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11/24/2015 06:33 AM EDT
By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman
HEADING TO THE JURY - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: The fate of Sheldon Silver today falls to a dozen jurors who have spent the last three weeks listening to competing versions of how the former Assembly speaker wielded power for the last decade: with secretive calculations to enrich himself or with the same quirks, favor-trading and inherent conflicts that is irrevocably baked into the state government. "You've heard witness after witness say there was no quid pro quo," Steven Molo, a lawyer for the Democratic assemblyman from the Lower East side, said during his closing argument Monday in federal court in Lower Manhattan. "Don't be barreled over by somebody's view of what the Assembly should be. Instead, consider the law." http://politi.co/1NMqLO2
-- Prosecutors sewed together three weeks of testimony and hundreds of documents Monday, telling jurors that they must find former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver guilty if they don't believe the official actions he took and the payments he accepted are mere "coincidence." ... "The defense all boils down to this: this is all just a coincidence," said Andrew Goldstein, the assistant U.S. attorney who gave the summation. "You know the quid and the quo are connected. It's obvious. It's common sense." http://politi.co/1NMqL0w
GLENWOOD CONNECTIONS MAGNIFIED IN SKELOS CASE-POLITICO New York's Josefa Velasquez: A former councilman from Long Island testified Monday at the corruption trial against state Sen. Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, saying that he handed the younger Skelos a $20,000 check at the center of the government's case against the Skeloses because his company received large sums of business from real estate giant Glenwood Management. During a Feb. 18, 2013 lunch in Syosset, Tom Dwyer, the chief operating officer of American Land Services, a title insurance company, handed Adam Skelos a $20,000 check at the instruction of Charles Dorego, the senior vice president of Glenwood and it's general counsel. Dorego, a cooperating witness with a non-prosecution agreement, had testified last week that he assisted the younger Skelos in finding employment opportunities to curry favor with his father, who was then the majority leader of the state Senate. Dorego, Dwyer said, did not want the payment to Adam Skelos traced back to Glenwood, which had several real estate issues before the state. http://politi.co/1R2gbrM
-- Cuomo will not yet turn away donations from Glenwood. http://bit.ly/1R2glPZ
-- The governor insisted the state's ethics and disclosure laws are stronger than ever before. http://bit.ly/1R2iMlr
-- "Then-State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos gave 'intelligence' to son Adam Skelos' employers about where Hurricane Sandy money would be going, the company's CEO testified Monday. In the weeks after the superstorm ravaged Long Island,Adam Skelos was in contract talks to go to work for a stormwater cleaning company called AbTech - and his dad gave inside info on where federal relief money would be going, CEO Glenn Rink testified." http://nydn.us/1SY8QI6
EVERYONE CAN RELATE TO THIS STORY -- "A Hated Phrase That Subway Riders Are Hearing More: 'Sick Passenger,'" by Times' Emma G. Fitzsimmons: "A voice over the intercom delivers the bad news, and throughout the car there are audible sighs. Your train is delayed because of a sick passenger. Subway riders sit and wonder: Who is this sick passenger, and why is he or she on my train? Any sympathy for the mysterious person is often mixed with annoyance. ... Sick passengers have accounted for about 3,000 train delays each month this year in New York City, a figure that has grown drastically in recent years, up from about 1,800 each month in 2012 ... Officials at the authority say the incidents often involve riders who have fainted or vomited. Other passengers might have had a heart attack or a seizure, or could be unconscious or even dead. A sick customer is not, as some surmise, a suicide on the tracks, which workers are instructed to announce as a 'police investigation.'" http://nyti.ms/1OdLkru
TIMES QUOTATION OF THE DAY: "It just doesn't make sense to delay thousands of people over one sick passenger." -- Susie Moy, of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, after being delayed on the N train.
VACANCY IN THE BRONX -- Councilwoman Arroyo to step down -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo announced Monday evening she will step down from her position at the end of this year. The Bronx Democrat, who has served in the council for ten years, said she was resigning in order to dedicate time and effort to "pressing family needs."
-- "After much consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to resign from the City Council effective December 31, 2015," Arroyo said in a statement. "It has been a privilege to serve the people who live and work in the 17th Council District ..."
