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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: 'DE BLASIO' tweets -- REBNY politics -- SANDRA LEE as Skelos 'pawn'

11/03/2015 07:24 AM EDT

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

KLEIN APPEARS IN SKELOS FILING - POLITICO New York's Colby Hamilton and Josefa Velasquez: In a new filing in the case against former state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam, US Attorney Preet Bharara says the pair collaborated to help a Connecticut-based CEO of an environmental technology company get in contact with a "Senator A" about traffic violations. According to the filing, the senator appears to be State Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx, who had previously helped Adam in the past with his own traffic violations.

According to the filing, Skelos' defense team identified Senator A as "the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference (the "IDC"), an influential group of State Senators that was aligned with Dean Skelos and the Senate Republicans." Klein has been the head of the IDC since its inception in 2011.

-- Picking the Silver jury - New York Times: "Assemblyman Sheldon Silver got his first good look on Monday at the prospective jurors who will hear his case and decide his fate. He did not seem to know or recognize any of them, yet many were already familiar with him.Mr. Silver's trial began in a stately courtroom in the Thurgood Marshall United States Court House in Lower Manhattan, as dozens of potential jurors were ushered into the room. Some looked over their shoulders as Mr. Silver, once the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly who now faces political corruption charges , slowly walked up the courtroom aisle to his seat at a long desk that faced Valerie E. Caproni, the presiding judge."

--"How Sandra Lee was a pawn in a political power struggle," by Post's Josh Saul: "Disgraced former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son were caught on wiretaps bad-mouthing Gov. Cuomo's family, plotting to use his gal pal, Sandra Lee, against him and even musing how Skelos and other Republican lawmakers were 'smarter' than the governor, new court papers state. Skelos and his son Adam - both of whom face corruption charges - were recorded last Feb. 27 talking about how Skelos planned to 'stick with' the proposal he made 'relating to disclosure of the outside income of the Governor's significant other,' federal prosecutors wrote in court papers filed Monday. State Republicans had just introduced a bill that was seemingly targeted at the governor, because it would have required state leaders with domestic partners, such as celebrity chef Lee, to disclose their income. 'Adam Skelos told Dean Skelos that "you guys are smarter and just more experienced, so, you know, you flip it on him. Then [Cuomo] goes crazy [over the disclosure bill] and then he comes back and he negotiates,"' a better state budget deal."

MORELAND ROOTS - Chris Smith in this week's issue of New York Magazine: "In a sense, the toppling of two of Cuomo's frequent and crucial allies is just collateral damage in a more epic fight. As the trials of Skelos and Silver play out over the coming months, the greater drama will be just off in the wings: a clash between a wily, aggressive governor and a prosecutor who may be wilier and more aggressive than he is. ...

"Cuomo had been willing to take the short-term hit in bad press from unplugging the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. What he didn't fully anticipate, though, was how his actions would stoke Bharara's anger and ambition. A Democrat who has worked with Cuomo thinks that this failure was a product of the governor's greatest weakness. 'He didn't anticipate Preet because Andrew is a tactician, not a strategist,' the government veteran says. 'The Moreland Commission, from start to finish, was an exercise in zero forethought and planning. This was not a giant conspiracy. Andrew had this vision of that first press conference, with all these prosecutors sitting up there and announcing they were going to root out corruption. That was the best day of the commission's life. I don't think he had a plan beyond that. It wasn't on his mind that the commission could turn on him, or that anyone beyond the commission might be interested.' For Bharara, the commission turned out to be both a provocation and a research gift. Now armed with Moreland's leads, the prosecutor went about finishing the commission's work. He reissued subpoenas to the firms employing Silver and Skelos and got documents Moreland had been denied."

WILL REBNY SWITCH? - Capital Tonight host Liz Benjamin for POLITICO New York: For years, the New York City real estate industry - developers and landlords alike - have been among the most reliable and generous political donors to the State Senate Republicans. But now, real estate executives are wondering what they got for their troubles, and that river of real estate cash might soon slow for the Senate Republicans - a development that would hurt the GOP conference as it prepares to defend its majority in a potentially difficult election year.

