Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Gov. Kathy Hochul owes Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly lunch. Kelly, who was born in New York City, last week proposed a new license plate that’s very similar to New York’s iconic blue and gold plates. Kelly quickly pulled her design after conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats dropped their normal hatred of each other to unite against Kelly. Kansans seem to like grabbing New York’s stuff, with the University of Kansas poaching Lance Leipold from the University at Buffalo to successfully rescue their football team. We remind Kelly, hand’s off New York’s pizza, bagels, chicken wings and cheesecake. But if Kelly and her fellow power Kansans want to do their holiday shopping at Tiffany’s or elsewhere in New York, we say welcome.


Rosario Troncoso -

It won’t be a full restoration to the height of its bustling popularity, but the celebrated street vendor market is returning to Corona Plaza. Four months after New York City disbanded the market citing illegal vending, Mayor Eric Adams agreed to allow vendors to return. Some that is. But vendors are hopeful that more stalls will be allowed to reopen soon. As Rosario Troncoso, president of the organization that represents the merchants said: “This is just the beginning.”

Mondaire Jones -

Two years ago, then-Rep. Mondaire Jones was pressured to quit the Democratic primary for the 17th Congressional District to make room for then-Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, then the powerful chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (who went on to lose the general election to Rep. Mike Lawler). This time around, Jones is the one benefiting from a winnowing field of candidates. On Wednesday, Liz Whitmer Gereghty – sister of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer – dropped out of the race and endorsed Jones, clearing the way for him to be the Democratic nominee.

Carmine Fiore, William Norgard, Steve Mejia & Dominic Spaccio -

After helping to bring the state’s already slow rollout of adult-use cannabis to a complete halt, the Cannabis Control Board has decided to settle with the four veterans who sued the board over its conditional licensing program. The four veterans decided to sue after the board rejected their conditional license application, subsequently halting other conditional license applicants from getting approved and opening stores. But now, licenses are open to everyone, and those who were stopped by a court injunction can also open shop. And after months of controversy, the veterans get their settlement.


David Banks -

It’s not an easy time to be leading New York City public schools. Chancellor David Banks caught flak for cautioning teachers not to share their political views in the classroom ahead of a planned walk-out in support of Palestine earlier this month. Things escalated when hundreds of students at Banks’ alma mater, Hillcrest High School in Queens, targeted a Jewish teacher during school hours on Nov. 20 for her social media support of Israel. The protest drew national attention, and landed the public school system on a federal antisemitism and Islamophobia watch list that already includes three New York universities. Banks has tried to bring the temperature down, saying the war should be discussed, that it’s all a “teachable moment,” and that kids are not being radicalized.

Bhairavi Desai -

With more than 120 groups jockeying for exemptions to New York’s impending congestion pricing program, taxi drivers are just one of many constituencies that was not recommended to be spared under a proposal released by the Traffic Mobility Review Board this week. While the board recommended steep discounts from the $15 base toll for taxi and for-hire vehicle rides – to be passed along to passengers rather than drivers – New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai had advocated for a full exemption for yellow cabs, and called this recommendation “reckless.”

George Santos -

The death spiral for Rep. George Santos continues as he expects to be expelled from Congress any day now. After a damning House Ethics Committee report that detailed questionable uses of campaign funds among other offenses, congress members now feel more comfortable deciding Santos’ fate. The Long Island lawmaker and prolific fabulist said he won’t go down without a fight and compared himself to that well-known brawler, Mary Magdalen. Unfortunately, his choices won’t end in sainthood.