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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: CUOMO's ethics options -- DE BLASIO vs. Trump -- RALLYING for Zadroga

12/07/2015 07:46 AM EDT

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

TRUMP OFFENSIVE -- Mayor Bill de Blasio escalated his criticism of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Sunday, calling the GOP frontrunner "one of the worst demagogues in U.S. political history" and decrying remarks Trump made last week to the Republican Jewish Coalition as based on "hateful stereotypes."

In a speech last week to the Coalition, Trump made remarks seen by some political observers as stereotyping of his Jewish audience, telling the crowd, "I'm a negotiator-like you folks," and "this room negotiates perhaps more than any room I've spoken to, maybe more." De Blasio, a frequent critic of Trump, said those comments were "based on hateful stereotypes of the Jewish community," and "they simply have no place in our society." "As with other shameful outbursts he has had about many ethnic groups, they are nothing short of dangerous," de Blasio said in a press statement, before going on to compare Trump to pro-segregation former Alabama governor George Wallace and former U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy. "Others, including myself, have spoken out when political leaders in Europe have not risen to the defense of their embattled Jewish communities," de Blasio said. "It is equally important to call out American leaders who traffic in age-old negative characterizations of Jews. We should demand from our presidential candidates a standard that in no way echoes the voice of a George Wallace or Joe McCarthy." -- Laura Nahmias

-- De Blasio is scheduled to be a guest on CNN's New Day this morning at 7:15.

TRUMP TALK -- "Trademarked: Trump makes money off the name 'Central Park,'" by AP's Jonathan Lemire: "The leading Republican presidential candidate first applied for a trademark to use the words 'Central Park' on merchandise more than two decades ago, when the park had a far less glamorous reputation than it does today. Since then, Trump has used the nonexclusive trademark to brand furniture, chandeliers, pillows and even key chains. ... Since it is a public space, no one can put an exclusive trademark on the words 'Central Park.' But, as first reported by cable news channel NY1, records show that Trump is the single biggest private, for-profit holder of Central Park trademarks on specific goods."

AFTER SILVER CASE, CUOMO LOWERS BAR ON ETHICS FIXES - Bill Hammond for POLITICO New York: The guilty verdict against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was less than 24 hours old when Gov. Andrew Cuomo began lowering expectations that he and the Legislature would do anything about Albany's ongoing corruption epidemic. Rationalization No. 1: Further reform is futile. "I don't care how strong the law is," Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday. "If a person is going to break the law, the person is going to break the law." Rationalization No. 2: Getting pols to agree on certain high-concept reforms, such as switching to a full-time Legislature and strictly limiting outside income, is also futile. "There was no appetite to do it in the Legislature," Cuomo said. With all due respect, Mr. Governor: Excuses, excuses.

The truth is there are plenty of glaring weaknesses left to fix in New York's anti-corruption laws, several of which directly enabled Silver to monetize his public office in the amount of $4 million over 10 years. And the relatively small-scale fixes they entail would be a much lighter lift politically than a full-time Legislature or public financing of political campaigns (the other go-to solution of goo-goos). No wholesale restructuring of state government or huge expenditure of tax dollars is required. For a guide to effective but achievable reform, look no further than the evidence that convinced a jury to convict Silver on all counts, or the case currently being made against former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. It's almost as if U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the chief prosecutor of both men, was handing Albany a to-do list:

-- Senate Independent Conference leader Jeff Klein will reintroduce a bill that would completely ban outside income for lawmakers.

NASSAU COUNTY OFFICIALS TIED UP IN SKELOS TRIAL - POLITICO New York's Josefa Velasquez: A top Nassau County official who is under investigation for possible conflicts of interest involving county contracts testified Friday at the corruption trial of former senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, in connection to a stormwater treatment contract within the county. Richard Rob Walker, the deputy county executive, said he helped the defendants seek a request for proposal for a public-private partnership pertaining to a stormwater treatment contract with a company that employed the younger Skelos. Judge Kimba Wood signed an immunity agreement for Walker on Friday, stipulating that his testimony could not be used against him in a pending investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Walker testified that Dean Skelos, then the majority leader of the state senate, inquired in January about the status of AbTech Industries' $40,000 payment due from the county. AbTech, an Arizona-based environmental technology firm, employed the elder Skelos' son. Walker said he made a phone call to another county official to inquire about the payment while he, Senator Skelos and County Executive Ed Mangano were outside the funeral of slain New York police officer Wenjian Liu, who was murdered in late December.

