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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by PhRMA: EARMARKS return to Albany -- UBER's NYC growth areas -- DE BLASIO's East New York rezoning pitch

10/05/2015 07:23AM EDT

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

PARTISAN SPOILS SHOW IN NEW EARMARKS - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: There's money for little league scoreboards on Long Island, new windows for Green Island's town hall and a pedestrian bridge over the Mohawk River in Amsterdam. There are grants for fire trucks, security cameras and a fleet of new police cars in Rochester. After a six-year absence, legislative earmarks - and howls about "pork" spending - have returned to the Capitol. Democrats who control the state Assembly quietly posted a list of pending earmarks totaling nearly $36 million late Friday, more than a month after POLITICO New York began requesting details of the spending and a week after filing a formal request under the Freedom of Information Law.

The list shows the program disproportionately favors the majority Democrats, who secured $34 million worth of funding, compared to $2 million that went to Republican legislators. It's likely Republicans who control the state Senate did the inverse, but GOP officials there say they still need more time to compile a list. And unlike the last earmark program, when grants were referred to as "member items," agencies controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo have to sign off on legislative requests. Cuomo criticized member items during his 2010 campaign and investigated them as attorney general. He hasn't approved any new spending for the program in the last five years. http://politi.co/1LrSto4

WAKE-UP SCOOP: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday will announce he has signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Labor, which will allow the state office to investigate employer-sponsored health insurance plans suspected of shortchanging beneficiaries. Schneiderman, who has announced a string of high-profile settlements with health insurance companies during the past five years, does not have the legal authority to investigate employee-sponsored health plans, which cover about half of all New Yorkers. However, state agencies can be granted authority to investigate violations under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). http://politi.co/1WH10W1

CUOMO AIMS AGAINST GUNS, NATIONALLY - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: In the wake of a mass shooting at an Oregon community college, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making a national stink about stronger gun laws, repeating a suggestion on CNN Friday evening that his fellow Democrats threaten to shut down the federal government unless tougher laws are enacted. "I'd like to see the Democrats threaten shutdown over this issue the way the conservatives say, 'If I don't get a tax cut I'm going to shut down the government.' Let the Democrats say, 'I'm going to shut down the government if we don't get a gun control law.'" Cuomo told Wolf Blitzer during a televised phone call. "Make this election a referendum on gun control from the presidential to every congressional race, and then we'll see because the American people get it. It's the elected officials who don't get it. But the American people get it."

While he has decried "rampant" gun violence both in New York and elsewhere, Cuomo began ratcheting up his gun control rhetoric last month after one of his aides, Carey Gabay, was killed by a stray bullet while walking on a street in Brooklyn. Cuomo called on federal lawmakers to implement more background checks he says would prevent guns purchased legally in other states from entering New York. His statement grew more intense after Thursday's shootings at Umpqua Community College left nine students plus the gunman, Christopher Mercer, dead.

The governor's latest statements are significant in several ways. He is hesitant to proactively weigh in on national issues, saying during his first term that such talk would fuel "distracting ... frustrating" speculation that he would run for president in 2016. Such talk has ebbed; Cuomo has endorsed Hillary Clinton. The governor has also used Washington's partisan gridlock as a foil for his own strategy of always cutting a deal with Republicans who control the State Senate rather than investing serious political capital to help Democrats win that chamber. Until now, he has preferred a "pox on all their houses for not compromising" stance toward Congress over partisan exhortations. http://politi.co/1WH1JGS

ON THE MOVE: The Cuomo administration named Basil Seggos as the new commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

#PATAKIWATCH: Pataki keep missing chances to reference his Hungarian heritage. http://bit.ly/1WH2AaD

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It doesn't happen often - but on this one I'm literally speechless." Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi, asked about a lawsuit claiming the governor tried to kill a woman in Jamaica. http://bit.ly/1WGZJ1j

