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06/01/2018 07:20 AM EDT
By Jimmy Vielkind in Albany and Laura Nahmias in Manhattan, with Daniel Lippman
With 11 scheduled work days left before state lawmakers leave the Capitol for the year, the state Senate devolved into inaction this week when Republicans lost their usual bare majority and the 63-seat chamber became tied, 31-31. The result is that the GOP leaders in the chamber can't pass any bills — even non-controversial measures like one to expand concussion protections, which failed on Thursday — without support from Democrats. And Democrats, sensing their power, say they'll push hostile amendments to codify abortion rights and contraceptive coverage in concert with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has a "casting vote" on procedural matters in the body.
Our colleague Bill Mahoney dug into that argument this morning, and finds it has been "debated more often than it's been exercised in recent decades. So there are few precedents to examine." It's possible, as during the chamber's days of peak dysfunction when Sens. Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate led a coup against their fellow Democrats in 2009, that the next month could be eaten up in court challenges. Forget about partisan priorities — under that scenario, it's doubtful there would even be votes on dozens of "local bills" that normally pass with unanimous affirmation and zero debate. Or the renewal of speed enforcement cameras, a priority for Mayor Bill de Blasio, a roll-back of teacher evaluations sought by New York State United Teachers or the expansion of sports betting to OTBs and, possibly, your cell phone.
Sensing trouble ahead, Republicans kicked off the week by floating an early exit from the Capitol. The idea was initially shot down, but if the forecast calls for sunny days at home and bickering in Albany, it just might have legs.
IT'S FRIDAY. Welcome to June! It's National Donut Day, and also the last day for you to register to vote in this year's congressional primaries coming up on June 26th. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know ... By email: JVielkind@politico.com, LNahmias@politico.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter: @JimmyVielkind, @nahmias, and @dlippman.
WHERE'S ANDREW? Giving a eulogy at Denny Farrell's funeral service, Church of the Intercession, 550 West 155th St. in Harlem, at 10 a.m.
WHERE'S CYNTHIA? Talking to reporters about her plan to fix the subways at the Borough Hall station.
WHERE'S BlLL? Delivering remarks at Denny Farrell's funeral service, and in the late afternoon, delivering remarks at "Teens take the Met!" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Tabloids: — New York Post: "THE APPRENTICE: 'YOU'RE PARDONED' EDITION"— Daily News: "OH SAY CAN YOU C-WORD?"— See Them
More Tabloids:— Newsday: "MISTRIAL"— El Diario New York: "Para defenderse de 'La Migra'"— TRANSLATION: — "To defend against ICE" — See Them
Free Papers: — Metro New York: "SUMMER STARTS NOW"— AM New York: "BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY"— See Them
The Broadsheets: — New York Times: — 2 col., above the fold: "U.S. TO PUT TARIFFS ON ITS KEY ALLIES, RISKING REPRISAL"— 3 col., above the fold: "Trump Uses Pardons to Confront Justice System"— 1 col., above the fold: "Eating leaves To Stay Alive As War Rages"— 1 col., below the fold: "U.S. Expected To Get Oversight Of City Housing"— Wall Street Journal: — 5 col., above the fold: 'U.S. Levies Raise Fear of Trade War"— 2 col., above the fold: "Deutsche Bank Is Hit With Rare Rebuke From Fed"— 3 col., above the fold: "Self-Driving Vehicles Lead SoftBank, Waymo to Detroit"— See Them
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "An event would require answering questions and engaging on the specifics. Unfortunately, you can't read off a script during a media avail. And if you can't face a media avail, you most definitely aren't up to the task of being governor." ~ Cuomo 2018 spokeswoman Lis Smith
WHAT ALBANY IS READING:
— CUOMO BACKS CONGESTION PRICING, AGAIN — POLITICO's Dana Rubinstein: Cuomo on Thursday again vowed to seek legislative support for congestion pricing in New York City. "I look forward to that passing next year," Cuomo said, speaking to reporters during an unrelated press conference on a boat off Long Island's Shinnecock Reef. Cuomo was talking about congestion pricing in the context of finding a new funding stream for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which he effectively controls, and whose subways and buses are losing riders even as New York City's population continues to grow. Last week, Andy Byford, Cuomo's hand-picked subway and bus chief, unveiled a New York City Transit turnaround plan that he expects to cost roughly $19 billion in its first five years and another $18 billion in the ensuing five, according to two knowledgeable sources. ... Both Cuomo and his secretary were briefed on the plan before its release, but the governor did not immediately embrace it. On Thursday he suggested that's because he wants Byford and the MTA to move more quickly. Read more here.
