First Read Tonight – December 14, 2017

WEATHER: Partly cloudy across the state. New York City, low 19; Albany, low 12; Buffalo, low 15.



* State Sen. Tony Avella urged New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to reject $250,000 in tax forgiveness pending city approval that would benefit Avi Dishi, a landlord once listed among the city’s worst, City & State reports.

* Steve Bannon, the controversial Breitbart executive who has been accused of anti-Semitism, will headline a Manhattan fundraiser Thursday night for Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is Jewish, but Zeldin may have more to gain from Bannon than to lose, City & State reports.

* The Federal Communications Commission’s vote to repeal net neutrality has left many to fear what that means for the future of the internet. One group in New York City that is especially fearful of the impact is its public library systems, City & State reports.



* New York City Councilman Andy King is facing an ethics inquiry over inappropriate comments made to a staffer, part of an investigation by City Council lawyers into possible sexual misconduct among staff and elected officials, The New York Times reports.

* State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will lead a multistate legal challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of net neutrality regulations, approved Thursday in a 3-2 party-line vote, State of Politics reports.

* After a four-year gap in inspections, New York City Housing Authority officials found potential lead paint hazards in 81 percent of the nearly 8,900 apartments with children under the age of 6 that its employees inspected this year, the New York Post reports.

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office maintains that there have been no medical consequences for any children in NYCHA housing as the result of lead exposure, but Red Hook Houses resident Sherron Paige said her son Kyan has been affected, the Village Voice reports.

* New York’s power grid operator said the state should have enough electricity after the closure of two reactors at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in 2020 and 2021, as new sources of mostly natural gas-fired generation enter service, Reuters reports.

* More news below …



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* New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams this week filed paperwork to form a new campaign committee as he publicly considers running for governor in 2018, even though he is also currently running for City Council speaker, State of Politics reports.

* State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned that New York has the second-largest debt burden in the nation, expected to reach $63.7 billion by the end of the fiscal year in March, and it needs to rein in its penchant for borrowing money, the Daily News reports.

* Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Schneiderman plan to file a lawsuit against the federal government to force continued dredging of PCB-contaminated sediment from the Hudson River if the Environmental Protection Agency determines no additional cleanup is needed, the Times Union reports.

* After his previously reported $1,000 per ticket Nov. 30 fundraiser at the Buffalo Embassy Suites, Cuomo held a second private fundraiser with just 13 guests, mostly from out of state, at the Buffalo apartment of lawyer Steve Weiss, The Buffalo News reports.

* A state Board of Elections official urged the New York City Council to switch to instant runoff voting in order to avoid situations like the 2013 public advocate Democratic primary, which cost more than the annual budget for that office, Gotham Gazette reports.


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* The Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences, the Times reports.

* A day after House and Senate Republican leaders said they had reached agreement on a merged version of their tax reform bill, they continued looking for ways to pay for the bill and faced the possible defection of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the Times writes.

* Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with Trump, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has made it known that this will be his final term as speaker, Politico reports.



How can New York City achieve its 30% M/WBE goal? Two Building Trades Employers’ Association reports show: A low level of M/WBE contractor capacity based on contract awards from 2012-2015; Eleven recommendations, many needing New York State Legislation, and program reforms to ensure legal compliance.

All these goals can be achieved if BTEA Contractors, M/WBE Contractors and advocates, and public officials talk with each other, not at each other. These discussions should start today.




* Trump thought he was hurting U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand by tweeting she would “do anything” for campaign contributions, but in reality, he gave the possible future presidential candidate a boost in national public exposure, The Buffalo News writes.

* Rep. Joe Crowley, a rising star in Washington, D.C., with aspirations of becoming House speaker, is also chairman of the powerful Queens County Democratic Party and one of the last kingmakers in New York City politics, The Wall Street Journal writes.

* The NYPD said officers killed Bronxite Mario Sanabria when he threatened them with a machete during a no-knock raid, but now the incident is under investigation and Sanabria’s family plans to sue New York City, the Times writes.



CONSTRUCTION Issue Spotlight:

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7 p.m and 10 p.m. – “Road to City Hall” airs, NY1.

8 p.m. and 11:30 pm – “Capital Tonight” airs, Spectrum News.



7 p.m. – The Islanders visit the Columbus Blue Jackets, MSG+.

7 p.m. – The Sabres visit the Philadelphia Flyers, MSGB.

7:30 p.m. – The Knicks visit the Nets, MSG.



10:30 a.m. – The Assembly holds a public hearing on the state Department of Transportation’s capital program, Legislative Office Building, Hamilton Hearing Room B, Albany.

1 p.m. – The New York City Committee on Standards and Ethics meets, 250 Broadway, 14th floor committee room, Manhattan.

6 p.m. – Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. is honored at Destination Tomorrow’s Dare to Dream Gala, Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx.


TOP TWEET: Cuomo makes list of “least influential people of 2017.” The reason?


-Anna Sanders @AnnaESanders