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01/28/2016 07:36 AM EDT
By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman
TICKET RIGGING - Buffalo News' Tom Precious: "Sports fans and concertgoers have grown increasingly suspicious about how hard it is to get their hands on tickets to prime events and, even if they do, run into prices that soar far above face values. Turns out, they've had good reason, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, following a three-year investigation by his office. 'Ticketing is a fixed game,'' said Schneiderman, who on Thursday will release a report showing consumers face multiple and often impenetrable obstacles in their way of a fair shot at getting their hands on tickets to popular events at fair prices. Those now under investigation as a result of the Schneiderman examination run the gamut of industry players.
At one end, sources say, is the National Football League, which the attorney general is looking at in connection with possible restraint-of-trade issues related to ticket reselling policies. At the other end are largely unknown but profitable ticket brokers now facing probes for employing illegal computer software programs used to beat fans in the race to purchase tickets." http://bit.ly/1SL3q6C
-- Somewhat related: Here's a picture of Michael Bloomberg at Madison Square Garden last night watching Bruce Springsteen. http://bit.ly/1PCaY5b
DE BLASIO'S NEW CAPITOL TACK - POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio made his third pilgrimage to Albany as mayor for "tin cup day" - an annual legislative rite in which mayors from various cities around the state appear before a joint bipartisan committee made up of members of both houses of the Legislature in order to, essentially, beg for what they would like to see in the state's final budget. This time, lawmakers said privately, de Blasio came with a substantial amount of deference and humility, following a year in which many of his previous asks from the legislature were rebuffed or whittled down. In a copy of his prepared testimony this year, the mayor made sure to include thanks by name, in bold type, for many of the state lawmakers of both parties who will be key to enacting any of the items on de Blasio's current budget wishlist. Last year's prepared remarks included no such gestures. "I guess dealing with Albany is always an evolving science," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, when asked if he thought the mayor had improved upon his tin cup performance from last year. http://politi.co/1WORrnL
NEW YORK DECLARES HOOSICK FALLS A SUPERFUND SITE - POLITICO New York's Scott Waldman: The state will declare the polluted water of Hoosick Falls a Superfund site, conduct a health risk analysis of its residents and test more water wells to address toxic chemicals that have leached into a town water well, Cuomo administration officials announced alongside local elected leaders during a press conference Wednesday. The Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday issued emergency regulation declaring perfluorooctanoic acid - or PFOA, which has been linked to cancer and may have polluted the Hoosick Falls water supply - as a hazardous substance so that it can quickly begin remediation. The Department of Health will install filtration systems at schools and other community gathering spaces and develop a state telephone hotline for health information, state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said at the conference. Blood testing of community members will begin in mid-February. http://politi.co/1OZcAXc
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[T]he media have in fact lost control and in losing control, they've also lost some of the dignity that used to attend a presidential process," -- CNN's former Washington Bureau Chief, Frank Sesno, via NYT: http://goo.gl/XD1gOQ
BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Remember when our jaws were clenched at the all-but-inevitable prospect of a Bush-Clinton dynastic rematch? Those were simpler times, six months ago." -- Daily News columnist and editorial board member Harry Siegel: http://goo.gl/IT9nSk
TABS -- Post: "CUT AND RUN: New slasher strikes fear in subways" -- Daily News: "Another subway slasher on loose after machete hit" -- Metro: "CUT IT OUT! New Yorkers disgusted and frightened by recent spate of subway slashing" -- SEE THEM: https://goo.gl/oLl4yo
-- amNY: "CHEW ON THIS! Study dishes on what we love and hate about dining in NYC" -- Hamodia: "Factory Village's Trail of Cancer Leads to Probe of Tap Water"
FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col., below the fold; "With No Detente, Trump's Feud with Fox Moves to Center Stage" -- WSJNY, 3-col., below the fold: "Weekend in Iowa Awaits de Blasio"
** A Message from JPMorgan Chase & Co.: There could be 136,600 fewer people living in poverty in NY. That's the impact the state could see with a just a 10% increase in the number of underemployed citizens who earn certificates or associate degrees, according to the National Association of State Directors Career Technical Education. JPMorgan Chase is investing $75 million to expand high-quality career-focused education around the world. Find out how. http://bit.ly/1QctunQ **
HAPPENING TONIGHT: Former federal transportation secretary (and congressman) Ray LaHood is set to celebrate the launch of his book, "Seeking Bipartisanship: My Life in Politics" with a party hosted by the Century Foundation. City DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg will interview the author. Event (with a wine and cheese reception after) starts at 6 p.m., 1 Whitehall Street. http://bit.ly/1ZQtEUm
