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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by The Business Council of New York State: COLUMBIA considers ERIC HOLDER institute -- STATE shells out to DC firm for Buffalo probe -- MMA on track in Albany

03/16/2016 07:00 AM EDT

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

EXCLUSIVE -- "Eric Holder, Columbia U discussing civil rights institute named for him," by Politico New York's Conor Skelding: "Columbia University will not host the Obama Presidential Library, but may receive a sort of consolation prize: an institute named for President Obama's ex-attorney general, Eric Holder. Holder and the university are discussing establishing a civil rights institute named for him ... Holder graduated from Columbia College in 1973 and Columbia Law School in 1976."

THE PRICE OF BHARARA'S PROBE - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: The Empire State Development corporation is paying nearly $800 an hour to a Washington-based law firm as federal prosecutors probe the Buffalo Billion, one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature economic development initiatives. The authority, which distributes tax credits and subsidies to businesses, was subpoenaed last July by investigators working for Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to an internal memo considered that month by ESD's board. The memo was obtained Tuesday by POLITICO New York after the authority posted it on its website in place of materials for a meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation. The subpoena sought "documents relating to projects and activities" arising from an unnamed funding stream that sources and several published reports have identified as the Buffalo Billion.

ASSEMBLY WILL VOTE ON MMA - New York Daily News' Kenneth Lovett: "New York is on the cusp of becoming the last state in the country to legalize the popular, but controversial sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a private meeting with his Democratic members said that he plans next week to allow the measure to come to the chamber floor for a vote for the first time, sources said Tuesday. Heastie told his conference there are now 80 Democrats supporting the bill, four more than is needed for a measure to pass, sources said.The Assembly has been the persistent roadblock to passage in recent years. Some Assembly Dems say the sport is barbaric, anti-woman, and homophobic, something supporters vehemently deny. The Senate has passed a bill to legalize MMA seven times in the last six years."

DOLAN'S DAY IN ALBANY - POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey: An education investment tax credit is not a priority for Democrats in the state Assembly, a point made abundantly clear by the lack of meetings set up with Cardinal Timothy Dolan during his visit to the state Capitol on Tuesday. The Roman Catholic archbishop of New York and his band of about 15 bishops made quite a visual going from appointment to appointment with legislative leaders in the hope of including the Catholic Church's agenda in the 2016 budget discussions. But none of those appointments was with Democratic leaders in the Assembly. The group expected to meet with Assembly Speaker Heastie, but the meeting was cancelled, according to Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

"We're used to talking with everybody," DiMarzio said. "We don't have to agree but at least we had the courtesy of speaking directly and this is an unfortunate situation. He obviously seems to be against the tax credit and he doesn't feel he can do it, so he's not speaking to us, which is a disappointment." Dolan was more-terse than DiMarzio in addressing the non-meeting with Heastie. "They didn't give us a reason," he said. Heastie's spokesman Michael Whyland said a meeting was never set up, adding that Heastie met with Dolan earlier this year. Dolan was in the Capitol for the first day of the 2016 legislative session, at which time he met with legislative leaders.

PANEPINTO'S DEPARTURE PROMPTS QUESTIONS - Buffalo News' Robert McCarthy: "It could be that attorney Marc C. Panepinto simply can't afford to choose between his successful law practice and the $79,500 base salary he earns as a state senator from Buffalo. And it could be that the rookie Democrat is putting his family and law firm's interests first, just as he said Tuesday in announcing he will not run for a second term in November. Or the reasons could run deeper, as questions now rise about the weekend resignation of his chief of staff and as the Erie County district attorney fields inquiries about an alleged underage student party at his Buffalo home. Now, today's reality includes major questions about future representation of the 60th Senate District as Republicans and Democrats scramble for a seat that could determine control of the State Senate.

"Panepinto appeared visibly shaken Tuesday as he appeared before a phalanx of reporters and cameras in the stately library of his Dolce Panepinto law firm, headquartered in a Delaware Avenue mansion, to announce his departure from the race. 'It's the best decision for my family, my law partners and the party,' Panepinto said. When asked if he was under an investigation, Panepinto said 'no.' Soon after, following only four questions, a staffer quickly cut off questioning at the brief news conference. The senator, his three daughters, and his wife - State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto - then quickly retreated to the mansion's inner recesses. But Panepinto still must answer several questions, such as why Danny Corum - his chief of staff - resigned over the weekend and was replaced by deputy Chris Savage."

CITY HALL MOVES: Aja Worthy-Davis, formerly of the NYCHA press office, is taking over Ishanee Parikh's role in City Hall communications office as a deputy press secretary.

