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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: BRATTON and KELLY spar -- DE BLASIO backs EMANUEL -- PETE WELLS goes to SENOR FROG'S

12/30/2015 07:37 AM EDT

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

FIGHTING WORDS -- Top cops spar over crime data allegations -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton called out his predecessor Ray Kelly on Tuesday, after Kelly accused the NYPD of fudging numbers showing historically low crime in New York City. "It's amazing what comments you'll make when selling a book," Bratton said at a press conference when asked about Kelly's comments. "Shame on him. Let him back up that allegation," Bratton said, adding that Kelly should "be a big man" and explain what he meant. When a reporter asked for a follow-up, Bratton firmly interrupted and said no follow up was needed, and that the challenge was now for Kelly to defend his claim.

Kelly recently published a memoir about his time in law enforcement, and told a radio host the NYPD has probably changed the way they record the numbers of shootings. "I think you have to take a look at those numbers," Kelly said during an AM970 interview that is scheduled to be broadcast in January, "because I think there is some issues with the numbers that are being put out."

Kelly responded to Bratton's comments in a Tuesday night statement from his spokesperson, which furthered his allegations against the police department. Kelly said that "like all New Yorkers, I am troubled by the eroding qualify of the life in the city that is obvious to anyone who lives here." In support of his earlier claims, Kelly said "active members" of the NYPD have told him that the de Blasio administration "has changed the way shootings victims are calculated. For example, victim who incurs a graze wound are often not counted as a shooting victim, as was done previously. Similarly, a victim who sustains wounds by flying glass caused by a shooting is not recorded as a shooting victim. Further, wounds sustained by a victim who refuses to cooperate with a police investigation have been recorded as self-inflicted."

-- De Blasio, in the background: "[Bratton's] remarks on Tuesday came after a discussion of security preparations for New Year's Eve, where roughly a million people are expected to watch the ball drop at midnight. But the message of preparedness - "New York is ready," Mr. de Blasio said - was quickly overshadowed by Mr. Bratton's remarks about Mr. Kelly. When the reporter who asked Mr. Bratton about Mr. Kelly's comments tried to ask a follow-up question, Mr. Bratton interjected: "You don't need any follow-up; I just laid the challenge" to him. Mr. de Blasio, who stood silently by as Mr. Bratton spoke, was asked afterward what he made of the commissioner's remarks. "I think the commissioner spoke eloquently," the mayor said, before moving on to the next question." Times' J. David Goodman:

-- Union boss weighs in: "When two elephants stomp in the field, only the grass gets hurt," said Ed Mullins, who's been a vocal critic of de Blasio's. "Both men are highly respected leaders in law enforcement. There are obviously two views of opinion." "I guess the best judge of truth lies in the view of the people and their current perception of fear in the streets and the obvious decline in quality of life conditions we all observe," he added. Post:

-- Call for investigations -- Daily News editorial: "Putting his reputation on the line, former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said NYPD brass have reported to him that Commissioner Bill Bratton's NYPD is cooking the books on shootings and even on murders. New Yorkers must know the truth about public safety. There must be an investigation of Kelly's assertions.

-- "If the city's relatively new police inspector general, Philip Eure, is worth his salt, he will begin an immediate probe without fear of the potentially devastating political consequences in the event that Kelly's statements prove true. At the same time, with Eure in a chain of command that leads to the commissioner of investigation and then to City Hall, Mayor de Blasio must give a fully independent, highly respected party authority to conduct a parallel inquiry. Jonathan Lippman, stepping down on Thursday as the state's chief judge, could be ideal."

-- "A Startling Spectacle": "[Bratton and Kelly] are having words at a time when Mr. de Blasio, a liberal Democrat elected promising to make changes to the NYPD, is struggling to combat a perception that he is weak on policing, despite an overall decline in crime on his watch." WSJ's Mara Gay and Mark Morales:

FACT CHECK -- NYPD Fact Sheet On Ray Kelly's Comments via NYPD News site: "The statements made by Raymond Kelly are unsupported by fact and the conclusions drawn are misleading to the public." -

DE BLASIO: EMANUEL SHOULD STAY IN OFFICE - POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel should not acquiesce to calls for his resignation, even as Emanuel comes under increasing scorn for his handling of the police-involved deaths of black residents in his city.

