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POLITICO New York Playbook: DE BLASIO points to politics -- HAMILTON, for the record? -- TRUMP TOWER draws tourists, protests

04/26/2016 07:45 AM EDT

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

DE BLASIO TO UNVEIL $82.2 BILLION EXECUTIVE BUDGET- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce an $82.2 billion executive budget proposal for fiscal year 2017 on Tuesday, an increase of $100 million from the preliminary budget he unveiled earlier this year. Overall spending would increase by 3.7 percent compared with the current fiscal year.

De Blasio is expected to propose $1.25 billion in savings through his citywide savings plan, in addition to the roughly $1 billion proposed in the preliminary. De Blasio asked all of his agency heads to come up with savings after he released the preliminary budget, a cautionary measure to help prepare for the possibility of a future economic downturn amid uncertainty in global financial markets. City Hall said the total $2.32 billion savings plan marks the fourth-largest savings in a single budget year since 2001, and would be achieved without any layoffs or cuts in city services.

BLAME CUOMO? - "De Blasio, Denying Misdeeds Again, Says Claims May Be Driven by Politics," by the Times' William Neuman and J David Goodman: "The queries about a series of investigations into his political fund-raising came one after another on Monday, with the mayor sticking to a still-evolving strategic defense: He said "unequivocally" that no laws were broken, that any suggestion that he sought to circumvent state campaign finance laws was "outrageous," and that the big question was what or who had prompted the inquiries. ... His answers on Monday seemed to follow a road map to his administration's strategy that was laid out in a fiery letter written over the weekend by a lawyer for his re-election campaign. ... Neither the letter nor Mr. de Blasio said explicitly what potential political motivation they were referring to. But the implication was that [Risa] Sugarman has ties to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is locked in a bitter feud with the mayor, a fellow Democrat. Mr. Cuomo nominated Ms. Sugarman to her job at the elections board. Before that she held jobs in his administration, most recently as a deputy commissioner in the Department of Taxation and Finance, and when he was attorney general."

-- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: "'I don't know what's motivating it. I think [campaign lawyer Laurence] Laufer's letter raised a number of good questions about what might be motivating it,' he said. De Blasio also referenced Laufer's assertion that other politicians have behaved similarly in their fundraising, sending large donations to party or county committees who then transfer the donations to individual candidates' committees, bypassing the $10,300 limit on individual donations to candidate committees. De Blasio said he would leave it to the news media to discover what the motivations were behind the release of the Board of Elections memo to the press.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "A large check is a glorious thing." - Bill de Blasio, at a press conference Monday.

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Clearly, de Blasio evaded the law." -- Daily News editorial.

WHITE HOUSE PLAN OF THE DAY: "I am going to have a Cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women." -- Hillary Clinton , via MSNBC's town hall meeting.

TABS -- Daily News: "BULL de Blasio! NEWS SAYS: The mayor hasn't disputed one fact from the memo accusing him of EVADING campaign finance law. Instead, he says he's a victim of a CONSPIRACY. His claims are AN INSULT to New Yorkers." -- Post: "Mayor is in deNial over scandals" -- SEE THEM:

-- Metro: "IN THE SHADOWS: As advocates hold Vendor Power Parade, opponents call NYC's street cart program a 'disaster' plagued by a black market and health violations." -- amNY: "HEY NYC MILLENNIALS ... HANG IN THERE! Deepest the tough economy, here's why this is still the place for you." -- Newsday: "The Prosecutor and The Party Boat" -- El Diario [translated]: More licenses! Peddlers require the City to take seriously those working in the street

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col., above the fold: "CRUZ-KASICH PACT APPEARS FRAYED FROM THE START: A tag team vs. Trump: Front-runner Relishing the Strain Between G.O.P." -- WSJNY, 2-col., below the fold: "Besieged de Blasio Zooms In on Agenda" -- SEE THEM:

BIRTHDAYS: Eliot Brown, Wall Street Journal reporter ... actor Kevin James of Mineola, who played football at SUNY Cortland and was the lead character in the show The King of Queens ... and Catie Lazarus, host of Employee of The Month, and the person who got Ambassador Samantha Powers to shake her groove thang:

SAVE THE DATE -- 5/24: The 116th annual Legislative Correspondents Association show will be on Tuesday, May 24 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. Call 518.455.2388 for ticket details, and checkout this year's trailer:

WEINER! -- See the trailer for the documentary, via Indiewire:

OPTIMISM AMONG TAMPON TAX OPPONENTS - Gannett's Nick Muscavage: "Advocates for eliminating New York's tax on tampons are confident state lawmakers can strike a deal to make it happen, despite an apparent difference of opinion on bill language. The state Senate and Assembly have both passed bills that would eliminate the state sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins, but the legislation differed slightly -- preventing either version from heading to Cuomo for approval. The similar-but-separate bills have caused confusion. The organizers of a popular online petition pushing all states to repeal the tampon tax suggested the bill was headed to Cuomo's desk, proclaiming to its 59,000 signees: 'We did it!!!' Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, said she believes a compromise is within reach."

PRESERVING NIPPER - Times Union's Matt Hamilton: "Nipper, the fiberglass mixed-breed terrier with its head cocked to the side as if listening to the hum of traffic coming from nearby Interstate 787, is one of Albany's most recognizable symbols. Now U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the 28-foot model RCA dog that tops a building on Albany's Broadway to be a federally recognized symbol. Schumer is pushing for Nipper to be immediately added to the National Register of Historic Places by the the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office. Doing so would allow federal historic tax credits to be used for reuse of the century-old building at 991 Broadway in the city's Warehouse District."

COUNCIL -- ROSENTHAL ENDORSES LASHER -- West Side uniting: State Senate candidate Micah Lasher was endorsed by City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who said in a statement, "I'[ve worked with Micah Lasher for nearly a decade on issues important to the UWS ... He will be a strong, new voice for the West Side and Northern Manhattan. He'll work with me at the state level to lead the fight against the growing problem of illegal hotels and the loss of affordable housing..." Rosenthal is the fourth City Council member to back Lasher. Others include Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, Mark Levine and Corey Johnson. When Rosenthal won her seat in 2009, she did so without the backing of the Democratic establishment figures, like Rep. Nadler and current city comptroller Scott Stringer (who have also endorsed Lasher). Lasher, the former chief of staff to the state attorney general, is running for the 31st senate district seat on Manhattan's West Side. It is currently held by Adriano Espaillat, who is running for the NY-13 congressional seat being vacated by the retiring Rep. Charlie Rangel. -- Azi Paybarah

REIMAGINING TIME SQUARE -- Sky garden, hammock plaza -- DNAinfo's Maya Rajamani: "A Shanghai-based architecture firm has found a way to bring a public ball pit, a 'hammock plaza,' a carousel playground and a garden to Times Square - without doing away with swaths of pedestrian and vehicular space. 'Vertical Times,' a conceptual 'mini tower' design created by 100architects, explores 'the possibilities of inserting public functions and environments typically associated with urban parks within Times Square,' Architizer reported. The imaginary park comprises six cylindrical glass platforms stacked vertically along a reinforced steel-and-concrete column. Four public platforms would feature a carousel playground and ball pit for kids and a 'sky garden' and 'hammock plaza' for adults in need of rest and relaxation."

WHAT WILL KELLY RIPA SAY? -- Live, unscripted return -- Page Six's Emily Smith: "Ripa had been furious that neither Strahan nor ABC execs had told her about the ex-Giant's exit until after she got off the air around 30 minutes before last week's big announcement. TV insiders said that, despite all the drama, Tuesday's show will be broadcast live, and Kelly 'is going to say what she wants to say. ABC will want to vet her comments, but there will be nothing scripted and no vetting. What she wants to say has not been submitted for approval.'"

