Presented by AARP NY
Another Monday, another weekend of bad news for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The latest: New Yorks vaccine czar, Larry Schwartz, has been calling local officials to gauge their support
for the embattled governor, according to multiple reports.
With recent talk of the threats and vindictive behavior that have emanated from Cuomos office for years, it wasnt lost on these county executives that Cuomo’s all-purpose right-hand man pleading the governors political case was the same guy who controls their supply of the life-saving coronavirus vaccine. One county executive filed notice of an impending ethics complaint with the state attorney generals office, according to the Washington Post
and The New York Times
, fearing their countys vaccine supply could suffer if Schwartz wasnt satisfied.
Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand late Friday added their powerful voices
to the chorus demanding Cuomos resignation, joining the large majority of the states congressional delegation
in calling for him to step down. Schumer, the Senate majority leader, reiterated his call
in a MSNBC appearance Sunday, saying: “There are multiple serious, credible allegations of abuse. So that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and of so many New Yorkers. So, for the good of the state, he should resign.” (President Joe Biden is so far waiting
for the investigation to play out.)
Cuomos response has been to dig in
, and to lash out
. He called those demanding his resignation reckless and dangerous, questioned the motives of the many women accusing him of inappropriate behavior, and drew from the GOP playbook in blaming cancel culture for the whole mess.
Cuomos longtime antagonist Mayor Bill de Blasio doesnt think hes likely to resign either, at least not unless hes on the brink of being impeached something now conceivable after the Assembly launched an impeachment investigation last week
. He is used to getting things his way, and it’s been almost an imperial governorship, de Blasio said Sunday
on CBS Face the Nation. I think he will be impeached, and perhaps right before that he’ll decide to resign. That’s probably the most likely outcome right now… He should resign right now because he’s holding up our effort to fight covid. He’s literally in the way of us saving lives right now.
ITS MONDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected]
and [email protected]
, or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin
WHERES ANDREW? No public schedule available by press time.
WHERES BILL? Holding a media availability, speaking at the renaming of the Brooklyn Municipal Building for borough native Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and appearing on NY1s Inside City Hall.
A message from AARP NY:
Our seniors deserve better. State lawmakers must act now to demand safe and accountable nursing homes for those who need it, and provide more funding for services to help seniors remain independent at homewhere they want to be. Lets show New York seniors the respect and dignity theyve earned. Learn more.
WHAT ALBANY’S READING
LAST SPRING, when the coronavirus outbreak was surging in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomos daily briefings became appointment television for many, as he authoritatively ticked through the latest statistics on infections, hospital beds and deaths. Behind the scenes, Mr. Cuomo was often obsessed with another set of numbers: his ratings. He would sometimes quiz aides as soon as he ended a broadcast about which networks carried him live and exactly when they cut away data they were expected to have at their fingertips. For an image-obsessed politician who has long devoured almost everything written about him, it was an intoxicating amount of attention as Mr. Cuomo transformed almost overnight into a national leader of the Democratic Party and a foil for President Donald J. Trump. To the 59 million viewers who shared in these daily briefings, Mr. Cuomo said on his 111th and final daily update, thank you.
That June day Mr. Cuomo gathered his team in the backyard of the governors mansion in Albany for a mostly mask-less celebration an aide said attendees took tests for the virus toasting their accomplishments with beer and wine. For some allies of Mr. Cuomo, that period was the apex of an Icarus-like arc for a leader convinced of his own hype and indestructibilityBe it his self-regard, his disdain for fellow Democrats or his imperious demeanor, Mr. Cuomo alienated allies and enemies alike on his way up in politics, and now finds himself sliding
from hero-level worship to pariah-like status with the kind of astonishing speed that only the friendless suffer. The New York Times Shane Goldmacher
BOB DUFFY, Gov. Andrew Cuomos lieutenant governor from 2011 through 2014, proudly described his position as Cuomos cheerleader in chief. Current Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has noted that shes an independent, strong, woman who doesnt simply take orders from the governor, but shes rarely shied away from the role of his champion. The people of the state of New York elected me to be a partner to Gov. Cuomo, she said in a debate while seeking a second term in 2018. But theres been a change in her message of late
in six recent public appearances which POLITICO monitored, she did not mention Cuomo by name. And even general mentions of the governor have become few and far between, with most references that are clearly about him left vague. POLITICOs Bill Mahoney
Major labor unions and civil rights organizations with significant working class and Black and Latino bases have stood by the Governor
. And of the last three New York congressional Democrats who have refused to call for the Governors resignation, two Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks represent majority non-white districts with Black pluralities. Gothamists George Joseph
Disillusioned staffers are abandoning embattled Gov. Cuomo
, sources said. I hear that most people arent even coming into work, and the offices at the Capitol are empty, said one well-placed insider in touch with staffers in recent days. Hell fight and fight and fight, but the staffers Ive talked to are ready for him to hang up the gloves. Everyone feels like there is an inevitable conclusion I mean at some point will Biden call on him to step down? They [staffers] just want this torture to stop. New York Posts Sara Dorn
