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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by PhRMA: CUOMO's FBI Probe -- DE BLASIO's genetics -- MARK-VIVERITO'S exit interview -- 11th Hour Council Reforms Offered

12/11/2017 07:20 AM EDT

By Jimmy Vielkind in Albany and Laura Nahmias in Manhattan, with Daniel Lippman

"Absurd" and a "charade." That's how Gov. Andrew Cuomo's team is talking about an FBI probe of its hiring practices, which according to the Albany Times Union has included interviews with several Hillary and Obama veterans brought on this year and a "document subpoena" that arrived in recent months. The paper reports that the feds are looking at the longstanding state practice of putting aides to the governor's central executive chamber on the payrolls of various agencies and authorities, to artificially deflate its headcount. It's a bad look politically, but both Republicans and Democrats we spoke to this weekend were scratching their head about how it could be illegal.

But Cuomo's immediate defiance is striking. He's heading into a re-election year during which some of his closest confidantes will stand trial for allegedly rigging the bids on signature economic development projects - to companies who showed the Democratic executive campaign cash. Often elected officials keep their heads down and lips tight while in the crosshairs of prosecutors, but here, Cuomo is taking a page from Donald Trump in pushing back. It seems to be working for the president: His core supporters believe him more than the supposedly apolitical justice system, and until an indictment comes, it's becoming a fair fight in the arena of public relations.

That's all this is for now: a PR problem. It has the potential to broaden - indeed, we now know very little about where the probe is going - or dramatically escalate if criminal charges are brought. But memories don't have to stretch too far for instances where that didn't occur, including probes of Mayor Bill de Blasio's fund-raising for political campaigns and his affiliated non-profit, or Cuomo's own handling of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Bad headlines dogged the men for months, but no one got charged and everyone got re-elected. Cuomo has 11 months to hope he can repeat the trick.

IT'S MONDAY. Are you sick of snow yet? Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know ... By email: JVielkind@politico.com, LNahmias@politico.com, and daniel@politico.com, or on Twitter: @JimmyVielkind, @nahmias, and @dlippman.

** A message from PhRMA: Ever wonder who decides what you pay for your medicines? It's not who you might think. Biopharmaceutical companies set the list prices for their medicines, but it's your insurer that decides how much you pay out of pocket. More than one-third of the list price is rebated back to middlemen, but these savings aren't always shared with patients. http://onphr.ma/2zcTOi3 **


WHERE'S ANDREW? In New York City, appearing this morning with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

WHERE'S BlLL? Making his weekly appearance on NY1's Inside City Hall for "Mondays with the Mayor" and then making remarks at a Community Boards holiday party.

The Tabloids: - New York Post: "CRIME PAY$"- Daily News: "PARK AVE. DOC DEAD"- See Them

The Tabloids, Continued: - Newsday: "NEW DETAILS ON BELMONT BIDS"- El Diario New York: "Quieren aire limpio"- TRANSLATION: "They want clean air" - See Them

The Free Papers: - AM New York: "A 'DREAM' OF BETTER TRANSIT"- Metro New York: "CLICK & PLOW"- See Them

The Broadsheets: - New York Times:-2 col., above the fold: "E.P.A. Polluter Playbook Takes a Turn to Leniency" - 3 col., below the fold: "Seniors in San Juan, Lacking Power and in Peril"- Wall Street Journal: -4 col., above the fold: "Alabama Hears Final Pitch"-1 col., above the fold: "Hospital Giants In Talks To Merge" - See Them

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "What's new here?" Hank Sheinkopf, the longtime Democratic political strategist, told the New York Times about the Cuomo probe. "This tactic has gone on since the beginning of politics."

NET NEUTRALITY 101: The long-running fight over net neutrality, which pits telecom giants against tech companies, is heating up at the Federal Communications Commission. To understand what the fight is all about and where it's headed, check out POLITICO's latest explainer video featuring Technology Reporter Margaret McGill and the artwork of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Matt Wuerker. Click HERE to watch.

