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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Facts About Herbalife: HILLARY's scorched earth strategy -- City Hall's QUEENS WATERFRONT play -- BLOOMBERG poll

02/25/2016 07:07 AM EDT

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

GOVERNOR AGENDA, DONOR RESOURCES - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo joining a major labor union's push to raise the minimum wage, or is the union putting up as-yet-untold time and effort into a boosting a gubernatorial proposal? And who's paying for it? Consider what happened in a former armory in this city's Midtown neighborhood on Wednesday morning, the latest in a series of rallies that the Democratic governor is headlining as part of an RV tour sponsored by the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice. Over 100 people waved signs and listened to speeches by George Gresham, the president of Service Employees International Union local 1199, and then Cuomo himself. They made the case for increasing the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour. Cameras rolled. The governor urged the crowd to "fight the good fight" for the wage hike, as well as a system of paid family leave. He told reporters after the speeches that he was hopeful legislators would enact his bills on each.

As an elected official, Cuomo often travels around the state to make speeches about issues that are important to him. He was surrounded by government aides, including one who operated the sound system and served as an announcer, all attending in their official capacity, according to an administration spokesman. But the Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice - a registered lobbying group created last year when Cuomo first embraced the $15 minimum wage figure - paid for the RV and rented the space for the event, a spokesman said. The use of outside groups to buttress an official agenda is becoming increasingly common in state politics, and this is the second time during his five years in office that Cuomo has relied on an outside group for support. But the practice comes with questions about how the work of officials and interest groups overlap, and how rules requiring disclosure and prohibiting gifts apply, even as Cuomo himself pushes for greater transparency.

-- The group's backers include the Service Employees International Union, its 1199 and 32BJ affiliates, the Hotel Trades Council, Amalgamated Bank and the Healthcare Education Project, a joint project of 1199 and the Greater New York Hospital Association.

-- Cuomo will appear in a new digital ad campaign supporting the effort that is launching today.

'STUCK PIG' VS. THE WATCHDOG -- "CCRB chairman says police unions are 'squealing like a stuck pig' for calling for his removal" -- Daily News' John Marzulli: "The embattled chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board lashed out Wednesday at police unions, likening their calls for his removal to 'squealing like a stuck pig.' In his first public response to a controversy over his law firm representing a man suing a sergeant and a cop who were investigated by the CCRB, Richard Emery vowed that the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association are 'not going to drive me out.'

-- EMERY: "I'm not going to deprive the public and people who are abused by police officers of having access to excellent lawyers because some union is squealing like a stuck pig."

-- ED MULLINS, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association: "Mr. Emery's reference to police officers as 'pigs' betrays his unshakable contempt for the men and women of the NYPD who have risked their lives to make New York the safest big city in the world."

-- PAT LYNCH, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association: "[S]uch a person should have no role in an agency charged with conducting fair and impartial investigations."

PREPARING FOR 2017 - De Blasio gathers allies, funds - WSJ's Josh Dawsey: "Earlier this month, Mr. de Blasio gathered more than a dozen lobbyists, allies, political consultants and others at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, a Manhattan law firm, to begin raising money for the 2017 mayoral election. Organizers described the meeting as the kickoff for the mayor's campaign finance committee for the 2017 race. ... So far, Mr. de Blasio has held one fundraiser for his re-election campaign and raised about $1 million for his re-election fund, according to city filings.

-- "[Rep. Hakeem] Jeffries didn't rule out running for mayor. 'We'll take a look at what happens in November and see where I can make the best contribution,' he said. 'My strong presumption is to stay in Washington and keep things moving, but after a general election, you assess where you can contribute,' he said. ... [City Comptroller Scott] Stringer declined to comment on his fundraising and has said he had no plans to run for mayor."

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Conor Bambrick of Environmental Advocates of New York, Jill Strauss , a Democratic political consultant and fund-raiser, Rob Bennett, the Creative Communications Director for the mayor, Anna Sanders, City Hall reporter for the Staten Island Advance, Matt Dixon, POLITICO Florida bureau chief, and Andrew MacRae, one of the leaders of Unite For Mike, which tried drafting Michael Bloomberg to run for president, in 2008: [h/t Facebook]

ON THE MOVE: Adam Lisberg, a former Daily News reporter and City & State editor, is stepping down as the spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority next month to take a job with DJI, a drone manufacturer.

