New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he doesn’t hate the press. He was just frustrated in recently published emails where he called local media “pitiful” and “sad” and referred to negative coverage as “disgusting.” First lady Chirlane McCray, who explained the mayor’s frustration, said he has a “tough job” and “works all the time” and that it’s “hard to figure out how to get it right.” Despite him saying in emails that he would be happy if city tabloids shut down, McCray insisted de Blasio does not really think that and he has “tremendous respect for individual journalists.” More on the rest of the week’s news – reported by New York journalists – in this week’s headlines.
State Senate stalemate
Activity in New York’s upper chamber came to a halt when state Sen. Thomas Croci’s return to the Navy left the two parties with 31 members apiece in the 63-seat legislative body. Democrats tried to force a vote on women’s reproductive rights on Wednesday as a hostile amendment, with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul poised to cast a tiebreaking vote. But Republicans laid aside the entire agenda and ended the session early. Thursday’s session ended abruptly again after an uncontroversial bill regarding student concussions failed on the floor when no Democrats crossed the aisle to vote for it. Both parties flung accusations of politicking and partisanship.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the Republican congressional primary battle playing out on Staten Island, endorsing Rep. Dan Donovan over his challenger, convicted felon and former Rep. Michael Grimm. The primary fight has revolved around who best represents Trump and his goals, with both candidates eagerly embracing the president. However, Trump erroneously said in his endorsement that Donovan voted for tax cuts, when in reality the congressman voted against the final version of last year’s sweeping tax bill.
In the course of a week, ex-movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was arrested and indicted on rape and criminal sexual act charges. He turned himself in to the NYPD and within days a grand jury indicted him. The arrest, indictment and upcoming trial may represent a career-defining case for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who faced scrutiny and outrage for deciding not to prosecute Weinstein years ago after investigating a similar allegation.
State Sen. Phil Boyle is facing a new Democratic challenger, former Suffolk County Legislator Louis D’Amaro. He was recruited by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and already has the governor’s endorsement. The Long Island race is now expected to be more competitive and could help determine which party controls the state Senate next year. State Sen. David Carlucci is also getting challenged on the left by Julie Goldberg, meaning that every former Independent Democratic Conference member now has a primary rival.
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