Campaign Finance Disclosures Week

Local News:

  • The NYPD has decided to pursue an internal disciplinary hearing against the officers who murdered Eric Garner four years ago, and will do so immediately after waffling on a September ultimatum with the Federal DOJ. The proceedings of the NYPD investigation are likely to be kept out of public view.
  • While the Second Avenue Subway relieved some overcrowding on the 4/5/6 trains, a new analysis of ridership shows that the billions of dollars spent on the construction of just three new lavish Upper East Side stations could have been better spent on replacing aging signals.
  • The City Council passed the Waste Equity Bill in the face of aggressive lobbying from the private waste carting industry. The bill is meant to divert the burden of garbage truck traffic out of four districts in the South Bronx, North Brooklyn, Southeast Brooklyn, and Southeast Queens, which together process 75% of the City’s trash.
  • This week the City Council also voted to restrict Airbnb and other online home rental services by requiring those websites to share the names and addresses of hosts, and whether their listings are for individual rooms or whole homes, with the city.
  • A New York State labor review board found that three Uber drivers are technically employees and not independent contractors, entitling them to unemployment insurance and potentially setting a precedent for similar gig economy workers across the state.

Campaign Finance Round-Up:

  • In the July campaign finance disclosures, only 1% of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s donations came from individuals donating less than $250. That percentage includes repeat donatores like Christopher Kim, who made 69 separate small donations and who shares an address with a Cuomo aide.
  • Cuomo has over $31 million in his campaign account, of which $6 million was raised since January. His rival Cynthia Nixon has raised about $1.6 million since she joined the race in March.
  • The Haughland Group, a Long Island-based state contractor, donated $186,405 to Governor Cuomo’s re-election campaign through affiliated LLCs, making it the largest contributor to the governor’s race during the first six months of 2018. The Haughland group receives hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts from Cuomo-controlled entities such as NYC Transit. The firm was also “by far the lowest bidder” on a $38 million contract for light-circuit replacement at Port Authority-owned JFK Airport in December.
  • Council Member Jumaane Williams, who is running for Lieutenant Governor, accepted three donations from corporate construction donors that were over the State’s $5,000 corporate contribution limit. His campaign spokesman has said that these were accepted in error and will be returned.
  • Gotham Gazette broke down the fundraising totals for IDC State Senators and their challengers.
  • Zephyr Teachout raised over a half-million dollars largely from small contributions in her run for New York State Attorney General, keeping her competitive with Public Advocate Tish James, who is being supported by Cuomo and the Democratic establishment and raised $555,000 over the same period.

Other Elections News:

  • In Republican Marty Golden’s 22nd District (Southern Brooklyn), Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes are running a competitive Democratic primary race, with Barkan leading in petition signatures and Gounardes leading in fundraising.
  • Cynthia Nixon and the Working Families Party have devised a backup plan to vacate the WFP line in the event she loses September’s Democratic primary to Cuomo.
  • In a press conference, Cynthia Nixon announced that her platform includes a call to end solitary confinement and to strengthen the “raise the age” bill that was passed earlier this year. As it stands, teenagers charged with violent crimes are still tried in criminal court.

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