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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by AARP New York: BERNIE on the sidelines in CUOMO-NIXON contest -- BuzzFeed publishes massive trove of NYPD Disciplinary Records -- MICHAEL COHEN comes to court -- Pulitzer Day Arrives

04/16/2018 07:21 AM EDT

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

The tensions between progressives and what we'll call Cuomo Democrats have been around for eight years. Remember that in 2010, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ran as a centrist, Clintonian, "New Democrat" who pushed against labor unions and said they had too much power. He delivered on his promises during his first term, and was able to reduce pension benefits for new public employees, place a cap on increases in local property taxes and cut the estate tax. Key unions refused to endorse him for a second term, and the Working Families Party - an amalgamation of labor and groups like Citizen Action - was close to endorsing Zephyr Teachout before Cuomo started promising the moon and twisting arms. He won the WFP line, never really followed through on pushing his party-mates' quest to take the State Senate and then set out to diminish the activists who had spurned him. He created the Women's Equality Party to drag away voters. He urged close labor allies to yank their funding and support.

But the WFP abided, and on Saturday punched back. Despite several months of outreach, the party voted on Saturday to endorse actor Cynthia Nixon over Cuomo - lining up a statewide campaign infrastructure behind her insurgent candidacy. Three more Cuomo-allied unions pulled out of the party on Friday, when the governor said he wasn't asking for the WFP's line, anyway. Surrogates attacked. Nixon, clad in white, appeared at a basement ballroom at the Albany Hilton to declare, "You are the heart and soul of the progressive New York that we want to create ... the last eight years under Andrew Cuomo have been an exercise in living with disappointment and dysfunction and dishonesty."

And so the fissure running up New York's left grew deeper. In the coming months we'll see if labor unions, as they've started to signal, will form yet another third party. We'll see whether the WFP can raise funds from the same cadre of liberals who will end up stoking Nixon. We'll see who has the better turnout machine - the unions, the community organizers or what's left of the party apparatus they once built together.

Regardless of the answer to those questions, the WFP endorsement gives Nixon a crucial gift: a ballot line. Assuming the endorsement is formalized at the party's convention next month in Harlem, Nixon will appear on the general election ballot in November whether she wins the Democratic primary or not. It could make her a spoiler - and she hasn't said what will happen if she's shaping up to be one - but it will also lend an aura of viability to a campaign that is just beginning its assault on a Goliath of modern Democratic politics. Zephyr Teachout got 34 percent. Bernie Sanders got 42 percent. How will Nixon do, and how would those who came before her have cracked the world if they'd lasted into the general election?

IT'S MONDAY. Democrats in the State Senate will return to the floor, united. Michael Cohen is due in court, and Stormy Daniels will be there too. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know ... By email:,, and, or on Twitter: @JimmyVielkind, @nahmias , and @dlippman.

WHERE'S BlLL? Appearing live on NY1's Inside City Hall.

WHERE'S ANDREW? In Albany and the New York City area with no announced public schedule.

The Tabloids: - New York Post: "DISS IS US"- Daily News: "ABANDONED BY THE FDNY" - See Them

More Tabloids: - Newsday:"LI MAN HAD 9 ILLEGAL GUNS" - El Diario New York: "Activos y vitales"-TRANSLATION: "Active and vital"- See Them

The Free Papers: - Metro New York: "AIRBNB'S LEADING LADIES"- AM New York: "WARN & FUZZY"- See Them

The Broadsheets: - New York Times: - 1 col., above the fold: "TRUMP TO PUNISH RUSSIA FOR AIDING ATTACK BY SYRIA"- 1 col., above the fold: "Syrian Strike Attracts Talk, Not Changes" - 4 col, below the fold: "From Trump's Hometown, a New Legal Threat With Long Arms" - Wall Street Journal: - 1 col., above the fold: "Trump Bowed to Pentagon Restraint"- 4 col., below the fold: "Tax Hit Looms for Online Shoppers"- 2 col., below the fold: "Currencies Signal Spreading Volatility"- See Them


BUZZFEED PUBLISHES FULL DATABASE OF NYPD DISCIPLINARY RECORDS - BuzzFeed's Kendall Taggart: "Today BuzzFeed News is making public one of the New York Police Department's most fiercely guarded secrets: a database of disciplinary findings for about 1,800 NYPD employees who faced departmental misconduct charges between 2011 and 2015.