** A message from The Business Council of New York State: One obscure law is holding New York back from economic opportunity and job creation. A law called Non-CPA Ownership is placing undue restrictions on who can take partner-level positions at auditing firms, and it's costing New Yorkers over 1,000 jobs and more than $6.5 million in state revenue. Learn more: **

PLAN AHEAD: Somos El Futuro released the schedule for its spring conference this weekend in Albany.

NY-13 -- DEBATE TOMORROW, about small businesses and public safety, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Centro Cultural Deportivo Dominicano de New York 2088 Amsterdam Avenue (at West 163rd Street), in Manhattan.

TWEET OF THE DAY: @NYStateWatch: "Assemblywoman Jane Corwin went to reprimand Assemblyman @JamesTedisco following his remarks on floor and he shouted 'Get away from me.'"

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The bird looks like a seagull, the mountain looks like a garbage pile." -- Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo , on the borough's old flag, via S.I.Advance's Anna Sanders. SEE NEW FLAG:

TABS -- Post: "GATOR RAID! Trump storms Florida, forcing Rubio to quit; Katich takes Ohio; Big winner Hillary looking unstoppable" -- Daily News: "Christie doubles down on dead-cop diss: EFF TROOPER: 'Even if I had been in N.J., I wasn't going to his funeral anyway" -- El Diario, with pic of de Blasio [translated]: Done deal -- SEE THEM:

--- Hamodia: "NY Lawmakers' Priorities: Public Schools, Paid Leave, Tax Cut" -- amNY: "HOW FIT ARE WE?" -- Metro: "HOUSE HUNTING SEASON" -- Newsday: "Clinton builds her lead"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 6-col., above the fold: "CLINTON AND TRUMP PILE UP THE DELEGATES" -- WSJNY, 4-col., above the fold: "Mayor Cements Union Tie"


--"Hillary slams the door on Bernie," by Annie Karni:

-- 5 takeaways from Glenn Thrush:

-- "GOP establishment on the ropes," by Eli Stokols and Shane Goldmacher:

MEDIA MORNING -- "New New York Times guidelines aim to temper use of anonymous sources," by Politico's Joe Pompeo: "The new rules mandate that story leads based on anonymous sourcing must be submitted to one of the paper's top three editors for advance approval. Additionally, 'Every other use of anonymous sourcing anywhere in any story must be personally approved in advance by the department head or deputy,' executive editor Dean Baquet and two of his lieutenants wrote in a memo to staff on Tuesday. ... The full memo ... was forwarded to POLITICO by an anonymous source [!]."

DAILY DONALD -- " Measuring Donald Trump's Mammoth Advantage in Free Media," by Times' Nick Confessore and Karen Yourish: According to media tracking firm mediaQuant, "Mr. Trump earned $400 million worth of free media last month, about what John McCain spent on his entire 2008 presidential campaign. ... Over the course of the campaign, he has earned close to $2 billion worth of media attention, about twice the all-in price of the most expensive presidential campaigns in history. It is also twice the estimated $746 million that Hillary Clinton, the next best at earning media, took in."

DE BLASIO IN DC -- De Blasio testifies against proposed cuts in anti-terror grant funding -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Mayor Bill de Blasio testified Tuesday before a House Homeland Security subcommittee against a proposed $260 million cut to anti-terrorism grant funding, arguing the cuts would have a significant impact on New York City's ability to prepare for a terror attacks. Earlier this year, the Obama administration proposed slashing funding from the Urban Area Securities Initiative, which provides grants to cities and nonprofits to pay for anti-terror efforts. Under the proposal, New York City's annual allocation would be cut in half, from $180 million to $90 million.

De Blasio, a Democrat who testified at the invitation of Rep. Daniel Donovan, a Staten Island Republican who chairs the subcommittee, argued the funding issue was one that transcended political partisanship. "Let's put aside philosophical differences for a moment," de Blasio said, arguing that politicians of both parties should agree that "security should come first." Without the additional funding, the mayor said, NYPD officers would lose money to pay for initiatives like active shooter training. "If you're going to fight terror, you don't do it by resting on your laurels," de Blasio said, adding that the federal anti-terrorism grant funding goes to support new training and equipment for officers.

-- Observer's Jillian Jorgensen: "[W]hile Mr. Donovan ripped into Mr. Obama, Mr. de Blasio really didn't. ... While he didn't make Mr. Obama a target, Mr. de Blasio nonetheless vowed to press for the restoration of the funding."

DE BLASIO'S UFT ALLIANCE -- WSJ's Josh Dawsey: "Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg once likened an endorsement from the New York City teachers union to a "kiss of death."

