First Read - September 19, 2014

WEATHER: Sunny skies across the state. New York City, high 68; Albany, high 63; Buffalo, high 66.


WINNERS AND LOSERS: Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino found themselves under assault this week. Astorino took some hits on the Buffalo TV ad front for being a fan of the Miami Dolphins. Cuomo, on the other hand, got bashed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which rejected a $511 million low-interest loan the governor was banking on to help replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. Care to guess who’s feeling more pain? Here’s your chance to vote on the Winners and Losers of the Week:


BIDDING WARS: City & State takes a look at the 16 proposals for full-fledged casinos with a recap of the bids and the economic projections each operator is promising:


SUBSIDY CITY: SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk has a history of wringing out billions in subsidies to bring his businesses to town, and now he has set his sights on Buffalo, Jim Heaney writes in an op-ed for City & State: 



* A Newsday/News 12 Long Island/Siena College Research Institute poll found Democrat Kathleen Rice leads Republican Bruce Blakeman by 18 points in the battle to replace retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy:

* A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Research Institute poll found incumbent Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has an eight-point lead over former Rep. Nan Hayworth:

* The U.S. Justice Department investigation into Gov. Chris Christie’s role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has thus far uncovered no evidence indicating that he either knew in advance or directed the closure of the traffic lanes on the span, WBNC reports:

* N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center is pulling out of its agreement to run Long Island College Hospital, derailing a deal to sell the property and leaving open the question of whether any health care will be offered on site, Capital New York reports:

* Seeking to pressure lawmakers into fulfilling the campaign promises they make, and to mobilize female voters to support his re-election, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on state legislative candidates to sign a pledge endorsing his 10-point Women’s Equality Act, The New York Times reports:

* New York City plans to hire potentially dozens of additional contractors to rebuild Superstorm Sandy-damaged homes, a move that officials say could quadruple the pace of construction, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* A $1.5 billion casino resort complex planned for Sterling Forest in Orange County near the New Jersey border suffered a setback after a bi-state agency rejected its proposal to build a $20 million highway interchange to get gamblers to the site, the New York Post reports:

* Carl Paladino announced Thursday he will host a reception for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino on Sept. 30, which will include an appearance by Texas governor Rick Perry, Capital New York reports:

* Sharpening his rhetoric, Republican challenger John Cahill said Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was "complicit" in the sexual harassment of legislative staffers allegedly committed by former Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Times Union reports:

* A city program that provides millions of dollars annually in low-interest loans for private landlords to rehabilitate affordable housing units rarely bothered to verify if those landlords repaired building violations that their loan arrangements required them to fix, the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez writes:

* The municipal IDs that New York plans to start issuing next year will come with an added benefit so enticing that many others may sign up for them too: an offer of free tickets or discounts at 33 of the city’s leading cultural institutions, the Times reports:

* A Rockland County legislator who hoped to become the state’s first Hasidic Jewish assemblyman has been defeated in a closely contested primary for the Democratic nomination for an open Assembly seat, the Times writes:



* The data used by New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to show a two-decade decline in the use of force by officers has come under question by analysts, the Times reports:

* Some say Mexicans—the fastest-growing Latino group in New York City—are poised to play a larger role in city and state politics, pointing to recent trends and milestones as evidence, but challenges remain, Gotham Gazette reports:


CELEBRATE WITH CITY & STATE City & State is hosting its Buffalo Launch Party on September 23rd at Dinosaur BBQ in Buffalo’s Theater District. Stop by to meet the C&S team, including our new Buffalo bureau correspondent Chris Thompson, and enjoy great free food and drink. RSVP here:



Chuck Meara Joins M Public Affairs – M Public Affairs is pleased to announce that Chuck Meara, former chief of staff to three New York City Council Speakers, has joined the firm’s NYC office as a Managing Director. Meara’s leadership and insight from over a decade at City Hall builds upon MPA’s track record of developing and executing innovative public affairs strategies throughout New York and the United States. Learn about MPA




* In the wake of the Bridgegate scandal, lawmakers in both New York and New Jersey should approve changes that will ensure greater transparency and accountability so abuse at the Port Authority will not happen again, the Times writes:

* Now that the EPA has rejected using a $511 million loan from a clean water fund for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, it is imperative for the state to reveal the financing plan, the Buffalo News writes:

* Cash-and-tip payments are impossible for the state to police and barring a very compelling argument by the restaurant industry—more compelling than any advanced to date—the board should scrap the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, the Daily News writes:

* We can and should prosecute and shame those who hit their girlfriends, wives and children, but the only way to truly confront this problem is to treat it as what it is: a disease that infects society as a whole, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James writes in the Daily News:



Perry Ochacher and Stephanie Ovadia Join The Gerstman Schwartz & Malito and Gotham Government Relations & Communications team!

The Gerstman Schwartz & Malito law firm, along with its lobbying affiliate, Gotham Government Relations, is continuing with its major expansion - adding to its team of experienced litigators and government affairs professionals. With offices on Long Island, in NYC, and Albany, the firm has increased its capacity to meet the needs of clients in diverse areas of litigation and government relations advocacy. Read More:




* Architects in New York will once again seek legal protection from being sued for professional liability for pro bono work after a natural disaster. Last year, the American Institute of Architects’ New York State chapter sought the passage of a bill that would protect architects under a “Good Samaritan” law that gives immunity to those who help in emergency situations. (To read more, click here:



* City & State sat down with the heads of two New York City agencies—Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd ( and Health and Hospitals Corporation President Dr. Ramanathan Raju ( )—to talk about the new environmental and healthcare challenges facing the city and to highlight de Blasio administration initiatives.


* Gerson Borrero sat down with Puerto Rico governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla to discuss unemployment, crime and other issues facing the residents of the island as part of City & State’s Road to SOMOS series:


WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities in City & State First Read, or call 646-442-1662.  


Director of Government Relations, The New York Botanical Garden

Description: The New York Botanical Garden seeks a Government Relations Director to assists the AVP for Government and Community

Relations with strategy, representation, and communications with a primary emphasis on community and city government relations.

S/he is also charged with meeting with community boards, coalitions, city agencies, elected officials, attends other meetings and events as necessary, and reports back to the Associate Vice President.  S/he will interact with Botanical Garden Managers to formulate creative ways of representing the Garden.

Further Info: To view the full job description and apply, please visit:


Executive Director, Supportive Housing Network of New York

Description:  The Supportive Housing Network of New York -- a nonprofit membership organization representing more than 200 nonprofits that provide housing and services to vulnerable at-risk individuals and families -- seeks a dynamic executive director. The executive director (i) provides the organization with executive leadership and strategic vision, (ii) oversees the organization's financial management and fundraising activities, (iii) organizes and implements the organization's policy, advocacy and programs, and, (iv) manages the organization's administration and personnel.

Further Info: To view the full job description and apply, visit our website:


Policy Associate for Research and Data, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package.

Description: CCC is seeking a full time Policy Associate for Research and Data to assist in data collection and statistical analysis and maintenance of Keeping Track Online Data.  Responsibilities include: conducting outreach to federal, state and city government agencies, universities and research and policy organizations to identify data sources; collecting and analyzing demographic and programmatic data; manipulating data to reduce complex info to some descriptive statistics.

Further Info: Please send resume, 3 references, a writing sample and a salary history to: Lorraine Tate, Executive Assistant


Policy Associate for Early Childhood Education and Education, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package.

Description: Job responsibilities center on the three components of our work: fact-finding, community education and advocacy. This will include analytic work to evaluate the impact of early childhood education, education and after-school policies, budget allocations and legislation; testifying at city and state hearings; conducting community education events; meeting with elected and appointed government officials; participating in coalitions with colleagues; analyzing government data; and developing and administering quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments to develop findings and recommendations that seek to inform improvement of programs, policies, budgets, or laws.