TABS -- Daily News: "BLAZ BIG CALLS COP UNION 'PIGS': Embattled NYPD monitor attacks 'squealing' PBA" -- Post: "FACE LIFT! Finally, moods on Facebook" -- El Diario [translated]: Salty! Restaurant chains lose legal battle against the city and will have to alert diners on the levels of salt in their menus -- SEE THEM:

-- amNY: "SHE CAN DO IT! Women entrepreneurs thriving in NYC - and how the city is helping" -- Metro: "SAFER THAN FOOTBALL? A new brain study shows that MMA fighting in the UFC may be less dangerous than playing football in the NFL" -- Newsday: "Feds Accuse L.I. Physician: DOC DELIVERED DEADLY Rx" -- Hamodia: "Judge OK's NYC Plan to Force Chains to Post Salt Warnings"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col., above the fold: "Security 'Arms Race' as Apple Is Said to Harden iPhone Tech" -- WSJNY, 2-col., below the fold: "Mayor Quietly Begins To Build a War Chest"

** A Message from Facts About Herbalife: Like millions of others, Rosa thought that selling Herbalife products could help her achieve the American Dream. Instead, she lost her life savings from a pyramid scheme that preys on minority communities and aspiring entrepreneurs. Watch The American Dream Denied: Herbalife Victims Speak Out: **

COLORFUL CARBS -- Rainbow bagels -- WSJ's Charles Passey: "Is the Rainbow Bagel the new Cronut, complete with copycats? The multicolored baked goods, pioneered by the Bagel Store in Brooklyn, have gone viral, thanks to a flood of social media and word-of-mouth. The exposure was so much that the store temporarily closed its doors in Williamsburg, saying it couldn't keep pace with the unprecedented demand.

"The shop reopened Wednesday and plans to produce as many as 1,000 Rainbow Bagels a day. But there are already other bagel-makers making inroads. In Brooklyn's Boerum Hill, Smith Street Bagels began offering multicolored bagels last weekend and said it is selling out of the 150 it makes each day. Store manager Bob Killen said that when he hears 'about something that's good,' he tries creating his own version."

-- "The Bagel Store's Scot Rossillo has said he has made rainbow bagels for nearly 20 years . ... Brothers Bagels, a store in Cobble Hill, said it has offered its version of the psychedelic bagel since it opened 3½ years ago. But until the past few weeks, sales were mostly limited to a handful of neighborhood children. ... Can all these multicolored-bagel-makers call the product a Rainbow Bagel, given that Mr. Rossillo has trademarked the name? Francine LaBarbara, a spokeswoman for the Bagel Shop and Mr. Rossillo, said, 'Of course, you're going to try to protect your creation, but there are always going to be copycats.'"

SALT RULES -- POLITICO New York's Dan Goldberg: The city's Board of Health notched an important victory Wednesday as a Manhattan judge upheld a first-of-its-kind mandate requiring sodium labels and warnings for certain menu items at chain restaurants. "Information is power," said Supreme Court justice Eileen Rakower, rejecting the National Restaurant Association's argument that the required warnings amounted to a burden on either consumers or franchise owners. She said the warning, which consumers can ignore if they choose, does not exceed the Board of Health's regulatory authority - a critical decision for a health department that believes it has a responsibility to make it easier for New Yorkers, particularly minorities and low-income New Yorkers, to make better health choices. Regulation isn't the only tool to achieve that end, but it is one of the more important ones. An adverse ruling in the sodium case had the potential to limit severely the Board of Health's role.

-- The case, however, was not about the merits of the health policy. It hinged on whether the Board's mandate, which will begin being enforced on March 1, constituted a warning, which is generally allowed by the courts, or policy-making, a role generally reserved for the legislative body. Rakower, ruling from the bench after a little more than an hour of oral arguments, showed no equivocation. "Information promotes autonomy," she said. "It is a warning."

KALOYEROS OUT ON SUNY POLY REAL ESTATE BOARDS - Albany Business Review's Marie French: "Alain Kaloyeros is no longer a board member of the two nonprofits supporting the activities of the university he leads. Kaloyeros is the founding president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany. Until January, he was a director at both Fuller Road Management Corp. and Fort Schuyler Management Corp., according to Fuller Road president and Fort Schuyler chairman Walter G. 'Jerry' Barber. When the State University of New York's board of trustees approved SUNY Poly's independence in 2014, the SUNY Polytechnic Foundation replaced the University at Albany Foundation as one of the member organizations of Fuller Road and Fort Schuyler, spokesman Jerry Gretzinger said in an email. Those member organizations appoint board members to Fuller Road and Fort Schuyler."

