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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: NYPD brass in FBI probe -- CLINTON-SANDERS and NY energy questions -- CRUZ'S not-Trump pitch upstate

04/08/2016 07:10 AM EDT

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

NEW YORK ENERGY POLICY AND CLINTON-SANDERS - POLITICO New York's Scott Waldman: Hillary on fracking. Bernie on Indian Point. Energy policy in New York has entered the national conversation as the media focus on the state's April 19 presidential primary, one of the most competitive in years. In recent days, the candidates have weighed in on the closure of Indian Point and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's fracking ban. Advocates are now making an aggressive push to get the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to come out against the proposed Constitution pipeline. The pipeline would run from Pennsylvania to Schoharie County in upstate New York and would deliver natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale in the Keystone State. Opponents have urged the state to deny necessary water quality permits for the project, which would effectively kill it.

FBI PROBES NYPD -- Four high-ranking NYPD officers disciplined amid FBI corruption probe -- Daily News: " Police Commissioner Bill Bratton disciplined four high-ranking officers Thursday amid an FBI corruption investigation rocking the NYPD. Two of the cops - Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, commanding officer of Manhattan North, and Deputy Inspector James Grant, head of the Upper East Side's 19th Precinct - were transferred and stripped of their guns and badges. Two others - Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez, second in command of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, and Deputy Chief David Colon, executive officer of the Housing Bureau - were transferred to desk duty. In his most extensive words since word of the scandal broke earlier this week, Bratton said it was a difficult day for the NYPD. 'The public has expectations of its public officials, of the leadership of the department, and those expectations were not met,' Bratton said during a news conference. 'This is not a particularly good day for the department.'' All four men's careers have intersected with Philip Banks, former chief of department, who sources say is being eyed by the feds for improperly accepting gifts from Borough Park, Brooklyn, businessman Jeremy Reichberg, including a trip to Israel." READ MORE:

--" How 'f-d' cop used Judaism to curry favor with probed businessmen," by Post's Shawn Cohen and Danika Fears: "Disgraced Deputy Inspector James Grant was so cozy with his pals in the Orthodox Jewish community that he kept a mezuzah on his office doorpost - even though he isn't Jewish ... The symbolic gesture - affixing a traditional casing that houses a Hebrew prayer on a parchment to an entrance - was just one of the ways that Grant curried favor with prominent businessmen like Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, who are the focus of a federal probe into police corruption, when he was in charge of Brooklyn's 72nd Precinct."

** 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: **

TABS -- Post: "NYPD CORRUPTION SCANDAL: HEADS ROLL: Four tainted honchos get Bratt whack" -- Daily News: "KICK IN THE BRASS: Police honchos stripped of badges, weapons; Bratton slaps 4 as NYPD scandal grows" -- SEE THEM:

-- amNY: "THROUGH THE ROOF! Brooklyn apartment prices highest in 8 years" -- El Diario [translated]: Tax relief

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col., above the fold: "DEMOCRATIC RACE TURNS TO ATTACKS ON CREDENTIALS: Tension Within Party: Sparring by Sanders and Clinton Over Ability to Lead Country" - below the fold, photo of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and costumed character, Spiderman -- WSJNY, 2-col., above the fold: "NYPD Officials Under Scrutiny in Federal Probe" -- SEE THEM:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[T]ickets to the debate are not available to the general public." -- CNN spokesperson Richard Hudock, to DNAinfo New York's Nikhita Venugopal:

PIC OF THE DAY: Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the New York Mets as they received their National League championship rings.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: State Sen. Leroy Comrie doing his best Phife Dawg on the floor.

OR ELSE TRUMP -- Jimmy's dispatch from Scotia: Ted Cruz's message here Thursday to New York Republicans was a pragmatic one: Donald Trump is hardly "unstoppable," and if you're not with him, you should be with me. His remarks nodded to union workers and single mothers. He holstered his earlier attacks on "New York values," and made only passing mention to any sitting officials here. He said his recent win in Wisconsin showed his appeal is broadening, and his reception was warm enough that many attendees remained on their feet for his 30- minute presentation.