SCHOOL ISSUES IN BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS - POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey: Restoring school funding cuts, providing more (and more equitable) aid for school districts and fully financing changes to teacher evaluations, assessments and the Common Core learning standards will likely be the main points of discussion for education as state lawmakers start to bargain the 2016-2017 budget. Those points were among a slew of requests made Wednesday at the joint legislative budget hearing on elementary and secondary education, which stretched all day and well into the evening. Witnesses included both the state and New York City education department heads, education advocates, charter school groups, school district administrators and union leaders. Now the real work begins, as the Legislature takes those requests into consideration and starts ferreting out which can be accomplished, and what can be leveraged for other items. "We'll discuss them, take the recommendations, prioritize them. Some are not going to work; some can work. We'll figure that out," Senate Education Committee chairman Carl Marcellino said, though he would not elaborate on which he would like to see pushed through. "That's subject to negotiation and presentation, and timing is everything." http://politi.co/1lUy0wz
-- State education commissioner MaryEllen Elia called on the state Legislature Wednesday to increase school aid and fully restore cuts in school aid known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment. http://politi.co/1lUy4MI
-- Elia outlined changes the department has made to testing including giving students who are "productively working" more time to take the exams if they need it. Gannett's Jon Campbell: http://lohud.us/1Sc4BMR
-- City schools chancellor Carmen Fariña faced much more questioning about mayoral control than Bill de Blasio did during his testimony. POLITICO New York's Eliza Shapiro: http://politi.co/1noG7m7.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MARK GREEN - New York Post's Carl Campanile: "Former Public Advocate Mark Green has penned a tell-all book about New York politics that savages Mayor de Blasio as a pandering phony, Gov. Cuomo as a pompous elitist and Al Sharpton as a lying con man. The 367-page "Bright, Infinite Future" takes a scorched-earth policy toward his fellow Democrats because Green says he now has nothing to lose. 'To keep my wife and sanity, I'm now done with electoral politics and free to be candid about politicians of all persuasions - and myself,' he wrote in an early draft of the book, published by St. Martin's Press and sent to The Post." http://nyp.st/1lVXJ7N
COUNCIL SCHEDULES VOTES ON PAY HIKES AND HORSE BILL -- Horses carriage plan -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: The City Council could vote as early as next Friday on a contentious proposal to restrict the horse carriage industry, leaving Council members little more than a week to decide on one of the more polarizing proposals of Mayor Bill de Blasio's tenure. After a conference meeting for members Wednesday, the Council has officially re-scheduled its stated meeting for Friday, when the bill is expected to be sent to the floor for a vote.Several sources confirmed to POLITICO New York on Wednesday that Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito encouraged members to vote in favor of the proposal during the council's bimonthly Democratic Conference meeting which was held in the member's lounge of City Hall this afternoon.The vote would come less than two weeks after city officials received low marks from Council members for their inability to answer questions about the legislation at a hearing. The de Blasio administration has subsequently circulated a fact sheet to members with answers to some of their questions. http://goo.gl/M2ZZYw
-- Daily News editorial: "Using parkland for an unneeded, profit-making concession should be rejected." http://goo.gl/6eTnMi
-- Payday for lawmakers -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Members of the City Council will vote on a bill next week that would give them a salary increase. The vote comes just a month after The Independent Advisory Quadrennial Commission, a three-member panel convened by Mayor Bill de Blasio in September, released its findings . In its official report, the group concluded all of the city's elected officials - including the mayor, public advocate, comptroller and council members - are due for a raise.The commission recommended that council members receive a base pay of $138,315 - an increase of $25,815, or 23 percent, from the current salary of $112,500.The panel recommended that the council salary increases be tied to the council enacting several reforms, such as the elimination of committee chairmanship bonuses known as "lulus" and banning outside income by making council jobs full time. http://goo.gl/znR70J
-- Post's Rich Calder: "City Council members are mulling even fatter raises for themselves than the 23 percent boost recommended [by the advisory panel and the final deal] ... could include boosting council members' salaries to as high as $150,000, the sources said." http://goo.gl/z6OH7u