Further Info: Please send resume, 3 references, a writing sample and a salary history to: Lorraine Tate, Executive Assistant


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Maggie Moran, president and CEO of M Public Affairs … to Amy Dewhurst, former staff member for former New York City mayoral candidate Jack Hidary … toSteve Stites, political consultant at Stites Communications … to Janno Lieber, World Trade Center Properties president ... to Zoe Tobin, account executive at the Marino Organization … and to Soledad O’Brien, Al Jazeera America correspondent … on Saturday, to Mark Benoit, senior account executive at Geto & de Milly, Inc … to Nick Gulotta, aide to New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer … to RuthAnne Visnauskas, New York City Housing Preservation and Development deputy commissioner … to David Adorno, former candidate for the Assembly 38th district … to Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO … to John Albert, counsel at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips … and to Menashe Shapiro, consultant at Tusk Strategies … on Sunday, to Bill Lipton, Working Families Party state director … to Scott Sieber, spokesman to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer … to Jennifer Maldonando, special assistant to the deputy chancellor/executive director of Education Construction Fund … toChuck Reichenthal, Brooklyn Community Board 13 district manager … and to Farouk Samaroo, former candidate for District Leader, 38th Assembly District.


MOVING ON: Jerry Goldfeder, election and campaign finance lawyer at Stroock has, in addition to his current job, been appointed to the board of directors of the Museum of the City of New York.



It’s That Time Again! As another back to school season arrives, take the time to refresh yourself on safety tips to keep students safe! Motorists should be aware of school buses and children walking on sidewalks or in the road, and obey all traffic laws. It is exceptionally important to be extra careful in foggy, rainy or snowy weather or other hazardous conditions.Read more about back to school safety from AlliedBarton Security Services!




9 a.m. - Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. serves as a panelist at the Source 360 Conference, "Hip Hop & Society: The Social and Political Impact of the Music,” LIU Brooklyn Campus, 1 University Plaza, Brooklyn.

10 a.m. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Republican Attorney General candidate John Cahill, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Republican comptroller candidate Robert Antonacci attend Business Council of New York State’s Meet the Candidates event, The Sagamore Resort, 110 Sagamore Rd., Bolton Landing.

10:06 a.m. - The Geraldo Rivera Radio Show features ABC News Correspondent Tom Rivers, General Paul Vallely, a retired U.S. Army Major General and senior military analyst for Fox News, state Sen. Roger Wicker, Assemblyman Karim Camara and Joan Hamburg, the host of The Joan Hamburg Radio Show, WABC.

11 a.m. - NYSERDA, NYPA and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority join elected officials to unveiling two new electrical vehicle charging stations, Niagara Falls International Airport, 2035 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls.

11 a.m. - The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Ashley Hupfl, the reporter roundtable with the Daily News’ Ken Lovett and Scott Waldman from Capital New York, Seth Gladstone from Food and Water Watch, and Common Cause NY’s Susan Lerner and attorney Howard Leib, WCNY. Listen here:

12:30 p.m. - Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins campaigns in Harlem, Lexington Ave. and 125th St. subway station, Manhattan.

5 p.m. - New York City Councilman Ruben Wills attends Baisley Park Basketball Courts ribbon cutting, 157th St and Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Queens.

5:20 p.m. - The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby features Brenden Fay, direttore generale of trattoria Dell’Arte and May Boeve, executive director of on the People’s Climate March, WABC.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. - Inside City Hall features candidates for president of Teamsters Local 237, a panel on the crisis in Iraq and the reporter roundtable, Time Warner Cable News.

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, director Josh Fox, who will discuss his newest project and the big environmental march happening this weekend, and the reporter roundtable, Time Warner Cable News.



Get your message in front of leadership at the NYC HHC and the NYC DEP in City & Statemagazine's first ever "agency spotlight" special issue!
These comprehensive agency spotlights include dossiers on org leadership; updates on current capital projects and maintenance contracts; and much more. Advertising Deadline is 9/16 at 3:00pm. Contact or dial 212-894-5422 for more information and to place an advertisement.



KICKER: “When you come so close there’s always, ‘You coulda, shoulda, wouldas.’ But there’s always another day.” – Aron Wieder, a Rockland County legislator who conceded after a close race for an Assembly seat, via the Times