— Cynthia Nixon backs it, too, among other things: Rather than throw her support behind just congestion pricing, which Cuomo claims to support, or just the millionaire's tax, which de Blasio has said should fund everything from subways to pre-K to senior housing, Nixon embraced both ideas and then added another — a polluter fee. "It is very likely that to repair an infrastructure problem this significant, we will also need multiple revenue streams," reads her proposal . "To meet those needs, we propose comprehensive congestion pricing, as well as funding from part of the revenue generated from a polluter fee and a millionaires tax." Read more here.
— Emma G. Fitzsimmons in the New York Times: "As Mr. Cuomo runs for a third term, his management of the beleaguered subway is one of his greatest political vulnerabilities. Ms. Nixon has tried to capitalize on the issue, positioning herself as a champion for subway riders and repeatedly attacking the governor. But it was not until Thursday that Ms. Nixon's campaign had offered specific solutions, releasing its own plan to fix the subways. ... 'I think we can pretty much assume that anything the governor does between now and Sept. 13 is in response to Cynthia Nixon,' Christina M. Greer, a political-science professor, said referring to the date of the primary election."
— Times columnist Jim Dwyer: "Cuomo may have played coy about embracing the new transit rescue proposals when they were announced last week, but on Thursday he jumped in with both feet. Of course."
NIXON DOES THE DAILY SHOW: Comedian Trevor Noah did a wholly serious interview with the insurgent candidate on last night's episode of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, where Nixon griped about the subway, said she's excited at the petitioning process to come and dug at Cuomo's claim that New York is a "progressive capital" for the nation. "How can he say that when for the last eight years we haven't done things like pass the New York DREAM Act?" Nixon told Noah. "We have again, so many black and Latino people incarcerated for marijuana — something that white people do with impunity. We have some of the worst voter suppression laws in the entire country in New York State. How can you have been governor for eight years and presided over this and not had movement on any of these issues? You can't call yourself a progressive and I think, frankly, you can barely call yourself a Democrat." Noah asked Nixon about legalizing marijuana, which she supports, and she reiterated her belief that "there be some kind of equity" with African-American entrepreneurs if recreational pot is allowed. She did not say the word "reparation," which drew fire in an earlier interview. - Jimmy Vielkind
— MANGANO MISTRIAL — Newsday Staff: "The federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, ended Thursday in mistrial. The jury of seven women and five men failed to come to a consensus on the charges that Edward Mangano faced, including federal program bribery, honest-services wire fraud and extortion, after nine days of deliberations. The trial is in its 12th week in Central Islip. On Thursday afternoon, jurors sent Azrack a note that was not made available to Newsday or the public. Prosecutors and defense attorneys immediately met with Azrack for a private discussion and then the Manganos and their lawyers gathered behind closed doors. Linda Mangano was visibly upset. This past week has been a whirlwind of the jury of 12." Read more here.
SOMETHING ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK— Newsday Editorial Board: "There is another verdict, however, one dictated clearly by voluminous testimony in the 12-week trial: The system stinks to its core. Odious details revealed by many witnesses showed that governance in Nassau and Oyster Bay, as practiced by the Republican Party that controlled the machinery for so decades, was not primarily about the public good but what was good for the party machine. A jury could not unanimously agree that this behavior was criminal, but it's still wrong. The code of conduct for insiders was well known — do something for me, I'll do something for you. For vendors, it often meant making campaign contributions that would clear the path to landing lucrative contracts. For party operatives and their families, it meant slaving for GOP leaders for years to earn the chance to move up the public-jobs ladder to get higher compensation and perks." Read it here.
— THE SCHNEIDERMAN DATE — Elle magazine's Jess Mcintosh: "Let's start at the beginning. I'm 23, and the story I tell is called 'The Time I Went Out with the (Relatively) Hot Older State Senator.' I deploy it as a nerdy leg-up on the social ladder among friends. Picture a couple of girls—almost-women, really—sitting on a futon, smoking weed, eating Odessa diner takeout, and giggling at everything. It goes like this: Did I tell you about the seriously awkward time I went on a date with a State Senator? It was supposed to be a meeting, but it was not. He's talking about his divorce and I'm just drinking wine and drinking wine. We made out in the car. Never talked again. But yeah, State Senator. 50 years old, but, like, a pretty hot 50. Read more here.