It's well known in real estate circles that REBNY leaders were particularly displeased with the outcome of this year's negotiations over the rent laws. They felt the Senate Republicans didn't adequately represent their interests when it came to the 421-a tax abatement program. One New York City real estate industry advocate I spoke to contrasted the current Republican conference unfavorably with the Senate under longtime Republican leader Joe Bruno in its alignment with the industry's interests. "There was a real sense the industry was supporting someone who really believed in its issues and acted accordingly," the executive said. "That's not the case anymore. I mean, what do the Senate Republicans stand for?"

PBA ASSAILS DRAFT OF NEW CONTRACT -- 1% raise -- POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, slammed a contract proposal Monday evening after a "draft version" of the document was circulated among the union membership indicating that the city will give officers 1 percent raises for the next two years. "Our members were furious when informed of the contents of this draft award," Lynch said in a statement. The PBA, which represents 24,000 officers, has been without a contract since 2010. The proposal is a huge blow to the union, which took a gamble by choosing to head to arbitration after refusing to follow the bargaining pattern established between the city and the rest of the uniformed workforce.

DE BLASIO APPROVAL RATINGS SINK -- WSJ Josh Dawsey and Mara Gay: "New York City voters have an increasingly negative assessment of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio 's job performance, souring on how he has handled crime and concerned that the city's quality of life is slipping, according to a new WSJ-NBC4 New York-Marist poll. Almost two years into Mr. de Blasio's four-year term, the poll of registered voters found that 38% approved of his performance at City Hall, down from 44% in May. It was the Democrat's lowest approval rating as mayor. In another potentially troubling sign for the Mr. de Blasio, the survey also showed his standing had fallen among his political base of black and Latino voters."

CUOMO, DE BLASIO TO PUERTO RICO - POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino and Josefa Velasquez: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are scheduled to appear at a rally in San Juan, Puerto Rico, later this week to discuss the island's health care crisis, according to people familiar with the event. The rally, scheduled for Thursday, is being organized by the Ecumenical Interfaith Coalition, a group of faith leaders from across Puerto Rico that has been working to highlight the island's ongoing financial struggles, which are partly due to disparities in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla is expected to lead the rally, which will start at noon from the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.

UNFORCED ERROR: "Mayor De Blasio's Thoughts on the Joys and Pains of Baseball, Outsourced to an Aide" -- Times' Michael Grynbaum: "Politicians do not typically offer such a raw glimpse into their thoughts. As it turns out, neither did Mr. de Blasio. Despite a generous dose of first-person pronouns - 'I'm a born and bred Red Sox fan' - and a few realistic-seeming typos, Mr. de Blasio did not write the Twitter messages posted to his account on Sunday evening, aides acknowledged on Monday. ... the messages posted to @BilldeBlasio on Sunday night took on a notably organic and personal tone, particularly given the mayor's well-known fondness for baseball, a game he has loved since he was a child."

-- News lede: "Ya gotta deceive."

-- Post headline: "De Blasio's 'deeply personal' Mets tweets were written by a staffer"

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "[T]hey essentially captured his views ..." -- de Blasio press secretary Karen Hinton, acknowledging an aide wrote Tweets Sunday night that appeared to have come from the mayor himself, via Times' Michael Grynbaum:

PIC OF THE DAY: De Blasio and First Lady Chirlane, in Mets uniforms:

STAT OF THE DAY: 50% -- De Blasio's job approval rating among black voters, in the WSJ-NBC4 New York-Marist poll.

TABS -- Post: "Just say it, Quentin. Say you are ... SORRY" -- amNY: "WRONG TRACK: Subway crime up 7.5% This Year" -- Newsday: "MILLIONS IN SAVINGS" -- El Diario [translated]: They are free. Now what? -- Epoch Times, sidebar: "A Year From Election Day, GOP Faces Chaos It Hoped to Avoid" -- Hamodia: "Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Fire Safety Project"

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 1-col. above the fold: "Bush Seeking Ways to Reset His Campaign" -- WSJNY, 2-col. above the fold: "NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's Approval Rating Hits a New Low in Poll"

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 61 percent of New York's carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. New York's nuclear energy fleet supports about 18,000 jobs and provides $2.5 billion to the state's GDP. Learn more at **

BIRTHDAYS: Politico's Chris Falls ... Kamran Mumtaz, VP of corporate comms. at Citigroup and a Michael Bloomberg alum (h/t Doug McPherson) ... and New York City Council Finance Committee Chairperson, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras of Queens.