** POLITICO is accepting applications for its fifth session of the POLITICO Journalism Institute (PJI), an educational initiative focused on newsroom diversity. The intensive program, which is designed for college students, will be held May 29 to June 9, 2018. It features hands-on training for up to 12 recent grads and university students interested in covering government and politics. Students also will have an opportunity to have their work published by POLITICO. All expenses are paid for the program, reflecting POLITICO's ongoing support of journalism education, newsroom diversity and recruitment of top-notch talent. Admissions are made on a rolling basis, so APPLY TODAY but no later than Jan. 15, 2018. https://www.politico.com/pji **

WHAT ALBANY IS READING:

- MILLIONAIRE'S TAX DIES IF U.S. TAX BILL LIVES - Daily News's Ken Lovett: "An across-the-board tax hike on millionaires sought by state Democrats will likely be off the table if President Trump's tax bill passes in Washington, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told the Daily News.In New Jersey, legislative Democratic leaders have said they will put the brakes on Gov.-elect Phil Murphy's proposal to hike taxes on millionaires because they feel the increase - coupled with a federal bill that is expected to severely restrict the deductibility of state and local taxes - could force wealthy Garden State residents to decamp for lower-tax states.'"I do have that same concern (in New York),' Heastie (D-Bronx) said in an interview at his Capitol office. 'It would be very difficult to ask those same people (who lose their federal deductions and could pay tens of thousands of more in taxes) to then pay an additional state income tax where that addition is not federally deductible.'" Read more here.

- DEM UNITY, WITH CONDITIONS - Lovett: "A potential deal to reunify the fractured state Senate Democrats is off the table if the party is not in charge of the chamber by the end of the legislative session in June, the head of the mainline Dems says. A framework recently put forward by allies to Gov. Cuomo - and accepted by the Senate Dems and a breakaway group of eight Democrats currently aligned with the GOP - says the sides would seek to form a new leadership coalition if the party wins two spring special elections. If the Dems lose at least one of the races - or they win both but still don't grab control of the chamber - there is no deal, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told the Daily News." Read more here.

- REPUBLICANS HUDDLE - POLITICO's Jimmy Vielkind: "Ideally, there will be no Republican gubernatorial primary next year. The GOP standard bearer will be able to run as an outsider, and bring his or her own money to the campaign. Those were the takeaways from a summit of the state's top Republican operatives, convened last week by new Manhattan Republican Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis at the Women's National Republican Club. "We had a great meeting with successful GOP operatives from around the state and discussed the importance of a unified big-tent party that can win in 2018," Catsimatidis, the daughter of supermarket mogul and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, said in a statement.

According to several sources who were there, the consensus was that business consultant Harry Wilson is the party's best bet for next year. Wilson, who ran unsuccessfully for comptroller in 2010, has told party leaders that he would pony up $10 million of his own money and has begun touring the state. He's said he'll decide about running by year's end. "The sense is there's Harry, and then there's a bunch of second-tier options," said one person who attended the meeting, who asked not to be named because it was a private discussion. Read more here

- Float by Bob McCarthy in the Buffalo News: Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, a lobbyist at Park Strategies, for governor.

- HIKIND'S FAMILY DEALING - New York Post's Yoav Gonen: "The state Assembly has put funding for a Brooklyn non-profit on hold after a report by The Post that Assemblyman Dov Hikind allocated money toward the group while it employed his son. The final destination of the Hikind allocations - to a group known as Our Place in New York, where Yoni Hikind worked for four years - was masked by using the affiliated non-profit Guardians of the Sick as a pass-through. And now, The Post has learned, another Hikind son, Shmuel, was also employed by Our Place for at least three years. 'We have a rule that prohibits members from sponsoring funding to organizations that employ family members,' said Assembly spokesman Michael Whyland. 'These alleged conflicts were not disclosed and we have placed a hold on pending funding requests for this organization in order to review them.' " Read more here

