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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by The Business Council's Annual Meeting: DE BLASIO on HILLARY -- K2 hits 125th Street -- TAPPAN ZEE milestone

09/03/2015 06:49AM EDT

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

CUOMO ON BIDEN - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: He endorsed Hillary Clinton for president "wholeheartedly" just hours after she announced her candidacy, but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the prospect of Vice President Joe Biden entering the race would be "good." "If he did run, I think all Democrats would be in a bind, because they'd have a choice of a number of good candidates," Cuomo told reporters after an event at New York University touting new sexual assault policies. "But that's a good situation to be in, right?"

MAYOR ON FRONT-RUNNER (AND EX-BOSS) -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks his former boss, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, is well on her way to becoming a high-quality Democratic contender. "I think Secretary Clinton is offering a more and more powerful vision for addressing the issues that I'm particularly focused on, and I give her a lot of credit for that," he said on Wednesday during an unrelated press conference. "I still think there's some issues that we have to hear a little more on, but I think with each passing day she's put forward a stronger and clearer vision."

-- De Blasio made his remarks the same day that Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito endorsed the former New York senator and secretary of state. The mayor has conspicuously, and somewhat controversially in Clinton circles, not made an endorsement. De Blasio has been trying to make a name for himself in national progressive politics, and plans to host a candidates forum on income inequality later this year.

-- New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito endorsed Clinton's campaign.

-- @MMViverito: "Promptly at noon, as scheduled, @HillaryClinton calls to thank me endorsement. ¡Gracias a ti Hillary! Happy to join your team."

-- Hillary fund-raiser with Reshma Saujani -- a former de Blasio aide -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: Reshma Saujani, the tech-sector activist and former hedge fund attorney who ran for public advocate in 2013, is hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on Sept. 30, according to a copy of the invitation acquired by POLITICO New York. She's apparently co-hosting it with her husband, tech entrepreneur Nihal Mehta, whose first name (but not last) is also on the invite. The event, at the 40/40 Club in Manhattan, will feature Clinton herself, "along with a few very special guests," according to the invite. Clinton's office didn't immediately respond to a request to confirm her attendance. ... The September 30 event is being billed as "a #NYCTECH gathering with the next president of the united states."

-- Saujani worked for de Blasio when he was public advocate:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We need her in the White House, for her policies and what she represents" -- New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito on endorsing Hillary Clinton, via NYT:

HAPPENING TONIGHT: "(Still) The Progressive Mayor? Bill de Blasio in Year Two" -- a panel discussion featuring Jennifer Fermino, Daily News city hall bureau chief; Jarrett Murphy, City Limits' executive editor and publisher; and Azi Paybarah, Politico New York reporter, at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, 1 Washington Place, in Manhattan.

TABS -- Post: "BUMS' RUSH: NYPD finally tackles vagrants" -- News: "THE DEAD SEA: Aylan was only 3, fleeing Syrian war with his family. He drowned with his brother and mother." -- Newsday: "IRAN DEAL: OBAMA HAS THE VOTES" -- amNY: RUN-DOWN RAILS: At current pace, it'll take 50 years to get every subway station in good shape: Report" -- Observer: "What Cops Really Think: NYPD officers blast Mayor de Blasio for making a tough job even tougher" -- El Diario [translated]: High fraud: warning about intermediaries offering to reclaim wages of laborers who worked for contractors in the city

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 3-col. above the fold: "On Harlem Block, Lost in a Cheap Drug's Haze" -- WSJNY, 6-col. above the fold: "Summer Is Safest In Years, City Says" -- AMI magazine: "JERRY NADLER UNDER FIRE"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: CNN's Brian Stelter ... John DeSio, comms. director for the Bronx Borough president

**A message from The Business Council's Annual Meeting: Register now for The Business Council's Annual Meeting (Sept. 16-18). Hear from education reform advocate Campbell Brown. Mingle with hundreds of the state's top business executives, all while enjoying the beautiful vistas of Lake George. Register: **

