Queens voters head to the polls today to choose a new district attorney — one sure to bring a sea change in the administration of justice in the borough after nearly 30 years under Richard Brown, a tradition-bound prosecutor who died last month.
The outcome will be a test of a novel platform progressives have been trying out in cities around the country: that the best kind of prosecutor might be the one who prosecutes least. It’s a controversial premise for a job that has traditionally been dominated by law-and-order types, but aggressive criminal justice reformers have won DA seats in Philadelphia and Boston.
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The newest standard bearer in Queens is Tiffany Cabán, a public defender who calls herself a “decarceral” prosecutor, opposes new jails and wants to fully decrimininalize sex work. Drawing national attention to her campaign, she has pulled the rest of the field to the left with her, so that borough president Melinda Katz, the candidate backed by the Democratic establishment, now says she wants to end cash bail in all cases.
Will it fly in Queens? Well, it’s a big borough. In western Queens, many of the same voters who helped propel Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory are likely to turn out for Cabán. Katz has a base of support in southeast Queens, where the county Democratic party and its chairman, Rep. Greg Meeks, hold sway. There’s been no public polling in the race, and for all the attention the contest has sparked among the political class in New York and beyond, it’s unclear how many Queens residents will have voting on their minds on a Tuesday in June.
Meanwhile, voters in Brooklyn will pick sides in a rematch for Public Advocate Jumanee Wiliams’ City Council seat. Farah Louis won the special election a few weeks back over Monique Chandler-Waterman, who has since accused her opponent of cooking up all sorts of deals to gain support from “Donald Trump supporters” and “greedy landlords and developers,” drawing accusations of anti-Semitism.
And in Rockland County, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski is running in a contested primary that could be a canary in the coal mine about the difficulties of a sitting state lawmaker running for local or congressional office now that the primary date has coalesced around a single June primary date.
That all adds up to plenty of intriguing storylines to watch for in an off-year Tuesday night.
WHERE’S ANDREW? In Albany, with no public schedule.
WHERE’S BILL? In New York, voting in the primary and then traveling to Miami for the Democratic debate.
Today’s tabloids: — New York Post: “ULTIMATE POST MAN” — Daily News: “ICE GRABS PREGNANT MOM OF TWO” — Newsday: “NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN” — El Diario: “United against deportations” — See them
Today’s Broadsheets: — New York Times: — 1 col., above the fold: “Migrants Find Sudden Bump In Road North” — 2 col., above the fold: “DEMOCRATS SPLIT OVER BILL TO SEND RELIEF TO BORDER ” — Wall Street Journal: — 4 col., above the fold: "Google Foes Plan for Federal Probe” — 3 col., below the fold: “A Leader of Fracking Boom Rethinks Headlong Growth” — See them
“HERMINIA PALACIO, THE NEW YORK CITY DEPUTY MAYOR for Health and Human Services, announced Monday that she will leave her post next month to take a position at a leading research and policy think tank focused on sexual and reproductive rights. Dr. Palacio, 57 years old, is set to become the chief executive and president of the New York-based Guttmacher Institute. In an interview Monday, she said that the opportunity to lead a major public policy organization are ‘not summoned on demand.’” Wall Street Journal’s Melanie Grayce West
“THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL excoriated the city officials who oversee the taxi industry on Monday, blaming them for a financial crisis that has ruined drivers and releasing a document that lawmakers said showed the officials knew for years that a disaster was looming. The document, a memo written by a city employee in late 2010 or early 2011, described how the price of the city permit that allows a driver to own their cab — called a medallion — had skyrocketed to unsustainable levels. It also warned that in order to buy the permit, some drivers were taking out loans they could not afford.