— Todd Howe hates jail — New York Post's Kaja Whitehouse: "The government's star witness in Joe Percoco's corruption trial would rather face the music than spend another day at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Correctional Center. Disgraced former lobbyist and Gov. Cuomo associate Todd Howe has asked a Manhattan federal judge to sentence him as soon as Aug. 16 in hopes that he will be sprung from "the poor conditions at the MCC," according to a letter filed by his lawyer Thursday. Howe made the request despite knowing that the feds could recommend he do hard time for violating his cooperation agreement." Read it here.
WHAT CITY HALL IS READING:
— FREE PARKING — De Blasio seeks to change a driving 'paradigm,' by POLITICO's Dana Rubinstein: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday launched a new car program that he said could "absolutely" reduce congestion on New York City streets, all the while benefiting "hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers." What is this "very exciting" program? Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare, which have both existed in New York City for years, will for the next 24 months have access to 230 curbside parking spots for a one-time licensing fee of $765 — per company, not per spot. The companies will also get dedicated signage, as well as a limited number of spots in New York City Housing Authority and Transportation Department lots. Read more here.
— Gothamist's Jake Offenhartz: "A new city program to designate a few hundred parking spaces for car-sharing programs has drivers fuming, alleging that the initiative will make it more difficult to own a car in New York—which, uhh, is really kind of the point here...The idea is that providing additional curbside parking for those services will reduce dependence on private cars, helping to alleviate the city's ever-worsening congestion crisis. As evidence that similar efforts have worked for other cities in the past, the city cites a study from the Mineta Transportation Institute indicating that between 23 and 32 percent of carshare members in U.S. cities sold their personal vehicles, and up to 68 percent delayed buying a personal vehicle. The study also found that a single carshare vehicle could remove up to 20 cars from the road."Read more here.
HANDS OFF — Stringer steps out of fray as housing authority investigation winds down, by POLITICO's Sally Goldenberg and Gloria Pazmino: As Mayor Bill de Blasio works out the final details of a federal order to improve the city's public housing authority, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's attempt to install a state monitor has hit a roadblock. City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Thursday said he has no intention of following Cuomo's April 2 executive order, which requires him to name an independent monitor to oversee the New York City Housing Authority's spending of state funds. The governor authorized Stringer to pick a watchdog within two weeks if the mayor, City Council speaker and tenant representative fail to agree on one by June 1.
Stringer's decision drew accusations from the governor's office that he was abdicating his responsibility. The comptroller said his involvement in the process would pose a conflict of interest. "Under the city charter my office is charged with independently auditing NYCHA and on my watch we've conducted more audits of the authority than any city comptroller in more than 25 years," Stringer said in a prepared statement. "The job and the law require me to be independent. That means first and foremost, I cannot audit my own decisions, including the performance of a manager I select." Read more here.
A COOL $7 MILLION — New York Post's Yoav Gonen: "There's not a single rail in the ground, but the mayor's plan to create a trolley along the Brooklyn waterfront has already cost the city at least $7 million in taxpayer money, The Post has learned. That's the current price tag on a delayed feasibility study — spearheaded by the consulting firms KPMG and WSP — that will determine whether the controversial project is even plausible. Economic Development Corp. officials had initially said the review would be completed in the fall of 2017, but this week they wouldn't put a timeline on its release." Read more here.
AIR STRIKE — Anti-Airbnb letter from clergy members sparks dispute among signers, by POLITICO's Janaki Chadha: A letter meant to call out Airbnb for "exploiting" people of color is causing a different kind of stir after multiple signatories said their names were affixed to the document without their consent. Share Better, a hotel industry-backed coalition opposing Airbnb, organized the letter in its ongoing fight with the online home-sharing site. The letter accuses Airbnb of 'predatory housing schemes' that displace low-income residents of color and speed gentrification of their communities. The original draft obtained by POLITICO was signed by 15 black clergy members. But three of the original 15 — Rev. Patrick Young and Bishop Mitchell Taylor of Queens and Rev. Fred Crawford of the Bronx — said they're strong supporters of Airbnb and were "stunned" to be listed." Read the story here.
