By Jimmy Vielkind in Albany and Laura Nahmias in Manhattan, with Daniel Lippman
As if the contrast between Cynthia Nixon and Gov. Andrew Cuomo needed more clarity, it got some this week. Nixon, an actor, said she >identifies as a democratic socialist and is >actively courting the endorsement of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
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“Some more establishment, corporate Democrats get very scared by this term but if being a democratic socialist means that you believe health care, housing, education and the things we need to thrive should be a basic right not a privilege then count me in,” Nixon wrote to us on Tuesday. She’s following in the footsteps of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose support networks she is drawing upon; Cuomo has lined up labor unions and major political donors in his corner.
Republicans howled, but so far the governor’s team hasn’t figured out how to respond. Cuomo calls himself a “progressive,” and has been trying to define that in a lens of accomplishment and experience. The governor can talk about reducing income inequality by raising the minimum wage, and creating class mobility through his new tuition assistance program, the Excelsior Scholarship. But he’s also the same governor who won an award from the Tax Foundation for rolling back the state’s bank and estate taxes, and is refusing calls to raise income taxes and pay for more education funding and better subway service.
Call it whatever you want . Nixon isn’t afraid to call it socialism. Let’s see if more people are excited by that than are turned off.
IT’S THURSDAY. Candidates from around the state will be filing petitions at the state Board of Elections. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know ... By email: >JVielkind@politico.com, >LNahmias@politico.com, and >firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter: >@JimmyVielkind, >@nahmias, and >@dlippman.
WHERE’S ANDREW? Making a morning announcement in the Bronx.
WHERE’S BlLL? Delivering remarks alongside NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill at a plaque unveiling ceremony in honor of Officer Steven McDonald in upper Manhattan.
WHERE’S MARC? In Buffalo talking about corruption, before heading southeast for an evening event in Elmira.
The Tabloids: — New York Post: “EURO RAIL”—
Daily News: “LIE HARD”— >See Them:
— Newsday: “3 LI-ERS CHARGED IN $30M MAIL SCAM”—
El Diario New York: “Liberen a los Silva”—TRANSLATION: “Free the Silvas”— >See Them
The Free Papers: — Metro New York: “THE FINAL STAGE IS SET”—
AM New York: “REAL ESTATE OF MIND” — >See Them
The Broadsheets: — New York Times: —1 col., above the fold: U.S. PUSHES ALLIES TO LIFT SPENDING FOR THE MILITARY”— 1 col., above the fold: “Merkel Replies To U.S. Attacks With Caution”— 2 col., above the fold: “Twitter Purges Its Fake Followers To Restore the Power of Influence’— 2 col., above the fold: “A Court Battle, if Not a Spark, Will Fan the Midterm Flames”—
Wall Street Journal: — 5 col., above the fold: “Trump Presses NATO on Defense”— 3 col., above the fold: “U.S. Trade Threat to China Squeezes Consumer Goods”— 3 col., below the fold: “Before Triump, Thai Rescue Teetered on Brink of Disaster”— >See Them
VIDEO OF THE DAY: “Oh wait, is that ICE? They’re here for you,” — A woman >on a bus from Staten Island to Brooklyn launched into an anti-Muslim tirade against a woman wearing a headscarf.
OTHER VIDEO OF THE DAY: Croatians in New York City >go wild after their team’s victory over Britain in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-finals.
WHAT ALBANY IS READING:
CUOMO, NIXON PURSUE SMALL DONORS — POLITICO’s Jimmy Vielkind: Drink all you want for five bucks. Donate for your chance to win a signed bong. Join the governor’s underage daughter for happy hour. Ahead of a Monday campaign finance reporting deadline, the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates are seeking to boost the number of small-dollar contributors to their campaign in unorthodox ways, as reliance on large donations becomes a progressive bugbear. Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, along with her older sister Mariah, is a headliner for a “special happy hour” this Saturday in the Hamptons in support of the reelection campaign of her father, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Michaela will not turn 21 until August. The afternoon event at the Surf Lodge in Montauk will feature “bites & beverages,” according to an online invitation. There are “student” tickets for $50, but attendees can become “chairs” for $2,500. On Wednesday evening, Cuomo’s campaign hosted a “Summer Happy Hour” in Manhattan, where tickets cost $10 at the door. The Manhattan event originally promised an “all-you-can-drink happy hour,” a possible violation of state laws which prohibit "selling, serving, delivering or offering to patrons an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price,” according to the State Liquor Authority. >Read more here
— The Winklevoss twins >co-hosted the fundraiser with Cuomo’s daughters.
