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POLITICO New York Playbook, presented by Cornell University: Primary Elections Today: 11 Things To Watch -- Subways threaten CUOMO's reputation

09/12/2017 07:20 AM EDT

By Jimmy Vielkind in Albany and Laura Nahmias in Manhattan, with Daniel Lippman

The summer of hell is over, if only because the summer is over. Twitter rants about stuck subway trains have ebbed. Hurricanes, North Korean nukes and even an election (there's a primary today!) have sucked up the zeitgeist. And there's probably no one happier - for however long 'now' will last - than Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The basic functioning of government is the cornerstone of Cuomo's political being, and building infrastructure has been a bipartisan, nationally scalable area of focus. He's a Governor of Action after all; if you forgot, there's a new picture of Cuomo vacuuming up litter off the subway tracks. But as Dana Rubinstein and Jimmy write today: "Before this summer, Cuomo's fondness for flashy mega-projects -be it a new Tappan Zee Bridge, or a new LaGuardia Airport, a new highway bridge outfitted with dancing LED lights, or a new train hall for Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road- was a relatively uncontroversial way to present himself as a get-things-done governor. Now, that reputation comes with a catch."

IT'S TUESDAY. It's Primary Day! Go vote! Got a tip? Feedback? News to share? Let us know. By email:,, and, or on Twitter: @JimmyVielkind, @nahmias, and @dlippman .

WHERE'S ANDREW? Voting at Mt. Kisco Presbyterian Church.

WHERE'S BILL? Voting in Park Slope at 7:30 a.m., stumping with Council candidate Alicka Samuel, Councilwoman Debi Rose and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, and having his primary election night party at Brooklyn bar Roulette.

WHERE'S SAL? Voting at 9 a.m. at Susan E. Wagner High School on Staten Island, then campaigning in the other four boroughs, before holding a watch party at the Prospect Bar and Grill in Park Slope, starting at 7 p.m.

WHERE'S NICOLE? She'll be holding court at the Russian Tea Room, in the evening, to discuss the primary results and the general election.


**A message from Cornell University: INTRODUCING CORNELL TECH: Opening this week on Roosevelt Island, the Cornell Tech campus marks a momentous new chapter in Cornell University's transformative impact on NYC. For over 100 years, Cornell innovation has pioneered NYC's diverse industries, improved lives and transformed the city's landscape. Learn more about Cornell's vital NYC presence. **

- Newsday: "OPIOID CRISIS ON LI: USE OF OVERDOSE ANTIDOTE ON RISE" - El Diario: "Heridas Abiertas" TRANSLATION - "Open Wounds" - SEE THEM

FREEBIES - METRO New York: "RUN OF THE BILL" - AM New York:"9.11.17"- SEE THEM

BROADSHEETS - Wall Street Journal, 2 col.,above the fold: "After Storm, Florida Turns To Recovery" - New York Times, - 5 col. headline, above the fold: "Pummeled Florida Staggers Toward Long Recovery"- SEE THEM


11 THINGS TO WATCH IN TODAY'S PRIMARY RACES - POLITICO New York's Laura Nahmias: We've been talking for months about how dull this year's primary races have been so far, particularly compared to 2013's fascinating crew of candidates. (No sexting scandals this year). But even with the fever surrounding the 2013 primaries, turnout was a grim 23 percent. In 2013, turnout was highest in Manhattan, where 29 percent of registered voters cast a ballot, followed by Brooklyn, with 24 percent turnout, Queens with 21 percent turnout, the Bronx with 19 percent, and Staten Island, with 18 percent. Political scientists say they're not expecting a particularly engaged electorate today. "I have a feeling the numbers will be abysmal," Fordham political science professor Christina Greer told POLITICO. Read more here.

- Find your local polling place here.

- Voters experiencing problems at their polling site should contact the state Attorney General's office by calling 800-771-7755 or emailing between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday.

More Voter Guides:

- An excellent one from Ross Barkan, in the Village Voice.

