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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Nuclear Matters: DE BLASIO admits Iowa defeat -- SCHNEIDERMAN's fantasy-site campaign -- HUDSON tunnel progress

11/12/2015 06:50 AM EDT

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

SCHNEIDERMAN V. THE FANTASY SITES - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his push to ban daily fantasy sports betting sites in New York is motivated by a desire to combat addiction and maintain a "level playing field" in the state's gaming market. Schneiderman, a Democrat, sent cease-and-desist letters on Tuesday to two popular sites, DraftKings and FanDuel, asking them immediately to stop taking bets from New Yorkers and threatening litigation if they refuse. "It was a tough process to get casinos legalized in New York, that is because of our blanket prohibition against gambling," Schneiderman said Wednesday in an interview on "The Capitol Pressroom." "We're saying that to have a truly level playing field, any type of gambling that wants to operate in New York has to get an exception or an exemption the same way the horse track guys got it, the same way the casino industry got it. This is not me drawing the line - this is holding the law steady so that it's [fair] to everyone else who went through the process and got an exception."

FanDuel said New Yorkers should keep playing while it evaluates its legal options. In a Wednesday afternoon conference call, FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles and Marc Zwillinger, a lawyer representing the company, said they believed Schneiderman's interpretation of New York law was incorrect and that the more than 600,000 New Yorkers who make up a tenth of FanDuel's customer base can continue to use their service. "FanDuel is still evaluating its legal options," Zwillinger said. "There are a variety of cases that talk about how you evaluate games of chance under New York law and what the test is. We believe FanDuel will show that it is predominantly a game of skill."

-- "Once everybody starts litigating the issue of whether or not a particular wager involves a game of chance or a game of skill, we are opening up Pandora's box in New York state," Bennett Liebman, former executive director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, told the TImes Union. "Once you start doing this, you reach levels that it's hard to say. If I book a bet with a bookmaker on whether or not the football Giants are going to win the Super Bowl, is that more or less skill than making a fantasy wager? If I make a bet on American Pharaoh with a bookmaker, why is that gambling while betting on a seasonal fantasy sports might be considered skill?"

-- Roughly a dozen states have a similar framework to New York law, so the outcome of any case Schneiderman brings could have far-reaching consequences.

-- In interviews, Schneiderman also explained what areas of Exxon Mobil's research he's plumbing for fraud.

WANT MORE? JOIN US FOR POLITICO NEW YORK PLAYBOOK LUNCH - Mike, Azi and Jimmy will host a conversation with Schneiderman and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries TODAY at 12:30 p.m. Join us at the Bank of America Tower and RSVP here:

CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS SEEKING PAY HIKE -- News' Jennifer Fermino: "Poverty-crying City Council members are quietly plotting for a massive pay raise that will bring their six-figure salaries up to a whopping $192,500 - a 71% windfall - as cops face a proposed 1% hike, and firefighters will only see a 2.5% bump this year, sources told the Daily News.

"More than half a dozen Council members - who earn base pay of $112,500 - have been holding hush-hush meetings to try to engineer the huge raises, which would bring their salaries above those of the governor and members of Congress, multiple Council sources said. The members are hoping they can make the eye-popping raises more palatable to the public by agreeing to a slew of ethics reforms, which they hope will convince good government groups to back their plan, the sources said. That includes forgoing the controversial stipends they receive for chairing committees - known as 'lulus' - to accept a one-size-fits-all salary for all members, the sources said. ... Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, nearly dropped his phone when The News called him for comment. 'What?' he said when he heard the high number."

-- Anthony Weiner op-ed in the News: "We should pay City Council members more. But only under one condition: that they work for the people only and that they work full time for us. No outside jobs. No referral fees. Nada. ... The proposed increase from $112,500 to $192,500 is a bit steep, but if the additional salary means that we buy transparency and a no-nonsense redefinition of the job, then I see it as well worth it."

ADMITTING DEFEAT -- De Blasio acknowledges failure of Iowa forum, vows to keep trying -- POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Mayor Bill de Blasio was forthright Wednesday when asked why he decided to cancel a presidential candidate forum in Iowa City next month: The candidates didn't want to come.

"The forum was one of many ideas and many approaches" he had come up with to address the problem of income inequality, de Blasio said Wednesday. "It didn't work because we reached out to candidates and they weren't willing to participate," he told reporters Wednesday after marching in the Veterans Day Parade down Fifth Avenue. Political observers saw the idea for the forum as a misstep - an overestimation of de Blasio's ability to leverage his political power. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, de Blasio vowed to continue attempts to influence national politics on income inequality in the future. "This is a long-run project - this is going to be years and years of effort, and we're going to keep trying new strategies until we find the ones that we think work best," he said.