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Flack Schottenfels, Associated Press Albany bureau chief David Klepper, Carl Weisbrod, commissioner at the NYC Department of City Planning, John Phillips, animal rights activist, and Kim Kelsey, senior editor at the Observer

TABS -- Post: "Physician's ma's body found in Chelsea: DOC DEATH MYSTERY" -- News: "City's dreaming of a Subway Series: BRING IT!" -- amNY: "HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN" -- Metro [side column]: "Community broadband looks to expand" -- El Diario [translated]: On time to grow in confidence -- New York magazine: "Times Square: the city's id, now and always"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col. below the fold: "Jeb + George = '16 Conundrum" -- WSJNY, 4-col. below the fold: "The Other Candidate From New Jersey"

** A message from PhRMA: In 2013 alone, the biopharmaceutical industry invested more than $553 million dollars in clinical trials in New York. Learn more about the economic impact of clinical trials in our communities at http://bit.ly/1O64IWa **

DEEP DIVE - "Live Nude Girls: Along with fake Buddhist monks, selfie-taking tourists, aggressive Elmos and other modern hustlers : Times Square in the De Blasio Era," by Adam Sternbergh on the cover of New York Magazine: "Amanda Roman, who's 23 and from the Bronx, has been out in Times Square, topless, since last September. She comes with Chris Olivieri, who's 25 and has been working with women in Times Square - holding their belongings, watching their backs, sharing their tips - for the past four years. 'My uncle was the one that came up with the idea,' he says. 'We used to go to parties in the Domino Sugar Factory and they'd have body-painted girls handing out drinks and taking pictures with people. It was exciting. So we were like, "We could try this. The Naked Cowboy's out there." So we tried it one day, and it was a big success.'" http://nym.ag/1LaCwfM

EAT BEAT - "[T]he Best New Breakfasts in New York Right Now," by Grub Street's Adam Platt: "British: The Clocktower's Full English Breakfast ... Italian: Santina's Eggs a Piacere ... Hungryman: Pies 'n' Thighs' Rob Evans on a Biscuit ... All-Day: El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette's Avocado del Sur (with flatbread and two poached eggs) ... Cal-Mex: Dimes' Summer Tacos ... Nosher Style: Baz Bagel & Restaurant's Bunny Breakfast ... Japanese Okonomi's Ichiju Sansai." http://grb.st/1LaCBQo

KING, POLARIZING NY FIGURE, TAKES NATIONAL REINS-POLITICO's Jessica Bakeman and Keshia Clukey: Almost exactly two years ago, John King stood on stage in a Poughkeepsie auditorium trying to quiet angry parents while they booed, screamed and hurled personal insults at him. Friday, on a national stage, President Barack Obama tapped King to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Throughout the public unrest and political jockeying during his three-and-a-half year tenure as state Education Commissioner, King remained staunchly committed to the Common Core and related reforms, unwavering and rarely, if ever, admitting mistakes. With an even temper and soft, academic speaking style, he framed education reform as a civil rights issue, arguing that raising standards and holding teachers and schools accountable for students' performance are the only ways to heal an educational system that fails so many children - particularly poor black and Latino boys. Since January, he has served as a senior advisor to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who is stepping down, Obama announced on Friday. King will finish out the president's second term. King appeared with Duncan and Obama for a news conference at the White House on Friday. http://politi.co/1GrdfwP

-- Read reactions to King's appointment here: http://politi.co/1PdK9rU

REZONING EAST NEW YORK -- De Blasio pitches plan at Sunday service -- POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: Inside a packed Catholic church in the heart of a Brooklyn neighborhood he hopes to transform, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the first local pitch for his rezoning plan on Sunday.

-- The mayor promised congregants gathered in St. Rita's Church in East New York that he would provide apartments they could afford, along with a new school and improved parkland. Seeking to allay widespread concern about gentrification, de Blasio also promised to improve the area without letting longtime residents get priced out - a difficult balance when a neighborhood undergoes sudden growth. "Brothers and sisters, this is what I am dedicated to. This is my mission: To make sure the people who made neighborhoods great can still stay in neighborhoods they love," the mayor said at the beginning of his 22-minute remarks.