Bashing Cuomo publicly isnt as risky as it once was, but on Clubhouse, no holds are barred
for the progressive left. POLITICOs Garrett Downs
Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is considering a run for governor
THE STATE SENATE and Assembly are scheduled to vote Monday on their versionsof NewYork’s 2021-2022 budget and stark differences remain between their proposals for raising taxes on the wealthy and legalizing online mobile sports betting and what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has said he supports. The two legislative chambers posted their one-house budget bills online over the weekend, planning for more than $200 billion of spending. These budgets are meant to plant a flag for each chamber about their policy priorities and goals, and they are subject to negotiation between the leaders or representatives of the Executive Chamber, Assembly and Senate. The governor, constitutionally, has tremendous sway over how the budget is written and edited, but it remains to be seen how his politically-weakened stance as a result of the COVID-19 nursing home deaths and sexual harassment allegations facing him will influence negotiations. Times Unions Edward McKinley
TIS THE SEASON: Dr. Golway, as he is known to intimate friends, will join former Assemblymember Jack McEneny, Dr. Elizabeth Stack of Albanys Irish-American Heritage Museum, and an up-and-coming Albany writer named William Kennedy for a discussion of the Irish influence on Albany politics tonight at 7 p.m. Paul Grondahl, director of the Writers Institute at the University of Albany, will moderate.
#UpstateAmerica: Good news! Kaia, the missing kangaroo, was caught near Keuka Lake
JOIN THE CONVERSATION, SUBSCRIBE TO THE RECAST: Power dynamics are shifting in Washington, and more people are demanding a seat at the table, insisting that all politics is personal and not all policy is equitable. The Recast is a new twice-weekly newsletter that breaks down how race and identity are recasting politics, policy and power in America. Get fresh insights, scoops and dispatches on this crucial intersection from across the country, and hear from new voices that challenge business as usual. Dont miss out on this new newsletter, SUBSCRIBE NOW. Thank you to our sponsor, Intel.
WHAT CITY HALL’S READING
A CAMPAIGN pushing to focus the race for Manhattan district attorney on justice for sex crimes survivors is recommending three candidates
in the upcoming Democratic primary. Marissa Hoechstetter launched the group Reform the Sex Crimes Unit after speaking out about being assaulted by OB-GYN Robert Hadden who was accused of the same by multiple women, but let off with no prison time by DA Cy Vance, prompting widespread criticism… The group aimed to replace Vance with a successor focused on revamping sex crimes prosecutions. Eight Democrats are now vying for the open seat. In a report, first reviewed by POLITICO, Reform the Sex Crimes Unit rates the candidates and finds that Tali Farhadian Weinstein, the former general counsel to the Brooklyn DA; former federal prosecutor Alvin Bragg and former Manhattan assistant DA Diana Florence are the top three picks. POLITICOs Erin Durkin
MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY Cyrus Vance Jr., a veteran prosecutor overseeing a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump, said Friday that he wont seek reelection
, opting against a primary fight with progressive candidates who say hes a relic and not a reformer. Vance made the announcement in a memo to staffers, ending months of speculation about his future and almost certainly guaranteeing itll be a brand-new D.A. who sees the Trump case through. His term expires at the end of the year. The Associated Press Michael Sisak
NEW YORK CITY honored the 30,000 residents who died of coronavirus in a remembrance ceremony Sunday night that featured faces of the pandemics victims projected in light on the Brooklyn Bridge. The virtual memorial, called, A COVID-19 Day of Remembrance, was held on the one-year anniversary of the citys first known coronavirus death. Every morning, the first thing I see is a list, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the ceremony. And there are numbers on it. But what it really means, is how many people we lost. Today that number is more than 30,000. Its a number we can barely imagine, the mayor said. New York Posts Kenneth Garger
At Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, one of the citys hardest-hit hospitals, its memorial began as
it was still in the middle of the crisis last spring. In the Remembrance Room, Vladimir Gasca, director of behavioral health services at the hospital, worked with his staff to create a somber, peaceful place for healthcare workers and other employees to grieve. As the virus began spreading quickly across New York City last spring, Elmhurst was inundated with patients. Their colleagues were becoming sick, too. Wall Street Journals Katie Honan
Covid-19 memorial to beam the faces of some of New York City’s 30,000 dead onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
INSIDE A CRAMPED elevator at a supportive housing facility in Brooklyn, a detective placed a handcuffed man resisting arrest into what was later deemed a prohibited chokehold. Outside the wake for the rapper Prodigy on the Upper East Side, a veteran NYPD lieutenant trying to control a growing crowd shoved a man into oncoming traffic. Without knocking, three detectives burst into a Brooklyn brownstone to serve a warrant. They didnt find their suspect but frightened an innocent woman inside and then claimed the door was open. In each of these cases, the cops involved were brought up on NYPD misconduct charges after an oversight board, the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), investigated and declared the allegations substantiated. In each of these cases, a police department judge then found the cops guilty after an internal NYPD trial that included testimony from multiple witnesses.
