Jumaane Williams wins again
The public advocate's race gave way to Michael Cohen's House hearing, but who had the best and worst week?
Update: It's no surprise that Jumaane Williams was voted last week's biggest winner - and he got 69 percent in our Winners & Losers poll, compared to the 33 percent in Tuesday's special election. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's bumbling landed him atop the losers list, edging out public advocate candidate Nomiki Konst, whose impressive Twitter following didn't follow through at the ballot box.
Michael Cohen – a local attorney, one-time New York City Council candidate and cigar aficionado – held the collective attention of every newsroom and politics-oriented office in America Wednesday. Winner or Loser? That’s for the feds to decide. But you can bet there were a ton of small-time New York political operatives who would have gladly paid $130,000 and their dignity for that kind of attention.
Ed Braunstein & Monica Martinez -
It took years, but New York is finally set to enact a law that will make the non-consensual posting of intimate images – also known as revenge porn – a class A misdemeanor. Sponsored by Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and state Sen. Monica Martinez, the bill passed both chambers unanimously this week and is expected to be signed by the governor, to officially outlaw revenge porn in New York. So what if we're the 42nd state to do it?
Andrew Cuomo -
The governor achieved the near impossible this week: getting Mayor Bill de Blasio to agree to a congestion pricing plan rather than the millionaires tax that the mayor has pushed for years. Cuomo got another one over de Blasio – his longtime frenemy – by getting ranked ahead of de Blasio in City & State’s 2019 New York City Power 100 list. If only Amazon would give Cuomo a free gift card for 25,000 jobs, everything would be really hunky dory for King Cuomo.
Jerry Kassar -
New York Republicans lost the state Senate and lost seats in the House. So it’s not the best time to lead the Conservative Party, which cross-endorses Republicans in order to pull them further to the right – especially since even that power may be stripped away soon. Still, unlike some third parties, the Conservatives actually stand for something – and Jerry Kassar, who was just elected as the party’s leader, is about to lead the third party into an uncertain new era.
Tom Reed -
Jamestown’s National Comedy Center isn’t the official national comedy center. But the House passed legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Reed that includes his resolution to officially designate the museum in Jamestown as the National Comedy Center, and Trump is expected to sign it. No joke, quipped The Buffalo News. No laughing matter, said Reed. But located as it is in the Southern Tier, just getting there may be half the fun.
Jumaane Williams -
Jump up! Jump up! The soca beats that blasted in East Flatbush Tuesday night were still echoing in Williams’ head when he went to see the sign on his new office: “Jumaane Williams – Public Advocate.” Yes, after losing races for lieutenant governor, New York City Council speaker (twice!) and even college class president (really!), Williams finally got a big win, riding a wave of endorsements and popular support to citywide office.
Bill de Blasio -
Renewing the city’s broken school system isn’t so easy. When the mayor cancelled Renewal – one of his signature education initiatives – he admitted that after shelling out $773 million, some the city’s worst public schools are still suffering. He also tried cozying up to the residents of Iowa this past weekend, telling about two dozen residents not to sleep on President Donald Trump’s strategizing before getting stranded by a snowstorm that left him sleeping in a roadside motel. And his wife, Chirlane McCray, would rather see him focus on his mayoral duties after she publicly dunked on him, calling the timing “not exactly right” for her husband’s potential 2020 presidential run.
Nomiki Konst -
Nomiki Konst entered the public advocate race with the largest Twitter following of any of the 17 contenders, but her impressive virtual following translated to virtually nothing on Election Day. The self-identified democratic socialist candidate hoped to follow the ultra-progressive lead of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her unconventional candidacy, but fell far short, convincing just 2 percent of the electorate that she was right for the job. Too bad Twitter bots can’t vote.
Monique Johnson -
After condemning alleged staff sex parties at her NYCHA complex, Throggs Neck Houses, Johnson now is claiming NYCHA is targeting her after she exposed employee misconduct. As tenant association president for the complex, Johnson has been accused of depriving other tenants of resources while benefitting herself. Though she’s denying the allegations, they are unusually specific, including that Johnson has a tricked out security camera system and a stove for her office and that she once requested purple bathroom walls.
Chirlane McCray -
New York City first lady Chirlane McCray’s signature mental health initiative, ThriveNYC, was feeling the heat this week, as a City Council hearing revealed that the program is failing to achieve results or treat the city’s mentally ill homeless, despite a spending around a billion bucks over five years. And as if that’s not headache enough, McCray probably has some ‘splainin’ to do with her husband for telling a reporter that it’s just not his time for a presidential run.
Shawn Morse -
Just two weeks after police decided not to bring charges against Shawn Morse for allegedly abusing is wife, he is in hot water once again. He was arrested this week on federal charges involving an alleged plot to divert campaign funds for personal purchases. Since he was elected mayor of Cohoes in 2015, Morse has been plagued with probes into his behavior. And just when he might need some PR help, the firm that was already trying to repair his reputation cut ties with him, saying he owes them $20K.