BLOOMBERG GOES BIG-- Per a tipster: "During remarks delivered [Thursday] afternoon at the New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum in New York, Mike Bloomberg announced a new five-year, $375 million commitment to improving education in America. He gave a brief overview of how Bloomberg Philanthropies intends to invest those funds to better prepare students to enter either college or the workforce. Bloomberg also discussed the importance of improving achievement levels in the early grades, and the changes his team made in New York City as Mayor." His remarks ... WSJ story
-- "The False Choice That Holds Our Kids Back: College or career? American schools should prepare students for both," by Michael Bloomberg in Bloomberg View: https://bloom.bg/2J7cKjM
TRUMP'S NEW YORK
FIRST FAMILY — "One Will Be Guaranteed to Turn Out Like Me': How Donald Trump Fathered a Loyal Army of Mini-Mes: The Trump kids are bound by competition, old wounds, and their desire to cash in," by Emily Jane Fox in an adaptation of her new book, "Born Trump: Inside America's First Family," in Vanity Fair: "When Melania Trump opened the White House residence to all of her husband's children for the weekend following the inauguration, the president's elder daughter put in a request to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. (Permission granted.) When Melania wavered over the idea of the customary parade down Pennsylvania Avenue after the swearing-in ceremony, citing security concerns, Ivanka dug in.'
"'It's happening,' she told an organizer. She worked with a stylist and told friends that she wanted a 'princess moment.' ... By the time the inauguration arrived, the family was done playing the very specific roles they had each carved out during the campaign: Don Jr. as the Second Amendment-abiding red-stater; Ivanka as the palatable bridge to female voters; and Eric as the punctilious manager, the one working behind the scenes to make sure his father had the correct short lists of candidates and advisers to select from." http://bit.ly/2JhfSNs ... $19.58 on Amazon https://amzn.to/2J7z90w
— "Jared Kushner close friend Rick Gerson now under scrutiny from Mueller," by NBC News' Carol E. Lee and Julia Ainsley: "A close friend of Jared Kushner's has come under scrutiny by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for his proximity to some key meetings between Trump associates and foreign officials, according to five people familiar with the matter. Richard Gerson, a hedge-fund manager in New York, was in the Seychelles in January 2017, less than two weeks before President Donald Trump's inauguration and around the time Trump associate Erik Prince secretly met with Russian and United Arab Emirates officials, including Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, four of the people said.
"While in the remote Indian Ocean island nation, Gerson met with Prince Mohammed — also known by his initials as MBZ — and communicated with a Lebanese-American businessman with close ties to the UAE, George Nader, who had organized the Erik Prince meeting, according to text messages Gerson sent at the time and a person familiar with the meeting." https://nbcnews.to/2J24ENm
2018 MIDTERMS: New Yorkers for Excellent Health Care, the PAC supporting Dan Donovan in his primary race against Michael Grimm, placed $50,200 on cable for the next two weeks in the contest for NY CD-11.
2020: CLINTON RESPONDS TO GILLIBRAND — Gannett's Joe Spector: "Former president Bill Clinton responded to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's remarks last year that he should have resigned over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, saying Gillibrand is 'living in a different context.' Speaking during an interview set to air Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning, Clinton said he disagreed with Gillibrand's contention last November that he should have left office. 'You have to — really ignore what the context was,' Clinton said, according to a preview of his remarks released Thursday by CBS. 'But, you know, she's living in a different context. And she did it for different reasons. So, I — but I just disagree with her.' Gillibrand drew national attention last November when she told The New York Times that Clinton resigning in 1998 as president would have been the 'appropriate response.'" Read it here.
MOVES: "Department of Education Communications Director Devora Kaye, who served as chief spokeswoman for the agency since 2014, is leaving in July to start a new role as Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs at the NYPD."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Friday — Constance Boozer, director of surrogates and media affairs for Senate Minority Leader Schumer ... Mark Westcott, a GOP activist in Queensbury ... Saturday — Bruce Roter, who is working to establish the Museum of Political Corruption in Albany ... Sunday — Straphanger advocate Gene Russianoff ... WNYT reporter Dan Levy ... Cuomo aide Karim Camara
MORNING MEDIA, with POLITICO's Michael Calderone:
MSNBC SILENT ON JOY REID: POLITICO's Jason Schwartz writes on the network's silence as even more posts surface. "What started as an issue over views held a decade ago has morphed, in many ways, into one of trustworthiness," he writes. "It has been more than a month since Reid claimed that she was hacked and neither she nor MSNBC have produced any evidence supporting the allegations. Reid has admitted on air that the cybersecurity experts she hired to look into the matter have been unable to turn up any proof."
