Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Our hoots have been answered. After not being spotted for a few days in December, Flaco, the Eurasian eagle-owl, was photographed atop a water tower on the Upper West Side right before Christmas. A fitting Christmas present for the city’s birdwatchers. But, birds, including Flaco, have been getting some negative press recently for being a nuisance. The state has spent $58,000 to turn a state Capitol courtyard into New York’s hottest club. The pigeons that perch, and poop, on the Capitol’s ledges, have been undeterred by the state’s laser light show that’s meant to scare them away. But, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Birds and the Bees Protection Act, so no birds will be harmed by pesticides – or lasers.


James Skoufis & Amy Paulin -

After months of explaining how beneficial their bill could be, state Sen. James Skoufis and Assembly Member Amy Paulin can rejoice after Hochul signed their even-numbered year election legislation. Many local elections outside New York City will now begin to take place at the same time as bigger races. The law is expected by supporters to increase turnout in future elections. After some backlash from conservative lawmakers and local election officials concerned about who would benefit from the change and who would help administer it, Skoufis and Paulin can call the passage a success.

Manny Pastreich -

Members of the 32BJ SEIU building service workers union announced a tentative agreement with the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, securing historic raises and a $3,000 bonus, among other perks. And the union was able to reach the deal without going on strike. It’ll be a sweet start to 2024 for union President Manny Pastreich, who attributed part of the success to a major demonstration earlier this month attended by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, state Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and thousands of workers.


George Santos -

Who had Eric Adams, Carvana and chocolate on their George Santos bingo card? The self-proclaimed “former congressional icon” released a bizarre and borderline unhinged video blaming Adams for the window of his used SUV being smashed and a book bag and basket of chocolates being stolen. Deputy Mayor Fabien Levy called out the one-time fake volleyball great. WABC was on hand when Carvana picked up the car, which Santos returned, and the window appeared intact. Maybe Santos can use his Cameo windfall to buy more chocolate?

AJ Caro -

In a certified Grinch move, security guards at the Floyd Bennett Field migrant shelter confiscated toy scooters from kids playing in the halls with their new gifts on Christmas Eve. Now, the rules of the temporary shelter state that residents can’t ride bikes or scooters in the narrow hallways, and a spokesperson for the New York City agency overseeing the shelter defended the move. But it’s a bad look for employees of AJ Caro’s Arrow Security to take toys away from kids living in a temporary shelter the day before Christmas – especially when it’s caught on camera.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins & Carl Heastie -

State Democrats tried to tweak public campaign finance laws to make sure big donors’ contributions get matched too. The measure would have killed two birds with one stone as they say: protecting incumbents and weakening small donors! The bill, sponsored by Elections Committees chairs state Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assembly Member Latrice Walker, had the backing of the legislative leaders, especially Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. But Gov. Kathy Hochul, to the delight of good government advocates, vetoed it.