-- Suggested headline, from @RobGeorge: "Yay To Pay, Not to Trot" https://goo.gl/vjRmEb
CROWLEY WANTS PROBE OF FDNY SNOW JOB AT NIGRO HOME -- Newsday's Matt Chayes: "Committee on Fire & Criminal Justice Chairwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) said the action 'raises concern about the appropriate use of city resources.' 'I trust the Department of Investigation will conduct a fair and thorough review,' Crowley said in a statement in response to questions about the incident. Nicole Turso, a spokeswoman for the Department of Investigation, declined to confirm or deny a probe had begun. ... According to the city Conflicts of Interest Board, 'having your subordinates do free work for you that you would have to pay someone else to do' is against the rules." http://goo.gl/ct3I0g
-- BRATTON defends Nigro, pushes back on Post's call for his resignation: "I understand that the Department of Investigation is doing an inquiry. Appropriate [but] I think a little heavy handed calling for his resignation. Let's remember the 40 years of dedicated service. I can guarantee the writers of that editorial weren't standing at the base of . . . the towers when they fell down. So let's get real." Post's Tina Moore, Yoav Gonen and Susan Edelman: http://goo.gl/Ln8vUI
2016 PLAYERS -- Hillary Clinton Hires De Blasio Aide Mahen Gunaratna in Florida - http://bit.ly/1NCb1N2
BRATTON WANTS A PAPER TRAIL UNDER SUMMONS CHARGES -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he supports the general idea behind a reform package being advanced in the City Council that will allow police officers to give warnings and civil summonses, rather than only criminal summonses, for low-level crimes like turnstile hopping.But Bratton said he wants a way to "memorialize" or record the warnings, so recidivists can face tougher penalties.The details of how this will work are still under negotiations, he told reporters in midtown after speaking at the New York State Bar Association's annual meeting. At a lengthy City Council hearing on Monday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the Criminal Justice Reform Act does not legalize any behavior, but rather adds civil penalties to low-level, quality of life crimes like littering, making excessive noise and public urination. http://politi.co/1NC62fo
DICKENS CAMPAIGNING FOR KEITH WRIGHT'S ASSEMBLY SEAT -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: City Councilwoman Inez Dickens is raising money for a campaign for the Assembly seat currently held by Keith Wright, who is running for the congressional seat being vacated by the retiring Charles Rangel. According to an invitation obtained by POLITICO New York, the Feb. 11 fund-raiser will take place in Harlem, and seeks donations from $150 up to $4,400. A fund-raiser organizing the event confirmed Dickens' candidacy for the seat. The congressional primary for Rangel's seat - where Wright faces seven declared opponents - takes place in June. The primary for state legislative seats is in September. SEE THE INVITATION: https://goo.gl/22Y49z
-- Is Dickens' bid contingent on Wright winning the NY13 race? "I strongly believe that Keith will be our next Congressperson. Keith believes strongly in his own candidacy and is not so disingenuous as to play on the minds and integrity of his constituents and their voting rights by running for Congress in June and almost simultaneously for his current seat in September. I am running for an open seat." -- Dickens statement to POLTIICO New York
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Jerry Skurnik, political consultant, Koch alum, party invitation poet. As Dan Barry wrote in 2001: "A power lunch for him is whatever can be super-sized at the McDonald's around the corner. He is the kind of man who might be noticed at a political fund-raiser only after knocking into a tray of glasses. But he is also the man whom most politicians in New York City call on to help them figure out who the voters are, where they are, and how to pique their interest. He is, after all, the master of the lists ... There are other list providers; what makes Mr. Skurnik distinctive is his encyclopedic knowledge of New York politics." http://goo.gl/vKgDYY
MEDIA MORNING -- "Bloomberg [Politics' Washington news editor Kathy Kiely] quits over conflict in covering founder," by Sterne: "Kiely has quit the company over concerns that the news organization will not be able to fairly cover CEO Michael Bloomberg's possible run for president ... 'I think that Michael Bloomberg has built a terrific news organization but that he needs to liberate it to cover all the news, even the news about him.'" http://politi.co/1lVsjhP
NEW DCCC report, "Down-Ballot Damage: How Trump & Cruz Will Cost House Republican Seats" names Congressmen Lee Zeldin and John Katko as being vulnerable if Trump or Cruz are at the top of the ticket http://bit.ly/1QFRKRa
