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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: New light on PHILIP BANKS' NYPD exit -- CLINTON-SANDERS, by New York region -- DE BLASIO blames staff for water tunnel coverage

04/07/2016 07:35 AM EDT

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

FBI PROBES NYPD -- NYPD chief quit amid FBI's probe into 'inordinate amount of cash' -- Post's Jamie Schram: "He was once a rising star in the NYPD - and a finalist to be Mayor de Blasio's police commissioner. But Chief of Department Philip Banks stunned city leaders when he resigned in late 2014, rather than take a promotion to the No. 2 spot in the department. Now, The Post can reveal that Banks was the target of an ongoing federal corruption probe when he walked away from his job as one of the most powerful men on the force. Investigators found 'hundreds of thousands' of dollars in his bank accounts that raised red flags, sources said on Wednesday. 'He did bow out in kind of a strange manner,' said a source involved with the investigation. The feds discovered the money while looking into his close relationship with two businessmen being probed for giving gifts to high-ranking NYPD members in exchange for favors. When Banks stepped down in October 2014, he claimed that he was unhappy with his promotion to first deputy commissioner - a role that he felt was purely administrative."

--"Top cop probed by FBI tells friends: 'I'm f-d,'" by Post's Shawn Cohen: "Deputy NYPD Inspector James Grant was at his Staten Island home when he was handed hundreds of dollars by Jeremy Reichberg, a prominent figure in Borough Park, around Christmas ... Grant soon became aware that the feds had opened a probe into the NYPD, and he told close friends, 'I'm f-ked. I can't go to jail,' a source said."

HILLARYLAND -- Glen Caplin, the former communications director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is taking a two-week sabbatical from his current job at Global Strategy Group to serve as a media adviser to Hillary Clinton's primary campaign. -- Reid Pillifant

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing 61 percent of the state's carbon-free electricity, New York's nuclear energy plants are a necessary and valuable part of the state's energy mix, and deserve the support of state lawmakers for their role in providing New York with reliable electricity while protecting the environment. Learn more: **


As the Democratic presidential hopefuls turn their attention to New York, the campaigns of both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton say they're looking to the 2014 campaign of Zephyr Teachout, who performed surprisingly well in a primary against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as a model that Sanders might follow to exceed expectations in the state Clinton represented in the Senate for eight years. That model, however, is unlikely to translate to this year's race.

Here's a look at what to expect in each region of the state, including looks at the importance of fracking in the Southern Tier, public employee unions in the Capital Region, the Clintons' visits to Buffalo, and the role of minority voters in New York City.

TABS -- Post: "NYPD CORRUPTION SCANDAL: CASH IN THE BANKS: Chief quit amid shady-$$ probe" -- Daily News: "Honey, how do we get out of the Bronx? TAKE THE FU TRAIN TED!" -- Newsady: "TRUMP'S LI PITCH: Thousands cheer GOP front-runner at Bethpage rally" -- SEE THEM:

-- Hamodia: "New York - Finally in Play" -- amNY: "THE BIG WAIT: You're spending a longer time on the subway platform, state report says" -- Metro: "Next Train Arriving In ... DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH: A new report shows subway riders in New York City are waiting longer for trains and the MTA is using 'questionable math' in its wait assessments" -- El Diario [translated]: Wrongful convictions

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col., above the fold: "NEW YORK POSES FRESH TEST FOR CLINTON BID; ECHOES OF SENATE RACE; Primary Could Hinge on Appeal for Reviving Upstate Economy" -- WSJNY, 2-col., below the fold: "De Blasio: Probes Don't Reflect Ability to Lead" -- SEE THEM:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Be a man." -- Karen Hinton, de Blasio's press secretary, to Ted Cruz, via Observer's Ross Barkan:

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[I]n the hottest Democratic presidential primary in years here, this is proving to be a little awkward." -- Geroge Arzt, Democratic consultant and lobbyist, on de Blasio's relationship with Hillary Clinton, via NYT's William Neuman:

EXTRA BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This is the time to get to your know your candidates" -- Alice Cancel, Democratic candidate in 65th Assembly District, before leaving last night's debate about an hour before it concluded, via Azi.

TWEET OF THE DAY: "GMU is changing the Antonin Scalia School of Law (ASSoL) to the Antonin Scalia Law School. Good move, ASLS chaps. " via @saletan:

BIRTHDAYS: Politico's Daniel Lippman is 26 ... Radio host Bill O'Shaughnessy ... City and State NY Publisher Andrew Holt ... Tony Zeng, JPM Tech and #BigOrange alum, celebrates 25 in NYC (h/ts Sophia Kim)

NO MILLIONAIRE'S TAX THIS YEAR - Time Warner Cable's Nick Reisman: "After state lawmakers and Cuomo cut taxes that amount to more than $4 billion spread out over several years for a broadly defined bracket of middle class taxpayers, hiking taxes on the rich appears to have little support beyond Assembly Democrats. For now. Both Cuomo and the top Republican lawmaker on the Senate's budget making committee on Wednesday said the tax cut for joint filers earning less than $300,000 a year will be the only tax action they plan to take. The caveat from both Cuomo and Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Cathy Young is they won't take any action 'this year.' 'I cannot see that we'd be supportive of any tax hikes of any form this year,' Young said. "We're really focused on tax relief. we really are. And job growth.'"