Two of the incidents had been captured on video. And in allof these cases, the officers involved were cleared
, thanks to a unique facet of the NYPDs disciplinary system: The police commissioner gets the final say. In each instance, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea or his predecessor, James ONeill, voided the findings of both the CCRB and the trial judge, summarily declaring that a guilty verdict was unwarranted. The Citys Gabriel Sandoval and Greg B. Smith
Mayor de Blasio announced several new police reforms Friday that aim to end racial bias in policing and hire more cops who live in the city. The reforms the second part of a three-part plan de Blasio intends to submit to the state by April 1 include efforts to remove city policies that contribute to the poverty to prison pipeline, focus more attention on officers disciplinary records during the promotion process and strip police of their pensions if theyve engaged in serious misconduct. New York Daily News Michael Gartland
MAYORAL HOPEFUL DIANNE MORALES, a first-time political candidate vowing to slash the NYPD budget and end the standardized exam for specialized high schools, says she has qualified for public matching funds
. The designation, if granted by the city’s Campaign Finance Board, would entitle Morales to an 8-to-1 match on donations up to $250 from New York City residents all but a financial necessity for reaching voters ahead of the crowded June 22 Democratic primary. Morales team said she has raised about $320,000 in matchable funds, with 30 percent of her haul owed to New Yorkers who are unemployed. POLITICOs Sally Goldenberg
Andrew Yangs campaign says it has raised
$2.1 million in 57 days and believes its haul could balloon to more than $6 million under the matching program.
NEW YORK CITYs incoming Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter is pushing to expand the citys summer-school program
to as many students as possible, as part of an effort to help students recover from educational disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. Ms. Porter, who is taking the helm of the nations largest school system Monday, said in an interview that she envisions a summer school that includes academic acceleration and enrichment programs. There cannot be a standard summer school coming out of a pandemic, she said, stressing that all students could benefit, as opposed to just those who are recommended or required to attend in preparation for the next year. Wall Street Journals Lee Hawkins
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK Brooklyn Democratic Party chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn is endorsing Borough President Eric Adams for mayor, the first of the citys county party chairs to make a pick in the race. Eric Adams is a son of Brownsville, Brooklyn, who never forgot where he came from and never stopped fighting for equity and resources for our communities and our people, said Bichotte Hermelyn, a state Assemblymember. He is my clear choice to be the next mayor of New York City. While the Brooklyn party was widely expected to back Adams, it and other county parties had held back
in the earlier phases of the race. The endorsement comes from the party leader personally, not through the county party apparatus, which is riven with divisions
. Bichotte Hermelyn also echoed Adams recent swipes at rival Andrew Yang
, saying, When others fled, Eric led.
Former gubernatorial candidate and law professor Zephyr Teachout is endorsing City Council Member Brad Lander for city comptroller. Brad is the anticorruption candidate in the race for comptroller, which is the top qualification for the job, said Teachout, amid allegations of corruption and sexual harassment against her 2014 opponent Gov. Cuomo. The endorsement comes just a few days after Lander earned the backing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
DEBATES! POLITICO will be co-hosting three NYC debates in June with NBC 4 New York/WNBC and Telemundo 47/WNJU in the races for mayor and comptroller. Moderators include City Hall Bureau Chief Sally Goldenberg, WNBC political reporter Melissa Russo, WNBC news anchor David Ushery and WNJU morning news anchor Allan Villafana.
