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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: BRATTON-KELLY feud boils over -- PARK-VIEW tax idea -- CHARTERS split on lobbying

12/31/2015 07:40 AM EDT

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

COMMISSIONERS BATTLE -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: The extraordinary public fight that has erupted between city police commissioner Bill Bratton and his predecessor Ray Kelly over crimefighting in New York is ostensibly about crime data - namely, whether this administration's accounting of its law enforcement efforts can be believed.

But the argument is rooted in a much longer-standing rivalry between the men, who together reshaped law enforcement in New York City, and are now engaged in what appears to a zero-sum fight over legacy. Hence the suddenness with which the fight turned personal this week ... Even as they both presided over sustained periods of record-low crime, and built on each other's work, they have long disagreed on police tactics and strategy.


-- On MSNBC Wed. morning: "What are you going to investigate? Any Tom, Dick or Harry? Even one who has the stature of Mr. Kelly himself, and alleges without substantiation?" -- POLITICO New York:

-- To reporters in City Hall Wed. afternoon: "The IG is an independent entity, they can investigate anything they want, anytime." -- POLITICO New York:

-- Daily News headline: "NYPD inspector general mum on ex-top cop Raymond Kelly's claim that Commissioner Bill Bratton is cooking the books on crime"

COUNCIL FEEDBACK -- Councilman Ritchie Torres: "Have the inspector general inquire into the matter and determine if there's merit to Ray Kelly's claim." -- Observer's Ross Barkan:

-- Councilman Brad Lander, in a statement to POLITICO New York: "Ongoing oversight of NYPD crime statistics reporting is a valuable function for the NYPD Inspector General, regardless of who is mayor or commissioner, and part of why we worked to establish the office -- but Ray Kelly has zero credibility on the topic..."

-- Councilman Jumaane Williams, in an interview with POLITICO New York: "If people came to [Kelly with evidence of under-counting], he should send them to the IG or he should go himself ... I heard of under-counting crime in the last administration ... [Kelly] can make an official complaint to the City Council [and] I would be more than willing to look into it."

-- Post editorial suggestion: Have Preet Probe: "The Post's own NYPD sources insist that the tricks Kelly describes are not in play. ... Bratton weakness: He sometimes misses what's going on at street level. ... This time, though, Post reporting is backing up Bratton's take. And there's no way Kelly will reveal his confidential sources ... So, absent more evidence, the allegations Kelly has passed along remain just that: anonymous gripes. If Bratton just can't bear to have those sitting out there, he can request a truly independent probe by a serious outsider, like US Attorney Preet Bharara."

BREAKING OVERNIGHT -- CORRECTION OFFICERS UNION REACHES TENTATIVE LABOR DEAL -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Mayor Bill de Blasio and the union representing the city's rank-and-file correction officers reached a tentative labor deal late on Wednesday evening, sources confirmed to POLITICO New York, which would bring the overwhelming majority of the city workforce under contract. The tentative deal, which must still be ratified by the members of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, would follow the same pattern for wage increases established by the city's other uniformed unions, giving correction officers 11 percent raises over the next seven years and requiring health savings from the union.

CUOMO'S EASTER PROMISE - Daily News' Glenn Blain: "Cuomo has canceled the annual New Year's open house at the Executive Mansion in Albany as he marks the one-year anniversary of his father's death. ... Cuomo has held a New Year's open house at the mansion every year since taking office except 2014, when he attended Mayor de Blasio's City Hall swearing-in ceremony instead. ... 'Traditionally, on the first day of each year, New York's governors often chose to host an open house at the Executive Mansion. However, this January 1st also marks the anniversary of my father's passing, and my family and I wish to commemorate his loss. However, we would also like to continue the open house tradition, therefore, we will move the open house to Easter Sunday. At that time family and visitors will be welcome to experience the Mansion and also participate in an Easter Egg hunt which will commence a new activity and tradition that we are excited to initiate,' Cuomo said in a statement."