ALBANY RESIDENTS SEEK TO APPEAL HIGH SCHOOL VOTE - Times Union's Bethany Bump: "More than two dozen Albany residents filed an appeal Wednesday with the state Education Department seeking to throw out the results of a controversial Feb. 9 vote to rebuild Albany High School. The project passed by 189 votes, but the outcome was marred by widespread reports of crowding, confusion and delays at the polls. The chief cause was a shortage of ballots. The city school district, which was in charge of the referendum, ordered about 5,300 ballots ahead of the vote, but the turnout was nearly 7,800. Nearly half of the 15 polling places in the district ran out of ballots by midday, causing long lines and voting delays while officials raced to print more ballots. In a petition filed Wednesday, 27 district residents asked the state education commissioner to throw out the results and order the county Board of Elections to conduct a new election. Residents cited problems ranging from insufficient paper ballots and absentee voters who never received ballots to privacy rights violations and 'illegally crowded' polling places."

HILLARYWATCH - THE SCORCHED EARTH STRATEGY - 2016 won't be like 2008 - BuzzFeed's Ben Smith: "'This is headed to a more contrastive kind of election,' said David Axelrod, the architect of Obama's 2008 campaign. 'People want to know you're going to lead with a positive vision, but within the context of that, you can set up a contrast. Every campaign has to do that, she may have to do it more intensely.'

-- "This is, to be fair to Clinton, the way of this century's American politics - and Obama's ability to run a campaign in 2008 that was focused as much on his own promise as on destroying his rival was the exception, not the rule. 2012 was a death march. 2004 was a horror show. This election is another entry in that pattern, another suggestion that it's not going to get much better. 'No matter who the nominee is this election will feel more like '04 and '12 than '08,' said Dan Pfeiffer, Obama's former communications director."

MILESTONE -- "Beijing overtakes NYC as 'Billionaire Capital of the World,'" by AP's Gerry Shih: "The Chinese capital has overtaken the Big Apple as home to the most billionaires - 100 to 95 - according to Hurun, a Shanghai firm that publishes a monthly magazine and releases yearly rankings ... Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of Hurun, attributed China's explosive wealth creation to Chinese market regulators allowing a flood of new [IPOs] after holding back new IPOs for several years."

THE MARKET FOR BLOOMBERG -- "AP-GfK Poll: Big headwinds if ex-NYC mayor seeks White House," by AP's Jonathan Lemire and Emily Swanson: "Just 7 percent of registered voters say they definitely would vote for him, while 29 percent say they'd consider it ... Six in 10 Democrats and Republicans alike say they would not consider voting for Bloomberg in a general election ... The total saying they wouldn't vote for him is the highest level for any candidate in the field."

--@CGasparino: "interesting campaign gossip: @MikeBloomberg supporters say he is open to running as @HillaryClinton s no 2 ...stranger things have happened".

--@felixsalmon : "A Clinton-Bloomberg ticket would make a lot of sense for both of them, and all but guarantee the election."

--@ryanlcooper: "#ClintonBloomberg: Plutocracy Now"

GREENFIELD'S ROLE ON COUNCIL ROCKY, BUT AFFIRMED - POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: For a short period of time Wednesday night, it appeared as though Councilman David Greenfield, one of the City Council's most powerful members, had been removed from both his deputy leader title and his spot on the Budget Negotiating Team.

Even though that perception was soon rejected by the council, there is tension surrounding Greenfield's role, with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito going as far as to recently disinvite him from a bi-monthly leadership meeting.

A story published by City & State just before 5 p.m. reported that Greenfield, the chair of the Council's influential Land Use Committee and one of the more outspoken Democrats in the council, had been removed from the posts. The story went on to suggest the move was a possible retaliation from Mark-Viverito, who has been angry with Greenfield over his public opposition to a now-vanquished bill related to horse carriages in the city.

-- Within an hour of the story being published, Eric Koch, a spokesman for the speaker, sent a statement to reporters denying the report. "This story is incorrect. Council Member Greenfield is a valued member of both leadership and BNT. The Speaker appreciates diversity in opinion on her leadership team," Koch said in the statement. ... According to the members, during that Tuesday meeting, Mark-Viverito said Greenfield had been "disinvited" from the discussion, but never specifically talked about completely removing him.

-- Greenfield is set to play a key role as the council considers Mayor Bill de Blasio's rezoning plan to build more affordable housing in the city. Removing him from the post would have set up a negative narrative for the council, which is in the process of vetting and possibly changing parts of the mayor's housing proposal.

