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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by PhRMA: STUYVESANT TOWN near sale -- UBER targets upstate -- NEW YORKER's new radio show -- NYT's virtual reality project

10/20/2015 07:21 AM EDT

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

BIG DEAL - "Stuyvesant Town Said to Be Near Sale That Will Preserve Middle-Class Housing," by the Times' Charles Bagli: "Stuyvesant Town- Cooper Village, the largest apartment complex in Manhattan, is expected to be sold for more than $5.3 billion, an agreement that will preserve nearly half the 11,232-unit complex for middle-class families, according to officials involved in the negotiations.

"The sale, to the Blackstone Group, a Wall Street investment firm and one of the country's largest landlords, includes an unusual regulatory agreement with the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio that would ensure that a block of 5,000 apartments would be affordable for the next 20 years for families of teachers, construction workers, firefighters and others who have traditionally made their homes at Stuyvesant Town.

"Under the new agreement with the de Blasio administration, 4,500 apartments would be reserved for middle-income families. A family of three earning up to $128,210 a year, for example, would pay a rent of $3,205 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. An additional 500 apartments would be set aside for families making less. For example, a family of three earning up to $62,150 a year would pay about $1,553 in rent for a two-bedroom...In return for maintaining the affordable block, the city agreed to waive $77 million in mortgage recording taxes and to provide Blackstone with a $144 million low-interest loan through the Housing Development Corporation. Blackstone also agreed not to pursue a condominium conversion or to build new towers on the tree-lined property."

-- City to spend $225 million - WSJ: "New York will contribute $225 million to help preserve a portion of the complex as affordable, the people said. About 5,000 units are occupied by the original tenants with rent-stabilized leases. Those tenants will be able to stay there under the present rent laws, the people said."

FIRST LOOK: Uber is launching a digital ad campaign on Tuesday, part of a push to get state government to let it expand into upstate cities. The new ads claim Uber's expansion could create 13,000 jobs. Company officials have scheduled a press conference at the State Capitol alongside two business leaders who sought its introduction in the Capital Region last year. They'll also be flanked by state lawmakers who sponsored a bill that would have removed insurance obstacles to the companies' operation. Uber stayed on the sidelines last year while its competitor, Lyft - which operated briefly in Rochester and Buffalo - pushed for the legislation. Tuesday's push shows Uber is taking a more active role.

SILVER'S TROUBLES -- "'Corruption' doc set to deliver death blow to Sheldon Silver," by Post's Josh Saul: "The doctor at the center of the corruption charges against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver 'disapproved' of him and his law firm and referred cancer patients there only as long as Silver was funneling him state money for research, new court papers claim. Dr. Robert Taub allegedly was so unhappy with the deal to send asbestos-related cancer patients to Silver that once the speaker stopped their quid pro quo, the physician began referring his patients to more ethical lawyers ... Taub, who got nearly of $500,000 in state money for his research funneled to him from Silver, didn't like that the firm failed to give any of the millions it made off cancer cases to mesothelioma research."

DE BLASIO'S PROGRESSIVE AGENDA LAUNCHES FUNDRAISING OPERATION -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: The Progressive Agenda Committee, the political organization Mayor Bill de Blasio formed in May, has begun its own fundraising operation.

The group is planning its first major event, a bipartisan presidential forum on economic inequality in Iowa, to be held in early December. Until recently, the group's expenses were being paid for with donations made to the Campaign For One New York, a 501(c)4 nonprofit de Blasio started in December of 2013 to advance his mayoral agenda, including expanding universal pre-kindergarten and building more affordable housing.

The Campaign For One New York has raised $3.87 million since its inception, and spent $668,373 on consulting fees and other expenses between January and June of this year.

But now the committee has formally registered as its own 501(c)4 nonprofit, and "has its own fundraising operation" which has already begun raising money, committee spokeswoman Rebecca Katz told POLITICO New York.

New fundraising, few details: Katz declined to detail how much money the committee has already raised, or who its donors were. While de Blasio does not directly solicit donations for the Campaign, he has hosted events for donors. The mayor will have a similar level of involvement in the fundraising process for the Progressive Agenda Committee, Katz said. Other individuals who have signed on to the Progressive Agenda's platform, which includes raising the minimum wage and closing the carried interest loophole at the federal level, will also likely be involved with fundraising.