-- Arroyo's departure creates a vacancy in the Bronx district that includes Concourse, Concourse Village, Crotona Park, Hunts Point, Longwood, Melrose, Morrisania, Mott Haven, North Brother Island, Parkchester, Port Morris, and Soundview. It also opens up the chairmanship of the City Council's Community Development, which Arroyo currently holds. Arroyo was first elected to the city council in 2005, in a special election to succeed Jose M. Serrano, who vacated the seat to run for the state Senate. http://politi.co/1jh2abV
-- Observer's Will Bredderman: "One source, however, told the Observer that Ms. Arroyo may be leaving for a position in the private sector. ... In March of last year, three of Ms. Arroyo's 2013 campaign workers were arrested on charges of forging names to ballot petitions." http://goo.gl/xpWFny
CUOMO: NYC GOT MORE THAN ITS FAIR SHARE OF HOUSING AID -- POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: In explaining his side of a heated negotiation with the de Blasio administration over housing funds, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday the city is getting more than its fair share. Cuomo said the city this year is legally entitled to $280 million in federally tax-exempt bonds, which are administered by the state.
-- The de Blasio administration already received $300 million during the first half of the calendar year and was hoping for at least $200 million more to finance construction of below market-rate apartments. But as POLITICO New York reported last week, multiple sources said the Cuomo administration threatened to withhold any funds for the second half of the year.
-- On Monday, Cuomo said New York City has no claim to any of the remaining funds through the program, known among housing experts and government officials as "volume cap." "The city has gotten the $280 million-plus. They are significantly higher than as prescribed in the law," Cuomo told reporters after an unrelated press conference. Cuomo also noted he is "from New York City." "I'm a Queens boy," he said. "But I represent Long Island and Buffalo and Rochester and Syracuse and Albany and all aspects of the state have to get their fair share. And that's the question of balance. But we're giving the city more than the law says we should give the city." http://politi.co/1LwuiOV
EMOTIONAL DE BLASIO UNVEILS MENTAL HEALTH ROADMAP - POLITICO New York's Dan Goldberg: During a lengthy and emotional press conference on Monday, Mayor de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, unveiled the city's mental health roadmap, a mix of new policies, increased funding and aspirational goals that, if successfully implemented, will represent a radical change in how New York City diagnoses and responds to mental illness...The mayor ... spoke more candidly about his father's suicide than he has in previous public appearances, choking back tears and shaking as he discussed the post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism that eventually claimed his father's life.The mayor's father was injured in the Pacific during World War II and committed suicide when de Blasio was 18. "For years, I thought my father had a physical challenge, and oh, he's also an alcoholic," de Blasio said. "I literally didn't put the two together for the longest time." http://politi.co/1SgClor
-- A.P.'s Jonathan Lemire: "[D]e Blasio's eyes watered and his face flushed. His voice faltered and, at one point as he struggled for the next sentence, his two college-aged children each placed a hand on his back to steady him. ... de Blasio: 'I never got to know everything about my father .. But I do know he was a war hero ... He was strong and smart. But he could not do what Chiara did ... She came forward and was honest about her challenges and we all got to work on trying to figure it out.'" http://goo.gl/QWm8Mh
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Politico New York's Emily Zoda , who helps make NY Playbook possible every day
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It is not sensible to have to stop and go at every stop sign." -- Councilman Antonio Reynoso, on his bill to lift traffic rules for cyclists, via the Post: http://goo.gl/otnZB7
DEFENSE OF THE DAY: "It's OK to be motivated by the money ... Our legislators in the state of New York are part-time ... They're able to work and have other jobs" and that "conflicts are inherent in this process." And if lying to the press were a crime, we "probably wouldn't have a government." -- Sheldon Silver's defense attorney Steven Molo, via WSJ's Erica Orden: http://goo.gl/PuXNY0
TABS -- Post: "RED RIDERS: Let bicyclists run lights: pol" -- News: "Bam's new terror plan: BE AFRAID: Issues travel warning: Nowhere is safe; Alert ripped for 'letting terrorists win'"
-- amNY: "Downtown NYC: "THINGS ARE LOOKING UP! Lower Manhattan's economy at strongest level since 9/11: Report" -- Metro: YOUNG AND UNIONIZED: Social movements are leading some young local workers to join organized labor." -- Newsday: "SUFFOLK TOP COP RETIRING" -- Hamodia: "Knesset Passes Changes to Draft Law" and "Bratton Says de Blasio Late to Address Homeless Problem" -- El Diario [translated]: Unequal treatment
FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col. below the fold: "Christie's Bid Gains New Life As he Invokes 9/11 Amid Fear" -- WSJNY, 2-col. above the fold: "Silver Trail Ends: Politics as Usual or Criminal Acts?" and 2-col. below the fold: "New City Push to Hire Male Teachers of Color"