TABS -- Daily News: "AFTER 55+ ACCUSATIONS, COSBY FINALLY BUSTED -- HE SAID-SHE SAID, she said, she said, she said, she said, she said..." (goes on with 55 "she saids"). See the page. -- Post: "SEX RAP: Fallen star finally charged" -- Hamodia: "11 Car Windows Smashed in Boro Park" -- El Diaro [translated]: Some celebrated, others clean

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col. above the fold: "Shedding Light on How a City Counts Crime" -- WSJNY, 5-col. below the fold: "Bloomberg Advises Cities to Do it His Way"

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I would be an idiot not to ask them to come here." -- Kansas City mayor Sly James about free consultants from Bloomberg's Associates, via WSJ:

BIRTHDAYS: BIRTHDAYS: CeFaan Kim , reporter with ABC 7 NY ... Michael Frazier, exec v.p. of comms and marketing for the National September 11th Memorial and Museum ... Rebecca Spitz Fullington, a former NY1 reporter ... Ira Stoll, a former editor at the New York Sun ... and Londel Davis, a Harlem-based Democratic operative [h/t FB] ... HuffPost editorial director Danny Shea ... and Don Trump Jr.

CLICKER - "These Streets Will Close in Midtown for New Year's Eve" - DNAinfo:

** 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 **

FINE LINE ON HOW TO DEFINE CRIME -- NYT's J. David Goodman: "A shooting, for example, is recorded only if someone is hit, even in instances that might appear to have all the hallmarks of a serious crime. If a bullet tears a person's clothing but does not wound the victim, the episode is not included in the Police Department's official tally of shootings reported to the public. ... Unlike the major felonies reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - murder, rape, robbery, burglary, serious assault, grand larceny, auto theft and arson - there is no uniform standard for recording or reporting shootings. ... Both Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bratton have at times seen the crime numbers gathered under their leadership called into question."

-- WSJ's Mara Gay: "Mr. Kelly hasn't substantiated his accusation. But the suggestion alone has led to greater scrutiny of the city's crime data-which historically have sparked some political debates in the city-and could imperil the credibility of Mr. Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio on crime."

-- Gothamist's Christopher Robbins: "There are many issues Kelly could credibly raise to criticize the NYPD and inspire reform-on onerous quotas, on costly use of force, on its lack of female and black police officers, and yes, even on stat manipulation. This will never happen, because these are just as much Kelly's problems as they are Bratton's..."

BRATTON RESPONDS IN DETAIL -- Daily News Op-ed: "He says that we are not counting people injured in shooting incidents by broken glass as shooting victims. We never did, even in Kelly's years, because they haven't been shot. He says that people who have been grazed by bullets aren't counted as shootings. They are. Any flesh wound caused by a bullet, no matter how slight, qualifies as a shooting. ...

-- "Kelly has yet to cite a single specific incident in which a shooting was downgraded or miscounted. So far, all he has provided are his own unspecified suspicions and his assertion that this information comes from someone in the know in the NYPD. If he can produce specific information about specific incidents, the NYPD will be more than willing to review it and investigate if necessary. ... a huge decline in stops has coincided with a very large decline in both homicides and shootings, in Kelly's last year in office and the first two years of the de Blasio administration. For Kelly, the outcome does not compute, so he imputes statistical sleight of hand."

HOW THE CHARTERS LOBBY - Eliza Shapiro in POLITICO New York magazine: New York City's large, influential charter sector is typically portrayed as a unified front, a collection of like minded, publicly funded, privately run schools that keeps teachers' union presidents up at night. But for the all-important purposes of lobbying, the city's charter sector is operating as two distinct halves. The sector is split almost exactly in two: 102 of the city's 205 charters are independent; 103 are affiliated with a network. The schools affiliated with networks, known as CMOs, make up the wealthiest and most influential half. These organizations include the city's largest and most controversial network: Success Academy. ... As the sector gears up for the next legislative session, there's no indication that its two halves will formally collaborate on advocacy. But independent and network charters could unite this session around a resource issue separate from facilities funding. Charter advocates, including representatives from both the large networks and mom-and-pops, have been pushing the state to reform the "per-pupil" funding formula that dictates how charters receive public dollars. A change to the per-pupil formula to include charters' operating expenses would benefit all charters. Whether the sector can make this wonky funding issue the stuff of massive rallies and omnipresent television ads is another question.

