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The Good Old Days of Tammany Hall

Spotlight: Healthcare

Is the de Blasio Mandate Exaggerated?

January 29, 2014

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Keep New York a state of

mind n Over the last five years, SUNY and CUNY have been cut by nearly $2 billion — driving up tuition and endangering quality affordable higher education for all New Yorkers. n Our public colleges and universities are under intense pressure to eliminate programs and courses, erode quality and slash opportunities for students in need.

n Public higher education’s mission of teaching, research and health care is key to a bright future for all New Yorkers. New York State must invest now — in faculty, staff and student support — to keep our public colleges and universities great.

Take action! Defend quality. www.nySut.org/ qualityhighered

Support the

Public Higher Education Quality Initiative n NYSUT

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JANUARY 29, 2014 SHADOW OF A DOUBT

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have long found it perplexing and borderline nonsensical

that New York City mayors appoint the head of the Department of Investigations, the agency charged with ferreting out corruption within their administrations. How is this relationship not inherently subject to skepticism? Does it not disregard the nature of all but the noblest of individuals to believe that DOI commissioners will put their all into possibly taking down the person to whom they owe their jobs? By Morgan Pehme Yes, I know that the president nominates the attorney general. The appropriateness of that relationship is a topic for another column. I’m talking about New York City, where major municipal scandals historically surface with the same regularity as elections. It seems that virtually no administration, no matter how honest it aims to be, is immune to scandal, from the Parking Violations Bureau to Bernie Kerik to CityTime. Which brings me to Mayor de Blasio’s appointment of Mark Peters, his campaign treasurer, as the newest DOI chief. Peters is not the first close friend of a mayor to be made the city’s independent and nonpartisan watchdog. After he was elected in 1993 Rudy Giuliani named Howard Wilson, one of Giuliani’s top deputies when he was U.S. Attorney and an intimate of his for two decades, to the position. Like Wilson, who as a prosecutor had won convictions of Rep. Mario Biaggi and Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon, Peters is eminently qualified for the post. He formerly served as chief of the public corruption unit in the New York State Attorney General’s office. Still, the appearance of this appointment is troubling, especially from a mayor who as a candidate emphasized transparency and good government among his guiding principles. The way the announcement of Peters’ selection was made—via a press release issued on a Saturday morning—reveals the administration’s tacit recognition that the optics of the choice are poor. The problem is not that Peters’ tight relationship with de Blasio means that his independence will be compromised; it is that a reasonable person could suspect that because of the mayor’s friendship with its commissioner, the DOI will not be as vigilant as it should in probing the administration. This shadow of doubt will be cast across the office as long as Peters is its head and detract from the unwavering confidence with which it must be viewed to be as effective as possible. Wilson’s tenure as commissioner is a telling example of the hazards of this perceived conflict. Despite his impeccable record as an assistant U.S. Attorney, two and a half years after he started at DOI, lo and behold came a lengthy article in The New York Times with the headline “Corruption Watchdog Has Become Mayor’s Tool, Critics Say.” Regardless of whether that piece was merited, is Peters not inevitably vulnerable to a similar story down the line? Mayor de Blasio has every right to bring Peters, an accomplished lawyer who has earned his trust, into the administration. Peters would clearly make an ideal counsel to the mayor. But for him to be the DOI commissioner raises more questions than it should, particularly in a political environment where the mayor has no apparent antagonist in city government to check his power—with the Council Speaker, comptroller and public advocate all his publicly stated allies.

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POWER 100

CONTENT S

City & State

Contents Page 4 .......... LETTERS

Readers react to our Jan. 1 issue.

Page 5 .......... UPFRONT

Getting wild and woolly in Albany.

Page 6 .......... CITY

Bill de Blasio ousts an affordable-housing whiz. By Nick Powell

Page 8 .......... STATE

Pre-K pressure: The Cuomo vs. de Blasio battle heats up. By Matthew Hamilton and Nick Powell

Page 9 ........

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COUNCIL WATCH Melissa Mark-Viverito and the forgotten effort to pass lulu reform. By Seth Barron

Page 12 ......... NEW YORK CITY POWER 100

City & State’s second annual list of the most influential people in New York City politics and government.

Page 31 ........ ISSUE SPOTLIGHT: HEALTHCARE

New York banks on a $10 billion Medicaid waiver… the battle over medical marijuana…Q&As with Kemp Hannon, Richard Gottfried and Corey Johnson…and a healthcare legislative preview.

Page 36 ........ PERSPECTIVES

PUBLISHING Publisher Andrew A. Holt aholt@cityandstateny.com Vice President of Advertising Jim Katocin jkatocin@cityandstateny.com Events Manager Dawn Rubino drubino@cityandstateny.com Government Relations Sales Director Allison Sadoian asadoian@cityandstateny.com Business Manager Jasmin Freeman jfreeman@cityandstateny.com EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief Morgan Pehme mpehme@cityandstateny.com Albany Bureau Chief Jon Lentz jlentz@cityandstateny.com City Hall Bureau Chief Nick Powell npowell@cityandstateny.com Reporter Matthew Hamilton mhamilton@cityandstateny.com Associate Editor Helen Eisenbach Multimedia Director Michael Johnson mjohnson@cityandstateny.com Art Director Guillaume Federighi gfederighi@cityandstateny.com Graphic Designer Michelle Yang myang@cityandstateny.com Illustrator Danilo Agutoli cityandstateny.com

Sen. Jeff Klein on the DREAM Act…Steven M. Cohen on the size of Bill de Blasio’s mandate…Michael Benjamin on the restoration of the Dinkins era…and Alexis Grenell on sexual harassment in the Legislature.

Page 38 ........ BACK & FORTH

A Q&A with Terry Golway, author of Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics.

Cover: Guillaume Federighi

61 Broadway, Suite 2825 New York, NY 10006 Editorial (212) 894-5417 General (646) 517-2740 Advertising (212) 284-9712 advertising@cityandstateny.com City & State is published twice monthly. Copyright ©2014, City and State NY, LLC

city & state — January 29, 2014

CITY AND STATE, LLC Chairman Steve Farbman President/CEO Tom Allon


Letters to

the Editor believe that anyone who lived in New York during the ’70s and ’80s outside of your panel of “eggheads” would agree. At the very least, Koch should be #2. —Kevin Davitt (via cityandstateny.com) Thanks for having vision and guts to rank John V. Lindsay highly. His environmental record alone—initiating the long, steady improvement in New York City’s air quality, stopping Con Edison from unaffordable and unneeded expansions in in-city oil-fired capacity—should qualify him for a high ranking. Yet these achievements are unsung (a perfect topic for a savvy PhD candidate some day). —Komanoff (via cityandstateny.com)

city & state — January 29, 2014

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City & State asked a panel of 13 historians and scholars to rate “The Top Ten Mayors of New York City” for our special Inauguration 2014 issue. The feature provoked a lot of passion from fans and detractors of the mayors selected.

[Michael Bloomberg] is a terrible choice for anyone who is not white. His stop-and-frisk policy violated the U.S. Constitution. He created a police state in minority neighborhoods. His

choice reflects the lack of diversity among the panel who created this list. This choice is a disgrace and a slap in the face of blacks and Hispanics whose fundamental rights he trampled. He was the opposite of the compassionate and fair-minded John V. Lindsay. —John H. Armwood (via cityandstateny.com) [This] list is wrong. Bloomberg was a “good” mayor—maybe #7 or #8. Koch was a great mayor. I sincerely

LaGuardia was undoubtedly our greatest mayor. He thought big in how to modernize and transform our city, including its schools, subways, bridges, tunnels, highways, public colleges, hospitals, airport, political system and the professional hiring of its workers. One small correction: [Robert] Moses was not greatly involved in the East River Drive. Manhattan Borough President Stanley Isaacs was most responsible for its design and construction, when borough presidents had real political power. —Steven A. Levine (via cityandstateny.com)

I got to meet John Lindsay in 1982. We talked for a while about the Kerner Report, about some of the positive initiatives begun under his administration concerning the environment, and about the inclusiveness of his administration. As a high school and college student during his tenure of office, I found that he and his commissioners (of whom I met many, just walking around the city) were among the very few authority figures (other than most of my professors) who were approachable as ordinary people, a far cry from what you see today. This led to my involvement in politics and city issues in a far more serious way than otherwise would have been the case. Additionally, beyond the reasons mentioned in the article, it was the combined initiatives of Mayor Lindsay and Nelson Rockefeller, in the wake of the early/mid-1960s drought, that led to the expansion of the city’s upstate reservoir system that has prevented any similar nearcatastrophe from occurring since. And he was an articulate, sensitive gentleman, attributes that have disappeared in the coarser time we live in. —Bruce Eder (via cityandstateny.com)

If you love a self-hating closet case who is also known as a notorious AIDS criminal, I guess you would think [Ed Koch] was great. He just happened to have killed too many of my friends. While Koch spent his time denying he was gay, our community died as a result of his neglect. —Allen Roskoff (via cityandstateny.com)

The cover of our special issue, featuring a skyscraping Mayor de Blasio, inspired some levity on Twitter. This cover of @CityAndStateNY should say “actual size,” since Mayor @BilldeBlasio is really 1,250 feet tall. —Ross M. Wallenstein (@RossWallenstein)

To have your letter to the editor considered for publication, leave a comment at www.cityandstateny.com, tweet us @CityAndStateNY, email editor@cityandstateny.com or write to 61 Broadway, Suite 2825, New York, NY 10006. Letters may be edited for clarity or length. cityandstateny.com


WILD THINGS

Think nixing horse-drawn carriage rides around Central Park is a wild legislative priority? The ideas get even wilder up in Albany. Here’s a look at some of the bills dealing with animals both tame and exotic that the Legislature could take up in 2014:

By MATTHEW HAMILTON

S.02649

A.00891

Sponsor: Sen. Greg Ball

Sponsor: Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal

Having a primate pal penned up in the backyard could soon be outlawed—at least without proper papers. This bill would prohibit owning an endangered chimpanzee without a permit, and violators would be subject to civil penalties.

Quiz time: What’s the official state cat? It could be any cat rescued or adopted from a shelter or rescue group in New York State if this bill goes through. Rescue cats would join the beaver—the state animal—as mammals that have made the list of state-certified symbols.

A.02050

A.02478

Sponsor: Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh

Sponsor: Assemblyman Steve Englebright

Sportsmen beware; this bill could prohibit trapping animals for sport. According to the memo for the bill, the purpose is to ban facilities where fee-paying customers can sport-trap. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee yet again in 2014, as it has been every year since 2009.

Better belt in your boxer and strap in your Saint Bernard. This bill would prohibit transporting an animal in any open area of a vehicle intended for carrying a load unless that area is fully enclosed or the animal is in a cage or container or restrained, and thus unable to leave or be thrown out of the vehicle. And if you don’t buckle in Buster, the fine could be between $25 and $75.

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city & state — January 29, 2014

I t I s An H o no r To Be I nc l u d ed I n Suc h a Pre s ti gi o us G ro up


CIT Y

CLEANING HOUSE

OUSTER OF HDC PRESIDENT RAISES QUESTIONS By NICK POWELL

A

city & state — January 29, 2014

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central tenet of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy agenda is his promise to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing, a lofty goal that would add to the 160,000-plus units created or preserved under former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, one of the largest urban affordable housing initiatives in U.S. history. The de Blasio administration has already discarded a key figure in seeing that plan through, however. Marc Jahr, president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation—the finance arm of the city’s housing apparatus—was asked to resign on Dec. 31. Multiple sources with knowledge of the decision say that Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen ultimately made the determination to ax Jahr, despite the protests of several of de Blasio’s transition advisers. Jahr’s departure was not publicly announced—there was no press release issued, no statement from the de Blasio transition team. But the HDC website now lists Richard Froelich, formerly the corporation’s chief operating officer, as “acting president,” and news of Jahr’s resignation traveled fast in housing circles. Professionals in the field, from grassroots affordable housing advocates to finance and real estate experts assumed Jahr would have some role in the de Blasio administration, even if it were not in the same capacity, and some said they were disappointed to see him leave. “HDC essentially was the major source of capital for the majority of the [housing] projects that the city delivered, and Marc was the guy who kind of made that happen,” said Michael Gecan, co-director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a community organizing group that has collaborated with Jahr in the past. “I’m kind of surprised that he doesn’t have a prominent role somewhere [in the de Blasio administration]. … There are

a lot of very important positions that Marc would bring a lot of talent to.” A number of sources interviewed for this article declined to be named for fear of jeopardizing their relationship with the new administration, though the near-unanimous sentiment was that de Blasio and Glen had missed an opportunity in not keeping on Jahr, a well-connected veteran of city government with valuable ties to Washington and Albany. The de Blasio administration did not respond to multiple requests for comment. “It is sort of a big question mark as to why [Jahr was let go]—considering you’ve got someone really seasoned and well respected and very grounded in low income communities,” said a finance leader involved in city housing. “He has the respect of the private sector, capital sector, real estate providers, every commissioner that’s been there while he was at HDC. It’s unfortunate, and questionable.” Bloomberg appointed Jahr to HDC in 2007 after a five-year stint as New York regional director for Citi Community Capital, where he directed Citibank’s community development real estate lending in New York City, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. Bloomberg had already established his New Housing Marketplace Plan in 2003, prior to Jahr’s arrival, and later revised it from a four-year plan to create 165,000 units of affordable housing to an eight-year plan. By the end of the 2014 fiscal year, which concludes on June 30, insiders at HDC and the Department of Housing and Preservation Development expect that the 165,000 goal will be reached. Jahr and HDC’s contribution to Bloomberg’s housing plan was significant. Before Bloomberg took office, HDC had concentrated on providing financing for large-scale rental developments. Under Jahr, HDC became one of the nation’s largest housing finance agencies in the country. A final report on the New Housing Marketplace Plan issued by

Marc Jahr served as president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation.

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“There’s one person that doesn’t like him, and that is the new deputy mayor, and the general sense is that she, disgracefully, pushed him out,” the source said. “This was based on personal reasons, not strategic [ones].” Reached via email, Jahr expressed his wish that “HDC and HPD sustain their productive, collaborative work in the future,” but declined to comment further on the circumstances of his resignation. For now, as de Blasio drags his feet on naming replacements at both

HDC and HPD—Bloomberg’s HPD Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas is staying on until a final decision is made—it remains to be seen whether Jahr’s departure will make it more difficult for the mayor to reach his 200,000-unit goal. The same housing experts who praised Jahr cautioned that “everyone is replaceable.” Ironically, most agree that HDC has become a coveted position—largely thanks to the way in which Jahr has helped redefine the agency’s role in housing development.

CIT Y

in affordable housing. Several sources with inside knowledge say that Glen, who led the urban investment group at Goldman Sachs, made the call to oust Jahr. Some suggested the decision may have stemmed from a personal or professional grudge. A highly placed housing source said that while Glen has some supporters, many who have dealt with her say she can be “divisive and vindictive,” and “driven more by personal ego than by public service and commitment to public service.”

With With tighter tighter budgets, budgets, II work work even even harder harder At the end of the day, At the end of the day, we want everyone to be we want everyone to be productive, contributing productive, contributing members to society. members to society. I think that’s what we’re I think that’s what we’re really striving to do. really striving to do. When I see a family When I see a family that I’ve worked with that I’ve worked with doing well — in the doing well — in the workforce — it makes workforce — it makes me feel proud of the me feel proud of the work that I do. work that I do. I’m very proud of what I’m very proud of what I and my co-workers do I and my co-workers do for a living. for a living. I plan on staying here I plan on staying here and having a family here. and having a family here. I want the community I want the community to be a strong one. to be a strong one.

