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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by PhRMA: CUOMO parries Buffalo questions -- CCRB faults Blake cop -- MOSKOWITZ to make announcement

10/08/2015 07:06 AM EDT

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

2017 CHALLENGER LIST SHRINKS? -- Eva Moskowitz signals she won't run -- NYT's Michael Grynbaum and Kate Taylor: "Eva S. Moskowitz, the outspoken charter school leader who galvanized critics of the de Blasio administration, has signaled to close allies that she is leaning against a bid for mayor of New York in 2017, according to several people told of her discussions.

-- "The prospect of a run by Ms. Moskowitz has been seen as a significant threat to Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat and longtime antagonist, particularly if her candidacy was backed by wealthy donors who support her prominent charter network, Success Academy. Ms. Moskowitz scheduled a City Hall news conference for Thursday morning to reveal 'her political plans.'"

-- The email -- It was sent by a paralegal for Moskowitz's husband, Eric Grannis -- sent reporters in Room 9 into a tizzy. Many initially thought the email was a hoax, since it was sent from an unfamiliar Gmail address and not from Moskowitz's spokespeople at Success Academy. More from the Observer's Jill Jorgensen:

-- Moskowitz, kingmaker in the anti-de Blasio field? -- If Moskowitz announces that she's not running, some in the education reform world say she'll direct her highly-coveted donor base to a more popular pro-charter de Blasio challenger, like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries or Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz, Jr., who made his pro-charter rally debut on Wednesday. -- POLITICO New York's Eliza Shapiro.

-- Flashback: Moskowitz's weighs a run, and details on her failed Manhattan borough president bid:

SENATE DEMS' EARMARK LIST- POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: After they were excluded from the first years of a new legislative earmark program, Democrats in the State Senate are preparing lists of projects they hope might receive support. State Sen. Liz Krueger, an Upper East Sider who is the ranking Democrat on the chamber's finance committee, said her office was asked by leaders of the Democratic conference about a month ago to bring forward an idea. "I actually think there's a justification in the right scenario: I would view that scenario as equal distribution per district, regardless of what party you're in. There should be some kind of outside evaluation of the list of approved items," Krueger said. "There are reasonable ways to do this. I believe that. I'm just not sure we've gotten there yet."

QUOTE OF DAY: "Clearly the officer did not strike the individual or seek to harm him in any way." -- statement from Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, defending the officer who was found to have used excessive force in the takedown of James Blake.

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[N]ow the true mechanism of accountability awaits in how the NYPD disciplines Officer Frascatore." -- statement from Mark Winston-Griffith, executive director of Brooklyn Movement Center.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro, Kathleen Digan of the New York State School Boards Association, Tamara Hartman, former managing editor of the Queens Tribune (and first editor to hire Azi), Valerie Vasquez, spokeswoman at the NYC Board of Elections, Michael Olmeda, former Vice President at Statewide Association of Minority Businesses PAC, and Arturo Ignazio Sanchez, a former assistant professor at Cornell and an expert in NYC immigration trends ... and POLITICO States senior editor Terry Golway [h/t Dan Goldberg]

TABS -- Post: "SLAM PUNK: Knicks coach betted in sex brawl" -- News: "Fisher attacked after wooing wife of ex-teammate: KNICK COACH LOVE TRIANGLE" -- amNY: "SUPER CITY: Comic Con Invades NYC today"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col. below the fold: "Clinton Opposes Key Trade Pact, Defying Obama" -- WSJNY, 4-col. above the fold: "City Ups Offer to the MTA"

** 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 **

CUOMO ON BUFFALO BILLION QUESTIONS - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Cuomo said on Wednesday that he has no reason to question the way contracts were awarded for a solar panel factory in Buffalo that is being built with state funds, despite an ongoing probe by federal prosecutors. The Democratic governor told reporters after an event to promote his support for breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries that he has not been subpoenaed in connection with the probe. According to people familiar with the investigation who spoke to POLITICO New York and other news outlets, U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara is looking at how SUNY Polytechnic Institute awarded a contract for the $900 million plant (being constructed for SolarCity) to LPCiminelli, a construction firm that has donated to the governor's campaign. Do you believe the Buffalo Billion contracts were awarded properly? "I have no reason not to." Have you looked into it? "No." Why not? "Because I have no reason not to. I have no reason to believe - you're talking about the SUNY contracts? Yeah. ... I have no reason to question them."