IDC CHALLENGERS PICK UP MOMENTUM — New York Times’ Jesse McKinley: “When members of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference reunited with mainstream Democrats in the New York State Senate in early April, they probably hoped that their fledgling primary challengers would fade. In the three months since, that has not happened. Instead, there are increasing signs that those challengers are making inroads with members of the state’s political establishment and with local leaders in the districts they hope to represent. And in many cases, endorsements are being driven by the I.D.C.’s past association with Republicans, with whom it collaborated to help that party maintain control of the State Senate for more than seven years. The latest example will come on Thursday, when four Assembly members from central Brooklyn will endorse Zellnor Myrie, a 31-year-old Democrat who is challenging Senator Jesse Hamilton, who defected to the I.D.C. in late 2016, saying he wanted to ‘get results.’” >Read more here
Attorney general is urged to probe senator's use of nonprofit's housing”— Crains’s Will Bredderman: “Good-government activists believe this lawmaker is a lawbreaker. Acting on a Crain's exposé about state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, ethics watchdog Common Cause New York sent a letter Monday to state Attorney General Barbara Underwood encouraging her to investigate "apparent illegal activities" by the Brooklyn Democrat and a nonprofit he runs, the Lincoln Civic Block Association. Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner cited Crain's findings that, according to campaign finance documents and other official records, Hamilton has used a residential building at 284 New York Ave. in Brooklyn belonging to the block association as the base of his political operations for more than a decade, in violation of zoning and occupancy rules.” Read it here.
CASHLESS TOLLING PROBLEMS — Journal News’ Matt Coyne: “The number of unpaid tolls on Metropolitan Transportation Authority bridges and tunnels has exploded thanks to cashless tolling, an audit from the state comptroller has found. Over a 45-month period running from January 2013 until August 2017, more than $2.4 million in tolls have gone unpaid because of imaging issues with the MTA’s system, the audit, released today, found. The majority of that money — $1.6 million — was lost between Jan. 1 and Aug. 20 of last year, as eight of the agency’s nine bridges and tunnels went cashless. ‘More needs to be done to ensure that those using our bridges and tunnels are paying the required tolls and that the (MTA) is collecting the money it is owed, especially by the worst offenders, who persistently refuse to pay,’ Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.” >Read more here
NY State Argues Online Lenders Should Face Same Rules as Banks— American Banker’s Hannah Lang: “The New York State Department of Financial Services recommended Wednesday that online lenders be subject to the state's consumer protection laws, including measures to require ‘robust consumer disclosures,’ that apply to other financial institutions. The department released a report that examined the results of a survey of 48 marketplace lenders. The report also recommended that existing rules barring firms from providing credit at usurious rates apply to online lenders and suggested that online lenders should have to go through a more rigorous licensing process...The department also noted that many online lenders operating in New York are unlicensed, which potentially can allow them to avoid oversight relating to safety and soundness, or consumer compliance. Meanwhile, New York-chartered banks and credit unions undergo regular examinations conducted by DFS and federal agencies to ensure their compliance.” >Read it here.
WHAT CITY HALL IS READING:
LEAD SCANDAL — “Key resignations in NYCHA lead and mold fights just as Mayor de Blasio expands crackdown” — Daily News’ Greg B. Smith: “Just as Mayor de Blasio and the city Housing Authority ramp up their battle to combat public housing’s lead and mold nightmares, key NYCHA staffers handling the difficult reform efforts have resigned. De Blasio announced Monday that starting this week, the city will dramatically increase the number of public housing apartments to be inspected for lead paint to 130,000 from the current 55,000. The change in policy followed the revelation that more than 800 young children living in New York City Housing Authority apartments have registered elevated blood-lead levels in the past few years – far more than the initial handful the city claimed. And the announcement came 12 days after the head of the NYCHA unit in charge of those inspections suddenly resigned after federal investigators raided the Long Island City, Queens, office where he worked. The unit handling lead paint abatement has been targeted since June 11, when the Manhattan U.S. attorney filed a devastating complaint showing widespread deception in the authority’s handling of lead poisoning and other serious health issues. Days later, federal and city investigators raided the technical services unit offices in Long Island City and within the Jacob Riis Houses on the Lower East Side to obtain records for an ongoing criminal probe.” >Read more here.
