Winners & Losers 10/28/16

Sometimes New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio just can’t win. He shows up late for a few events, and everybody gets mad at him. When his driver speeds or runs stop signs while shuttling him around town, the mayor gets criticized. Now he’s taking flak just for taking a couple helicopter rides! But this week, we’re giving him a pass and keeping him off our Winners & Losers list. To see who did make it, read on.



Mike GianarisAfter six years, the state’s Democratic party finally gets a boost – its Democratic governor is actively campaigning for Democratic state Senate candidates! Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been criticized before for not doing enough to help the Dems regain control of the chamber. This year, Cuomo was knocked by Republican state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan for his efforts. Normal in most political cycles, but odd for New York.

Chris Jacobs – While Cuomo acted as a “campaign carnival barker” for several Democrats running for important state Senate races this week, he demurred when asked about whether he would support Amber Small, Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs’ Democratic opponent in the 60th Senate District. In declining to endorse, the governor, who has benefitted from the largesse of the Jacobs family, signals that he is reading the tea leaves, and doesn’t want to unnecessarily make an enemy of the likely winner of the race.

Letitia James – The New York City public advocate schooled de Blasio on how to run school meetings for all New Yorkers. James joined a lawsuit filed by individuals barred from attending a School Leadership Team meeting in 2014, and helped them convince a judge the public was permitted to attend such public school meetings. The city appealed. But this week, James and the plaintiffs prevailed.

Errol Louis – The long-time NY1 anchor just found himself hosting a more aptly named show. That’s because de Blasio has announced that he will make weekly appearances on Louis’ “Inside City Hall.” Surely, de Blasio’s desire to speak directly to New Yorkers ahead of his 2017 re-election bid contributed to the move, but it’s undoubtedly a boon for Louis. Of course, it would be nice if the mayor wouldn’t hide from the rest of the press.

Eric Schneiderman – The AG scored big in reaching a settlement over false advertising allegations with DraftKings and FanDuel, the popular daily fantasy sports websites, that will require each to pay $6 million. Schneiderman also unveiled a report and tracking tool on interstate gun trafficking that paints a comprehensive picture of where guns used in crimes in the state are coming from, down to individual ZIP codes.



Byron Brown – We don’t know what exactly the Buffalo mayor’s former right-hand man, Steve Casey, is saying to the feds, but it’s probably making Brown nervous. Casey is reportedly singing after having his home raided last year, and lawyers for a developer involved in a legal dispute with City Hall are claiming that Casey corroborated their allegation that Brown killed a project after they wouldn’t bring an ally of the mayor on board.

Robert Capers – The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York made his decision not to bring charges in the Eric Garner case, but reportedly was overruled by his boss. Regardless of whether U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch was right to assign the matter to Washington, D.C., officials removed from the local criminal justice system or she was fishing for a politically-motivated outcome, it’s never enjoyable to have your professional opinion undermined so publicly.

Brian Chesky – The CEO of Airbnb was dealt a serious blow this week when Cuomo signed a bill that will impose fines on would-be Airbnb hosts for listing their homes as short-term rentals. Hotels are expected to enjoy a windfall from the law, and hotel owners are apparently openly celebrating the news. But, hey, it’s not like New York City is an expensive place to visit.

David Gurfein – Scandals and past mistakes often are dug up during political campaigns, but this one is hard to come back from. Republican congressional candidate David Gurfein wasarrested on a domestic battery charge after a confrontation with his former girlfriend in 2010. Officers said Gurfein gave conflicting accounts of what happened, finally settling on claiming that he never touched her. It least it’s a little better than the clichéd “she tripped.”  

Thomas Krumpter – Ever seen a police car blow through a red light and feel that the cops are breaking the rules just because they can? Us too. That seems to be what happened with Krumpter, Nassau’s acting police commissioner, who made a U-turn, ran a red light and crashed his SUV into a car last month. It was Krumpter’s third accident in a police car – and he still avoided getting a ticket. 



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