IN BLOOMBERG'S HEAD -- "For Bloomberg, Ambition Vies With Caution," by former NYT reporter and Bloomberg biographer Joyce Purnick : "The former mayor of New York, 74 next month, always wanted to be his own boss, never wanted to work for anyone else, and has said so outright, whenever his name was floated for a cabinet job or the equivalent. Even in his first job out of graduate school, at Salomon Brothers, he told his bosses he could do a better job of running their company than they could. ... What he will decide is an open question. How he will decide is easier to predict: He will sift through the data, listen to advisers, discount the advice of those more interested in their own futures than his (a common campaign-season affliction). And he will run for the White House only if he can see a plausible path around the obstacles of history and his own political biography." http://nyti.ms/1PUOPzu
TRUMP TALK -- "Barry Diller: I'd Cross the Street to Avoid Donald Trump" - per a Bloomberg TV interview: "I haven't spoken to Donald Trump in 30 years. And I would literally cross the street-five years ago, I would cross the street to avoid him.'" http://bloom.bg/1WP4pBZ
NO HOVERING -- "M.T.A. Bans Hoverboards on Transit System," by Times' Emma G. Fitzsimmons: "First it targeted manspreading. Now hoverboards. In a new ad campaign, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will remind subway and bus riders to leave their hoverboards at home. The popular two-wheeled motorized devices are banned across the system, officials announced on Wednesday. That means not only no zooming along subway platforms on hoverboards, but also no bringing them into stations or onto trains and buses, either." http://nyti.ms/1SdlE0U ... Their announcement http://bit.ly/1WPjcN0
HILLARYWATCH - "Clinton Foundation on collision course with campaign: Charity officials are under pressure to scale back lavish events," by Politico's Ken Vogel: "The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation ... is considering dialing back its activity during the campaign and a potential Clinton presidency ... Supporters of Hillary Clinton's campaign privately grumble that the foundation is diverting the attention of Bill Clinton, her former president husband - as well as key donors - at a pivotal moment in the presidential campaign. They argue that [the Clinton Global Initiative] should suspend planned events during the primaries and just before the general election." http://politi.co/1Sl5MYo Leaked conference call notes http://bit.ly/1nzWdKl
BROADWAY BUZZ -- "Blanchett to Make Broadway Debut in Play Directed by John Crowley," by Times' Michael Paulson: "Cate Blanchett, one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, will make her Broadway debut next season in a new adaptation of a lesser-known Chekhov play. Ms. Blanchett will star as a Russian widow in 'The Present,' which reimagines Chekhov's untitled first play, often called 'Platonov,' set in the 1990s. In the play a group of friends gathers at a country house outside Moscow to celebrate the 40th birthday of Ms. Blanchett's character, Anna Petrovna. A Chekhovian tangle of vodka-fueled regret unspools, although in this version with considerably more humor than one might expect." http://nyti.ms/1OZIH9k
EAT BEAT - "The 11 Best Pasta Cacio e Pepes in NYC," by Grub Street's Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld: "Hearth ... I Sodi ... Lilia ... ... Lupa ... Maialino ... Momofuku Nishi ... Mulino a Vino ... Perla ... Sandro's ... Upland ... Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria." http://grb.st/1JHKOBK
--"Nakamura Is the Newest Big-Deal Ramen Shop to Get Excited About," by Grub Street's Chris Crowley: "Shigetoshi "Jack" Nakamura is what you might call Japanese ramen royalty: He's been at it for 17 years, having opened his first ramen-ya when he was 22 ... Now he's back on the Manhattan noodle scene with the first Stateside shop of his own, aptly named Nakamura. In a Lower East Side storefront squeezed into the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, Nakamura's menu is tight, with just four bowls of ramen available. These include ... his light, restorative torigara shoyu, based on a recipe that's more than a century old; and his XO miso vegetarian ramen, made with David Chang's vegan version of the famous Hong Kong sauce that's traditionally made with dried seafood and Chinese ham." http://grb.st/1KcIxi0
--"Eataly sued by 'gringo' ex-cook for discrimination," by Post's Julia Marsh: "A former line cook at Mario Batali's Eataly is suing the Manhattan Italian food mecca for racial discrimination, claiming he was harassed - for being a white man. Scott Silberlight, of Staten Island, ... said his mostly Hispanic coworkers regularly called him 'gringo' ... When he complained to his supervisor, who was also Hispanic, the boss told him to keep quiet or there would be 'problems' ... At one point another Hispanic line cook said, 'We don't need gringos here,' while other Spanish-speaking staff called him 'estupido (stupid),' 'pendejo (jerk)' and told him, 'chinga tu madre (f- your mother),' according to court papers." http://nyp.st/1KH3bla
REAL ESTATE -- EYE ON CHINA-"Is the Chinese investment boom in NYC real estate already over?" by Real Deal's Konrad Putzier: "Chinese investors only really started piling into New York's commercial real estate market two years ago, and The Real Deal proclaimed 2015 the 'year of the Chinese investor.' But now, a growing number of developers argue the party may already be over. 'We should be looking for other sources of capital over the next few years,' Jeff Blau, CEO of the Related Companies, said at a 2016 real estate outlook conference hosted by ULI New York Wednesday morning.