- GLOVERSVILLE MAYOR ARRESTED - Gloversville Leader-Herald's Kerry Minor: "Mayor Dayton J. King is facing a misdemeanor charge after state police alleged he used his position to gain access to and review the personnel file of a city employee. King, 39, of 27 Seventh Ave. was charged with official misconduct by state police on Friday. Troopers said King is alleged to have used his position as mayor of Gloversville to gain access to, and review, the personnel file of a Gloversville city employee, and his opponent in the race for mayor. Troopers allege King then released information that he found in the personnel file on the air during a live debate on a local radio station." Read more here

TRUMP'S NEW YORK

- HAPPENING TODAY - NBC New York: "A group of women who have publicly accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault are gathering in Manhattan Monday to speak out about their experiences. The women will call for accountability and a congressional investigation of sexual misconduct by the president, according to a press release announcing the event released Sunday. And on Sunday night, the Twitter account for Megyn Kelly TODAY announced an exclusive interview in New York Monday morning with three of the women who have public accused Trump of sexual misconduct - Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Cooks." Read more here.

- THE COUNTY BOSS WHO INSPIRED TRUMP - New York Times's Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush and Baker: "Mr. Trump's difficult adjustment to the presidency, people close to him say, is rooted in an unrealistic expectation of its powers, which he had assumed to be more akin to the popular image of imperial command than the sloppy reality of having to coexist with two other branches of government. His vision of executive leadership was shaped close to home, by experiences with Democratic clubhouse politicians as a young developer in New York. One figure stands out to Mr. Trump: an unnamed party boss - his friends assume he is referring to the legendary Brooklyn fixer Meade Esposito - whom he remembered keeping a baseball bat under his desk to enforce his power. To the adviser who recounted it, the story revealed what Mr. Trump expected being president would be like - ruling by fiat, exacting tribute and cutting back room deals." Read more here

WHAT CITY HALL IS READING:

- The New York Times's William Neuman is out with a profile of outgoing City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, in which she discusses, albeit vaguely, some of her future plans: "With Ms. Mark-Viverito, 48, barred from seeking re-election because of term limits, she acknowledged some indecision in what lies in her future. She has visited Puerto Rico, where her mother lives, several times since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September. She said that she would like to continue to advocate on behalf of the island's residents, pushing for more support from Congress. Some have speculated that she might run for governor of Puerto Rico, or mayor of San Juan, if the current mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, who is a friend, runs for governor. 'I don't see that realistically being a role for me,' Ms. Mark-Viverito said. But she added, 'I do not close doors.' Asked if she envisioned running for mayor of New York in four years, she repeated her statement about not closing off options. 'I've proven the naysayers,' she said in a recent interview in her office on the Council's side of City Hall. 'I love this city. It's given so much to me.'" Read it here.

- NYCHA BLAMES TENANTS - Daily News's Greg Smith: "The City Housing Authority has a new tactic in its struggle to address its lead-paint inspection scandal: Blame the tenants. In the last few weeks, NYCHA sent "breach of lease" notices to 48 tenants who have young children in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn after inspecting the apartments and finding lead paint there.
The ominous bureaucratic notices specifically warned that the tenants faced possible eviction due to a 'failure to comply with LB (lead-based) paint regulations.' 'This is to advise you that termination of your lease is being considered because you have breached NYCHA's rules and regulations,' the notices scolded." Read more here.

- WHERE WAS SCOTT STRINGER? - New York Post's Michael Gartland: "City Comptroller Scott Stringer has issued nine reports on the New York City Housing Authority since taking office in 2014, and none uncovered the agency's failure to perform lead-paint inspections for four years, a Post analysis found. Three of the reports dealt directly with issues central to the lead-paint scandal now enveloping Mayor de Blasio's administration - deteriorating conditions in NYCHA buildings, shoddy repair practices and the agency's efforts to secure federal funding." Read more here.

