First Read 02/13/2020

February 13, 2020
Latest News
Chinatown leaders and shop owners are begging New Yorkers to patronize their restaurants and shops after a weekslong lull in business that they blamed on unwarranted fears about the new coronavirus outbreak.
State Attorney General Letitia James called the deal to sell the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County “very risky” and urged federal safety regulators to consider the state’s concerns before moving ahead.
In the year since Amazon scuttled its deal to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, supporters and opponents of big development have zeroed in on new projects that raise some of the same tensions over Queens’ future.
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins visited the White House just days after saying members of the New York City Police Department were declaring “war” on de Blasio.
President Donald Trump endorsed Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis in the race against Rep. Max Rose for the 11th Congressional District that encompasses Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, a key swing district in the battle for control of Congress.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has tapped a digital firm to revamp the city’s 911 system – the same company that’s already behind schedule and over budget on creating a temporary text option for emergency callers.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer wants landlords to provide renters with a Tenant Bill of Rights at every lease signing – and he appears to be betting on help from key rival Council Speaker Corey Johnson to get his proposal approved.
Controversial criminal justice reforms are so onerous that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office might have to defer or even decline prosecution in certain classes of cases, referring to the 15-day timeline to turn over all evidence to the defense.
New York City mayoral candidates are hoping for a polite 2021 campaign because city voters can rank their top candidates for the first time, but the optimism was lost on Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who said the campaign would be “dirty.”
A proposal to compromise on New York’s new bail law roiled some Democrats at the state Capitol, as some members of the Assembly denounced their colleagues as “fake” Democrats.
Government reform group Citizens Union launched a last-minute #Love2Vote campaign to remind New Yorkers they must register with a major party by Valentine’s Day in order to vote in the April 28 primary.
As a part of Citi Bike’s long-awaited expansion in the Bronx, the New York City Department of Transportation has revealed a draft map of where docks could surface later this year, including in Mott Haven, Port Morris and Melrose.
A race for Democratic district leader in Western Queens has turned into a who’s who of political connections and rivalries, as an aide to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson begins her campaign while some reform-minded Democrats have also drafted candidates.
The New York City Department of Education wants to move a March parent meeting with New York City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza from Chinatown to Chelsea amid tensions with the city’s Asian community.
New York City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson was fined $5,000 for trying to use the power of her office to get out of a traffic violation after admitting to contacting a higher-up at the NYPD precinct in her district while an officer was writing her a ticket.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren stepped into presidential politics, announcing she is endorsing former New York City mayor and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped another city official to fill an open seat on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board: Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, who currently serves as commissioner of the city’s Department for the Aging.
Republican Assemblyman Brian Kolb announced that he won’t seek reelection, a development that came a month and a half after he was charged with drunk driving on New Year’s Eve.
County sheriffs across New York today called on Cuomo and legislative leaders to end an “unwise” provision in a new law that has restricted access to state motor vehicle records by federal immigration and border agents.
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Hours before his meeting with President Donald Trump to try to restore New Yorkers to Trusted Traveler Programs at airport security checkpoints, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he doesn’t expect to win his argument in the short term.
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Editorial Pages
It looks like Democrats in the state Senate are looking to fix last year’s botched criminal justice reforms, and early reports suggest that state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and several of her colleagues are on the right track.
The starting point for any reform of the new bail law should be a recognition that our criminal justice system – including judges – regularly abused the power and discretion that we, the people, entrusted to them, Errol Louis writes.
The Trump administration punished New York for its driver’s license program for undocumented immigrants, but when Cuomo meets with the president, he should not allow the state to bow to this abuse of power.
What Michael Bloomberg did as mayor of New York City with stop and frisk amounted to a police occupation of minority neighborhoods, a terroristic pressure campaign, with little evidence that it was accomplishing the goal of sustained crime reduction, Charles Blow writes.
From City & State
National Politics
Troy Price, the Iowa state Democratic Party chairman who presided over last week’s disastrous caucuses, submitted his letter of resignation in which he apologized for the delays and confusion.
President Donald Trump is testing the rule of law one week after being acquitted in his U.S. Senate impeachment trial, seeking to bend the executive branch into an instrument for his personal and political vendetta against perceived enemies.
Former White House chief of staff John Kelly laid bare an array of misgivings about Trump’s policies and actions, including his ouster of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council aide and impeachment witness.
The U.S. Senate voted to require that Trump seek congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran, as Democrats joined forces with eight Republicans to try to rein in the president’s war-making powers.
In Depth
Bloomberg has contracted some of the biggest meme makers on the internet to post sponsored content on Instagram promoting his presidential campaign, which is working with Meme 2020, a company formed by some of the people behind influential accounts.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, spoke with GQ about the aftermath of impeachment, the most exciting new faces in the Democratic Party, and how Trump can be beaten at the ballot box.
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