First Read - March 7, 2014

WEATHER: Cloudy downstate; sun elsewhere across the state. New York City, high 38; Albany, high 37; Buffalo, high 38.


WINNERS AND LOSERS: It was crash week for Gov. Cuomo. First he crashed a birthday party for some LCA reporters. Then he crashed Eva Moskowitz's charter school rally, much to her delight. And in so doing he crashed Bill de Blasio's Albany lobby trip, leaving the new mayor scratching his head. It's clear who the winner and loser was in that exchange. Let's go to the big board for this week's other winners and losers:



* A new poll shows New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has a 39 percent job approval rating but a nearly 60 percent favorability rating two months into his tenure as mayor, The Wall Street Journal writes:

* De Blasio and Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared together to announce a continued push to offer more prekindergarten to the city’s youngsters, with both reaping some political benefits from the meeting, The New York Times writes:

* At a forum with other big city mayors in Chicago, de Blasio focused on political philosophy in talking about the beginning of his mayoralty while others discussed more specific points of municipal maintenance, the Times reports:

* MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast is pushing commuter watchdog groups to help the agency win public support in its ongoing contract spat with LIRR union workers, though the head of one group said it won’t take sides, Newsday reports:

* The jury foreman from Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s trial criticized Boyland’s nonchalant demeanor and called the prosecution’s case persuasive, the New York Post reports:

* Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino brought his gubernatorial announcement tour to Buffalo, where Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said he is waiting to see what Donald Trump does before making an endorsement, the Buffalo News writes:

* One of the subjects of a promotional video for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan has received roughly $500,000 in contracts with the state Power Authority in recent years, though he says he’s been a longtime critic of the state’s high property taxes, the Times Union writes:

* Some lawmakers are pushing for the state Board of Regents to create a new Career and Technical Diploma and curriculum, which would provide an alternative to the Regents diploma for students aiming for fields like nanotechnology, the Times Union reports:

* In praising a settlement with unscrupulous car wash owners made after an investigation by the state Attorney General’s office, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito pledged to clean up the city’s car wash industry, the Daily News reports:

* State Sen. Brad Hoylman has introduced a bill that would require all smartphones and tablets sold in the state to have kill switches that would make them permanently inoperable if they are lost or stolen, the Daily News writes:



* As the push for universal prekindergarten continues, some parents have been left to wonder why full-day kindergarten for all is being overlooked, the Times writes:


#FOLLOWFRIDAY: Follow the @CityAndStateNY editorial team on Twitter:@morganpehme @jonathanlentz @nickpowellbkny @MGJohnson24@matt_hamilton10



End the Tale of Two Cities.  It’s Time for Good Jobs and Real Community Benefits at Domino Sugar.  NYC needs to create good jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits in order to address the crisis of income inequality.  Let’s make sure the Domino Sugar rezoning raises up our communities with real affordable housing and good jobs for all workers.  Ironworkers Local 46




* The Daily News writes that the William Boyland Jr. case is a cautionary tale for those who want special elections, which allow party bosses to hand-pick candidates and would give the state more Boylands:

* The Times Union writes that communities must control their own destiny when it comes to casino siting, and while the state says community preference will be factored into siting decisions, it’s unclear to what degree it will:

* The Daily News writes that de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña are showing themselves to be willing to sacrifice kids whose choice of schools is a rebuke to the public education system the mayor and chancellor have allegiance to:

* The announcement that Legal Aid Society chief Steve Banks will be New York City’s next welfare commissioner signals there will be several giant steps back for fiscal and personal responsibility, Heather Mac Donald writes in the Post:



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* He’s your candidate—do you support him? That’s the question state Senate Deputy Minority Leader Michael Gianaris had for fellow senators from across the aisle a day after Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino declared his candidacy for governor. At a post-session Q&A with reporters, Gianaris called Astorino a “right wing wolf masquerading in moderate sheep’s clothing,” citing his stances on issues like abortion, gay rights and the SAFE Act. Then he posed a question he said Senate Democrats would continue to ask as Republicans presumably stand alongside Astorino during their own campaigns. “For the Senate Republicans I would say the important question is, do they agree with their candidate?” said Gianaris, who supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Do they agree with Rob Astorino, that they want to roll back the protections we’ve enacted in New York and we’ve worked so hard for? Do they oppose a women’s right to choose? Do they oppose the rights of lesbian and gay New Yorkers to be free from discrimination? Does he want to take all the important gains we’ve made in this state and roll them back to a point where New York shouldn’t be?”