A message from AARP NY:
FROM THE DELEGATION
TUCKED INTO the $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue law is something of a surprise coming from a Democratic Congress and a president long seen as a champion of public education nearly $3 billion earmarked for private schools. More surprising is who got it there
: Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader whose loyalty to his constituents diverged from the wishes of his party, and Randi Weingarten, the leader of one of the nations most powerful teachers unions, who acknowledged that the federal government had an obligation to help all schools recover from the pandemic, even those who do not accept her group. The deal, which came after Mr. Schumer was lobbied by the powerful Orthodox Jewish community in New York City, riled other Democratic leaders and public school advocates who have spent years beating back efforts by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to funnel federal money to private schools, including in the last two coronavirus relief bills. New York Times Erica L. Green
AROUND NEW YORK
Cynthia Nixons fans are having a told you so moment
The state is considering all its legal options after a lawsuit over the Hudson River cleanup was dismissed
Weddings with up to 150 people will be allowed
to resume this week, and workers in the industry are skeptical safety rules will be followed.
An estimated one in three children in the city was food insecure
last year, jumping 39 percent since 2018.
Subway ridership on Thursday was the highest
single day total since the pandemic began, with 1,863,962 paid trips taken.
The state-run Javits Center vaccine site has stopped operating 24/7
Proposals from the MTA call for renovations to Penn Station
to make it easier to navigate and add more light.
Andrew Yang has yet to explain
how he would pay for his signature basic income proposal.
Broadway actorsperformed outdoors
in Times Square on the one year anniversary of the industrys shutdown.
Republican Curtis Sliwawill officially kick off
his campaign for mayor today.
The pandemic forced more than half
of NYC women who care for children to cut back on work hours, according to a new report.
Did you know that POLITICO Pro has coverage and tools at the state level? All the state legislative and regulatory tracking, budget documents, state agency contact information, and everything else you need to stay ahead of state policy movement integrate into our smart and customizable platform. Learn more and become a Pro today.
SOCIAL DATA BY DANIEL LIPPMAN
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Josh Deckard twins Rachel and Max Schindler are 29 NYTs Sopan Deb Kevin InfanteJenny 8. LeePhilip Green is 69 …. (was Sunday): Lily AdamsCraig T. Smith Andrea Bozek, SVP at Mercury Josh Walker, president and CEO of the Japan Society Alexander Niejelow, SVP for cybersecurity coordination and advocacy at Mastercard Peter Rose, vice chair of Sard Verbinnen & Co. Matt David, chief comms officer at Juul Labs N.Y. Posts Carl Campanile Fox News John L. Wallace III
(was Saturday): Jamie Dimon, chair and CEO of JPMorgan Chase turned 65 Erin Billings of Global Strategy Group former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) WSJs Ryan TracyYelda Altalef, booking producer at MSNBC Katelyn Polantz, CNN justice and courts reporter Erik Greathouse turned 48
WEEKEND WEDDING Lisa Vedernikova, chief of staff to the publisher of the NYT, and Harry Khanna, a senior software engineer at the DNC, got married Saturday at a micro-ceremony in Glen Cove, N.Y. They met at an engagement party in New York City in 2017. Pic
MAKING MOVES Jacob Tugendrajch, press secretary for Council Speaker Corey Johnson, is leaving his post to become the head of public affairs at Lime, the electric scooter and bike rental company. He starts March 22 as Lime tries to make inroads in New York Citys nascent micromobility market. Tom Strong-Grinsell is now Northeast finance director at the DSCC. He previously was tri-state investment director for Pete Buttigiegs campaign. (h/t POLITICO Playbook)
A message form AARP NY:
Whats happened in New Yorks nursing homes during the past eleven months is a tragedy. More than 13,625 seniors have died of COVID-19, and still chronic problems persistlike understaffing, especially when it comes to direct care for residents. Our seniors deserve better. State lawmakers must act now to demand safe and accountable nursing homes for those who need it, and provide more funding for services to help seniors remain independent at homewhere they want to be. Lets show New York seniors the respect and dignity theyve earned. Learn more.
ONE YEAR after the pandemic shut down offices across New York City, Midtown Manhattan is still a long way from its bustling, bombastic glory. Did you ever see that movie I Am Legend? said officer worker Kevin Frisz, referring to the 2007 sci-fi thriller in which Will Smith inherits a post-apocalyptic, emptied out Gotham City. Its just a ghost town. It’s what it used to be like on a Sunday morning. Frisz is an investment manager in Midtown, and one of the 10% of office workers who have returned to their workspaces during the pandemic
, according to a survey that was conducted by the business group, The Partnership for New York City. The survey asked 174 companies, representing 220,000 of the city’s 1 million office workers, when they expected to have their employees back into the office; 45% said would be back by September 2021, while 14% said they weren’t sure. Gothamists Christopher Robbins and WNYCs Beth Fertig