DE BLASIO ADDS MONEY FOR WATER TUNNEL -- Times' Jim Dwyer: "Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that he was going to add $305 million to New York City's capital budget to speed up work on Water Tunnel No. 3 so that it would be able to serve Brooklyn and Queens. The mayor's announcement came just hours after The New York Times reported that his administration last year had removed all money to pay for the tunnel and had also replaced the announced 2021 deadline for completion with a commissioner's "guess" that it would be ready for service sometime in the mid-2020s.Those actions and statements, the mayor said, had been misunderstood as postponing the work . 'There are times when my team does not do a good job of explaining something,' he said. The simplest part of the mayor's day may have been finding money to pay for the tunnel, not an especially difficult task in a budget swollen with revenues from a booming city economy.

"Far more awkward was the struggle by him and his aides to argue that they had never flagged in their support for the tunnel project, and to avoid an unflattering comparison to Mr. de Blasio's predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, who drove progress on the construction after work on the tunnel had moved sluggishly for decades."

-- De Blasio blames his staff: "What his team did wrong, as per de Blasio, was fail to make clear that contrary to his environmental protection commissioner Emily Lloyd's explicit testimony last May that the project had been deprioritized, the de Blasio administration isn't deprioritizing it." - POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein:

BACK AT IT -- De Blasio met with horse carriage opponents after deal fell apart -- POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: Mayor Bill de Blasio is not giving up on his push to ban horse carriages. On Feb. 22, 18 days after his compromise bill on the thorny issue fell apart, de Blasio had a meeting with two people who are driving the proposal. Steve Nislick and Wendy Neu, who fund the animal-rights organization that's pushing for the ban, met with the mayor - the fourth face-to-face they have had with him since he took office, according to his self-disclosed list of meetings with lobbyists. A spokesman for the mayor declined to share details of the meeting. "The mayor remains fully committed to seeing horse carriages removed from our city's streets," the spokesman, Austin Finan said. Earlier in February, the issue that has dogged de Blasio for more than two years collapsed around him in dramatic fashion.

SCHNEIDERMAN ON TRUMP UNIVERSITY CASE - POLITICO New York's Colby Hamilton: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said during a radio interview Wednesday that his fraud lawsuit against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not politically motivated, as it was filed in 2013, long before Trump announced his candidacy. "If I'd come on your show in 2013 and said Donald Trump is going to be the frontrunner for the nomination, I would have lost a lot of credibility," Schneiderman, a Democrat, told WCNY radio host Susan Arbetter. "We had no idea. This is not a political case." The suit brought by Schneiderman's office has slowly been playing out in state court. The AG's office accuses Trump of fraudulently promoting his Trump University to students as the chance to learn Trump's personal real estate secrets from hand-picked, expert professors. Schneiderman's office contends none of what was promised occurred.


-- Soundbyte: "[W]eb analytics tools have made it painfully clear that interest is minimal in small stories that move the ball only a few yards down the field." -- Wendell Jamieson, NYT's metro editor, via NYT's Susan Lehman:

CULTURE NEWS -- Kesha's case tossed -- Jezebel's Julianne Escobedo Shepherd: "Kesha's efforts to avail herself from her contract with Sony and Dr. Luke, who she says sexually assaulted her, came to a halt Wednesday after a [New York State] judge threw out her appeal to be freed from her contract by emergency injunction.

"Additionally, the judge denied Kesha's argument that she was the victim of a hate crime, stating, via TMZ: 'Although [Luke's] alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female, [her claims] do no allege that [Luke] harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha.' The judge ended with this ... 'Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.'"

-- Hamilton Lunch: Win a chance to have a private lunch with Hamilton writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, and his father, political consultant Louis Miranda, and benefit the theater group Girl Be Heard. Details: [h/t Jarrod Bernstein]

FINANCIAL NEWS -- "Verizon buys AwesomenessTV stake, announces mobile video service" -- Mashable's Saba Hamedy: "Verizon and AwesomenessTV are teaming up to create create a premium short-form mobile video service available through go90. The news came on the same day the telecommunications giant said it is acquiring a 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV, bringing the value of the digital entertainment company to a whopping $650 million. ... Research firm eMarketer estimates U.S. adults will spend an average of 3 hours and 8 minutes per day on mobile devices, excluding voice activities. The firm's research suggests Millennials are also the most active video viewers of any U.S. age group."

INSTAGRAM DU JOUR -- @sandraleeonline: "First day back on set-- am shooting with @bobbyflay. Nice to be with my brother. #foodnetwork #bobbyflay"

CHANGING CITY -- "Uber Is Eating Up All the Rides Yellow Cabs are Losing, Study Says," by DNAinfo's Nicole Levy: "The yellow cab industry is taking a beating from Uber, data from the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission on for-hire vehicle usage shows.