OP-ED -- MAX FRANKEL, executive editor of The Times from 1986 to 1994, who lives half a block from Central Park, "Make Them Pay for Park Views": "New Yorkers, and particularly Manhattanites, are wringing their hands about the two dozen or so supertall luxury towers sprouting along the southern edge of Central Park. The builders are charging up to $100 million for apartments that offer helicopter views of lush foliage, jagged skylines, soothing rivers and angelic clouds. ... Like the braggadocio towers of medieval Florence, these concrete fingers in the sky mar the view for the rest of us for miles around. ... Instead of wringing our hands, let's rub our palms and share in the profits. Let the city impose a relatively simple new tax - officially called a user fee - based on the grandeur of each lofty view. ... The main targets here are the new cloudscrapers clustered just south of Central Park, whose value is hugely augmented - indeed created - by expensive, expansive public amenities like the park, and whose insertion into the city's grid imposes new tensions on city life and services."

UP IN SMOKE -- News' Harry Siegel vows to quit: "I didn't plan to quit now, exactly. It's been next on my list for a few decades. But my editor asked, "What are you writing on," wanting an answer that wouldn't mean a late file in a hectic holiday week.

"'Quitting smoking,' I said, thinking quick. Too quick. If I had it over again, I would have gone out for a smoke and thought it through. ... out came the words, so out go the smokes. Even if it's a bad idea, it's a good New Year's Eve day column topic, a little lighter than wading into the police commissioner pissing match, or explaining why it's nuts to expect satisfaction from putting cops who do bad things into the criminal justice system."

MISPLACED NOSTALGIA -- "Longing for the Old Penn Station? In the End, It Wasn't So Great," by David W. Dunlap in his Times "Building Blocks" column : "Pennsylvania Station was ruined long before it was wrecked. Its demolition is the stuff of New York legend, an act of architectural vandalism so unspeakable that it gave rise to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, saved Grand Central Terminal and upended the city's development priorities. What this version of history overlooks, however, is that the Penn Station that was torn down between 1963 and 1966 was scarcely the building it had been a half-century earlier - luminous, voluminous and Roman in the grandeur it was given by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and the architect Charles Follen McKim."

GOODBYE, JUSTIN'S - Times Union's Steve Barnes: "Justin's restaurant in Albany, a Lark Street mainstay for half a century under different owners, is closing after a final bash on Sunday night (1/3), according to a Facebook event page . A note attributes the closure simply to "unfortunate circumstances." This would be sad if the Justin's of old hadn't been dead for several years. Justin's had a long and cherished run, and when Ric Orlando was cooking there, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was the most exciting place to eat in Albany. Add in stellar jazz six or seven nights a week from names as luminous as Nick Brignola and Lee Shaw, a sophisticated crowd and top-flight servers including Tess Collins and Aleph Ashline, and you had a truly remarkable, consistently excellent destination for food and music. Justin's hasn't been that in a long time. I'm too sad and disgusted to detail its recent history in depth. Anyone who'd been there in the last couple of years knows what a squalid joint it had become."

NEW YEAR, NEW LAWS - Syracuse Post-Standard's Mike McAndrew: "New York's corporations and its lowest-paid workers will both have something to smile about this week because of changes in state laws. So will women who have been discriminated against at work. Here are some of the bigger changes that will happen early in 2016 because of changes in state laws or regulations: breastfeeding rights, telehealth services, veterans tax exemption, women's equality."

