Winners & Losers 6/2/17
Maybe climate change is just a Chinese hoax. Or maybe we’re all losers this week. So while temperatures continue to creep upward, while the ice caps slowly melt and while sea levels rise inexorably, why not distract yourself with some less globally consequential Winners & Losers?
Laura Curran – Can Curran clean up Nassau County government? There’s no way to know, but those rallying around her candidacy for county executive claim she can make a clean break from the scandal-plagued tenure of GOP incumbent Ed Mangano. The Nassau County Dems officially nominated Curran for the post this week, picking her over county Comptroller George Maragos, a Republican-turned-Democrat who’s making an independent bid.
Melissa DeRosa – Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration has faced scandals involving inside dealings, but the governor’s new secretary has already taken precautions against that. Before she was appointed to the high-ranking post, DeRosa publicly disclosed her engagement ring as a gift from Matt Wing, an executive at Uber. While most wouldn’t think to worry about political ethics while being proposed to, she should be commended for being upfront – a rarity in Albany.
Patrick Foye – Who wants the blame for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, with commuters spitting out your name as they sit seething in stalled, 50-year-old train cars? Foye sure doesn’t, so we give him a win for pulling his name out of consideration for the open chairman and CEO spot. Poor Foye, who has already tried and failed to leave the Port Authority, just can’t seem to find a job he likes.
Daniel Horwitz & Gary LaBarbera – In a clear sign of their close ties to the governor, these two Cuomo allies reportedly were appointed to serve on the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. LaBarbera, who heads up the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, has lavished praised on Cuomo, while Horwitz was the governor’s ethics board chairman. Here’s hoping they can help make sense of the troubled bistate authority.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins – The state Senate Democratic Conference has gotten a rough deal the last few years, but things appear to be changing. At least one subpoena has been issued regarding the lulus of certain GOP and Independent Democratic Conference lawmakers, and even Cuomo has, albeit begrudgingly, said the IDC and the mainline Dems should work together to once again. Stewart-Cousins, the state Senate Democratic leader, is definitely walking around with a smile on her face.
Hugh Barry – The way police shootings of civilians are handled in court is changing, and for better or for worse, Sgt. Barry is the first NYPD cop to face a murder charge since 1999, for his October killing of Bronxite Deborah Danner. Union chief Ed Mullins was furious that one of his own was being treated like any other New Yorker, but Barry will have to answer for his actions in court.
Bill de Blasio – The narrative is that while Hizzoner is coasting to re-election, he’s still his own worst enemy. There was ample evidence of that this week: continuing controversy over his decision to march in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, a court ruling halting an effort to help car wash employees, a critical take by the Times on Dwight Gooden’s City Hall photo op, a report that stop and frisk still disproportionately targets minorities, an inexplicable refusal to take questions while honoring legendary reporter Jimmy Breslin, long waits for ferries and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland’s abrupt decision not to run for re-election leaving the mayor without his favorite pick for the next council speaker.
Mr. Met – There’s some real anger behind that stitched-on smile. In the greatest Mets-related controversy since … Monday? … the beloved mascot flipped off a fan. Despite defenses like “the fan deserved it,” “the Mets deserved it,” and “how can he give the middle finger when he only has four of them,” the man in the costume has allegedly been replaced ... but really, how can you tell?
David Soares – Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara gained praise and national attention for his crusade against corruption in Albany. So, it’s confusing why the Albany district attorney would repeatedly decline to do anything to investigate corruption allegations against Albany lawmakers. Most recently, he opted not to probe the controversial stipends for IDC and GOP state senators. We can only imagine Bharara is shaking his head somewhere.
Jacob Schwartz – As president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and a regional vice president for the state Young Democrats, Schwartz had a seemingly promising political career in front of him. But when he was hit with shocking legal charges for allegedly possessing child pornography, he was immediately removed from his posts and fired from his job in the de Blasio administration.