-- The zoning proposal calls for 11 percent of the two-bedroom units to be rented at less than $583 a month; 16 percent at less than $777 a month; 14 percent at less than $971 a month and at least 39 percent at less than $1,165 a month. The remaining 20 percent could be rented for up to $1,748 a month. Because developers are unlikely to build low-rent apartments in a neighborhood that commands fairly low market-rate rents, City Hall has said it would spend enough taxpayer money to ensure 1,200 apartments are affordable for the average East New York resident within the first two years. Ultimately, the mayor has said half the total number of units created through the rezoning would also be permanently affordable to residents in the area. http://politi.co/1ORNVrI

-- Daily News headline: "Housing plan for East New York will not force long-term residents out" http://nydn.us/1jIWica

HONORING DINKINS -- De Blasio will rename the Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street after the former mayor at an Oct. 15 ceremony. Post's Carl Campanile: http://goo.gl/SI5Tii

UBER'S GROWTH -- Manhattan, gentrified Brooklyn -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein and Brendan Cheney: During the height of Uber's ultimately successful battle to kill Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to temporarily cap its growth in New York City, the car-hail service ran an ad touting its importance to far-flung, outer-borough neighborhoods. "You need to get to the night shift in the South Bronx, get your baby to the doctor in Jamaica, Queens, and get to the airport from Sunset Park, Brooklyn," says the narrator in a soothing female voice. "And while taxis often refuse people in minority neighborhoods, Uber's there," she says. See the ad http://bit.ly/1OStgDT

-- Uber does in fact do pick-ups in the far reaches of New York. But the raw numbers also show that its activities are largely concentrated in the city's wealthier precincts: Manhattan's central business district, along with gentrified and gentrifying precincts of Brooklyn and Queens.

-- In response to a freedom of information request, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission provided POLITICO New York with Uber's black car trip data for January through June 2015. In New York City, Uber is largely a black car company and dominates that industry sector. The data shows that in the first half of this year, Uber did its highest concentration of pick-ups (more than 100,000) in most of Manhattan south of 98th Street, in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Crown Heights North, Bushwick South, Park Slope, and at LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Uber performed its second-highest concentration of pick-ups (between 50,000 and 100,000) in Harlem, Morningside Heights, Manhattan Valley, Stuy Town and Cooper Village, Alphabet City, the Lower East Side, the Seaport, the southern tip of the Financial District, the World Trade Center, Astoria, Sunnyside and Long Island City, Bushwick North, Bed-Stuy, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO/Vinegar Hill and Brooklyn Heights. http://goo.gl/uA4brJ

PUSHING CONGESTION PRICING, WITH A CAVEAT -- NYC Transportation Chairman wants residents input -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: When City Council transportation Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez unveils his transportation agenda on Monday morning, he will call upon his colleagues to pass a resolution in favor of a congestion pricing proposal called Move NY.

-- "I will play an active role speaking to my colleagues in the Council [for a] resolution in support of Move NY," Rodriguez told POLITICO New York. That support will come with one condition. "I support Move NY with the caveat that we need to create a mechanism where the local community will decide how to reinvest some of the money to be raised with the plan," he said. ... "What I will be calling for is a percentage of that funding to be used to establish a community transit fund that will enable communities to work with the elected officials, MTA and DOT to address local transit needs," he said, referring to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city transportation department.

