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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by United Federation of Teachers: Transit union attack ads -- DE BLASIO to DC (again) -- NYC's secret gardens

09/29/2015 07:39AM EDT

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

COUNTERING (AND ARGUING OVER) VIOLENT EXTREMISM -- Mayor Bill de Blasio head to the United Nations this afternoon to speak at the launch of a Department of Justice program that enlists local governments in the fight against terrorism and "violent extremism." The speech was not on de Blasio's public schedule but announced by the DOJ. When asked about it, de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton wrote in an email to POLITICO New York, "We were trying to confirm details. We will re-advise in the morning."

-- De Blasio had been urged not to participate in the DOJ's program by more than 20 civil rights and progressive organizations who said it relied on faulty assumptions about who is susceptible to terrorist recruiting efforts, and could lead to government surveillance and intelligence gathering aimed at law-abiding Muslims.

-- Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union said in a statement to POLITICO New York, "I hope that the mayor will avoid the mistakes of the Bloomberg administration and engage in real dialogue with NY's Muslim community so that it can avoid practices that amount to profiling and the criminalization of innocent behavior."

-- Carmen Perez, Executive Director, The Gathering for Justice and Co-Founder, Justice League NYC, said, "The U.S. government has focused their countering violent extremism [CVE] programs on hard-working law abiding American Muslims. This is counterintuitive and counterproductive as we know that the rising threat in the United States comes from white supremacist groups. We do not support CVE programs that criminalize communities based on race or religion. We call on Mayor de Blasio to take guidance from our communities before engaging in such programs."

-- Here is the letter that was sent to de Blasio by the NYCLU, ACLU, Justice League, Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and others, outing objections to the CVE program: -- Azi Paybarah and Laura Nahmias

NEW TASK FORCE, FAMILIAR FACES - POLITICO New York's Keshia Clukey: When he unveiled his new Common Core task force Monday, Cuomo called for a "total reboot" of the system, citing an urgent need for change amid a growing testing opt-out movement. But despite high hopes, the meager fruits of past education panels he's convened may not bode well for the new one - especially with so many members in common. Again wielding executive action to advance his education reform agenda, Cuomo said in a video released Monday that the task force's mission is to "overhaul the Common Core system." The composition of the new task force is strikingly similar to that of previous commissions. The new 15-member task force is led by Richard Parsons, a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners and former Citigroup board chair who previously chaired the governor's education reform commission in 2012.... Joining Parsons on the new Common Core task force are several members who also served with him on that earlier panel - including American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, State University of New York chancellor Nancy Zimpher, Parent Power Project founder and Rochester-area parent, Carrie Remis and the State Assembly's education committee chair Cathy Nolan, a Queens Democrat.

-- The governor said the panel might extend the moratorium on promoting students based on Common Core tests.

AGAIN, DE BLASIO HEADS TO DC -- Video with mayor, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: De Blasio who has traveled to the capital before to push his national political agenda, is heading there again Friday to address a conference of business and labor leaders and other progressive politicians aimed at promoting national changes in economic policy, according to an invite sent out Monday by the conference's organizer.

-- The conference where de Blasio will speak Friday morning - called "Forging a New Alliance: the Progressive Movement and the Socially Conscious Business Community" - costs $150 per person to attend and is sponsored by American Family Voices, a well-known 501(c)4 that supports Democratic and liberal causes. That political action committee's founder Mike Lux has close ties to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading figure in the Democratic party's progressive wing.

-- A video promoting the Friday event was released Monday, featuring de Blasio along with Sen. Warren, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona. Then de Blasio appears, leaning on a podium, as he talks about the economic parts of his agenda. SEE the video:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It is possible that all seven patients were infected from seven different sources." -- Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at the New York City Department of Health, on the latest Legionnaires' cases, via Times' Marc Santora:

TABS -- Post: "COLD WAR: Vlad and Bam duke it out on Syria" -- News: "Bam says Syrian Prez must go - Putin: He stays. KISS MY ASS-AD" -- Newsday: "L.I. Officials: TAX CAP TOO TIGHT" -- amNY: "THE FIGHT IS ON: Nation's biggest pro mixed martial arts league sues NY to overturn ban" -- Metro [sidebar]: "Bratton wants laws on homeless reexamined"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col. above the fold: "Obama and Putin Clash At U.N. Over Syrian Crisis: Dueling Speeches Reflect Chasm on Assad; No Hint of Progress After a Meeting -- WSJNY, 4-col., above the fold: "Apartment Prices Retreat" and, 2-col. above the fold: "Comptroller Is Lauded for Work on Shareholders"

** A message from United Federation of Teachers: Back to school means back to achieving incredible things. We're celebrating teachers who are doing extraordinary work in public schools across New York City. Read these stories and tell us about an amazing public school educator you know HERE. **

COMING ATTRACTIONS -- Vice President Joe Biden will give the closing remarks at the Concordia Summit on Thursday at the Grand Hyatt. From the announcement: "The Summit serves as a global affairs forum, where thought leaders and innovators gather to examine the world's most pressing challenges. The 2015 event will feature programming on combatting human trafficking, youth unemployment, global food security, among other timely issues."

