Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continued their tit-for-tat this week. De Blasio went on the offensive about public housing in the city, expressing skepticism over the governor’s installation of an independent monitor to oversee repairs. At almost the same time, Cuomo told business leaders that the city should pay even more towards the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, even after it agreed to the increased funding Cuomo had asked for. Gubernatorial candidate and de Blasio ally Cynthia Nixon also had a busy week, visiting Central New York, advocating for legalizing recreational marijuana and calling out Cuomo for his response to an ongoing water crisis in Hoosick Falls. That and more in this week’s headlines.
IDC back in the fold
In a surprise announcement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein announced the state Senate Democrats would immediately reunify and the IDC would dissolve. According to the plan, Stewart-Cousins would lead the conference with Klein as her deputy. Originally, there had been talk of reunifying after the April 24 special elections. If Democrats win both seats up for grabs, they would technically hold a 32-seat majority. As it stands now, bringing the IDC back in the fold would leave Democrats in the minority with 29 seats, since Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder separately caucuses with the Republicans. Felder, who for now is sticking to the status quo, said that while he would consider rejoining, he would need a “compelling” reason to do so.
Molinaro makes it official
He originally declined to run. But a grass-roots campaign urged him to enter the race, and after racking up support from a number of GOP county leaders, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro launched his gubernatorial run last week. He has tentatively locked up the Republican nomination over state Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco. Molinaro started out in an assertive stance, calling Cuomo “corrupt,” “corrosive” and “argumentative.”
Unarmed black man killed by NYPD
New York City police officers shot and killed an unarmed, mentally ill black man in Brooklyn on Wednesday after mistaking a pipe he was holding for a gun. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announced that it would investigate the shooting of 34-year-old Saheed Vassell. Officers were responding to a 911 call when they said Vassell took a “shooting stance” and pointed the object at them, but one witness said officers never told him to drop the item.
A struggle for control
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio moved to block Mark Peters, the commissioner of the city Department of Investigation, from seizing control over the office that investigates corruption in the city’s schools. The mayor signed an executive order requiring his approval for the appointment or removal of the head of that office shortly after Peters fired the previous head. De Blasio said his approval for the position would make it more independent, but critics called the move an abuse of power.
First day on the job
After last month’s drama around naming a new New York City schools chancellor – when Alberto Carvalho turned down the job on live TV – Richard Carranza officially started in the position on Monday. He continued to emphasize equity and opportunity in an address to students and teachers and celebrated his first day with a meal at Katz’s Delicatessen. De Blasio told the press that Carranza would focus on his Equity and Excellence agenda.