If you can count on one thing in New York politics, it might be this: Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not miss an opportunity to tweak, one-up, or otherwise needle Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The feud between the two men has been on a low boil as of late, but now we’ve got a classic of the genre. It started when de Blasio got in a bit of hot water over a statue commission run by his wife, which passed over Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini for the honor of a new monument.
Mother Cabrini, the first American saint recognized by the Catholic Church, was the top vote-getter in a public call for nominations for statues of women, who are woefully underrepresented in the city’s public realm. But the She Built NYC initiative went with several other women for its first round of statues. That drew ire from some Catholics — most famously “A Bronx Tale” star Chazz Palminteri, who got into a fiery spat live on radio with the mayor over the actor’s contention the snub was “racist.”
This one had everything — race, religion, and a holiday weekend in search of a story. In swooped Cuomo, declaring that a Cabrini statue will be built, with the state helping to foot the bill. “The Italian American community felt disrespected,” he said during Columbus Day festivities — making the announcement, the New York Post reports, with a note of glee in his voice.
So admirers of Mother Cabrini will get their statue. Cuomo will have his fun, and perhaps build some cred with Catholics, who were none too pleased with his embrace of a bill to expand abortion rights. De Blasio is nursing his wounds, telling NY1 the situation is a “fake manufactured conflict” and “kinda sad all around.”
WHERE’S ANDREW? In Albany with no public events scheduled.
WHERE’S BlLL? Speaking at the Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Reception at Gracie Mansion.
“THE CITY ESTIMATES that its average daily jail population will drop from about 7,000 inmates to 3,300 by 2026 — 700 fewer people than projections announced earlier this year. The number of inmates will fall across several categories by the time Rikers Island is expected to close, according to a new report released by the City Council and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. People charged with violent felonies — the largest portion of the jail population, which reached about 3,315 in October — is projected to drop 38% to about 2,050. Other predictions include a 77% decrease in the number of people charged with non-violent felonies, from 1,585 to 370 and a 66% drop in the number of people charged with misdemeanors, falling from about 455 to 155.” New York Daily News’ Chelsia Rose Marcius
DAVID DINKINS, New York City’s only black mayor, is wading into deliberations over regulating flavored nicotine products — a national debate that has put local politicians at the uncomfortable nexus of public health and racial concerns. The 92-year-old former mayor will announce his support for two City Council bills to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and regular menthol cigarettes ahead of a rally at City Hall Tuesday morning. “For decades, communities of color — and especially our children — have been targeted by the aggressive marketing campaigns of tobacco companies looking to hook us on nicotine for life,” Dinkins said in a statement provided to POLITICO. Those same tobacco companies are now investing in e-cigarettes “because of their high nicotine content and popularity amongst young people,” he said. He blamed the products for the “new epidemic of critically sickened youth,” including a 17-year-old from the Bronx who died of a vaping-related illness on Oct. 4. POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg
“MORE THAN TWO YEARS after City Hall announced a 911 overhaul, officials have yet to pick a firm for the job — threatening to delay the upgrade to 2024, THE CITY has learned. The NextGeneration project, aimed at bringing the city’s emergency response system into the digital age, was set for a 2022 debut. But an internal tech department document obtained by THE CITY indicates the system won’t be ‘ready for production’ until June 12, 2024. ‘There are many open questions about the vendor and scope and cost,’ a city official closely involved with the effort said.” THE CITY’s Reuven Blau
IN EXCHANGE FOR expanding its popular bike share program in Staten Island, Uber wants New York City to let it severely limit riders’ ability to sue the company. The de Blasio administration is resisting. Two sources familiar with the matter told POLITICO that the dispute is a major reason New York City and Uber have yet to to sign a new contract to expand the company’s dockless Jump bikes on Staten Island, where they have proven popular since they arrived in summer of 2018. The sources were given anonymity to discuss the matter freely. “It’s been a bigger success than we thought and we’re trying to work with everybody to expand,” said Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo. Even as Uber is abandoning its bike share programs in other cities, it has expressed interest in expanding in Staten Island and, ultimately, citywide. POLITICO’s Dana Rubinstein
BROAD APPEAL — Broad City stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer headline a new public service announcement urging New Yorkers to get out and vote on five ballot questions up for a vote in the Nov. 5 election. The questions — changes to the city charter proposed by a revision commission — include whether to move to ranked-choice voting, increase the power of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, and extending a ban on lobbying for former city officials.