FIRST LOOK -- Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and civil rights attorney Norman Siegel this afternoon will unveil recommendations to improve police community relations. Among the recommendations, according to a source with knowledge of the announcement: Extending police academy training to a full year, up from the current length of six months; offering sabbatical to officers at 50 percent pay for six months, or two-thirds pay if they use the time to work on a community-based organization; and overhauling the current grand jury system. -- Azi

HELPFUL LIST OF THE DAY: Parks and Trails New York has compiled the best ways to combine bike rides and beer tasting in the state.

WHAT WALL STREET IS READING - "This Is What Wall Street Eats for Lunch," by Bloomberg's Julie Verhage: "From Goldman Sachs to the NYSE, here's an inside look at in-house dining facilities." With lots of pics on one page:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bronxologist Bob Kappstatter, Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa, POLITICO New Jersey's Ryan Hutchins ... Michael Oliva, Democratic consultant and a longtime fixture in progressive politics ... Ryan Karben, the former Assembly member ... Liena Zagare, publisher of the Park Slope Stoop, Corner Media Inc. and the Ditmas Park Corner ... Barry Weprin, an attorney and brother of David Weprin, the Assembly member, and Mark Weprin, the former City Council member who now works for the governor ... and belated birthday shout out to the political director at NY1 News Bob Hardt!

MACARTHUR GENIUS AWARD -- Among this year's winners are Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic writer and blogger whose book, Between the World and Me, was published earlier this year; and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright / composer / lyricist and actor behind the Broadway smash hit Hamilton. Lin-Manuel is also the son of political consultant Luis Miranda. Other winners include Brooklyn College's Ben Lerner, a writer who is "transcending conventional distinctions of genre and style" and Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Lorenz Studer, a stem cell biologist whose research "could provide one of the first treatments for Parkinson's disease." SEE THE FULL LIST:

DEEP DIVE - "A Daughter's Death : The father of a star high-school athlete confronts New York City's patterns of violence," by Jennifer Gonnerman in The New Yorker:

AKSHAR UP 28 POINTS IN SOUTHERN TIER - POLITICO New York's Bill Mahoney: Former DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala has a lot of ground to make up in order to become the Binghamton area's first Democratic senator in Albany in over a century. If the election were held today, only 31 percent of respondents said they would vote for Fiala compared to 59 percent for Republican Fred Akshar, according to a poll released by Time Warner Cable News and Siena College Monday night. Only seven percent of the individuals who were polled have no opinion, meaning Fiala would need to convince a fifth of likely Akshar voters to switch their allegiance. Fiala was viewed favorably by 32 percent of respondents. Republican Tom Libous, who vacated the seat when he was convicted of a felony two months ago, was viewed positively by 35 percent of the district's residents.

A seeming campaign expenditure gap could potentially be narrowed with the aid of the state's top fundraiser, Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo, who has promised to raise $100,000 for Fiala's campaign. This will help, but if history is any indication, it's a significant distance from what Democrats need to spend to win a special election in a traditionally Republican upstate district. In 2008, the last time they did so, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's New York State Democratic Committee spent $1.34 million helping Darrel Aubertine pick up a seat in the North Country.

WATCHDOG BACKS SUNY POLY QUESTIONS - POLITICO New York's Scott Waldman: The head of the state's independent Authorities Budget Office said a board member of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority was acting appropriately when he questioned a $1 land transfer deal. "From what I have seen, the NYSERDA committee is acting appropriately," Michael Farrar, acting director of the Authorities Budget Office, said on Monday. Last week, Kenneth Daly, head of National Grid's New York operation, said NYSERDA might need an independent opinion before it could transfer the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, a 300-acre property in Saratoga County near the GlobalFoundries chip-manufacturing factory, to SUNY Polytechnic Institute. The board committee tabled a motion to transfer the property after an executive session and it's not clear when, or if, the exchange will happen. SUNY Poly then issued a statement attacking Daly, calling him "misguided."

-- Kenneth Daly wasn't the only NYSERDA board member to raise questions about the land deal with SUNY Poly.