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city & state — January 29, 2014

the Bloomberg administration showed that HDC issued roughly 10 percent of all multifamily housing revenue bonds nationwide. Jahr’s deep familiarity with the complexities of the housing market and its intersection with finance helped the agency leverage public and private dollars to help pay for the $23 billion total investment in the housing plan. With Jahr at the helm, HDC invested over $5 billion into the New Housing Marketplace Plan, largely through corporate subsidies and tax-exempt bonds. “The reason Bloomberg was able to do this was that Marc Jahr basically conjured a billion dollars out of the city’s assets for affordable housing,” said a source who works in affordable housing. “If it wasn’t for Marc, they would have never found that money. He did some financial magic to basically refinance the city’s loans and to free up that money, which could then be invested in affordable housing development. If you’re planning on building 200,000 units, you really need someone who knows how to do that.” With such a track record, it is curious that the de Blasio administration did not ask Jahr to return. City housing sources indicate that de Blasio has been taking his cues on housing from a close circle of advisors, including City Councilman Brad Lander; former HPD commissioner Rafael Cestero, who now heads the Community Preservation Corporation; and Deborah VanAmerongen, a strategic policy advisor for the law firm Nixon Peabody’s affordable housing practice. Sources say that all three strongly advocated for Jahr’s return. Reached by phone, Lander said he thought very highly of Jahr, calling him “somebody who helped me learn the ropes of affordable housing and [who] was a great partner in that role.” Another insider with knowledge of the Jahr decision said that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan personally called the transition team to advocate on Jahr’s behalf. In fact, Jahr’s supporters say that his relationships with Donovan and with members of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s staff and key individuals in Albany were invaluable in accessing the necessary capital to finance Bloomberg’s ambitious housing program. The federal government gives states permission to issue a certain amount of tax-exempt bonds on a per capita basis. The state then decides how much of that capacity they want to share with New York City. One finance source called Jahr “a master” of acquiring additional tax-exempt bonds for the city to invest


S TAT E

PRE-K PRESSURE

CUOMO, DE BLASIO DIG IN HEELS IN PREKINDERGARTEN FUNDING FIGHT By NICK POWELL and MATTHEW HAMILTON

city & state — January 29, 2014

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this city, from our home-rule rights to our rights of self-determination, we should be able to proceed with that to create the programs that people in the city voted for, and do it on a reliable basis.” De Blasio added that while he had not yet seen a formal presentation of the governor’s proposal, the two teams are “speaking constantly.” He also repeatedly stated that voters gave him a “mandate” when he won the mayoral election in a landslide, and declared that it was his “mission” to make the program a reality. The mayor did not take the bait when a reporter asked whether he would refuse funding for the program through the state budget in lieu of the tax hike he wants. “I think the jury is in, the people believe in this idea, they want it and they want it to actually happen, which

means the funding source has to be reliable,” de Blasio said. “I think of it in terms of following through on a commitment I made to the people of New York City that they ratified, with great energy and with a huge majority. It’s my obligation to continue to work to make that happen.” During his budget address, Cuomo did not credit de Blasio for moving the needle on the universal preschool issue, instead pointing out that he called for the pre-K expansion in his State of the State address a year ago. The state budget director, Robert Megna, said that under the governor’s plan, $300 million would be available over the next two years for those school districts that need it first. De Blasio’s projections call for more than $500 million in new tax revenue per year, with $340 million for pre-K in New

York City alone, but Megna said de Blasio’s plan would likely have to be phased in, rather than increasing spending by hundreds of millions all at once. “Even with the tax increase, the tax increase wouldn’t bring in money on day 1 either,” Megna said. “Our view is this provides incremental funding that can fully fund those programs for localities that come forth with reasonable plans not for babysitting, as the governor said, but for real pre-K.”

At left, Robert Megna, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget director, during the governor’s budget address. The two men say they can fund expanded prekindergarten with state money.

DARREN MCGEE/EXECUTIVE CHAMBER

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ov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agree on the need for universal prekindergarten, but the two remain sharply divided over how to fund it. In his budget address on January 21 Cuomo unveiled a five-year, $1.5 billion pre-K proposal, with $100 million for the 2014–15 school year and at least $100 million to be added in each subsequent year. “The state will pay for it, and the state will be proud to pay for it,” Cuomo asserted during his speech. “It’s a priority. We believe in children. We believe in pre-K. We believe in education.” Yet de Blasio has continued to insist that the city should fund the expansion through a tax increase on its wealthiest residents, a key element of his successful mayoral campaign last fall. Cuomo and state lawmakers would have to grant de Blasio permission to raise taxes. The latest chapter in the standoff between Cuomo and de Blasio over how best to fund the mayor’s signature universal preschool proposal began the morning of the governor’s budget address, with de Blasio refusing to blink. During a press conference, he was asked about Cuomo’s proposal to establish universal preschool statewide in his executive budget. The mayor called the idea “commendable” before reiterating that his plan would be paid for by a tax increase on New York City residents who earn more than $500,000. “I commend the [governor’s] preschool proposal and commend the philosophy behind it, because it’s an important step forward,” de Blasio said. “We want to make sure that our efforts in early childhood education and after-school are secure and reliable over five years. We think it’s fair and appropriate to ask those in New York City who have done well to pay a little more. We have a revenue source available that is reliable, and we believe that the matter of the rights of

cityandstateny.com


COUNCIL WATCH

RULES REFORM DEFORMED

WILLIAM ALATRISTE/NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL

T

he progressive bloc now dominating the New York City Council leadership came to power promising sweeping reforms to how the body functions. These changes, according to the drafters of the agenda that 32 Council members have pledged to support, will increase transparency, empower committee chairs, establish equitable discretionary funding and make the Council generally more democratic. What is missing from the reform agenda, however, is the one item that has been pointed to year after year as a key element of abuse in the administration of the Council, one that a distinct majority of the membership supports eliminating: lulus. Lulus are the stipends that Council members are awarded in addition to their salaries for serving as committee chairs or in positions of leadership. Originally intended as lump payments “in lieu of” expense reimbursements, lulus have become a means by which the Council Speaker can reward faithful members with sums that have historically ranged from $4,000 (for subcommittee chairs) to $28,000 (for the Speaker herself). A Council member’s base salary is $112,500, so the lulu is not an insignificant supplement to their income, especially if, as is mostly the case, members have no additional income. The corrosive, corruptive nature of the lulu is obvious. Since nearly every member of the majority party

cityandstateny.com

Brad Lander, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and newly appointed chair of the Council Rules committee, similarly said, “We sought something that could build broad consensus. … We wanted to get as broad a platform as we could.” Williams, Greenfield and Lander would not respond directly to the point that lulu reform as a standalone issue has already garnered support from a very broad majority of the Council, and has wider support even than the rules reform agenda that the working group eventually produced. For instance, Council members Rosie Mendez, Peter Koo, Vincent Gentile and Karen Koslowitz have not signed the rules reform pledge, but all of them have supported a lulu ban. Only 32 members support rules reform, while 35 have come out against lulus. The proverbial elephant in the backroom in this instance appears to be Speaker Mark-Viverito. Asked whether Mark-Viverito’s opposition to lulu reform was a

factor in not including it in the rules reform agenda, Greenfield called the notion “grasping at straws” and affirmed that the Speaker is “committed to rules reform.” But what will that reform look like? It is an irony of every revolution that the new regime typically ends up a caricature of the old. Will Mark-Viverito really preside happily over a diminution of the power of the office that she fought so hard to attain? Throughout her campaign for Speaker, Mark-Viverito spoke of “co-partnering” with her fellow Council members, and promised to lead as a first among equals. But it is hard to imagine that, after such a bitter battle to win the Speakership, she would so readily divest herself of the appurtenances of her power. At the meeting of the Rules Committee on Jan. 22 the new committee assignments were released, along with a schedule of lulu stipend amounts, which were reduced by 20 percent for

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New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, center, during a Rules Committee meeting. Councilman Brad Lander, left, said that the absence of lulu reform was the result of trying to build consensus.

city & state — January 29, 2014

SETH BARRON

gets some kind of lulu, committees and subcommittees are invented in order to justify payments for the extra work for which the members are supposedly being compensated. As a result, the Council consists of an unwieldy number of committees of overlapping jurisdictional oversight, or committees such as Women’s Issues that have no oversight authority whatsoever. Committee chairmanships, and their accompanying payments, are contingent on remaining in the good graces of the Speaker. In 2010 Charles Barron had the temerity to oppose Christine Quinn for the Speakership, and was punished with the loss of his committee chairmanship and the $10,000 stipend that went with it. Reform-minded Council members, prodded by good-government organizations such as Citizens Union, have long called for an end to the lulu spoils system. Most of the members of the Progressive Caucus, for example, have signaled their opposition to lulus. (A notable exception is Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has always supported the practice.) Given that lulus have been a salient and oft-criticized symbol of how the Council is mismanaged, it seems odd that the new regime, while calling for change, has taken lulu reform out of consideration. We spoke to three of the four Council members who drafted the rules reform agenda, and asked them why lulus were not included. Councilman Jumaane Williams, who explained that he personally believes “Council members should get paid extra for doing extra work,” said the goal of the process was to develop a proposal with wide support. “Obviously there are a lot of ideas of how to make the Council better, but the point was to get the broadest consensus possible,” he said. Councilman David Greenfield echoed his colleagues’ sentiment about finding broad accord among the members, maintaining that “there was extensive give and take” regarding various proposals.


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MLA represents a wide range of clients in the areas of energy, environment, finance, government contracts, infrastructure, health care, public policy, and technology. Our bipartisan New York Government Affairs team is comprised of former legislative and gubernatorial staff, prosecutors, and corporation counsel. We represent a wide range of clients in front of the executive and legislative branches of New York State and City government, including nearly every regulatory agency in New York, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the State Comptroller, and many county and municipal governments across New York.

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McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA) develops and implements successful legal, legislative, regulatory, and public policy strategies at the local, state, and federal levels. 10

MLA represents a wide range of clients in the areas of energy, environment, finance, government contracts, infrastructure, health care, public policy, and technology. Michael Klein Managing Director New York

William F. Plunkett, Jr. Partner New York

city & state — January 29, 2014

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Jonathan A. Timothy J. Amy G. Hon.New Craig M. Our bipartisan York Government AffairsThomas team is comprised of former legislative Dwyer Ballan Plunkett Solomon Johnson Senior Strategic Advisor counsel. Partner Associate ManagingWe Director Managing Director and gubernatorial staff, prosecutors, and corporation represent a wide and Independent New York New York Albany New York range of clients in front of the executive andConsultant legislative branches of New York State New York and City government, including nearly every regulatory agency in New York, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the State Comptroller, and many county l Miami l New York l Northern Virginia l Orange County l Rancho Santa Fe l San Diego l San Francisco l Seoul l Washington, DC and municipal governments across New York.

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Seth Barron (@NYCCouncilWatch on Twitter) runs City Council Watch, an investigative website focusing on local New York City politics.

Our Perspective Our NowPerspective is the Moment Now is the Moment to Expand and to Expand and Our Perspective Strengthen the Strengthen the Now is the Moment Living Wage Law Living Wageand Law to Expand

CO U N C I L WATC H

assuming this item passes. The drafters of the reform agenda minimize the significance of these changes to the Speaker’s role within the Council. Williams said, “We do not want to lessen the power of the Speaker,” and Lander asserted, “The goal is to make a stronger Council, not a weaker Speaker.” But the effect of these reforms will surely reduce the Speaker’s power: How could it not? Dispensing lulus is not the most important aspect of the Speaker’s authority. Alex Camarda, director of public policy and advocacy at Citizens Union, said, “Discretionary funding matters as much or more than lulus, but lulus are certainly another significant lever to keep members in line.” Lulus are highly visible symbols of power, and they are important rewards: It would be naive to dismiss the lure of an extra $10,000 as an incentive, when we see elected officials such as Eric Stevenson destroy their lives over similar sums. It seems fairly transparent that Speaker Mark-Viverito’s favorable attitude toward the lulu system has played a role in the disappearance of lulu reform from the reform agenda: Given the broad support lulu reform has among the Council, and the constant inveighing against lulus from the press and good-government organizations, it is hard to reach any other conclusion. Asked at a press conference following the stated meeting about the chance that lulus will be abolished, the Speaker replied, “Any Council member who doesn’t want their lulu can choose not to accept it.” This suggestion resembles the call for wealthy liberals to voluntarily contribute to the treasury if they are really committed to higher taxes: It is not a structural answer, nor is it likely to happen. As the new Council session gets going and the Speaker’s legislative agenda unfolds, it will be revealing to see how lulus are addressed and administered, assuming that reform rolls ahead as planned in the first place.

Strengthen the Living Wage Law

By Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, By Stuart Appelbaum, President, RWDSU, UFCW and Department Store Union, Retail, Wholesale

RWDSU, UFCW hen the New York City Council passed historic living last year, it was an hen thewage New legislation York City Council passed historic important step on a long road toward creating By Stuart Appelbaum, President, living wage legislation last year, it was an a fairer and more equitable Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union,creating important step on a city. long road toward The of the legislation is simple and widely RWDSU, UFCWequitable a fairer andpremise more city. supported: when of public money is used to fund The premise the legislation is simple andprivate widely development projects, the public has the right to expect hen the New money York CityisCouncil passed supported: when public used to fund historic private good qualityliving jobswage will be asyear, athe result, lowlegislation itright was not an development projects, thecreated publiclast has to expect important step on a long road towardnot creating wagequality jobs that workers inas poverty. good jobskeep will be created a result, lowa fairer and more equitable city. The that historic wage jobs keepcoalition workersassembled in poverty. by the RWDSU — The premise of the legislation is simple and widely workers, faith leaders, labor leaders, community The historic coalition assembled by the RWDSU — supported: when public money is used to fund private leaders, immigrant leaders, and elected officials — championed the Fair workers, faith leaders, leaders, development projects,labor the public has community the right to expect Wages for New Yorkers Act because of its potential to help reduce income leaders, immigrant leaders, and elected officials — championed the good quality jobs will be created as a result, not Fair lowthe city to gain access to inequality and enable across Wages for New Yorkersstruggling Actwage because of Yorkers its potential to help reduce income jobsNew that keep workers in poverty. The historic coalition assembled RWDSU — to the citybytothe gain access inequality andjobs. enable struggling New Yorkers across better-paying workers, faith leaders, labor leaders, community better-paying jobs. with very But now, strong and committed progressive leaders in immigrant leaders, andand elected championed the Fair in with very chargeleaders, ofBut citynow, government —strong Mayor Billcommitted deofficials Blasio—progressive and Councilleaders Speaker Wages for New Yorkers Act because of its potential to help reduce income charge ofMark-Viverito city government — Mayor Bill de opportunity Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa — there is a major to take this living wage inequality and enable struggling New Yorkers across the city to gain access to Melissa Mark-Viverito — there is a major opportunity to take this living wage legislation to the next level. The best way to do that is by expanding the scope better-paying jobs. legislation to the Thestrong best way to do that is by expanding scope future of the legislation so itlevel. includes a labor requirement for allthe Butnext now, with very andharmony committed progressive leaders in of the legislation sogovernment it includes labor harmony for all future charge of city —aMayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker economic development projects subsidized by requirement taxpayer dollars. economic development projects subsidized by taxpayer dollars. Melissa Mark-Viverito — there is a major opportunity to take this living Labor harmony agreements in economic development arewage welllegislation to the next level. The best way to do that is by expanding the scope Labor harmony agreements in economic development are wellestablished in New York and other places around the country. They benefit of the legislation so itand includes aplaces labor harmony requirement all future established in New York other around the country.forThey benefit taxpayers, working people, and businesses alike. Employers maintain economic development projects subsidized by taxpayer dollars. taxpayers, working people,toand businesses alike. Employers neutrality when it comes workers’ efforts to form unions.maintain That is to say: Labor harmony agreements in economic development are wellneutrality when it comes to workers’ efforts to form unions. That is to say: employers don’t interfere block workers’ to organize. established in New Yorkwith andor other places aroundattempts the country. They benefitAnd in employers don’tagree interfere with or block workers’ attempts to maintain organize. And in working people, and businesses alike. Employers return,taxpayers, unions not to engage in picketing, work stoppages, boycotts, return, unions agree not to engage in picketing, work stoppages, boycotts, neutrality when it comes to workers’ efforts to form unions. That is to say: and other disruptions in the operation and flow of commerce at companies and other disruptions in the operation and flow ofattempts commerce at companies to organize. And in employers with or workers’ and stores that don’t serveinterfere as tenants inblock development projects. and stores that serve as tenants in development projects. return, unions agree not to engage in picketing, work stoppages, boycotts, City taxpayers have a proprietary interest — a direct financial stake — andCity other disruptions in the operation and flow of—commerce at companies taxpayers have a proprietary interest a direct financial stake — in retailand developments and other projects funded with large sums of public stores that serve tenants in development projects. in retail developments andas other projects funded with large sums of public between money. Labor harmony promotes healthy, respectful City taxpayers have a healthy, proprietary interest —relationships arelationships direct financial stake — respectful between money. Labor harmony promotes workers and taxpayers removing conflict from in and retailemployers, developments andprotects other projects fundedby with large sums of public workers and employers, and protects taxpayers by removing conflict from relationships between money. Labor harmony promotes healthy, respectful development projects and the businesses that anchor them. It also helps development projects and the businesses that anchor them.conflict It alsofrom helps workers and employers, and taxpayers by removing workers by creating creating clearpath pathprotects forthem them choose theywant want join a union. workers by aaclear totochoose if ifthey toto join a union. development projects and thefor businesses that anchor them. It also helps And without fear of intimidation and other tactics used regularly And without fear of intimidation and other tactics usedtoregularly byby workers by creating a clear path for them to choose if they want join a union. employers, workers workers willjoin join unions moreoften often andhelp helpNew New York City And without fear of intimidation and and other tactics used regularly bycreate employers, will unions more York City create living wage wage jobsthat thatcan canwill strengthen our communities. Historically, collective create employers, workers join unionsour more often and help New York City living jobs strengthen communities. Historically, collective bargaining generated the greatest number of living wage jobs. That still true living wage jobs that can strengthen our communities. Historically, collective bargaining generated the greatest number of living wage jobs. That is is still true bargaining generated the greatest number of living wage jobs. That is still true today. Union jobs offer better pay and benefits, and deliver the kind of security today. Union jobs offer better pay and benefits, and deliver the kind of security today. Union better pay and benefits, and deliver the kind of security that families families needjobs notoffer justto tosurvive survive but enterand and stayininthe the middle class. that need not just but enter stay middle class. that families need not just to survive but enter and stay in the middle class. Requiringlabor laborharmony harmonyfor forallallfuture futuredevelopment development projects funded Requiring projects funded Requiring labor harmony for all future development projects funded taxpayer dollars cancan help make our five boroughsfairer, fairer, more equitable with taxpayer dollars can help make our five more equitable dollars help make our fiveboroughs boroughs fairer, more equitable with taxpayer placesplaces to live livetoand and work. stronger city where morelow-wage low-wage New Yorkers to AAstronger city where New Yorkers livework. and work. A stronger city wheremore more low-wage New Yorkers up theupeconomic economic ladder well within reach. climb the economic ladder is well withinreach. reach. climb up the ladder isiswell within