-- Observer headline: "Bill de Blasio Admits Planned Iowa Presidential Forum Was a Failure" --

PBA PROTESTS OUTSIDE GRACIE MANSION - POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: Members of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the union representing New York City's rank-and-file police officers, staged a protest outside Gracie Mansion on Wednesday night over the terms of a draft contract they say pays them too little. It was the second such demonstration since terms of the draft contract leaked. Last week, officers held a 7 a.m. protest outside the Upper East Side home of Howard Edelman, the state-appointed arbitrator who drafted the contract, which calls for a two-year deal giving officers a 1 percent raise for each of the two years. Several hundred PBA members gathered behind barricades set up outside the mayor's residence on the Upper East Side, chanting "One-term mayor!" PBA president Pat Lynch walked briskly back and forth between two camps of protesters straddling either side of East 87th Street, carrying a megaphone.

RAY KELLY NOISE -- Seth Lipsky in the Post: "It looks like it's time yet again to start thinking about the possibility that Ray Kelly could run for mayor. That's what I took from the story that ran in Tuesday's Post under the headline 'Ray hints at a run for mayor" and quoted the ex-police commissioner as saying, 'Never say never.' ... He doesn't have even an embryonic campaign going yet, but he's clearly thinking about it. That's a turnaround from several years ago, when I last asked Kelly about the mayoralty. Back then he insisted that electioneering is not, as he put it, 'in my DNA.' But I left that lunch table unconvinced. ... Kelly's great gift, even if he credits others, is the safeness of the city today. The logic of a Kelly campaign would be to make sure it stays that way."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Damn it Karen, I'm taking this question." -- Mayor Bill de Blasio, laughingly, waving off his press secretary Karen Hinton in order to respond to question about his reaction to Michael Bloomberg's jokes at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner Tuesday night:

PIC OF THE DAY: Police officers protesting the proposed 1% raise pay raise, outside Gracie Mansion last night:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales, Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen.

TABS -- News: "EXCLUSIVE: City lawmakers already making 47% more than average cops & firefighters. Now the greedy pols want an $80G raise to $190G!? S#*TTY COUNCIL" -- Post: "ANGRY? YOU BET! Fantasy fans on warpath over NY ban" -- Metro: "SUBWAY SEX CRIMES JUMP: The NYPD says increased public awareness has raised reporting levels of sex crimes committed in the subway system." -- Newsday: "GUN CRIMES ON THE RISE" -- amNY: "LANE PAIN: Plan for 2-mile stretch for cyclists on Amsterdam divides residents" -- Hamodia, sidebar: "NY to Give the Critically Ill Faster Access to Medical Pot" -- Epoch Times: "In Parade, Falun Gong Contingent Reminds New Yorkers Freedom Isn't Free" -- El Diario [translated]: Remedy worse than the disease

FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 4-col. above the fold: "G.O.P. Fight is Now a Battle Over What Defines a Conservative" and 1-col. below the fold: "Public Housing May Be Subject To Smoking Ban" -- WSJNY, 1-col. above the fold: "Mayor Dogged By Past Tardiness"

** 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 **

WESTCHESTER HORROR -- "Shock and Few Leads After Murder of Lois Colley, Society Matriarch," by Times' Lisa W. Foderaro: "This pastoral playground in the northeast corner of Westchester County, laced with horse paddocks and stone walls, has long been a draw for the wealthy and well-connected. Among those who call it home are David Letterman, the composer Alan Menken and the financier Steven Rattner. ... But even in such rarefied company, Lois Colley, who the police say was murdered in her home, stood out. Mrs. Colley, 83, lived on a 300-acre hilltop estate, called Windswept Farm, with her husband, Eugene Colley, 88, who built his fortune as the owner of scores of McDonald's franchises. Mrs. Colley was a pillar of the community - a fixture of a local garden club; a mainstay of the Golden's Bridge Hounds, whose traditional fox hunts are a major social event every fall; a philanthropist who did not seek the spotlight, and a protector of open space."

TRANSPO BEAT -- "Corporation to Oversee New Hudson Rail Tunnel, With U.S. and Amtrak Financing Half," by Times' Emma G. Fitzsimmons: "Federal and state officials announced an agreement on Wednesday to create a corporation within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to oversee long-awaited plans to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The entity, called the Gateway Development Corporation, will coordinate the project and assemble the billions of dollars needed to pay for it. It will be controlled by a four-member board with representatives from New York, New Jersey, Amtrak and the federal Transportation Department. As part of the agreement, the federal government and Amtrak said they would be responsible for financing half of the project, which could cost as much as $20 billion. ... The announcement ... signaled the most significant progress yet on an effort federal officials have called one of the most important infrastructure proposals in the country."

