Winners & Losers 8/11/17
The Post was more than willing to find New Yorkers to nap-shame Bill de Blasio’s alleged somnolence – that’s pronounced SAHM-nuh-lents, Mr. Mayor – but we’d prefer to highlight Hizzoner’s egregiously colloquial usage of the term “literally” in an email berating a staffer. Did you ACTUALLY ask for phonetic spellings 100 times? Read this week’s Winners & Losers before you settle in for a mid-morning nap, and find out who’s in for peaceful rest and who’s having nightmares.
Don Alhart – It’s not always easy to make lifelong career in journalism, but this Rochester-area TV news anchor has certainly done so. In fact, after more than 50 years on the job, he recently was identified by the Guinness world record-keepers as the “longest running local TV news anchor in the world at the same station in the same market.” But is that as impressive as some other world records set in upstate New York, like the largest human playing card or the widest tongue?
Danny Donohue – The Civil Service Employees Association president showed real leadership as the members of his state public sector union ratified the five-year contract he negotiated with Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this summer. Donohue, who had soldiered on when state finances were tight and the governor was far less friendly to unions, is now enjoying the payoff – with no need for any more “monkey” business.
Corey Johnson – The New York City councilman successfully slapped a 10 percent tax on cigarettes, raising the price of smoking from $10.50 to $13 a pack, and banning the sale of cigs in pharmacies. For a man who battles nicotine addiction himself, it's a great way to stick it to those cancer sticks and cut the number of cigarette sellers by half.
Francisco Moya – The Queens assemblyman picked up endorsements this past weekend from de Blasio, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James in his bid for an open seat in the New York City Council. With some political observers saying that Moya’s rival, the ex-con candidate Hiram Monserrate, has a real chance of winning, Moya may need all the help he can get.
Cynthia Nixon – She has an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony – so why not a governorship? No longer content with playing first ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan, the actor is happy to stoke rumors she’s considering a 2018 primary challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. People are taking her seriously – including state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli – and her unconventional movie publicity tour rolls on.
Michael Cohen – Some Trump supporters will undoubtedly dismiss this scoop as fake news, but the Daily News unearthed state records clearly showing that Cohen, the president’s personal attorney, owes more than $37K in taxi taxes to the state. Even worse, the unpaid funds are earmarked for the MTA, which is badly in need of the extra cash. Then again, maybe a presidential pardon could make this all go away.
Eric Gonzalez – Somebody dropped the ball for the acting Brooklyn district attorney, and despite being the Working Families Party’s pick for DA in the September primary, Gonzalez won’t be getting his name on the WFP line for that election. With challengers like Ama Dwimoh attempting to tie Gonzalez to the office’s longstanding wrongful conviction problem, getting the progressive seal of approval on the ballot would’ve been nice.
John McAvoy – When constituents begin grumbling about the government’s response to various disasters, natural or man-made, who better to shift the blame to than a faceless energy utility? This week, Cuomo directed the public’s attention at McAvoy’s Con Edison, blaming the company for many of the problems plaguing the MTA and demanding that it fix things up. Considering what happened the last time Con Ed was Cuomo’s whipping boy, it’s no surprise that the utility is playing along.
Daniel Squadron – The reform-minded state senator is abandoning his state Senate seat for a job with progressive elites fighting the Koch brothers. But he’s leaving his constituents in the lurch, as voters will have little say in who replaces him and party bosses will largely select his successor. It's a situation Squadron decried as “unfair and undemocratic” even as he elected to leave his office for an opportunity in the private influence industry. A tragic end in public office, for a man who fought so hard to change that system, only to choose to leave his own district a victim of it.
Ruben Wills – The Queens politician was sentenced to two to six years in prison for his corruption crimes, including the theft of some $30,000 in campaign funds and taxpayer dollars meant to go to the community. He also was fined $5,000 and officially booted from the New York City Council. While Wills cried at his sentencing, at least it didn’t put a damper on his birthday plans earlier in the week.