-- Rubinstein: But any sort of Council resolution in support of Move NY could only help a cause that's won praise from experts but appears politically moribund. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said all options should be on the table, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed no interest in congestion pricing. http://goo.gl/Iq1baw

ON CANDOR -- "How a New York Accent Can Help You Get Ahead," by Michael Newman on the Times op-ed page: "Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump do in fact share some common ground. There is of course their upstart, outsider image. Then they share a posture of forthrightness and candor. A third similarity is how they talk. Not what they say, but how they sound: Like they're from New York. ... But how could a New York accent actually play a positive role in politics? ... New Yorkers tend to have a different conversational style than other Americans. New Yorkers usually favor being more direct. We speak over one another, particularly to show our engagement with what our interlocutor is saying. We like to tell long stories. And we don't mind arguing as long as it is not too personal." http://nyti.ms/1LaCRPt

DE BLASIO ON STATEN ISLAND -- Breaking ground on new facility -- Staten Island Advance's Anna Sanders: "Domestic violence victims on Staten Island will finally have a one-stop shop for help. The Staten Island Family Justice Center will break ground in St. George on Monday, nearly 22 months after the city first announced one was coming to the borough. The holdup was caused by the new state Supreme Court building's own construction delays. Staten Island is currently the only borough without a Family Justice Center. They provide comprehensive criminal justice, civil legal and social services free of charge to victims of domestic violence, elderly abuse and sex trafficking in the other boroughs. ... Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, first lady Chirlane McCray, will join acting Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Master and other officials at the center's groundbreaking ceremony on Monday." http://goo.gl/QPWdfm

GENERAL ASSEMBLY GROUPIES -- "Forget Coachella and Bonnaroo: The U.N. Is the Place to Be," by Times' Alyson Krueger: "In September, as he had for the last three years, Scott Windes, 39, left his family behind in Salt Lake City to spend three whirlwind days in New York. ... He came because the United Nations General Assembly was in session. The General Assembly ... has always drawn people who work in international relations and thus need to attend the opening meetings and weeklong General Debate that follows. But now it also attracts those, like Mr. Windes, who love the work of the United Nations and related groups and want to connect themselves with the excitement. 'It's the greatest thing ever,' Mr. Windes, a freelance graphic designer, said ... During his trips to New York, he has sat in on master classes related to issues like the plight of refugees, attended the Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn in Central Park, and struck up conversations with strangers about the world's problems." http://nyti.ms/1Q0b4p6

THE TALK OF WALL STREET - "Deaths Draw Attention to Wall Street's Grueling Pace," by William D. Cohan in The Times: "Wall Street has always been a very demanding place to work, but these episodes, whether related to overwork or not, seem to have crystallized a larger need for change. In recent years, Wall Street has been searching to provide a better work-life balance for its junior bankers. These efforts have not been entirely successful. Even as Wall Street banks are losing top talent to Silicon Valley, hedge funds and private equity firms, long hours are simply part of the job. Wall Street's culture still attracts hyperambitious men and women who are willing to do whatever it takes - pulling consecutive all-nighters or working through holiday weekends - to differentiate themselves and to meet their bosses' weighty expectations." http://nyti.ms/1OePcYf

OUT AND ABOUT - Editor David Remnick and The New Yorker hosted a New Yorker Festival after-party Saturday night at the Top of the Standard hotel in the Meatpacking District, with guests munching on king crab spring rolls, tuna ceviche tacos, avocado toast, and apricot tarte tatin. Pics of attendees http://gtty.im/1LrciMf ... The festival blog http://nyr.kr/1wexIk3

SPOTTED : Malcolm Gladwell, Chris Hayes, Lionel Shriver, Geoff Dyer, Zadie Smith, Nicholas Schmidle, Roz Chast, Hilton Als, Tavi Gevinson, Ellie Kemper, Jon Lee Anderson, Evan Osnos, Lisa Hughes, Reggie Watts, George Saunders, Roxane Gay, Jelani Cobb, Jeffrey Eugenides, Carrie Brownstein, Gay Talese, Kelefa Sanneh, Alexa Cassanos, Sarah Stillman, Bob Mankoff, Ben Lerner, Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, Ariel Levy, Natalie Raabe, Emily Nussbaum, Nicole Levy.