** A message from Oswego County IDA: Entergy has announced the company will close its James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Upstate New York. If that happens, it will be a devastating blow to the region's economy. Governor Cuomo and state leaders need to save Upstate New York's energy jobs. See our video at http://bit.ly/1XfbJWg **
EAT BEAT -- "Wagamama's ramen noodles are finally making NY debut," by Post's Steve Cuozzo: "The Japanese-inspired, London-based chain of pan-Asian casual eateries has signed a lease for its long-awaited New York debut. Wagamama is taking 7,000 square feet at Lerad Company's 210 Fifth Ave., an 11-story, 1903-vintage building with handsome bay windows overlooking Madison Square Park. It's billed as Wagamama's US flagship and will open in summer or fall of 2016. ... Wagamama, which means 'naughty child' in Japanese ... first opened in London in 1992. ... It now has 140 locations around the world ... But its non-presence in New York until now has long frustrated devotees of its ramen noodles, curries, donburi and other border-crossing categories." http://bit.ly/21dUtp8
STAYING SAFE -- "New York prepares for Thanksgiving parade as Islamic State threat looms," by Reuters' Joseph Ax: "Millions of New Yorkers and tourists are expected to line the streets on Thursday for the parade, more than a week after Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, released a video showing images of New York juxtaposed with a scene depicting a suicide bomber preparing for an attack. ... New York City officials have a simple response: Don't be scared. 'We can't change who we are,' Mayor Bill de Blasio said ... urging people not to alter their daily lives. 'Do we want to play their game? Do we want to give in to them?' ... Security efforts will be bolstered by a new counter-terrorism unit, Critical Response Command, that includes more heavily armed officers." http://reut.rs/1kRiHFk
MEDIA MORNING -- MORE CUTS AT DAILY NEWS?-Politico's Joe Pompeo reports : Following the elimination of several dozen newsroom positions in September and concessions from a drivers union last week, the tabloid is now offering voluntary severance packages within its photo department, POLITICO has learned. It's unclear if similar offers are on the table in any other parts of the company as its 2016 budget year approaches. "The Daily News does not comment on personnel decisions," said a spokeswoman. The News has been pursuing cost-cutting and digital growth in order to narrow staggering annual losses.
NO GARNER APPEAL - POLITICO New York's Colby Hamilton: The state Court of Appeals will not review a lower-court ruling that information about grand jury deliberations into the death of Eric Garner should remain sealed. The court's decision, announced on Monday, drew immediate criticism from advocates who argued that the proceedings should be exempt from the state's rigorous grand jury secrecy laws. "No one has been held accountable for the death of Eric Garner, and New Yorkers still don't know why," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in a statement. http://politi.co/1HjnFV2
CALLING FOR HILLARY -- Mark-Viverito phonebanks for Clinton, hoping to start a trend -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito manned the phones at the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in Brooklyn on Monday, as part of the first Latina-to-Latina phone bank effort of the campaign. "I'm calling to invite you to come out to an event with Hillary Clinton - will you be there to join us?" Mark-Viverito said, reading from a script as she sat beside other phone volunteers.
-- Mujeres [Women] in Politics is a program first created in Nevada and spearheaded by Clinton's field organizers Natalie Montelongo and Vanessa Valdivia. The program focuses on engaging and empowering Latinas to come together and get involved in the political process. ... A record 11.2 million Latinos voted during the 2012 presidential election, constituting approximately 8.4 percent of all votes cast across the country, but 12.1 million Latinos who were eligible to vote stayed home on Election Day. http://politi.co/1TaSsoj
REGULATING DRONES -- POLITICO New York's Miranda Neubauer: City Council members on Monday sought to persuade administration officials of the need for locally based regulation of drones, citing safety concerns at the region's airports and across the city. Administration officials cautioned against preempting the Federal Aviation Administration. Meanwhile, representatives from drone companies, the film industry, news networks and the educational sector warned that a package of proposed bills in the Council was overly broad.
-- Thomas Bosco, director of the aviation department at the Port Authority, said that if a drone is thought to be a danger to aviation , field supervisors have been trained to shoot down the vehicle if necessary, similar to the guidance for handling danger by large birds. "Unfortunately, registration alone will not and cannot prevent a drone's unauthorized entry into protected airspace," he stated. "Until government and industry can develop software or other measures to protect airspace around our airports from intrusion by drones, I believe that our facilities are vulnerable." http://politi.co/1N4YOQX
FREE RIDE -- Councilman Antonio Reynoso has a resolution calling on state lawmakers to "lift the requirement that cyclists follow the same traffic-light rules as motor-vehicle drivers," the Post reported. "The proposal comes as Mayor de Blasio struggles with his Vision Zero plan to lower pedestrian fatalities and cops are trying to crack down on rogue drivers, cyclists and jaywalkers.