NEWEST CLUSTER OF LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE SHOWS LIMITS OF LATEST LAW -- POLITICO New York's Dan Goldberg: The city's health department on Monday reported a new cluster of Legionnaires' disease, highlighting both the ubiquity of the bacteria and the challenge public health officials face when trying to respond. The seven new cases of Legionnaires' were reported in the east Bronx and come five weeks after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a first-in-the-nation law that required both the registration and cleaning of all cooling towers in the city. But that law can only do so much, health officials acknowledged. Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control, said the problem is that most people think cleaning a cooling tower is like cleaning the kitchen counter: scrub hard and it's good. It is far more complicated, he said. "I use the example of cleaning my teenage son's room," Varma said. "The more you look, the more you'll find and you have to be incredibly aggressive." The problem with legionella is that it is everywhere. It has been found in puddles of rainwater and at the Playboy Mansion. Many people inhale the bacteria without ever noticing but the elderly or those with underlying health conditions can develop life-threatening pneumonia.

'PITIFUL' -- de Blasio slams transit union attack ads -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: De Blasio is not amused by a new ad campaign blaming him for the underfunding of New York City's state-controlled mass transit system. "I think it's an absolutely misleading ad, and it's a pitiful attempt to disguise where the real responsibility for the MTA lies," the mayor said Monday during an unrelated press conference. The responsibility for the MTA's budgetary woes, he argued, actually lies with the state, and "all of the dire warnings in that ad should be addressed to the state of New York."

-- The ad campaign represents the latest phase in de Blasio's festering dispute with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over funding for the MTA's five-year, $30 billion capital plan, which will pay for keeping the system in good repair and expanding it where possible. Last year, when the MTA board - which the governor largely controls - approved the capital proposal, it asked the city to increase its contribution marginally. The city, after much deliberation, agreed, only for the state immediately to up the ante. De Blasio has so far resisted the governor's latest demands, noting, among other things, that most of the funding for the MTA comes from city residents anyway, via taxes or fares.

-- TWU's response: "What's pitiful is the mayor walking away from his responsibility to contribute to the state of good repair that keeps New York City's working families safe that ride the subway and bus system," said TWU Local 100 president John Samuelsen. "That's what's pitiful."

RIGHT TO PRIVACY -- City sued over cameras in new Staten Island courthouse -- POLITICO New York's Colby Hamilton: Cameras in the arraignment rooms in the new Staten Island Courthouse violate defendant's' Sixth Amendment rights to attorney and client confidentiality, the Legal Aid Society says in a new lawsuit.

-- Legal Aid sued the city Monday over the cameras just as the new $230 million facility opened after significant delays. It said the city's Department of Correction had installed the cameras in rooms where arraigned defendants meet with their lawyers for the first time. That initial meeting is critical to defendants' cases, Legal Aid said - with defendants released at the arraignment stage have a 50 percent chance of being convicted, versus a 92 percent chance sent to jail. The cameras rob attorneys of the ability to effectively provide that critical counseling to their clients, Legal Aid's attorney-in-chief Seymour James said in a statement. The city said the cameras are safety measures that will be trained on defendants only, and will not record any audio. The city maintains that video coverage of these rooms is legally defensible.

STRINGER AND MANHATTAN INSTITUTE -- WSJ's Corinne Ramey: "For its conference on proxy issues Tuesday, the Manhattan Institute is singing the praises of someone who may raise eyebrows among its conservative supporters: an outspoken liberal. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who is scheduled to speak at the event, is better known to many New Yorkers for his work on the settlement of the Eric Garner case or his occasional clashes with Mayor Bill de Blasio over contracts for homeless shelters or prekindergarten. But Mr. Stringer, a Democrat who described himself in an interview as having been 'progressive so long they used to call me a liberal,' has the admiration of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank that in the past few months has spoken out against raising the minimum wage and posting salt warnings on local menus because 'scientific consensus about the health risks of sodium is lacking.' It is because of his work on proxy access, a corporate-governance measure that seeks to allow a company's shareholders to nominate the company's board of directors."

GREEN CITY -- "NYC Mayor to Urge City Pension Funds to Divest From Coal" - AP/NYC: "De Blasio administration officials told The Associated Press that the mayor will begin making his case to the city's five pension funds on Tuesday. New York City's five public employee pension funds' assets total more than $160 billion, with at least $33 million of exposure to thermal coal in the public markets."

LATE-NIGHT BEST -- "Trevor Noah Kicks Off Daily Show Premiere by Promising to Continue 'The War on Bullsh*t'" - Video

OUT AND ABOUT - EMILY's List hosted an Ignite Change event in NYC last night at the Mandarin Oriental. SPOTTED: Stephanie Schriock, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Donna Edwards, Attorney General Kamala Harris, Katie McGinty, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Joanna Coles, Jess O'Connell, Jess McIntosh, Ben Reininga.

