recent elections? She’ll get back to you on that. Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune apparently had enough qualifications to get hired as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s chief democracy officer, a $165,000-a-year post aimed at increaseing dismal voter turnout. And so what if she missed a few primaries? Then again, if Hizzoner really wants to boost democracy, maybe he should hire a chief transparency officer, too.
The state senator’s primary loss is even more stunning when one looks his astronomical election spending. The final tally, including his last financial disclosure for the primary election, showed him spending a potentially record setting $207 per vote, or over $3 million in total. Yet all that money was still not enough, and since the election there has been radio silence from Klein on social media and he has not made any public appearances. Perhaps he enrolled in an remedial money management class that has eaten up all his free time.
Three years after being appointed president of SUNY Upstate Medical University, Laraque-Arena announced she would step down at the end of the semester. Her one-page statement didn’t have an explanation, but her abrupt departure does follow the launch of a grand jury investigation by the the Onondaga County District Attorney’s office. It seems Laraque-Arena’s staff didn’t have great things to say about her qualifications, and she allegedly made enough questionable hiring and firing decisions within a one-and-a-half-year span to get the attention of law enforcement officials.
If you heard a gut-wrenching gulp in Lower Manhattan Wednesday night, that was Working Families Party leader Lipton swallowing his pride. “Everyone in this room pretty much hates Cuomo,” said one party member – and there wasn’t a single peep of disagreement. But when it came time to vote, self-preservation won out over purity. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been offered the party’s line on the November ballot, but he couldn’t resist ratcheting up the indignity, asking the WFP to bow a little bit lower before he decides whether to accept.
The high-flying Democratic operative soared too close to the sun, and this week he finally came crashing to the ground. Despite his previous protests that he “didn’t break the law” and his insistence that he would be “exonerated,” he ultimately dropped his legal fight and pleaded guilty to bribing a state judge. He is now poised to plead guilty to federal conspiracy, wire fraud and bribery charges as well. In the end, it turns out it wasn’t the witch hunt he claimed it was all along.
“I built what I built myself,” Donald Trump said. “I’ve never made a bad deal,” he claimed. “Everything he touches seems to turn to gold,” boasted Trump’s father, Fred Trump. But this week The New York Times exposed the president’s carefully cultivated image as a self-made billionaire as a sham, showing just how much he relied on his dad’s wealth – and brazen schemes to funnel him millions of dollars – to keep the Donald afloat as a businessman. And while he tried to dismiss it as a “boring” hit piece, it certainly caught the attention of New York regulators.