Winners & Losers 10/13/17
A week ago, Joe Girardi was taking the blame for putting the New York Yankees on the brink of elimination. This week, the team’s players rallied around their embattled manager and came back to vanquish the top-seeded Cleveland Indians. There are plenty of parallels in politics, where anyone who’s down one week can be up the next. This week, here are the politicians on a winning streak – and those who are done for the season.
Marc Fliedner – Fliedner’s good-hearted Democratic socialism was only enough for a distant third place finish in the Brooklyn DA primary, but he impressed certain voters enough that he’s somehow become the chosen alternative to scandal-plagued Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance …. despite living and working in Brooklyn. Fliedner’s write-in campaign is an extreme longshot, but it’ll feel great when “Mark Fieldner” gets a few dozen write-in votes.
Carl Heastie – When Environmental Advocates of New York put out its annual scorecard of state lawmakers, the group bestows an “Oil Slick” on one bad lawmaker. (This year’s honor goes to state Sen. Tom Croci.) But nearly 100 lawmakers had a perfect score in 2017, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who was singled out for praise. Even better for Heastie, the group didn’t take into account his controversial decision to block New York City’s plastic bag fee, buying the speaker’s line that he just wants to study the matter more.
Marc Molinaro – The Dutchess County executive presented his county’s shared services plan this week, which is projected to save $27 million over the next two years. Molinaro also indicated that there would be no tax raises budgeted for 2018 fiscal year. As New Yorkers may see a repeal of the state and local tax deduction if President Donald Trump’s tax plan passes, a proposal that saves money and keeps county taxes stable is a win for Molinaro – and a nice talking point for a GOP gubernatorial bid.
Eva Moskowitz – State lawmakers have refused to raise the cap on charter schools in recent years, but the leader of Success Academy Charter Schools and the public face of New York’s charter movement isn’t coming away empty-handed. This week, SUNY’s Charter Schools Committee voted in favor of a controversial measure that eases teacher training requirements for the schools it oversees. That includes Moskowitz’s Success Academy, which should make it easier for her to recruit even more followers to the cause.
Jason Smorol – It’s the bottom of the ninth, there are two outs, and it’s all tied up. Lately the New York Mets haven’t been the first team that you’d pick to try to save the game in such a situation – but in Syracuse, that’s exactly who they want. This week the announcement was made that the Mets had agreed to purchase the struggling minor league Syracuse Chiefs, which General Manager Smorol says would be the “perfect fit” and the sale that could save the team.
Kevin Desormeau – When you’ve made 350 arrests, won a medal for valor, and are known on the streets as “Training Day,” what could possibly go wrong – aside from having the DA’s office call you a liar and indict you for perjury? The New York Times can profile you as the poster boy for dishonest cops. Best of luck at trial, Kevin!
Bob Megna – What is it with Cuomo administration and its failure to pay the bills on time for major economic development projects? The latest problem emerged at the underperforming Central New York Film Hub, whose landlord is now seeking eviction while claiming it is owed nearly $1 million in unpaid rent. Megna, who was brought in to stabilize the state’s economic development efforts in the wake of a corruption scandal, has his hands full with this mess.
Joseph Felix Strevell – Isn’t "continued disregard for the law and court orders," financial crimes and lying to federal authorities exactly what we’d hope for from of our onetime deputy secretary of state? Well, the judge wasn’t amused by the former barber’s antics, sentencing Strevell to two and a half years in prison, which extends his stay past the recommended guidelines. You know, Joe, at least your haircuts are free for the next 30 months.
Cy Vance Jr. – Vance’s part in the Harvey Weinstein story is officially big enough for CNN to carry his press scrums live on TV. Pressure rose on the Manhattan DA after The New Yorker posted audio of Weinstein essentially admitting to sexual assault – but it didn’t convince Vance to press charges against the powerful Democratic donor. Now lawmakers are calling for an investigation and voters are desperate for a challenger.
Harvey Weinstein – After two blockbuster reports from The New York Times and The New Yorker found that Weinstein has sexually harassed and assaulted women for decades, the disgraced producer was kicked off his company’s board. Now the NYPD is on the hunt for more information, since New York does not have a statute of limitations for felony sex crimes. After dodging prosecution the first time from Vance, this abusive loser may finally be going down.