First Read 11/27/2019

November 27, 2019
Latest News
For the first 10 months of this year, passenger volume at Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark and Stewart airports rose to a record of nearly 118 million, 1.3% more than the record number handled during the same period last year.
New York state’s financial regulator is probing another company that the National Rifle Association says offers insurance products to its members, potentially bolstering a claim by the gun rights group that the state is unfairly going after its corporate affiliates.
A nonprofit has filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that the new Hunters Point Library excludes people with mobility issues from “full and equal access” to the library.
For months, Cuomo has touted a fast-track contracting method called design-build as a way for the MTA to save money on its major construction projects, but new research suggests the practice will actually increase costs.
The latest state energy plan will not be ready by the end of this year, even though state law calls for a report to be issued every four years, with officials pointing to the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act as a cause for the delay.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raked in more money for her reelection campaign in the previous fundraising quarter – $1.42 million – than any other House Democrat, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Cuomo claimed he did nothing improper when his office allegedly accepted a leak about a possible state ethics investigation into his now-imprisoned and onetime fixer, Joseph Percoco.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s three picks for the commission rewriting the state’s campaign finance laws were “likely” to vote down a package implementing historic campaign finance reforms if side issues related to minor political parties weren’t addressed.
Activists depicted a culture of widespread harassment at the New York City Council and called on lawmakers to crack down on the misconduct at a moving rally, as King is set to officially return to his job Wednesday.
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Despite being on a 30-day suspension for ethics violations, New York City Councilman Andy King spent the past month gallivanting around his district, handing out proclamations and appearing at photo ops alongside others elected officials.
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Editorial Pages
Kudos to state Attorney General Letitia James for suing Juul, but why weren’t governments – the federal government, especially – more proactive in preventing the rise in teenage vaping in the first place.
It’s beyond lunacy to push menthol lovers to the worst possible nicotine-delivery device – cigarettes – and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the Rev. Al Sharpton should hang their heads in shame for failing to ban menthols along with flavored e-cigarettes.
Cuomo, who once held himself up as the paragon of fiscal responsibility, has presided over serious slippage of late – a surge in state spending, especially on Medicaid – and he must own the problem and attack it surgically.
It’s a close call as to whether the Working Families Party or the Independence Party is more venal, but the Greens and the Libertarians are genuinely principled third parties whose dissent will be crushed by a panel that was supposed to be bolstering democracy.
In a different state, legislators and the governor would have had the guts to curb insanely high campaign contribution limits and set up a public matching system for small-donor donations, but this being New York, the craven muckety-mucks in Albany rigged it.
From City & State
National Politics
Two officials at the White House budget office resigned this year partly because of their concerns about Trump’s decision to hold up congressionally approved security assistance to Ukraine.
Donald Trump’s business reported conflicting information about a key metric to New York City property tax officials and a lender who arranged financing for his signature building, Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s first official act as chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee was a lawsuit to force the Trump administration to hand over documents that Democrats suspect will reveal attempts to sabotage the U.S. census.
In Depth