-- "The federal government refused to grant immunity to Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who has threatened to take the Fifth Amendment if called to testify at the political corruption trial of former state Senate leader Dean Skelos, according to a transcript of proceedings Friday."

-- Former U.S. Sen. Al D'Amato also testified Friday that he met with the younger Skelos in 2013 to "give him some advice," after allegations that the son of the former majority leader seldom showed up at work and when he did was "disruptive."

MEDIA MORNING -- "Bloomberg Media & MSNBC announce broadcast partnership": "Bloomberg Television's flagship political program, 'With All Due Respect,' which airs weeknights at 5 p.m. ET, will also air on MSNBC at 6 p.m. ... 'With All Due Respect' will make its MSNBC debut in January 2016."

FUTURE OF MEDIA -- Times B1, "X Marks the Spot That Makes Online Ads So Maddening," by Sydney Ember: "Ads pop up and play automatically, daring readers to shut them down with feats of fine motor control. The ads commandeer the screen. They expand and contract. They cover the text and refuse to budge. And then there is the dreaded X ... Online advertisers and consumers have tried to outmaneuver each other since the early days of the web - with sellers continually finding ways to prolong engagement with ads and users trying equally hard to avoid them. But the cat-and-mouse game has reached a critical point, especially as devices have gotten smaller: Ads have become so annoying, consumers and industry executives say, that they could sink the Internet if they were not also helping support it."

DEEP DIVE - "Tenants Take the Hit as New York Fails to Police Huge Housing Tax Break," by ProPublica's Marcelo Rochabrun and Cezary Podkul: "Top developer Two Trees Management overcharged renters for years - but still cashed in on $10 million in tax cuts the city never officially approved."

PIC OF THE DAY: The Empire State Plaza, hosting a crowd for the OGS tree-lighting ceremony, in the fog.

#PATAKIWATCH: Pataki called Obama's Sunday evening remarks on San Bernardino "as believable as a hostage video."

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 61 percent of New York's carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. New York's nuclear energy fleet supports about 18,000 jobs and provides $2.5 billion to the state's GDP. Learn more at **

ANDREW VS KERRY -- "Inside the bitter Cuomo-Kennedy child support battle," by Post's Fredric U. Dicker: "Gov. Cuomo has been privately battling ex-wife Kerry Kennedy for years over 'substantial' child-support payments for their three children ... Two sources close to the Kennedy family - both well-known individuals - told The Post that Cuomo, 58, and Kennedy, 56, have been involved in at-times-bitter, lawyer-assisted go-rounds over 'substantial amounts' of child-support payments for the past 2¹/₂ years, and reached an agreement on some of the financial obligations only two weeks ago. Since then ... a battle has continued over payments for 'education costs and health care' for 20-year-old daughters Cara and Mariah, who attend Harvard and Brown universities, respectively, and Michaela, 18, who recently graduated from high school a few months after being taken to the Westchester County Medical Center after an unexplained incident in which she was found unconscious at her mother's home."

HAPPENING TODAY -- De Blasio launching effort to reduce painkiller overdose deaths on Staten Island -- Staten Island Advance's Anna Sanders: De Blasio and his wife, first lady Chirlane McCray, will announce the new initiative targeting opioid misuse deaths at the YMCA Counseling Service in Eltingville, according to the mayor's office. They will also meet with a Staten Island family whose lives have been touched by substance abuse. "Drug addiction is a problem that strikes families of all shapes and sizes. Mayor de Blasio and the first lady want to help families protect their loved ones who suffer from addiction," de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said. "Monday's announcement will offer some hope for those dealing with the disease of drug addiction."

