Winners & Losers 11/11/16
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s fellow Democrats failed to win enough seats to make him Senate majority leader. On the other hand, he’s now set to be the nation’s most powerful Democrat. On the other hand, he’ll have to work with a President Trump, not a President Clinton. Whether it adds up to a win or a loss, we’re not sure, but we do have plenty of clear Winners & Losers – with 10 extra nominees in this special post-election edition.
Michael Bloomberg – His candidate didn’t win the presidential election, but Bloomberg did see some success on election night with a signature goal: a tax on sugary drinks. Bloomberg poured tens of millions of dollars into soda tax ballot measures in San Francisco, Oakland and Boulder, Colorado, and all three passed. A fourth effort to push the Board of Commissioners in Cook County, Illinois, to approve a tax was successful, bringing the number of locales with soda taxes up to six (Berkeley and Philadelphia have approved them as well).
Chris Collins – The Western New York businessman made a splash early this year when he came out as the first congressman to endorse Trump for president, and now that support is likely to pay dividends as Collins has been rumored to be under consideration for a cabinet position. While he has said that he will stay in Congress, the buzz he has created for himself will surely result in rising stature, and he now has the ear of the next president.
John Flanagan – Trump wasn’t the only Republican who had a surprisingly strong showing on Tuesday night. Despite a big push by state Senate Democrats and even, for once, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Flanagan’s state Senate Republicans won big and could even end up with an outright majority. At least it might save IDC Leader Jeff Klein from some awkward decisions.
Thomas Galante – The ex-president of the Queens Library has read enough to learn a thing or two – at least judging by the $1.5 million settlement he finagled from his former employer. Galante garnered plenty of publicity for using the library like his personal piggy bank. Nonetheless, Galante reaped dividends when the institution let him go, and he sued, contending it fired him without cause.
Rudy Giuliani – Rudy has been a Mafia-busting federal prosecutor, a post-9/11 hero and a presidential frontrunner. His latest phase as a committed Trump cheerleader had many commentators questioning whether he should be committed to an institution instead. But now he might actually be headed to the White House – as attorney general – or he could simply sit back knowing he came out on top one final time.
Chris Jacobs – While many observers gave Jacobs the edge in his state Senate race, some thought the contest between he and Democratic rival Amber Small would be close, given the Democratic enrollment advantage and what was expected to be a down ticket boost. Well, the Erie county clerk proved his crossover appeal once again, beating Small by 20 points and helping the GOP hang on in the state Senate.
John Katko – Finally, a successful re-election bid! This Syracuse-area congressional district has been switching parties every two years since 2008. In fact, when Katko was first elected two years ago, it was the No. 1 swing district in Congress. This year, however, Katko won a second term by such a large margin that his only real challenge was getting stuck in a stalled elevator on his way to make a victory speech.
Jared Kushner – Goodbye East Village, hello East Wing. While the rest of the media world is bracing for years of of restricted White House access and escalated libel lawsuits, Kushner’s New York Observer can ride high on Father-in-Law’s victory – but only if Kushner decides to stay on as publisher instead of lending his “soothing, whispery voice” as President Trump’s chief of staff.
Tom Suozzi – The Nassau County politician had been on a long-term losing streak, falling short in a 2006 gubernatorial bid, getting knocked out as Nassau county executive in 2009, and failing in a comeback bid in 2013. But this week Suozzi emerged victorious from a tight congressional race, making him one of the lone bright spots in New York for Democrats.
Donald Trump – President. Donald. John. Trump. Did any of us expect to see those words in print, except as a hypothetical? Whatever the reason – disillusioned voters, Hillary’s email server, a devious Russian autocrat – America has made its choice. If nothing else, Trump must be pleased that the New York City tabloids probably had to kill covers already laid out with headlines like “You’re Fired!” and “Loser!”
Bill de Blasio – When it rains on the progressive-in-chief, it hurricanes. He’s attempting to appeal to a president-elect who called him the worst mayor in New York City’s history, buried a sergeant, conceded probes into his administration have cost taxpayers $5.4 million and lost the head of the municipal hospital system. Despite getting arrested while protesting a Brooklyn hospital closure in 2013, de Blasio acknowledged the site will soon house luxury homes. Oh, and the GOP successfully campaigned against de Blasio to keep its grip on the state Senate.
John Ceretto – After switching parties last year, the Niagara County assemblyman has felt the wrath of his former party. Ceretto, who was a Republican, switched to the majority party in his chamber and was rewarded with stipends and member items. But the GOP didn’t take kindly to that and spent mightily to help former Niagara Falls City Court Judge Angelo Morinello oust him.
Hillary Clinton – She outspent, out-planned, and even outvoted Donald Trump, but none of that was enough to win the job she’s been working toward for years. In the end, there were no fireworks over the Hudson, no triumphant “Fight Song” and no confetti cannons shooting at the great, glass ceiling – just a tired campaign chair telling us to go home and get some sleep.
Mike Gianaris – The Democratic state senator who leads his party’s campaign efforts didn’t get the boost from Hillary Clinton voters like many had originally expected. It’s looking very likely that the state Senate Dems will once again have to deal with being in the minority. It also doesn’t help that they’ve lost yet another mainline member to the growing Independent Democratic Conference.
Adele Malpass – Normally when people compromise their integrity, the personal benefits are clear. But the Manhattan GOP chairwoman’s move aligning her candidates with the Democratic governor’s pet project – the Women’s Equality Party – and creating a gimmicky “Stop de Blasio” line didn’t prevent them from losing even as Republicans swept poll sites across the state and nation.
Chris McGrath – Plenty of people have lost twice in American politics. Many have lost to the same person twice. But there aren’t many who have lost to the same candidate twice in the same year. That’s what happened to McGrath, who lost an Assembly special election contest to Todd Kaminsky in April , and repeated the feat on Tuesday. It might be time for McGrath to give this whole politics thing a break for a bit.
Elon Musk – If he was having a hard time achieving profitability under the green-friendly Obama administration, just imagine the challenges he’ll face under Trump, whose transition point man for the EPA is a climate change denier. Musk’s SolarCity is in the middle of a complicated merger with Tesla, another of his companies, all while trying to open a massive, state-owned manufacturing plant in Buffalo. Things will only get harder from here.
Diana Richardson – The Brooklyn assemblywoman was arrested Saturday for allegedly beating her son with a broom over his grades after her son walked into a Brooklyn police precinct and reported the alleged crime. Even if she isn’t found guilty, the seriousness of the allegations could very derail Richardson’s career.
Zephyr Teachout – This political outsider will once again remain on the outside. The Democratic congressional candidate lost her election in the state’s 19th Congressional District to her Republican opponent, even after being seen as a rising star in the party and gaining national attention. This comes after she unsuccessfully ran against Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic primary. Maybe the anti-corruption scholar is better off calling out politicians instead of trying to be one.
John Venditto – Arrested on corruption charges last month, the Oyster Bay town supervisor may be taking the town – and his own son – down with him, spending more than $1 million in taxpayer-funded legal fees defending the bum loans that got him arrested. And Michael Venditto’s state Senate seat was supposed to be safe, but as of Thursday night, Michael and his muddied surname were down 33 votes Democrat John Brooks.