HAPPENING TONIGHT - "Roosevelt Institute to Honor Justice Ginsburg, Arthur Mitchell, Dr. Olapade, Rev. Dr. Barber and The Nation at the FDR Four Freedoms Awards" at St. James Church from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

HAPPENING TOMORROW - "The Paley Center for Media [at 25 W. 52nd Street] will be hosting 'Tech It Out,' a panel discussion about the new ways technology will play a role in the 2016 election, featuring an interactive pitch session from the winners of the 2015 Knight News Challenge on Elections. Speakers include: Mike Conlow of Blue State Digital Katie Harbath of Facebook, Azarias Reda, CTO of the RNC, Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote." The New Republic's Chris Hughes is the moderator of the event, from 5 to 8 p.m. beginning with a cocktail reception. The invite RSVP:

HILLARYWATCH -- "Clinton races to pad campaign wallet with coast-to-coast events," by Politico's Gabe Debenedetti: "[T]he former secretary of state is back on the road on an end-of-quarter campaign cash dash that her Brooklyn-based team hopes will pad her campaign coffers after one of the toughest stretches of her political career. ... If all goes well, as Clinton-aligned Democrats expect, she will be able to dazzle away much of Sanders' buzz - and some of the chatter about Vice President Biden's own White House aspirations - by announcing a fundraising haul that healthily complements the $47.5 million of her first three months."

--"Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign set to get a boost from Bill," by AP's Lisa Lerer: "Earlier this month, Bill Clinton filled in for his wife at fundraisers in Chicago. Later this week, he plans to raise money at events in Atlanta and suburban Kansas City before headlining an annual dinner for the West Virginia Democratic Party. He'll also woo donors in suburban Detroit in October. While no large campaign rallies featuring Clinton are in the works, fundraisers across the country are working with his team to firm up dates for other events. Clinton has also indicated that he would be open to raising money for the Democratic Super PAC supporting his wife's campaign."

REAL ESTATE -- HAPPENING TODAY-"Study: Buildings doing their part to cut energy use," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "Buildings throughout the world are consuming less energy, using less electricity and reducing their carbon emissions, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the Urban Land Institute's Greenprint Center. The organization pulled data from 5,224 properties throughout 51 countries, totaling 1.2 billion square feet, according to the 64-page study."

GRAND SUIT-"Owner of Grand Central Sues Developer and City for $1.1 Billion Over Air Rights," by Times' Charles V. Bagli: "When he bought Grand Central Terminal nine years ago, Andrew S. Penson figured that the unused development rights, or air rights, over the country's busiest train station were worth a fortune. The soft-spoken real estate investor, however, failed to come to terms with a developer next door who needed them, or to sell even one square foot of more than a million square feet of those rights.

"On Monday, Mr. Penson filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit in United States District Court in Manhattan that argued that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, the City Council and the developer, SL Green Realty Corporation, had deprived him of his property rights when the city gave SL Green permission to build a 1,501-foot tall office tower, without having to buy any air rights from him."

BOARDWALK EMPIRE-"City to seize and rebuild Coney Island property through eminent domain," by Post's Rich Calder: "Frustrated by stubborn Coney Island landowners, the de Blasio administration plans to seize property under the city's rarely used power of eminent domain in order to spur long-stalled economic development in the People's Playground, The Post has learned. The Parks Department plans to create new amusements and other amenities by grabbing up three vacant beachfront sites through condemnation proceedings-including a 60,000-square-foot tract that once housed the original Thunderbolt roller coaster immortalized in Woody Allen's 1977 film 'Annie Hall,' officials said."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Red Sox 6, Yankees 1: Home runs by Travis Shaw and Jackie Bradley Jr. doomed what had been a strong Ivan Nova start.

-- The day ahead: The Liberty play the Fever in a deciding Game 3 at The Garden for the right to advance to the WNBA finals. The Mets are in Philadelphia. The Yankees host the Red Sox.

#UpstateAmerica: The Glens Falls Post Star has video of the Adirondack Balloon Festival taken by a drone.

COFFEE BREAK -- "The Secret Gardens of New York," by Times' Lisa W. Foderaro : "The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, West Village ... Fort Tryon Park's Heather Garden ... Green Dome Garden, McCarren Park ... The Splaza at Midland Beach ... Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Community Garden, Jamaica ... Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum."

** A message from United Federation of Teachers: Back to school means back to achieving incredible things. We're celebrating teachers who are doing extraordinary work in public schools across New York City. Read these stories and tell us about an amazing public school educator you know HERE. **

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