CAN HAMILTON BREAK RECORDS AT THE TONYS? -- WSJ's Pia Catton: "Tony nominations will be announced May 3, with the awards ceremony to be held June 12. And while there is little doubt 'Hamilton' will be nominated across the board, a look at past hits, as well as the present competition, suggests that matching records for nominations or awards is possible. Setting new records would be tricky. Among the musicals that generated 'Hamilton'-caliber heat, 'The Producers' (2001) holds the record for the most Tony wins, 12. It shares the record for 15 nominations with 'Billy Elliot,' which won 10 Tonys at the 2009 awards. More recently, 'The Book of Mormon' (2011) racked up 14 nominations and nine Tonys. This season, there are 13 categories in which a new musical can be nominated. The record number of nominations is 15, mainly due to multiple actors from the same show earning nominations and competing in the same category. ... 'Hamilton' does have the potential to meet or break the record for the number of nominations-again, because of the breadth of the acting ranks. The Tony Awards Administration Committee has ruled that both Mr. Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. are eligible to be nominated for best actor, in their roles as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, respectively."

SPOTTED: Rep. King at JFK boarding a Delta flight to Buffalo Monday morning. "A flock of security officials ensured VIP early boarding treatment, 15 minutes before the plebeian boarding process started." ... At Bruce Springsteen's concert last night in Brooklyn, Gov. Chris Christie, Jennifer Palmieri, Christina Reynolds, Rob Flaherty, Michael Longo.

--@Rob_Flaherty: "I am currently at a Bruce Springsteen concert in eyeshot of Chris Christie. I've never seen such a display of such pure joy from one man." Video

OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC -- Michael Bloomberg hosted a party last night for Jason Kelly, Bloomberg's New York Bureau Chief, for his forthcoming book, "Sweat Equity: Inside the New Economy of Mind and Body" at 78th street. Kelly offers an inside look at the proliferating boutique fitness studios, marathons, obstacles races, gear and more that now compromise a market worth more than a $1 trillion. Through in-depth interviews, he takes a deeper look inside the health and wellness movement's people, companies and events - including New York Road Runners, Tough Mudder, CrossFit and Ironman - and at the traits and strategies driving their success. Excerpt

SPOTTED: John Micklethwait, Patti Harris, Justin Smith, Reto Gregori, Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak, Aarti Kapoor, Norm Pearlstine, Ben Cheever, Jonathan Gray, Henry Kravis, Ken Mehlman, Patty Newburger, James Robinson III, Mary Wittenberg, Steve Feinberg, Fred Devito, Jacki Kelley, Paul Caine.

REAL ESTATE -- "Trump Tower Acquires a New Allure, Even for New Yorkers," by Times' Vivian Yee: "Since its debut in 1983, Trump Tower has belonged for New Yorkers to the same galaxy, if not the same constellation, as the Plaza, the United Nations and Donald J. Trump himself: part of the urban firmament, perhaps, yet largely irrelevant to daily life. Not many city residents had ever cared to venture inside the 68-story building at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, unless to visit the in-house Starbucks. That was then. With the ascent of its owner and developer as the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump Tower has attained some of the trappings of a true city landmark, drawing the same mix of scorn and reverence as its occupant in chief. It has the tourists, more eager than ever to see the celebrity candidate in his natural habitat; it has won the fleeting, semi-grudging attention of New Yorkers, who now regularly pause outside the doors for selfies. And in a city that has never hesitated to unburden itself, it has become a 664-foot magnet for a series of protests large and small, the slightly more verbal equivalent of one long Bronx cheer."

-"Chetrit to sell Sony Building to Olayan Group, abandoning condo plans," by The Real Deal's Mark Maurer and Hiten Samtani: "Olayan America, a division of Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group, is in contract to acquire the former Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue for more than $1.3 billion, after the Chetrit Group and David Bistricer's Clipper Equity scrapped its plans to convert the upper floors of the property to residential condominiums, The Real Deal has learned. The deal is expected to close in May, sources said. Olayan is partnering on the purchase with Chelsfield, an asset manager active in Europe and Asia. Chelsfield will hold a minority stake in the property and the partners will continue to operate it as an office building, sources said."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Mets 5, Reds 3: Neil Walker's two-run homer was the difference, while Noah Syndergaard dominated again.

-- Yankees 3, Rangers 1: Nathan Eovaldi took a no-hitter into the seventh.

-- The day ahead: the Mets host the Reds. The Yankees are in Texas.

#UpstateAmerica: A 12-year-old girl from Irondequoit trained to run a 5K, but accidentally showed up for the half-marathon instead. She finished in 2 hours and 43 minutes.

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

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