But if the rally here was any indication , the freshman senator from Texas still has lots to do to reach beyond his traditional base and consolidating the anti-Trump vote ahead of the Empire State's April 19 primary. A Monmouth University poll this week showed him with the support of 17 percent of likely GOP voters, compared to 25 percent for John Kasich and 52 percent for Donald Trump. Most of the 1,300 people who packed the auditorium of the Mekeel Christian Academy on Thursday morning fit one of two categories: long-time Cruz supporters (including many evangelical Christians) who have been with him through most of the primary, or people (including some Democrats) who appreciated the novelty of meeting a presidential candidate and were simply curious to hear him out.

-- Dan Janison made a list of five things to help Cruz campaign in New York.

-- Cruz also visited a matzoh factory in Brooklyn.

AIR WARS -- New Kasich Super PAC ad slams Cruz on his "New York Values" comment - "New Yorkers aren't stupid, Ted"

HOT VIDEO - "Hillary Clinton Struggles With NYC Subway Card" -- 30-second video

BROOKLYN BRAWL -- "Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Bring Their Battle to Brooklyn," by Times' Yamiche Alcindor: "The styles, staffs and settings of the two campaigns are telling, both of the Democratic race and of Brooklyn itself, a rapidly changing amalgam of affluent Park Slope professionals, newly arrived Williamsburg hipsters, longtime owners of Fort Greene brownstones, diverse Caribbean-American residents of Crown Heights and members of tight-knit Orthodox Jewish communities in Borough Park. Million-dollar condominiums are rising next door to blocks of decaying public-housing complexes; shiny new coffee shops and high-priced gyms are appearing on formerly blighted streets."

--"The Sanders Campaign's Sexist New Argument: Hillary Tries Too Hard," by NY Mag's Rebecca Traister: "On Tuesday night, following Bernie Sanders's big win in the Wisconsin primary, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, understandably jazzed in the midst of a victory lap, said a really stupid sexist thing about Hillary Clinton. ... 'Don't destroy the Democratic Party to satisfy the secretary's ambitions to become president of the United States.' ... It was a small comment, in every sense. ... [T]he line, which overtly cast Clinton's political ambition as a destructive force and framed her famous drive and tenacity as unappealing, malevolent traits, played on long-standing assumptions about how ambition - a quality that is required for powerful men and admired in them - looks far less attractive on their female counterparts, and especially on their female competitors."

RIVINGTON SAGA -- City Council weighing oversight hearings on Rivington deal -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: "The City Council is looking at the possibility of holding oversight hearings to examine exactly what happened when the city authorized a deed restriction to be lifted that allowed a building operating as a nursing home to give way to luxury condos. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito told reporters on Thursday she did not learn about the transaction until it was reported in the press, and that the council is looking into the details. 'I think there is obviously a lot of concerns that have been raised with that transaction, how did it happen and how it came about,' Mark-Viverito said, noting that the council is 'open' to holding hearings.."

BOXED OUT -- Council approves pedestrian plaza proposal -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: The Department of Transportation will now have rule-making authority over the city's pedestrian plazas, including one in Times Square, under legislation approved by the City Council on Thursday. If signed by the mayor, the bill will allow DOT to designate specific areas within the plazas where vendors and tip-seeking performers such as the costumed characters will be permitted to operate. The department will also designate so-called 'flow zones' to make sure pedestrians have a clear path to walk through in the crowded area. The bill, sponsored by Dan Garodnick and Corey Johnson, was approved by a vote of 42-1 and five abstentions."

SILVER SCREEN SCREAM -- Scarlett Johansson on Equal Pay -- via Cosmo's Katie Connor: "There's something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole... I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I'm proud to be an actress who's making as much as many of my male peers at this stage... I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I'm addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It's part of a larger conversation about feminism in general." [h/t Gawker's Madeleine Davies]

EAT BEAT -- Shake Shake at Penn Station -- Post's Lois Weiss: "Shake Shack is coming to an underground concourse inside Penn Station. The Vornado Realty Trust-owned retail corridor that includes Kmart is now upping its retail game to provide better stores with nicer storefronts that service commuters and the neighborhood while dumping the older and schlockier outlets. The 10-year lease had an asking rent of $500 per square foot for the 2,489-square-foot store." [h/t Gothamist's Jen Chung]