“UTILITY NATIONAL GRID under pressure from state regulators on Monday announced it will re-connect nearly 1,000 customers in the downstate region amid an investigation and fines threatened by New York officials. The move effects residential customers on Long Island and in Brooklyn and Queens. The utility had previously declined to make the reconnections amid a moratorium on new gas hookups first announced in May.…. The Public Service Commission had previously launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disconnections. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, meanwhile, last week announced the utility would face fines for failing to resolve the matter.” Spectrum’s Nick Reisman
MOST NEW YORKERS support proposals to let college athletes be better compensated, according to a poll released by the Siena College Research Institute on Tuesday. By a 63-29 margin, respondents approved of letting athletes “receive compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness.” There were clear partisan divisions on the issue, with Democrats backing it 71-23 and Republicans, 48-46. Additionally, by a margin of 60-30, respondents approved of “requiring all New York colleges to take 15 percent of revenue from athletic ticket sales and divide that revenue among all their student-athletes.” The compensation issue has gained momentum since California approved legislation last month letting its college athletes sign endorsement deals, despite a prohibition under NCAA rules. POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney
“GOV. ANDREW M. CUOMO rejects claims he’s plotting to eliminate the voting system that gives significant power to alternative political parties. ‘Yeah, I know — and people think there’s still a Santa Claus, and people believe in the Easter bunny,’ Cuomo said in a September radio interview when asked about whether he was angling to upend so-called ‘fusion’ voting. Yet records indicate that in creating a nine-member panel that’s now ironing out major changes to state campaign laws, the Cuomo administration quietly inserted a provision that allows Jay Jacobs, a longstanding critic of fusion voting, to be appointed by the governor.” Times Union’s Chris Bragg
“WHEN NEW YORK GOV. Andrew Cuomo opened the new Kosciuszko Bridge in August, he predicted that average speeds along that section of the traffic-clogged Brooklyn-Queens Expressway would increase by 65%. Travel speeds along the bridge, which carries about 163,000 daily vehicles, have improved at certain times of day. But as commuters stuck in traffic this September can attest, the $900 million bridge has done little to fix a notorious bottleneck during most rush-hour periods. Motorists driving over the bridge from Queens toward Brooklyn during the morning and evening rush hours this September saw no change in travel speeds compared to 2016 when the old Kosciuszko Bridge was last in use, according to data from transportation analytics firm INRIX.” Wall Street Journal’s Paul Berger
#UpstateAmerica: Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia, a favorite for former Rep. Chris Collins now-open congressional seat, was given the key to the City of Niagara Falls on Saturday afternoon.
“THE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP between President Donald Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the men charged Thursday in a campaign finance scheme is a subject of the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by federal authorities in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The investigation became public after the FBI had to quickly move to arrest Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman before they boarded a flight out of the country from Washington Dulles Airport with one-way tickets. They have been named as witnesses in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s New York field office and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, the same U.S. Attorney’s office Giuliani ran before he became mayor of New York.” ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Josh Margolin
“A MANHATTAN JUDGE put a nationwide pause Friday on a major change in immigration policy by the Trump administration that would deny green cards and visas to legal immigrants who use public assistance, calling the proposal “repugnant to the American Dream.” The so-called public charge rule was to go into effect Tuesday. Under the proposal, any immigrant who is likely to receive public benefits for 12 months within a three-year period will lose a shot at citizenship. Manhattan Federal Judge George Daniels slammed the policy — which was orchestrated by President Trump’s anti-immigrant adviser Stephen Miller — as lacking a ‘rational basis.’ ‘There is no logic to this framework,’ he wrote in a scathing 24-page decision.” New York Daily News’ Stephen Rex Brown
AMERCIAN MEDIA, INC. and the National Enquirer shredded sensitive Donald Trump-related documents that had been held in a top-secret safe right before Trump was elected in 2016, according to fresh allegations made in a new book by journalist Ronan Farrow. During the first week of November 2016, the book alleges that Dylan Howard, who was then editor in chief of the National Enquirer, ordered a staff member to ‘get everything out of the safe’ and that “we need to get a shredder down there.’ POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman
“BECAUSE THIS IS a story about Max Rose, it has to at some point find him at Jody’s Club Forest, a Staten Island bar he famously frequents, drinking pitchers of Bud Light. And because Max Rose is who he is — a five-foot-six freshman congressman; a graduate of Wesleyan and the London School of Economics who joined the Army and was nearly blown up by an IED in Afghanistan while the rest of his friends were getting jobs on Wall Street; and a bald bottle rocket with a wrestler’s build and a deep Brooklyn accent of dem, dees, and dos who flipped a deeply red congressional district Democratic in 2018 — there have been a lot of stories about Max Rose. More than a few of them feature a scene at Jody’s… And if Rose got a lot of attention in his first ten months or so in office — as an envoy to Trump country; as a 32-year-old centrist counterpart to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (she is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, he is the youngest man currently serving) — the last several weeks have turned him into a minor political celebrity in his own right, after he became one of the last Democrats in the country to come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry.” New York Magazine’s David Freedlander
— Assemblyman David Buchwald announced on Sunday that he will run for Congress in 2020.
