This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

The poverty rate in New York City has dropped to a record low. That’s a great thing! Then New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had to come in and take credit for ending “the tale of two cities.” The very week that City & State published a meticulously reported argument that de Blasio didn’t have jack squat to do with it! We’ll let you decide who’s right. But remember, we have the power – to decide who’s on Winners & Losers.

WINNERS:

Nick Langworthy -

Chris Collins may be headed to prison, but state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy is probably letting out a big sigh of relief. Up until the day he quit Congress, Collins had floated the possibility that he would run for reelection again – a prospect that fellow Republican state Sen. Chris Jacobs warned could have led to a Democrat winning the seat. Jacobs is one of at least six Republicans who were vying for Collins’ seat before his downfall – but now Langworthy can just pick his preferred nominee for a special election rather than deal with a pesky, messy primary. 

Betsy Gotbaum -

Ethics. Transparency. These are all things Citizens Union loves – until it hits home. A lawsuit led by the good-government group successfully struck down a state law calling for donor disclosure for political nonprofits like Citizens Union. It’s a victory for free speech, according to Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum and her team, but it's certainly an awkward one when it kind of depends on precedent set by the infamous, similarly named Citizens United case. 

Henry Garrido and Linda McPherson -

The math on pay parity is so simple, even a 4-year-old could get it. Pre-K teachers in New York City public school buildings are paid way more than pre-K teachers in community-based organizations. Now, after striking a deal to raise their members’ pay, these two labor leaders, of DC 37 and Local 95 respectively, deserve naptime and a box of raisins.

Kelsey Louie -

After nearly 40 years since the fight against HIV and AIDS began, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that New York is on track to meet its goal of ending the epidemic by 2020, with a 28% decrease in HIV diagnoses since the implementation of his three-point plan in 2014. But the ones really leading the charge have been the members of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, currently led by Kelsey Louie, which has been providing prevention and care services and advocating for policy changes (including Cuomo’s plan) in New York since 1982. Of course, if AIDS is eradicated, the good folks at GMHC will be out of a job, but there’s never been a better reason to become irrelevant.

Susan Arbetter -

For the Capitol press corps, this is it – the Big Time. The longtime host of WCNY’s “Capitol Pressroom” has landed a new gig succeeding Liz Benjamin as host of Spectrum’s “Capitol Tonight.” Listeners will miss Arbetter’s soothing voice wafting out of the “Plywood Hut” where she recorded her radio program, but reporters and the general public will now get a chance to watch politicians squirm under Arbetter’s firm – but always fair – interrogations. 

LOSERS:

Chris Collins -

The Western New York Republican congressman pleaded guilty and resigned from office after crying “witch hunt” for more than a year. The next stop for Collins could be the slammer for his role in an insider trading scheme – but at least he’s not going down alone. His resignation is surely dashing the congressional hopes of Democratic challenger Nate McMurray. Running against Collins was hard enough last year in the deeply red 27th Congressional District. How’s McMurray going to pull a rabbit out of an electoral hat now?

Ismail Mohammad Hassan & Mohamed Ali Hassan -

The two Hassans (no relation) have been charged with trying to bribe a New York City buildings inspector in an attempt to avoid receiving violations at a construction site in Queens. The city is no stranger to corruption – in construction and otherwise – but, if the allegations are true, these two contractors didn’t seem to be very good at it. Officials say they offered the inspector a measly $400 – and didn’t even have all of it! If it’s not enough to buy a “Hamilton” ticket, it’s certainly not enough to buy a city employee.

Arthur Schwartz -

Manhattan’s controversial 14th Street busway plan went into effect on Thursday, despite the efforts of local district leader and lawyer Arthur Schwartz, who used every trick in the legal playbook to halt the plan. According to local transit reporters and advocates, Schwartz’s dire warnings weren’t realized, with most reporting faster commutes on the blissfully clear road and minimal impact on nearby streets. Schwartz has nevertheless vowed to continue his fight in court, saying that he noticed some traffic outside of his apartment window on 13th Street.

Seth Myers -

More than anyone else at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Seth Myers, executive vice president and director of project implementation, is burdened with the near-impossible job of defending a $9 per-trip subsidy for the NYC Ferry, which – according to the results of an EDC survey released this week – serves mostly white, upper-middle class New Yorkers. The survey results seem to contradict the whole rationale for the project, which was supposed to add a new, equitable transportation option for struggling New Yorkers. But on the bright side, rich white folks get a quick and pleasant commute! It’s about time that lot got a win.

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