Mayor Bill de Blasio, by contrast, has embraced the United Federation of Teachers and its president, Michael Mulgrew, meeting more with him over the past two years than with any other registered lobbyist, city records show. The men usually chat weekly and sometimes daily. The mayor has become a regular at union parties, lunches and other events..."We went through 21 years of war. The minute Bloomberg left, the governor went to war with us," said Mr. Mulgrew, alluding to conflict with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over whether teacher ratings should be tied to test scores. 'This is basically the first time we haven't been at war.'"

HEALTH ACCESS -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: City officials will begin community outreach this week to register uninsured New Yorkers in a new health care access program administered by the city.

The initiative, previously announced under the name "Direct Access" and now being renamed "ActionHealthNYC," will offer services based at NYC Health + Hospitals in Elmhurst and at the Gouverneur Health Medical Center in Manhattan and other community health centers starting in July. The program was initially announced as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to improve health care access for the city's immigrant population. ActionHealthNYC will offer low or no-cost health care to immigrant New Yorkers who currently do not qualify for traditional health insurance plans or coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The enrollment period will begin on May 2nd and the outreach will be carried out by different community based organizations in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods, including Chinatown, Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Lower East Side and Sunset Park.

ST. PATS, SANS SUDS -- amNY's Alison Fox: "Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains and platforms will be an alcohol-free zone on Thursday 'in an effort to maintain orderly travel for customers,' the [MTA] announced.The ban will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday. And any booze - open or closed - found by MTA police on trains, platforms, or in stations will be confiscated.The agency will also close all bar carts at Grand Central and Penn Station for the day."

PEDICABS FILE SUIT AGAINST CITY - REUTERS: "Pedicab operators on Tuesday filed a lawsuit accusing New York City of harassing them with excessive ticketing, in an effort to drive them out of business. Six weeks ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio abandoned a plan to restrict where pedicabs could go in Central Park as part of a program to curb the number of horse-drawn carriages. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by Capitol Pedicabs LLC, which said it owns licenses for 30 pedicabs, and Bourama Camera, who said he stopped driving pedicabs after eight years because it had become "impossible" to earn a living.They said the city has subjected pedicab drivers to a "targeted ticketing campaign" that started in 2011, when its Department of Consumer Affairs began adding inspectors to issue more tickets and help curb budget shortfalls. The complaint said New York City has since violated the U.S. Constitution by harassing drivers with "suspicionless" stops and seizures, and caused licenses to become "essentially worthless" because excess fines could lead to license suspensions."

BLOOMBERG'S MAIL - Daily News's Reuven Blau: " Michael Bloomberg said goodbye to City Hall in December of 2013, but more than two years after the former mayor left public life, his work-related emails remain private.

"Not a single email sent by Bloomberg during his tenure has been made available for public inspection, the Daily News has learned. The only electronic correspondence that has been cleared and processed for review at the Municipal Archive in Lower Manhattan comes from a handful of Bloomy's top staffers, and only over the first seven months of his 12 years in office. "It would be a huge problem for historians trying to write a history of the Bloomberg era - and it is an era in which he as mayor did so much to shape the future city," said author Robert Caro, who relied heavily on such correspondence in crafting his widely read bios of President Lyndon Johnson and New York City planner Robert Moses."

SHARPTON ON RIKERS -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: After visiting the jail Tuesday, the Reverend Al Sharpton is continuing a push to hold a town hall meeting with inmates on Rikers Island. But he isn't coming down on one side of the debate over whether to close the island jail. Sharpton's visit to Rikers follows a town hall meeting focused on Rikers hosted by the National Action Network last month after City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced a proposal to possibly close the troubled jail. As part of her State of the City Speech, Mark-Viverito announced former chief judge Jonathan Lippman would chair an independent commission to study the possibility of closing Rikers and adopting a community-focused justice model instead. After meeting with inmates at Rikers Tuesday, Sharpton said his position on the possibility of closing the jail has not changed. "Our thoughts are that you can't move a problem. To move it without solving the problem is ignoring the problem," Sharpton told POLITICO New York.

POLICE VS DE BLASIO -- poll shows Nearly every NYPD cop hates Mayor de Blasio -- Post's Tina Moore: " The vast majority of NYPD cops hate Mayor de Blasio, according to a police-union survey. An overwhelming 96 percent of the 6,000 cops who responded to the poll have unfavorable opinions of Hizzoner, with 88 percent holding "very unfavorable" opinions of him, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association survey found. As for specific complaints against the mayor, 97 percent said de Blasio has created an environment where criminals feel emboldened, while 95 percent said he has established an environment that is combative to police. When asked what they liked "most" about de Blasio, 66 percent responded, "nothing." Eighty five percent of cops gave City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito an unfavorable rating, and 96 percent are dissatisfied with the City Council in general."

