Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

There are 62 counties in New York and there’s good economic news across all of them. CMA CGM, the new operator of Staten Island’s Howland Hook Marine Terminal, announced a $200 to $300 million investment that is projected to create several hundred new jobs. And it’s a big plus for New York’s seaports, the nation’s busiest. On top of this, last year New York welcomed 291.5 million tourists, the most in history, with a total economic impact of  $123 billion. And, not to be outdone, Central New York projects from the Upstate Defense Consortium and Cornell University are finalists for U.S. Department of Defense economic development grants. Sum it up in a word for the Empire State: Winning! And now on to the rest.


Claire Valdez -

The Democratic Socialists of America are looking to unseat scandal-tarred Assembly Member Juan Ardila and expand their “People’s Republic of Astoria.” Two DSA members have already filed to run in the district: labor organizer Claire Valdez and Democratic district leader Émilia Decaudin. On Monday, the DSA’s Electoral Working Group heard from both candidates and overwhelmingly voted to recommend endorsing Valdez. Once DSA’s Queens and North Brooklyn branches approve that endorsement, Decaudin is expected to end their campaign and endorse their comrade.

Sam Berger -

Is the election of Sam Berger – a candidate endorsed by his well-liked predecessor, backed by every major union in the city, and outraising his opponent 18 times over – a Cinderella story for the ages? Not exactly. But Berger’s victory in the special election in Assembly District 27 this week is nonetheless an earned win, as Democrats pulled out all the stops to avoid a potential Republican upset. Berger also became one of the youngest members of the Assembly at just 25 years old after being sworn in on Thursday.

Patrick Hendry -

Apparently we spoke too soon last week in making state Attorney General Letitia James a winner after she announced a major settlement with the New York Police Department that prohibited the department from “kettling” protesters. The unsurprising refusal by the Police Benevolent Association, under the leadership of its new president Patrick Hendry, to sign the deal seems to have paid off. A judge reversed her decision and decided to vacate her approval of the agreement the very next day, despite objections from the Legal Aid Society and New York Civil Liberties Union.


Danny O’Donnell -

The general public may have forgotten about the hot mic moment that caught Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell making a crude comment to a colleague, but his chamber’s Ethics Committee certainly didn’t. Months after he made news for telling Assembly Member Catalina Cruz to “grow a pair, honey” during a heated committee meeting, O’Donnell now faces sanctions for the comments he made. He’ll have to retake harassment and discrimination training, certainly a minor punishment but arguably embarrassing for him nonetheless.

Eric Ulrich -

Among the illegal perks former Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich allegedly got out of his positions in public office for $150,000 in bribes were Mets season tickets, a custom suit, gambling money, a discounted apartment and … a painting by a Salvador Dalí apprentice. Now, hold the phone (or set it on a windowsill at least 10 feet away) – you’re risking jail and living in infamy for a painting by an apprentice of Dalí? This isn’t amateur hour! At least trade city secrets/contracts/favors for an original work by the real deal!

Frederick Davie and Sandford Berland -

The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government suffered a blow after a judge ruled it unconstitutional, the initial outcome from a lawsuit brought by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the body ordered him to repay the $5 million advance he received for his pandemic-era memoir. The ruling may not stand on appeal given the conservative ideology of the judge, but the decision is nonetheless a loss for the fledgling ethics commission, its chair Frederick Davie and its executive director Sandford Berland.