JOAN WEILL REJECTED - Associated Press: "A Franklin County judge denied a petition from Paul Smith's College to add the wife of a Wall Street billionaire to its name, citing the will of the founding donor. College President Cathy Dove announced the ruling on the Adirondack college's website Wednesday. The college's board of trustees voted over the summer to rename the college Joan Weill-Paul Smith's College in exchange for a $20 million donation from Weill, wife of Sanford Weill, the former CEO of Citigroup. The plan drew the ire of alumni who said it set a bad precedent for charitable giving."

BLAKE COP FAULTED -- Officer in James Blake arrest used excessive force, could face dismissal -- Times' J. David Goodman: "The plainclothes police officer who tackled the retired tennis player James Blake to the sidewalk during an arrest in Manhattan last month used excessive force, according to an investigation by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York City's independent agency for police misconduct.

-- "In a letter sent to Mr. Blake's lawyer on Tuesday, the board said it had completed its investigation into the conduct of the officer, James Frascatore, during the arrest on Sept. 9 in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 42nd Street in Midtown. The actions of Officer Frascatore, recorded on surveillance video, prompted outrage and happened amid a national conversation over the proper use of force by police officers. The board substantiated the charge of excessive force against Officer Frascatore and recommended the stiffest punishment: departmental charges that could lead to suspension or dismissal." READ THE LETTER:

PERSONNEL: The State Capitol Group has named Elizabeth Clyne, a partner in the Albany firm of Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne, as its national chair.

-- Katie Unger , Deputy Commissioner of the Community Assistance Unit, is leaving. Today is her last day (colleagues toasted her at a going away party last night). She joined the administration in January 2014 and is leaving to pursue other opportunities, according to a spokeswoman. One source who spoke directly with Unger said she plans to open a consulting firm focusing on non-profit organizations, and to help corporations with their Corporate social responsibility campaigns.

-- CAU Commissioner Marco Carrion said in a statement, "Whether it was making sure parents knew to sign their children up for universal pre-K, ensuring workers knew they had the right to paid sick leave, or promoting IDNYC, Katie has tirelessly dedicated herself to serving New Yorkers across this city, and she will be dearly missed."

RICK SCOTT IN NYC -- 'We're bigger than New York now' -- POLITICO New York's Conor Skelding and Gloria Pazmino: Florida Gov. Rick Scott defended his "trade mission" to New York on Wednesday after City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called it a "traveling circus" intended to "steal jobs" from the city and state. "Twenty million people live in my state, I've got to make sure that they all get good paying jobs," Scott told POLITICO New York. Scott will be in New York through Oct. 8 in his effort to entice businesses to relocate to Florida. He spoke to POLITICO New York on 44th Street as he walked to the Penn Club for a closed-press event hosted by the Manhattan Institute.

"We're bigger than New York now," Scott said. "From 1992 to 2013, about $80 billion of annual income has moved out of New York. The number one place they're moving to is Florida. And in the same time frame we've added $116 billion of annual income that moved to our state. We're bigger than New York, we're adding about 200,000 people per year, so people are moving because there's a better business climate and they can compete globally because their taxes are lower, their regulations are less, it's a better place to do business."

The Mayor's response: A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, Wiley Norvell, responded in a written statement, "New York City has added 177,000 private sector jobs since Mayor de Blasio took office. Unemployment is lower than at any time since the first days of the recession ... Florida is lovely place to visit, but when it comes to leading-edge innovation, creativity, and just plan street smarts, there is no place like NYC."


-- Two long-shot de Blasio rivals ran into each other at a book party. News' Confidenti@l:

-- De Blasio aides outline the city's efforts to curb the homeless population. POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah:

-- "Uber doubles number of drivers-just as de Blasio feared: More than 20,000 UberX drivers are roaming the streets of New York City, twice the number from September 2014. The mayor is scrutinizing their impact." Crain's Andrew Hawkins:

-- Headline: "Building to be Named after Worst Mayor in NYC History." -- Jewish Voice's Jacob Steinberg:

-- "They're losing better.": The latest podcast on Columbia University's struggling football team, via WNYC's Ilya Maritz and Matt Collette:

MEDIA MORNING -- "Huffington Post Employees In Talks To Unionize," by HuffPost's Michael Calderone: "'In 10 years, Arianna Huffington has built The Huffington Post into a digital-media powerhouse,' reads the organizing committee's statement. 'The creative freedom we enjoy is one of the things that makes HuffPost a great place to work. We believe organizing is the best way both to preserve what's already working and to bring about positive change. Simply, a union will give us a voice in our newsroom's future.' The discussions between The Huffington Post and the Writers Guild of America, East, first reported by IBTimes, come amid a wave of union efforts at digital media outlets.'"