REAL ESTATE -- THROUGH THE ROOF- New York City's construction boom comes at a cost: prices rose at twice the national rate last year, according to an analysis released from the New York Building Congress. It was the third year in a row that the organization estimates costs increased by about 5 percent, while national costs increased between 2.5 and 3 percent a year. Despite the rise in prices-which the report attributed to high demand for services-it still didn't meet the 12-percent spike in 2006 in the city. Organization president Richard Anderson said the study is "cause for concern, especially when you also consider the rising cost of land in the five boroughs." Nevertheless, he said, the cost of materials like fuel oil, steel and lumber stayed relatively flat last year. Read the report here:

TALL ORDER-"At Dizzying Heights, Prices of Luxury Apartments May Have Found Ceiling," by Times' Charles V. Bagli: "It's a question of supply and demand. On a seven-block stretch of 57th Street and nearby, there are at least 300 apartments in seven buildings priced at a billionaire-friendly $5,000 a square foot either for sale or scheduled to go on the market in the next 24 months. But despite a record $100 million sale of a penthouse last year, the volume of sales at that level topped out two years ago, at 55 transactions. In 2015, there were just 47 sales, according to CityRealty, a real estate data and listings website. And with China's economy markedly slowed and prices for oil and other commodities falling, brokers and developers think the number could be even lower this year. That imbalance is one of a growing number of signs that New York may be facing a luxury glut."

-"The 25 Most Expensive New York City Homes For Sale," by Curbed's Zoe Rosenberg: "It's time to revisit the 25 most expensive residential properties for sale in New York. Despite word that prices in the city may be leveling out, there's no indication of that in the uppermost echelon of real estate, where a three-townhouse combo asks $120 million, and properties are being sold alongside perks like not one, but two free Rolls Royce Phantoms, special temperature-controlled vaults for storing furs, and walls covered in Hermès leather. ... The lower end of the list this year falls right in between 2014 ($44 million) and 2015 ($55 million), but one thing remains the same: the properties are all in Manhattan, and they're all very expensive."

NEW DEAL-"After initial opposition, City Hall to consider new tenant protection policy," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "The de Blasio administration testified several weeks ago about problems with a City Council bill to require all landlords to receive a certificate indicating they have not harassed their tenants before getting permission to demolish or alter a building. At the time, a city housing official described the legislation as an 'overly broad, poorly targeted, after-the-fact approach to preventing harassment.' But during negotiations with the Council in recent weeks over the mayor's housing plan, the administration decided to support the idea and said it will soon begin studying how to implement it."

PUERTO RICO BANKRUPT -- Alongside Broadway star, lawmakers pitch relief for Puerto Rico in D.C. -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: New York lawmakers used Lin Manuel Miranda's star power in Washington on Tuesday to once again make the case for allowing Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy. Miranda, creator and star of the Broadway hit Hamilton and whose parents hail from the small town of Vega Alta in Puerto Rico, said he wanted to put a human face to the struggles currently being felt by those on the island where he spent summers as a kid. "We face a financial crisis that triples anything we are experiencing here in the United States. It's a solvable, fixable crisis and what we really need is help from Congress," Miranda said. "This is not a partisan issue, not a Republican issue not a Democrat issue what we need is the ability to restructure and get Puerto Rico out of the hole its in." Last summer, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced his government would not be able to pay back $73 billion owed to bondholders and creditors.

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Nets 131, Sixers 114: The Nets finally figured out the Sixers, a small but persistent mystery to the Nets this year for some reason, as Bojan Bogdanovic scored 44 points to lead five Nets in double figures.

-- The Mets placed Ruben Tejada on waivers, likely bringing the tenure of the frequent target of his own front office and later Chase Utley to an end.

-- The Knicks are suffering, again, from poor planning and a hazy timeline. My story for the magazine:

-- The day ahead: thanks to the magic of greatly expanded number of postseasons tournaments, both Fordham and- get this- Columbia host games tonight. Hofstra is in the most prestigious also-ran tournament, the NIT, and heads to George Washington. And the Knicks are off to Golden State, where no team has won all season.

#UpstateAmerica: Seven decades after they fell onto a field in France, a family from suburban Buffalo now has custody of a slew of military medals.

** A message from The Business Council of New York State: You've probably never heard of Non-CPA Ownership - but you should know that it's costing New York an estimated $6.5 million in state revenue and over 1,000 jobs. New York is one of the only states in the country that restricts appraisers, actuaries, IT specialists, tax pros, and other financial sector professionals from taking partner-level positions at accounting firms.

The ability to fully integrate non-CPA experts into the culture of a firm by offering them partner-level positions is in the public interest. The average accounting firm partner salary is over $450,000 - that's nearly $6.5 million in tax revenue New York is leaving on the table. Even worse, competitor states like CT and NJ have already passed favorable non-CPA ownership rules. New York is being left behind. Learn more at **

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