Yellow taxis provided 60,000 fewer trips per day this January than they did in the same period in 2015 ... Uber's fleet, by comparison, made 70,000 more trips per day in January 2016 than they had the previous January."

BROADWAY BUZZ -- "'Hamilton' Star, Mayor Mark Return of Live Ticket Lottery for Hit Play," by DNAinfo's Maya Rajamani: "The creator of the smash Broadway musical 'Hamilton' braved laryngitis to mark the return of the show's live ticket lottery - with a cup of tea courtesy of the mayor himself.On Wednesday, Lin-Manuel Miranda teamed up with Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce the return of the show's live lotteries and 'Ham4Ham' live performances ahead of its Wednesday matinees. A live outdoor lottery previously offered Hamilton fans a chance to win $10 tickets to the Grammy Award-winning show before moving online last year."

THE TALK OF WALL STREET -- "'Wizard of Wall Street' Joins Republican Clean-Energy Push," by Bloomberg's Zach Mider: "Julian Robertson, a top Republican donor and legendary hedge-fund manager, is backing a campaign to push the party's candidates to support clean-energy policies. Robertson recently gave $500,000 to a new super-PAC known as ClearPath Action, which advocates for nuclear and hydroelectric power and cleaner coal and natural gas technology. ... ClearPath is the brainchild of Jay Faison, a North Carolina entrepreneur and Republican."

TRUMP TALK _- "New York GOP chairs throw support behind Trump," by Post's Carl Campanile and C.J. Sullivan: "Donald Trump has won the support of more than half of New York state's 62 Republican county chairs ... Trump's three 'honorary' co-chairs of his New York leadership team include Buffalo businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, upstate Rep. Chris Collins and Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian 'Butch' Anderson.

Joe Mondello of Nassau County and John LaValle of Suffolk are among the county leaders in the pack of 32 lining up with Trump." ... The list

HILLARYWATCH -- "The Problem With Hillary Clinton Isn't Just Her Corporate Cash. It's Her Corporate Worldview," by Naomi Klein in The Nation : "The real issue, in other words, isn't Clinton's corporate cash, it's her deeply pro-corporate ideology: one that makes taking money from lobbyists and accepting exorbitant speech fees from banks seem so natural that the candidate is openly struggling to see why any of this has blown up at all. ... The mission of the Clinton Foundation can be distilled as follows: There is so much private wealth sloshing around our planet (thanks in very large part to the deregulation and privatization frenzy that Bill Clinton unleashed on the world while president), that every single problem on earth, no matter how large, can be solved by convincing the ultra-rich to do the right things with their loose change."

- "How 'Citizens United' is helping Hillary Clinton win the White House," by Center for Public Integrity's Dave Levinthal: "While Clinton rails against 'unaccountable money that is 'corrupting our political system,' corporations, unions and nonprofits bankrolled by unknown donors have already poured millions of dollars into a network of Clinton-boosting political organizations. That's on top of the tens of millions an elite club of Democratic megadonors, including billionaires George Soros and Haim Saban, have contributed. Far from denouncing their support, Clinton has embraced it, personally wooing potential super PAC donors and dispatching former President Bill Clinton and campaign manager John Podesta on similar missions."

REAL ESTATE -- Campbell Apartment dodges eviction from Grand Central -- Post's Julia Marsh: "The posh and secluded Grand Central Terminal cocktail bar, tucked away in the former office of financier John W. Campbell, temporarily staved off eviction in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday. Mark Grossich, who's spent $2.5 million restoring the ornate lounge with its beamed ceilings and leaded windows, sued the MTA claiming it was being pushed out after 17 years due to an unfair bidding process.

"The MTA revealed for the first time, in court Wednesday, that it has signed a 10-year lease with nightlife impresario Scott Gerber, who owns nightclub Irvington in the W hotel in Union Square, to operate the Beaux Arts bar. His brother is The Whiskey founder Rande Gerber, who is married to Cindy Crawford."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Hornets 111, Knicks 97: As usual, Kemba Walker dominated at The Garden, scoring 34 points.

-- Wizards 121, Nets 103: Even without John Wall, the Wizards were too much for the Nets.

-- Yankees 16, Astros 6: Starlin Castro homered and drove in five runs to help the Yankees to their first win of the season.

-- The day ahead: the Islanders and the Rangers square off at The Garden. The Yankees square off with the Astros at 4:05.

#UpstateAmerica: New York hunters last year killed the second highest number of bears ever.

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: New York's existing nuclear energy plants provide 61 percent of the state's carbon-free electricity and play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. Additional premature retirements of safe, reliable nuclear energy plants mean New Yorkers would pay more for electricity, the economy would suffer and we would face substantially higher carbon emissions.

New York has taken an essential step forward to address the premature closures of our nuclear energy plants. The proposed development of a Clean Energy Standard by the Public Service Commission would, for the first time, ensure that existing nuclear plants are valued for their carbon-free attributes.

We urge the state to include all of New York's existing nuclear energy plants, regardless of their geography in the state, in the proposed Clean Energy Standard. All nuclear energy facilities bring significant reliability and clean-air benefits to New York. Learn more: **

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page:

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