MTA CLUNKERS - Daily News's Dan Rivoli: "The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has 26 new subway cars that cost taxpayer about $2 million each. The models, known as the R179, are desperately needed to replace cars in the MTA's aging fleet. The average age of the subway fleet is 22 years old. But the new car failed its first major test carrying passengers on the J line in Brooklyn and Queens. In fact, eight-car test trains were pulled from the tracks three times in less than two weeks since its Nov. 19 debut - dumping riders onto station platforms along the way.The third mishap for the model forced the MTA to suspend the 30-day passenger test cycle for nearly a week, threatening to further delay the delivery of train cars from Bombardier that is already two years behind schedule." Read more here.

- INCENTIVES- New York Post's Rebecca Rosenberg, Shawn Cohen, Tina Moore and Bruce Golding: "First it was pizza for Rikers inmates. Now Mayor de Blasio is making crime pay - with gift cards. In a taxpayer-funded effort to make accused criminals happier in court, low-level defendants in Manhattan are being paid to rate the courtesy of judges and prosecutors - even the temperature of the courtroom. For completing the questionnaire - which reads like the type of marketing survey retailers ask of customers - participants get a $15 Dunkin' Donuts gift card. The $800,000 crook-coddling push is an effort by the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice to make the court system more user friendly - the users being accused of crimes." Read more here.

- RELATED! - Associated Press's Karen Matthews: "Mayor Bill de Blasio won election in 2013 promising a progressive overhaul of public policy. Robert Anderson Van Wyck won the same office in 1897 with a Tammany Hall-backed campaign featuring the slogan "To Hell with Reform." The two mayors would seem to have little in common, but the genealogy company MyHeritage says it has discovered the mayors are 11th cousins five times removed, sharing an ancestor who was knighted in England in 1487.'To find a genealogical connection between two of the most impactful and significant New Yorkers in the last 120 years is quite extraordinary and unexpected,' MyHeritage researcher Nitay Elboym said." Read more here

- How it played in the New York Post: "De Blasio family tree linked to corrupt political legacy of Tammany Hall"

- LAST MINUTE REFORMS - POLITICO's Sally Goldenberg: The City Council's Progressive Caucus, which was formed in 2010 in opposition to then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and played a central role in electing a founding member, Melissa Mark-Viverito, as Council speaker four years later, is trying to shape the race to replace her.The caucus is not named on a three-page draft proposal of reforms being presented to speaker candidates, which was obtained by POLITICO, but Council members have said that the ideas originated with the group. Councilman Brad Lander, a founding member of the caucus, would not comment on those assertions.The group is trying to persuade speaker candidates to build on changes Mark-Viverito instituted that empowered members by effectively relinquishing some of the speaker's control over the body. Read more here.

- BALANCING THE CHECKBOOK - POLITICO's Sally Goldenberg: For the first time in six years, New York City saw a decline in daily cash balances as tax revenues slow while City Hall's spending increases, according to a recent report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Cash balances began to drop in the current fiscal year, which began July 1. They declined to $1 billion during the first week of December - the lowest they have been since fiscal year 2010, when the city's economy was in the throes of the recession, according to figures provided by Stringer's office. By comparison, the city had $5.4 billion in cash at this time last year. Read more here.

- NEW YEAR, NEW RULES - Crain's Will Bredderman: "For business owners, the new year means a new suite of city regulations. City Hall has created an array of rules governing core industries-constraining scheduling by fast-food franchises, mandating safety training for construction workers and forcing some businesses to separate food waste, to name three." Read more here.

- "344 Reasons to Love New York" - New York Magazine: "This hasn't been the easiest, or the most easygoing, year. The news - natural disasters, corruption, lies, stupidity! - has put us all on a constant involuntary anxiety drip. But every day, something good happened, we promise. We looked, and we compiled. And when we were done, we realized - once again - that things in New York City are going pretty well (at least by comparison). And so here are 344 Reasons to Love this city, one a day, all year long." Read em here.