“FORMER REP. CHRIS COLLINS’ guilty plea to two felony insider trading charges left him with one last-ditch hope: His friend in the White House could pardon him. Will he? Only President Trump — if he is even thinking about it — knows for sure. There’s no doubt, though, that people in metro Buffalo are thinking about it, and there is no doubt that it’s a possibility.” Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski
“THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER of New York’s state Assembly is gearing up to protect the party’s long-tenured incumbents from a potential insurgency mounted by far-left upstarts. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie vowed at a recent fundraiser to flex his political muscle and campaign resources to help veteran Democratic state lawmakers — like fellow Bronxite Jeff Dinowitz and Brooklyn’s Joe Lentol — beat back primary challenges. ‘There are some out there in the political world who think that if you were elected before 2016 you’re no good,’ Heastie said during an Oct. 10 Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee fundraiser at the Sheraton Times Square, according to sources in attendance.” New York Post’s Carl Campanile
“Mike Bloomberg might end up running for president, after all. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has indicated to associates in recent weeks that Joe Biden’s recent struggles against Sen. Elizabeth Warren are making him rethink his decision to stay out of the 2020 Democratic primary. That’s according to people familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversations were deemed private. Bloomberg has signaled he’s “still looking at” running for president, but people close him say that the only way he could even go down that path is if Biden’s fortunes suffer so much that he drops out before or during the early stages of the primary.” CNBC’s Brian Schwartz
— An unusual voting bloc is emerging from an unexpected place: the locked sex offenders unit at one of the state’s major psychiatric hospitals.
— A 65-year-old cyclist was killed by an SUV in Queens, becoming the 25th cyclist fatality in the city this year.
— Mayor de Blasio is ordering a ‘30-day review’ of the city’s mental health intervention programs and Kendra’s Law — which gives judges the power to force mentally ill people to undergo psych treatment.
— Police have classified the death of a homeless man punched by another homeless man a homicide.
— NYCHA general manager Vito Mustaciuolo won’t be disciplined over allegations of creating a hostile work environment.
— The state DMV launched an inquiry into allegations that the Mavis Discount Tire shop in Saratoga Springs faked brake repairs and did an illegal inspection of the limo that crashed last year in Schoharie, killing 20 people.
— Driver’s license applicants in New York will soon have the option to take the training and instruction online.
— Famed Upper West Side deli Barney Greengrass was closed for sanitary violations, including mice and roaches.
— Five gang members got life sentences for the murder of Bronx teen Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.
— New York state will require all ingredients to be listed on menstrual products.
— An upper Manhattan man is suing the NYPD charging an officer put him in a prohibited chokehold.
— Donors doing business with the city, prohibited from giving more than $400 themselves, have bundled more than $112,000 for 2021 candidates.
— Four people were killed and three wounded in a shooting at an illegal gambling location in Brooklyn.
— Five rappers were removed from hip hop festival Rolling Loud after police alleged they were connected to acts of violence in the city.