--"Long-Awaited Randall's Island Connector to Open This Weekend," by DNAinfo's Eddie Small: "Getting from Randall's Island to the South Bronx is about to get much easier. After years of waiting, the Randall's Island Connector is now finally set to open on Nov. 14 at 11 a.m., providing Bronxites direct access to an island with fishing sites, picnic areas and fields for sports like football and cricket. The island is also home to major music festivals like Governors Ball and Electric Zoo."

MEDIA MORNING - "[Mort] Zuckerman threatens drivers' union with all-digital transition," by Post's Keith J. Kelly: "Union drivers for the troubled Daily News have been given an ultimatum by owner Mort Zuckerman: Ratify a nearly four-year contract extension or the teetering tabloid will implement its long-threatened plan to scrap the print edition and go all digital. The 96-year-old paper has seen circulation declines hit about 30 percent and is losing nearly $30 million a year. The threatened move to a digital-only format ... would be aimed at saving Zuckerman millions of dollars in costs. But the move to all-digital could also mean all of the paper's 220 drivers would lose their jobs."

CLICKER - "27 Unique, Only in New York Ideas for Your Next Party," by Mary Jane Weedman on Grub Street:

MED MAR TOSS UP - POLITICO New York's Josefa Velasquez: A key lawmaker and patient advocate said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to sign an expedited medical marijuana bill Wednesday could have gone either way. "To me, it was a toss up of whether he would sign it or not," Assemblyman Dick Gottfried told POLITICO New York after the governor approved the legislation. "I was certainly hopeful that he would. We had lengthy discussions all summer with the governor's staff and the health department reassuring them that the bill gives the health department flexibility and discretion and did not undo any provisions in the law or jeopardize implementation in any way." In a long-anticipated move, Cuomo signed two bills into law Wednesday that would require the state's Department of Health to create an expedited pathway for medical marijuana use for patients with progressive or degenerative conditions, or if delaying the use of the drug would pose a risk to patients' lives or health.

THE FIGHT FOR $15 EXAMINED - Vox's Matthew Yglesias: "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that a special commission he appointed will set a minimum wage of $15 an hour for fast food workers, with the wage floor rising faster in New York City than elsewhere in the state to account for the different cost of living. This is the latest (and biggest) victory for the 'Fight for $15' campaign that has gathered steam among liberals across the country. In addition to New York, so far Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco have hiked their wage floor to that level, and perhaps soon St. Louis will join them.The $15 figure is not an accident, but it's also not the product of careful research. It's a slogan from an activist movement - Fight for $15 - that's been working for years and is now racking up an impressive series of policy wins.Fight for $15 is an organizing campaign, largely funded by the Service Employees International Union, that advocates for a $15-an-hour wage floor in the fast-food industry, but more broadly campaigns for higher minimum wage laws and higher pay for all low-skill workers. The campaign prominently features protests and quasi-strikes by fast-food industry workers, as well as a general communications and lobbying strategy. The group is by no means the only reason cities have been passing minimum wage hike laws, but it's probably been the single most influential actor."

ABOUT LAST NIGHT -- The Manhattan Institute celebrated the 25th anniversary of their quarterly magazine, City Limits, with a gala in the penthouse of the Gramercy Park Hotel. Among the crowd: Ray Kelly, turning heads as he worked the room; Republican consultant Michael McKeon, talking to a guest about referendums in New York; DOE Fund founder George McDonald and 2013 GOP rival Joe Lhota, nearly crossing paths outside the hotel; and, in one corner of the room, holding court with a coterie of colleagues and admirers, longtime M.I. scholar Fred Siegel ("I took his head shot and he offered me a Snickers," a photographer said.) The highlight: A video of M.I. writers reading angry tweets about their work, most of which could not be published verbatim in a family publication. -- Azi

'DE BLASIO TIME' -- De Blasio's lasting impression -- WSJ's Josh Dawsey and Mara Gay: "It is a problem that the mayor has worked to address: He has generally been on time in the past six months, is sometimes early and is rarely more than 20 minutes late for public and private events. He seems more aware of the clock. He sometimes reminds others around him to hurry and budgets more time for trips around the city. His team also schedules few events in the early morning.

-- "Yet the image of him as the perpetually tardy mayor has stuck, in the eyes of many, creating a problem his aides tried a year ago to head off. No incident brought as much criticism as his tardiness to the memorial service in Belle Harbor, Queens. 'Everyone just expects him to be late for everything now,' said Delores Orr, community board chairwoman in the Rockaways. ... The tardiness became a meme in the city's business circles, with people joking about 'de Blasio time.' ... Mr. de Blasio privately resisted the criticisms of his tardiness in the first year after his election, according to people around him, saying other topics were more important."