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us the webat at VisitVisit us on the web onon the web at

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11

city & state — January 29, 2014

committee chairs, and by about 12 percent for the Speaker. Subcommittee chairs saw their lulus double to $8,000, so now there is no monetary difference between running a full committee and a subcommittee. Rules Chair Brad Lander explained this change as a “lowering and flattening” of the lulu system, although technically the Speaker and other leadership members are taking proportionately smaller cuts than the committee chairs, arguably a “regressive” restructuring of the system. The increase in pay for subcommittee leaders does however spread the wealth more generally across the Council. Rules reform as it has been presented so far appears to disburse a lot of the Speaker’s powers to the committee chairs. For example, the present system confines the drafting of all legislation to a unit of the Speaker’s office, and that same unit decides which bills are brought to the floor for a vote. The Speaker is thus in charge of the Council’s entire legislative process. Under Christine Quinn virtually no bills came up for a vote that she had not personally shepherded to the floor, and prime sponsorship of Speaker’s office-drafted bills was handed out to individual Council members as a favor. Reform promises to decouple legislative drafting from the Speaker’s office, thereby allowing Council members at least to get their proposed bills into a format where they can be properly introduced to committee without political interference from the Speaker. Proposed reform measures will also reduce the authority of the Speaker to reward her favorites through increased allocation of discretionary funds, by which means Council members are able to distribute money to community nonprofit organizations. The entire process of discretionary funding has been called into question, notably by Mayor de Blasio, who favors ending the system. Council members naturally like being able to dole out several million dollars over four years to local groups, and can use members’ items funding as a kind of patronage system to support local political allies. Reform will establish some form of parity among the Council members, either through a needsbased formula or a fixed amount per district. Either way, the Speaker will lose a valuable carrot to dangle in front of her co-partners,


N E W

T H E YO R K

C I T Y

POWER 100

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city & state — January 29, 2014

The Most Powerful People in New York City Politics

T

he ground has shifted in New York City politics. Since we last compiled our NYC Power 100 list—for our Dec. 3, 2012 issue—there has been a sea change in the city’s hierarchy of movers and shakers. Gone are most traces of the long-ruling Bloomberg administration. Newly arrived is a tidal wave of progressive change, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio, organized labor and the Working Families Party. Our list reflects the altered landscape: 49 of its 100 members are new entries, including eight of the top 25. The list has grown more diverse, too, though not as much as one might have anticipated given the rise of the city’s majority-minority as an electoral force. This year, 27 members of the list are nonwhite, versus 22 in our previous ranking. The number of women has also edged up from 20 to

24. These slight gains are bound to be disappointing to those who are anxious to see the city’s power structure reflect its actual demographics, though there is no question which way history is heading—and as the de Blasio administration finishes taking shape, it is likely that the number of women and minorities among the top 100 most powerful people in the city will continue to grow. Of course, any list of this sort is bound to generate criticism and controversy. We acknowledge that our ranking is imperfect—yet it is not arbitrary. Off-therecord conversations with many of the five borough’s most savvy political insiders helped us arrive at a list that we hope will resound with the people who know the score as well as anyone—our readers. With that, we present our Second Annual NYC Power 100. cityandstateny.com


THE

POWER 100

#100 Donald Trump

Will he run for governor or won’t he? Doesn’t matter. What makes Trump powerful is that people will be interested either way. An international brand, Trump commands the press’ attention like few people on this list. A player in politics, real estate, finance, media and entertainment, Trump has his hands in practically every business that matters in the Big Apple.

#99 Ramon Martinez

#98 Lillian Roberts

Martinez, the executive legislative coordinator of the City Council under Christine Quinn, is rumored to be staying on in the Council as Melissa Mark-Viverito’s chief of staff, a wise choice for the new Speaker, as his institutional knowledge will prove valuable as she gets acclimated. Martinez has relationships with a wide range of political big shots, including Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio and his onetime brother-in-law Joe Crowley—and despite Martinez’s behind-the-scenes role, these political connections make him virtually indispensible.

In the mayoral race, the city’s largest municipal union threw its weight behind John Liu, who ultimately finished a distant fourth in the primary. Roberts, the union’s executive director, is not as visible as some of her counterparts in the labor movement, and DC 37 no longer has the same political clout it enjoyed in its heyday, but Roberts’ strength is in the enormity of her membership. She could get a bump up the Power 100 next year if her union gets a favorable contract from the city.

#97 Scott Levenson

#96 Stuart Appelbaum

#95 Patrick Lynch

#94 Edward C. Wallace

Despite all the controversy surrounding the Advance Group’s shadowy machinations this past election cycle, there is no question that Levenson, the firm’s founder and president, has his hands firmly on the levers of power behind the scenes. He was one of the architects of the campaign to take out Christine Quinn—which benefited the de Blasio effort immensely—and then turned around and played a pivotal role in making Melissa Mark-Viverito the Council Speaker.

The year did not start well for Appelbaum. He jumped on the Christine Quinn bandwagon as the first labor leader to endorse her, only to see her finish a distant third in the primary. Nonetheless, Appelbaum is always a visible advocacy presence, from leading the charge to organize car-wash workers to pushing legislation like the living wage bill. Now, with Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito aiming to expand paid sick leave, expect Appelbaum and his union, RWDSU, to be out front in that fight.

It is a safe bet that Lynch’s union, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, will be one of a handful of municipal unions prioritized in contract negotiations, since the city police force is not exactly a constituency the new mayor wants to antagonize. The union, of which Lynch has been president since 1999, will have to contend with a new commissioner—and it was not pleased the Council passed a law establishing an inspector general for the NYPD—but all wounds will likely be healed if the PBA gets the contract it wants.

The U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers 2014 edition rated Greenberg Traurig “Law Firm of the Year” in two critical categories: government relations and real estate litigation. The co-chairman of the New York office, Ed Wallace, is a leading figure in both spheres, having served as a New York City councilman-at-large and as vice president of Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties. As chair of New Yorkers for Parks, Wallace is also a champion of the city’s green spaces.

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#93 Kyle Kimball

#92 Carlo Scissura

#91 James Milliken

#90 Neal Kwatra

When Mayor de Blasio reappointed him president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, he bestowed upon Kimball, who had initially been given the post by Mayor Bloomberg in August 2013, the opportunity to leave his stamp on an agency that had grown to be a juggernaut under the leadership of its former head, Seth Pinsky. It remains to be seen if de Blasio will empower EDC to keep terraforming the city as his predecessor did, so it is still too early to determine how big a player Kimball will be in the development arena.

Floated as a potential successor to former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, whom he served as chief of staff, Scissura instead took the reins of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and almost instantly rejuvenated the organization, building it into what is now the state’s largest chamber of commerce. In this capacity Scissura has assumed the mantle of his former boss as Mr. Brooklyn, cheerleading for a borough that has become a scorching hot international brand.

He has not spent a day on the job, and might not until June, but already J.B. Milliken deserves a spot on the Power 100 as the newly appointed chancellor of the City University of New York, the nation’s third-largest public university system. As head of CUNY, Milliken will be taking on the challenge of running a system more than five times larger than the University of Nebraska, of which he has been president since 2004. It is not yet clear what his objectives for CUNY will be, but whatever they are, Milliken will have a significant impact on the city.

Less than a year after leaving Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, where he served as chief of staff, Kwatra has built the city’s hottest new political consulting firm, Metropolitan Strategies. At Metropolitan Kwatra has been a key advisor to both the Working Families Party and the Hotel Trades Council, served as chief strategist for Ken Thompson in his upset win over longtime Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes and played a meaningful role in ensuring the passage of the casino referendum.

#89 Jumaane Williams

#88 Diane Savino

#87 Vincent Alvarez

#86 Jimmy Van Bramer

Williams flexed his political muscle last year by helping shepherd the landmark Community Safety Act to passage in the City Council over Speaker Quinn’s opposition. Now, having played an integral role in the election of the new Speaker, Williams is in a position to have even more influence. Not only is he a senior member of the powerful Progressive Caucus, he is armed with a leadership position to boot, as well as the chairmanship of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, a critical seat given the mayor’s goal of creating or preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing.

Although she ranked #60 on City & State’s 2013 New York State Power 100, Savino is a new addition to the NYC list. The chair of the State Senate Labor Committee, Savino is one of the legislators in Albany with the closest ties to the city’s unions, through having been vice president for political action at AFSCME prior to becoming an elected official. A force to be reckoned with on Staten Island and in Brooklyn, both of which she represents, Savino also is one of the four members of the Independent Democratic Conference keeping the Senate in the hands of a coalition leadership.

The Central Labor Council, the umbrella organization representing all of New York City’s unions, largely sat on the sidelines during the recent mayoral election. Still, organized labor now has a friend in City Hall in Bill de Blasio—so Alvarez, CLC’s president, can expect his voice will be heard more than it ever was under Michael Bloomberg. Alvarez has already been out in front on de Blasio’s universal preschool push, and more team-ups with the new mayor are sure to come.

Van Bramer, who won big bucking his county’s boss, Joe Crowley, and supporting Melissa Mark-Viverito for Speaker, reportedly jockeyed behind the scenes with the hope of landing the coveted City Council Finance Committee chair. Instead, he had to settle for the majority leader title when Finance went to his Queens colleague Julissa Ferreras. Majority leader has been a somewhat toothless position in the past, but depending on the leadership structure of the new City Council, Van Bramer could move up the Power 100 in the future.

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#85 Gary LaBarbera

#84 Joseph Sitt

If there is a large-scale construction project happening in New York City, chances are LaBarbera’s membership is involved in building it, since the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York is a consortium collectively representing 100,000 workers in the five boroughs. LaBarbera was a big backer of Michael Bloomberg’s prodevelopment agenda, but he may not have the same windfall of jobs under Mayor de Blasio. The new mayor has called for a fundamental reset between the city and the development community. What that will ultimately mean for LaBarbera’s members remains to be seen.

Sitt’s Thor Equities is a major player in Manhattan and Brooklyn real estate, with important holdings in many of the city’s most in-demand and hottest emerging neighborhoods. In 2012 Sitt decided to spearhead the revitalization of the city’s slumping airports by creating the nonprofit Global Gateway Alliance, and seeding it with $1 million of his own money. His efforts appear to be taking off, with Gov. Cuomo making the improvement of the city’s airports a focal point of his recent State of the State address.

#83 James Capalino

Capalino’s eponymous Capalino+Company ranked as the city’s No. 2 lobbying firm by total compensation according to the City Clerk’s office’s most recent annual tabulation. Capalino himself is one of the most respected and accomplished veterans of city politics and government. He has racked up decades of experience in the arena, co-managing Ed Koch’s successful first mayoral campaign and serving as the youngest commissioner in city history, helming the now-defunct Office of General Services at the age of 28.

#82 Dov Hikind

The Brooklyn assemblyman has spent more than two decades in the state Legislature and regularly tackles issues of critical importance to the city’s Orthodox Jewish community, from bringing resources to his constituents to standing up against anti-Semitism. As one of the most disciplined and strategic blocs of voters in the city, the Orthodox Jewish population plays an outsize role relative to its numbers, and being one of the group’s foremost leaders gives Hikind real clout.

#81 Charles Rangel

#80 Liz Krueger

#79 James Dolan

#78 Emily Rafferty

Although Congressman Rangel was once an indomitable force in Harlem and in the House, where he chaired the Ways and Means Committee, Rangel’s clout is waning locally and nationally. Rangel lost a protracted legal battle to overturn his censure for ethics violations—burning through more than $100,000 in the process— and while he has said he will defend his seat again in 2014, there are a number of challengers waiting in the wings, including his 2012 primary challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.

Among elected officials the Manhattan state senator was one of the earliest and most vigorous supporters of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign. As a result, since late last year it has been rumored that she was in line for a top position in his administration, though Krueger has denied any desire to leave the Senate. As ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Krueger has the chops to understand what is really going on in the state budget—which dictates how many dollars find their way from the state’s coffers to New York City.

Dolan’s sports franchises, the Knicks and the Rangers, have had a mixed year. But Dolan’s true power lies in his cable empire—and Cablevision’s PAC had a busy election season, throwing money around in City Council and citywide races. Madison Square Garden remains the city’s premier sports and concert venue, and it would come as no surprise if Cablevision uses its financial resources to influence the City Council’s future decision on the Garden’s relocation.

Just being the president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, arguably the city’s most important cultural institution, qualifies Emily Rafferty for a place on the Power 100. But Rafferty does far more than oversee the museum’s 1,500 employees and one of the world’s premier art collections: She is also chair of the board of directors of both the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and NYC & Company, the city’s marketing, tourism and partnership arm.

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city & state — January 29, 2014

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#77 James Oddo

Oddo made the seamless transition from minority leader in the Council to borough president, where he will remain one of the city’s top Republican elected officials. Immensely popular on Staten Island, Oddo is now in a position to start his own political dynasty, following in the footsteps of former borough presidents Guy Molinari and James Molinaro. Though Christine Quinn, with whom he enjoyed a strong relationship, is gone from the Council, Oddo still has a foothold there, with his former chief of staff Steve Matteo now occupying his old seat.

#76 Grace Meng

Freshman congresswoman Meng takes over former comptroller John Liu’s position as the highestranking and most influential AsianAmerican elected official in the city. The only thing that could possibly derail the career of the well liked and widely respected Meng are her family troubles: Her father, a former assemblyman, served a month in prison last year for participating in a bribery scheme, while her younger brother may be charged with homicide in connection with the hazing death of a Baruch College fraternity pledge. Thus far, however, those scandals have yet to dim her rising star.

#75 Larry Silverstein

#74 Hakeem Jeffries

In June 2001 Silverstein, chairman of Silverstein Properties, sealed the largest real estate transaction in New York history—a $3.25 billion, 99-year lease of the World Trade Center. Six weeks later the complex was destroyed, thrusting Silverstein into the heart of the rebuilding at Ground Zero, a project that has come to fruition in stages, starting with 7 WTC in 2006 and most recently with the completion of 4 WTC in November 2013. A past chair of the Real Estate Board of New York, Silverstein is one of the biggest names in the industry.

Rep. Jeffries drops 10 spots on the Power 100 after a relatively quiet year for him politically. Granted, freshmen members of Congress rarely make big headlines down in Washington, but Jeffries struck out locally by supporting Bill Thompson during the Democratic mayoral primary. The congressman is still widely considered a rising star—young, charismatic, and smart—and while there is currently no logical higher office for him to seek, as long as he stays scandal-free, his ranking on this list should climb back up.

city & state — January 29, 2014

16 #73 John Sexton

#72 Carolyn Maloney

#71 Alfonse D’Amato

#70 Stephen M. Ross

In March 2013 Sexton, the longtime president of New York University, endured a “no confidence” vote among the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, and announced he would retire after his contract expires in 2016. Until that time, however, he will continue to lead a gargantuan university with campuses around the world that is also one of the most powerful landowners in the city, dominating Greenwich Village and continually expanding in areas like downtown Brooklyn and the East Side.

