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City and State: Winners and Losers

September 1, 2016

All’s well that Endwell – and thanks to the 11- to 13-year-olds of Maine-Endwell, New York is home to Little League World Series champions for the first time in 52 years. The governor may be a loser this week, but he knows a winner when he sees one, touting the team at the State Fair and a Mets game. Read on to find out who’s batting 1.000 this week and who’s in a slump.


Leo Denault – Six months ago the Entergy CEO was running a money-losing nuclear facility that was facing imminent closure. Today he has an agreement to sell the FitzPatrick plant for $110 million – and even better, he’s guaranteed a $35 million termination fee if state regulators fail to approve the deal by Nov. 18. That sounds like a win-win situation to us.

Jeff Gural – When New York made its casino selections in 2014, three bidders had winning hands – but not Gural and his Tioga Downs racetrack casino. Gural did not bow out gracefully, angrily denouncing the “idiotic decision,” and the state then re-opened the bidding for one more casino. A single bid came in – from Gural – and this week, his expansion plan was approved. Yet again, the squeaky roulette wheel gets the grease.

Richard Gottfried & Diane Savino – The two legislators who pushed for what ended up being a relatively limited medical marijuana legalization bill are finally seeing more of their original vision go forward. The Cuomo administration is expanding the rules of its pilot program to include legal delivery of cannabis to patients too sick to travel and letting nurses certify patients. While Gottfried and Savino still want further changes to the law, public opinion and pressure seem to be trending their way.

Adele Malpass – New York Republicans are using Mayor Bill de Blasio as their liberal bogeyman again, but this election cycle the Manhattan GOP is making it official. Malpass, the chairwoman of the borough’s Republican committee, won approval for a new “Stop de Blasio” ballot line this November for two Republican Assembly candidates. Makes you wonder if we’ll end up with new “Stop Trump” and “Stop Clinton” lines, too.

Brooke S.B. – This Chautauqua County woman and her attorney persuaded the state Court of Appeals to redefine the meaning of “parent” in a landmark decision expanding the rights of guardians in same-sex relationships. Thanks to Brooke S.B., the state now recognizes that those who care for children they are not related to can still fulfill parental roles and be deserving of custody and visitation rights.


Andrew Cuomo – There are several losers in the Hoosick Falls water contamination scandal. But the incident ultimately happened under Cuomo’s watch, and even as federal and state officials point fingers at each other at the hearings, it doesn’t reflect well on his administration. Plus, a new report blasts the governor for not following through on a pledge to create 20,000 supportive housing apartments. Not even catching a giant shark could perk up the governor’s week.

Joseph Finnerty III – Sure, he had to resign from the New York City Water Board. But what could possibly top this die-hard de Blasio fan’s birthday present, in which Finnerty essentially sacrificed his board post to help the de Blasio campaign team host a 55th birthday and fundraising bash? The $1,000 fine from the Conflicts of Interest Board is probably nothing for this lawyer  – or for someone so devoted to de Blasio that he invited his future wife  to one of his 2012 fundraisers on their second date.

Alain Kaloyeros – When the news broke that funding for two pharmaceutical projects overseen by SUNY Polytechnic Institute had stalled for months because the state fell behind on payments, just months after similar issues surfaced with the Cuomo administration’s signature Buffalo Billion project, someone needed to take the fall. Well, it looks like the state’s top-earning, selfie-loving economic development guru is their man, with control of the projects being shifted from Kaloyeros’ SUNY Polytechnic to Empire State Development.

Jack Martins – Two weeks ago a federal judge ruled that Martins would have to face his opponent in Philip Pidot in an October primary for New York’s 3rd Congressional District after all, and now his attempt to postpone the general election for the seat until December has been struck down.

Anthony Weiner – From a rising star in Congress to mayoral candidate to respected political commentator to … nothing, Weiner’s serial sexting continues to be his downfall. This week his wife announced the two were separating, he was fired by “Inside City Hall” and the Daily News, and he had to suffer the indignity of a visit from ACS for using his kid as a “chick magnet.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that state Sen. Jack Martins is being sued for fees expensed during a primary legal battle.