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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Oswego County IDA: SILVER juror drama -- DE BLASIO back on the horse carriage issue -- DILLER park proposal clears hurdle

11/25/2015 07:00 AM EDT

By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman

Happy Thanksgiving! New York Playbook will be off tomorrow and Friday but we will be back bright and early Monday. Thank you from all of us for subscribing and reading!

JUROR DRAMA IN SILVER TRIAL - Times' Benjamin Weiser and Marc Santora: "Not long after jurors convened on Tuesday to decide whether Assemblyman Sheldon Silver , once one of the most powerful politicians in New York State, was guilty of fraud, there were already unmistakable signs that their deliberations had taken a contentious turn. 'I am wondering if there is anyway I can be excused from this case, because I have a different opinion/view so far in this case and it is making me feel very, very uncomfortable.' That plea to be excused from the case came in a note from an unidentified juror, sent to the judge, Valerie E. Caproni, less than two hours after deliberations had started in Federal District Court in Manhattan. 'I'm feeling pressured, stressed out ... told that I'm not using my common sense, my heart is pounding and my head feels weird,' the juror wrote. 'I am so stressed out right now that I can't even write normally. I don't feel like I can be myself right now! I need to leave!'"

-- The drama continued in the nearby courtroom where State Sen. Dean Skelos , once the senate majority leader, and his son, Adam, are on trial for corruption charges. Jurors were dismissed early Tuesday evening after one juror said she felt ill and complained of chest pains following the testimony of AbTech Industries CEO and president Glenn Rink. Juror 2, a 26-year-old nurse from the Bronx, told guards in the lobby of the federal courthouse in Manhattan that she was nauseated and had chest pains but did not need an ambulance, requesting a doctor instead. Prior to being dismissed, Judge Kimba Wood told the court that the juror had taken heart medication during a brief 15 minute break after she began feeling ill.

-- Wood Tuesday afternoon sided with the U.S. attorney's office on the "probative" value of a call between Adam Skelos and Demetrios Raptis, who represents Greek diners. Wood, the presiding judge in the corruption trial against state Sen. Dean Skelos and his son, said that the call "strongly suggests" a furtherance of a conspiracy. "A lot of people don't have my cellphone number, okay? I don't give my cellphone number out to everybody. ... It's a privilege to have that number. Now, if you want to utilize my fucking reach and business opportunity, then you call me and I'll set up a meeting," Adam Skelos said in a wiretapped phone call with Raptis.

CUOMO, JEFFRIES TAKE SHOTS AT DE BLASIO - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Cuomo is now quibbling with the company Bill de Blasio keeps, prompting Rob Astorino to suggest Cuomo seek mental help. The Democratic governor and mayor - self-described "friends" who have been openly sniping at each other for months - traded barbs on Tuesday after Cuomo faulted de Blasio for appearing alongside Astorino, the Westchester County executive who ran on the Republican line against Cuomo, during a rally calling for transportation funding. "The Republican who I ran against, this is a man who is against a woman's right to choose, this is a man who wants to lock refugees out of this country - it is not a person who I would stand next to," Cuomo said during an event in Brooklyn. No one pointed out that Cuomo had stood next to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie - who holds the same positions on abortion and Syrian refugees - so frequently during the last election that other Republicans complained. Both Jeffries and Cuomo also took new shots at de Blasio over his handling of rising homelessness in the city. "To me, it's not just the money," Cuomo said. "It's more managing the city properly, efficiently, effectively, smartly, especially on this issue that causes so much pain to people." "It took longer than it needed to for the mayor and City Hall to acknowledge the problem," Jeffries said, saying he was simply in agreement with NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton's stance. "So there clearly was a leadership breakdown."

THE MAYOR'S OBSESSION -- "Mayor de Blasio Seeks to Reduce, Not Ban, Carriage Horses in Central Park," by Times' Michael M. Grynbaum: "Mayor Bill de Blasio is pursuing a new twist on his longtime effort to end the Central Park horse carriage industry: reducing, not eliminating, its hoof print. Reviving a cause that some supporters had hoped he would abandon, the mayor has proposed shrinking the number of horses allowed to ply the park from 220 to just a few dozen, and moving their home from the West Side of Manhattan to a stable inside Central Park - minimizing their exposure to traffic on city streets."