RIKERS RAPE ALLEGATIONS NEVER SHARED WITH NYPD -- DNAInfo's Rosa Goldensohn: Rikers inmates reported 28 separate incidents of rape behind bars last year - but the NYPD wasn't told about any of them, according to new court filings."

2016 CHATTER OF THE DAY: "[I]t is Mr. Trump's enduring position atop the polls that has convinced them [business executives] that there is a path to the presidency for Mr. Bloomberg. The conventional wisdom before Mr. Trump's campaign was that a billionaire was unelectable; given Mr. Trump's success, Mr. Bloomberg's friends say he should revisit his stance. ... Bloomberg has told friends that if in March, the deadline for when an independent candidate would need to declare a run, the leading candidates were in his view problematic, he would reconsider. But only if he could win." Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "No, I think there a lot of areas where I always agree with Mayor Bloomberg and a lot of areas where I disagree. I think there's been that consistency throughout." -- Mayor Bill de Blasio, on whether his opinion of Michael Bloomberg has changed, via NY1's Josh Robin:

BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: 'It's not a zero-chance thing,' said one of his friends, who placed the odds at about 5 percent." -- unnamed friend of Bloomberg, on the former mayor's entrance into the 2016 presidential race, via Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin:

EXTRA BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Good." -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on his relationship with Mayor de Blasio, via WSJ's Josh Dawsey:

#PatakiWatch: ABC News goes "birdwatching with presidential candidate George Pataki."

TABS -- Post: "LAMAR BROTHEL COMA: Hours before near-death" -- News: News: "Falsely ID's, arrested, couldn't make bail: 6 weeks in jail for wearing a hoodie" -- amNY: "WEST SIDE'S STORY: How the Hudson Yards project is transforming Manhattan" -- Epoch Times: "China Continues Cyberattacks on US Companies Despite New Treaty" -- Hamodia: "Whooping Cough Outbreak in Jewish Areas of Brooklyn Enter 2nd Year" and "NYC Municipal ID Cards Coming to Boro Park" -- El Diario [translated]: #Immigration: Ronda, 'The Migrant'

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 2-col., below the fold: "Middle-Class Roots to Live On After Sale of Stuyvesant Town" -- WSJNY, 2-col. above the fold: "New York Gets $550 Million in Tobacco Deal"

** 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 **

NEW HIRES, EXPANSION: Rebecca Lamorte and Ilana Fried have been hired by Metropolitan Public Strategies, the firm founded by Democratic and labor operative, Neal Kwatra. Lamorte, who will be a Public Affairs Associate, previously worked at Beaudoin & Company LLC on issue-based campaigns throughout the city and state campaigns. She also worked with the Buildings Trade Council and Teamsters, and is a former leader of the College Democrats of New York. Fried, an analyst, worked for Councilman Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn, the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women and Morgan Stanley. The firm, which has doubled in size since its founding in 2013, also launched a new web site,

SAFE ACT UPHELD - Buffalo News' Tom Precious: "Gun rights advocates say they are pressing on to the United States Supreme Court after an appeals court Monday upheld two key components of New York's SAFE Act gun control law. The 2nd Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals said the law's ban on semiautomatic assault-style weapons, along with a prohibition on large-capacity ammunition magazines, both pass constitutional muster and do not violate the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. The court, however, did uphold a lower-court ruling, issued in late 2013 by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny in Erie County, that struck down a SAFE Act component that had made it illegal for individuals to load more than seven rounds of ammunition into a magazine capable of holding 10 rounds."

CLYDE WILLIAMS RUNS -- crowded race to replace Rangel -- POLITICO New York's Azi Paybarah: Clyde Williams, the former Democratic National Committee political director who won the New York Times endorsement in his unsuccessful bid to oust Rep. Charlie Rangel in 2012, announced on Wednesday that he will run again for Rangel's seat next year.

In 2012, Williams ran an outsider campaign as a non-politician with experience in the federal government, touting his own ties to allies of President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton, who Williams once served as an aide. Williams questioned what his rivals -including Rangel - had delivered in recent years, and positioned himself as a results-oriented problem-solver, focused on getting tangible results, rather than racking up seniority. Williams also made an explicit appeal for voters to turn the page on Rangel's four decades in the House.