Meanwhile — “NYCHA hands out hot plates as dozens of apartments lose gas— New York Post’s Reuven Fenton and Nolan Hicks: “Dozens of apartments at a public-housing complex in the Rockaways lost gas service last week — and officials at the hapless New York City Housing Authority say it could take up to two months to get it back. Residents in 68 units of the Ocean Bay development in Arverne, Queens, were given single-pot hot plates to cook meals after a crew of diggers struck a gas pipe, officials said.” >Read it here.
FDNY Investigator Alleges Department Closed Investigation into Bronx Fire on movie set — Daily News’s Graham Rayman and Larry McShane: “A top FDNY fire marshal torched an underling for suggesting actor Edward Norton’s production company caused a raging Harlem fire that killed a veteran firefighter. A three-page notice of claim filed Wednesday charged FDNY investigator Scott Specht ‘was summarily removed from the (case) and was subjected to a pattern of harassment’ as his boss allowed ‘the Hollywood elite’ behind the movie to dodge ‘a full and fair investigation.’ The March 22 blaze killed Firefighter Michael Davidson, a 15-year veteran and father of four. Specht landed on the outside looking in after reporting that he was “misled” by the production company about combustible material used on the set at St. Nicholas Ave. and W. 149th St.FDNY Deputy Chief Fire Marshal John Lynn ‘created an environment surrounding the instant high-profile investigation . . . that raises the specter of allowing the Hollywood elite to circumvent the appropriate scrutiny,’ the court papers alleged. The city was served along with Lynn, who was further accused of unlawfully ending ‘an ongoing fire investigation, on a movie set, where a firefighter lost his life.’” >Read it here.
“Street Food Vendors Fight City Proposal To Require GPS Trackers” —Gothamist’s Andres O’Hara: “A new rule proposed by the Health Department would outfit every mobile food vendor with a GPS tracking device, as part of a bill that will force mobile food vendors to post letter grades. And according to the Street Vendor Project—an advocacy group for the mostly immigrant street vendors in New York—street vendors are in near-unanimous opposition to the bill. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene argues that it can only find 80% of food carts, and that locating devices are crucial for tracking where these carts operate. "If the Department cannot locate all of the mobile units that require grades, the grading program will fail; not every unit will be graded and the grades that are posted may not be current," the rule states...At a time when ICE is showing up in courtrooms, schools, and green card hearings—detaining grandparents at Army bases and pizza delivery workers alike—food vendors are understandably extremely concerned about how this location data will be used, and with whom it will be shared.” Read it here.
CAMPAIGN SIGN THIEF CHARGED — Ithaca Journal’s Matt Steecker: “A leader of a group that regularly protests against U.S. Rep. Tom Reed has been charged with petit larceny after being accused of stealing campaign signs. Following the disappearance of campaign signs, members of Tom Reed’s campaign team installed a tracker in the signs, which eventually led them to the home of Gary McCaslin. But McCaslin, who leads Citizens for a Better Southern Tier, wasn’t giving up everything. ‘You found the sign, I’m keeping the tracker — you call the police,’ he told Reed’s campaign manager. According to Reed's office, McCaslin, a retired pastor of the First Baptist Church in Painted Post, was caught last week stealing ‘Extreme Ithaca Liberal’ signs. He was charged with petit larceny on July 5. After past incidents in which Reed’s signs went missing, Reed’s campaign team installed a tracking device inside a sign. The tracking device led them to McCaslin’s house.” >Read more here
TRUMP’S NEW YORK
ALL IN THE FAMILY — "Kushner's Firm Deepens Ties to Those With Business in Washington," by The New York Times' Jesse Drucker and Kate Kelly: "Eighteen months into Jared Kushner's White House tenure, his family's real estate firm is deepening its financial relationships with institutions and individuals that have a lot riding on decisions made by the federal government. In the latest example, an arm of Brookfield Asset Management is close to completing an investment of up to $700 million in the Kushner family's tower at >666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The deal will be a boon to the Kushners, who are struggling to recoup their investments in their flagship building. At the same time, another Brookfield unit is awaiting the Trump administration's approval of its acquisition of the nuclear-power company Westinghouse Electric. The deal is being reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, made up of senior federal officials who consider the potential national security risks of transactions involving foreign companies. Brookfield's headquarters are in Canada." Read the story >here.
