It's good news for a labor leader when the union votes in union to approve a new contract. District Council 37, the city's largest public employees union, just approved the 44-month deal with a 98 percent vote. The perks? Wage hikes, continued premium-free health care coverage and a state paid family leave program for 100,000 of the union's members.
Who's up and who's down this week?
Who's up and who's down this week?
Cynthia Nixon is nearly matching Gov. Andrew Cuomo on fundraising, but the governor still has a huge lead in cash on hand. The state attorney general candidates are picking up money from real estate and health care players, among other sectors. And Rep. Claudia Tenney, who’s in one of the biggest congressional battles in the state, got a financial boost thanks to a fundraiser with President Donald Trump. Will the extra cash matter? We won’t know until Election Day who wins or loses – so in the meantime, go all in on your picks for this week’s Winners & Losers.
Yet another difference between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump: the governor likes beer, the president does not. Just this week, Cuomo signed legislation from these two state lawmakers supporting the production of craft beer in the state by expanding hops production and supporting farm distilleries. Earlier in the summer, Cuomo also signed the bill to allow beer ice cream. Given his long support for the state’s alcohol industry, perhaps Cuomo could adopt the slogan “Make America Drunk Again.”
The odd thing about the child sex trafficking legislation that these two state lawmakers sponsored is that it took this long to enact it. Despite bipartisan support and widespread agreement that a loophole making it harder to prosecute sex trafficking crimes should be closed, the bill was delayed until this year. But now that it has the governor’s signature, advocates are relieved that New York is finally aligned with most of the rest of the country on the issue.
The state attorney general candidate has friends in high places – like the 1,200-foot-tall One Bryant Park, home to the Durst Organization and its many associated limited liability companies that have been pouring money into Maloney’s campaign. The real estate developer’s $150,000 helped make the Hudson Valley congressman the top fundraiser in the four-way race, which could boost his chances at winning even more than Tish James saying she doesn’t want to be the “Sheriff of Wall Street.”
New York lawmakers have debated what should be the official state snack, the official state dog, the official state fruit. But there should be little to no debate when it comes to the new official state author – Colson Whitehead, who wrote “The Underground Railroad” and “The Colossus of New York” – and the official new state poet, Alicia Ostriker, who has published multiple award-winning collections.
The Western New York congressman had been a lock to win re-election, thanks to his incumbency and the gerrymandered lines that made his district solidly Republican. But as often is the case in politics, Collins torpedoed his own chances. In his case, it was questionable investing behavior – prosecutors would call it insider trading, a charge the congressman denies. Over the weekend, Collins apparently saw the writing on the wall and suspended his campaign – likely ending his political career no matter how the case shakes out.
Cuomo has a long history of foot-in-mouth syndrome and he just had another flare-up. In an attempt to attack President Donald Trump and his famous “Make America Great Again” slogan, the governor told a crowd that America “was never that great.” That didn’t play well on either side of the political divide, with Democrats and Republicans alike calling him out for #GreatGate. Soon after he made it, a spokeswoman for Cuomo insisted he does think America is great, it just hasn’t reached “maximum greatness.” At least it’s short enough to fit on a hat.
The world may hate El Chapo for his drug trafficking and murdering ways, but New Yorkers hate him for something else – traffic jams. The NYPD isn't taking any chances transporting the former prison escapee from his Manhattan jail cell to his Brooklyn courtroom, choosing to block the entire Brooklyn Bridge while moving him back and forth. And to add to the drug lord's long list of crimes, many of these closures during his November trial will be scheduled during morning and evening rush hours. Time will tell whether El Chapo Brooklyn Bridge traffic would outdo incoming L-train shutdown Williamsburg Bridge traffic.
The former president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association once had power to shut down New York City’s courts by refusing to drive the inmates off of Rikers Island for their court dates. But he couldn’t pull the same trick for himself, and was convicted of bribery and conspiracy this week. The slick-dressing, cigar-chomping union boss who ran Rikers will soon be a prisoner himself, much like the ones he used to patrol.
The Pennsylvania grand jury report documenting more than 1,000 instances of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests was deeply distressing. In New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan condemned the behavior and said the must do better. But a few cases in the report hit close to him: the priests James McLucas, Ed Parrakow and James Rush were all in the New York diocese, and that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. But when asked if New York could follow Pennsylvania’s lead with a sweeping investigation, prosecutors claimed there’s simply nothing they can do.