-- "City records show 4,463 cyclists were injured in crashes last year. ... Because rules for bikes come under state traffic laws, the City Council can't act unilaterally. The bill is for a resolution asking the state Legislature and Gov. Cuomo to change the law statewide." Post's Danielle Furfaro: http://goo.gl/otnZB7
DE BLASIO ON TRUMP'S ANTI-MUSLIM RHETORIC: 'DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS' -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: Mayor Bill de Blasio regrets the insulting name he called Donald Trump last week. "I think I should have been clearer. When I called him a blowhard the other day, it was kind of off-handed ... I think a lot of what he is saying is downright dangerous - when you talk about closing down houses of worship and degrading an entire religion or worse, keeping lists of American citizens ... that's downright dangerous," de Blasio said. ... The NYPD has, in the past, connected hate crimes to news events. Last year, NYPD officials linked a spike in hate crimes in New York to the widely reported violence in Gaza, and news about ISIS attacks. ... November 15, there were 264 hate crimes, a 5 percent decline from the 280 that occurred a year earlier. Of those, 13 were committed against Muslims, a 43 percent decline from a year earlier. http://goo.gl/0NXsqx
-- News editorial: "Skinhead Trump": "A liar and demagogue, Trump is disgracefully, destructively trafficking in ideas befitting a skin-head while running for President." http://goo.gl/GEyq6O
-- The Times editorial: Trump's rhetoric this week is similar to Joseph McCarthy's in 1950 and George Wallace's in 1963. Also: "History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It's no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it's an important one." http://goo.gl/nQzBpr
CRIME STATS -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah and Brendan Cheney: There were five homicides reported in New York City last week, bringing the year's total to 310, a 5.8 percent increase over the 293 that were reported by this time a year ago, according to crime figures released Monday by the NYPD. ... Overall, the number of shooting victims and shooting incidents has declined, while the number of people arrested for gun-related crimes has increased, according to the NYPD. SEE THE STATS and CHART: http://goo.gl/dP2aGc
DANTE PROTESTS AT YALE -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Wading deeper into the fray on college campuses over institutional racism, Mayor de Blasio said he "absolutely" believes Yale University should change the name of Calhoun College, the building on its campus where his son Dante lives, because it is named after a "segregationist leader." ... De Blasio on his son Dante, a freshman at the school: "He has certainly been involved on the discussion on the campus ... He's active in the black student union, and he's been to some of the protests..." http://goo.gl/eeB8gb
CAPITOL MOVES: Christopher Black will serve as NYSUT's new director of legislation, replacing Steve Allinger.
THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: The best player in college basketball, Ben Simmons of LSU, came to Barclays Monday night, and tallied 20 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists. Multiple scouts have told me he's the best since LeBron. He could've been a Net if they hadn't traded their 2016 pick to Boston.
-- Heat 95, Knicks 78: Despite 20 points and 14 rebounds form Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks saw their winning streak come to an end.
-- Rangers 3, Predators 0: A shutout for Henrik Lundqvist, a goal and an assist from Kevin Hayes.
-- Vanderbilt decimated St. John's, 92-55.
-- The day ahead: more Maui Invitational action for St. John's, this time against Indiana.
#UpstateAmerica: A Lockport drive-in theater was banned from showing Bills games after charging a fee. http://on.wgrz.com/1R2jWxb
** A message from Oswego County IDA: New York needs the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant and Upstate needs energy jobs. Entergy has announced the company will close its James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Upstate New York. If that happens, the region stands to lose 615 jobs at the plant, an additional 1,000 building tradesmen and skilled workers involved in refueling, maintenance and plant outages, as well as hundreds more good-paying jobs around the area.
Now the Governor and state leaders need to save Upstate New York's energy jobs by making a deal with Entergy or making it possible for a new owner to operate FitzPatrick. Doing that will help secure the future of nuclear energy production in New York.
Tell Entergy and Governor Cuomo New York needs more clean power. Upstate New York needs more good-paying jobs. Upstate New York needs the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant. See our video at http://bit.ly/1XfbJWg **
FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page: http://politi.co/1MkLGXV
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