AMBU-LESS -- "City Loses Ten Percent of Its Ambulance Tours in One Day" -- WNYC's Brigid Bergin: "One of the city's largest private ambulance companies ceased operations Wednesday night after filing for bankruptcy. It comes at the same time the city is struggling to reduce ambulance response times. TransCare operated 27 ambulances in the Bronx and Manhattan for seven hospitals and employed 200 EMT's and paramedics. It also responded to 911 calls. The shutdown means a loss of 81 ambulance tours, or ten percent of shifts citywide, with a greater impact in the affected boroughs. ... 'The city has full faith in FDNY's ability to provide uninterrupted EMS services throughout our five boroughs and will work closely with the department as they continue to implement their long-term strategy for enhancing EMS service delivery,' said mayoral spokeswoman Monica Klein.

"Over the last year, the city has beefed up its investment in EMS, adding 45 new ambulance tours last year and nearly 20 more proposed for this year. But the sudden loss of Transcare means the city now has fewer tours than it did before those new investments. ... Fire and Criminal Justice Chair Elizabeth Crowley ... said she was 'surprised' when she learned about the TransCare shutdown."

BROWNSVILLE GANG RAPE CASE FALLS APART -- Victim refuses to cooperate -- Times' Al Baker: "Prosecutors in Brooklyn plan on moving to dismiss first-degree rape charges against all five teenagers accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman on a playground in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in January, officials said on Wednesday. ... The woman gave several conflicting accounts ... The father admitted that the assailants had not had a gun, as he had initially told the police. And in recent days, the woman has told prosecutors that she was unwilling to testify or otherwise cooperate further with the investigation ... the woman and her father ultimately admitted they were having sexual relations in the park before the encounter with the five teenagers, the officials said."

-- BROOKLYN D.A. KEN THOMPSON: "That night, this young woman's father and the five young men engaged in conduct that was reprehensible and wrong, but because of the lack of reliable evidence, criminal charges simply cannot be sustained." Via POLITICO New York's Colby Hamilton:

-- "In an interview on Feb. 18, the woman told investigators she 'doesn't do court,' the law-enforcement official said." -- WSJ's Rebecca O'Brien and Pervais Shallwani:

REAL ESTATE -- OFFICE SPACE-"City to develop Long Island City land 'a stone's throw' from Cornell Tech," by POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: "In an effort to spark development along the Queens waterfront, New York City is looking for a developers to build up to 1.2 million square feet of offices, manufacturing space and apartments in Long Island City. On Thursday morning, the de Blasio administration's economic development arm will put out to bid two city-owned sites across the inlet from Gantry Plaza State Park. It's the first time the city has sought to develop commercial space on the Long Island City waterfront since 2001. ... The goal is to deliver 300,000 square feet of office or light manufacturing space, up to 1,000 apartments, many of them affordable, a school and a small park. Just up the river from Hunters Point South, the sites, as the request for proposal notes, are 'just a stone's throw from the new Cornell Tech campus rising at Roosevelt Island.' They are also proximate to midtown Manhattan and Long Island City's fledgling office sector."

-"New York Developers March on Washington, D.C. With Open Wallets," by Commercial Observer's Danielle Balbi and Terence Cullen: "Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump aren't the only New Yorkers trying to make it big in the nation's capital. A tad more than 200 miles to the south of the Big Apple, Washington, D.C., has become a second home for New York real estate tycoons when it comes to investment. It's not just the travel convenience (but a short train ride away is a perk). The demand for office and residential space is ticking up as the new generation of lawyers, lobbyists and government aides go for urbanization over the suburbs. Some of New York's savviest investors are getting comfortable with that."

-"City Planning passes rezoning, sends it to skeptical City Council," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to rezone the East New York section of Brooklyn, which he believes is an investment in a blighted neighborhood that ensures housing for low-income residents, passed the City Planning Commission on Wednesday morning. The commission voted 12-1 to send the rezoning plan to the City Council, where it will face a tougher political climb. Both members who represent the area slated for the rezoning have expressed concerns about the plan and are likely to demand changes before signaling support to the rest of the 51-member legislative body, which typically defers to local members."

#UpstateAmerica: Brooks' House of Bar-B-Q in Oneonta won an award from the James Beard Foundation.

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Pacers 108, Knicks 105: The Knicks made 13 threes, but Carmelo Anthony scores just 14 points, and missed a three that would have sent the game into overtime.

-- The day ahead: the Rangers are in St. Louis. The Nets are in Phoenix. The Islanders are in Calgary. St. John's men's basketball heads to DePaul.

** A Message from Facts About Herbalife: Like millions of others, Rosa thought that selling Herbalife products could help her achieve the American Dream and support her family. Instead, she lost her life savings - and nearly her daughter - from a pyramid scheme that preys on minority communities and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Learn about Herbalife's deceptive business practices at The American Dream Denied: Herbalife Victims Speak Out: **

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