City & State: This Week’s Political Winners & Losers

Written by City & State on . Posted in Politics.


Anthony Weiner. Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.

WINNERS

Adriano Espaillat –  Early last week it looked as though the race was over, but a series of BOE mishaps and a savvy court case later, and Espaillat is still in the game.  There may not be a redo election, as Espaillat hopes, but the outcome of the primary is currently in doubt, and his name is staying in the headlines. Even if he has to head back to the State Senate, he’s the man who brought Rangel to within an inch of the end of his Congressional career. With his name going national, Espaillat might have a much easier time winning the seat should he ever try again, especially if the venerable Rangel should choose to retire.

Bill Magnarelli and Catharine Young – Assemblyman Magnarelli and State Sen. Young made waves this week in Albany for something quite unusual – being the two lawmakers in each house who succeeded in passing the most legislation this year, per numbers guru Bill Mahoney’s NYPIRG report. Neither one of them is prone to splashy displays otherwise, so this is basically a coup for modesty and hard work. Nice.

Michael Bloomberg – Sometimes the mayor snaps at reporters. Sometimes he sounds completely out of touch. Sometimes, when he thinks people aren’t listening, he lets loose a swear word. Sometimes he pauses in the middle of his annual remarks on the Hot Dog Eating Contest Weigh-in ceremony to wonder who wrote his ridiculous pun-laced speech and asks, “Who wrote this s#*t?” The mayor, not fond of bull, was using his cut-the-crap attitude in an appropriate way to express the will of the people, who can no more tolerate that many puns in one sentence than the world’s fanciest billionaires. Let’s all just admit it – the mayor is pretty funny, and that can be a pretty great thing.

Anthony Weiner – Late last week, scandal-plagued former Congressman Weiner made his first foray into the public arena since resigning his office, when he went on Brian Lehrer’s show to talk about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. You may not have noticed that, which is why Weiner wins. He’s made his reentry into political life by talking on a subject of such massive importance that there was no way he could overshadow the actual news. He was heavily involved in the healthcare law, and this way, whichever outlet he decides to speak to next will no longer be able to claim he’s speaking “for the first time” since his departure from office. Brilliant.

Bald Eagle – The bald eagles of Narrowsburg, New York faced danger if town officials permitted a fireworks display near the national bird and formerly endangered species’s habitat. Thank the lucky stars (and stripes) the US Fish and Wildlife Service threatened the town with heavy fines if they went ahead with their potentially bird-immolating light show. The town moved the fireworks, the eagles were safe, the residents were cheered and patriotism was well-displayed. Compromise. God Bless America.

LOSERS

Marty Golden- What do women want? Maybe not a workshop about “posture, deportment, and the feminine presence.” Golden’s Bay Ridge Senate district isn’t exactly the hippest, but his well-meaning jobs seminar for ladies took us all the way back to a pre-Betty Friedan era whose social mores we can’t even appreciate ironically. Golden got an earful about it from every progressive and zeitgeist-y blogger there is, even drawing scorn from the Daily Show, which is kind of hard to come back from (ask Fran Narcington). The senator might need his own seminar — on how to help people find jobs without offending them.

NYC Board of Elections – The Board’s handling of the Rangel-Espaillat recount was a new low, even for the notoriously dysfunctional body, but, really, for years now each successive election has just been another disastrous opportunity for the Board to demonstrate its deep-seeded culture of cronyism and incompetence. If you think the Board’s ability to run a low-turnout primary in June was bad, just wait until November when all of the state races will be on the ballot along with the vote for President.

Nan Hayworth – After Sean Patrick Maloney’s commanding win in the Democratic primary, it became even clearer that Hayworth needs every last vote she can get to fend off her well-funded challenger. That’s why the Westchester County Supreme Court’s decision this week to bounce Hayworth from the Independence line for not having enough valid signatures was a blow to her reelection campaign. Hayworth could still be reinstated on appeal, but if she isn’t, the math gets a lot more difficult for her to win. Riding the Tea Party wave in 2010, Hayworth still only squeaked by the incumbent John Hall with fewer than 11,000 more votes—5,444 of which came from the Independence line. Now that her district has been drawn even more blue following redistricting, those Independence votes have more of a chance than ever of being the margin of victory—or defeat.  

Chris Collins – Just when it seemed like everything was back on track for Collins—whose resounding victory over David Bellavia in the Republican primary made him one of our winners last week—the former country executive committed an unforced error that quickly attracted national attention and ridicule. Collins has previously suffered from foot-in-mouth disease: note his comparing Shelly Silver to both “Hitler” and the “anti-Christ” and telling a female acquaintance that she could get a seat at the State of the State address in exchange for a “lap dance.” This time, he announced that “people now don’t die from cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things.” Regardless of whether this remark was taken out of context, as Collins claims, it makes him look out-of-touch and insensitive.

Seth Pinsky – The chief of the city’s Economic Development Corporation is now the head of an organization that has had to admit to illegal lobbying on behalf of the mayor’s economic development agenda at Willets Point, a charge that comes with no civil or criminal penalties, just ignominy. The charge is a black mark on what is supposed to be the mayor’s great economic development agenda, a far-reaching plan in all five boroughs meant to secure his legacy after 12 years in office, not undermine the law.

To vote for this week’s ultimate political winner and loser visit City & State by clicking here.

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