Emanuel has been under pressure for weeks, after a court ordered the release of an explosive dashcam video showing a Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked away from police. Emanuel's office had fought the video's release for months. The officer in the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with murder shortly before the video was released ... "The Eric Garner incident was very painful for this city and that pain lingers," de Blasio said. "And I understand, so I can relate to some of the challenges that Rahm Emanuel is going through. Look, he has to succeed, is the bottom line. Folks who are calling for his resignation I don't think are thinking through the whole equation," de Blasio said. Emanuel, de Blasio said, is "in a position to turn the situation in Chicago around" and "drive the reforms and changes that are needed and that are going to have to be very, very substantial."

LIPPMAN'S LEGACY - New York Times' James McKinley Jr.: "A few weeks before he was to retire as chief judge of one of the nation's most influential courts, Jonathan Lippman traveled to Brooklyn to open a small storefront office that offers legal advice to poor people in civil cases, like housing disputes and fights with creditors. The ribbon-cutting was one of Judge Lippman's last public acts before he steps down as the leader of the New York Court of Appeals on Thursday, and it emphasized what some say may be his most notable legacy: his campaign to provide lawyers and other legal help to thousands of impoverished New Yorkers who face serious proceedings - such as eviction, foreclosure and the loss of child custody - with no representation ... As Judge Lippman finishes his seven-year run presiding over the Court of Appeals, his success expanding legal services for the poor and championing a host of other court reforms stands out even more than his decisions as a jurist, legal scholars said. Like his predecessor, Judith S. Kaye, Judge Lippman took the job far beyond the adjudication of cases and deep into policy making."

#PATAKIWATCH -- "Pataki Suspends Presidential Campaign": 2-min. YouTube

TABS -- Post; "TOP COPS AT WAR: Bratt, Kelly trade shots" -- News: "MACHINE GUN KELLY: Ray: Bratt lying to reduce shoot stats; Bill: 'Shame on him' - math still same" -- Epoch Times: "NYC Police Ready for New Year's Eve" -- Hamodia: "New York State to Require Smoke Detectors With 10-year Batteries"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col. below the fold: "Bratton Brattles his Predecessor On Crime Tally" -- WSJNY, 2-col. above the fold: "Bratton, Kelly Exchange Fire Over Statistics"

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If you're going to make it, stand up, be a big man, and explain what you're talking about," -- Commissioner Bill Bratton on Ray Kelly.

** 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 **

REVIEW OF THE DAY - N.Y. Times restaurant critic Pete Wells reviews the Times Square location of Señor Frog's on the Food section cover -- "Where It's Spring Break Forever": "I had already danced in a conga line wearing a three-foot-high crown of yellow and orange balloons ... I had also eaten a foot-long chili dog presented on a skateboard. ... [T]he chain thrives in Caribbean beach towns and caters to college students on spring break ... My most memorable spring break was whiled away in my room reading [Goethe's] 'The Sorrows of Young Werther' in German. ... You can get far worse guacamole at far more serious restaurants." Zero stars, but "The Reuben is good, for some reason."

A MODEST LOBBY DAY - POLITICO New York's Eliza Shapiro: In lieu of the massive rallies it has held biannually since 2013, the charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools will hold a modest "lobby day" on Jan. 20 in Albany, POLITICO New York has learned. The influential charter group recently decided to put its rally strategy - which has achieved diminishing returns - on hold. Rather than bus tens of thousands of parents and teachers to Albany, lobby day will put FES' legislative efforts more in line with other advocacy groups - education-related and otherwise - whose members convene at the Capitol each winter. While FES typically held its Albany rallies late in the legislative session, close to final budget negotiations, next month's rally day will be held as other groups are flooding the Capitol to meet with lawmakers in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State on Jan. 13, when he will lay out his legislative agenda.

NO EXECUTIVE MANSION OPEN HOUSE - Albany Times Union's Casey Seiler: "Cuomo won't host a New Year's open house at the Executive Mansion in Albany this year. The decision to scrap the event this year was not announced, but there has been no customary announcement of a ticket lottery for those wishing to attend the event. The governor, often accompanied by his daughters and his girlfriend Sandra Lee, has hosted the open house on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day since taking office. Last year's event was the scene of an energetic rally by New York State United Teachers across the street from the mansion."

