Winners and Losers, February 7, 2014

Written by City & State on . Posted in Winners & Losers.





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It’s been a super week. It kicked off with the Super Bowl here in New York (sort of). On the same day, Staten Island Chuck took a super leap from the arms of the New Yok City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The groundhog was unharmed and saw his shadow, so we are getting six more weeks of winter—just didn’t expect those six weeks to get packed into one filled with a series of super snowstorms leaving the whole state with sore arms from shoveling (and not feeling so super). The white out may have made most feel like losers, but some people did end up winning big this week. Here are the winners and losers.

 

Melissa McCarthy - We’ve all heard our fair share of “throw you on the f-ing balcony” jokes since Rep. Michael Grimm’s meltdown on NY1 post-State of the Union, but on Saturday Night Live this week McCarthy killed it as faux freshman Delaware congresswoman Sheila Kelly. In case you missed it, here’s a link to the skit in all its glory.

Svante Myrick - A mayor who can shovel his own sidewalk may still be something of a novelty in New York City, but how about one who goes around town clearing snow for others? That’s exactly what the mayor of Ithaca did this week after the latest blizzard forced him to cancel his meetings. Myrick even sent the word out on Facebook that he, along with his “four shovels” and “three gullible roommates,” was available to help wherever he was needed—a post that earned him over a thousand “likes.”

Mark Peters - It pays to be friends with the mayor. After all the concerns expressed by members of the New York City Council’s rules committee that Peters, the de Blasio campaign’s treasurer, was too close to the mayor to be an independent Commissioner of the Department of Investigations, Peters sailed through the confirmation vote this week with hardly a whimper in opposition. In the hearing about Peters’ confirmation, Councilwoman Inez Dickens said that some councilmembers were historically intimidated to stand up to DOI commissioners for fear of retribution. Now that the Council has rubber stamped his confirmation, the members don’t have to worry about drawing anyone’s wrath.

Eric Schneiderman - The I-STOP legislation championed by the state attorney general and passed in 2012 was touted as a way to crack down on rampant prescription drug abuse, and early indications are that the diagnosis was right. Experts say it’s making a real difference, and state officials just announced that over 66,000 medical professionals had used the new opioid-tracking database since August 2013, compared with just 5,000 doctors who used an older system over three and a half years. And it wasn’t the only way the AG was a model citizen this week—he also showed up for jury duty.

Malcolm Smith - The State Senator from Queens was simply spectacular this week, returning an interception from Peyton Manning for a 69-yard touchdown, recovering a fumble, and being named MVP after helping the Seattle Seahawks win their first ever Super Bowl. Smith, overcoming a rare throat condition and his current indictment … Oh, wait. Wrong Malcolm Smith.

 

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William Boyland Jr. - Boyland’s federal trial stands out from the rest of his (allegedly) corrupt colleagues in the Legislature in its portrayal of the Brooklyn assemblyman as the ringleader of a gang that couldn’t shoot straight. First, Boyland was caught on tape griping to a federal agent about his $79,000 salary as an assemblyman as justification for taking bribes; his chief of staff complained to an undercover agent that Boyland never shares those bribes; and Boyland’s father, William Sr.—a former assemblyman—was caught on tape passing a bribe on his son’s behalf to an undercover agent, reminding the agent that they had just conducted an illegal transaction. You can’t make this stuff up.

Thomas Galante - Galante was grilled on Wednesday by the City Council for collecting a huge paycheck running the non-profit Queens Public Library, especially in the wake of the library laying off hundreds of workers. Galante didn’t do himself any favors by essentially using the “I’ve got to send my kids to college” defense to justify his $391,594 salary. Galante also spent another $140,000 on office renovations. We’re no math whizzes, but that $140,000, as well as the $12,000 raise Galante gave himself this year, might have saved a job or two.

Robert Krahulik – Haven’t politicians learned their lesson? After former Congressmen Chris Lee and Anthony Weiner’s ridiculous cyber scandals, how could another public figure be dumb enough to text lewd pictures of himself? Nonetheless, that’s what the Orange County GOP chairman did, apparently sending the pics to his much younger girlfriend’s female friend (that’s a whole other story we’ll steer clear of). Since the story leaked out this week over social media (duh), Krahulik’s own party has called on him to resign. But cheer up, Bob. Now you can run for mayor.

John Sampson - Sampson’s legal hole got quite a bit deeper this week. The Brooklyn senator already faced five years in prison for embezzlement, and now he could wind up with another five tacked on after being slapped with a federal indictment for lying about a liquor store in which he was a secret partner. In less than two years, Sampson has gone from being one of the most powerful Democrats in state politics to a poster boy for corruption, and these new allegations make us wonder why his star rose in the first place.

Nirav Shah - Pressure has been steadily building on the state Health Commissioner whose study on the health impacts of high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing has been ongoing for more than 16 months. This week the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle skewered Dr. Shah in an editorial writing that the delay is an insult to taxpayers while also diluting confidence in whatever final product he produces. They called for answers. And while the issue is extremely divisive, the belief that the decision has gone on too long seems to be held by a vast majority.

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