Political Winners & Losers: Rangel rakes in endorsements this week

Written by City & State on . Posted in Politics.


WINNERS

Stephanie Miner – Be honest. Before Tuesday, had you ever even heard of Stephanie Miner? Though Miner has long been acclaimed as a rising star in Central New York, where she’s been mayor of Syracuse since 2010, she was largely unknown across the rest of the state until Governor Cuomo plucked her from obscurity this week and named her co-chair of the NYS Democratic Party along with Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright. While even Miner admitted to being “a little bit” surprised by her high-profile selection, she won’t have a moment to catch her breath, taking the reins of the party in the height of campaign season, with critical electoral battles like the Buerkle-Maffei rematch going down in her backyard.

Mike Gianaris – Word on the street is the Democratic Senator from Queens got the most laughs at this year’s LCA show, with a bit making fun of the Senate Dems’ failed bid at an independent redistricting process this year. It’s not always easy to make fun of yourself, especially on an issue that wasn’t very funny to Gianaris when the gerrymandered district lines were being passed in the Senate during the Big Ugly. (Who can forget Gianaris telling Republican Sen. Mike Nozzolio to take his map and “shove it?”) The video itself, produced by the Parkside Group, was slick, funny, an appropriate length and it outshone the Governor’s video effort, leading everyone to wonder whether Parkside shouldn’t give up trying to elect Democrats to the Senate and just scoot on out to Hollywood instead.

Charlie Rangel – So what if Rangel was absent for another debate and his campaign flip-flopped on his lame excuse for ditching? The Harlem congressman made up for it with a strong showing in the endorsement race this week, racking up nods from key Latino leaders Rep. José Serrano and Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, not to mention scoring high-powered labor support from the UFT. The incumbent legislator even won over his erstwhile rival, Adam Clayton Powel IV, whose father Rangel defeated to first get to Congress way back in 1970. All in all, Rangel hasn’t been sitting this pretty since that Punta Cana Resort photo the Post loves running so much.

Solomon Kalish – The Post hed said it all: “Kruger Bag Man Gets Big Fat Break.” Kalish, one of former Sen. Carl Kruger’s co-conspirators in the wide-ranging bribery scheme, got a light sentence for his role in the scam this week, in inverse proportion to his size, which has caused him health problems in the past. The extra weight gutted Kalish’s prison term by half, Judge Jed Rakoff said during sentencing. We don’t envy anyone’s poor health, but it may make Kalish a free man faster than any of the other Kruger cohort.

Nik Wallenda – The death-defying Niagara Falls tightrope walk that funambulist Nik Wallenda planned became slightly less death-defying this week, after officials insisted he wear a harness to prevent him from plummeting to his death in the event of a misstep. This renders the feat less impressive we suppose, but we like to think he’s a winner because, hey, at least it’s less likely that he will plummet to his death.

LOSERS

John Sampson – What could be worse for John Sampson than The Daily News reporting that regardless of whether the Dems win or lose in December he’s out as Minority Leader? The follow-up article from Ken Lovett revealing that when Sampson brought up the piece in a closed-door meeting with his conference later in the day, not a single member stood up to defend him. In fact, according to Lovett, the criticisms of Sampson only grew more severe. With friends like that… Eh, John?

David Soares – There’s never a good time to be censured when you’re supposed to be the face of law and order, but when a State Appeals Court censured Albany County District Attorney David Soares yesterday for his mishandling of a 2010 case, it came at a particularly bad time, because Soares is facing his most credible threat in years in the form of Lee Kindlon. Soares is supposed to be watching Albany and its occasionally troubled politicians, but who’s watching him?

Michael Bloomberg –  At this point in his political career, it was already too late for Hizzoner to shake his reputation as an out-of-touch billionaire, but when it came out this week that the Mayor regularly flaunted the 34th Street Heliport’s weekend curfew, the perception that Bloomberg is self-important was propelled to new heights. Shirking the rules once or twice – that’s understandable. But eight times in a single weekend? Even the Mayor’s top-shelf press team couldn’t explain that away. Kudos to the concerned citizens that exposed the chief exec’s excesses. We hope now you can finally get some peace and quiet.

Sheldon Silver — The Speaker staked this legislative session on the minimum wage hike, a measure he announced his hopes for quite specifically at the State of the State address earlier this year. And although the wage issue still seems dynamic, with several weeks left to go in the legislative session as scheduled, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s suggestion that passing a $1.25 increase in the minimum wage would be more difficult than passing same-sex marriage was last year certainly tamped down expectations for Silver’s biggest gamble.

Richard Hanna – The Oneida County Rep. flew the Tea Party flag when he ousted Mike Arcuri in 2010 and has made “fiscal responsibility” his mantra over his first term in Congress. So how has Hanna been husbanding our precious tax dollars? Apparently, by sending 461,281 pieces of mail at the bargain price of $190,766. The freshman’s affinity for snail mail not only ranks him the #1 franker among the state’s congressional delegation, it stamps him as 25th out of the nation’s 435 Reps. in abusing the system. Hanna’s spokesperson tried arguing that all those newsletters were essential for keeping up with his constituents, but that alibi was returned to sender when the numbers revealed that 7 of his fellow New York members (6 Dems and Republican Michael Grimm) spent a whopping $0 on franking.

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