- "A Guide to New York City's Municipal Primary Elections for the Barely Informed Voter" by Alex Pareene, for Splinter: "New York's primaries are closed, meaning only registered Democrats can vote in them. If you aren't a registered voter in New York, your deadline to register in time to vote in these primaries was last month. If you're registered with any party other than the Democrats, you had to change your party affiliation last year in order to vote in tomorrow's primaries. New York's municipal elections are held in odd-numbered "off-years" to limit participation, and give more power to organized interest groups and party machines. Outside of the top citywide positions, multi-candidate races are decided by simple first-past-the-post pluralities, with no runoffs, instant or otherwise. This is a ridiculous way to do elections. For obvious reasons, the people for whom this system works are not eager to change it." Read more here


- City Council candidate Carlina Rivera deleted pictures of her husband sailing on a yacht from her social media.

- Assemblyman and City Council candidate Mark Gjonaj received campaign donations from Martin Shkreli and Xhevat Gocaj, two men indicted for money laundering in connection with drug trafficking and a scheme to smuggle AK-47s and a rocket launcher to Kosovo.

- Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis's newest campaign ad included a mistake: a failure to verbally disclose who paid for it.

- THE JETER ENDORSEMENT THAT WASN'T - Daily News's Jillian Jorgensen: "It looked like City Council candidate Ronnie Cho was about to hit a home run with an endorsement from Derek Jeter - but he wound up striking out after a spokesman said the revered shortstop didn't endorse the candidate after all. Cho's campaign blasted out a press release early Monday morning with an eye-catching headline: 'Former NY Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter Endorses Ronnie Cho for New York City Council, District 2.' It included a glowing quote from Jeter, which said the two met through the shortstop's Turn 2 foundation and ended with Jeter quoted as saying: 'That is why I'm proud to support him on his run for New York City Council, District 2 and I urge you to support him too on September 12th.'

But a spokesman for Turn 2 told the Daily News that they'd never approved that line of the press release." Read more here.

- SAVED BY THE BELL - Moya gets last minute agreement from city to replace senior center - POLITICO New York's Gloria Pazmino: Mayor Bill de Blasio, Assemblyman Francisco Moya and other local lawmakers have reached a last minute agreement with the owners of LeFrak City in Queens to build a new senior center after the original location was shut down last summer causing outcry among community members. Read more here.

- CUOMO MEH ON MAYOR'S RACE, TAKES AN INTEREST IN THE COUNCIL RACES - POLITICO's Conor Skelding: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declined to endorse a candidate in tomorrow's Democratic primary for mayor, but the governor has taken an active interest in more than a half-dozen City Council races.Cuomo has endorsed four candidates in Queens, his home borough, one each in the Bronx and Staten Island, and two in Manhattan, including Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, who is running against the preferred candidate of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Read more here

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'm going to be very brief because I know you're not use to sitting on something that's not vibrating," Robert DeNiro told a group of first responders who had just finished a motorcycle ride. "That sounded even worse than I meant it."

PIC OF THE DAY: Cuomo, with quite a smile while signing a bill yesterday.

JUNK FOOD: "Eliot Spitzer's Mystery Girlfriend Revealed" - by Page Six's Richard Johnson: "The mystery is solved. The identity of the woman whom Eliot Spitzer has been dating for several months is Roxana Girand. She's the founder of Sebastian Capital, which leases and manages at least 3.5 million square feet of real estate in the New York area." Read more here


- LARKIN AIDE CHARGED - Daily News' Ken Lovett: "A top aide to a veteran state senator was hit with a felony charge Sunday after an alleged domestic violence incident. Robert Nickol, the counsel to Sen. William Larkin (R-Orange County) is accused of hitting the victim, who a source said was his girlfriend, in the upper left thigh area with a television cord during a dispute early Sunday morning. The incident left the woman with 'pain, swelling and bruising', according to an Albany police report." Read more here

- THE RETURN OF MARTY CONNOR? - Brooklyn Paper's Colin Mixson: "Welcome back, Connor. Brooklyn's Democratic Party boss is angling for a former Kings County state senator to return to the seat recently vacated by Daniel Squadron, claiming the pol would serve for a year and not seek re-election so that there can be a proper vote to fill the seat in next year's primary. Kings County Democratic Party chairman Frank Seddio said that by temporarily installing 30-year veteran lawmaker and former state Senate minority leader Martin Connor in the position the party would avoid filling Squadron's seat with someone chosen by county committees and allow for a more democratic process to choose a permanent replacement down the line. 'Let him be a placeholder for the 13 months remaining and then have a real primary,' Seddio said. Squadron, who ousted Connor from the 26th-District state Senate seat in 2008, resigned from Albany's upper house in August." Read more here.