YO! NYPD RAPS -New York Post's Larry Celona, Reuven Fenton and Danika Fears: "It's New York's Finest as you've never seen them - and probably never should. The commanding officer of the Seventh Precinct on the Lower East Side and eight of his neighborhood coordination officers have recorded a cringe-worthy rap video about their jobs in a bid to relate to kids, sources told The Post. "'Cringy' is being kind,'' a police source said.In the video, which hit social media Friday, the officers portray shady-looking characters standing in a suspect lineup. One at time, they step forward to rap about their neighborhood patrol duties, rhyming over an apparent karaoke recreation of the instrumental to Drake's 'Energy.' 'I got energy, gotta lotta energy,' one officer begins, cribbing from the opening line to the Drake hit while wearing shades and a backward baseball cap. 'Tryin' to give the 'hood lots and lots of synergy.'" Read more here.

- Council Family Feud - Daily News's Shayna Jacobs: "City Council member Ben Kallos' clash with his ailing mother left her longtime friend in handcuffs. June Kallos' caretaker, Elliott Tash, was arrested Sept. 1 for menacing, stalking and harassment after approaching the Upper East Side politician outside his E. 93rd St. district office.Kallos bolted after Tash approached, and cops took the 69-year-old man into custody. Kallos' mother decided to speak out after learning her only child was still pressing charges against Tash." Read more here.

OP-EDS and EDITORIALS:

- "The Relief NYC's Mom and Pops Need" - Kenneth Adams for the Daily News: "Not long ago, members of the New York City Council demonstrated their support for neighborhood retailers by approving a measure to reduce the city's Commercial Rent Tax, a levy that shouldn't exist in the first place... However, beyond blaming "greedy landlords" for the demise of New York City neighborhood retail, members of the City Council should also look in the mirror. Proposed solutions like commercial rent regulation focus the public's attention on rising rents, but ask any small business owner and they will tell you that making the rent is not their only challenge - complying with government-imposed rules and regulations, at a significant cost of time, treasure and stress, also takes its toll." Read more here.

-OPENING NEW YORK'S PUBLIC RECORDS - New York Times: "In an age of entrenched political antagonism, here's a proposition everyone can support: A democratic government should be as open and transparent as possible. No one - not citizens or businesses, not advocacy groups or the media - should be denied information because there are too many hoops to jump through or it costs too much to get it. So why has it been so hard for New York to pass a law that would make it a bit more likely for people to get that information? Welcome to Albany, the land of outsized egos and petty turf wars, where good ideas go to die every day. Now Gov. Andrew Cuomo has an opportunity to rise above this childishness and look like a champion for government transparency. A bill awaiting the governor's signature would remove one of the biggest obstacles facing those who are wrongly denied documents they have requested under New York's open-records law - the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight that denial in court. The tab can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, which may be affordable to deeper-pocketed corporations and organizations but is prohibitive for ordinary citizens.

As a result, many denials never get challenged, and New Yorkers can be left in the dark about problematic policies, ethics scandals or serious violations of the law." Read more here.

- WHY THE MTA SHOULD HIKE FARES - AM New York's Larry Penner: "Any public official, MTA board member, MTA management or transit advocate who opposes future planned 4 percent fare hikes in 2019 & 2021 misses the reason why they are needed. Over the past 53 years since the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, over $120 billion dollars in combined city, state and federal taxpayers generated dollars have subsidized both the capital and operating costs for the MTA and its various operating agencies." Read more here.

SOCIAL DATA:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Politifact reporter Dan Clark ... Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor of Gawker, former editor of the New York Observer ... Genevieve Morton of Rep. Grace Meng's office

HAPPENING TODAY -- Former United States Treasury Attache to Qatar and Kuwait and current SVP for Tiedemann Wealth Management Michael Greenwald is speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations on a roundtable discussion entitled "Political and Financial Implications of the Gulf Crisis" with Helima Croft and moderated by Elliot Abrams.

TRANSITIONS -- Madison Heuston has joined the New Yorker as PR coordinator, replacing Adrea Piazza. She previously was an associate at Scottie Public Affairs in Pittsburgh and has also worked for SKDKnickerbocker.