The effort is connected to the city's "ThriveNYC" plan to improve mental health services across the five boroughs. More than $850 million will be spent in the next four years on 54 initiatives in the so-called "mental health roadmap" unveiled last month. The overall plan aims to provide more services early on and close treatment gaps. Over the next three years, between 1,000 and 1,500 new providers will be trained and authorized to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication that treats opioid analgesics use by stopping cravings and preventing withdrawal symptoms. Despite benefits, the city reports that availability of buprenorphine remains low. The city is also increasing access to Naloxone, a medication that can reverse overdoses from opioid analgesics and heroin.

MEANWHILE IN STATEN ISLAND... James Oddo plays ball with de Blasio: Island gets some hits -- Staten Island Advance's Anna Sanders: "De Blasio likes to joke about how often Oddo calls City Hall. That doesn't mean the effort is unwelcome. De Blasio likes to joke about how often Oddo calls City Hall. That doesn't mean the effort is unwelcome. "He never calls just to complain," de Blasio said. "He always calls with an idea."

Oddo has a hand in nearly every major recent city project or initiative that has benefited Staten Island, from new redevelopment plans to an increase in road repairs and ferry service. Most of Staten Island will be unaffected by de Blasio's ambitious affordable housing agenda apart from a stretch of Bay Street that Borough Hall suggested to the city for rezoning. De Blasio thought that their party difference meant something when he and Oddo first met in the Council 14 years ago. Now there's a photo of them from that time on a windowsill in the borough president's office affixed with a sticky note that reads, "WHO KNEW?" READ MORE HERE:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We just have to protect against being overly analytical and too narrowly focused." ~ Empire State Development president Howard Zemsky, explaining why legislators shouldn't worry about exact job counts for his agency's economic development projects.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Oswego County GOP chairman Mike Backus, operative Mike Veitch, former State Sen. Serphin Maltese. Also Andrew Cuomo , who celebrated Sunday by fishing with his younger brother, Chris.

-- TREE MAP: Here's Where to Find Christmas Trees in New York City via DNAinfo:

COVER OF THE DAY -- DAILY NEWS cover, with pics of a cat chilling with a deer, a polar bear with a construction cone on its nose, and 10 doggies with expectant eyes: "To all those who have been offended by hearing the truth about our nation's gun scourge & the NRA & cowardly pols who think nothing's wrong: Everything is AWESOME! (Oh, & Bam sez we will 'destroy ISIS' - feel better now?" See the page.

INDIAN POINT SHUTDOWN - Journal News' Steve Lieberman and Alex Taylor: "One of Indian Point's two nuclear reactors will remain shut down for the next couple of days following a power loss on Saturday , a company spokesman said Sunday. Unit 2 was powered down around 5:20 p.m. Saturday by operators after about 10 control rods "dropped" into the reactor core, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Committee. Operators also had to manually shutdown the reactor's feedwater pump. Neel Sheehan, a spokesperson for the RNC, said a preliminary investigation indicated the problem stemmed from a sudden power loss to the mechanism holding the rods. The plant's control rods, made of materials that can absorb neutrons, are used to control the fissioning of atoms that generate power. The reactor is designed to shut down safely if the control rods lose electricity. Entergy Corp, the New Orleans-based company that owns the plant, has said no radioactivity was released from Unit 2."

COURT DENIES DE BLASIO PETITION ON FOAM BAN -- Polystyrene foam food containers aren't going anywhere for the foreseeable future -- POLITICO New York's David Giambusso: The ban was predicated on a 2013 law that stipulates a foam ban can only be enacted if the city determines there is no long-term, viable means of recycling the food and beverage containers most often used by take-out restaurants and street vendors. Dart Container Corp. offered the city a five-year plan to recycle the containers, which are not biodegradable, but sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said a five-year plan did not constitute a sustainable, long-term solution. In January, de Blasio enacted the ban, prompting outcry from Dart and its allies in the restaurant industry who claimed they were blindsided and that de Blasio and Garcia had ignored their proposal.