Rep. Maloney’s major legislative initiative this year, which would have required gun owners to hold liability insurance, was one of many gun control efforts that fell short this year on the national stage. Nonetheless, Maloney is one of the most senior members of New York City’s congressional delegation and a prolific fundraiser, even hosting an event in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio despite her early support for Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary.

D’Amato is far more than just a former U.S. senator and one of the most well-known New York Republicans in the country. He is the founder of Park Strategies, the No. 8 highest-compensated lobbying firm in the state, according to JCOPE’s most recent ranking. A formidable fundraiser who plays a key behind-the-scenes role helping candidates on both sides of the aisle, he most recently used his network of connections to direct big money to Bill de Blasio’s campaign coffers. That should put him in good standing with the new mayor even with their ideological differences.

Ross, the billionaire chairman of the Related Companies, continues to shape the physical landscape of New York City, most recently with the mammoth Hudson Yards project on the West Side, which is expected to include 16 new skyscrapers. Though Ross spends part of the year in Florida, where he owns the Miami Dolphins, he boasts major holdings in New York City beyond his vast real estate portfolio, including the Equinox Fitness Clubs chain and a partial stake in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events.

cityandstateny.com


#69 Carl Heastie

#68 Jonathan Lippman

Heastie, leader of the Bronx Democratic Party and chair of the State Assembly’s Labor Committee, tumbled down the Power 100 this year as his clout in city political circles took a hit following the Council Speaker’s election. Assemblyman Heastie and Queens Democratic boss Joe Crowley went all-in for Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick against Melissa Mark-Viverito, only to be betrayed by their counterpart in Brooklyn, Frank Seddio.

The state’s chief judge not only wields major power from the bench of the state’s highest court—he runs the entire court system of New York. But Lippman was dealt a blow last year when voters rejected a ballot referendum to raise the retirement age limit for some state judges. The measure would have allowed Lippman, 68, to serve past age 70, but now he will have to lay down his gavel in a few short years.

#67 Howard Glaser

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s director of state operations, Howard Glaser ensures that state government is running smoothly on a daily basis. That portfolio includes a significant involvement in New York City, most visibly as point man during and after Superstorm Sandy. Glaser could play an even larger role with Bill de Blasio in power, given his close ties to the mayor and rumors that he was a contender for a top spot in the de Blasio administration.

#66 Frank Seddio

As part of the triumvirate of Democratic county leaders alongside Joe Crowley and Carl Heastie, Seddio was clearly the low man on the totem pole. But Seddio, Vito Lopez’s handpicked successor, emerged from the old boss’ shadow, cutting a shrewd deal to make Melissa MarkViverito the Speaker, and betraying his Queens and Bronx counterparts in the process. Seddio now has the respect and gratitude of the mayor and Speaker—valuable political capital for the next four years—and currency enough to earn him a 12-spot jump up the Power 100.

#65 Héctor Figueroa

#64 Ken Sunshine

#63 Nydia Velázquez

#62 Loretta Lynch

Former 32BJ president Mike Fishman was a titan in the labor and political world, leaving big shoes for Figueroa to fill. But Figueroa and his union did relatively well this year, despite supporting Christine Quinn in the mayoral race. Political Director Alison Hirsh was involved behind the scenes in securing a victory in the Speaker’s race for Melissa MarkViverito. Expect to see Figueroa on the front lines again advocating for an expansion of the paid sick leave law for which Mayor de Blasio has called.

Politics is just a hobby these days for the megapowered publicist, but there are few people who have the trust and ear of both Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo. Sunshine’s company, Sunshine Sachs, regularly ranks among Hollywood’s top public relations firms, but Sunshine’s roots are in New York politics. Having served as chief of staff to Mayor Dinkins, where his team included a young de Blasio and Chirlane McCray, Sunshine has been one of the new mayor’s most important supporters since de Blasio first ran for City Council. And when Kerry Kennedy was charged with a DUI, the Cuomo family went to Sunshine to be its spokesman.

Rep. Velázquez has always done well bringing in federal money to her district, but she was never considered a major player in city government until Bill de Blasio took office. De Blasio reportedly enlisted Velázquez to help rally Council support to make Melissa Mark-Viverito the first Latina Speaker, and as a result she can probably call in a favor or two at City Hall—perhaps to help her get re-elected this year if needed, or broaden her power base in Brooklyn in the post–Vito Lopez age, an era she helped usher to an end.

While not as high-profile as her Southern District counterpart, Preet Bharara, Lynch managed to make some big headlines this year as well. A year after successfully prosecuting former assemblyman Jimmy Meng on corruption charges, Lynch brought federal cases against state Sen. John Sampson and former state Sen. Shirley Huntley, the latter of whom wound up receiving a one-year jail sentence. The buzz around Lynch’s political future is quiet for now, but a win in the Sampson case could help expand her options.

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#61 Emily Giske

#60 David Halbfinger

#59 Alicia Glen

#58 Cyrus Vance Jr.

If her close friend Christine Quinn had been elected mayor, Giske would have shot up the Power 100 from her perch last year at No. 56. Though she slips down the list a few notches instead, Giske is nonetheless a perennial powerhouse in city politics, as one of the driving forces behind Bolton-St. John’s, the city’s No. 4 lobbying firm by compensation. An expert in navigating both the city’s and state’s legislative processes, she has advocated for major bills and top clients across the corporate spectrum.

Halbfinger is relatively new to his role as the Grey Lady’s city politics editor; hence the bump down the Power 100 from the position held by his predecessor, Carolyn Ryan. The Times still regularly leads the news cycle as the paper of record, and with a stable of top-notch reporters at City Hall who know the terrain and who followed candidate de Blasio closely on the campaign trail, the Times will likely continue to be afforded access to the mayor and his staff unlike that enjoyed by any other news outlet.

Affordable housing was a major campaign platform for Mayor de Blasio, and housing advocates will be watching closely to make sure Glen, a Goldman Sachs alum, can deliver on the mayor’s promise of 200,000 affordable units created or preserved. Glen, one of only three deputy mayors appointed by de Blasio so far, has already discarded some key members of the city’s housing apparatus who helped develop Michael Bloomberg’s relatively successful New Housing Marketplace Plan—a controversial move.

Vance was re-elected to a second term in November in a landslide victory, though he has yet to fill the shoes of his legendary predecessor, Robert Morgenthau. Vance, who like Morgenthau comes from American political royalty, occupies a historically influential seat. Still, he has tried several times to get the state Legislature to pass anticorruption legislation—to no avail—and in September he made recommendations to the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption to continue the fight to clean up Albany, though nothing concrete has yet to come out of the Commission.

#57 Patrick Gaspard

#56 Benjamin Lawsky

#55 Lilliam Barrios-Paoli

#54 Steven Spinola

It would likely strike those who are not in the know as odd to find the U.S. ambassador to South Africa on the NYC Power 100, but Gaspard is no ordinary diplomat. He enjoys a tight longtime friendship with Mayor de Blasio dating back to their days working together in the Dinkins administration. It was Gaspard who helped broker the peace between de Blasio and mayoral rival Bill Thompson to avoid a costly runoff. Gaspard’s connections to President Obama and to the Democratic National Committee, of which he served as executive director, make him an invaluable asset to the mayor.

Fresh off a year that truly put New York’s Department of Financial Services on the map, Superintendent Ben Lawsky couldn’t be flying higher, and with good reason. Starting with a record settlement Lawsky squeezed from Standard Chartered, and followed by a series of other major victories against top financial institutions, Gov. Cuomo’s regulatory guru has fulfilled the dual purpose for which the governor appointed him, streamlining and supercharging two sleepy New York State departments, while stealing a little of the spotlight from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at the same time.

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As the new deputy mayor of Health and Human Services, Barrios-Paoli, a veteran of three prior mayoral administrations, is embarking on her most influential position in government to date. One of only three deputy mayors appointed to date by Mayor de Blasio, BarriosPaoli will play a crucial role in trying to reduce the city’s soaring homeless population, which includes a record 22,000 children. If Barrios-Paoli openly disagreed with many of the homeless policies under her former boss, Michael Bloomberg, it is clear she has more of a shared vision with the new mayor in regard to tackling income inequality.

REBNY remains a powerful force in the city’s political arena. Through the Jobs for New York PAC the association poured money into Council races across the city, a massive outlay the success of which in gaining influence in the body remains to be seen. That said, the governor, mayor and Council Speaker all paid visits to REBNY’s recent annual gala to kiss the proverbial ring, so Spinola holds steady at his place on the Power 100.

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#53 Bill Lipton

#52 Robert Linn

#51 David Greenfield

#50 George Soros

Lipton’s focus is primarily on pushing the WFP’s agenda on the state level, but he also pitched in with the de Blasio campaign, giving him a solid footing in the city’s new administration. Along with Emma Wolfe, Lipton will likely play an instrumental role in ensuring the Legislature cooperates with de Blasio’s agenda, while also reminding Gov. Andrew Cuomo not to forget about the political left while running for re-election.

The city’s newly appointed director of labor relations, Linn has perhaps the toughest job of any member of the de Blasio administration, as he will likely be the chief negotiator when it comes to the looming collective bargaining talks with the city’s municipal unions. Linn has been around the block, serving in a similar role during the Koch administration, and he got a warm reception from labor leaders upon his appointment. Given the city’s budgetary constraints, having that reservoir of goodwill is an important start.

Ever the transactional politician, Greenfield used a combination of political savvy and backroom haggling to carve out a plum committee chair for himself in the negotiations that ultimately crowned Melissa MarkViverito Council Speaker. Securing the chairmanship of the Land Use Committee was a double win for Greenfield: He both greatly elevated his stature in the Council and gained a leg up over longtime rival Dov Hikind as a power broker in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.

One of the foremost liberal philanthropists in the world, the business magnate is well-known for giving away billions of dollars, primarily through his Open Society Foundations. A deep-pocketed donor to Democratic candidates, Soros endorsed Bill de Blasio in August, maxing out to him and helping solidify de Blasio’s credibility with the progressive elite on the eve of the primary. As the principle funder of the Talking Transition “think tent,” Soros has continued to be involved in charting the city’s new direction since the mayor’s victory.

#49 Bob Master

#48 Jefrey Pollock

#47 John Banks III

#46 Timothy Dolan

Master and the CWA spent part of last year going toe-to-toe with cable giant Cablevision over the company’s refusal to let some employees unionize, an effort that attracted citywide attention. On the political side, Master’s union was one of the few to endorse Bill de Blasio early on. Along with Dan Cantor and Bertha Lewis, Master is in the inner circle of progressive leaders the mayor respects, and to whom in part he owes his career.

Though Pollock’s Global Strategy Group opted out of picking sides in the Democratic primary, its decision does not mean the firm will be relegated to the periphery in the next administration. Global was important to de Blasio’s come-from-behind win for public advocate in 2009 and got on board with him again in this year’s general election, hosting bigdollar fundraisers for the nominee. The American Association of Political Consultants’ 2012 “Pollster of the Year,” Pollock is a giant in New York’s political arena, integral to the success of clients like Kirsten Gillibrand.

Banks, the vice president of government relations for Con Edison, is one of the energy giant’s top lobbyists on the city, state and federal level, as well as a MTA board member. He also happens to be a close friend of Bill de Blasio’s, who lives in the same Park Slope neighborhood where the new mayor and his family resided prior to decamping for Gracie Mansion. Having worked in the City Council, Banks knows city government back and forth, crucial institutional knowledge that helped land him a spot on the de Blasio administration’s transition team.

Normally the city’s chief Catholic leader’s political activities focus on social issues, but this year the cardinal will add land use to his advocacy plate. Dolan’s interest in the East Midtown rezoning project, which stalled in the City Council last year, came up during a recent visit with Mayor de Blasio, and while the mayor has been noncommittal as to how he wants to handle the rezoning, the two touted their otherwise “common vision.”

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#45 Merryl Tisch

#44 Rubén Díaz Jr.

#43 Bruce Ratner

#42 Bertha Lewis

Despite not endorsing de Blasio during the primary, the Bronx Borough president is reportedly on good terms with the mayor, and was even rumored to be in the running for an administration post. Right now the Bronx is staking a major claim in the development arena, with Díaz playing a key role, most recently turning lemons into lemonade by revitalizing the Kingsbridge Armory as a marquee center for ice sports after he was criticized for shooting down an earlier project. A rising star in city politics, Díaz will likely use his next term to set the stage for a run at higher office.

Ratner’s already significant political influence could increase under Mayor de Blasio. The real estate developer was an important supporter of de Blasio during the campaign, and they already enjoy a long relationship stemming from de Blasio’s support of Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project in downtown Brooklyn. This year Ratner’s company, Forest City, will focus on completing its B2 Tower, a residential building at Atlantic Yards—but it may also feel pressure to start delivering on the longpromised affordable component of the development, with affordable housing a key tenet of de Blasio’s agenda.

A close friend of Bill de Blasio’s, Lewis is new to the Power 100, though she has long been a progressive leader and influential voice in the city’s African-American community. As the co-founder of the Working Families Party and former CEO of ACORN—which has since been renamed New York Communities for Change—Lewis’ ascendance to power speaks to the shifting tides in city government not only with the election of de Blasio but also fellow progressives Letitia James, Scott Stringer and Melissa MarkViverito.

#41 Peter Ward

#40 Errol Louis

#39 Julissa Ferreras

#38 Jennifer Cunningham

Ward may be the only labor leader who backed the wrong mayoral candidate to get a bump on the Power 100, thanks to the importance of his union’s membership in a city that attracted 50 million-plus tourists last year. Ward has transformed a union that was once a political nonentity into a powerhouse, and he delivers for his membership. In October HTC members received big salary increases from Queens’ Resorts World Casino, perhaps creating a model for the future of gaming companies’ wages in New York State.

The Road to City Hall ran through NY1’s studio in 2013. Louis asked the tough questions of candidates, extracting memorable moments from sit-downs with Daniel Squadron and Letitia James, among many others. His interviews and commentary are must-see-TV for the city’s hacks, flacks and politicos—and every elected official and advocate in the city wants to get on his show. Now back to Inside City Hall, Louis will continue to play a key role in shaping the city’s daily discourse about policy and politics.

Ferreras at one time was floated as a potential Speaker candidate, but when her path to victory became muddied, she quickly got behind Melissa Mark-Viverito. As a senior Queens councilwoman who bucked her county’s boss, Ferreras’ audacity was rewarded with the chairmanship of arguably the Council’s most powerful committee, giving her the opportunity to showcase her leadership skills for a potential future Speaker run.

Cunningham drops a few notches on this year’s Power 100 as a result of SKDKnickerbocker’s devastating loss at the helm of Christine Quinn’s campaign for mayor. That is not to say that Cunningham and SKD are no longer major players in city politics. The firm was integral to Scott Stringer’s hard-fought victory over Eliot Spitzer in the comptroller’s race, and boasts a client list of unions, corporations and candidates any consulting shop would envy. Moreover, Cunningham is one of the few people to whom both Gov. Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman, her ex-husband, turn to for advice.

Tisch still plays a big role in driving education policy both upstate and downstate, but it is a different landscape under the de Blasio administration, and there are indications that Tisch and the mayor are far from in lockstep on education issues, such as charging rent to charter schools. There is also likely bad blood between Tisch and de Blasio because she was one of Bill Thompson’s foremost supporters, a bad bet that drops her down on the Power 100 list despite her immense wealth and influence.

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#37 Thomas Prendergast

#36 Joseph Crowley

#35 Suri Kasirer

#34 Letitia James

Prendergast took over as Chairman and CEO of the MTA in February after the transit system’s former chief Joe Lhota left to run for mayor. Heading the largest transportation agency in North America is reason alone for Prendergast to make his debut on the Power 100, but his title is not the only reason for his clout. He is highly regarded in transportation circles, and in addition to keeping the trains and buses moving, Prendergast will play an integral part in solidifying the century-old subway system against climate change—an effort that will be helped immensely by a recent windfall of federal money.

The boss of the Queens Democratic Party, Crowley is also the fifthhighest ranking House Democrat, but he takes a hit on this year’s Power 100 as a result of his high-profile failure to crown Dan Garodnick City Council Speaker after several of his borough’s members snubbed the county machine to support Melissa MarkViverito. It bears watching whether behind-the-scenes stonewalling of the mayor’s priorities in Washington will follow Crowley’s public bashing of Bill de Blasio for bigfooting the Speaker’s race.