MIGRANT CHILDREN — ‘Mi Amor!’: Tearful Scenes as Immigrant Reunions Begin in New York”New York Times’s Annie Correal: “The reunions in New York began Tuesday night and continued at a trickle Wednesday morning — a handful of families whose children were among the youngest of those separated at the border. All the adults were fitted for ankle bracelets, their tether to the federal government. They left for the next stages of their journey, released and headed to relatives’ homes all over the country, with little more than the dirty clothes in which they crossed the border. But they had the most important thing. Denis Rivas was back with Joshua, 4, after not even speaking to him since they were separated a month ago. Maria Guinac was with her three children, too — the youngest, Gustavo, turned 3 while she was being held in Texas. Javier Garrido was with his 4-year-old, William, who had been taken from him in the middle of the night in Laredo, Tex.” >Read it here.
— Four More Families Separated at Border Reunite in Emotional Meetings in NYC— NBC News 4 New York’s Michael George: “Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are helping reunite families with a place to stay, and connecting them with Legal Aid. The Trump administration failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite children under 5 years old; it claims it should be able to reunite those children by Thursday morning. "It's not right that they separate us," said a father named Adan, who was also reunited with his 4-year-old son. "And there's still many that are not together with their children." There are still thousands of children over the age of 5 still not with their families. Lutheran Social Services says in New York alone, they're working on 350 separated children cases.” >Read it here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Alex Levy, president of exec comms firm A.H. Levy & Co.
Q&A: >https://politi.co/2umHozi … CBS News’
Mary Walsh ... Goldman Sachs alum
Gregorio Gomez ... documentary and news producer and writer
Basel Hamdan is 37 ...
Jessica Hanks, SVP at DKC ...
Ryan Lizza, chief political correspondent for Esquire and political analyst for CNN, is 44. He’s celebrating with a BBQ with his family (h/t Olivia Nuzzi) ...
Brendan Daly, senior director of comms at Save the Children Action Network ...
Josh King, former Clinton image guru, author of “Off Script,” and head of comms at Intercontinental Exchange, owners of the NYSE (h/t Jeremy Gaines) ...
Matt Rosenbaum is 32 ... Politico’s
Isaac Dovere is 38 … Vogue living editor
Ella Riley-Adams …
Larry Sharpe , the Libertarian candidate for governor … activist
Deborah Birx, the Global AIDS coordinator, ringing the opening bell at the NYSE yesterday; PEPFAR and private sector partner Becton Dickinson were commemorating the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR. Also there:
Gary Cohen, EVP of Becton Dickinson, with colleagues
Sam Khichi and
Renuka Gadde, Hank Tomlinson of CDC,
Polly Dunford of USAID and
Matt Mowers, Angeli Achrekar, and
Lauren Marks of State Dept. PEPFAR -- NYSE pic http://bit.ly/2N5tgSX
ON THE MOVE: Transactional attorney
Marnie R. Kudon is now part of Cozen O’Connor’s national real estate practice. Kudon previously was senior counsel at the New York office of Locke Lord LLP.
MORNING MEDIA, with POLITICO’s Michael Calderone:
HALPERIN-HEILEMANN'S SPLIT: Mark Halperin and John Heilemann had the most lucrative franchise in political journalism before the former faced multiple sexual misconduct allegations last fall. Heilemann, who continues to appear on MSNBC and co-hosts "The Circus" on Showtime, has long expressed hope that he'd be able to use the pair's reporting for future projects. But the Washington Post's Paul Farhi reports that the former partners remain at an impasse.
- For months, Heilemann and Halperin "have engaged in negotiations over material that was to be part of a follow-up 'Game Change' book and TV miniseries about the 2016 presidential campaign," Farhi writes. Also, he adds, Heilemann "has made clear that his collaboration with Halperin is over and that Halperin won't share in any advances or royalties from anything Heilemann produces."
TWITTER REMOVING SUSPICIOUS ACCOUNTS: The New York Times' Nicholas Confessore and Gabriel Dance >report that Twitter began "removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users' followers," which signaled "a major new effort to restore trust on the popular but embattled platform."