They mounted a legal challenge and won. In September, state Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan ruled in favor of the pro-foam lobby, represented by former deputy mayor Randy Mastro. "In reaching the conclusion that there is no sustainable market for post consumer [polystyrene] in both her environmentally efficient and economic feasibility analysis, the Commissioner did not clearly state the basis of her conclusions when the evidence contrary to her findings were clearly before her," Chan wrote in a 14-page opinion. "While it is not for this court to weigh the desirability of the outcome in this matter, it is the court's function to assure that the agency has abided by the mandate as provided by the City Council in LL 142."

RALLYING FOR ZADROGA -- Times' Lisa W. Foderaro and Tatiana Schlossberg: Standing in the shadow of the towering rebuilt World Trade Center, scores of firefighters and police officers, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio and two United States senators from New York, rallied on Sunday to press Congress to extend a 9/11 health bill. The bill would extend the World Trade Center Health Program, which is part of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The program expired on Oct. 1; another part of the act, the Victim Compensation Fund, is set to expire next October.

"We have been on the cusp of passing this bill for weeks and months," said Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, who was joined at the rally by Senator Chuck Schumer, a fellow Democrat. "But somehow it hasn't gotten done. It isn't a controversial issue." Lawmakers, city officials and advocates say the bill, which has broad bipartisan support, must emerge from a few important congressional committees, where some Republicans have tried to water it down. It was meant to be voted on with a transportation bill recently, but it was removed at the last minute. In order to pass before the end of the year, it must be voted on as part of the omnibus spending bill or be attached to a tax-extending bill.

REAL ESTATE -- ZONING IN-"Amid citywide resistance, de Blasio does damage control on housing plan," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "Last month, a few days after the Bronx Borough Board voted not to endorse a central component of his affordable housing plan, Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to the borough to make his case in person. 'There is a way for this city government to be muscular and respond strongly in trying to shape the outcome on behalf of the people,' de Blasio told parishioners at a church in the South Bronx. 'We're not going to make the market reality go away; that's not realistic. But what is realistic is to change the rules of the game.'

"The mayor was doing damage control. By then, dozens of the city's community boards had already voted against de Blasio's two-tiered plans to reshape the city's zoning laws, including all 12 community boards in the Bronx. Three of five borough presidents had openly criticized it. Board members had expressed a litany of concerns about the sweeping changes - from the hurried 60-day timeline and fears of gentrification, to more parochial issues like building heights and the loss of parking spaces for senior citizens."

RELATED -- Stringer report draws ire of de Blasio administration and council members-- POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg and Gloria Pazmino: Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration and members of the City Council railed against Comptroller Scott Stringer on Thursday, following the release of a report by his office which they say misrepresents de Blasio's affordable housing and rezoning plan for East New York.

Stringer's new 8-page report argues, in part, that the administration's plans to rezone a portion of East New York in Brooklyn are flawed. The report states that the administration proposal, which needs City Council approval, would place nearly 50,000 current residents living in the area "at an increased risk of displacement." The mayor argues that with or without city intervention, developers will eventually build more market-rate units on the vacant lots of East New York, thereby putting pressure on existing prices and making it less affordable for long-time residents.

RESI BOOM-"Lincoln Square leads Manhattan in new resi permits," by Real Deal's Rich Bockmann: "It used to be nothing but train tracks, and then for a long time it was a much-delayed development site. Now, the Riverside Center megadevelopment on the Upper West Side has approved permits for over 1,000 new residential units, making the Lincoln Square neighborhood surrounding it the fastest-growing in Manhattan. Across the borough, developers have filed permits in the past year for a total of 6,420 residential units, according to a review by The Real Deal of data from the Department of Buildings going back to November 2014."

OLD VS. NEW-"The raging rivalry," by Real Deal's E.B. Solomont: "History is full of great rivalries, from Nixon and Kennedy to Ali and Frazier to the Yankees and the Red Sox. In New York City real estate, that rivalry is no doubt between new construction and prewar housing. While co-ops comprise the vast majority of New York City apartments, the segment of the market priced between $3 million and $5 million is heavily influenced by the push and pull between old and new."

#UpstateAmerica: A retired teacher from suburban Ithaca shares tips for making standardized tests less awful.

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America's existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 62% of America's carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals.

In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state's electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state's GDP.

If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York's state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us at **

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

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