It’s the most wonderful time of the year—to dump your political baggage. Sure, the news cycle was sleepier than usual this holiday week, but it was still awake at 5:45 a.m. to catch Eliot Spitzer sneaking out of his new girlfriend’s house like a bad Santa, and for a debate to rage like a burning yule log over whether the mayor-elect was playing politics by orchestrating his daughter’s Christmas Eve video confession. In honor of the short week, we’ve trimmed our usual ten picks to three of each, so don’t fret that all of the presents are open, you still can unwrap your very own Winners and Losers:
Chiara de Blasio – The mayor-elect’s daughter deserves great praise for her courageous revelation that she is recovering from depression and substance abuse, and wants to use her experience to help others. Our admiration in this instance, however, does not extend to her parents, who methodically dumped their child’s personal struggle on the public during the slowest news time of the year, and set her professionally produced confession to emotionally manipulative music. Here’s hoping that Chiara can withstand the terrible pressure that she will now experience throughout her father’s time in elected office as she struggles not to relapse.
Michael Bloomberg – Nothing represents hope and opportunity like the birth of a child. So, as Mayor Bloomberg leaves office in a few days, at least he has the joy of a new grandchild to help ease him through any separation anxiety. Now the mayor can bounce Jasper Michael Brown Quintana on his knee as he relaxes on a smoke-free beach, sipping down a small soda.
Melissa Mark-Viverito – The vote isn’t until January 8th and we don’t want to put the cart before the horse, BUT after last week’s power play to get a majority of the City Council’s members to pledge allegiance to the Bronx Democrat in writing, Mark-Viverito could have sat back and relaxed. Instead, she has been keeping up the pressure on her colleagues with a series of public appearances, including a rally with prominent women like Gloria Steinem on the steps of City Hall. By upping her public image and continuing to roll out alliances, MMV is making it harder for any fence-sitting council members to jump ship. We’ll find out soon enough if that strategy was right to secure the speakership, but for now she appears to be doing everything right.
Dennis Gabryszak – Sexual harassment allegations against the Buffalo-area assemblyman have continued to mount and he’s got both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying he should resign if the accusations are true. And on top of the claims already out there, the lawyer for the first three former staffers to come forward expects another two to surface. No matter how many times we hear it, it appears this broken record is just so popular in Albany, legislators keep playing it.
Andrea Peyser - The New York Post’s columnist Andrea Peyser was back with another self-righteous screed this week. This time she was “ashamed to call myself a New Yorker” because the mayor-elect’s flack Lis Smith is having a relationship with her former client Eliot Spitzer, who Peyser calls a “whoremonger” with all the brio of a Salem Villager gearing up for a witch trial. We’re ashamed that Peyser is a New Yorker for writing that Smith, a well-respected spokesperson for candidates like President Obama, who also happens to be a consenting, single adult over the age of 30, “presumably does not charge Eliot for services rendered.” Hopefully, Mayor-elect de Blasio does not tacitly endorse Peyser’s puritanical rot by denying Smith the job of communications director in his administration, as the Post has conjectured.
Yudelka Tapia – John Liu is wrapping up his time as comptroller with yet another scandal involving those around him. This time the culprit is Tapia, an economist in his office, who was slapped with a nearly $4,500 fine by the city’s Conflicts of Interest board for using work time and her Comptroller’s Office email account for her failed Bronx City Council seat bid and her work as founder of the Great Alliance Democratic Club. The fine adds insult to injury after Tapia lost the Democratic primary earlier this year in her bid to become the 86th District’s assemblywoman.
Tags: Andrea Peyser, Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, Chiara de Blasio, Dennis Gabryszak, Eliot Spitzer, Gloria Steinem, Great Alliance Democratic Club, John Liu, Lis Smith, Melissa-Mark Viverito, Michael Bloomberg, Sheldon Silver, Yudelka Tapia