This information has been off-limits since 2016, when the NYPD removed them from public view, citing a controversial state law that shields police officers' misconduct. As a result, New Yorkers who are charged with a crime have no simple way to find out if the officer who arrested them has a misconduct record that might affect their credibility with a jury. Officers who have faced disciplinary charges have limited information about how their punishment compares with those of other officers in similar situations. And taxpayers as a whole have no way to assess how their police department is policing its own.

Many other large departments, in states such as Illinois and Florida, routinely make this information available. "The public has a right to know what our public officials are doing, and this is especially true with our police officers, who have the power to shoot to kill, use force, and deprive people of their liberty through stop or arrest," said Samuel Walker, a national policing expert.

BuzzFeed News determined that there is an overwhelming public interest in these documents' release, and so we are publishing them in a format that is designed to be searchable by criminal defendants, police officers, scholars, and the public. The files were provided by a source who requested anonymity. Their legitimacy was verified through more than 100 calls to NYPD employees, visits to officers' homes, interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers, and a review of thousands of pages of court records." Read it here.

Explore the database here.

ENTER CARRANZA - "De Blasio wants Carranza to take New York's schools to the next level. What does that mean?" by POLITICO's Eliza Shapiro: Mayor Bill de Blasio's message to his new schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, has been consistent: Take America's largest school system "to the next level." It's just not entirely clear what that means. The mayor delivered the edict earlier this month as he and Carranza sat over pastrami sandwiches and Cel-Ray sodas at Katz's. He delivered the same message during Carranza's visits to the ornate sitting rooms of the mayor's home, Gracie Mansion, and during the new chancellor's first appearances in City Hall's stately Blue Room.

In an interview with POLITICO last week, Carranza offered an explanation of what the mayor's ultimatum means: Take the big-picture education policy initiatives de Blasio conjured up in his first term and actually make them work. "Systems work is not sexy," Carranza said, as his black SUV tumbled down the West Side Highway. "It's dirty, you roll up your sleeves, it's hard work, it's wonky work."

But what else is a chancellor good for? "I haven't taught one child today," Carranza said. "The added value of a leader to a system is to think about the system, and create structures in the system that are self-replicating." That means implementing 3-K, an expansion of prekindergarten for three-year-olds, smoothly, by coordinating services and supports across the city's vast infrastructure of agencies. It means changing or potentially doing away with the Renewal program for struggling schools, which Carranza said relies on a framework that's "a little fuzzy," compounding his criticism of a program that's already seen as at least a partial failure by many of the city's education experts and elected officials. It also means, perhaps most importantly, getting all the city's third graders up to reading level by 2026, when about 60 percent of test-takers failed the state English exam last year - a task so enormous as to be nearly impossible. Read more here.

- GUN PERMIT CASE GOES TO COURT - New York Post's Kaja Whitehouse: "A former Brooklyn prosecutor is set to go on trial Monday in a guns-for-bribes case that has shaken up the way the NYPD doles out gun permits. John Chambers, a self-described gun lawyer to the stars, stands accused of bribing David Villanueva, an ex-supervisor in the NYPD's gun licensing division, for hard-to-obtain gun permits - including for a client who was being investigated for domestic abuse, according to prosecutors.Chambers is one of seven people who have been charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors for paying or accepting bribes for permits, including Villanueva, three other cops and two other gun expediters. His arrest last year, along with the officers, resulted in the NYPD announcing major changes to its gun licensing division, including staffing changes." Read here

** A message from AARP New York: Millions of New Yorkers can now save for retirement through the Secure Choice Savings Program because of the leadership of Governor Cuomo, and the action of the State Assembly and Senate. Secure Choice allows small businesses to provide employees with an easy retirement savings option, letting workers save for the future. **

- UBER SUES CITY - In new suit, Uber, Lyft and Via target New York's wheelchair-accessiblity requirements, by POLITICO's Dana Rubinstein: Uber, Lyft and Via may be rivals on the streets of New York City, but they are united in their opposition to New York City's plan to impose upon them wheelchair-accessibility requirements. In a lawsuit filed Friday in New York County Supreme Court, the companies ask the court to abrogate the city's accessibility mandate on the grounds that it's "seriously flawed," "extraordinary," and "arbitrary," among other things. Yellow taxis, which once reigned supreme on New York City streets, are already subject to wheelchair accessible requirements. But with Uber, Lyft and Via devouring bigger and bigger market share, disability rights advocates and the city have begun focusing their attention on the lack of wheelchair accessibility in the for-hire vehicle sector to which they belong.. Read more here.