IZZY KLEIN joins a new firm -- forthcoming release: "Israel 'Izzy' Klein, a former top aide to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and a senior principal at the Podesta Group, has joined a bipartisan, boutique lobbying firm ... Roberti Global [which] is also rebranding its government and public relations practice to Roberti Global: Irizarry-Klein-Roberti. ... For Senator Schumer, Izzy handled communications for a broad portfolio of issues relating to New York, the Senate Finance, Banking, Housing and Urban Development Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee."

GET OUTSIDE -- "New York State Parks, After Years of Decline, Receive Infusion of Cash and Care," by Times' Lisa W. Foderaro: "[A]fter a sustained push by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to correct years of disinvestment across the state park system, properties like Letchworth, whose 14,424 acres straddle Livingston and Wyoming Counties about an hour south of Rochester, are receiving the equivalent of a gut renovation. ...Throughout the park system, which encompasses 215 parks and historic sites, hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to addressing a backlog of more than a billion dollars' worth of deferred maintenance and capital projects. By 2020, the state plans to spend more than $900 million on capital improvements, officials say. Some 25 flagship parks, including Niagara Falls State Park and Jones Beach State Park, are benefiting from especially large infusions of money."

SUBWAY CRIME -- amNY's Rebecca Harshbarger, Alison Fox and Zoya Teirstein : "Subway crime has risen 7.5 percent this year, while arrests and police stops are down significantly, new data show. About 2,000 cries have taken place in transit through Nov. 1, an increase of about 140 fro the year before, according to the NYPD. Almost 425 riders have been robbed this year, up from 353 the year before -- a spike of 20%. There has also been a 15% increase in felony assaults, from 178 to 205." Sidebar: "More than a third of subway crime victims were asleep when they were targeted." [Page 2, pdf]:

-- Lander, Greenfield and Johnson propose health benefits to taxi drivers -- Daily News's Dan Rivoli: "Two city lawmakers-Council members Brad Lander of Brooklyn and Corey Johnson of Manhattan-are drafting legislation that would create a health and disability benefits fund to all city-regulated taxi drivers, as well as people behind the wheel for Uber and other for-hire vehicle services. ... The law would create a benefits fund similar to one a court killed in 2014, financed by a six-cent fee on trips. The Taxi and Limousine Commission owes drivers more than $5 million, or roughly $150 a hack, according to the agency."

MEDIA MORNING -- "New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger announces succession plan," by Politico Media's Jeremy Barr: "At a staff meeting Monday morning, New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. announced that the company has initiated a succession process, and that a deputy publisher will be named within two years, according to a source. ... 'One of the challenges of any business is succession, and that certainly holds true for family succession planning,' Sulzberger said ... [at] the newspaper's annual 'State of the Times' all-staff meeting ... 'I've been in my role as publisher for more than 20 years and I've hit my mid-sixties, so it should come as no surprise that the task of choosing my successor has begun. Within two years we intend to name a deputy publisher.'" With his full remarks

JOE NOCERA'S NEW ROLE: Per Politico Media Pro: Early Friday evening, POLITICO reported that Joe Nocera's twice-weekly op-ed column in The New York Times was ending ( ). On Monday, we learned Nocera will return to the newsroom to write a column about the business of sports. "It is hard to imagine anyone better qualified to make this a Times franchise," wrote executive editor Dean Baquet and sports editor Jason Stallman in a memo published online. According to a statement from editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, it was Baquet himself who suggested the new assignment from Nocera, based on his writings about "sports, injuries and the big business of college athletics."