TECHNOLOGY EVENT: City & State is excited to host On Technology at 7 WTC on March 20th starting at 5:00pm, on the uses of technology in politics, public policy, education  and government in New York. Featured speakers include Jonathan Bowles of the Center for Urban Future, Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Codeas well as Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Jeff Merritt of the NYC Mayor’s Office, Andrew Nicklin from New York State, Rashid Ferrod Davis of PTech and others! Email for more information on how to RSVP, speaking and sponsorship opportunities.




* The New York Farm Bureau’s Jeff Williams discusses the estate tax, its impact on farmers and the governor’s proposal to raise the current $1 million threshold:


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

Associate Lobbyist

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Description: Prominent NYC Government Relations firm is looking to hire a skilled Associate Lobbyist. Applicants must have at least 3 years experience working in New York City government/politics and must possess the following skill sets: Understanding of New York City’s political landscape; Relationships with key New York City government and elected officials; Ability to develop and implement strategic plans on behalf of clients;

Further Info: Please email resumes to:


Government and Public Affairs Position for Major NYC Construction Trade Association

Salary:  Competitive compensation and benefits package

Description:  NYC Construction Association seeks Chief of Staff to the President and CEO. Responsibilities include development and implementation of association’s legislative and public policy agenda for NYC and NYS. Will provide support to association committees, communications program and special events. Qualifications include excellent written and oral communications skills. Must be hands on and comfortable in a team-oriented environment.

For More Information: Send cover letter, resume and sample of writing ability


Government Relations Associate

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Description: Prominent NYC Government Relations firm is looking to hire an energetic, smart, hard-working government relations associate to support a team of senior public affairs professionals – some experience working in NYC government/politics strongly preferred. Responsibilities include: Developing professional working relationships with city government officials and staff; Managing compliance requirements with the NYS Public Integrity Commission and the New York City Clerk's lobbying bureau; Researching and writing strategic memos, briefing papers and policy background research memos;

Further Info: Please email resumes to:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Larry Scott Blackmon, deputy commissioner for community outreach for the New York City Parks Department … to Michael Tobmanof Riverview Public Affairs … and to Warren Woodberry, former adviser to state Sen. Malcolm Smith … on Saturday, to Eric Sumberg, deputy communications director for New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer … to state Sen. Ted O’Brien … and to NY1 reporter Zack Fink … and on Sunday, to Michael Harrison, a former adviser to Govs. David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer … and to Paul Sawyier, director of community affairs for Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.


MOVING ON: Donnie Campbell has joined the Union Square Partnership as director of operations … Scott Hobbs has been promoted to deputy director of the Union Square Partnership … Ben Max, editor of Decide NYC, is joining Gotham Gazette as executive editor … John T. Sullivan Jr., a former state deputy Medicaid inspector general and former Oswego mayor, has joined EffectiveNY as upstate director … and Carra Wallace will become the chief diversity officer for the New York City Comptroller’s office.


CORRECTION: In yesterday’s First Read, we gave the incorrect title for Andrew Postiglione. He is now a policy analyst with the Senate Democratic Conference.



City & State’s Upcoming 3/24 Issue Spotlight: TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Promote your organization’s infrastructure objectives and benefits to NY’s public officials in this strategic government relations communications venue. City & Statemagazine’s comprehensive special section will feature: Public Officials Q&A withJoan McDonald, Tom Prendergast, Polly Trottenberg, Pat Foye and Joseph Robach (officials pending confirmation); Featured Editorial: MTA Capital Plan | Top Projects in Bridges, Highways, Ports and Railroads | Scorecard: Key Players, Issues and Stats.  The ad deadline is March 20.  For advertising information, please contact or call 212-284-9714.




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

7:30 a.m. – New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is a guest on Good Day NY, WNYW Channel 5. 

8 a.m. – State Sen. Brad Hoylman and New York City Councilman Corey Johnson distribute flyers to raise awareness and gather information about a recent hate crime, W. 4th Street subway stop, 6th Avenue and 8th Street, Manhattan.