SAMANTHA BEE APOLOGIZES FOR IVANKA SLUR: The TBS host faced a firestorm after calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless c***" in a riff on the Trump administration's immigration policies. "I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night," Bee said in a statement on Twitter. "It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it."
TRUMP PARDONS DINESH D'SOUZA: The president "took to Twitter on Thursday morning to unveil his intent to pardon D'Souza, who pleaded guilty to a felony in 2014 over his use of straw donors to make illegal contributions in a 2012 Senate race," POLITICO's Cristiano Lima and Josh Gerstein report. D'Souza, a right-wing filmmaker and pundit, is known for making vile comments on Twitter, such as mocking Parkland shooting survivors, and spreading conspiracy theories.
— Former SDNY Prosecutor Carrie Cohen on Trump's pardon of Dinesh D'Souza: "D'Souza pled guilty because he was guilty. He allocuted on the record that he intentionally and knowingly caused illegal straw donor campaign contributions in violation of federal law. The Court found no evidence to support D'Souza's pre-plea claim that he was selectively prosecuted."
-- "Tangel tapped as WSJ aviation industry reporter" - TalkingBizNews: Andrew "Tangel has been at The Journal since 2014. For the past two years, he has been covering manufacturing and companies including Caterpillar, Whirlpool and Harley-Davidson. Before that, he covered transportation for the Greater New York section." Read more
-- Anne Michaud, most recently Newsday's interactive opinion editor and columnist, is now the communications director for Success Academy Charter Schools.
-- Today is Amy Walter's first day on the air as the Friday host of "The Takeaway."
TONIGHT: Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand breaks her 13-year silence in an exclusive interview with Kate Snow on NBC's "Dateline." Preview here.
SUNDAY: Former president Bill Clinton discusses his impeachment, President Trump, and his new novel with James Patterson on "CBS Sunday Morning." (Also, Clinton and Patterson will be doing a TimesTalk on Tuesday.)
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:
— "In NYC, two-bedrooms under $1M are a rare commodity," by Curbed's Ameena Walker: "Unless you are exceedingly wealthy, buying a home in New York City is no easy feat and for the bulk of New Yorkers, homeownership simply isn't an option. The number of obstacles that make it difficult are many and well ranged from home flipping threatening the few affordable neighborhoods that remain left to a new federal tax overhaul that has created unease, resulting in fewer home purchases. But another major factor is the shortage of affordable homes for sale that would be accessible to the majority of potential buyers. In a new report, StreetEasy takes a look at the total number of sales over the past five years, as well as the number of two-bedrooms listed on its site for less than $1 million over the same period of time.
— What it found was that there has been an overall five-year pattern of falling sales, which predates any concerns over interest rates or new tax code changes, meaning there was another driving force behind the decline in purchases. However, what StreetEasy did determine was that the 'likely culprit for the fall in sales volume is the gradual disappearance of affordable homes throughout the five boroughs, including in many areas that traditionally drew professionals seeking a larger home in which to raise a family.'" Read the story here
You can find the free version of Sally's real estate newsletter here: http://politi.co/2a1DgJk
AROUND NEW YORK:
— The State Liquor Authority fined Sam Adams $1 million.
— Pieces of the Tappan Zee Bridge were sunk in Atlantic to make an artificial reef, fish habitat and tourist attraction.
— The leaderless Buffalo Fire Department has racked up more than $11 million in overtime costs.
— The NYPD is retiring its use of the revolver as it switches to the use of semi-automatic weapons
— Investigators conducting a review of of what went wrong during a January standstill at J.F.K. Airport found "deficiencies in communication" and "inadequate overarching leadership by J.F.K. management" contributed to the mess.
THE HOME TEAMS — Howard Megdal:
Big transfer for St. John's men's basketball, Mustapha Heron heading to Queens from Auburn. Heron and Shamorie Ponds should be the best backcourt in the Big East next season, if Heron can get an NCAA waiver and play immediately.
The future of the Albany Cup remains uncertain.
Cubs 5, Mets 1: Seth Lugo provided a solid return to the rotation, but the bullpen did not follow with similar effectiveness, and happiest man in baseball Brandon Nimmo's home run was wasted.
Yankees-Orioles was washed out, and will be made up with a single admission doubleheader July 9.
The day ahead: the Yankees are in Baltimore. The Mets host the Cubs.
#UpstateAmerica: The supposedly British expert on the Royal Family is actually Tommy from Bolton Landing.
#ZooYork: The Mets have their first female stadium announcer.
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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