MEDIA MORNING -- Mashable, smashed -- POLITICO New York's Sterne and Hadas Gold: Mashable laid off around 30 staffers Thursday, including three high-level editors, as part of a pivot toward non-news video content. The company's entire politics desk (consisting of editor Juana Summers and two reporters) has been laid off, as well as most of its global news desk and about half of its editorial video team. Mashable chief revenue officer Seth Rogin, executive editor Jim Roberts, managing editor Jonathan Ellis, and business editor Heidi Moore are also leaving the company sources told POLITICO. ... As for the new direction of the company, [Mashable CEO Pete] Cashmore hinted [said] advertisers are no longer separate from the story and want to be 'telling stories with us' and no longer 'buying media' for an audience. 'Branded content is the business model for media going forward' Cashmore told staff. 'It's very, very clear that branded content is the future.'"

--"Newsstand overlord launches magazine of his own," by Post's Keith J. Kelly: "Newsstand kingmaker James Cohen is taking the plunge and launching his first fully owned magazine, Galerie, helmed by his wife, Lisa Fayne Cohen, who will serve as editorial director. Copies of the glossy oversized art and design magazine hit newsstands and bookstores this week."

FUTURE OF NEWS - "US newspapers raise alarm over new ad-blocker Brave," by FT's Shannon Bond: "US newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are raising the alarm over new ad-blocking software that promises to replace publishers' advertisements with its own and pay readers in bitcoin to view them. The ad-replacing plan comes from Brave, a web browser launched this year by Brendan Eich, the co-founder and former chief executive of Mozilla ... The company intends to introduce a feature that will replace the ads it strips out with spots from its own advertising network that it says are more protective of users' privacy and take less time to load."

THE TALK OF WALL STREET -- C.E. Oh No! Pay drop -- WSJ's Theo Francis and Joann Lublin: "Compensation for the chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies fell more sharply last year than any year since the financial crisis, as weaker corporate performance slowed cash bonuses and accounting rules pared back pension growth. Median pay for the CEOs of nearly 300 large publicly traded companies slipped 3.8% to $10.8 million last year from $11.2 million in 2014, a Wall Street Journal analysis of compensation data from MyLogIQ found. Half of those CEOs saw total pay either decline or rise by less than 1%-also the worst showing for S&P 500 chiefs since the 2008 crisis. ... Many of the overall declines in pay were driven by slower growth in CEO pension values, a year after pension increases for many top executives swelled because of changes to the actuarial assumptions underlying them."

SNEAK PEEK -- Secret history of the Met: "Behind the Scenes at the Met," by Christine Coulson in T Magazine's upcoming Culture Issue: "In my 22 years working at the museum, where I am now the chief advisor to the director a job that is part speechwriter, part ambassador and part fixer), I have grown to love these hidden spaces -and the people who occupy them -as much as I love our galleries. At first glance, these areas are functional: places to stack boxes of Met shopping bags, store unused shipping crates and transfer vats of chicken salad between the public and staff cafeterias. But it is also the domain of heroes who are largely unseen and unsung: custodians and 'maintainers'; security officers and kitchen workers; art handlers, wall painters and climate-control technicians - a small town's worth of every trade and task."

BIRTHDAYS: George Arzt, longtime Democratic consultant and lobbyist ... Jackie Kessel, vice president at BerlinRosen ... Bob McManus, Post columnist ... SATURDAY: Councilman Donovan Richards of Queens ... SUNDAY: Marisa McNee, Democratic consultant ... and Triada Stampas, of Food Bank for New York City

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Yankees 8, Astros 5: Starlin Castro homered again, and is 7-for-12 so far as a Yankee.

-- The day ahead: the Mets open their home schedule against the Phillies. The Yankees begin a three-game set in Detroit. The Knicks are in Philly. The Nets are in Charlotte.

#UpstateAmerica: Frankie Michaels, who at 10 became the youngest person ever to win a Tony, died at 60 in Syracuse, where he spent a lifetime as a lounge singer.

** 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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