First Read - May 6, 2016

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WEATHER: Mostly sunny in Western New York. Rain likely in the rest of the state. New York City, high 54; Albany, high 64; Buffalo, high 65.



* The rumors and reports of potential corruption make for plenty of losers. But if any of it is true, the biggest losers are everyday New Yorkers who just want government officials to do their jobs. To see who is up and down this week, check out our Winners & Losers.

City & State tracks the progress of some of the biggest projects in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious transportation infrastructure agenda, from the MTA capital plan to a revamped LaGuardia Airport to funding for upstate roads and bridges. 

* Certain state Senate Republicans used de Blasio’s request for a seven-year extension of mayoral control over schools as an opportunity to score cheap political points, Nick Powell writes for Slant



* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has retained criminal defense lawyer Barry Berke of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel to help him cooperate with state and federal corruption probes surrounding City Hall and his 2013 campaign, Newsday writes

* Federal investigators looking into de Blasio’s fundraising practices are scrutinizing his 2013 campaign for possible straw donors, including whether donors were reimbursed for their contributions or given cash to pass along to the campaign, sources told DNAinfo.

* Investigators sought to question a New York City Parks Department official and requested agency documents about a contract awarded to a local company after the firm’s owner donated $100,000 to a nonprofit affiliated with de Blasio, The Wall Street Journal reports

* De Blasio’s press secretary, Karen Hinton, will leave her post next month after the budget is made final, most likely in June, the latest sign that the administration is continuing its long struggle to control and disseminate its own message, The New York Times writes.

* De Blasio’s prospects of getting the Legislature to renew his control of New York City’s schools were thrown into doubt when state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan issued a statement harshly criticizing his performance at a hearing on the issue, the Times writes.

* More news below … 



Everyone agrees: New York’s hospitals and doctors deliver world-class patient care. But out-of-control medical malpractice costs that are by far the nation’s highest are stark proof of a deeply flawed system. Let’s make sure Albany doesn’t make it worse. Join us in urging the New York State Legislature to reject any bills that would raise medical malpractice costs even higher and weaken the ability of doctors and hospitals to deliver high-quality care.



* Washington-based lobbyist Todd Howe, who is under federal investigation and has close ties to Cuomo, has quietly been added to a state ethics website as a lobbyist for entities also tied up in the probe, the Daily News reports.

* The New York City Council voted 28-20 to require certain retailers to collect a fee on each carryout bag, paper or plastic, with some exceptions, with de Blasio expressing support for the measure, the Times reports.

* De Blasio recommended giving a one-time $183 credit this summer to water customers who own one- to three-family homes, but a closer look shows a majority of New York City homes are in buildings that are not eligible for the credit, the Journal reports.

* The New York City Council voted to require the city Board of Elections to send voters texts and emails telling them when their poll sites change and reminding them of upcoming elections after facing criticism for April’s presidential primary, the Daily News writes.

* Former Nassau County Legislator Jeff Toback, who ran an unsuccessful 2010 primary for the 20th A.D. seat, will run for the Assembly seat vacated after Todd Kaminsky’s state Senate victory but may face a crowded Democratic primary, Newsday writes.



Know someone with leadership potential? Help build the next generation of NYC’s community leaders.

The Murphy Institute at the CUNY School of Professional Studies is recruiting for Community Semester, a 16-week academic and community service experience. Students hone skills through coursework and first-hand experience working with a community-based organization while earning college credit and financial support toward educational expenses. Open to students entering the BA in Urban and Community Studies or the MA in Urban Studies




* De Blasio’s commitment to public safety and criminal justice will be for naught if he does not increase funding for the offices of New York City’s district attorneys, City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson writes.



BKLYN DESIGNS is Brooklyn's premier design event, showcasing a cross-section of contemporary design, architecture and art. As one of the first design fairs to shine a spotlight on the creative economy in Brooklyn, it serves as an incubator for emerging designers and a platform for established brands. Join the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce on May 6-8 for a full weekend of design-related programming at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. For more information and tickets, visit




* A federal advisory panel has rightfully recommended the Food and Drug Administration mandate special training for doctors before they can prescribe opioids, but the long-term solution is to mandate this training in medical schools, the Times Union writes.

* Given the high-profile convictions and investigations, Assemblywoman and congressional candidate Claudia Tenney in the Post outlines the ethics reforms needed to end corruption in Albany, which she blames on “career politician syndrome” and “pay-to-play politics.”

* De Blasio and city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, while not ideal stewards of the schools, are superior to any alternative, and the state Senate should make permanent mayoral control instead of just extending it for a few years, the Daily News writes.

* Despite the investigation into the Buffalo Billion, the program should be allowed to proceed as planned, though this development should give Cuomo more incentive to push for ethics reform this legislative session, The Buffalo News writes.



CITY & STATE CAREERS - WHO’S HIRING: To advertise your employment opportunities with City & State, email or call 646-442-1617. Visit www.CityandState.Careers to view all jobs.

Senior Policy & Advocacy Associate: Economic and Housing Stability

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc.