#CHRISTIECHRONICLES -- "Ex-Christie ally says Bridgegate evidence withheld, requests trial venue change," by POLITICO'S Ryan Hutchins : "A former ally of Gov. Chris Christie who is charged in the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal requested on Wednesday that the trial be moved out of New Jersey, citing the intense media coverage of the gridlock-inducing incident. Attorneys for Bill Baroni, a former Republican state legislator who served as Christie's deputy executive director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, filed the motion for a change of venue early this morning in U.S. District Court in Newark, along with a slew of other requests. He is charged alongside Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to the governor, who also filed a number of discovery motions late Tuesday night. Their trial is currently scheduled to begin in April."

-- "Bridgegate Defendants: Christie's Team Hiding Thousands of Documents, Including Christie Emails" -- WNYC's Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz: "Christie's legal team is inappropriately hiding thousands of documents related to the Bridgegate scandal, the two defense lawyers argued in briefs filed late Tuesday. Among the hidden documents, the lawyers say, are emails to and from the governor's personal and work email accounts and a calendar entry from the week when an order was delivered to close lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013. All told, Christie's taxpayer-funded attorneys at the Gibson Dunn law firm have withheld or redacted 9,428 emails and other documents. The reasons given include 'campaign strategy' and 'press strategy.'"

SUBWAY SEX CRIMES -- Metro's Wendy Joan Biddlecombe: "It's been a year since the MTA launched an ad campaign targeting sexual harassment on mass transit with public service announcements and a new portal on the website for victims to file complaints. The increased resources by transit and police have led to an increase in reported sex crimes, which is good news for NYPD Transit Chief Joseph Fox, who thinks perpetrators will learn the agency takes these incidents seriously. There have been 325 complaints since the new portal debuted, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told Metro. The transit agency did not previously track sexual complaints independently of the NYPD.

-- "Through Nov. 11, there have been 642 reported sexual crimes that range from forcible touching to photographing to lewd behavior [one of them was a rape], compared to 547 during that same time period in 2014. Of those cases, there have been 350 arrests, which is consistent with the 2014 arrest rate, Fox said. In 2014, there were a total of 620 reported sex crimes and 403 arrests. In 2013, there were 646 reported crimes, 595 in 2012 and 676 in 2011."

REAL ESTATE -- LIGHT MATTERS-"Controversy over shadows in parks gets City Council hearing," by POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: "New York City officials are about to take up one of the intractable outcomes of new residential construction: The shadows tall buildings cast over parks. City Councilman Mark Levine, the parks committee chairman who represents Upper Manhattan, is proposing legislation that would create a multi-agency task force required to analyze every shadow from every new tower near a city park."

LAW AND ORDER-"Affordable housing contractor sues city for $170M," by Real Deal's Kyna Doles: "An affordable housing contractor accused of not paying workers $3 million in owed wages is suing two city agencies for $170 million, amid claims it's been illegally blocked from winning bids on future projects. Queens-based Artec Construction and Development Corp, led by Chris Tsetsekas, is one of 26 contractors on an HPD list that tracks affordable housing contractors who allegedly violated labor law."

QUEEN OF PRICING-"Listing Pushes Limits as Office Demand Surges Beyond Manhattan," by Bloomberg News' Oshrat Carmiel: "On the eastern fringe of New York's Long Island City, far from the apartment towers that are remaking the skyline, one real estate owner wants to know how much investors might pay for office space. In the past 18 months, Manhattan landlords Vornado Realty Trust and RXR Realty LLC bought office properties in the same area of the Queens neighborhood for $325 and $346 a square foot, respectively. Now, a smaller listing nearby will seek to top those deals. The package of two adjoining buildings is going on the market Wednesday for $29 million, or $375 a square foot."

THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal: Hornets 95, Knicks 93: Kristaps Porzingizs hit a magical game-winning three. BUT! It was overturned on replay, coming off his fingertips just after the clock struck 0.0.

-- Nets 104, Rockets 98: As Bojan Bogdanovic spoke to Sarah Kustok on the YES Network broadcast just after scoring a career-high 22 points, Jarrett Jack jumped into frame and yelled, "Get a win, Bogie, get a win!" It was a joyful, unexpectedly positive night for the now 1-7 Nets. Joe Johnson scored 16, dished out 10 assists, and didn't have a turnover.

The day ahead: Rex Ryan's Bills face what used to be Rex Ryan's Jets.

#UpstateAmerica: A rodeo operator from St. Lawrence County is on the presidential ballot in New Hampshire.

** 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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