Winners & Losers 11/3/17
The deadly truck attack in lower Manhattan was both shocking and sobering, but New Yorkers responded by coming together in the face of tragedy – although, of course, not everyone took the high road. This week, the real winners were the local residents who refused to give in to fear or concede defeat to the threat of terrorism.
Bill de Blasio – The mayor began the week before Election Day by spending Monday with Bernie, taking the popular populist on the A train and ending the day with a rally where he received Sanders’ endorsement. After the terror attack on Tuesday, de Blasio looked more mayoral in the debate on Wednesday – and used that incumbent’s advantage to sidestep questions about his relationship to Jona Rechnitz. Even better, a new poll shows him at 33-point lead against Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis. In a week of terrible news for the city, de Blasio still had a few silver linings.
Rafael Espinal – You can dance if you want to! The New York City councilman led the charge to repeal the 1926 cabaret law, which required special permission (only 97 places had the costly and time-consuming permit) if you wanted to boogie in a Big Apple establishment. Hat tip to Espinal for choosing to creating and Office of Nightlife on Halloween – to be led by a “night mayor.”
Jordan Marks – The campaign manager leading the opposition to a constitutional convention, under the umbrella group New Yorkers Against Corruption, appears to be winning over those New Yorkers he once deemed “naive” for wanting to edit the state’s core governing document. A new poll shows that New York voters said they planned to vote “no” on the measure by a 57 percent to 25 percent margin. Mark’s group successfully influenced voters, it seems, having outspent convention supporters. Congrats Mark, dark money wins the day!
Ryan Nash – When a man drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path and into a school bus, and then emerged from his vehicle with a pellet gun and a paintball gun, this NYPD officer was there to stop the carnage. Nash fired nine shots at Sayfullo Saipov, with one striking him in the abdomen before he was taken into custody. Nash has been hailed as hero by NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and many others. For ending New York City’s worst terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001, Nash is a winner for more than just this week.
Timothy Sini – The Suffolk County DA candidate raised $1 million for his campaign, a county record for a district attorney’s race. Sini, who is on the Democratic, Conservative, Independence and Working Families Party lines, also has a strong lead over Republican opponent Ray Perini, according to a recent poll. With DA Thomas Spota resigning – or not? – after being indicted on federal corruption charges last week, Sini’s fundraising win makes this the second week in a row where the Suffolk district attorney’s race is in the spotlight.
Richard Hall & Eddie Martins – One benefit of being a police officer: You get to turn yourself in, even if you’re charged with something heinous, like raping a suspect in your custody. These two allegedly crooked cops from South Brooklyn insisted the sex with an 18-year-old woman was consensual, so hopefully they’ll have some time to read up on consent, control and conduct while awaiting trial.
Sam Hoyt – Would you? Could you? With a legislative intern? Would you? Could you? With a former state employee? In 2009, when he was still a member of the Assembly, Hoyt got in trouble for an “inappropriate personal relationship” with an intern. Then in 2011, he joined the Cuomo administration as an economic development official. And this week, amid the news that he was “resigning” from his post, an ex-state staffer claimed he paid her $50K to keep secret a romantic relationship gone bad. That Sam-I-am, that Sam-I-am!
Paul Manafort – The D.C. insider and trusted member of the “torturers’ lobby” earned dirty money around the world, but allegedly chose to launder it using New York real estate. Trump’s former campaign manager was never very active in local politics, but his Bridgehampton home – equipped with a moat, of course – seems like the perfect place to hide out and craft a defense against special counsel Robert Mueller and the feds.
Jona Rechnitz – If an admitted felon can have a good week, perhaps that was last week for Rechnitz when he bragged he bought the mayor for $100,000. This week, he’s being called a liar in and out of court. That’s bad enough, but add in the revelations that he invoked the Holocaust to cover his tracks and once wore blackface – with a purple jacket with zebra-striped trim? It’s wretched week for Rechnitz.
Joe Ricketts – Every New Yorker’s favorite local news sites – whether you were looking for the city’s best nachos or a summary of the latest community board meeting – no longer exist, since DNAInfo and Gothamist owner Joe Ricketts shut them down Thursday. A hundred and fifteen journalists are out of jobs precisely one week after they voted to unionize – a move writers hoped would give stability in an era of layoffs and slim benefits. The city is worse off without the outlets.