- NIXON IN NYMAG - "Cynthia Nixon has already won," by Jessica Pressler: "instead of playing a politician, Cynthia Nixon has decided to become one, a choice many have found confounding. Who would trade all of this - the career, the apartment, the comfortable distance from reality - for glad-handing, and stale coffee in Styrofoam cups, and answering for a number of decades-old Sex and the City grievances, and, you know, Albany? 'People were like, 'I think it's great, but just why?' ' Nixon said onstage at the Cutting Room in Murray Hill, at her recent 52nd-birthday party, which doubled as a fund-raiser. 'Why would you possibly do this?' The main reason, she said, is Donald Trump.

Like many liberals, Nixon was shocked and shaken by the outcome of the 2016 election, and while she'd gone to the Women's March, wearing a pink pussy hat and saying Washington had 'better think twice about messing with women,' it hadn't seemed like quite enough. 'There was this sense that politics was now intensely personal in a way that it had never been before,' she told me in her apartment. 'It felt like if we wanted to fight against the Trump agenda, we really had to do everything we could to get involved. Including running for office.' ... Nixon and her friends had been talking about finding a candidate with a progressive agenda to run against Cuomo the way Fordham professor Zephyr Teachout had back in 2014, when she startled everyone by capturing 34 percent of the Democratic vote - 'even though she had very little money and no name recognition and had a hard time getting the media to cover her,' said Nixon. 'So we were saying we needed someone like that, but maybe with a bigger megaphone.'

"But what Democrat would be brave enough to take on a governor whose brand is as familiar to New Yorkers as Duane Reade, a man notorious for his political chess-playing and ruthless vengeance? Maybe Attorney General Eric Schneiderman? An upstate mayor? In years past, Nixon said, she'd been asked to consider filling this role and had always demurred. But at the Tonys in July, while Nixon spoke about inhabiting her character and other actorly things, her mind was clearly elsewhere. Hellman's play was 'eerily prescient,' she mused in her acceptance speech , implicitly connecting the 20th-century work to Trump and the Women's March with a quote from the playwright: 'There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it, and other people who stand around and watch them eat.' Soon after, Nixon decided she could no longer stand around watching the Earth Eaters." Read more here

- TODAY IN THE SENATE: Democrats plan to hand up an updated list of conference members at the start of this afternoon's floor proceedings, announcing they'll be 29-strong, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told POLITICO on Friday evening. "After that, the next day, they're ours," she said. "Jeff is going to be my deputy and the deputy does have responsibilities, including floor leader, and he will assume those responsibilities." The two factions will have their last set of divided conferences: after the mainline Democrats meet at 2 p.m., Stewart-Cousins will meet with the IDC.

She said she spoke last week with Sen. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn, saying, "He's looking forward to seeing me when we come back ... he's going to be somebody's 32, and he's open to being ours." And Stewart-Cousins also tempered expectations for the rest of the year. "There are a lot of individual things that our members have been trying to push for years ... we could do some good things. I'd like to be able to do early voting - i don't even want to tick them off, but suffice it to say we have an agenda that is robust and we have a short period of time. We'll do what we can and then we vote for a larger majority in November so we can come back as a robust Senate Democratic majority." - Jimmy Vielkind and Bill Mahoney

- Cuomo's Felder Plan - Daily News's Ken Lovett: "Gov. Cuomo plans to turn up the heat on the last Democratic holdout aligned with the state Senate Republicans, sources say.If the Democrats win a state Senate special election set for April 24, Cuomo plans to unveil an agenda the next day for the rest of the session that he hopes will pressure Sen. Simcha Felder of Brooklyn to return to the Democratic fold, a source familiar with the plan says. 'With 32 elected Democrats it should be done before the end of the session,' the Cuomo source said. The legislative session ends in June. 'This puts pressure on Simcha Felder to have to pick a side, or be the reason the agenda is not taken up.'" Read it here.