WAKE-UP SCOOP: Governor Andrew Cuomo will receive the Man of the Year award from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association during their annual convention in Albany this afternoon, a source familiar with the event tells Azi Paybarah. The honor is notable since it comes shortly after Cuomo signed an executive order to have the state attorney general, rather than local district attorneys, investigate civilian deaths in police encounters. The move was celebrated by police reform advocates and progressives, but it angered local D.A.'s and was opposed by police unions. But Cuomo the state's former attorney general and assistant district attorney in Manhattan, has a long track record with law enforcement officials. Most recently, he sided with the uniformed unions in a pension fight against City Hall, and spoke at the funeral for slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos, plus attended the wake for Ramos' partner, WenJian Liu. The event today also unites two of Mayor Bill de Blasio's most prominent critics. The union's president said the mayor had "blood" on his hands, after the killing of Ramos in Liu. And earlier this summer, de Blasio accused Cuomo of being "vindictive" and sabotaging New York City residents in order to pursue a "vendetta" against his political rivals. -- Azi

TAPPAN ZEE MILESTONE - Journal News' Khurram Saeed: "Construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge is halfway done. Work on the massive $4-billion project has reached the 50 percent mark two years after it started, Tom McGuinness, construction compliance engineer for the New York State Thruway Authority, said Wednesday during a media boat tour of the 3-mile site ... Much of the first year's work took place below water but that has changed dramatically as drivers from the bridge can easily see the action. By the end of this year, McGuinness said the goal is to have all construction taking place above the Hudson River."

SUING TEACHER RATED 'HIGHLY EFFECTIVE'-POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey : As Long Island elementary school teacher Sheri Lederman headed into school this week, she, like many teachers around the state, received her 2014-15 growth score, a rating that determines how good she is at her job. For Lederman, this year's score was an 11 on a scale of one to 20, which, combined with local scores from her district, will rank her as "highly effective." But at this time last year her rating was drastically different. The Great Neck fourth grade teacher received a 1, demoting her from "highly effective" to "effective." She has since taken the issue to court, arguing that the system, based on student performance, puts teachers with already high-performing students at a disadvantage. "She went from 14 to 1 to 11 in a space of three years, which is showing exactly what we're saying, that we still think there's a problem," Bruce Lederman, Sheri's husband and attorney, told POLITICO New York. "These scores are bouncing around like Yo-Yos."

SYNTHETIC DRUG ROILS AN EAST HARLEM BLOCK -- Times' Nicholas Casey: "The people here on this stretch of 125th Street in East Harlem may change, but the drug remains the same: K2, also called synthetic marijuana, a potent mix of herbs and chemicals that has become widely used among homeless people in New York City. A joint of K2 goes for a dollar or two, far cheaper than food. Many bodegas on 125th Street sell it. A marijuana joint, by comparison, costs about $5. Crowds of up to 80 or 100 homeless people come in on buses from a nearby shelter on Randalls Island, drawn by heroin recovery clinics nearby, and spend the day there under the influence of this cheaper narcotic. The block between Park and Lexington Avenues appears at times to be a street of zombies. ... this stretch is a holdout of what Harlem looked like before the development push began - perhaps an even darker version of that time. It is also a visual tableau of the homeless problem that has dogged the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio."

-- NYT's @MikiBarb retweeted an image from that story and wrote: "A photo that has to make the folks over in @deBlasioNYC City Hall very uneasy"

-- "EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio takes tour of filthy, needle-ridden Bronx drug den - vows to clean up homeless encampments" -- News' Jennifer Fermino: "With the city ramping up a five-borough crackdown on 80 homeless encampments, Mayor de Blasio traveled to the Bronx Wednesday to see the quality-of-life crisis firsthand - and was taken aback to find a deserted druggie lair. De Blasio, his shirt sleeves rolled up and his face grim, grilled top city officials - including Sanitation Commissioner Katherine Garcia and Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor - about the city's plans for the eyesore, a litter and needle-strewn stretch of abandoned rail tracks underneath St. Ann's Ave. in Mott Haven.

-- "'I don't believe a homeless encampment is an acceptable reality in New York City in 2015,' he said in an exclusive interview with the Daily News. The mayor said the visit was eye-opening. 'There's nothing like seeing the real thing and understanding the human consequences,' de Blasio said. 'These are human beings whose lives have come unglued. The goal is not just to clean up the site. The goal is to get them into human services.' But he did not get to meet any of the 15 to 20 men who live at the site. Everyone had cleared out before the mayor arrived, probably tipped off by the army of police, Sanitation workers and Homeless Services staff who arrived before the city's top executive."