BROADWAY BUZZ - "The legends Broadway lost in 2015," by Post's Michael Riedel: "A science-fiction icon, a wisecracking comic legend, an eccentric restaurateur, an avenger . . . and an actor who held the stage for eight hours in a Dickens of a play. Leonard Nimoy ... Anne Meara ... Jean-Claude Baker ... Patrick Macnee ... Roger Rees."

HILLARYWATCH -- "Hillary Clinton's campaign likely to surpass $100 million fundraising goal," by CNN's Dan Merica : "Clinton raised at least $21 million at fundraisers she personally headlined in the fourth quarter of 2015 ... [in] a total of 58 fundraisers."

REAL ESTATE -- BUDDING CONTROVERSY-"City Hall to preserve some community gardens, build housing on others," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "The de Blasio administration is ending 2015 by addressing a long-standing controversy over the fate of 43 community gardens on city-owned land with a decision that has prompted mixed reactions among New Yorkers close to the divisive issue. The administration is preparing to build more than 800 below-market-rate apartments on nine gardens - including two unused ones -while preserving another 34 gardens, according to several sources briefed on the plans. City officials gathered representatives of the gardens at a meeting in City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to reveal the plans and distribute a list of which spaces will be preserved and which would be turned into development sites. The city promised that when it builds on current gardens, it will create a new gardening space within a quarter of a mile of the original, but it is unclear whether the new spots would be the same size."

LAX TAX OVERSIGHT-"NYC Lets Luxury Building Owners Stiff Workers and Still Get a Tax Break," by ProPublica's Cezary Podkul and Marcelo Rochabrun: "When Isaac Bowman got a concierge job at a luxury Queens apartment building last year, he hoped it would be his ticket out of a homeless shelter and into New York City's middle class. The pay was low at only $10 an hour. But at least it was a start toward getting his partner and three stepchildren into an apartment of their own, Bowman reasoned. Bowman took the job - and became a victim of wage theft. Under terms of a large city tax subsidy, owners of the 117-unit building, The Exo, were legally bound to pay Bowman $16.88 an hour - almost 70 percent more than he got - plus benefits now worth $10.13 per hour. The higher pay is required at bigger buildings that benefit from the city's 421-a housing program, which grants about $1.1 billion in tax breaks each year to owners. In return, they must pay service employees the 'prevailing wage' - a rate set by the city comptroller that is benchmarked to union contracts so that non-union workers get comparable pay for similar work."

HELP WANTED-"Extell taps outside brokerages to market remaining One57 units," by Real Deal's Katherine Clarke: "Gary Barnett's Extell Development is finally seeking help from outside brokerage firms to unload some of the remaining condominium units at One57. Extell, which has handled sponsor sales in-house since the project launched sales in 2011, has tapped big-name resale brokers from Douglas Elliman and Sotheby's International Realty to market three of the leftover apartments, at 157 West 57th Street. Sales have been famously sluggish at the property since it hit the 70 percent mark in 2013."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Magic 100, Nets 93: If the Nets executed defensively even a little bit in the fourth quarter, they'd have won this game.

-- The day ahead: The Islanders are in Buffalo. St. John's opens their Big East schedule at 2, hosting Creighton. The Big East also has four of the top 16 ranked teams in the country, and they play one another at 12 (Villanova-Xavier) and 2 (Butler-Providence).

COFFEE BREAK -- "Sunset Park, the Latest Party Spot in Brooklyn," by Ben Detrick in the Times' Thursday Styles: "[N]ighttime excursions are increasingly taking place along the waterfront of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, an industrial swath of warehouses and piers just south of the Gowanus Canal. ... [I]n a city with an ever-shifting night-life landscape, the area's forlorn depots and World War II-era terminal buildings have become the latest landing strip for pleasure seekers who parachute in for music concerts, electronic dance raves, after-parties and art shows."

#UpstateAmerica: A Lisbon man set his house on fire when he tried to use a smoke bomb to drive away a skunk.

** 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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