Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech tried to build on the momentum of the previous year’s successes, but like all political speeches, it boosted some and left others in the lurch. Here’s our weekly look at who’s up and who’s down in New York politics, State of the State edition:—
Chris Quinn – It’s hard to overstate the impact of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to side with her over Mayor Michael Bloomberg on removing the fingerprinting requirement for New York City food stamp applicants. It has been a signature issue of Quinn’s for years, bolstering her liberal credentials even as she got friendly with business. Now she not only wins on the issue, she knows she has a powerful friend in Albany.
Peter Ward – The plan to build a super-sized convention center in Queens means hundreds, maybe thousands, of good-paying union jobs for the region, which is good news for Hotel and Motel Trades Council President Peter Ward. The union chief has already benefited from the explosion of tourism in New York City under Bloomberg, increasing both his membership and his political influence. A convention center in Queens would offer another opportunity for Ward to extend his reach.
Danny Donohue and Ken Brynien – The two union heads were among the few critics of Cuomo’s State of the State speech, thanks to the governor’s call for a new Tier VI to reform the pension system. The renewed call for another pension tier came despite the assumption that the issue was political non-starter, and both Brynien, the president of the Public Employees Federation, and Donohue, president of the state Civil Service Employees Association, blasted the proposal, saying there wouldn’t be any savings for years.
Vito Lopez – Forgive the Brooklyn Democratic leader if his mind wandered during the State of the State: On the same day, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled that one of Lopez’s signature projects, the Broadway Triangle housing development in Brooklyn, was illegally designed to house Williamsburg’s Hasidic population at the expense of their Latino and black neighbors. At the same time, his longtime ally Christiana Fisher was booted as CEO of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council that Lopez founded, after the city found she falsified documents to justify her $780,000 salary.
For the full list of winners and losers this week, head to City & State.