By Daniel Lippman
TODAY: Hillary Clinton is keynoting the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations forum in a conversation with former Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns at TheTimesCenter.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: NBC’s Jon Allen … Lis Smith, senior comms adviser for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign … Stu Loeser … Rick Berke, founder and executive editor of Stat … Ali Armstrong … John Doty, D.C. office director for Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)
… (was Monday): WaPo’s Robert Costa turned 34 … Mike Feldman turned 51 … Eli Lehrer, president of R Street … Peter Osnos … Tucker Foote, SVP and head of North America public policy and global trade for MasterCard … Boston Globe’s Victoria McGrane … Nick Stanley … Stephen Ohlemacher … Catherine Loper … Jack Fitzpatrick, reporter at Bloomberg Government … Tucker Coburn, a vice chairman of the New York Libertarian Party, turned 22 (hat tip: partner Emilia Decaudin) … Leigh Farris, managing director at the Carlyle Group … Jacqui Gifford … Melissa Maxfield …Alex Bloom, Senior Vice President at SKDKnickerbocker… Loren Riegelhaupt, Managing Director at SKDKnickerbocker…
… (was Sunday): Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) turned 3-0 … Tiffany Trump turned 26 … Harris Faulkner, Fox News anchor … Ari Fleischer is 59 … Billy Bush turned 48 … Glover Park Group’s Nedra Pickler and Jack Krumholtz … Rick Davis, EVP of standards and practices at CNN, turned 67 … Edelman’s Michael Newell … Steven Gutkin turned 55 … Michael Tomasky turned 59 … Craig Smith … Regina Hing … Lauren Lyster … Lilian Lin Yigu …
… (was Saturday): Lara Trump turned 37 … “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace turned 72 … NYT’s Michael Barbaro turned 4-0 (h/t Alex Halpern Levy) … BuzzFeed’s Kate Nocera and Rosie Gray … Chris Coffey, head of the New York practice for Tusk Strategies and Tusk Ventures … Francis Thomas, director at TPG Global and head of comms at The Rise Fund … former U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, now senior adviser at the Inter-American Development Bank … Lauren Blanchard, national correspondent at Fox News, turned 3-0 (h/t Amanda Crane) … Zack Gober … Bloomberg’s Anna Edney … WSJ’s Gary Rosen
WEEKEND WEDDINGS — “Kristin Lawlor, Erik Cuello,” via NYT: “Ms. Lawlor, 36, is an English and journalism teacher at the Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx, an all-girls public school. … Mr. Cuello, 35, is the director for housing and community engagement for New York City Councilman Mark Levine.” With a pic
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Kara Swisher, editor at large of Recode, producer of the Recode Decode podcast and Code Conference and a contributing opinion writer for the NYT, and Amanda Katz, senior editor for investigations at CNN, last week welcomed Clara Jo Swisher Katz, who joins big brothers Louie and Alex Swisher. Pic … Another pic
MAKING MOVES — Anna Diakun is now a staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. She previously was the national security fellow with the National Security Project at the ACLU.
— Erika Tannor starts today as a senior associate at Tusk Strategies. She was formerly communications and policy director for Council Member Rafael Espinal.
— Daniel Kurzyna will become chief of staff to City Council Member Robert Holden.
— Dr. Joshua W. Walker has been named the new president and CEO of Japan Society. He most recently has served as global head of strategic initiatives and Japan at the Eurasia Group.
“TAKING A PAGE from his preferred presidential candidate, state Sen. Brian Benjamin wants to give renters a break. The Harlem Democrat is proposing legislation modeled after a bill proposed on the federal level by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) that would entitle tenants in New York state whose rent eats up a significant portion of their income to a tax credit. Benjamin’s bill would provide much-needed financial relief to low income renters by creating a refundable tax credit for those who spend more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. ‘Rents for our citizens continue to climb and increase beyond their ability to pay,’ Benjamin said. ‘We continuously hear about how tenants are rent burdened and pay is not keeping pace. This is a way to provide some relief.’” New York Daily News’ Denis Slattery
“A MUCH-CELEBRATED, years-long effort to convert a former all-female prison on Manhattan’s West Side to a hub for women is over, its backers announced. In an abrupt move, the NoVo Foundation — the philanthropy group founded by Jennifer and Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett — said it will no longer proceed with developing The Women’s Building. The project, touted by Gloria Steinem and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would have transformed a hulking Chelsea property that once served as the Bayview Correctional Facility, a state prison for women. Its founders envisioned a hub for services and community organizing for formerly incarcerated women and others.” The City’s Rachel Holliday Smith
The day ahead: Get to Yankee Stadium or a television early for Game 3. Gerrit Cole, once drafted by the Yankees (but who spurned them), now pitches and dominates for the Astros. Luis Severino will take the mound for New York in this deadlocked series. Giancarlo Stanton is questionable with a quad injury. The Yankees need every bat they can muster.