Suri Kasirer’s Kasirer Consulting company is not just the No. 1 lobbying firm in New York City by total compensation; it rakes in almost double what the second place finisher on the list makes. The undisputed champion of city lobbyists, Kasirer manages this feat with a surprisingly small staff, an equation that certainly does not hurt her bottom line. To get a firm grasp on which companies and nonprofits are the major players in city government, all you have to do is look at Kasirer’s client list.

It is unclear whether Public Advocate James will receive a larger budget for her office than her predecessor Bill de Blasio did, but there is no question that the profile of the city’s ombudsman has been raised dramatically by de Blasio’s mayoral victory. With her fiery inauguration speech, the outspoken former councilwoman demonstrated once again that she is not afraid to speak her mind on inequality issues. However, it remains to be seen how often she will challenge the mayor, whom she called a “friend” during a primary debate.

#33 Al Sharpton

After 12 years of sitting on the sidelines, Sharpton is again on the rise, and his political star looks as if it may shine brighter than ever before over the city. De Blasio has met with the reverend several times since the election, and Sharpton and his National Action Network could play a key role in smoothing over frayed relations between minority communities and the NYPD. Sharpton’s influence recently spread into the mayor’s inner circle when his former communications director, Rachel Noerdlinger, was hired as Chirlane McCray’s chief of staff.

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#32 Patrick Foye

#31 Mortimer Zuckerman

#30 Rupert Murdoch

Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, is essentially the gatekeeper for New York City’s vast transportation infrastructure, an immensely important managerial role. As for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s now infamous Bridgegate scandal, it was Foye who pointed out that Christie’s lane closures violated state and federal law. His actions during that scandal no doubt endeared him to his boss Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, like Christie, may be plotting a 2016 presidential run.

Zuckerman’s Daily News might be getting thinner and its endorsements less important, while its readership is not what it once was, but among the city’s papers the News remains second in circulation only to the Times and ranks No. 6 out of all the dailies in the nation, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Of course, the News and U.S. News & World Report, of which Zuckerman is the owner and editor-in-chief, are just side ventures for the real estate mogul. His Boston Properties is one of the largest real estate companies in the country.

In the post-Bloomberg progressive era of Bill de Blasio, the staunchly conservative Murdoch is all but certain to have less clout in city government, but the billionaire media mogul still has a formidable arsenal to influence politics and policy. He owns two of the city’s dailies—The Wall Street Journal and the Post—and he has the Fox News empire to amplify his agenda on television and on the radio. As one of the most influential people in the world, Murdoch’s power should never be underestimated.

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#29 Keith Wright

#28 Thomas DiNapoli

#27 Jeffrey Klein

#26 Dean Fuleihan

Keith Wright wears a lot of important hats: assemblyman, Housing Committee chair, Manhattan Democratic chair, and co-chair of the New York State Democratic Party. Wright, the son of a state Supreme Court judge, was first elected to office in 1992. The assemblyman has at times been rumored to be the preferred successor of Rep. Charles Rangel, his mentor, but Rangel could get knocked out of office before he steps aside for Wright.

The state comptroller’s office affords significant power to Thomas DiNapoli, a former assemblyman who became New York’s chief financial officer in 2007 and was re-elected in 2010. DiNapoli’s primary responsibilities are managing the state’s $160.7 billion pension fund and auditing state agencies and local governments, including New York City, and he has not shied away from using his clout as a top investor to pressure major companies to make significant policy changes.

The majority coalition co-leader of the State Senate jumped 29 spots from last year for this reason: In the chamber’s increasingly fragile power structure, Klein has positioned himself and his band of rogue Independent Democrats as the key swing votes to pass practically any legislation. In an election year, if Cuomo or de Blasio want to get their lofty legislative plans through the Republican-controlled Senate, it is Klein’s IDC they will need in large part to get on board.

Some might suggest that Fuleihan, a longtime aide to Sheldon Silver, may have been appointed budget director in part as a way for de Blasio to curry favor with the Assembly Speaker. But Fuleihan has extensive fiscal and policy chops that will help him navigate the byzantine city budget. His main priority will be finding savings to settle the expired municipal union contracts and perhaps fund retroactive pay raises.

#25 William Rudin

#24 Jonathan Rosen

#23 Valerie Berlin

#22 Jerrold Nadler

For generations, the Rudin family has played an integral role in shaping the skyline of New York City. Under Bill Rudin’s leadership as CEO, the Rudin Management Company has become an innovator in technologically advanced properties and central to the revitalization of lower Manhattan. But it is just as much his work as chairman of the Association for a Better New York, the organization his father founded, that puts Rudin at the center of the city’s political discourse. ABNY is consistently one of the most important marketplaces of ideas for the city’s power brokers across the public and private sectors.

Rosen has one of the two names on the door of the political consulting firm that helped propel Bill de Blasio from long-shot candidate to landslide winner in the mayoral race, a feat that raised the company’s profile exponentially and which is already luring streams of new blue-chip clients to the firm. Rosen also enjoys a tight personal relationship with the mayor, his former neighbor in Brooklyn, and many of the causes BerlinRosen champions dovetail with the mayor’s progressive agenda, including paid sick leave and universal pre-K.

Along with co-founder Jonathan Rosen, Berlin has made BerlinRosen into New York City’s public affairs firm of the moment, owing in large part to their No. 1 client, Bill de Blasio. A highly accomplished veteran of high-profile elections and legislative fights, Berlin leads the firm’s campaign and creative services practices. Launching the theme of a “Tale of Two Cities” from day one and sticking with it through thick and thin, BerlinRosen proved masters of messaging, running a campaign that artfully dodged more than a few obstacles and roared to the finish line.

Congressman Nadler is one of New York City’s longest-serving elected officials, and probably the city’s most powerful liberal voice in the House of Representatives, even taking into account ranking member of the Democratic leadership Rep. Joe Crowley. Nadler, a major force in Manhattan politics, made some waves this past year in citywide elections, aiding longtime ally Scott Stringer in his bid for comptroller and even ripping into formerly disgraced politicians Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner on the campaign trail.

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#21 Dean Skelos

#20 Brad Lander

#19 George Gresham

#18 Michael Mulgrew

Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos’ district is not in New York City, but a power-sharing agreement with Jeff Klein and the IDC has kept the Republicans in control of the chamber and made Skelos a force to be reckoned with in Albany and New York City. Armed with the allegiance of his members and a largely amicable working relationship with Gov. Cuomo, Skelos continues to have a major say in any funding and policy issues that New York City has before the state.

Lander leaps onto the Power 100 for the first time, and lands in the top 20 as co-chair of the Council’s newly powerful Progressive Caucus. He was also awarded the Rules Committee chair by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, where he hopes to enact major reforms, including changes in discretionary funding. Some insiders are calling Lander a “shadow Speaker” and say he could potentially play a larger role than Mark-Viverito in driving policy behind the scenes.

Gresham’s union handles most of its legislative business in Albany, but he rockets up the city Power 100 for heading the first major union to back Bill de Blasio and then going all-out to make sure 1199 bet right. Gresham and his political director, Kevin Finnegan, ran an extensive ground operation for de Blasio and bolstered his war chest through independent expenditures. With de Blasio in office and an 1199 alum as Council Speaker, the healthcare union should have no trouble pushing their priorities through City Hall.

After several election cycles in which the UFT failed to pick the winning mayoral candidate, Mulgrew promised his union would break its streak by backing Bill Thompson in the primaries. He went all-in and bet wrong, thus dropping several spots in this year’s ranking. Despite the loss, Mulgrew still holds considerable sway as the leader of 200,000 vocal and active members, including approximately 75,000 teachers. He will be the principal player as the UFT negotiates a new union contract for the first time since its current one expired in 2009.

#17 Carmen Farina

#16 Dan Cantor

#15 Kathryn Wylde

#14 Michael Bloomberg

The 40-year Department of Education veteran came out of retirement to lead the nation’s largest school district, with de Blasio making good on his promise of appointing an educator to the position. Under Bloomberg, the schools chancellor became a punching bag for the press, parents and teachers, but Fariña’s appointment was widely praised by education advocates. She will play an integral role in establishing the mayor’s signature universal preschool and after-school programs, and also be one of the key figures in the contentious showdown over charter schools.

Cantor and the labor-backed Working Families Party should have a lot more pull in city government under longtime progressive pal Bill de Blasio. The party had a stellar election season, despite sitting out the mayoral primary, giving its line to eventual Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and a slew of new Council members who owe their victories to no small degree to the WFP’s support. As an influential political voice, Cantor will surely remind de Blasio of the progressive promises he made during the campaign.

Wylde lost a tremendous ally when Bloomberg left office, but she remains the primary liaison between city government and the business community. De Blasio will certainly depend on Wylde to smooth over his progressive agenda with the Wall Street and corporate elite, and to help dispel lingering fears that he is their adversary. The Partnership for New York City released a Jobs Blueprint to help guide the new administration, which de Blasio has largely pledged to abide by. And if the mayor strays too far to the left, you can bet Wylde will let him know.

When Bloomberg left City Hall, he lost his grip on the top spot on the Power 100. The self-made megabillionaire is all but guaranteed to be the most influential former mayor ever, however, wielding extraordinary might in the form of massive campaign contributions, his media empire, his philanthropic largesse and his global profile. Bloomberg will doubtlessly continue to be one of the country’s leading voices on gun control, health policy and the environment, and if he wants to weigh in on any issue (or cause the new mayor agita), he can command the attention of any news outlet in the nation.

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#13 Bill Bratton

#12 Scott Stringer

#11 Emma Wolfe

#10 Chirlane McCray

The former police commissioner under Rudolph Giuliani is back for a second tour of duty as the city’s top cop. New York City has never been safer, and Bratton will be tasked with keeping it that way. Plus, he is responsible for implementing one of de Blasio’s key campaign promises: repairing police and community relations, and reducing the use of stop-and-frisk. Failure to do so, coupled with even the slightest uptick in crime, could deal a major blow to de Blasio’s re-election bid.

Stringer’s primary win in the comptroller’s race over former Gov. Eliot Spitzer gave him national exposure and earned him a 38-spot jump up the Power 100. Stringer’s new position gives him control over the city’s massive $144 billion pension fund, a much larger responsibility than that of Manhattan borough president, his previous gig. Political observers will be watching closely to see how Stringer wields the power of his office. Will he be a check on the mayor’s power, as John Liu was to Bloomberg, or will he acquiesce to the de Blasio agenda?

Bill de Blasio owes his political career to Emma Wolfe. As the chief political strategist for the WFP, Wolfe was essential to de Blasio becoming public advocate. She then joined his team as chief of staff and spent the next four years strategizing how to make him the mayor. He rewarded Wolfe for her brilliance and loyalty with the keys to his political operation. In her new role as director of intergovernmental affairs, she is charged with driving de Blasio’s progressive agenda—and by all indications she has hit the ground running. Wolfe helped get the mayor the Speaker he wanted, and any victory on universal pre-K or paid sick leave will surely have her fingerprints.

McCray is said to be the mayor’s most trusted adviser, and he rarely passes up an opportunity to put her on a pedestal in public. McCray reportedly had a hand in picking Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, as well as other top deputies in the administration. There is still a great deal of mystery as to what her specific role will be in the government, but it is certain she will have an influential office at City Hall, and her husband’s ear at Gracie Mansion.

#9 Anthony Shorris

#8 Kirsten Gillibrand

#7 Preet Bharara

#6 Eric Schneiderman

As the mayor’s right-hand man, Shorris will be tasked with overseeing all of the city’s agencies, a centralization of power not seen in the previous administration. Shorris has earned a reputation as a top-flight manager, with a wealth of experience in city government and the private sector—expertise that could prove an indispensible asset to de Blasio as he deals with fiscal challenges and tackling the renegotiation of all of the city’s union contracts.

Kirsten Gillibrand’s star just keeps getting brighter. For the last two years the U.S. senator has been on fire, scoring one major political victory after another, often overcoming improbable odds to do so. Gillibrand’s gifts as a prolific campaign fundraiser have enabled her to build a network of grateful A-list allies across the country, and her rare ability to achieve consensus across the aisle has launched her into legitimate contention for higher office. There is no candidate in New York City who does not crave her endorsement—and the support that comes with it.

There is no man more feared in New York, and his reputation is well deserved. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District keeps indicting corrupt elected officials, crooked Wall Street kingpins and any other lawbreakers who have the misfortune of falling in his jurisdiction—and his conviction average easily qualifies him to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012, Bharara has not shared his future career plans, though it is likely that anyone committing a federal crime in the Southern District is hoping he moves on from his post as soon as possible.

Schneiderman has not developed a reputation as an aggressive attorney general in the mold of Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo, but after three years in office he has rightfully assumed the mantle of Sheriff of Wall Street. En route the AG has compiled an impressive résumé, from getting a landmark prescription drug abuse bill passed to scoring headline-grabbing settlements with major players in the city’s powerful financial industry, including a record $613 million from JPMorgan Chase.

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#5 Sheldon Silver

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who represents lower Manhattan, has a much broader and more powerful base in the many members of his Conference hailing from New York City. Despite the seemingly endless series of ethics and sexual harassment scandals involving Assembly members, Silver has kept his iron grip on his Conference, which makes him a crucial player in countless decisions affecting the city, particularly how many state dollars get allocated to the five boroughs and what they are earmarked to fund.

#4 Melissa Mark-Viverito

Mark-Viverito rolled the dice by endorsing a lagging Bill de Blasio early in the mayoral race, and her gambit ultimately paid off when de Blasio eventually cruised to victory. The mayor rewarded Mark-Viverito’s loyalty by shrewdly engineering the Council Speaker race in her favor. All eyes will be on MarkViverito to see if she can lead a Council independent of the agenda of the mayor and dodge comparisons to former Speaker Christine Quinn, who was criticized for her close alliance with Michael Bloomberg.

#3 Charles Schumer

#2 Andrew Cuomo

If this were a ranking of New Yorkers’ political power on the national stage, Schumer would come in No. 1—excluding the Clintons. The No. 3 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Schumer is often talked about as a potential Majority Leader if Harry Reid ever cedes the post. Despite his enormous clout in Washington, Schumer remains remarkably engaged both in New York City and across the state, showing up for community events with greater frequency than most local elected officials.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not about to yield political power to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and he has the savvy and strength to hold his ground against the new kid on the block. As the standoff over expanded prekindergarten funding shows— de Blasio wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for it, while the governor has offered state dollars—Albany retains a great deal of control over what goes on in the country’s largest city—and the undisputed boss in the capital is Cuomo.

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HONORARY MENTION

#1 Bill de Blasio

THE CLINTONS The most famous New Yorkers in the world occupy a unique sphere of power. Bill and Hillary Clinton

STAR POWER These celebrities have successfully crossed over from the realm of entertainment to influence policy debate and elections in the city. Cynthia Nixon, Harry Belafonte, Steve Buscemi, John Legend, Olivia Wilde, Harvey Weinstein

De Blasio seizes Michael Bloomberg’s top spot on this list, riding a progressive wave into City Hall with a convincing win in the Democratic primary and a landslide victory in the general election. Ushering in a new era of city government, de Blasio is already staking a forceful claim to expanding the power of his office, wading deep into the Speaker’s race, playing up his “mandate” and hammering away at state government for home rule control over the city’s tax base—a move that puts him squarely at odds with the man occupying the runner-up spot on the Power 100.

CITY SAGES These elder statesmen, intellectuals and veteran advisors are among the guiding lights the city’s elected officials and top policy administrators turn to time and again. Nat Leventhal, Richard Ravitch, Richard Parsons, Gloria Steinem, Stanley Brezenoff, Harold Ickes, David Dinkins, Iris Weinshall

26

city & state — January 29, 2014

OFF THE LIST

For a variety of reasons, 49 members of last year’s Power 100 list dropped off our 2014 rankings. Here’s who was cut, where they ranked last year, and why they are no longer on the list.