- Confessore and Dance's January investigation, > "The Follower Factory," exposed the market for buying followers. They noted in Thursday's story that "Twitter executives said that The Times's reporting pushed them to look more closely at steps the company could take to clamp down on the market for fakes."
You can read the full Morning Media column and sign up to receive it in your inbox by clicking here .
REAL ESTATE, with POLITICO New York’s Sally Goldenberg:
WHAT'S IN STORE — "Walmart has a plan to take over New York City with same-day delivery on Jet.com," by Business Insider's Dennis Green: "With not a single Walmart store within city limits, the United States' largest retailer hasn't been much of a player in the country's largest city. But that could change very soon as Walmart leverages its Jet.com e-commerce brand — headquartered across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey — to take over the Big Apple. Walmart is now building a fulfillment facility for Jet in the Bronx. Opening this fall, the facility will be designed to deliver fresh grocery items, consumable goods like toothpaste and paper towels, and some other merchandise to New York City addresses, either the same day as ordering or the next. The plan is for the warehouse to stock only items sold on Jet." Read the story >here.
STADIUM HUNT — "Hunt for New York City F.C.'s Stadium Site Is Back Where It Began: the Bronx," by The New York Times' Charles Bagli: "After five years of prowling New York City and Long Island, New York City Football Club, the Major League Soccer franchise owned by the Yankees and a royal billionaire from Abu Dhabi, may have finally found a site for its own stadium. In the Bronx. Right near Yankee Stadium. Exactly where team owners said they wanted to build in 2013. Back then, the plan unraveled when negotiations with the city fell apart. If approved this time around, the stadium would sit amid a 20-acre, multibillion-dollar development stretching along East 153rd Street and River Avenue, between Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Terminal Market, that would include a park, a hotel and conference center focused on soccer and sports, shops, office space, a school and as many as 3,000 affordable apartments. The development project would be led by a partnership of Jorge Madruga of Maddd Equities and Eli Weiss of Joy Construction, which would lease the land for the stadium to the team and build the housing, the park and the hotel." Read the story >here.
More from Bagli: “The New York area is one of the most crowded regions in the country when it comes to stadiums and arenas. A >soccer stadium in the Bronx or Queens and two arenas proposed for Long Island would bring the total to five stadiums and six arenas within 60 miles of Madison Square Garden, with a combined 335,271 seats for basketball, hockey, football, soccer and baseball teams...Many of the stadiums and arenas have been built with sizable public assistance in the form of free land, tax breaks and cash.” >Read it here.
You can find the free version of Sally’s real estate newsletter here: >http://politi.co/2a1DgJk
AROUND NEW YORK:
— Big pharma is suing the state over its bill aimed at >making opioid makers pay for the damage of the drug epidemic.
Tensions flared in Albany, where a spate of shootings have rattled the community, when >the Guardian Angels arrived.
A report on a collapsed rail bridge in Syracuse >should give some answers on how the incident occured.
— Harlem residents are >protesting the conversion of a multi-million dollar building into a methadone clinic.
THE HOME TEAMS — Howard Megdal:
Big soccer news: NYCFC might have a site for a stadium, >reports The Times.
Liberty 79, Sun 76: A breakthrough! After twice getting victimized by buzzer-beaters this season, the Liberty >got one back on this Shavonte Zellous three.
Mets 3, Phillies 0: More heroics! >A walkoff homer from Brandon Nimmo.
Yankees 9, Orioles 0: The score recorded for a forfeit seems appropriate as Baltimore considers forfeiting Manny Machado to New York.
The day ahead: the Yankees head to Cleveland. The Mets host the Nationals.
#UpstateAmerica: Ethel, the >two-toed sloth of the Buffalo Zoo, has died.
#ZooYork: “Giant Times Square Billboard >Tells Women To Replace Food With Lollipops For A 'Flat Tummy'”
FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York’s home page: >http://politi.co/1MkLGXV
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** A message from Airbnb: The City Council is pushing through a bill that does just one thing: protect the record profits of the big hotel lobby, which has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Council’s campaign coffers. This is not about our City’s housing stock -- full-time, entire-home Airbnb listings make up less than two-tenths of one percent of the total homes in New York City. Instead, this is a fix, and as a result, middle class New Yorkers — the vast majority of whom share their own home to afford their home — will be subject to unchecked, aggressive policing. Learn more: >http://abnb.co/thefix