- DID MAYER HELP HARASSMENT VICTIMS? - Daily News' Ken Lovett: "Two women who say state Senate candidate Shelley Mayer didn't do enough to respond to their harassment complaints when she was the chamber Democrats' chief counsel got support Friday from a former staffer who says she was forcibly kissed by a top senator. 'Policies that are vague on process, responsibility, and consequences will only perpetuate the culture of systemic harassment,' Erica Vladimer tweeted. 'No one should feel like their only recourse is to stay silent.' Vladimer earlier this year accused state Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) of forcibly kissing her outside an Albany bar in 2015. Klein has denied the allegation, which is being investigated by the state ethics commission. Vladimer made her latest statement while retweeting a Daily News story detailing how Julia Lilkendey and Shana Wittenwyler got no relief after reporting how they were being harassed by their bosses to Mayer and other Senate officials." Read more here

- BERNIE'S STAYING OUT OF NIXON-CUOMO FRAY - Daily News's Ken Lovett: "Some New York progressive leaders hoping Bernie Sanders might help Cynthia Nixon in her Democratic primary campaign against Gov. Cuomo are likely to be disappointed.A high-level Sanders source said Sunday that it's 'very unlikely' the Vermont senator will get involved. One New York progressive leader had suggested that Sanders might 'look at this race if it tightens, which I think it will, and see if he wants to get involved on behalf of his allies in the progressive movement.'" Read it here.

2018: DONOVAN TROLLS GRIMM - New York Post's Carl Campanile: "Staten Island Republican Rep. Dan Donovan is launching a website to rap his GOP primary opponent Michael Grimm's record as a convicted tax cheat. The website, 'The Grimm Reality,' coincides with Tax Day on Tuesday, the deadline for Americans to file their tax returns. 'It's tax day in America, and while everyone has filed their taxes and paid their hard-earned money to the government, Michael Grimm still thinks he's above the law,' the anti-Grimm website says. 'Even after serving prison time for hiding nearly $1 million in income from the IRS, Michael Grimm still owes approximately $900,000 in back taxes to New York State.'" Read it here.

-ICYMI: "Donovan accuses Grimm of engaging in dirty tricks at city's Board of Elections"


-"Independent New York Prosecutors Pose Potential Risk for Trump"- New York Times's Benjamin Weiser and Ben Protess: "Faced with a sprawling investigation by the special counsel in Washington, President Trump must also contend with an independent-minded office of federal prosecutors in his hometown, New York, who are investigating his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen.

Mr. Trump's administration had fired the Obama-era leader of the United States attorney's office for the Southern District of New York last year, after initially asking him to stay on. Earlier this year, the administration installed a Republican former prosecutor and party donor, Geoffrey S. Berman, after Mr. Trump made an unusual request to interview him personally. Soon after assuming the Southern District post in January, Mr. Berman notified Justice Department officials in Washington of a possible appearance of conflict of interest in the then-undisclosed Cohen investigation, and officials concluded that he should be recused, according to people briefed on the matter." Read more here.

- TRUMP LAWYERS PRESS FOR ACCESS TO COHEN RAID FILES - POLITICO's Josh Gerstein: A lawyer for President Donald Trump is pressing a federal judge to allow Trump's attorneys to sift through the records the FBI seized last week in high-profile searches tied to Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. In a new court filing Sunday night, attorney Joanna Hendon called the use of search warrants to authorize seizure of files from Cohen's home, office and hotel room "disquieting to lawyers, clients, citizens, and commentators alike." She also argued that allowing Trump's legal team access to the confiscated records is the only effective way to safeguard the president's "sacred" right to attorney-client privilege.Read it here.

Only in New York, Kids- Page Six: "Dueling lawyers Michael Cohen and Michael Avenatti had a run-in at an Upper East Side restaurant recently - and neither ordered revenge served cold. The encounter came after news broke that Cohen, President Trump's embattled fixer, paid off Avenatti's client, Stormy Daniels, to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. The foes sat with their own separate parties at the upscale Greek restaurant, Avra on Madison Ave., and "introduced themselves . . . they shook hands," an Avra source told The Post. The source said the interaction wasn't tense, and that Avra is a popular place for power players to unwind. The two have been at odds in the press since their night out. On Saturday, Avenatti accused Cohen of orchestrating a Friday protest against Daniels in Florida and mocked the small turnout." Read it here

-- "Columbia offers scholarships to Syrians, despite visa ban," by AP's Deepti Hajela: "Columbia University is moving ahead with a scholarship program for Syrian college students displaced by civil war, despite concerns that some students it accepts will be blocked from attending by President Donald Trump's travel restrictions. The program, which has already allowed a handful of students into the university, recently announced it was seeking a second round of new applications from Syrian students. Around 230 have applied so far, with the enrollment period still open. That's comparable to 275 applicants the previous year." Read more here

