This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Riverside Park Conservancy's 'GOaTHAM' initiative placed 24 goats inside the park to feast on invasive weed species over the summer.

Riverside Park Conservancy's 'GOaTHAM' initiative placed 24 goats inside the park to feast on invasive weed species over the summer. Bebeto Matthews/AP/Shutterstock

When he was governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie was known for his love of Bruce Springsteen’s music. When he was president, Barack Obama shared a playlist featuring musical luminaries like Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Bob Marley along with contemporary artists like John Legend and Justin Timberlake.

This week, we learned that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a thing for … ska? But that’s not why he landed on this week’s Winners & Losers list.


Thomas Abinanti & Kevin Parker -

The sponsors of a bill aiming to rid the state of “ghost guns” are riding high now that their bill has passed the state Legislature. Under current state law, it’s perfectly OK to use a 3D printer to make a plastic gun that will not set off a metal detector. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet said whether he would sign the bill – but he is no NRA-loving politician, so the assemblyman and state senator should get ready to holster their legislative weapons.

Dan Garodnick -

The former city councilman and current Riverside Park Conservancy president and CEO has proven himself to be the GOAT by bringing a hungry pack of actual goats to the park. With chompers ready to get at anything green, the 25 animals are part of the new “Goatham” initiative to help maintain parks in a more sustainable and cost-effective – but most importantly cuter – way. Some might call it a “nanny state,” but New Yorkers flocked to see the billies, does and kids do their jobs.

Letitia James -

The state attorney general has made no secret of her desire to use her new powers against President Donald Trump, and now she’s getting a new legal weapon to wield against him. The state Legislature has passed a bill, which Cuomo has said he would sign, to allow state prosecutors to go after the likes of Paul Manafort and others if and when the president pardons them. Under current state law, prosecutors would have to find new crimes to charge them with, which might have been one reason that special counsel Robert Mueller limited the scope of the charges he filed against Trump’s associates.

Nick Langworthy -

You can say this about Nick Langworthy – he immediately injects youth and vigor into the state Republican Party, which it was announced he will take over as the new party chairman. New blood may be what’s needed, and Langworthy will have his work cut out for him in trying to revive a party that has been in retreat in New York. It’ll be on him if the GOP’s fortunes don’t improve in upcoming elections, but for now, it’s time for Langworthy to enjoy his honeymoon.


John Barres -

It’s often a bad idea to be the last one to catch on, and with every other Roman Catholic diocese in New York moving to disclose lists of priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct, the Rockville Centre Diocese is the state’s only remaining holdout – an embarrassing and dishonorable distinction for the diocese’s bishop, John Barres. And as is often the case, it makes you wonder: What is there to hide?

Chris Collins -

As if facing insider trading charges isn’t enough, Rep. Chris Collins now has a primary fight on his hands. State Sen. Chris Jacobs announced that he will seek Collins’ Western New York congressional seat in the next election – heartened perhaps by the fact that Collins didn’t report a single campaign contribution from an individual in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the congressman is trying to keep from the jury a staff memo about bills that would affect the pharmaceutical company at the heart of his alleged crimes.

Ed Cox -

How the high-born have fallen. Descended from multiple prominent WASP families and married to Richard Nixon’s daughter, Ed Cox was an avatar of the New York Republican establishment. Now, after saying he would fight to keep his job as state party chairman – despite an unbroken string of electoral defeats – he is finally stepping aside, succumbing to the Trumpification of the state GOP, and joining Trump’s reelection effort.

Matthew Daus, David Yassky & Meera Joshi -

A blockbuster investigation in The New York Times this week revealed the reckless – if not predatory – lending practices to low-income taxi medallion owners. And while few government or industry officials have emerged from the investigative series looking good, these three chairs of the Taxi and Limousine Commission – serving between 2001 and this year – were in charge of the TLC at a time when it was reportedly a “cheerleader” for medallion sales. As the Times put it, the TLC “was tasked with regulating the industry, but as prices skyrocketed, it sold new medallions and began declaring they were ‘better than the stock market.’”

Bill de Blasio -

Holding up a sloppily handwritten sign that says the Spanish word for condom is simply embarrassing. But you can’t blame the mayor for going back on his word and attacking #ConDon (aka Donald Trump). Because the mayor’s previous presidential strategy of ignoring him helped earn him a negative 37 percentage point net favorability rating nationwide in a recent poll – the worst among all the Democratic presidential candidates. De Blasio’s campaign is so bad, not even U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix it.