Mr. Ross' Neighborhood
Steve Ross sure knows his way around City Hall (part of the reason he has become one of the most successful developers of his generation). From his start in affordable housing to megadevelopments like the Time Warner Center, Hunter's Point South in Queens and Hudson Yards, Mr. Ross, chairman of the Related Companies, always seems to get just what he wants when the city is involved. One sore spot was the fight over the Kingsbridge Armory, in the Bronx, which was unexpectedly rejected by the City Council three years ago.
The fight centered around whether workers at the armory project, which was to receive a considerable amount of public subsidies, would have to be paid more than minimum wage, something labor unions were lobbying heavily for. That fight led to the eventual proposal of a living wage bill. In an unexpected, if unsurprising, twist, it now turns out City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has carved a portion of Hudson Yards out of the living wage bill, according to The Times. Read More
The latest turn in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate has given the Republican candidate, David Storobin, a gigantic lead of one vote over his Democratic opponent Lew Fidler, multiple tipsters told The Politicker.
Contrary to what both of the campaigns had reported, the final result last night was actually a tie, a symbolic number in what has been a grueling race.
And, with all of the invalid absentee and provisional ballots finished being reviewed and contested today, Mr. Storobin’s lead has hopped up to that single point.
Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander announced today that they received the endorsement of two local Democratic committees in Westchester County, which happens to be the home county of Mr. Alexander’s closest competitor for the Democratic nomination for a Congressional seat in the Hudson Valley.
“I am humbled to have the solid backing of yet another Democratic Committee in Westchester and look forward to working with them to make Nan Hayworth a one term Congresswoman,” said Mr. Alexander. “Let’s keep the momentum going.”
David Koch, the billionaire conservative fundraiser who has become known as the “Tea Party’s wallet,” “liked having a lot of women around” in his younger days. However, he didn’t discuss politics with his many girlfriends, preferring to keep those conversations among his male buddies. Cindy Farkas Glanzrock told The Politicker she dated Mr. Koch in the late eighties and has remained an acquaintance of the infamous Tea Party backer ever since.
“I was just one of many girls that he had dates with. It wasn’t anything serious, it was just all lighthearted and fun, and dinners, and shows and things,” Ms. Glanzrock said. “He liked having a lot of women around.”
As the various candidates compete for an open congressional seat in Queens, the Queens Chronicle let it be known that it is watching the Queens Tribune.
In Dan Halloran’s 2009 City Council campaign the Queens Tribune ran a front-page headline calling him a “pagan lord” and his opponent Kevin Kim a “Democratic victor,” a severe sign of bias, according to the Chronicle.
Bill Perkins is set to meet with Adriano Espaillat over his plan to challenge Charlie Rangel.
Scott Stringer is expected to vote against NYU’s expansion plans unless they downsize; his opposition puts the spotlight on his fellow mayoral rival, Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Quinn exempted Hudson Yards from the revised Living Wage bill.
There is $40 million worth of pork--by another name–tucked into Andrew Cuomo’s budget, despite his campaign claims to do away with the process.
With Democrat Lew Fidler taking a three-vote lead yesterday (or possibly no lead at all) after the uncontested absentee and provisional ballots were counted in the special election to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger, things appear very tight indeed.
Both campaigns sent out statements, which you can view below, and both are expressing confidence while accusing the other of ethnic discrimination in their ballot challenges.
The Cain Train
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday night that the FBI is probing a pair of Wisconsin corporations headed by former Herman Cain campaign operative Mark Block. An unnamed source told the paper that Mr. Cain is not a target, but the Feds "are very interested in Mark and these groups." Mr. Block became famous after a bizarre, David Lynch-worthy campaign video of him smoking a cigarette and touting Herman Cain's suitability as a presidential contender surfaced on Youtube.
The groups under scrutiny are Prosperity USA and Wisconsin Prosperity Network. Both are headed by Mr. Block and Linda Hansen, who was the deputy chief of staff during Mr. Cain's presidential bid. The Journal Sentinel gives the low-down on Prosperity USA's role in Mr. Cain's campaign: Read More
St. Vincent’s hospital was closed in 2010, but a group of six demonstrators spent much of yesterday protesting Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the City Council for voting to approve Rudin Management’s plan for the site formerly occupied by the hospital. The protesters appeared at yesterday’s council meeting when the vote was taken and were thrown out after booing from the gallery. They also followed Ms. Quinn to her appearance at a 92nd Street Y panel where people in the audience heckled Ms. Quinn as she spoke and a small contingent stood outside holding signs that said carried signs showing off the low number of hospital beds on the West Side below 57th Street and mocking Ms. Quinn with the slogan “Quinn To City: Drop Dead.”
“You know, it was all basically a done deal and Christine has the entire City Council in her pocket and the mayor did not stand up for a full service emergency hospital. There’s no reason why there can’t be an emergency hospital,” Ms. Katz told The Politicker. “Christine Quinn, this is her district, she betrayed her district, she betrayed the entire downtown community.”
Ms. Quinn has been praised for extracting a series of concessions from Rudin Management in the plan approved by the Council. Under the deal Rudin agreed to reduce the number of condos that will be built on the site and to give up land that will be used for a park, 24-hour medical center and school.
a very special election
At the end of the second day of counting absentee voting in last week’s State Senate special election in Brooklyn, Democratic candidate Lew Fidler has pulled ahead by 3 votes over Republican David Storobin with all of the uncontested ballots counted, a tipster told The Politicker.
There is a large caveat to this number though. Both campaigns have challenged a substantial number of votes, with most of Mr. Fidler’s objections coming yesterday and most of Mr. Storobin’s coming in an apparent surge of challenges today. Any vote objected to was simply set aside to be evaluated later, which could skew the apparent tally.
In particular, there’s one batch of 177 votes challenged by Mr. Fidler that could prove decisive. Mr. Fidler told The New York Times that all of these votes were gathered by one of Mr. Storobin’s campaign staffers, and the suspicious circumstances require greater scrutiny to ensure they were not fraudulently collected.