First Read Tonight – January 12, 2018

WEATHER: Heavy rain in New York City, rain and then freezing rain in Albany and four to six inches of snow expected in Buffalo. New York City, low 35; Albany, low 25; Buffalo, low 12.

 

FROM CITY & STATE:

* Reps. John Faso, Pete King, Elise Stefanik and others condemned President Donald Trump’s controversial comments about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, while Reps. Chris Collins and Dan Donovan accepted his vague denial, City & State reports.

* Federal efforts to both end the opioid epidemic and also to open up the nascent state-level marijuana industry to prosecution may be at odds, experts said, citing evidence that expanding access to marijuana helps reduce opioid abuse, City & State reports.

 

NEW THIS AFTERNOON:

* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will investigate the NYPD’s handling of a protest against the deportation of immigration activist Ravi Ragbir, after officers clashed with demonstrators, including arresting two City Council members, the Daily News writes.

* While President Donald Trump’s federal tax law is causing headaches for some New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and regulators at the state Public Service Commission are working to ensure that utility customers in the state are able to reap some benefits as soon as possible, the Times Union writes.

* The departure of thousands of Salvadorans now at risk of losing their legal immigration status would result “in a massive economic hit to Long Island,” according to the executives of both Nassau and Suffolk counties, who called on Long Island’s congressional members to intercede, Newsday reports.

* A group of women have signed a letter vouching for state Senate Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein as a “gentleman and a decent human being,” as he faces an allegation of forcibly kissing a staffer in 2015, State of Politics writes.

* State officials have offered Amazon a package of taxpayer-funded incentives in the hopes of enticing the company’s second headquarters to locate in New York, but the state has refused to say publicly how much it is proposing to give the internet retail giant, Gannett Albany writes.

* More news below …

 

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* New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, arrested Thursday protesting the federal detention of an undocumented immigrant activist, is considering launching a primary challenge against Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Crain’s New York Business writes.

* On Friday, Cuomo said the dayslong chaos at Kennedy Airport following last week’s blizzard was “unconscionable,” and that the Port Authority needs to figure out what went wrong and fix it, the Daily News writes.

* Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse claimed that the recent arrest of a city resident who has called for his resignation was based on repeated phone calls and text messages the man allegedly sent to Morse’s cousin, but the mayor’s statements were contradicted by police reports, the Times Union reports.

* In a statement, the Working Families Party called on Klein to step aside from his IDC leadership post as an investigation is conducted into an allegation that he forcibly kissed a former legislative staffer, State of Politics reports.

* Cuomo called sexual harassment a “dirty little secret” that’s been largely ignored until the past several months, after a range of powerful men have been toppled by claims of abuse and sexual misconduct, State of Politics writes.

Got inside info? Email us: tips@cityandstateny.com.

 

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NATIONAL POLITICS:

* Trump appeared to deny using the term “shithole” to refer to several countries during a meeting on efforts toward a bipartisan immigration deal, although U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting, said that Trump’s denial was false, The Washington Post writes.

* Trump’s cancellation of a visit to London to open a new U.S. Embassy was welcomed by his many critics in Britain, even as it deepened the diplomatic problems confronting a British government struggling to forge closer ties to Washington without offending opinion at home, The New York Times writes.

* A lawyer for Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal writes.

 

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Join NYN Media for Nonprofit BoardCon on January 24th at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a day of informational session on the collaboration between boards and staff. We will have executive leaders of New York’s nonprofits and board members engage in lively discussions ranging from: Responsibilities, Governance, Diversity, Recruitment and Retention and more. For more details and ticketing please click here.

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IN DEPTH:

* Erica Vladimer, the woman who is accusing state Sen. Jeff Klein of sexual harassment, talked in detail about the night in 2015 in which, she said, the powerful Bronx lawmaker forced an unwanted kiss on her outside an Albany bar in her first television interview with NY1.

* Although de Blasio announced that New York City would sue five big oil companies for the hardships and costs inflicted on the city by climate change, he still makes use of several SUVs for his official duties, the Times’ Jim Dwyer writes.

* After reports of failed heating in numerous NYCHA housing developments last week, once again advocates and elected leaders decried the decrepit state of New York City’s public housing, one advocate wondered why NYCHA can’t be treated like any other private landlord, CityLimits writes.

 

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Join City & State NY for the P3 Summit & Awards on January 31 at New York University for a day-long, dynamic program of candid discussion and thought-provoking presentations on the complexities of public-private partnerships and the ways to successfully execute and manage P3s. Hear from top leaders and experts like Patrick Foye, President of MTA and Robert Galvin, Chief Technology Officer of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. For more details on programming and tickets please click here.

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TONIGHT’S SHOWS:

7 p.m. and 10 p.m. – “Inside City Hall” features Rep. Joe Crowley, NY1.

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

 

TOMORROW’S SKED:

10 a.m. – Rep. Dan Donovan hosts a breakfast rally to officially kick off his re-election campaign, The Vanderbilt, 300 Father Capodanno Blvd., Staten Island.

11 a.m. – Rep. Nydia Velázquez hosts an event to help New Yorkers understand how President Donald Trump’s tax plan will affect them and their families, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, 374 Stockholm St., Brooklyn.

11 a.m. – Hunger Free America holds a press conference on their annual MLK Serve-a-Thon, Broadway Community, 601 W. 114th St., Manhattan.

1 p.m. – The Central Brooklyn Martin Luther King Leadership Commission hosts its 33rd family festival celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

 

TOP TWEET: I’ve been a reporter for more than ten years and have travelled to a wide variety of places around the globe and can honestly report that the biggest shithole I have ever been to remains john f kennedy international airport

-Nicky Woolf @NickyWoolf