-- The crowded field: Williams joins a crowded field that already includes Assemblyman Keith Wright, a longtime friend and ally of Rangel; State Senator Bill Perkins, whose district covers a significant portion of the congressional district; and likely candidates like State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who narrowly lost to Rangel in two close elections; Rev. Michael Walrond, a popular pastor with ties to Rev. Al Sharpton and Mayor Bill de Blasio; SuZan "Sujay" Johnson, the only woman in the race; and Adam Clayton Powell, IV, the former Council and Assembly member who is also the son of the legendary congressman whom Rangel deposed in 1970.

UNION FIGHTS CARWASH LAWSUIT -- Industry has 'appalling record' -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: In response to a lawsuit being filed this week by a group of New York car wash owners, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said the suit ignores the owners' record of wage theft and workplace abuse. 'This is an industry with an appalling record of wage theft, and the owners in the association have done nothing to change that,' Appelbaum said in a statement. The lawsuit, filed by the Association of Car Wash owners - a group representing about 90 car wash businesses across the city - alleges that the recently approved Car Wash Act meant to protect low-wage workers actually illegally favors unions.

-- The group's defense: "The Supreme Court of the United States has made clear in a number of occasions that it's illegal for a local government to insert itself into collective bargaining," Michael Cardozo, a lawyer representing the car wash owners, told POLITICO New York. "Governments can't put their thumb on the scales of whether a business should or shouldn't unionize," he said.

HELPING THE HOMELESS -- Cuomo and de Blasio, united? -- WSJ's Josh Dawsey: "New York City and New York state are in talks to create a new program that would provide more housing and support services for homeless individuals in the city, according to two people familiar with the matter. Such a program would mark a moment of policy cooperation between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who have traded barbs over a range of policy issues for several months.

"Although the two Democrats may be coming together on the homeless initiative, people familiar with the matter say their personal relationship hasn't significantly improved since the summer. They haven't staged events together in recent months. While one person familiar with the matter said a deal could happen within a week, Mr. Cuomo said in an interview Monday that no agreement on a new homeless program was going to be announced this week. ... A spokeswoman for City Hall declined to comment."

MEDIA MORNING -- BREAKING -- "The New York Times launches NYT VR; delivers over one million Google Cardboard Viewers" -- release: "The New York Times announced the launch of NYT VR, a new virtual reality project in collaboration with Google. The project includes the distribution of more than one million Google Cardboard viewers to home delivery subscribers with their copy of The New York Times the weekend of Nov. 7-8. ... The debut NYT VR film, titled 'The Displaced,' captures the resilience of three extraordinary children uprooted by war, all through the lens of virtual reality. The New York Times Magazine, in collaboration with Chris Milk and his virtual reality company Vrse, created the film to enable readers to experience what it means to be a child caught in the global refugee crisis."

-- "'The New Yorker Radio Hour,' Co-Produced by WNYC Studios and The New Yorker, Débuts the Weekend of October 24th and 25th" - release : "Built around The New Yorker's writers, artists, and editors, and hosted by the magazine's editor, David Remnick, the one-hour weekly program will feature an original mix of profiles, storytelling, and provocative conversations-plus an occasional blast of comic brilliance, inspired by the magazine's Shouts & Murmurs page. ... 'The New Yorker Radio Hour' will air terrestrially on New York's WNYC (on 93.9 FM: Saturdays at 10:00 A.M. E.T. and Sundays at 7 P.M. E.T.; on AM 820: Sundays at 2 P.M. E.T.). ... Listeners can access the program on demand in a variety of ways, including on,, and the WNYC app, as well as in the iTunes Store and wherever podcasts are available for download." Poynter interview with Remnick on the new show Preview

THE TALK OF WALL STREET -- "Citigroup Accused of Improperly Avoiding $800 Million in New York State Taxes," by Times' Lynnley Browning: "In a lawsuit transferred to Federal District Court in Manhattan on Oct. 2, Eric B. Rasmusen, a professor of business economics and public policy at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, challenged the validity of the unusual federal tax break for the bank's New York State returns. His claim, originally filed under seal in New York State Supreme Court in 2013, seeks treble damages, or $2.4 billion, under the False Claims Act. The case says that Citigroup used the federal government's $45 billion taxpayer-funded bailout to improperly reduce its New York State franchise taxes in 2010 and 2011."