WEEKEND WEDDINGS - -- "Mary Baskerville, Theodore Newman" -- N.Y. Times: "Ms. Baskerville, 30, is a public relations manager in the corporate and financial practice of Burson-Marsteller in New York. Until January, she was a sponsorship manager at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, part of the Clinton Foundation. She graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. ... Mr. Newman, 35, is an insurance claims manager at the Starr Companies, an insurance and financial services company in New York. He graduated from Northwestern and received a law degree from American University. ... The couple met in 2013 at a happy hour at Alero, a Mexican restaurant in Washington. Ms. Baskerville was working in press advance for the Obama administration." With pic http://nyti.ms/2yWdZj5 ... Wedding pics http://bit.ly/2jKskaw ... http://bit.ly/2iQpEHa ... http://bit.ly/2nQekQM ... http://bit.ly/2At5UVm

SPOTTED: Margaret Talev, Jon Garcia, Kimberly Schwandt, Kia Baskerville, Stephanie Temaat, Kaitlin Gaughran, Michelle Rothblum, Caroline Coscia, Mike and Kiera Epstein, Emily Berret, Luke Schiel, Bruna Braga, Caroline Federal, Raquel Melo, Ed Cox, Howard Krongard, John Catsimatidis

--"Allison Keves, Jonathan Ellis": "Mrs. Ellis, who is 34 and works in Manhattan, is the social media and audience engagement editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island and received an M.B.A. from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. ... Mr. Ellis, 33, is a deputy editor on the climate desk at The New York Times. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown." With pic http://nyti.ms/2Apnr0G

--"Sulin Carling, Michael Hartman": "Ms. Carling, 33 ... is a senior program manager in Manhattan for the Department of City Planning. She graduated from the University of Chicago and received a master's degree in urban planning from Harvard. ... Mr. Hartman, 37, is a senior trial lawyer in Manhattan for the United States Labor Department. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a law degree from Columbia." With pic http://nyti.ms/2AsmFQA

THE HOME TEAMS - POLITICO's Howard Megdal:

The day after the Yankees added Giancarlo Stanton to one of the great young teams in baseball, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson walked back comments from earlier this offseason that the Mets, off a 70-92 campaign, would add a free agent reliever. Too expensive, it turns out. Also, Alderson told reporters the Mets didn't need Stanton, the National League home run champion, because "with Brandon Nimmo in right field, we just didn't feel we had a need there." So in case you were wondering if Mets ownership is still hopelessly compromised financially, wonder no more.

Knicks 111, Hawks 107: Jarrett Jack scored 18 points, including two on a late, clutch jumper made possible by a Kristaps Porzingis screen.

Cowboys 30, Giants 10: Despite the promotion of a scrappy backup, Eli Manning, to the role of starting quarterback, the Giants fell to 2-11.

Broncos 23, Jets 0: Not only did the Jets assure themselves a non-winning season, Josh McCown broke his hand in the process, possibly ending his season.

Bills 13, Colts 7: In an ur-Buffalo football game, LeSean McCoy ran for 156 yards, including a 21-yard scoring rush late in overtime, to give the Bills a win amid the snow to stay in the playoff hunt.

The day ahead: the Islanders host the Capitals. The Stars travel to The Garden to take on the Rangers.

MORNING MEDIA, with POLITICO's Michael Calderone:

ONE OF MY BIG CONCERNS following the 2016 election was that journalists too often take for granted that the public understands how they do their jobs. If we don't explain "what we do and why," I argued , "we're ceding the debate to those looking to vilify and delegitimize the press at a dangerous moment in history." For example, James O'Keefe's conservative activist group Project Veritas recently tried framing the Washington Post in an ominous light when an editorial page voiced criticism of Trump. Journalists can laugh off O'Keefe's tactics, but if someone is unaware of the separation between the news and the opinion pages at the Post, such attacks could prove successful.