“A few years after the memo was written, the reckless loans helped cause medallion prices to crash, leaving thousands of immigrant drivers deeply in debt. The New York Times first revealed the existence of the memo last month in an investigation on the crisis in the industry, but the city had refused to release it, claiming it did not exist.” NY Times’ Brian Rosenthal
CITY COMPTROLLER SCOTT STRINGER is calling on the city’s Department of Education to create a yearlong paid classroom residency program to train 1,000 new teachers annually to combat higher teacher turnover rates. Under the comptroller's plan, aspiring teachers would work with a single mentor-teacher in a public school classroom for a year in conjunction with their studies. POLITICO’s Madina Toure
“PUBLIC EMPLOYEES IN NEW YORK SUFFERING from 9/11-related illnesses may soon be eligible to receive disability retirement benefits. A bill that cleared the state Legislature in the final days of session last week would make an estimated 610 non-uniformed first responders who aided in search and rescue operations at the World Trade Center eligible to receive disability retirement benefits under the state's World Trade Center Disability Law. The legislation applies to employees belonging to the state and local retirement program (Tiers 3 and 4) as well as the state’s teachers' retirement system suffering from recovery-related illnesses.” Gannett’s Chad Arnold
DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE THIS YEAR RESOLVED a long-running dilemma over the consolidation of state and local primaries, traditionally held in September, with congressional primaries, which a federal judge moved to an earlier date in 2012. They settled on the fourth Tuesday in June, placating the court’s concerns about getting ballots to military voters in time while also aiming for a higher turnout than the August date that Senate Republicans proposed. But now that the new primary date is here, one thing has become clear: It’ll be very difficult for state legislators who have to run in late June, because it comes on the heels of the always-frantic conclusion to the legislative session.
“I have been telling all my colleagues up in Albany to watch out for next year, because it is really difficult to balance a primary while running up and back from Albany,” said Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-Clarkstown), who is one of four candidates hoping to be Rockland County’s next district attorney. POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney
WHEN GOV. ANDREW CUOMO GOES TO ISRAEL ON WEDNESDAY, for what he has described as both a trade mission and a gesture of solidarity with New York Jews, he will be accompanied by a new travel companion. Metropolitan Transportation Authority managing director Ronnie Hakim will join him, an administration source told POLITICO, in an effort to entice Israeli companies to do business with the MTA. She and the governor will speak at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the source said. The governor has tasked Hakim with setting up a follow-up conference at the Technion-Cornell here in New York City. "As the MTA embarks on a historic transformation, we want to make sure the best in class companies with the most innovative ideas and products know our needs and can respond," Hakim said. POLITICO’s Dana Rubinstein
— Arutz Sheva Israel National News: “The Consul General of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan, will accompany Governor Cuomo as part of his visit. Following the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents in New York, the trip will reinforce that New York State stands in solidarity with the Jewish Community and with the people of Israel. During the trip, the Governor and State officials will also work to identify opportunities with Israeli businesses that can strengthen the state's economic development agenda, including in Unmanned Aerial Systems technology and train navigation software.”
“THREE YEARS AFTER PROFESSIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS was approved in New York, promoters are still waiting on regulations that would allow events with professional and amateur bouts. The inaction by state regulators is a stumbling block for small and medium-sized promoters in New York — the last state to legalize professional MMA — who can't shoulder the insurance costs associated with professional events and are limited to organizing amateur fights. Pro-am events, the promoters argue, would be a feasible middle ground that would enable them to expand their businesses, but there aren't rules for them to follow. ‘It works against New York state because without options we have to go to Massachusetts or Connecticut to put the show on,’ said Tim Rankin, president of Cage Wars, which organizes MMA events.” Times Union’s Dave Lombardo
“THE STATE’S TOP ELECTION ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL, Risa Sugarman, appears likely to remain in her job for the rest of 2019. But her status remains uncertain beyond that, a top Cuomo administration official indicated Friday. Sugarman's five-year term as chief enforcement counsel of the state Board of Elections ends Aug. 31. To gain a new term, she needs to receive a renomination from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, then confirmation by the state Senate and Assembly. Barring a special session called by Cuomo later this year, legislators won't return to Albany until the start of the 2020 session in January.” Times Union’s Chris Bragg
“MORE RED-LIGHT CAMERAS aren’t coming to Westchester County — at least not yet. Westchester officials asked the state for permission to install up to 50 cameras on county-owned roads, but the state Legislature’s session ended last week with the measure stalled. It’s the second year in a row the county made the request in the waning days of the legislative session, only for it to go nowhere. This year, it passed the state Senate but never came to a vote of the full state Assembly. Democrats control both houses of the Legislature.” The Journal News' Mark Lungariello
#UpstateAmerica: BREAKING: There are some ducks living in Alden.
Monday’s UA was left out, so belatedly: A car museum in Norwich is showing off cars from the 1970s, including some really tacky ones.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Justice Sonia Sotomayor is 65 ... N.Y. Post’s Reuven Fenton … Jeremy Bearer-Friend ... author JR Thornton ... Zach Fannin … Russell Murphy ... James Crown is 66 ... Patrick Temple-West, who is soon joining the FT ... CGCN Group’s Patrick O’Connor is 43 ... Abbie Sorrendino, LD for Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.)
