This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs new legislation – sponsored by state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas – to extend rape statute of limitations in the second and third degree, joined by Times Up leaders.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs new legislation – sponsored by state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas – to extend rape statute of limitations in the second and third degree, joined by Times Up leaders. The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Bill de Blasio can’t dip in the polls when he doesn’t have any support to begin with. But New Yorkers may be able to take a dip in a pool with his support. After nine years of a group called +Pool’s advocacy, City Hall’s looking at building a floating swimming pool off the Lower East Side. Great news! … for the midwestern tourists and Instagram influencers willing to wait in a three-hour line. For more patented New York kvetching, here’s this week’s Winners & Losers.


Alessandra Biaggi & Aravella Simotas -

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas sponsored new legislation that extends the statute of limitations for second- and third-degree rape, which became law this week. The women were conspicuously absent from the bill signing, though, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo opting to invade the personal space of celebrities Julianne Moore and Mira Sorvino in a photo-op instead. Could this be Cuomo’s revenge for a critical press conference a certain state senator held months ago? If so, poor Simotas!

Andy Byford -

He’s like a kid in a candy shop – a kid with $40 billion to spend. That’s how much money New York City Transit will get under the MTA’s new five-year capital plan, which, at $51.5 billion, is the agency’s largest ever. In Byford’s own words, the plan – which includes many parts of his Fast Forward plan – “exceeds (his) wildest expectations.” Plus, Byford is reportedly back on Cuomo’s “nice” list, which is the place to be when your job depends on said governor. All in all, a banner week for the Brit.

Michael Cusick -

Staten Island Democrats have a new head honcho in Assemblyman Michael Cusick, who was elected chairman of the county party this week. His leftward critics are calling him a Democrat “in name only,” but it’s no surprise Staten Island picked a moderate; the forgotten borough is one of the few places in the city where Democrats are actually grappling with Republicans (as opposed to eating each other alive). Now can Cusick win over S.I. progressives? That’d make him a real winner.

Brian Higgins -

Despite the existence of Buffalo wings, Buffalo can’t fly. But Buffalo residents will soon be able to take to the air, walking on Western New York’s supersize version of the High Line. That was the winning design for the repurposing of the elevated highway known as the Skyway, and hometown Rep. Brian Higgins is a big fan – who got Gov. Andrew Cuomo to kick $10 million toward the environmental review.

Elizabeth Warren -

After solidifying her power in New York with a key endorsement from the Working Families Party, Elizabeth Warren turned Washington Square Park into a sea of supporters, with thousands of enthusiastic young voters showing up for the Massachusetts senator and her bid for the Oval Office. That’s way more New Yorkers than the one (1) New York Democrat that Bill de Blasio got to support him in a Siena poll this week.


Michael Blake -

Debt collectors have been among the top most hated professions for millennia, so it's no good news that Assemblyman and congressional candidate Michael Blake has consulted for one of the worst ones in the country – and didn’t bother mentioning it on an ethics filing. And Blake's philanthropic pursuits haven't done much to improve things for him, given that he's apparently being paid five figures for what he describes as an “honorary” position with a nonprofit. Apparently “honorary” ≠ “volunteer.”

Andrew Cuomo -

The governor stuck to his guns for weeks despite the backlash to a $25 fee for a mandatory license plate replacement. Reporters and lawmakers who dared question whether the fee had to be so high were treated to convoluted “Who’s on first?”-style denials from Cuomo spokespeople. But after a poll came out showing widespread public disapproval, the governor finally beat a hasty retreat – while insisting he’d already backed off weeks ago. Huh? If only we’d all picked the plate Cuomo wanted in the first place, maybe this all could’ve been avoided.

Michael Frennier -

New York vapers may soon have to stock up on black market bubblegum Juul pods, after the state banned most e-cig flavors. Those store-bought pods probably aren’t what’s killing people, anyway, but that’s small consolation to Michael Frennier’s New York State Vapor Association, whose members now need to find different ways to market to the e-cigarette-loving teens out there who are suddenly stuck with lame flavors like menthol and tobacco.

Daphne Jordan -

 There’s no gold at the end of this rainbow. Daphne’s former chief of staff Kris Thompson is claiming she violated his “basic human rights” when she allegedly asked him to dress up like a leprechaun – clothes “not befitting a 61-year-old grown man” – at a parade. Thompson filed a complaint with the state Division of Human Rights in August, soon after he alleges he was wrongfully fired. And while the top hat and buckle shoes might have been a bad look for Thompson, getting slapped with a civil rights complaint is an even worse one for Jordan.

Alexandra Robinson -

It’s 2 p.m. Is your child in West Africa? That’s where some of the school bus GPS units were that New York City Department of Education was paying for. No wonder so many school bus drivers got so hopelessly lost on the first day last year (not that this 2019 was much better). The GPS rollout was such a mess that the department hasn’t seen a penny of the $7 million reimbursement it was supposed to get – and a new report lays the blame at the feet of Alexandra Robinson, the school bus administrator. She’ll need to find a way out of this one; luckily, we know where to get a spare GPS.