Job responsibilities center on the three components of our work: fact-finding; community education; and advocacy. Includes analyzing policy, budget and legislative proposals and their impact on child and family poverty, family homelessness, and runaway and homeless youth; testifying at City and State budget and legislative hearings; meeting with elected and government officials; participating in coalitions with direct service and advocacy colleagues; etc.

Senior Director (Business Development Manager), New York, New York- ACCA 

The Director will join our small team as second in command for the Association of Charter Certified Accountants USA. This position directly contributes to ACCA’s global brand and education strategy through developing and enhancing ACCA USA’s profile with targeted employers, universities and stakeholders.  The ideal candidate will have significant experience in public affairs, government relations, university relations or a similar field.  Salary range is $85-100,000.

Director of Economic Development Policy, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

The Director for Economic Development Policy is responsible for developing the Brooklyn Chamber’s policy positions and legislative agendas, and placing the organization at the forefront of thought leadership in the borough, city, state and Washington, D.C. 

Training and Leadership Development DirectorNY Civic Engagement Table

NYCET, a statewide partnership of over 40 progressive base?building, and issue organizations dedicated to building a more just democracy and fairer economy is seeking a highly skilled and dynamic trainer with a deep understanding of the skills and capacity needed to implement civic engagement campaigns. 

Director of External Affairs, Friends of Hudson River Park

The Director of External Affairs will oversee an advocacy plan to expand our membership base and garner support for initiatives that advance Hudson River Park. Candidates should be familiar with area parks, NYC and NYS processes for budgeting and land use review, and have a strong network of community leaders. Email resume to




* House Speaker Paul Ryan said he is “not ready” to endorse Donald Trump, an announcement that reflected a split in the Republican Party not seen in at least a half century, the Times writes

* The FBI has interviewed Huma Abedin and other senior aides about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official State Department business, an indication the politically charged probe is nearing its end, the Journal reports

* Those investigating Clinton’s use of a personal email server have so far found scant evidence that she intended to break classification rules, but they are probing the case aggressively with an eye on interviewing Clinton herself, The Washington Post writes



* When Assemblyman Mickey Kearns read an ethics report on then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s efforts to cover up sexual harassment complaints lodged against then-Assemblyman Vito Lopez, he left his colleagues and became the only Democrat to not caucus with the majority. With Silver convicted of corruption and forced out of the Legislature, Kearns, a Buffalo lawmaker, finally rejoined his fellow Assembly Democrats last month. This week the assemblyman watched, along with the rest of New York’s political world, as Silver was handed a 12-year prison sentence and a $1.75 million fine, a punishment he said he found fitting. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Today, to Politico New York Albany Bureau Chief Jimmy Vielkind … to David Segal, co-founder of Demand Progress … and to Dani Lever, first deputy press secretary for Cuomo … on Saturday, to Assemblyman Clifford Crouch … to Bolton-St. Johns Partner Emily Giske … to Jessica Firger, staff writer at Newsweek … to state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan … to Assemblywoman Sandy Galef … to Wiley Norvell, a communications advisor for the de Blasio administration .. and to Kevin Peter Carroll, Brooklyn Democratic state committeeman and district Leader of the 60th A.D … on Sunday, to former U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle … to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio … and to Assemblyman Andrew Raia


MOVING ON: Devin Lander is leaving the Museum Association of New York to become the New York state historian … and László Jakab Orsós will become the vice president of arts and culture at Brooklyn Public Library.



City & State Celebrates Top 100 Powerful Leaders in Albany!

Every year, City & State honors Albany’s Power 100 leaders in politics, media, business, and beyond! The special publication ranking the Power 100 will debut at this luncheon. Be the first to know who made the cut, who gained power, and who got dropped. Join us on May 17th at Cornerstone at the Plaza for a networking experience you don’t want to miss – RSVP here! For advertising information please email  




Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule. 

8 a.m. - U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, MTA Chairman and CEO Tom Prendergast and others speak at the Regional Planning Association annual assembly, The Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Ave., Manhattan.

8:30 a.m. - City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer Costa Constantinides hold press conference denouncing Astoria anti-Muslim hate crime, call on community to come forward with information, 33-55 10th St., Queens.

9:30 a.m. - Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at the Business Initiative Corporation of New York’s 18th Annual Bronx Breakfast, hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Villa Barone Manor, 737 Throggs Neck Expressway, Bronx.

9:30 a.m. - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer delivers keynote address at state Sen. Kevin Parker's Educational Leadership Awards Breakfast, The Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Brooklyn. 

9:45 a.m. - New York City Public Advocate Letitia James delivers remarks at Metro New York Labor Communications Council's Annual Convention, Associated Musicians of NY Local 802, 322 W. 48th St., 1st Floor, Manhattan. 

10 a.m. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appear live on The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss mayoral control, affordable housing and crime statistics, WNYC. 

10 a.m. - The Assembly Committee on Energy and Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry hold a public hearing on potential obstacles to net-metering for residents and businesses, 250 Broadway, Assembly Hearing Room 1923, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Finance holds a hearing on the executive budget, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. - Nurses, elected officials and patient advocacy groups celebrate National Nurses Day with a ‘Day of Action to Protect Patients’ and call for passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square #218, Buffalo.