WHAT'S IN STORE - "What to Expect From Retail Sales After the Trump Tax Cuts," by Bloomberg's Katia Dmitrieva: "Tax cuts have given a boost to Americans' take-home pay this year. The question hanging over the U.S. economy is whether they are putting the extra cash toward savings and debt, or using it to go shopping. Retail-sales data due Monday from the Commerce Department will help provide an answer, and economists are betting that consumers finally opened up their wallets a little wider, thanks in part to the boost in paychecks as well as 2017 tax refunds from Uncle Sam. Sales probably rose 0.4 percent in March from the prior month, based on the median estimate of analysts. That would break a streak of three declines that was the longest such dip since 2015 and reflected the hangover from a debt-fueled, post-hurricane spending binge in the fourth quarter." Read the story here.


- "The Right Way to Rewrite the City Charter"- Corey Johnson for the Daily News: "If you're paying attention to the news, you might have noticed headlines about a new City Charter commission coming soon. If you're paying close attention, you might have noticed that there are actually two Charter Revision Commissions on the way - one from Mayor de Blasio and one legislated by the City Council...Our commission would have the power to conduct a holistic review of the land use process, including the pros and cons of current land-use review procedures; bring the budgeting process into the 21st century to make it more transparent and less wasteful; and examine the possibility of giving more independence to offices like the city controller and public advocate with oversight power over the mayor... De Blasio's Charter Revision Commission has a different - and far narrower - agenda. The mayor has made clear that he is looking at ways to reduce campaign contribution limits, increase public funding for elections and enhance voter outreach. Those are worthy goals. But frankly, they are not the systemic or structural issues that only a charter commission can tackle. The issues the mayor wants to examine can and should be resolved through legislation. In fact, over the past three decades, the Council itself has routinely strengthened city campaign finance laws through legislation." Read here


ON THE MOVE: Jacob Tugendrajch has been named press secretary for the New York City Council. He previously worked for Sen. Mike Gianaris and is leaving a position at the Museum of the City of New York. At Greenberg Traurig, Sam NeJame has been promoted to lead the New York State government affairs and policy group. Cynthia Neidl will lead the Albany litigation team, Tricia Asaro the Albany health care team and Doreen Saia the Albany energy group.

-- MIKE FROMAN to Mastercard - The former U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama Administration is joining Mastercard as vice chairman and president of strategic growth. He is also an alum of Citigroup and served at Treasury in the Clinton Administration.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Matt Saunders, associate at Global Infrastructure Partners and Trump WH alum ... Chalkbeat founder Elizabeth Green ... GOP political consultant Vince Casale.

OUT AND ABOUT - Pool report: On Sunday night, "at Hill Country BBQ in the Flatiron neighborhood of New York City, The Rough Cuts performed for a packed house of approx 150+ people. Led by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt on the bass and comprised of NBC News producers, editors, and reporters, the band played a familiar set of fan-favorites such as Stevie Wonder's Living For The City and Jefferson Starship's Jane as onlookers enjoyed pork spare ribs and bourbon sweet mashed potatoes.

"The Rough Cuts are gearing up for their first 'road trip' on April 27th when they will be featured at the White House Correspondents Jam -- hosted by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell -- in the Nation's Capital the night before the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. Other acts that evening include Kevin Bacon's group The Bacon Brothers and Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary's group The Mooncussers. Fox News' John Roberts will emcee the event at The Hamilton near the White House." Pics ...

MORNING MEDIA, with POLITICO's Michael Calderone:

TWO BLOCKBUSTER STORIES SURE TO BE HONORED when the Pulitzer Prizes are announced this afternoon are the global reckoning over sexual misconduct and the Trump-Russia investigation. Determining who, specifically, gets honored is a bit trickier and may involve awarding multiple Pulitzers in major categories.

- Both the New York Times and the New Yorker can make a case for themselves when it comes to sexual harassment coverage, with each doing groundbreaking reporting on disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein (and the former also on Bill O'Reilly and other prominent men). In February, the Polk Awards honored both the Times and the New Yorker, and it's possible the Pulitzer judges could do the same, presumably choosing the Public Service category to recognize their efforts.