TERM LIMITED/BEATEN

John Catsimatidis #79

Raymond Kelly #8

OUT OF ORBIT

Christine Quinn #3

Inez Dickens #81

Howard Wolfson #9

Carolyn Ryan #37

Joseph Lhota #26

Mark Weprin #82

Seth Pinsky #27

Rossana Rosado #41

Domenic Recchia #29

Richard Anderson #84

Mark Page #38

Kevin Burke #47

Marty Markowitz #40

Michael Gianaris #87

Amanda Burden #42

Eleanor Randolph #53

Bill Thompson #65

Edward Cox #88

Janette Sadik-Khan #49

Matthew Goldstein #83

Charles Meara #67

Martin Golden #92

John Feinblatt #52

Joel Rivera #91

Floyd Flake #95

Dennis Walcott #57

IN MEMORIAM

Peter Vallone Jr. #98

Daniel Donovan #96

Robert LiMandri #58

Ed Koch #44

Stu Loeser #99

Thomas Farley #68

SHIFTING TIDES

Robert Steel #77

DISGRACED

Bradley Tusk #24

BLOOMBERG ALUMS

Diana Taylor #93

Vito Lopez #71

Adriano Espaillat #69

Patricia Harris #6

Linda Gibbs #94

John Sampson #72

Michael Grimm #74

Cas Holloway #7

William Rapfogel #73 cityandstateny.com


T H E YO R K

C I T Y

POWER 100

2014 RANK

2013 RANK

CHANGE

BILL DE BLASIO

Mayor of the City of New York

1

28

27

ANDREW CUOMO

Governor of the State of New York

2

2

No Change

CHARLES SCHUMER

U.S. Senator

3

4

1

MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO

Speaker, New York City Council

4

80

76

SHELDON SILVER

Speaker, New York State Assembly

5

5

No Change

ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN

New York State Attorney General

6

12

6

PREET BHARARA

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

7

16

9

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

U.S. Senator

8

14

6

ANTHONY SHORRIS

First Deputy Mayor

9

New

CHIRLANE MCCRAY

First Lady

10

New

EMMA WOLFE

Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

11

New

SCOTT STRINGER

New York City Comptroller

12

BILL BRATTON

Police Commissioner

13

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

Former Mayor

14

1

–13

KATHRYN WYLDE

President and CEO, Partnership for New York City

15

19

4

DAN CANTOR

Executive Director, Working Families Party

16

17

1

CARMEN FARINA

Schools Chancellor

17

MICHAEL MULGREW

President, United Federation of Teachers

18

13

–5

GEORGE GRESHAM

President, 1199 SEIU

19

66

47

BRAD LANDER

Deputy Leader and Rules Committee Chair, New York City Council

20

DEAN SKELOS

President Pro Tempore and Majority Coalition Leader, New York State Senate

21

20

–1

JERROLD NADLER

U.S. Representative

22

32

10

VALERIE BERLIN

Principal and Co-Founder, BerlinRosen

23

New

JONATHAN ROSEN

Principal and Co-Founder, BerlinRosen

24

New

WILLIAM RUDIN

Chairman, ABNY; CEO, Rudin Management Company

25

cityandstateny.com

50

38

27

New

New

New

25

No Change

city & state — January 29, 2014

N E W


N E W

T H E YO R K

C I T Y

POWER 100

city & state — January 29, 2014

28

2014 RANK

2013 RANK

CHANGE

DEAN FULEIHAN

Budget Director

26

JEFFREY KLEIN

President Pro Tempore and Majority Coalition Leader, New York State Senate

27

62

35

THOMAS DINAPOLI

New York State Comptroller

28

34

6

KEITH WRIGHT

Assemblyman; Co-Chair, New York State Democratic Party

29

22

–7

RUPERT MURDOCH

Executive Chairman, News Corp; Chairman and CEO, 21st Century Fox

30

11

–19

MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN

Owner and Publisher, New York Daily News; Executive Chairman, Boston Properties

31

15

–16

PATRICK FOYE

Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

32

31

–1

AL SHARPTON

Founder, National Action Network; Host, PoliticsNation (MSNBC)

33

89

56

LETITIA JAMES

New York City Public Advocate

34

SURI KASIRER

President, Kasirer Consulting

35

60

25

JOSEPH CROWLEY

U.S. Representative; Chairman, Queens County Democratic Party

36

18

–18

TOM PRENDERGAST

Chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

37

JENNIFER CUNNINGHAM

Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker

38

JULISSA FERRERAS

Finance Committee Chair, New York City Council

39

ERROL LOUIS

Host, Inside City Hall (NY1)

40

45

5

PETER WARD

President, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council

41

55

14

BERTHA LEWIS

President and Founder, The Black Institute

42

BRUCE RATNER

Chairman, Forest City Ratner Companies

43

59

16

RUBEN DIAZ JR.

Bronx Borough President

44

51

7

MERRYL TISCH

Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents

45

21

–24

TIMOTHY DOLAN

Cardinal; Archbishop of New York

46

New

JOHN BANKS III

Vice President of Government Relations, Con Edison

47

New

JEFREY POLLOCK

Founding Partner and President, Global Strategy Group

48

39

–9

BOB MASTER

Political Director, Communications Workers of America District 1

49

48

–1

GEORGE SOROS

Chairman, Soros Fund Management

50

New

New

New 23

–15 New

New

New cityandstateny.com


T H E YO R K

C I T Y

POWER 100

2014 RANK

2013 RANK

CHANGE

DAVID GREENFIELD

Land Use Committee Chair, New York City Council

51

New

ROBERT LINN

Director of Labor Relations

52

New

BILL LIPTON

State Director, Working Families Party

53

New

STEVEN SPINOLA

President, Real Estate Board of New York

54

LILLIAM BARRIOS-PAOLI

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services

55

New

BENJAMIN LAWSKY

Superintendent, New York State Department of Financial Services

56

New

PATRICK GASPARD

U.S. Ambassador to South Africa

57

New

CYRUS VANCE JR.

Manhattan District Attorney

58

ALICIA GLEN

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development

59

New

DAVID HALBFINGER

Metro Political Editor, The New York Times

60

New

EMILY GISKE

Partner, Bolton-St. Johns

61

LORETTA LYNCH

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

62

NYDIA VELAZQUEZ

U.S. Representative

63

KEN SUNSHINE

Co-CEO, Sunshine Sachs

64

New

HECTOR FIGUEROA

President, 32BJ SEIU

65

New

FRANK SEDDIO

Chairman, Kings County Democratic Party

66

HOWARD GLASER

Director of Operations for the State of New York

67

JONATHAN LIPPMAN

Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals

68

43

–25

CARL HEASTIE

Assemblyman; Chairman, Bronx Democratic Party

69

46

–23

STEPHEN M. ROSS

Chairman and Founder, The Related Companies

70

New

ALFONSE D’AMATO

Former U.S. Senator; Founder and Managing Director, Park Strategies

71

New

CAROLYN MALONEY

U.S. Representative

72

61

–11

JOHN SEXTON

President, New York University

73

76

3

HAKEEM JEFFRIES

U.S. Representative

74

64

–10

LARRY SILVERSTEIN

Chairman, Silverstein Properties

75

cityandstateny.com

54

33

56

No Change

–25

–5 New

90

78

29

27

12 New

New

city & state — January 29, 2014

N E W


N E W

T H E YO R K

C I T Y

POWER 100

city & state — January 29, 2014

30

2014 RANK

2013 RANK

CHANGE

GRACE MENG

U.S. Representative

76

70

–6

JAMES ODDO

Staten Island Borough President

77

35

–42

EMILY RAFFERTY

President, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Chair, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

78

New

JAMES DOLAN

President and CEO, Cablevision; Executive Chairman, The Madison Square Garden Company

79

New

LIZ KRUEGER

State Senator

80

New

CHARLES RANGEL

U.S. Representative

81

36

–45

DOV HIKIND

Assistant Majority Leader, New York State Assembly

82

63

–19

JAMES CAPALINO

CEO, Capalino+Company

83

New

JOSEPH SITT

Founder and CEO, Thor Equities; Chairman and Founder, Global Gateway Alliance

84

New

GARY LaBARBERA

President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York

85

JIMMY VAN BRAMER

Majority Leader and Cultural Affairs Committee Chair, New York City Council

86

New

VINCENT ALVAREZ

President, New York City Central Labor Council

87

New

DIANE SAVINO

State Senator

88

New

JUMAANE WILLIAMS

Deputy Leader and Housing and Buildings Committee Chair, New York City Council

89

NEAL KWATRA

Founder, Metropolitan Strategies

90

New

JAMES MILLIKEN

Incoming Chancellor, City University of New York

91

New

CARLO SCISSURA

President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

92

New

KYLE KIMBALL

President, New York City Economic Development Corporation

93

New

EDWARD C. WALLACE

New York Co-Chairman, Greenberg Traurig

94

New

PATRICK LYNCH

President, New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association

95

New

STUART APPELBAUM

President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

96

SCOTT LEVENSON

President and Founder, The Advance Group

97

New

LILLIAN ROBERTS

Executive Director, DC 37

98

New

RAMON MARTINEZ

Executive Legislative Coordinator, New York City Council

99

New

DONALD TRUMP

Chairman and President, The Trump Organization

100

New

86

97

100

1

8

4

cityandstateny.com


Why New York still has not received a Medicaid waiver from the federal government

cityandstateny.com

email, “We can’t comment on waivers still under review.” Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, chairman of the Health Committee, said in an email that CMS objected to several proposals in the waiver, including capital projects. In the past, New York State was granted a Medicaid waiver with capital projects included—but not this time around. Capital projects were not the only items to which CMS objected. In December 2013 the state released a list of programs CMS deemed “unfundable,” including rental subsidies, evaluation, regional planning and health information technology. Yet according to one official, the

“In the governor’s budget we have tried to address some of the shortfalls in terms of what CMS says they are unwilling to fund, and we are trying to do it to meet the comprehensive needs we identified in as creative a way as possible,” said the state official. The governor is proposing a $1.2 billion bond to pay for nearly all the capital programs originally included in the waiver. (The waiver proposed $1.5 billion in capital projects.) Approval of the bond is contingent on the waiver passing—and even then, the funding may take longer to get to the programs, according to state Sen. Kemp Hannon, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee.

Health Commissioner Nirav Shah gives Gov. Andrew Cuomo a flu shot in 2013. The state is hoping that the federal government grants a $10 billion Medicaid waiver, which would boost the state’s financial health this year.

Cuomo administration stands by the original proposal and believes all elements are important to fully transform the state’s Medicaid system. “We fought hard for those items, but we got to the point where the broader need to get to a true goal trumps us taking a stand on these issues,” said a state official familiar with the Medicaid waiver process. “We could continue to fight, but we don’t want to hold the whole waiver up.” Cuomo made the decision to pull the unfundable items out of the waiver and put most of them in the executive budget proposal.

“That would take a while to start up. I don’t think it was immediate, but I am still looking at the thousands of pages of the budget document to get the specifics of the proposal,” Hannon said. In addition to capital projects, CMS rejected the funding of supportive housing services and rental subsidies. The governor’s budget proposal has up to $100 million this year for these costs and up to $150 million next year. “It’s good that the capital program and supportive housing program are in the budget,” Gottfried said. Some of the programs funded in Cuomo’s budget proposal may take longer than if they were funded through the waiver money. Because New York is so diverse in its healthcare needs, the state wanted to use regions instead of a statewide delivery system. The state was seeking $25 million over five years to support regional planning. The Cuomo budget proposal only allocates $7 million in 2014–15, but that spending grows to $16 million in 2015–16. With unfundable programs pulled out of the application and now tucked into the executive budget, state officials expect CMS to begin to draft the terms and conditions of the waiver, which is the next step in the process. The terms may generate more back and forth between CMS and state officials, but is not expected to take as long as it has to get to this step. Once the terms are ironed out, the waiver could be approved. State officials did not have an estimate as to when that might occur.

31

WITH REPORTING BY JON LENTZ

“We have been propping up the system, frankly, for about 18 months while we have been waiting for the waiver, but we need HHS to act on the waiver now. It is a critical situation. We have no alternatives. The numbers are beyond the scope of the state government, and this is truly a crisis.”

city & state — January 29, 2014

EXECUTIVE CHAMBER/JUDY SANDERS

G

ov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget address included an impassioned plea to Washington: Approve New York State’s Medicaid waiver, which has been sitting in D.C. for nearly 18 months, or risk the closure of at least three Brooklyn hospitals—and possibly more statewide. “We have been propping up the system, frankly, for about 18 months while we have been waiting for the waiver, but we need HHS to act on the waiver now,” Cuomo said during the Jan. 21 address. “It is a critical situation. We have no alternatives. The numbers are beyond the scope of the state government, and this is truly a crisis.” While the Medicaid waiver may provide some financial relief for those ailing Brooklyn hospitals, its sole purpose is not to be a safety net for failing hospitals in New York. The $10 billion waiver, which would come from an estimated $17 billion in expected savings as a result of recommendations made by the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team, is designed to fund a third phase of Medicaid reforms proposed by the governor. The programs are aimed at lowering Medicaid costs while improving services, as well as stabilizing the healthcare safety net. They include everything from “bricks and mortar” capital projects to expanding databases to training healthcare workers. Hospitals benefiting from the programs would see savings over the course of several years. The idea is that with the reforms, hospitals could go from an inefficient, unsustainable model (and one that has financially crippled some in the state) to a selfsustaining one. The Medicaid waiver was originally submitted in August 2012. Despite the suggestion by the governor that six months was a “normal” duration to wait, there is no formal timeline for approval. A Cuomo administration official familiar with the Medicaid waiver process said there has been open dialogue between the state and the federal government since the application was submitted. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is the federal agency reviewing the application. A spokesperson for CMS would not answer what specifically was holding up the waiver approval, saying in an

By KRISTEN MERIWETHER

I S S U E S P OT L I G H T / H E A LT H C A R E

THE $10 BILLION QUESTION


I S S U E S P OT L I G H T / H E A LT H C A R E city & state — January 29, 2014

32

JOINT VENTURE?

Cuomo plans to legalize limited medical marijuana, but some lawmakers want him to partner on a broader expansion

By ALLISON HIBBS

W

hen Gov. Andrew Cuomo came out in support of medical marijuana earlier this month, he announced a plan to use existing state legislation to make the drug available to a small number of severely ill patients. The shift sparked statewide interest and enthusiasm from advocates and lawmakers who are hoping that the move signifies a willingness to consider more robust legislative change—but the governor has made it clear that he wants to start small and move slowly. “This is not a law that is implementing a system,” Cuomo told reporters. “That’s not what this is. This is the state undertaking, under state control, a limited program through the government’s health facilities.” The governor emphasized that initially the program would be administered by no more than 20 hospitals. “This does not start with the premise, ‘Oh, this is a slam dunk, we can do it, and we can do it without any ancillary problems,’ ” Cuomo said. “It’s the exact opposite.” Even with the governor’s limited proposal, there are potential hurdles ahead. The plan, which relies on an obscure 1980 law, depends on the federal government’s approval of a research program to enable the state to procure and distribute the plant. The parameters of the law would limit the number of patients who qualify for treatment and require hospitals to dispense the drug. Medical marijuana advocates argue that the use of the law, if it even proves feasible, simply is not sufficient to alleviate the suffering of many New Yorkers. Others who advocate for the full legalization of marijuana—regulated and taxed by the state like alcohol or tobacco—believe that such a change would help reduce social inequities and save New York billions of dollars annually. The governor has insisted that his plan is not a first step toward allowing pot for recreational use, asserting that full legalization is a “nonstarter.” Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and state Sen. Diane Savino, both

supporters of legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes, have repeatedly introduced legislation known as the Compassionate Care Act, which has passed the Assembly but keeps stalling in the Republican-controlled Senate. The most recent iteration of the bill, A.6357-A, has already passed the Assembly Health Committee this year. It would set up a regulated and controlled system for producing and dispensing medical cannabis, allow for licensed practitioners to prescribe the drug and require patients to register with the state Department of Health. “I think that the interim step that the governor is taking is important, because it can begin to be implemented now without legislation,” said Gottfried, the longtime chair of the Assembly Health Committee. “But very clearly, there will be tens of thousands of patients who ought to have access to medical marijuana who will not under the 1980 law. And I think the governor’s staff understands that and so I hope we will be able to work out a comprehensive bill this session.” Gottfried pointed to the 20 other states that have already enacted marijuana legislation as providing ample evidence of the benefits of the proposal. “With his support,” the lawmaker said of Cuomo, “I think enacting it is almost a sure thing.” At an Albany rally for the Compassionate Care Act on Jan. 13, Savino told attendees that the bill was not yet ready for the Senate floor, but that there was “sufficient support in both Conferences,” adding, “You can’t force a bill to the floor until the bill is ready.” The 1980 state legislation that would permit the governor’s limited marijuana program, the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Program, does not go far enough, Savino argued. She told City & State that in 1980, “No one could have envisioned the future use of medical marijuana and the number and types of conditions it could provide relief for.” The governor should use the Olivieri law to begin making regulatory

changes to implement t h e Compassionate Care Act “when it passes the Legislature,” she said, adding that Cuomo could also use it to establish the nation’s first state medical marijuana research program in conjunction with New York’s university system. Republican lawmakers have traditionally opposed medical marijuana. “There are other members of the Senate—Senator Savino, who’s not complacent with that point of view—but at the moment the governor has been there, and he would have to be the one to do it,” said state Sen. Kemp Hannon, a Republican who chairs the Senate Health Committee. “Indications are there are actually some hospitals that would be helpful along those lines, and I think that’s the direction that, for the moment, we’ll go.” Gabriel Sayegh, the New York state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, argued that the only current impediment to passage of the bill in the Senate is political. “Having the leadership bring it to the floor for a vote—that is the single and only hurdle we have,” he said. “We’re confident the votes are there.” Sayegh claimed that a number of Senate Republicans who have voiced their support privately are reluctant to do so publicly. While Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey Klein has been supportive of the legislation, Republican Conference