"Over the past months, stock market turmoil, exchange rate volatility and a slew of bad economic data have raised questions over the health of the Chinese economy. For New York's real estate industry, this has also stirred fears of fewer Chinese investors lining up to spend. Blau, whose firm has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for its Hudson Yards project from Chinese EB-5 investors, said many of the Chinese institutional investors are still bullish on the country's economy. But he also said that Chinese investment abroad could nonetheless take a hit. Related received bids from all over the world to recapitalize the first Hudson Yards tower by Tuesday, Blau said, but Chinese investors were notably absent." http://bit.ly/1QtUFum
IN THE WORKS-"City Hall looking to build mixed-use facility on Manhattan's West Side," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "The New York City Economic Development Corporation wants to develop a massive mixed-use project with 700 apartments and retail space, while providing a non-profit organization a permanent home on the West Side of Manhattan. The EDC issued a formal solicitation seeking developers for the project on Wednesday. The winning bidder would have to create a 150,000-square-foot space for Covenant House New York, the shelter provider for homeless youth that currently owns property on the site slated for the new construction. The developer would also have to set aside some of the apartments for below-market-rate rents, allow space for a future subway entrance of the 7 train, build a community facility and create a 'pedestrian friendly streetscape,' according to the 64-page solicitation. The entire site, which contains 780,000 square feet of developable rights, is bound by 40th and 41st streets and 10th and Dyer avenues within the new Hudson Yards District." http://politi.co/1TosmQI
MAKEOVER-"Trinity Place complex gets a new look - and a new name," by Post's Lois Weiss: "Plans have been crystallized for the redevelopment of the former Syms complex at 28-42 Trinity Place, which will now be known as 77 Greenwich St. The upcoming 500-foot-tall glass condominium tower will also have a new grammar school at its base, as well as 7,000 square feet of retail. Despite other renderings and rumors that proclaimed the project as a super-tall structure of 1,000 feet, it will be just half that height and much less expensive to build, but still have river and harbor views. ... The former Forest City exec is leading the Trinity team that will now move toward shovels in the ground for the 285,000-square-foot development." http://nyp.st/1QtWreV
THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Seton Hall routed St. John's in men's basketball, 79-60.
-- The day ahead: the Knicks are in Toronto.
COFFEE BREAK -- "Oscar-Winning Documentarian Laura Poitras Is Emerging-Carefully-Into the Spotlight," by Sara Corbett in Vogue: "Poitras is once again in New York ... [and] is putting together her first major art exhibition, which will occupy the top floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art beginning this month. The exhibit includes a number of short films but is primarily a series of immersive installations, designed almost as a walk-through narrative about the world post 9/11. One idea is to project onto the museum's ceiling overhead views from parts of the world where the U.S. drone program is active." http://bit.ly/1nzY55Q
#UpstateAmerica: UFC champ Chris Weidman gets wings at Duff's after a press conference in Buffalo. http://bit.ly/1TooAqL
** A Message from JPMorgan Chase & Co. : According to the National Association of State Directors Career Technical Education, 87% of students in New York who concentrated in career and technical education graduated from high school in 2013, significantly higher than the national average. Learn how a $75 million investment from JPMorgan Chase will help local leaders create high-quality career-focused education and prepare young people for good jobs in the growing economy. Get the full story from University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski and JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. http://bit.ly/1QctunQ **
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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