10 a.m. - Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joins maternal health care providers and breastfeeding advocates to announce his “baby cards” initiative, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, lobby, 121 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn. 

11 a.m. - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the MTA hold a joint media availability to discuss the Underground Transport Restoration subway airflow studies to take place from May 9 to May 13, 34 St-Penn Station on the ACE Line, Lower Mezzanine, Manhattan.

11 a.m. - Nurses, elected officials and patient advocacy groups celebrate National Nurses Day with a ‘Day of Action to Protect Patients’ and call for passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. - “The Capitol Pressroom” features Blair Horner of NYPIRG, Jim Heaney of Investigative Post, Shawn Hannon of the Onondaga County Libertarian Party and Hank Greenberg of Greenberg Traurig and Richard Briffault of Columbia Law, WCNY.

12 p.m. - Hochul delivers remarks during STRIVE's 4th Annual Women's Empowerment Luncheon, The Metropolitan Club, 1 E. 60th St., Manhattan.

12 p.m. - Members of the Puerto Rican community, advocates from the Hedge Clippers, and others rally against Donald Trump because of his stance on debt relief in Puerto Rico, Trump International Hotel and Tower, 1 Central Park West, Manhattan.

12 p.m. - Nurses, elected officials and patient advocacy groups celebrate National Nurses Day with a ‘Day of Action to Protect Patients’ and call for passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Bronx County Courthouse, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx.

12 p.m. - Nurses, elected officials and patient advocacy groups celebrate National Nurses Day with a ‘Day of Action to Protect Patients’ and call for passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, NYSNA Long Island Office, 900 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville.

1 p.m. - Nurses, elected officials and patient advocacy groups celebrate National Nurses Day with a ‘Day of Action to Protect Patients’ and call for passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Westchester County Office Building, 148 Martine Ave., White Plains.

1 p.m. - Nurses, elected officials and patient advocacy groups celebrate National Nurses Day with a ‘Day of Action to Protect Patients’ and call for passage of the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, Schenectady City Hall, 105 Jay St., Schenectady.

1 p.m. - Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at White House and U.S. Dept. of Labor Worker Voice Regional Summit, Harlem State Office Building, 8th floor, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

4 p.m. - Brewer visits Brotherhood / Sister Sol Planting Week 2016 event, Frank White Garden, 510 W. 143rd St., Manhattan. 

4 p.m. - Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Eric Swalwell of California attend a listening forum designed to address issues faced by Brooklyn millennials, Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

5 p.m. - Brewer speaks at HEAF Youth Leadership Council Meeting, 2090 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., 10th floor, Manhattan. 

6 p.m. - Community Education of District Six holds education forum with New York Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and New York Daily News columnist Juan González, George Washington Educational Campus auditorium, 549 Audubon Ave., Manhattan. 

8:15 p.m. - Brewer speaks at Animal Care Centers of NYC annual Spring Fling, National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan.



8:30 a.m. - "Reaching Out with Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd” features Bertha Lewis, president of The Black Institute, and Dr. Lenora Fulani of The All Stars Project, AM970.

10 a.m. - Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, NYPD, Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. and 100 Black Men, Inc. of New York host a gun buyback event, Salem United Methodist Church, 2190 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., Manhattan.

10 a.m. - Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Rev. Al Sharpton, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. address the Puerto Rican debt crisis, National Action Network House of Justice, 106 W. 145th St., Manhattan.



10 a.m. – Former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green and state Sen. Terrence Murphy appear on "Effective Radio with Bill Samuels", AM970.



The state Legislature is in session.

10 a.m. - The New York City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services and the Committee on Finance hold an executive budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

10 a.m. – State Sen. Terrence Murphy and Former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green appear on "Effective Radio with Bill Samuels", WVOX 1460AM.

12:30 p.m. - The City Council Committee on Aging, the Subcommittee on Senior Centers and Committee on Finance hold an executive budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

2:30 p.m. - The City Council Committee on Environmental Protection and Committee on Finance hold an executive budget hearing, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

6 p.m. -  Rep. Jerry Nadler, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and City Councilman Corey Johnson host Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan Jarvis for a public meeting on creation of a national monument in recognition of the LGBT movement, PS 41, 116 W. 11th St., Manhattan.



The Business Role in K-12 Education Conference – Thursday, May 19, Hunter College – City & State Reports presents a one-day, high-impact conference that will explore how businesses, foundations and nonprofits can have a tangible, positive effect on K-12 education. Speakers include: Stanley Litow, IBM; Merryl Tisch, former Chancellor, NYS Board of Regents; Shael Suransky, Bank Street College of Education; Joel Rose, New Classroom Innovation Partners; Jacques Steinberg, Say Yes to Education; and Lisa Belzberg, PENCIL. Register now.



KICKER: “I think most people would tell you (my political future) was looking quite bright. But at the end of the day, we're on this earth for such a short period of time, and you have to ... I think put priorities first things first.” - U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, explaining his decision not to run for governor in 2018, via the Times Union.