-- CBS' Marcia Kramer: "Bratton: Police Have Less Power Dealing With Homeless Than They Did Under Giuliani"

SAFEST SUMMER IN YEARS -- WSJ's Pervaiz Shallwani and Josh Dawsey: "Top officials in Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said Wednesday that this summer has been the safest in decades as they tried to stem worries that crime is rising and quality of life is falling in New York City. 'I think we're trending towards another very successful year in maintaining very low crime rates and disorder in the city,' Police Commissioner William Bratton said during a briefing at 1 Police Plaza.

-- "Between June and August there were 82 homicides and 345 shootings in the five boroughs, the lowest for both data points since the New York Police Department began keeping detailed records two decades ago. These months tend to be the city's most violent, officials said.

-- "Major felony crime was down 4% during the first eight months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014. But some violent crimes are on the rise for the year. As of Monday, there were 13 more homicides this year, a 6% rise from 2014, and 47 more rapes, up 5% from last year. ... Councilman Ben Kallos, an Upper East Side Democrat, said ... 'Most New Yorkers in my district, they aren't concerned about being murdered or robbed. They're concerned about the aggressive panhandler, the person who is unsheltered or people who are violating other laws' and 'Many of them feel unsafe.'"

-- @BilldeBlasio tweeted a mock New York Post front page, that read, ""SAFEST SUMMER IN 20 YEARS: But We Still Hate de Blasio" SEE IT:

BRATTON CLARIFIES VIEWS ON THE MOYNIHAN REPORT -- Bratton on Wednesday said his comments during a television interview about the deterioration of values were misunderstood: he was talking about young people, not African-Americans. "The comment about values was specifically speaking to the New York Times front page story about the homicide problem throughout the United States, particularly in our major cities," the police commissioner said. "And the values I was speaking to was that unfortunately among some young people in the African-American community, Latino community, white community, that among younger people, the value structure is not there. We have too many young people killing each other over nothing." POLITICO New York:

-- WARNS AGAINST RELEASING BODY CAM FOOTAGE: He said during an NY1 interview last night, "The position that the department is taking, that I would take at this juncture, [is] we have never released 911 calls and videos recorded by these officers," he said. Footage from body cameras, he said, "would be under the same protection, of not being released, even to FOIL requests." During the interview, Bratton said that "one of the complications" that would arise, if the NYPD had to release videos in response to FOIL requests, is the logistics. "Can you imagine when I get up to five or ten thousand cops [with] three or four hours a day of video? The sheer administrative task of trying to turn that over to you?" He also said the cost would be "into the millions, tens of millions of dollars." POLITICO New York:

FIRST LOOK -- Bloomberg Businessweek's new cover story, by Max Abelson, features a young Donald Trump, a stack of cash, and the very tongue-in-cheek headline "Exclusive: Trump Finally Talks! | Inside the Trump Organization" and the quote "Someday before I kick the bucket, somebody is going to get what a great business I built."

"Past Trump Tower's bow-tied doorman, through a shiny revolving door, toward the 60-foot waterfall, up a dim elevator after glass doors and smiling assistants, Donald J. Trump ... sits with pictures of himself to his left, to his right, in front of, and behind him. ... When Trump is asked to name a leader he looks to for advice on managing his company, his mouth, just as acrobatic as his more famous hair, pulls tight, snaps open, and lets out its most important syllable. 'Me,' Trump says. 'Mirror,' says one of the two deputies in the room. 'The mirror.' 'I look at me,' says Trump. Does he admire any other business leaders? 'I,' Trump says, 'don't like the word admire.'" The cover

