This Week's Headline
De Blasio drops out and Lee Zeldin attacked
Rounding up the week’s political news.
New York is weathering COVID-19, and it’s dealing with monkeypox, but now it’s got something old causing issues. In the first reported case in the U.S. in a decade, a Rockland County resident has contracted polio. That’s right, polio. Thought it was a thing of the past, almost completely eradicated in the United States? Not in the year 2022, the latest in increasingly unpredictable and frankly chaotic years both in the country and the state. Right now, it’s just the one case, but it’s best not to test fate and just hope nothing more comes of it. For the rest of this week’s news, keep reading.
Bye bye Bill
The race for the 10th Congressional District in New York City just got a little bit smaller with the exit of former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In a video posted to Twitter, de Blasio said that he decided to suspend his bid for Congress – and exit electoral politics altogether. After a failed presidential campaign and a run for governor that never even got off the ground, de Blasio seemed to come to the conclusion that his time in the sun had ended. He won races for the New York City Council, public advocate and mayor in the past, but since leading the Big Apple, de Blasio’s popularity plummeted, and his attempts at running for other offices suffered. Shortly before he announced he was dropping out of the 10th District race, a poll found that half of undecided voters would not be open to voting for him. That and other polls also had de Blasio near the bottom of the pack of candidates, trailing far behind the likes of Council Member Carlina Rivera and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. But now, he might be able to use the campaign cash he’s raised to help pay off some of his past debts and legal bills.
Monkeypox on the rise in NYC
Not content with just one infectious disease spreading in the five boroughs, the number of monkeypox cases in New York City have been increasing. Rates doubled over the course of less than a week, and the state leads the nation in the number of cases. After red tape at the federal level led to delays in getting vaccines to the state, the city announced that it received 26,000 doses in the past week with the newly available appointments getting snapped up very quickly. The city and state are set to receive nearly 760,000 more vaccine doses that had been held up in Denmark until recently.
Deal on Penn Station funding struck
Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, at long last, have reached a funding deal for the Penn Station redesign and improvement. A key part of the deal are tax breaks for private developers who will help fund rehabilitation efforts while redeveloping surrounding areas. Although the final agreement is new, the overall funding structure that relies on private developers is not, and the prospect has resulted in criticism from good government groups as well as local officials. The agreement between the city and state comes as New York prepares to apply for federal cash that the Biden administration made available through its infrastructure package that could be used for rail projects like Penn Station and the Gateway Program.
Lee Zeldin attacked
A man attacked Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor, during a campaign event in Rochester Thursday evening. The man approached Zeldin on stage with a pointed weapon and brought him to the ground before others helped to subdue the attacker. Zeldin was unharmed in the incident, and prosecutors charged his attacker with second-degree attempted assault. A judge released him without bail, leading to Zeldin and other Republicans denouncing New York’s bail reform law.
Republicans take on same-sex marriage and contraception
The House voted to approve legislation codifying same-sex marriage at the federal level amid fears that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn the ruling that found it to be a constitutional right. Every Republican in New York voted in favor, with one exception. Rep. Claudia Tenney of the Mohawk Valley went against every other member of the New York delegation to vote against the bill, which would also codify interracial marriage. Tenney called the move a “cheap political stunt” by Democrats, though said she agreed with the the court ruling on the right to gay marriage. The House also passed a bill codifying the right to contraception over similar concerns about the court. This time, more Republicans from New York voted against the measure, includingZeldin, who is running for governor.