HILLARYWATCH -- "How Hillary Clinton's Loyal Confidants Could Cost Her the Election," by Sarah Ellison in November's Vanity Fair : "Throughout her many years in public life ... Clinton has surrounded herself with protectors: a tightly knit Praetorian Guard, mute and loyal. The result has been the opposite of what was intended. When troubles arise ... she retreats into a defensive crouch, shielding herself inside a cocoon of secrecy, with a small circle of intimates standing watch. With each new round of trouble and scandal, the circle seems to draw tighter. The penchant for secrecy-for all operations to be closely and privately held-increases by yet another increment. But this never proves to be a solution. The secrecy and the closed nature of her dealings generate problems of their own, which in turn prompt efforts to restrict information and draw even more tightly inside a group of intimates ...

"Clinton's way of doing business is by now so entrenched that it is hard to imagine she could ever behave differently. And the people around her have their own interests to consider. There certainly are many who believe in Clinton. But, for some, she is also the world's most high-maintenance and high-profile meal ticket. To get into her circle, one must behave with extraordinary loyalty. Once you're in, it's like Fight Club. The first rule is to never talk about it."

--"Clinton to detail sweeping plan to rein in Wall Street," by Reuters' Amanda Becker: "Clinton will unveil [today] a sweeping plan to curb what she has called the abuses of Wall Street, proposing everything from raising the fines that can be levied by regulators to requiring executives to bear some of those costs.

The outline of Clinton's plan ... also includes strengthening the 'Volcker rule' in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and imposing a new tax on high-frequency trading."

--"Barney Frank advising Clinton on Wall Street plan," by Politico's Zach Warmbrodt: "Hillary Clinton is putting the Dodd-Frank band back together. ... One of the bill's namesake authors, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), has been giving input to Clinton's campaign about her plan in recent weeks. Frank told POLITICO on Wednesday that he has been working with campaign staff including Gary Gensler - a key ally in the eyes of Dodd-Frank supporters and often a foe of big banks during his time as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates derivatives markets."

REAL ESTATE -- TOWER POWER-"Hudson Yards celebrates 'topping off' of commercial tower," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "Thousands of construction workers in hard hats joined real estate executives in tailored suits Wednesday afternoon to watch a towering crane slowly hoist a white bucket filled with gravel and covered in congratulatory notes scribbled in black marker to the top of a 52-story office tower on Manhattan's far west side. An American flag waved beneath it.

"The bucket held just 5 cubic yards of concrete, enough to fill about 1,000 cubic yards of floor space. But it contained more in symbolic value as the Related Companies celebrated the topping off of 10 Hudson Yards, a 1.7 million square-foot commercial building at 30th Street and 10th Avenue that will be home to the offices of Coach, L'Oreal, SAP and VaynerMedia. ...

"The milestone for the massive Hudson Yards development - a project that encompasses 17 million square feet of office and residential space, high-end stores and restaurants, a school, hotel and culture space - punctuated a challenging construction process."

MICRO WAVE-"Micro Units Are Coming to Queens," by WSJ's Corinne Ramey: "Fifty-seven new residences under construction in Long Island City, Queens, are small apartments being billed as so-called micro units, but with a twist. While the city's only other prominent project advertising its apartments as 'micro' will offer only studios, the Queens units will have two or three bedrooms. ...

"The building's two-bedroom units will be about 490 square feet, and the three-bedrooms 735 square feet. Most of the bedrooms will be 10 feet by 12 feet and may have built-in desks and Murphy beds, which fold into the wall, said Chris Fogarty, a partner at Fogarty Finger and the project's architect."

CULTURE CLASH-"Museum Expansion Rankles 'Pro-Park' Residents Uptown," by WSJ's Jennifer Smith: "Another proposed museum expansion is raising neighborhood hackles, this time on the Upper West Side. On Tuesday night, more than 200 residents attended a sometimes heated town-hall meeting to discuss a planned $325 million addition to the American Museum of Natural History.

"Pitched by museum officials as a way to make science more accessible to the public, the project is expected to eat into the footprint of the public park in which the museum sits. Critics questioned the already-sprawling institution's need for growth at the expense of beloved green space."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Red Bulls 2, Impact 1: Lloyd Sam and Sacha Kljestan scored, and the Red Bulls moved even closer to clinching both the Eastern Conference top seed and the Supporters' Shield.

-- Matt Harvey attended a mandatory Mets workout. He showed up on time.

-- The day ahead: The Sabres open at home against the Senators.

#UpstateAmerica: A Troy resident, who was famously pepper-sprayed by a Saratoga police officer after the flipped off the cop, appeared in Albany city court after he crashed a drone into the state Capitol.

** 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 **

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