This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held an “I’m back" a rally in Queens on Saturday, just across the river from some of the county’s finest institutions for heart health, like the Hospital for Special Surgery and NewYork-Presbyterian. But with Bernie back, all anyone wanted to talk about was the public housing behind Bernie’s back – the Queensbridge Houses, whose residents said they didn’t even know the rally was happening, making them feel like, at worst, a prop, and at best, an afterthought. The real problem here? Not enough folks subscribed to First Read



Barbara Bowen -

It only took two years, but CUNY and the Professional Staff Congress, the union that represents its faculty, announced a contract agreement this week that would boost paychecks by 10%. The PSC, led by its president Barbara Bowen and representing spme 30,000 faculty members, has been without a contract since December of 2017. It’s nice to know that with all that free tuition, CUNY finally found a way to pay its teachers, too.

Letitia James -

On Wednesday, New York’s attorney general began her landmark case against Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company, alleging that it lied to its shareholders about financial risks posed by climate change. If Exxon is found guilty, it may have to pay shareholders a sizeable chunk of change, somewhere between $476 million and $1.6 billion. Granted, the lawsuit was actually initiated under He Who Shall Not Be Named, but forget that guy – the whole office should be commended on its followthrough. And if one groundbreaking lawsuit isn’t enough of a reason to make James a winner this week, she’s also has gotten 46 other attorneys general to join her antitrust investigation of Facebook.

Tracy Marks -

For $507 million, the Tennessee-based tech company TransCore will get the honor of implementing the bane of outer borough commuters: congestion pricing. Tracy Marks, the company’s president, gets to build the system that will charge drivers entering Manhattan anywhere under the park, the first of its kind in the nation and a model for other cities considering congestion pricing – apparently deciding that the prestige is worth the headache of contracting with the MTA.

Roger Meadows -

 Who says one voice can’t make a difference? Meadows, a humble Uber driver from Nassau County, caught the attention of Public Finance Reform Commission members with his suggestion that campaign matching funds apply only to in-district donations, and at much higher rates. “I just thought it was genius,” commissioner Jay Jacbos praised. The commission voted to examine a whopping 20:1 match for in-district donors only – completely reversing a vote from only a week before. Meadows went in to offer his two cents, but it seems he wound up giving 40 cents instead.

Annina Ucatis -

This German porn star got what every reporter wants. No, not THAT, you sicko. She got a behind-the-scenes tour of 1 Police Plaza and the NYPD’s totally private Security Coordination Center, thanks to a hook-up within the department. How’d the star of “Big Tit A-List” get the perk? Unclear. But NYPD brass vowed to “get to the bottom of it.”


Maruf Alam -

Crime really doesn’t pay, does it? After admitting to siphoning off $80,000 in campaign funds from his boss, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, this former staffer is facing 20 years in federal prison. That works out to four grand a year, which … really wasn’t worth it. While he’s out of the political life for the time being, maybe he’ll get a chance to network with fellow fallen politicos while in the clink and secure some work in the upcoming 2040 election cycle. 

Derek Baichi -

He’s white. He’s straight. And the mayor of a Syracuse suburb, the tiny village of Solvay, says he’s suing his own government for a hate crime. The offense? Supposedly, rivals have been spreading rumors that he’s gay. Which he isn’t, he insists, citing as evidence the fact that “I f**k b***hes.” His village has about 6,300 people. Way to put it on the map, big guy. 

Jeffrey Griffin -

Jeffrey Griffin, a former staffer for state Sen. Joe Addabbo, was fired after porn links were found on his office computer, and fired from another job after offering his female co-worker his sperm. Some might take that string of missteps and decide to take a break from politics. But Griffin is now working on recruiting a challenger to Addabbo, apparently betting that the progressive political group he’s teaming up with will be more understanding of his, uh, eccentricities. 

Andy King -

Oh, how the bowtied have fallen. New York City Councilman Andy King faced some serious scrutiny this week after it was reported that he harassed and threatened a number of his staffers, allowed his wife – a Local 1199 boss – to utilize his staff, and used public funds and council resources for himself – including a retreat to the Virgin Islands. The council is expected to vote on whether or not King should be suspended from the council next week, but Speaker Corey Johnson and Hizzoner have already called for his resignation. 

Lee Zeldin -

The congressman was part of the protest where Trump loyalists staged the pastiest all-male production of “Les Mis” ever by storming the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF), where House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff was holding a classified deposition in relation to the impeachment inquiry. Except Zeldin is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, so he, uh … could’ve walked right in like a normal person. In the unprecedented move, many of Zeldin’s compatriots brought their phones with them into the heretofore spyproof room, but who cares about national security when you’ve got all those Twitter followers to impress!

NEXT STORY: What comes next for MWBEs?