SKELOS FILES FOR PENSION - Post's Michael Gartland: "Disgraced ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has put in his retirement papers, which could fetch him up to $95,000 a year in state pension benefits. The convicted felon immediately forfeited his Long Island Senate seat on Dec. 11 when he and his son Adam Skelos were found guilty on federal corruption charges. Eleven days later, on Dec. 22, he filed for his pension, according to the state comptroller's office. Skelos isn't the only crooked politician trying to cash in on a 'public service' career based on lies. Ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - also convicted recently on corruption charges - filed for retirement benefits just one day after the ruling in his case. Silver would be eligible for about $90,000, but both former lawmakers run the risk of having the money seized under 'claw-back' provisions by the US Attorney Preet Bharara. Good government groups argue that should be a moot point, that a conviction should immediately render one's pension subject to forfeiture."

THE MAYOR AND THE COUNCIL -- After two peaceful years relationship faces big tests -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino and Sally Goldenberg: After two years of avoiding public fights, the mayor and the Council may finally be forced to confront each other in 2016.

Neither de Blasio nor Mark-Viverito discussed their respective agendas at the cordial dinner, but some De Blasio proposals that were tabled over the first two years - from horse carriages to ride-hailing apps - appear to be festering, while the Council seems primed to push its own priorities on police reform, regardless of the mayor's opposition. And on affordable housing, the Council will get the last word on a policy central to the mayor's political identity. Those issues could threaten the peace at City Hall, where both sides have exhibited a preference for compromise over any public breach, most notably exemplified by the complete absence of mayoral vetoes of council legislation up to this point.

That relationship is already being tested, as the administration attempts to persuade Council members to back a key component of the mayor's affordable housing plan. The Council, which holds sway over land use matters, will soon get final say over a proposal central to de Blasio's mayoralty: the administration's two-tiered proposal to alter the city's zoning text to allow for the creation of more low- and moderate-income housing, as part of the mayor's plan to create or preserve 200,000 units of below-market-rate housing by 2024.

That will be a complicated proposition. Members have varied reservations, depending on the landscapes, transit options and economic health of their individual districts. "It's going to be a tricky thing to navigate, because at the end of the day, we have to make sure that we represent all parts of New York City," said Councilman Donovan Richards, who chairs the subcommittee on zoning and franchises. In order to get members on board, the administration will have to account for their disparate positions and go through many concurrent negotiations - something this mayor has yet to deal with during his time in office.

NEW YEAR, NEW DE BLASIO -- How the beleaguered mayor can manage better and communicate more effectively -- Ben Max for the Daily News: While de Blasio has repeatedly acknowledged a need to communicate better, he also needs help figuring out resolutions for 2016. My suggestions, to aid his own political prospects and, more important, ultimately help the people of the city:

Make amends with the governor. Even if you're largely right, which you are, Gov. Cuomo is too strong-willed and too powerful to have so far onto your bad side. Keep the city budget where it is. Times are good and the public coffers are flush. But the budget is ballooning rapidly thanks to new union contracts and other significant additions you and a free-spending City Council have added. Limit growth of the nearly $80 billion budget to a bare minimum and insist on some clear agency savings from several commissioners.

Hire a new deputy mayor, stat. It's good to be choosy about your cabinet, but much more delay in replacing your deputy mayor of health and human services - an early casualty of the homeless crisis - feeds the impression that you work too slowly and that the city isn't being managed well. Be more prepared for future departures. The city has a permanent office of appointments; make sure it is a well-oiled machine, preparing for the inevitable exit of top aides and even deputy commissioners, who make agencies run. Make more friends. Like President Obama, you have a reputation for not really thinking you need other people. That doesn't build a durable coalition. Hold a reception for Assembly members and state Senators in Albany where you glad-hand, thank them - and listen. Invite Democrats and Republicans.

LIST - "Mediaite's 25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015": 1) Fox's Roger Ailes ... 2) NBC's Chuck Todd ... 3) CNN's Jeff Zucker ... 4) Matt Drudge ... 5) N.Y. Times' Dean Baquet ... 6) Glenn Greenwald ... 7) CNN's Jake Tapper ... 8) Rush Limbaugh ... 9) MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ... 10) Fox's Megyn Kelly ... 11) ABC's George Stephanopoulos ... 12) Politico's Mike Allen ... 13) MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski ... 14) NBC's Andy Lack ... 15) Fox's Sean Hannity ... 16) Fusion's Jorge Ramos ... .17) Fox's Bill O'Reilly ... 18) Joy-Ann Reid ... 19) Breitbart's Stephen Bannon ... 20) Michelle Malkin ... 21) Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks ... 22) NBC's Matt Lauer ... 23) Nate Silver ... 24) David Corn of Mother Jones ... 25) HBO's John Oliver