LATE-NIGHT IN BROOKLYN -- "Jimmy Kimmel on His Brooklyn Shows, Jay Leno's Burn, and Beards," by NYMag's E. Alex Jung: "Starting [last] night, the ABC late-night host will stage Jimmy Kimmel Live! from the Howard Gilman Opera House at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the week. I sat with Kimmel on the second floor lounge on Sunday morning as the production crew readied the 2,090-seat Beaux Arts venue for his first show the following day. Kimmel looked every bit the relaxed Brooklyn dad, wearing a brown flannel button-down with jeans, and yes, sporting that sexy beard. We talked about the 'late-night landscape,' Jay Leno's recent comments that Kimmel has a 'mean streak,' and of course, his facial hair."

HILLARYWATCH -- "Key Bloc of Black Mayors to Back Hillary Clinton," by NBC News' Perry Bacon Jr.: "Hillary Clinton will announce on Tuesday that 50 current and former black mayors are backing her, including Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Kasim Reed of Atlanta and Steve Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina and president of the African American Mayors Association."

--"Now You Can Own a Hillary Clinton Scrunchie," by NYMag's Ashley Weatherford: "Two super-fans developed 'Hillary Scrunchies' - a duo of poofy hair elastics decorated in images that showcase the many hairstyles worn by the former Secretary of State. The scrunchies, which are available in white and navy blue, are listed as '100% cotton, 100% feminist.'" $10.99

REAL ESTATE -- WITHER MODULAR? -"Capsys, New York's oldest modular company, to shutter," by the Real Deal's Konrad Putzier: "Pioneering modular manufacturer Capsys will shutter in March after almost 20 years in business, founder Nicholas Lembo told The Real Deal. The company's end highlights the challenge rising rents pose to the industry. Capsys, which produced modules for developments such as the micro-apartment building 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan and the townhouse complex Atlantic Center in Fort Greene, had been on the hunt for a new location since 2010, when it learned its long-term lease at the Brooklyn Navy Yard would not be renewed.

"The company is paying around $4 per square foot under its lease - far below average rates at the Yard. 'New York City is too expensive, the only spaces that I found were out far out in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,' Lembo said. 'The rent there is very inexpensive, but the problem with that is if we move the plant there, we would not be able to retain any employees and would be starting a new business.'"

WHY ROOMMATE WHEN YOU CAN 'CO-LIVE'-"Startup thinks millenials want to live in shared-housing units," by the Post's James Covert: "In an ambitious plan that stands to speed gentrification of the Brooklyn neighborhood, Common, a New York-based startup, is angling to convert more than a dozen residential buildings over the next year into shared-housing units. The idea is to provide flexible housing options for on-the-go millennials whose work and study situations are increasingly fluid and unpredictable. 'Flexible' doesn't necessarily mean 'dirt cheap.' A single room in a Common suite that's shared by five costs between $1,800 and $1,950 a month - about what it costs to rent a studio nearby.

"So what's the appeal? For one, all rooms are rented on a month-to-month basis, and requirements for income and documenting it are accordingly less onerous, says founder and CEO Brad Hargreaves. 'We're a little more lenient than 40x,' Hargreaves told The Post, referring to the near-ubiquitous requirement for annual income that's 40 times the monthly rent for a New York apartment ... Bedrooms at Common's new, four-story building, furnished by Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware, all have windows and range between 100 and 150 square feet. Each floor shares a kitchen, while bathrooms are shared by two bedrooms. Basic supplies and weekly cleaning services for common areas are included in the rent."

--TRANSITIONS -- Christian Emanuel has joined Sotheby's International Realty after almost three years working as a manager at start-up brokerage Next Step Realty in Manhattan.

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Eagles 27, Giants 7: Eli Manning's opening drive was great, then everything went wrong.

-- The day ahead: At Wrigley Field, Jacob deGrom takes the mound for the Mets, trying to pitch his team to a 3-0 series lead and to within one win of the World Series.

#UpstateAmerica: The Buffalo News profiles the woman who created Totes McGoats, Niagara Falls' new recycling mascot.

COFFEE BREAK -- "'Breuckelen' Sign Mysteriously Appears in F Train Subway Station," by DNAinfo's Nicole Levy: "[T]here's a new kind of vandalism on display at the 14th Street station on the F line: a sticker on the 'Downtown & Brooklyn' sign that tweaks the spelling of the borough's name to that of the Dutch community incorporated in 1646. ... A little history lesson for you: in 1636, about 12 years after the Dutch colonists of New Netherlands began settling the southern tip of Manhattan island, some pioneers crossed the East River to set up plantations on the western tip of Long Island, in what is today Brooklyn Heights. They called their community Breuckelen, after a town in the Netherlands."

** 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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