- A LETTER TO AMAZON - Buffalo News' Sean Kirst: "Dear Jeff, This has to be one busy Monday morning. In Buffalo, as in just about every city of any size in North America, we've been a little preoccupied with Amazon's announcement about seeking the right place to build a second headquarters. Projections involve such mind-bending numbers as a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 jobs. From the starting point - in a community well-versed in the hazards of pursuing silver bullets - we understand: The chances are slim ... I'd like to think Buffalo's real chance lies in a more intimate narrative that you won't quite find anywhere else, a narrative that explains the ferocious loyalty natives carry for this city and one that fits exactly with your resume. Long ago, you took the entire notion of everyday buying and selling - the fundamental way people shop for their goods - and reshaped it, transformed it, for the needs of a different age. More recently, you bought the Washington Post when that paper seemed to be on the slide. You've given it a new digital persona. Its deep history is now meshed with a fresh voice. In both instances, your success was not the easy or predictable result. You ignored skeptics and challenged entrenched assumptions. Imagine doing the same thing with an entire American city." Read more here.

- FISH ON ZOLOFT - WHEC: "Suicidal shrimp, rogue walleye: A new study finds fish are behaving badly. And, the study says, it's all because of what they're being exposed to in our local water. It's hard to say suicidal shrimp without laughing. But researchers at the University of Buffalo and Buffalo State say the drugs humans are taking are taking a toll on wildlife...Initially, researchers were fishing too when it came to finding out what drugs lurked in our local waterways. "We actually looked at all sorts of pharmaceuticals but what came out at high concentrations are the anti-depressants," says Dr. Diana Aga, professor of chemistry, University at Buffalo." Read more here.


- LIBERALS DOMINATE 2020 CONVERSATION - POLITICO's Gabriel Debenedetti: "More than two years before the next presidential primaries, roughly a dozen potential candidates pushing liberal economic agendas are making initial moves in preparation for a run. Sanders himself has visited early-voting states. Fellow senators including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Jeff Merkley of Oregon have been meeting with activists. And governors such as Montana's Steve Bullock are hiring political teams. Even a handful of mayors have started getting into the action....New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has talked to political allies and donors about carving out a broader national stature after what's expected to be a wide reelection victory later this year, pitching the idea of doing a speaking tour all over the country." Read more here.

- CITY HALL WON'T RELEASE RECORDS ON PARKING PLACARDS UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION - Streetsblog's Brad Aaron: "New York City schools won't get added protection from speeding driversthis year. And after Mayor de Blasio's big spring placard giveaway, thousands more teachers have an incentive to drive to work, adding to traffic hazards for children and their families.If you'd like to know what caused the city to reissue tens of thousands of parking permits to Department of Education employees last May, City Hall has agreed to release the relevant documents - after the November election." Read more here.

- NEW YORK'S MILLIONAIRE GROWTH IS LAGGING - Daily News's Glenn Blain: "New York is falling behind in the race for millionaires.The number of New York households reporting adjusted gross incomes of $1 million or more grew from 282,311 in 2010 to 438,370 in 2015 - a paltry growth rate of 40% and well below the national average 55.3%, according to a review of tax data by the Empire Center for Public Policy.New York ranked a dismal 40th in the nation for growth in millionaire filers, far behind California's best-in-the-nation rate of 72.2%, the report revealed." Read more here.


- Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the "Fyre Festival of Pizza."

- Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved unlimited sick leave for 9/11 first responders.

- Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Susan Collins of Maine are trying to block President Trump's ban on transgender people in the military.

- New York's Board of Regents approved a plan for improving New York schools.

- New York's biggest food pantries have overhauled their distribution, to help distribute food where it's most needed and get ethnic ingredients to specific neighborhoods.