MEDIA MORNING -- "Bill Wolff Named Showrunner of Chelsea Handler's Netflix Talk Show," by The Hollywood Reporter's Michael O'Connell : "[The] veteran TV producer has been named executive producer and showrunner of Handler's yet-to-be-titled Netflix talk show, set to premiere in 2016. News of Wolff's hiring comes just two days after his departure from ABC's tumultuous The View. ... Rising to vice president of programming during his time at MSNBC ... [he created] The Rachel Maddow Show. He served as exec producer and showrunner between 2008 and 2014. Prior to that, he had two tenures at ESPN - where he created daily talk show Around the Horn." (h/t Politico Media Pro)

HIRED -- Maya Kreme, a former Brooklyn director for Rep. Jerry Nadler, has been hired by Geto & de Milly, the communication and consulting firm. Kreme most recently worked as the political and communications director of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians. Before politics, Kreme was a journalist whose work appeared in the Times, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly and other publications.

CITY COUNCIL RACE IN QUEENS -- Times endorses Najmi: "It's a strong roster - Ms. Lynch and Ms. Dosamantes look like future leaders to reckon with - but we are most excited at the prospect of Mr. Najmi joining the Council. We agree with Zephyr Teachout, the progressive professor who ran for governor last year: Mr. Najmi's record as an organizer is strong and his many plans - for parkland, services for the disabled and libraries, among other things - reveal an impressive breadth of ambition. He promises to look beyond the narrow interests of party bosses and cliques to knit this district together. That he would be the first council member of South Asian ancestry is a bonus."

REAL ESTATE -- DORMANT DORMS-"Students Ditch Dorms for Co-Ops Bought by Their Parents," by WSJ's Corinne Ramey: "When Graham Patterson begins his first year at Columbia University, he will be moving into a newly renovated Harlem apartment. ... While some college students are decorating dorm rooms, others are moving into new apartments as part of a family investment strategy. Although the phenomenon isn't a new one, real estate insiders say they are seeing new twists on the trend."

REMODEL U.N.-"U.N.'s Makeover Sacrifices Hammarskjold Library for Security," by Times' David W. Dunlap: "When the 70th regular session of the General Assembly convenes on Sept. 15, it will do so in a complex of buildings that hasn't looked so good or felt so secure in generations. 'We now have a very safe compound,' said Michael Adlerstein, an assistant secretary general and the executive director of a seven-year, $2.15 billion renovation, known as the capital master plan, that is nearing completion. More visible than anything else is the robust yet crystalline new glass facade of the 39-story Secretariat building. Yet the compound has been diminished."

LANDMARK BATTLE-"Affordable housing builders on board with landmarks bill," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "Add the New York State Association for Affordable Housing to the list of those supporting a contentious City Council bill that would speed up the process for landmarking buildings. Association president Jolie Milstein has come out in favor of the legislation, which will be the subject of a Council hearing on Sept. 9. A representative from her organization is expected to testify, her spokesman said. ... The bill would establish timelines for reviewing properties that are being considered for landmark status, which protects them from certain structural and exterior changes."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: FC Kansas City 3, Sky Blue 2: Samantha Kerr scored a brace in defeat for the home team in their season finale. Kerr boards a plane for Australia today, and you'll next see her when Australia plays the U.S. Women's National Team in Detroit on September 17.

-- Mets 9, Phillies 4: How well are things going for the Mets right now? Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park home run. That's how well.

-- Yankees 13, Red Sox 8: Five home runs keyed an attack that posted an eight-run second and made a mediocre Masahiro Tanaka start into a victorious one.

-- The day ahead: Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky come to The Garden to face the Liberty.

#UpstateAmerica: A federal judge threw out a case against Wegmans Food Markets and two other grocers which were accused of selling bread and other baked goods that weren't as fresh as advertised.

**A message from The Business Council's Annual Meeting: Time is running out! Register NOW for The Business Council's Annual Meeting (Sept. 16-18). Engaging speakers, incomparable access to business leaders and politicians and the striking beauty of The Sagamore Resort on scenic Lake George await you at The Business Council of New York State's Annual Meeting. The event features a keynote address from Campbell Brown, plus panels on: protecting your company from a cyberattack; the latest changes to the ACA; the state of Albany from people who lived it; and much more. Speakers include: former Governor David Paterson; Bob Duffy, the President and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance; former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin; former Senator George Winner; plus policy experts from the U.S. Chamber, the Cuomo administration and the state Legislature. Register: **

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