9:30 a.m. – Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, United Jewish Organizations of Williams burg and North Brooklyn Executive Director Rabbi David Niederman and others announce the introduction of the Expedited Missing Persons’ Identification Act, UJO Offices, 32 Penn St., Brooklyn.

10 a.m. – The Geraldo Rivera radio show includes interviews with the Daily News’ Denis Hamill and Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, WABC.

10 a.m. – The New York City Council Higher Education Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, City Hall, Council Chambers, Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer speaks at the New York City Clergy Roundtable Conference, Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave., Manhattan.

10:30 a.m. – The Pay for Success Initiatives & Innovation Symposium features lessons from the nation’s first state-led “Social Impact Bond” and expert commentary on Pay for Success nationally, State Capitol, Blue Room, Albany.

10:30 a.m. – Rep. Nita Lowey, state Sen. David Carlucci, Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski and others announce federal funding to help prevent flooding for Clarkstown residents, West Nyack Hamlet Green, 721 West Nyack Road, West Nyack.

11 a.m. – The Capitol Pressroom features City & State’s Matthew Hamilton, attorneys Tom West and Scott Kurkoski, and NYSSBA’s Tim Kremer, WCNY.

11 a.m. – The New York City Consumer Affairs Committee holds a preliminary budget hearing, 250 Broadway, Committee Room, 16th floor, Manhattan.

11 a.m. – New York City Councilman Costa Constantinides holds a press conference to call for potholes to be repaired withing five days or less, corner of 31st Street and Astoria Boulevard, Queens.

11 a.m. – Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblyman Ron Kim and New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin attend the 3rd Annual Chinatown Restaurant Week opening press conference, Silk Road Café, 30 Mott St., Manhattan.

11 a.m. – Rep. Gregory Meeks joins the Greater Jamaica Development Corp. and local officials to announce plans for $275 million residential/commercial tower in downtown Jamaica, 93-43 Sutphin Blvd., Queens.

11:30 a.m. – State Senators Martin Golden and Diane Savino, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and others call on the MTA to authorize a multi-trip toll discount plan for Brooklyn residents traveling on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 92nd Street and Gatling Place, Brooklyn.

11:30 a.m. – Stringer attends an ArchCare legislative brunch, San Vicente de Paul Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 900 Intervale Ave., Bronx.

12 p.m. – Stringer visits the Erma Cava Senior Center, 887 Southern Blvd., Bronx.

12 p.m. – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends the NYSABE 37th’s Annual Conference Leadership Luncheon, LaGuardia Marriott, 102005 Ditmars Blvd., Queens.

12:15 p.m. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hosts a discussion with parent bloggers on universal prekindergarten and after-school programs, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

12:30 p.m. – State Sen. Tony Avella and Environment New York host a press conference to release information against the implementation of hydrofracking, Avella’s District Office, 38-50 Bell Blvd., Suite C, Queens.

12:30 p.m. – Stringer visits the Twin Parks Senior Center, 2070 Clinton Ave., Bronx.

2:30 p.m. – State Sen. Jeff Klein, Assemblymen Jeff Dinowitz and Mike Benedetto and others outline legislative proposals to make college more affordable for students in New York, Tognino Hall, Duane Library, Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus, 2691 Southern Blvd., Bronx.

4 p.m. – The state Department of Transportation holds an open house on the High Speed Rail Empire Corridor, The Strong, One Manhattan Square, Rochester. Public hearing follows at 6 p.m.

4 p.m. – Brewer and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attends the New York Stock Exchange and 2020 Women on Boards networking reception to commemorate International Women’s day, 11 Wall St., Manhattan.

5:45 p.m. – James attends the New York State Workforce Development Institute’s Annual International Women’s Day Reception and Panel Presentations, 25 W. 43rd St., Manhattan.

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – Inside City Hall features the Reporters Roundtable and Kevin Cook, author of the new book “Kitty Genovese,” Time Warner Cable News NY1.  

8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – Capital Tonight features the Reporter Roundtable, Time Warner Cable News.


KICKER: “The prosecuting lawyers, they were on point with everything they were showing us, and I just felt like the defense wasn’t really showing anything otherwise. The hole just kept getting deeper and deeper.” – The jury foreman from Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s corruption trial on the prosecution’s case, via the Post.