WEEKEND WEDDINGS - "Khadeeja Safdar, Zafar Jafri" - Times announcement: "Ms. Safdar, 27 ... is a reporter in New York for The Wall Street Journal. She graduated from Columbia, from which she also received a master of arts in journalism. ... Until August, Mr. Jafri, 31, was a hedge fund analyst at PointState Capital in New York. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., and received a master's of philosophy from the University of Cambridge in England." http://nyti.ms/1LsIb76

--"Dennis Adamson and Ben Boyd Jr." - Times: "Mr. Adamson, 47, is a director for corporate accounting at McGraw Hill Financial, a financial information and analytics company in New York. He graduated from Albion College in Michigan. He is also a national director of Pflag, an organization for families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. ... Mr. Boyd, 46 ... is a president, overseeing practices, sectors and offerings, of Edelman, the public relations business in New York, and serves on its executive committee. He graduated from Wake Forest." With pic http://nyti.ms/1LaFr8h

--"Megan Chuchmach, Chad Christie": "Mrs. Christie, 31, is a producer with the investigative unit of ABC News in New York. ... Mr. Christie, 29, is an architect for Kohn Pedersen Fox in New York, where he helps design large-scale commercial and residential properties." http://nyti.ms/1WHG01x

REAL ESTATE -"How Gary Barnett made the Ring bling," by Real Deal's Rey Mashayekhi: "When Gary Barnett finally won a 14-building portfolio of properties owned by brothers Frank and Michael Ring in late 2013 - after much maneuvering and legal wrangling - it was viewed as a coup for one of New York's savviest dealmakers. ...

"But just how big a cash cow it was is only now beginning to come to light. Extell declined to comment for this story. But less than two years after acquiring the portfolio, it has offloaded 10 of the properties for more than $700 million, according to an analysis of property records by The Real Deal." http://bit.ly/1iXFMVh

REVERSE MIGRATION-"Accidental New Yorkers: Grandparents Relocate," by Times' Ronnie Koenig: "Instead of spending their golden years baking in the sun, a growing number of grandparents are choosing a grittier spot to play out their third act - New York City. Not for them the early-bird special when dinner awaits at the latest hot spot and Broadway shows abound. But for some, the impetus for uprooting is not the pull of city life, but an urgent request to help raise a grandchild. These later-in-life New Yorkers find they come for the children but stay for the city." http://nyti.ms/1iXEQQu

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Orioles 9, Yankees 4: Eh, who cares- the Yankees clinched home field for the AL wild card game when the Astros lost. Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium against Dallas Keuchel.

-- Mets 1, Nationals 0: A Curtis Granderson home run was all a shortened Jacob deGrom (getting ready for the playoffs) and a parade of relievers needed. Mets don't play again until this Friday in Los Angeles.

-- Giants 24, Bills 10: A 51-yard catch and run from Rashad Jennings iced this one, but the Giants gave their best overall performance of the season. The Bills, meanwhile, wished they were still playing the Dolphins.

-- Jets 27, Dolphins 14: But it was the Jets' turn to crush Miami, with Chris Ivory racking up 166 yards rushing. And he didn't do it with big plays- the Dolphins just couldn't stop him all day.

-- The day ahead: workout day at Yankee Stadium ahead of Tuesday night's playoff game.

#UpstateAmerica: The Amsterdam YMCA is closing after 158 years. http://bit.ly/1LrSPuU

** A message from PhRMA: Every day in New York, countless people fight life-threatening diseases. Their bravery inspires countless researchers and scientists across the country in their quest to develop medicines that help patients live longer, healthier lives. Here in New York, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested more than $553 million during the 2,476 clinical trials that took place in 2013 alone. Each step brings us closer to a cure. To learn more, please visit http://bit.ly/1O64IWa **

To view online:
http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/new-york-playbook/2015/10/politico-new-york-playbook-presented-by-phrma-earmarks-return-to-albany-ubers-nyc-growth-areas-de-blasios-east-new-york-rezoning-pitch-210530

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