THE TALK OF WALL STREET -- "Has Elizabeth Warren defeated Wall Street?" by Politico Morning Money's Ben White: "Because under all this heavy pressure from progressives behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the left and populists like Donald Trump on the right - and the weight of new regulation and activist shareholders - Big Wall Street is already shrinking on its own. The evidence is everywhere. J.P. Morgan is selling off a chunk of its private equity business. AIG is contemplating breaking into smaller pieces. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are watching trading profits dwindle with no real clue if or when they will ever come back. Giant banks including Wells Fargo will now be required to raise around $120 billion in new capital. General Electric is getting out of the financial services business entirely." Sign up for Morning Money newsletter

HAPPENING TODAY -- "In honor of Election Day, NASDAQ invited Rock the Vote to ring its opening bell in NYC. RTV president Ashley Spillane [will be] joined by staff and supporters to ring the bell that [opens] the market at 9:30AM ET. Rock the Vote is marking its 25th year. It was founded in 1990 after 2 Live Crew was arrested for obscenity in Florida."

CAPITOL MOVES: Former Journal News reporter Jerry McKinstry has left Thompson & Bender and has joined The November Team, a Republican political consulting firm. New York State United Teachers chief lobbyist Steve Allinger retired last week, but is staying on with the union as a senior advisor to President Karen Magee.

REAL ESTATE -- THIRD RAIL-"Green space or mass transit? A forgotten South Bronx rail line is suddenly the center of attention," by Crain's Joe Anuta: "An idea to transform a sunken freight-rail line in the South Bronx into a park is gaining traction with elected officials. But the same trench has long been eyed for use as a transit line connecting to Queens and Brooklyn. The conflict rekindles a long-running debate about what to do with old rail corridors in the densely packed city. A right of way is a nearly invaluable asset, given how much it would cost in dollars and political capital to create a new one. On the other hand, communities don't want to be stuck with a strip of vacant land for decades while transit wonks and urban planners fantasize about a long-shot rail project."

INDUSTRIOUS CITY-"Mayor, City Council to unveil $150 M. fund to spur industry in the city," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "The de Blasio administration is partnering with private companies to start a $150 million fund aimed at enhancing New York City's shaky industrial sector. The mayor has already allocated $41 million in capital funds over the next two fiscal years, and intends to work with lenders who would provide low-interest loans to companies seeking to establish roots for industrial projects in the city, an administration official told POLITICO New York.

"The mayor's office plans to announce the new initiative Tuesday at the Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center, alongside City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, as the two seek to show a united front in an issue that has long divided mayors and council members 'Just like we are national leaders in financing affordable housing, we will now be spurring the development of private manufacturing space. This is a first-of-its-kind fund that will help us build more of the floor-plates and vertical manufacturing hubs we need to be a leader in this sector,' Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen said in an email."

POWERING DOWN-"Google abandons plan to open first-ever retail store in New York City but not before spending $6 million to renovate this SoHo space," by Crain's Daniel Geiger: "Google has abandoned plans to open its first-ever retail store in New York City. The company is trying to sublease a 5,442-square-foot SoHo space it leased last year, and wants$2.25 million annually in rent for it, according to sources. The decision to abandon its retail store came after the Internet giant spent $6 million renovating the 131 Greene St. location. The outpost was supposed to be one of Google's first stand-alone stores in the U.S., putting it in direct competition with Apple, which has a host of brick-and-mortar shops that showcase and sell its products in the city, as well as other tech firms with a retail presence. Just last week, Microsoft opened its flagship store on Fifth Avenue."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Spurs 94, Knicks 84: Look, the Knicks aren't beating teams like the Spurs when Carmelo Anthony shoots 4-for-17. Not yet. But 13 points and 14 rebounds from Kristaps Porzingis is awfully encouraging.

-- Bucks 103, Nets 96: A valiant fourth-quarter comeback, spurred by the unlikely backcourt of Jarratt Jack and Shane Larkin, actually put the Nets in front briefly. But a 9-0 run to end the game allowed the Bucks to win their first, and drop the Nets to 0-4.

-- NYCFC fired Jason Kreis after a single season, and the instability should continue to worry those who wish the club success.

-- Giants coach Tom Coughlin expressed the hope that Jason Pierre-Paul will play this Sunday.

#UpstateAmerica: Searching for Freddy Kruger's Elm Street.

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America's existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 62% of America's carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals.

In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state's electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state's GDP.

If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York's state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us at **

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page:

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