Leader Sen. Dean Skelos has openly opposed it in the past. Without Republican support, it is unlikely that Skelos will allow a vote on the legislation. “We’re less concerned about Senator Skelos supporting the bill itself than about making sure that there can be a clear vote where legislators can vote their conscience without interference by a lot of this political back-andforth that has essentially stalled the bill for 16 years in the state Senate and ultimately led to a great amount of suffering for New Yorkers,” Sayegh said. A bill supported by Gov. Cuomo that would have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana died in the Senate last year. The bill would have made the possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana punishable by a fine, rather than criminal arrest. According to lawmakers supportive of the bill, tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been arrested over the last decade as a result of a loophole in the current decriminalization legislation that was written in 1977. They contend these arrests have been costly to the state and applied discriminatorily, disproportionately affecting the black community. The new legislation was designed to close that loophole, and enjoys the support of 60 percent of New Yorkers as well as the New York City Council, Democratic and Republican district attorneys, and various law enforcement leaders. The governor announced his support of decriminalization last year as debate raged over the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactics. But with Bill de Blasio, who ran on reforming stopand-frisk in New York City, having been elected mayor, the governor has since dropped the issue. “It was really about stop-and-frisk, that issue; stop-and-frisk was driving it,” Cuomo said. “Stop-and-frisk is obviously not the issue that it was last year, and we didn’t have the votes for it last year. So it’s not timely the way it was last year.” cityandstateny.com


I S S U E S P OT L I G H T / H E A LT H C A R E

THE ROUNDTABLE

RICHARD GOTTFRIED

COREY JOHNSON

Chair, New York State Senate Health Committee

Chair, New York State Assembly Health Committee

Chair, New York City Council Health Committee

Q: You have been scrutinizing the state’s new healthcare exchange, which was set up as part of the federal healthcare reform. Do there need to be any changes, or is it working well? KH: We had an oversight hearing with the state Senate Insurance Committee, and the idea was not to be critical, not to poke holes or anything like that. In fact, we waited until after the whole Obamacare act began, after the 1st of January, 2014. We really wanted to get a sense of where the exchange was going, how well they felt they had done, challenges they were facing—and we did that. We had a number of the interested parties come forward. We had the insurance companies explaining how [for] many of the applications they had received, and the notice of the applications, they were only received in their companies by about the middle of December. So to get them coverage within a couple of weeks was very difficult. But we did have patients and doctors talking about the confusion on who was in a given network, which doctors were in the network, which insurance companies were actually covering, because given the name of one company, it may have been one subsidiary or the other, and then whether they had the ability as a patient to go out of network. And so the whole concept—which some people have said, “Well, companies, to get into the exchange, had to reduce the amount of doctors or hospitals and how much they’re paying them,” and patients are saying, “Wait, we expected to have things the way they were. We expected to keep our own doctor.” So there’s a considerable difference. My conclusion is, it’s really created by the federal law, and there is a considerable difference between expectation on the part of patients and reality in terms of delivery by doctors and hospitals.

Q: What are your expections for the 2014 legislative session, especially on healthcare? RG: One issue that I know is on everyone’s mind at this point is medical marijuana. I think it is very exciting that Governor Cuomo has put his stature in support of the proposition that there is legitimate, important medical use for marijuana, for patients with very serious health conditions. What he is going to be doing by executive order, I think, is a very important interim step that he can do with existing law, although that law from 1980 is very limited and very cumbersome. State Senator Diane Savino, who is the Senate sponsor of the bill that I have been carrying—she and I have been talking with the governor’s office, and I would say that we are very hopeful that this legislative session we will be able to work out a comprehensive and strong piece of legislation that hopefully the governor will support. And I think with his support, enacting it is almost a sure thing.

Q: What do you see as the biggest public health crisis the city will face over the next five years? CJ: The continued loss of hospital beds is a crisis of untold magnitude, and this Council will work with the new administration to fight to stem the closure of community hospitals. The prevailing hunger gap in our city is also significant, and affects all in our communities, particularly our most vulnerable—children and seniors. We need to work to expand access to free school lunch and institute universal breakfast in classrooms for our children. For seniors we need to expand the sites that offer congregate meals, ease the qualification for home-delivered meals, restore funding for a “sixth congregate meal” for seniors to take home on the weekends, and work to increase enrollment opportunities for SNAP while continuing to push for fresh foods and access to healthy food.

cityandstateny.com

Q: Is it the right approach to start out with a small program and see how it works? RG: First of all, we’ve had experimentation with how to do it in 20 states. Our legislation reflects lessons that we have learned from all of those states. I don’t think New York needs to reinvent that wheel. I think the interim step that the governor is taking is important because it can be begun to be implemented now without waiting for legislation. But very clearly there will be tens of thousands of patients who ought to have access to medical marijuana who will not under the 1980 law, and I think the governor’s staff understands that. So I hope that we will be able to work out a comprehensive bill this session.

Q: With several city hospitals in dire financial straits, will you try to establish more community health centers? CJ: Federally Qualified Health Centers and the District Public Health Offices maintained by DOHMH are important aspects of a well-rounded approach to health, irrespective of the state of our hospitals. St. Vincent’s was tragically lost in my own district, and I will work with my colleagues to fight against the closures of Interfaith and LICH. For too many people, their first point of entry to the medical system is through the ER bay. Through local access to care, and comprehensive services including education in their communities, these trends can be curbed. This commitment to primary care will in no way abate our zeal to maintain critical hospital services and trauma centers throughout the city.

33

city & state — January 29, 2014

KEMP HANNON


I S S U E S P OT L I G H T / H E A LT H C A R E

City & State Ad Healthcare Spotlight Issue Jan 2014 FINAL_Layout 1 1/24/2014 3:42 PM Page 1

SCORECARD: HEALTHCARE

NEW YORK STATE’S HOSPITALS:

Embracing Change

KEY PLAYERS

Since long before the Affordable Care Act, New York’s hospitals have been transforming to meet their communities’ needs. Today, we continue changing to deliver true patient-centered care and keep our communities healthy by: • reorganizing care delivery into new models, such as accountable care organizations and health homes;

THE STATE Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top health officials are Nirav Shah, the state health commissioner, and Courtney Burke, the governor’s deputy secretary for health. Burke, who previously headed the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, was named to the post this past summer, replacing James Introne. Jason Helgerson, the state’s Medicaid director, has spearheaded the governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team, and the governor has often touted the budget savings that have resulted from the group’s recommendations. In the Legislature, state Sen. Kemp Hannon and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried chair the health committees in their respective houses. Another key figure is state Medicaid Inspector General James Cox.

• enrolling New Yorkers in new insurance programs; and • using technology to expand access and deliver safer, high-quality care to all patients. All while reducing costs.

city & state — January 29, 2014

34

HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE

ONE EMPIRE DRIVE, RENSSELAER, NY 12144

WWW.HANYS.ORG

THE CITY New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio named Dr. Mary T. Bassett as health commissioner. The appointment of Bassett, who already had served as deputy health commissioner, reflects de Blasio’s support for some of the groundbreaking health policies of Michael Bloomberg, such as smoking bans. The mayor’s first deputy mayor, government veteran Anthony Shorris, served as a senior vice president at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, and Stan Brezenoff, the former president of Continuum Health Partners, will serve as an unpaid special advisor to Shorris. De Blasio also appointed Ramanathan Raju, the CEO of Chicago’s Cook County Health and Hospital System, as president of New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation. In the New York City Council, Councilman Corey Johnson, who was elected this past fall, was recently named chair of the Health Committee.

UNIONS and ASSOCIATIONS Unions have traditionally played a huge role in the state’s healthcare. The most powerful is 1199 SEIU—whose president is George Gresham and whose political director is Kevin Finnegan—and its power is expected to grow because the union was a key backer of both de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The state’s hospital and healthcare associations include the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), headed by Ken Raske, and the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), which is headed by a new president, Dennis Whalen. Other important association heads include Elizabeth Swain, CEO of the Community Health Care Association of New York State, and New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Jill Furillo.

EXECUTIVES and HEALTH MANAGEMENT Among the most influential hospital and health management CEOs are Pamela Brier of Maimonides Medical Center; Michael Dowling, president and CEO of North Shore–LIJ Health System; Montefiore Hospital President Steven Safyer; and Metropolitan Jewish Health System President Eli Feldman. Joe Lhota, the former Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, replaced Shorris at NYU Langone as its chief of staff. cityandstateny.com


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he dawning year is already seeing some significant changes in the way that New York State organizes and ensures healthcare. Exchanges have become operational, medical marijuana is on the immediate horizon, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed plans to regionalize healthcare planning and is exploring options to outsource the state organ donor registry. “The Affordable Care Act has been getting implemented in New York as well as or better than anywhere else,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the longtime chair of the Assembly Health Committee. “The exchange that Governor Cuomo put together is working delightfully well.” Gottfried said that while he believed the majority of New Yorkers who have been required to change their plans have wound up with better coverage, in cases where that may not be true, “The state insurance department and the Insurance Committee in the Assembly will be looking at whether these are problems that can be fixed by state law and approach possible remedies from the consumer’s standpoint.” Sen. Kemp Hannon, chair of the Senate Health Committee, also said that continued monitoring of the new exchanges and their efficacy and compliance with federal law will be important this year. One unanswered question is whether the state will offer a “basic coverage health plan” through the Affordable Care Act, under which the state would pay the consumers’ share of their premium beyond the subsidies afforded by the ACA. According to Gottfried, such a plan could affect several hundred thousand families in New York State as comparable programs are being phased out. “Whether or not the governor will propose it in the budget comes down to one fairly arcane point,” Gottfried said. “Under Medicaid, many immigrants are not eligible for federal matching money. In New York, we have provided that money at state expense. Under the basic health program offered under ACA, they would become eligible, and New York

cityandstateny.com

would receive federal matching dollars, which could actually make money for the state. For the executive office, it’s a question of whether it will earn or cost the state.” A more publicized area in which the executive office has taken recent, decisive action is the medicinal use of marijuana. As Cuomo revealed in his State of the State address earlier this month, he will make use of a largely forgotten 1980 law allowing the use of medical marijuana for the purposes of research and “establish a program where qualified eligible participants may seek relief for their symptoms in a safe and legal manner.” While the maneuver essentially bypasses the Legislature, Gottfried hailed it as “a very important interim step,” and said it was his hope the next step would be to formulate comprehensive legislation less restrictive than the 1980 law. Existing legislation will also be used to allow for the creation of Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives. Similar to the governor’s Regional Economic Councils, these collaboratives are intended to reduce costs and improve care by tailoring services and utilities to regional needs through improved communication between the state Department of Health and regional community members, medical professionals, insurance companies and pharmaceutical providers. Cuomo and Gottfried have both pointed to Rochester and the Finger Lakes region as success stories. Of course, many of the top healthcare issues will be resolved in the state budget. Gottfried and Hannon agreed that the scope of the legislative health agenda will depend largely on funding.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES * Healthcare exchanges and the continued rollout of the Affordable Care Act * Medical marijuana legislation * Regionalized healthcare planning

By Catherine Abate, President & CEO, Community Healthcare Network The State Department of Health recently reported that 330,000 New Yorkers have signed up for NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan marketplace. Original estimates indicated that up to 1 million people in New York would sign up for insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act. With the deadline 2 months away (open enrollment continues through March 31), we seem to be well on our way to hitting that mark.

I S S U E S P OT L I G H T / H E A LT H C A R E

By ALLISON HIBBS

Helping New Yorkers Find the Right Doctor

An estimated half of individuals signed up with NY State of Health were not previously insured. That means that across the state up to half a million people may be looking for a doctor over the next few months. With so much information and so many choices, how should people go about picking the right doctor? TIPS FOR SELECTING THE RIGHT DOCTOR: • Check out www.nydoctorprofile.com, which compiles profiles of all licensed doctors in New York State. • Make sure the provider is board certified. This credential means the doctor has passed a nationally-recognized set of standards. You’ll be surprised to learn how many doctors are not board certified. You can find out if a doctor is board certified at www.certificationmatters.org

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• Ensure that a provider is easy to reach by phone or via the web, and that appointments are easy to make and change. • Make sure the office hours meet your needs. • Look for the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval, such as Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition or Joint Commission (JC) accreditation. These are not required certifications, but indicate that the doctor and the office have gone above and beyond to provide safe, clean, and effective health services. • Ask for a reference from a friend or a family member. If they feel they are getting good care, like their doctor, and think the practice is well-run, there’s a good chance you will too. I realize that all new Yorkers are busy with work or family or both. But, liking and trusting your doctor is very important. It’s always best to meet a doctor first to see if you’ll be comfortable and confident in their ability to provide you with good care. AFTER PICKING A DOCTOR: Don’t wait to get sick to visit your doctor. With new insurance, it’s a great time to get a physical and address any health issues that may turn into health problems. Check with your insurance company to see how much of your annual physical is covered by your insurance. Catherine Abate is president and CEO of Community Healthcare Network, which runs 12 community-based, Federally Qualified Health Clinics across New York City. CHN provides comprehensive medical, mental health, dental, family planning, chronic disease service to 80,000 individuals a year. Visit them at www.chnnyc.org.

city & state — January 29, 2014

2014 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW: HEALTHCARE


HOW DE BLASIO CAN AVOID BEING DINKINS

MICHAEL BENJAMIN

S

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tanding amid the de Blasio celebrants last November, I wondered, “Who would have thought that the Dinkins mantle would fall to Bill de Blasio?” And so it seems with the election of Bill de Blasio, the Dinkins restoration began. Perhaps de Blasio will fulfill the promise offered by the election of the city’s first black mayor back in 1989. In choosing de Blasio, voters thought he would best solve the jobs, housing affordability and income inequality crises hurting many neighborhoods. My thoughts regarding a Dinkins

THE SCORSESE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

city & state — January 29, 2014

D

ALEXIS GRENELL

ennis Gabryszak is truly the Scorsese of sexual harassment. In a grainy cell phone video, the disgraced former assemblyman appears to be either vacating his bowels, masturbating or simulating receiving oral sex. At one point he asks, “Is this what you wanted?” in the creepy warble of a man who wears a leather jacket to relieve himself. It’s a challenge to decide what’s most horrifying about the film, to say nothing of his other alleged misconduct. But Gabryszak doesn’t get it. In a lengthy defense of how he didn’t “intend to sexually harass any member of my staff or to create a hostile work

restoration coincided with the release of the former mayor’s book wherein he looks back on his tumultuous one-term mayoralty. Bill de Blasio was an aide with an insider’s view of that administration’s successes and failures. Mayor David Dinkins was undone by the widespread perception that he was unable to govern the city. I, like many people in his base, felt he failed to deliver for the communities that had the highest expectations for his success. One political veteran said Dinkins had the best of intentions but his deliberative manner and air of indecisiveness hurt him in instances such as the riots in Crown Heights. A number of the people I spoke with insisted that to avoid the same fate as his former boss, de Blasio must be perceived as on top of situations and issues. He must be direct, and act quickly and decisively. “Rudy Giuliani was wrong, but strong all the time,” said a longtime observer of City Hall. “Giuliani exuded leadership.” Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda believes de Blasio must distinguish himself in three areas: restoring policecommunity relations, securing his pre-K tax hike and delivering on his affordable housing plan. Sepúlveda says developing solid

relationships with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature are essential keys for de Blasio to achieve his tax and public policy agenda. He noted that Dinkins succeeded in getting a tax increase through Albany to fund his “Safe City, Safe Streets” initiative, which led to significant drops in crime. But Cuomo insists that he will not collaborate with de Blasio in raising taxes on wealthy New Yorkers to fund universal pre-K in the city. In his State of the State, Cuomo proposed statewide universal pre-K funded by “found” money instead of higher taxes. De Blasio will find success because he has hired seasoned government operatives like Dean Fuleihan, his budget director, to help steer his signature programs through the Albany swamp. Additionally, while de Blasio rode the wave of opposition to hospital closures from Brooklyn to Gracie Mansion, he must fix the city’s healthcare safety net. Manny Rosa, a former aide to Gov. Mario Cuomo, says that hospitals are indicators of the health of a community. He hopes that like Dinkins, de Blasio will lead a robust discussion of access to healthcare

and public financing of the Health and Hospitals Corporation. In my view, hospitals are outmoded. Hospital-based care and its financing remain mired in the mid–20th century. Balancing the new economics of healthcare with the political debt he owes healthcare union powerhouse 1199 SEIU will be a challenge for de Blasio. The mayor has an aspirational agenda for an aspirational city populated by aspirational people from around the globe. De Blasio’s early hires are clearheaded, pragmatic, seasoned professionals, eminently qualified to lead city agencies. But to be successful, he must deliver on his core promises, act decisively at every turn, and project strength as the head of the city’s government. No doubt insights gained from the tumultuous Dinkins years form the core of de Blasio’s decision-making. The success of or improvement upon a Dinkins restoration will rest upon de Blasio’s ability to manage expectations while taking charge of the city’s massive bureaucracy. If he fails to do so, he’ll be gone in four years too.