- The Washington Post's Margaret Sullivan addressed Sunday how news organizations vet anonymous sources, "just one of the practices that journalists assume, perhaps incorrectly, that news consumers understand." Her colleague, Wesley Lowery, noted that "a lot of people seem to think that when we use anonymous sources, we don't even know who they are - that they're anonymous to us." That isn't the case.

- "I don't think people widely understand how hard journalists work to get stories right," ProPublica president Richard Tofel told Sullivan. "Accuracy is the first requirement journalists have of each other, for instance, when considering hiring or promotion. Corrections (and even uncorrected mistakes) are badges of dishonor."

REAL ESTATE, with POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg and Conor Skelding:

- STREETS FOR SALE - New York Post's Anna Sanders: "The city is literally selling itself. Public streets and sidewalks are routinely sold to institutions and deep-pocketed real-estate interests in a little-known practice that takes them off the official City Map and transforms them into private property. The city got more than $35 million from nine street deals in the past four years, according to the Law Department. Massive real-estate firm Tishman Speyer owns a company that spent $25 million - the largest purchase since July 2013 - on a single block of West Street in Queens for a Long Island City luxury housing project. Five other recent buyers are obscure limited-liability companies, including one owned by the powerful Durst Organization, which purchased two waterfront streets in Queens for $1 million in 2015." Read more here

AROUND NEW YORK:

- The 9/11 Museum is running operating losses for the second year in a row.

- Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the U.S. DOT to restore a rule rescinded by the Trump Administration requiring airlines to disclose their baggage fees.

- Schumer completed his full 62-county tour of New York with a Friday stop at the Chatham Brewery. He used recent layoffs at General Electric in Schenectady to make the case against the GOP-backed tax overhaul.

- Drug charges against former Citizens Union executive director Dick Dadey were dropped.

- A new study shows about 30 percent of Staten Island residents have earned a bachelor's degree.

- Public Advocate Letitia James spent roughly $750,000 in taxpayer funded-matching funds on her re-election this year, even though she didn't face a significant challenge.

- New York City is using "talking circles" to help resolve city worker disputes.

#UpstateAmerica: "Rochesterians, cross your fingers, pray, carry every lucky charm you can think of -Swedish furniture giant Ikea is considering locations in the Henrietta area, according to three sources in a position to know."

#ZooYork: A drone's eye view of New York City.

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page: http://politi.co/1MkLGXV

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** A message from PhRMA: Are middlemen really holding down the cost of medicines? Ever wonder who decides what you pay for your medicines? It's not who you might think. Biopharmaceutical companies set the list prices for their medicines, but it's your insurer that ultimately determines how much you pay out of pocket. More than one-third of the list price of a medicine is rebated back to middlemen, like insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). These rebates and discounts create savings of more than $100 billion, but these savings aren't always shared directly with patients. Patients share the costs. They should share the savings. http://onphr.ma/2zcTOi3 **

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Our inspiration is the "Internet Archive" USA. "Libraries exist to preserve society's cultural artefacts and to provide access to them. If libraries are to continue to foster education and scholarship in this era of digital technology, it's essential for them to extend those functions into the digital world." This is our library of unsolicited emails from around the world. See https://archive.org. Spamdex is in no way associated though. Supporters and members of http://spam.abuse.net Helping rid the internet of spam, one email at a time. Working with Inernet Aware to improve user knowlegde on keeping safe online. Many thanks to all our supporters including Vanilla Circus for providing SEO advice and other content syndication help | Link to us | Terms | Privacy | Cookies | Complaints | Copyright | Spam emails / ICO | Spam images | Sitemap | All hosting and cloud migration by Cloudworks.

Important: Users take note, this is Spamdex - The Spam Archive for the internet. Some of the pages indexed could contain offensive language or contain fraudulent offers. If an offer looks too good to be true it probably is! Please tread, carefully, all of the links should be fine. Clicking I agree means you agree to our terms and conditions. We cannot be held responsible etc etc.

The Spam Archive - Chronicling spam emails into readable web records

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Spamdex - The Spam Archive Located in London, SW19 8AE. Phone: 08000 0514541.