- Harlem Republican John Burnett is mulling a challenge against. Sen. Gillibrand in 2018.


HURRICANE IRMA'S SNAPCHAT IMPACT: During a 24 hour period over the weekend, more than 250,000 Hurricane Irma-related submissions from Snapchat users were sent to the platform's news team to be considered in its "stories" about the disaster, according to data shared with POLITICO by Snap. That is particularly notable given that just a week before, Snap saw an average of around 100,000 submissions per day during Hurricane Harvey in Texas. For comparison, a year ago, during the Louisiana floods, Snap saw 96,000 submissions in total. As the platform continues to grow, and its stories platform continues to gain traction, more and more users, both professionals and regular people, are sending their videos to the platform's editors for consideration. At the same time, Snap is getting more coverage from traditional platforms like TV, with its "Snap Map" feature in particular being highlighted by outlets like NBC's "Today" show.

ANOTHER FAKE NEWS HEADACHE: Facebook may have another problem to deal with as it continues its fight against false news. According to my colleague Jason Schwartz , a Yale study suggests that its fact-checking efforts are not having much of an impact in how people perceive fake news stories, and in some cases may be making people more likely to believe false stories. "[T]he sheer volume of misinformation that floods the social media network makes it impossible for the fact-checking groups Facebook has partnered with-like Politifact, and address every story. The existence of flags on some-but not all-false stories made Trump supporters and young people more likely to believe any story that was not flagged, according to the study published Monday by psychologists David Rand and Gordon Pennycook."

SOUNDBITE: "One reason I hesitate giving career advice to young journalists is by the time you have any success, whatever route you took to it is gone." -New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik.

You can read the full Morning Media column and sign up to receive it in your inbox by clicking here.

REAL ESTATE, with POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg and Conor Skelding:

You can find the free version of Sally's real estate newsletter here:

- While today's Democratic primary for mayor is all but certain to end in Bill de Blasio's favor, one competitive City Council race will serve as a referendum on his development plans. Democratic incumbent Laurie Cumbo is facing a well-funded challenge from her 2013 primary opponent, Ede Fox, in a contest that has centered around City Hall's proposal to redevelop the vacant Bedford Armory in Crown Heights. The mayor's team partnered with private developer BFC Partners to build a mix of income-restricted and market-rate apartments, condos, a recreational facility and office space. The mayor argues it is a substantive investment in a property that is not providing any use for the community.

But as have many of his proposals, it faces vocal opposition from a coalition of housing activists, led by the organization New York Communities for Change. Fox, who also worked for the Council, has capitalized on local concerns and promised to scrap the plan if she wins. Cumbo also denounced the proposal, but those close to the project say she is likely to negotiate a deal with the administration if she's reelected. The mayor's team may end up spending more public money to reduce the controversial allowance of market-rate homes. Cumbo will hold her election-night party at Dorsett Venue, 677 Washington Ave ., after polls close. Fox will be at 813 Nostrand Ave.

THE HOME TEAMS - POLITICO New York's Howard Megdal:

Ronnie Cho said Derek Jeter endorsed his City Council bid, but apparently that was a mistake. No word yet on who earned the support of Rey Ordonez.

Yankees 5, Rays 1: Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer in a game played at Citi Field, channeling a forgotten Mets-Reds game from 2012.

The day ahead: The Mets are at Wrigley Field. The Yankees-Rays at Citi Field continues.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Spectrum News anchor Julie Chapman ... AARP's Donna Liquori McGuire ... Stefan Ringel ... State Sen. Martin Dilan ... David Gantt, and Khan Shoieb

#UpstateAmerica: The Port of Oswego appears to have lost 25 rail cars worth of soybeans.

#ZooYork: Vandals wrote "The New Colossus," the name of the Emma Lazarus poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, on Donald Trump's Bronx golf course.

FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page:

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**A message from Cornell University: CORNELL IS HERE: Cornell University's academic, research and outreach programs in New York City, Ithaca and across the state have improved the quality of life for countless New Yorkers for more than 100 years. This week's opening of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, an unprecedented new center of research, education, commercialization and entrepreneurship for the digital age, continues our commitment to transformative impact across NYC. Learn more. **

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