- Similarly, the Times and the Washington Post went scoop for scoop on the Trump-Russia story in 2017. Polk judges gave both papers their Special Award, and their Pulitzer counterparts may award each a prize, most likely in the National category. (Notably, the Times' Mike Schmidt could snag two Pulitzers today as he is on the Russia story and co-wrote the Times' O'Reilly investigation with Emily Steel.) The Post should also be a contender for its Roy Moore coverage, perhaps in the Investigative category.

- Here are some other pieces that I'd expect to be in the running for awards today: BuzzFeed's "To Russia with Blood" series; the Arizona Republic's investigation of the proposed border wall; the Kansas City Star's dive into state government transparency; the Boston Globe's "Spotlight" investigation on race in the city; and GQ's powerful piece on Dylann Roof (which already won the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing).

- We'll know for sure at 3 p.m. today. Newsrooms across the country will be tuned in here.

You can read the full Morning Media column and sign up to receive it in your inbox by clicking here.

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

LABOR PAINS - "With Pickets and Lawsuits, Unions and Developers Go to War," by The New York Times' Charles V. Bagli: "After decades of relative peace, a labor war between New York's construction unions and real estate developers has broken out. There are daily picket lines in front of a site at Hudson Yards on the Far West Side of Manhattan, where construction of a $4 billion office tower is just getting underway. Anti-union ads are showing up in the subways and in the newspapers targeting "union boss Gary LaBarbera." In the courts, the two sides have traded lawsuits and complaints claiming corruption and unfair labor practices. This month, in the most visible skirmish yet, thousands of union lathers, electricians, laborers, ironworkers and carpenters from work sites across Manhattan poured into the intersection of 40th Street and Seventh Avenue near Times Square for a rally against the city's largest developer, Related Companies." Read the story here.

THREADING THE NEEDLE - "City trying to salvage Garment District rezoning with tax break," by Crain's Joe Anuta: "As part of an attempt to salvage a rezoning of the Garment District, the de Blasio administration has been offering tax breaks to entice landlords to preserve manufacturing space in their buildings, Crain's has learned. ... The development corporation declined to comment, but several sources told Crain's that the city has been offering a tax break to building owners through its Industrial Development Agency if they agree to set aside a portion of their building as manufacturing space for a set period of time. The idea was floated by a community steering committee last year. One landlord said it sounded unappealing because, while the preserved space would need to remain zoned for manufacturing, there would be no guarantee that they would be able to fill it with a tenant from a shrinking industry. ... But without some commitment to have a manufacturing footprint remain in the Garment District it seems unlikely that the city will move forward with another attempt." Read the story here.

You can find the free version of Sally's real estate newsletter here:


- Both Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released their tax returns.

- Columbia University is grappling with how to commemorate the student uprising of 1968.

- U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to make sure funding for bomb-sniffing dogs stays in place.

- A company Rep. Carolyn Maloney co-owned with her siblings was found to discriminated against children over age 5, court records show.

- Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will get involved in helping Senate Democrats flip the State Senate to their control.

- Penn Station's new concourse is already leaking.

- The FDNY is ending its "zero-tolerance" policy for drug use.

THE HOME TEAMS - Howard Megdal:

NYCFC 2, Atlanta 2: Alexander Ring's first MLS goal helped earn a point on the road.

Mets 3, Brewers 2: Justifiably beloved Wilmer Flores hit a walkoff home run to lift the Mets to a 12-2 start.

Both Yankees-Tigers games were rained out.

The day ahead: the Mets look to extend their division lead over the Nationals at Citi Field. The Giancarlo Stantonless Marlins visit Giancarlo Stanton and the Yankees.

#UpstateAmerica: Check out Buffalo's answer to the Sistine Chapel.

#ZooYork: The City's public design commission will meet today to decide the fate of a statue of J. Marion Sims, the only one deemed worthy of removal by a commission appointed by Mayor de Blasio to study the city's monuments.

POLITICO Space is our new weekly briefing on the policies and personalities shaping the second space age. Sign-up today.

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

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** A message from AARP New York: More New York workers will have a secure future.

Millions of New Yorkers can now save for retirement through the Secure Choice Savings Program because of the leadership of Governor Cuomo, and the action of the State Assembly and Senate

Secure Choice allows small businesses to provide employees with an easy retirement savings option, letting workers save for the future.

Thank you Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Senators Klein and Flanagan, bill sponsors Senator Savino and Assemblymember Rodriguez, and all the lawmakers who supported this effort. **

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