PREPPING FOR NEW YEAR'S -- "Heavily Armed Anti-Terror Police to Guard Times Square on New Year's," by NBC's Tom Winter and Tracy Connor: "Nearly 6,000 police officers - hundreds of them with long guns, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs - will be guarding New York's Times Square as a year punctuated by terrorist attacks draws to a close ... Nearly 1,000 cameras will be transmitting images throughout the night."

Drudge banner: "NYC NYE MILITARY ZONE".

BIRTHDAYS: Jill Jorgensen, senior editor for politics at the Observer ... and Meg Ryan, producer for WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show.

REAL ESTATE -- ZONING IN-"After two peaceful years, de Blasio-Council relationship faces big tests," by POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino and Sally Goldenberg: "Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed members of the City Council to Gracie Mansion and treated them to chicken and commendation. Reading from prepared remarks, de Blasio highlighted their shared legislative victories on everything from the expansion of paid sick leave and the municipal identification program to a relatively painless budget season. ... But there was plenty left unsaid. After two years of avoiding public fights, the mayor and the Council may finally be forced to confront each other in 2016. Neither de Blasio nor Mark-Viverito discussed their respective agendas at the cordial dinner, but some de Blasio proposals that were tabled over the first two years - from banning horse carriages to regulating ride-hailing apps - appear to be festering, while the Council seems primed to push its own priorities on police reform, regardless of the mayor's opposition. And on affordable housing, the Council will get the last word on elements of a policy central to the mayor's political identity."

ON THE WATERFRONT-"Related Cos. in talks for 11-acre Williamsburg waterfront site," by Crain's Daniel Geiger: "The Related Cos., developer of the Hudson Yards, is in talks to invest in an 11-acre waterfront development site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, known for the large records warehouse CitiStorage that burned down there earlier this year. Related, along with at least two partners, Midtown Equities and East End Capital, is negotiating to provide a loan to one of the owners of the site, according to sources familiar with the proposed transaction. The deal would give the trio an option to convert that debt into a future ownership stake in the property, which spans nearly two full blocks and is estimated to be worth $250 million or more. It wasn't immediately clear how much Related is arranging to lend, or how big its eventual ownership interest in the project could be. The structure of the deal has not been finalized and could still fall through or be significantly modified, the sources said."

FOREIGN EXCHANGE-"Chinese Developers Build in America, but Look for Buyers at Home," by WSJ's Eliot Brown and Esther Fung: "SHANGHAI-In a low-slung building near an artsy riverfront area known as West Bund district, a group of more than 10 families gathered on Thanksgiving Day for a tutorial about the American holiday, complete with a golden-brown roasted turkey. This wasn't a cooking class. Instead, the attendees were being sold new condos in the U.S. being built by Chinese developer Greenland Holding Group, coupled with a culinary and cultural lesson on the autumnal holiday. Greenland is in the process of building two large apartment projects, one in Los Angeles and the other New York, and is turning to its standard client base-Chinese investors-to help fill them up. Commercial property development has long been a local sport in the U.S., dominated by local firms catering to local demand. Greenland's savory sales pitch offers a glimpse at a nascent effort by Chinese developers to turn that model around, converting demand from China into Chinese-built condos an ocean away."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Knicks 108, Pistons 96: Derrick Williams absolutely took over the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the final period to lead the Knicks to a win, snapping the four-game losing streak.

-- The day ahead: the Rangers are in Tampa. The Nets are in Orlando.

COFFEE BREAK -- "For 3rd year, Sophia most popular New York City girls' name" -- AP: "City health officials sa[id] Tuesday there were 586 Sophias born in 2014. Sofia, with an 'F,' ranked number nine on the list. They say Ethan was the most popular name for boys, with 740 of them born last year. There were 122,084 babies born in the nation's most populous city last year, 1,627 more than in 2013. ... The top five most popular girl names were: Sophia, Isabella, Olivia, Mia and Emma. The top five most popular boy names were: Ethan, Jacob, Liam, Jayden and Noah."

#UpstateAmerica: Point au Roche bear holds off on hibernation due to warm weather.

** 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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