environment,” Gabryszak resigned from office by sharing the blame: “There was mutual banter and exchanges that took place that should not have taken place because it is inappropriate in the workplace even if it does not constitute sexual harassment.” Huh? So what exactly was the intent behind that video? And if the “banter” was really mutual, did his female staffers also confide in him about their tattooed genitalia? Or maybe they were the ones who suggested they all share a hotel room and hang out at a strip club. The only thing that’s not beyond belief is that Gabryszak’s staff may have tolerated his deplorable and outlandish behavior because they feared for their jobs. It is not a valid defense for Gabryszak to claim his victims participated in their own harassment. That’s mistaking deference for favor in an environment in which to do otherwise could be damaging. His staff put up with him because there was a power imbalance, not because they enjoyed his charming films. Micah Kellner is also claiming a co-conspiracy. Despite being found to have “created a hostile work environment” by the Assembly Ethics Committee, Kellner seems to think that some polite emails are proof that the woman who blew the whistle on him actually approved of his conduct. The

notes date back to before the scandal broke, so the more obvious explanation is that a former staffer didn’t want to burn bridges with a potential job reference. Kellner is appealing the Ethics Committee ruling and calling for a public hearing to cross-examine his accusers. It’s a show trial to bully the victims and his former chief of staff, all of whom followed Assembly procedure and now need lawyers. Yet it’s those brave enough to come forward who get stuck with the bill. Gabryszak’s chief of staff ignored reports of harassment, so the victims retained outside counsel after being forced to quit. The Assembly was so indifferent to the first set of allegations against Vito Lopez that the complainants had to hire a private attorney. And lawyers continue to battle in court on behalf of Lopez’s second set of victims, who would’ve been spared the expense if the Assembly had just acted properly to begin with. Although Speaker Silver has apologized and repeatedly vowed to punish the perpetrators, his rhetoric doesn’t quite match the reality. A civil suit brought by Lopez’ second set of victims is tied up in court because the Assembly won’t acknowledge its validity. Essentially, the suit claims that Silver is liable under the human rights law for allowing a known harasser to continue to act without fear of

repercussion. The Assembly counters that since the leadership responded properly to the complaints, it cannot be held liable for endangering them in the first place. It’s a weak argument that basically boils down to “that was then and this is now.” But if an employer knows that a manager has repeatedly harassed women on his staff, doesn’t the employer have an obligation to stop the harasser before he does it again? “The Assembly’s position—that it doesn’t matter that it knew Lopez was harassing other women—is contrary to decades of precedent in sexual harassment cases and, if accepted, would be a serious rollback in protections for women at work in New York,” says Kevin Mintzer, the lawyer representing the victims. The Speaker declined to comment. If Silver is sincere about changing the culture of sexual harassment, he can reverse course on the civil suit and reimburse the victims for their legal bills. Until then, the Assembly’s failure to take legal responsibility for its actions puts Silver in the same company as Kellner and Gabryszak.

Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin (@SquarePegDem on Twitter) represented the Bronx for eight years.

Alexis Grenell (@agrenell on Twitter) is a Democratic communications strategist based in New York. She handles nonprofit and political clients. cityandstateny.com


A

STEVEN M. COHEN

Republican political veteran recently chided me for not knowing the results of the latest New York City election. He was responding to my passing mention that Bill de Blasio had won. According to this sage of the right, I was wrong; de Blasio came in third. I was obviously perplexed by this statement. He then explained that Scott Stringer had received 827,562 votes; Letitia James drew 814,878 and de Blasio’s total was 795,679. Accordingly, de Blasio had come in third. That reasoning is obviously too

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE

BY JEFF KLEIN AND FRANCISCO MOYA

G

ov. Andrew Cuomo concluded his State of the State Address by trumpeting the importance of New York’s immigrant community. “That is the Statue of Liberty in the harbor,” he said. “Come one, come all; we don’t care [about] the color of your skin or your religion or how much money you have in your pocket. You come to New York and we will welcome you and

cityandstateny.com

cute. It is absurd to suggest that the election results prove that Stringer and James are more popular than or had more support than de Blasio. Unlike Stringer and James, de Blasio was up against a well-funded opponent who ran a major media campaign and was backed by some powerful supporters. Neither Stringer nor James faced significant opposition in the general election. Moreover, it’s not accurate to say that de Blasio’s victory was anything but impressive. He was elected by a 3-to-1 margin— the largest margin of victory for any nonincumbent mayoral candidate in New York City history. There was no ambiguity about the preference of those who went to the polls, and there can be no question that de Blasio won by a landslide. Still, there is something interesting, even insightful, about the observation that Stringer and James outpolled de Blasio. And it raises some interesting questions about the nature of the much touted de Blasio mandate. Here’s why. Only 25 percent of registered voters came out to the polls—presumably the very core of the Democratic base plus new voters attracted by the de Blasio campaign. In real numbers, approximately 800,000 people voted

for de Blasio. I’m lousy at math. But what I think that means is that in a city of 8.3 million, where there are about 4.6 million registered voters, fewer than 1 in 5 registered voters made the effort to actually support our new mayor by going to the polls and pulling a lever for him. While there is no reason to believe that support for de Blasio is anything but strong, the nature of his victory hints at the possibility that his mandate is something less than robust and may even be a little bit precarious. I have no doubt that hardcore self-described progressive New York City Democrats as well as de Blasio loyalists will take issue with this view of the election. Voter apathy, a sense of inevitability, a primary that mandated the outcome of the general election, the weather, the cycles of the moon, a general malaise…no doubt all these things contributed (and always contribute) to low voter turnout. But it’s hard to simply ignore the fact that only 1 in 5 registered voters supported the new mayor by actually going to the polls. And it is equally important to remember that most voters believe our last mayor was successful and improved the city during his tenure. This is not to say any of this suggests that de Blasio is not popular.

Nor would I argue that the people of the city do not generally and sincerely support his vision, as of this moment. In fact, the first poll out of the gate, released on Jan. 16 by Quinnipiac University, shows that after two weeks on the job the mayor has an approval rating of 53–13, with 34 percent undecided. Without a doubt most New Yorkers are inclined to like the new mayor. That said, at least at this point, it would be misguided to believe there is ineffable and unwavering support for this mayor. De Blasio has a solid core of supporters and is viewed favorably by most New Yorkers. And it is obvious that several of his proposals have been well received. But while it is clear that the city has embraced universal pre-K, it remains to be seen how universal the support of the mayor is, and whether he will be truly embraced by the city. Indeed, the task going forward will have less to do with relying on a statistical mandate and more to do with building a governing coalition.

work with you and invite you into the family of New York.” This year lawmakers have an opportunity to make good on this promise by passing the New York State DREAM Act. New York State currently denies undocumented students access to our state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), even if these students have long resided in New York, have graduated with top GPAs and otherwise qualify for financial assistance. By passing the DREAM Act, New York would finally end this discrimination and afford all qualified students the tuition assistance they need and deserve. The Assembly’s Democratic majority has already passed the DREAM Act. In the Senate, the Independent Democratic Conference has recently given the measure its full backing, leaving the DREAM Act just eight votes shy of the support it needs to pass the chamber. In order to pass the DREAM Act, we need eight senators to step forward and declare their support. Without action, crucial financial aid will remain off-limits to far too many, preventing thousands from pursuing higher education at all. Nationwide, people are beginning to fully understand the impact of keeping

nearly 2 million young people in the shadows. For an undocumented youth, no financial aid can mean no college education, which means no job and potentially no future. Society as a whole is imperiled when an entire population of undocumented youth—who are likely to remain in the U.S.—has no tangible path to the American Dream. We may be closer than ever to seeing comprehensive federal immigration reform, but Washington has proven to be unreliable as of late. With hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants waiting for progress, New York cannot delay, hoping that Washington will make the first move. New York, once a leader in immigrant rights, has fallen behind. Other states with significant immigrant populations have recognized the very real challenges facing undocumented students and have devised real solutions for overcoming them. In 2011 California passed legislation making state tuition funding available to eligible DREAMers. That same year Illinois created a DREAM Fund, which collects private donations for college scholarships for DREAMers. New York now has an opportunity to act.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a report last year touting the DREAM Act’s vast economic benefits, echoing what advocates have been arguing for years. The report also detailed the legislation’s low price tag, even if additional funds are added to account for an expanded pool of TAP recipients. It is time for New York to lead. We must not only catch up to states like California but illuminate the way forward for the nation. Cuomo spoke of opening New York’s arms to those from distant shores. But in order for thousands of immigrants’ dreams to be more than just a faint hope, we need to do our part to bring them out of the shadows and finally pass the New York State DREAM Act.

Steven M. Cohen served as secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He is currently a partner with the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder and the executive vice president and chief administrative officer of MacAndrews & Forbes.

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State Sen. Jeff Klein is co-leader of the Senate majority coalition and leader of the Independent Democratic Conference. Assemblyman Francisco Moya is a sponsor of the DREAM Act.

city & state — January 29, 2014

BILL DE BLASIO AND HIS MANDATE


B AC K & FO R T H city & state — January 29, 2014

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riter and scholar Terry Golway is the director of the Kean University Center for History, Politics and Policy in Union, N.J. He served on the editorial board and as a columnist for The New York Times, and was a longtime editor and journalist for The New York Observer. The author of books on FDR, JFK and John Cardinal O’Connor, he delivers his newest work, Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics, on March 3. City & State Editor Morgan Pehme spoke with Golway about Al Smith, George Washington Plunkitt and whether New York politics is any less corrupt today than it was in the Tammany era. The following is an edited transcript. City & State: What lessons can we take away from the Tammany era for politics today? Terry Golway: One thing we can take away is that tactical politicians understand the importance of getting things done, and when they have their ears to the ground, and when they know that they are going to have to answer to the voters, they put a premium on achievement. There is this perception that Tammany put up candidates, and ignorant voters blindly went and voted for the Tammany candidate because they were immigrants or children of immigrants and they didn’t know any better. That’s the criticism that one hears in history and [heard] at the time. Well, the fact is, Tammany was punished many times at the polls. They had to work very hard to win elections, and the way they won elections was by delivering services, keeping their ears to the ground—and when they failed to do that, they lost. In today’s world of gerrymandered districts and highly ideological partisan politics, I think we could take a step back and learn from how the machine operated and why it was a success. C&S: If you look at someone like George Washington Plunkitt, he was delivering myriad services to his ward, and all he wanted in return was for voters to pull the lever for Tammany. Do we get anything for our vote anymore? TG: We certainly don’t get as much as we used to—and part of that is a good thing, by the way, because you could make the argument [that] in a more sophisticated society, in the 21st century, the favors of government should not be handed out based on how one votes. If you’re impoverished, if your family is hungry, you should, in a good and just society, be entitled to help, and you shouldn’t have to barter your vote to get that help. But back then the vote was all you had.

Government didn’t provide these services; the political machine did, so it was a transaction. Now, Tammany, of course, had no way, at least in theory, of knowing when you went into the poll whether you voted for the Tammany ticket or not, but they made darn sure that you at least showed up to the polls. The Tammany leader who should be the most famous boss— unfortunately, Boss Tweed is the most famous boss—Charles Francis Murphy, was the longest-reigning boss of Tammany Hall, 1902 until his death in 1924, and he became a power in Tammany because he watched after his district. And if you were a voter in his district and you didn’t come to the polls by 4 o’clock or so, you got

back then. C&S: In New York City’s most recent mayoral election, turnout was 25 percent. TG: That’s just a scandal! Tammany was all about turnout. Tammany wanted voter participation because of course they felt that the numbers favored them. They thought, “There’s more of us than there are of them.” So obviously if you drive up the turnout, you’re going to win. Tammany of course occasionally sat on its hands if they didn’t like a particular candidate— usually for national office—but they had a vested interest in getting people to the polls. Now it sometimes seems that the political organizations have

The Days of “Honest Graft”

A Q & A with Terry Golway a handwritten note delivered to your door saying, “Oh, by the way, haven’t you forgotten to do something, and remember all those things I did for you?” That’s how it worked back then. Again, people who rely on food stamps shouldn’t feel obliged to vote for their local councilperson or Assembly member in gratitude for getting food stamps. I think our society is better than that now. But there’s no question that when you feel you have a stake in the system, you are more likely to vote—and back then it was routine that 70 percent turned out to vote. Now it’s routine that 50 percent turn out, and that’s in a good year. So obviously people don’t feel that they have a stake in the system like they did

the opposite strategy: to drive down the vote, to suppress the vote, and therefore increase their chances of winning. Times are very different, there’s no question about that. C&S: When we talk about “grassroots organizing” today, doesn’t it pale in comparison with the ward system of Tammany? TG: Absolutely. There’s no system of organization like the old political machine. It was literally block by block, apartment house by apartment house, and there were thousands of operatives who knew what was going on in literally every apartment house. But society has changed. We don’t have that sort of organizing anymore. Frankly, I think

that social media has the potential to be able to organize people in the way that Tammany used to, because it is so personalized. I am not much of one for social media myself, but I understand its potential as a grassroots organizing tool. And I would think—give a Tammany guy a mobile device and, boy, could you get a grassroots organization going really fast. So I think the potential is there, but it certainly doesn’t exist [yet]. Something happened when political organizations like Tammany fell apart in the middle of the 20th century. I do believe that we lost something, and maybe social media is a way of getting it back. C&S: Obviously we still have ample numbers of elected officials getting arrested in New York State. How has political corruption changed? TG: This may be an apocryphal story, but so what? Al Smith is said to have said once—he was in Albany and he was walking past a law student who was assiduously studying some brief and he pointed at the student and said to his companion, “There’s a young fella who’s learning to take a bribe and call it a fee.” Our politics today, we’d like to think we’ve made progress in terms of clean government, but in some ways I think we’ve taken steps backward, because I think there is a lot of merit in what Al Smith supposedly said. We’ve almost institutionalized bribery in the way that our system works now. Everybody in Albany knows that one way to get on the good side of a lawmaker is to make sure that a lawmaker’s law firm is taken care of, because we have this high percentage of lawyers in government. That is as corrupt as anything Tammany ever came up with! These lawmakers who practice law on the side—are you kidding me?! That is corrupt! Until Albany has a fulltime Legislature, it will be a cesspool of corruption. It’s that simple. Forget public finance. That’s another issue entirely. The notion that you can hire the law firm of an assemblyman or a state senator is just on the face of it absurd. And to suggest in any way that Tammany had a monopoly on this sort of chicanery is just willfully stupid. C&S: Have we codified “honest graft”? TG: I wish I had said that—and I will— though I will attribute it to you. We have codified “honest graft,” no question about it. And we sort of laugh at George Washington Plunkitt, a Tammany guy who could make a distinction between honest and dishonest graft. Well, we’ve done it! We’ve written it into the law. Now it’s not “honest graft”—it’s “lawful graft.” cityandstateny.com


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City & State ranks the 100 most powerful people in New York City politics in our second annual NYC POWER 100 list. Also featured is a specia...

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