** 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 **

TABS -- Post: "TURKEY SHOOT: Russian fighter jet brought down; parachuting crew machine gunned to death" -- News: Manger Miracle: Newborn found in Queens Nativity Scene" -- News: "TOWN BOARD DRUG DEALER" -- Metro: "RAISING THE BAR: A Bushwhack collective plans to open a bar to support community spaces" -- amNY: "Talking Turkey" -- Hamodia: "Nazi-Themed Ads Pulled From MTA Trains" and "Jonathan Pollard's Lawyers Battle 'Oppressive' Parole Conditions" -- Epoch Times: "Failed Health Co-op Owes Millions to NY Doctors" -- El Diario [translated]: Protecting Thanksgiving

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 4-col. below the fold: "In Renovation of a Golf Club, Trump Also Dressed Up History" -- WSJNY, 2-col. below the fold: "Juror in Silver Trial Asks to Be Excused"

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "You're talking to the wrong guy if you think I'm going to be able to decipher the mayor's politics." -- Gov. Cuomo on de Blasio appearing with Rob Astorino

TWEET OF THE DAY: "White men with bulletproof vests shot four civil rights protesters in Minneapolis, and I'm supposed to be more scared of a Syrian refugee." -- TNR's @JamilSmith:

#ThisTownNYC: "The 'maintenance man' is actually my father-in-law Jose Moran. It's a small world!" -- Councilman Eric Ulrich, on Facebook, about the man who found an abandoned child inside a Nativity scene at a church in Queens:

PUSHING FOR A RAISE -- Speaking for all, Brewer pitches 15 percent salary increase -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer argued on Tuesday evening the city's elected officials all deserve a 15 percent raise in their salaries. Brewer pointed to the nine year lapse which officials have gone without getting a raise and the rising cost of living as reasons for the salary increase.

"It would appear that modest increases of about 15 percent are in order for all offices, for the period covering the last 9 years," Brewer said, according to remarks provided to POLITICO New York "The cost of living has increased approximately 15 percent. In New York City wages have risen approximately 10 percent between the middle of 2009 and mid-2014."

Mayor de Blasio who makes $225,0000 a year, has said he would not accept a raise for the remainder of his term but has left the door open for taking the increase if he is reelected for a second term. That sentiment was echoed by Brewer who recommended not making the raises take effect immediately, but rather waiting until January 1, 2018 - the first day of the next term of office for all of the city's elected offices.

BARRY DILLER PARK? -- Hudson River project clears EPA hurdle, by POLITICO NEW YORK's Dana Rubinstein: Barry Diller's vision for an undulating park on a pier in Hudson River Park may strike some litigants as environmentally suspect, but on Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency said it has no real complaints.

RELATED -- SPONSOR OF BILL TO BAN CARRIAGE HORSES URGES ACTION -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino : "I am always open to compromise, so long as it's in the best interest of the horses," said Councilman Danny Dromm, who is sponsoring legislation to ban the horses. "However, it's time for action. The mayor should move forward quickly to resolve this issue." Dromm's comments came the same day The New York Times reported de Blasio is backing off his proposal to ban the carriage horses outright and instead will submit a plan to slash the number of horses and contain them within Central Park.

Members still on the fence: News of the possible compromise on Tuesday took members by surprise, and many of them declined to comment on the record saying they had not yet been briefed on the matter. Councilman Rory Lancman, who has said he would not the mayor's proposal to ban the horses, said he didn't think reducing the number of horses would be a compromise he could support. "I don't see where it represents a compromise at all, because it would still destroy the horse carriage industry and the hundreds of jobs that are part of that industry," Lancman said. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a Democrat from Queens who represents neighborhoods where a majority of carriage drivers live, said he was not willing to commit to supporting any kind of compromise yet until he has more details on the mayor's proposal. "We have yet to see a bill," Van Bramer said.

-- Daily News' editorial: It is "not even close" to a compromise, but rather, "a calculated step toward destroying the industry's economic viability while accomplishing honcho Steve Nislick's dream of opening the enormously valuable land under West Side stables for development."

A PLAN IN FLUX -- Mayor and Speaker say rezoning plans will change before council vote -- Gotham Gazette's Ben Max: "Speaking at separate events over a two-day span, both Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito acknowledged significant community pushback against the mayor's rezoning proposals and said that those plans will be tweaked before the Council votes on them.

"De Blasio said Monday that he is 'resolute,' adding that he is not surprised community boards have objections. 'Those objections should be heard and we should think about them,' de Blasio said, 'and where we see the need to make certain modifications we will.' Mark-Viverito said that she is sure the plans will need to be changed in order to pass through the Council. Saying that Council members are listening to their constituents and that the plans will 'obviously go back to City Planning,' Mark-Viverito said, 'The plan that has been presented originally, I can assure you, will not be stagnant and...will not be the plan that comes before us at the Council.'"

DRINK BLINK -- "Forget Napa and Sonoma: Try the New Urban Wineries in Brooklyn, Seattle, and San Francisco," by Aaron Goldfarb in The Daily Beast: "[T]here's the Red Hook Winery, which is set on an industrial pier close enough to see the Statue of Liberty. It was started in July of 2008 by Mark Snyder, a Brooklyn native, who tapped Abe Schoener and Robert Foley, two friends from the wine mecca of Napa Valley, to oversee the on-site production of wines using grapes sourced from up to 15 different vineyards within the Empire State. By choosing industrial Brooklyn, Red Hook Winery can stand out from the Long Island wine world and be closer to the New York City restaurants that actually serve their product."

PAYING MONEY TO KEEP JOBS -- "Cuomo Reaches Deal to Keep Open Alcoa Plant in Upstate New York," by Times' Jesse McKinley: "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that the state had come to an agreement to keep open an Alcoa plant on the St. Lawrence River after promising the company nearly $70 million in state subsidies. The governor's announcement came after several weeks of negotiations between New York officials and Alcoa, which agreed to halt its plans to shut a smelting plant in Massena, N.Y., in economically depressed St. Lawrence County. Mr. Cuomo has had to rely on such subsidies, which, for Alcoa, include some $38.8 million for capital improvements and operating expenses, to influence a private employer threatening to close or relocate."

FANTASY SITES DAY IN COURT - ESPN's Darren Rovell and David Purdum: "A legal battle that will shape the future of the billion-dollar daily fantasy sports industry kicks off Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, where powerhouse game operators DraftKings and FanDuel will try to fight off New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's quest to temporarily shut them down as the case heads to trial. Schneiderman alleges that DraftKings and FanDuel are violating the state's gambling statutes and have misled the public with deceptive advertising. An emergency hourlong hearing in front of Justice Manuel Mendez is scheduled to begin at noon ET and will address Schneiderman's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the companies from allowing New York residents from participating in contests inside the state. The two operators say they offer games of skill, not gambling, and have been complying with state law for years. If the injunction is granted, the sites would lose the state with their largest player base, a significant blow that DraftKings has said would affect its operations nationwide."

DEPARTMENT OF STUPID ADVERTISING -- "Amazon To Pull 'High Castle' Ads Suggesting Nazis From NYC Subway," by Variety's Brian Steinberg : "A furor appears to have stopped the Führer. Amazon Studios will pull ad signage from New York City subways that used insignia suggesting Nazi control to promote the streaming-video service's new drama, 'The Man in the High Castle.'

The ads were part of a 'wrap' of the New York City Shuttle ... 'The Man In The High Castle' is an Amazon drama that has gained critical acclaim since Amazon released ten episodes earlier this month. Based on a 1962 novel by Philip K. Dick, 'Castle' tells the story of people in the United States struggling in an alternate future in which the Axis powers won World War II." Trailer

HILLARYWATCH - "Clinton promises never to say 'illegal immigrants' again," by Yahoo's Hunter Walker: "Hillary Clinton addressed criticism of her use of the phrase 'illegal immigrants' in a Facebook chat hosted by the Spanish-language television network Telemundo on Tuesday. The Democratic presidential frontrunner said it was a 'poor choice of words' and vowed not to use the same language in the future. ... She was asked about the phrase in the Facebook chat on Tuesday by Jose Antonio Vargas, an activist whose group is mounting a campaign called "#WordsMatter" to get presidential candidates to promise not to use the phrase "illegal immigrants."

TRUMP TALK -- "In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History," by NYT's Nicholas Fandos in Sterling, Va.: "Between the 14th hole and the 15th tee of one of the club's two courses, Mr. Trump installed a flagpole on a stone pedestal overlooking the Potomac, to which he affixed a plaque purportedly designating 'The River of Blood.' 'Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot,' the inscription reads. 'The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as "The River of Blood."' ... Like many of Mr. Trump's claims, the inscription was evidently not fact-checked. 'No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,' said Richard Gillespie, executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association ... 'How would they know that?' Mr. Trump asked, when told that local historians had called his plaque a fiction. 'Were they there?' Mr. Trump repeatedly said that 'numerous historians' had told him the golf club site was known as The River of Blood. But he said he did not remember their names."

-- #FactChallengedTrump's claims about NJ Muslims were refuted by the man who was NJ's attorney general at the time. NYT's Jim Dwyer:

-- "Hillary Clinton Love And 18 Other Yuge Moments From Donald Trump's Blogging Career," by BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski: "2. Trump wrote in 2005 that there was no housing bubble. ... 6. Trump was excited for Elton John's wedding: 'If two people dig each other, they dig each other.' ... 8. Trump thought celebrity babies had 'odd names.' ... 11. Trump thought people should work on vacation."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: St. John's played Indiana tough in Maui, but lost, 83-73.

-- The day ahead: the Knicks are in Orlando. The Nets are in Oklahoma City. The Rangers host the Canadiens. The Flyers come to Barclays. And there's really good college basketball on essentially from noon to midnight.

BIRTHDAYS: Amit Bagga, deputy commissioner for external affairs at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs ... Joe Dinkin, spokesman for the Working Families Party ... Tomorrow: Roberto Perez, deputy commissioner at the mayor's Community Assistance Unit ... Friday: Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley of Queens ... and Katie Honan, DNAinfo reporter ... Saturday: Jonathan Lemire, City Hall reporter for the Associated Press ... Neal Kwatra , founder of Metropolitan Public Strategies ... Bradley Hope, Wall Street Journal reporter ... Sunday: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Scarsdale ... and Bret Collazzi, former aide to Councilman Vacca.

#UpstateAmerica: Owners of the DestinyUSA mall in Syracuse threatened to cut the power to the IHOP because it's fallen behind on rent.

** 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 **

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page:

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