SPOTTED: Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the 1 p.m. American Airlines LGA to DCA shuttle — pic
MAKING MOVES — per The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng: “Jason Miller, a former top campaign aide and close adviser to Donald Trump, has left his job as a managing director at Teneo, a prominent consulting firm, days after launching a profanity-laced tirade directed at a top House Democrat.” The Daily Beast
TWO NEW YORK DEMOCRATS struggling to gain traction in their bids for the White House used markedly different approaches to show off their debate prep sessions this week, days ahead of the first national debate. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand practiced in front of a New York Times political reporter in Troy, N.Y. Sunday, resulting in a story that prominently featured her positions on gun control and health care.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign team, on the other hand, declined similar requests for access in recent weeks and would not answer several questions about its process, such as which staffers played which candidates and who moderated the mock sessions...Instead, de Blasio tweeted what appeared to be a scripted exchange — though his staff said it was authentic — in which he sought advice from his 21-year-old son, champion debater Dante de Blasio, who graduated from Yale this year. POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg
“AS SHE WALKED THROUGH THE DOORS of Nazareth Regional High School in Brooklyn, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told herself that all she needed to do was ‘show my heart.’ Maybe then, in the Democrat’s first major appearance as a senator, she could gain the trust of a grieving community angry over her support for gun rights. Inside, Jennifer Pryear waited for her. She held a photograph of her daughter, Nyasia Pryear-Yard. She wasn’t sure she wanted to meet a politician. ‘She’s not from Brooklyn. She’s from upstate. She likes guns,’ Pryear remembered thinking. ‘But then I thought, if I could use my tragedy to make a difference, it would be worth it.’” Washington Post’s Robert Samuels
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI MONDAY blasted President Donald Trump’s plan to conduct sweeping deportation raids against thousands of undocumented immigrants over the weekend after he postponed the operation in an attempt to squeeze congressional Democrats into changing asylum laws. “When I saw that the president was going to have these raids — I mean, it was so appalling,” Pelosi said at an event at the Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, with Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.). “It’s outside the circle of civilized human behavior to just be kicking down doors, splitting up families.” POLITICO’s Erin Durkin
“MAYBE KARLIE KLOSS AND JOSH KUSHNER Had a Huge Wyoming Wedding So Jared and Ivanka Could Keep Their Distance: If Mila Kunis had an awkward encounter with the president’s pet children, evidence has not yet emerged,” by Vanity Fair’s Erin Vanderhoof … Pix in the Daily Mail
— Tabloid legend Steve Dunleavy, who spent more than four decades at the New York Post, has died.
— The Riverside Park goats are gone for now, sent back to Rhinebeck for a month or so because they’ve successfully cleared all the weeds in their area. Fear not: some of the goats are expected to return next month.
— Police Commissioner James O’Neill is faced with the decision of whether to fire Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who placed Eric Garner in an apparent chokehold.
— “An investigation by WNYC and Gothamist has found substantial levels of lead contamination from deteriorating paint inside four public elementary schools.”
— NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitch Katz said the public city hospital system needs better pay to attract enough nurses.
— A pregnant Queens mother of two may be deported to Guatemala Tuesday after she was arrested at family court in April.
— Binghamton’s job loss totals for May were the worst in four years.
— New Jersey is the only state less patriotic than New York, according to a WalletHub survey.
— Lobbyist Al D’Amato was awarded custody of his children.
— There was a fire on the replacement to the Tappan Zee bridge Monday.
“ONE OF THE CITY’s biggest real estate brokerages seems worried that a ‘far-left’ district attorney could put a dent in its bottom line. Crain’s obtained an email that Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman appears to have sent employees on Monday, warning about public defender Tiffany Cabán’s bid to become Queens’ top prosecutor.” Crain’s Will Bredderman
“RFR REALTY IS LOOKING to sell a massive, soon-to-be-rezoned parking lot at the corner of Third Avenue and Third Streets in Gowanus, Brooklyn for more than $200 million, Commercial Observer has learned. A little more than a year after it paid $115 million for the 3.2-acre site at 169-225 Third Street, RFR wants to unload the three-parcel assemblage on the heavily polluted Gowanus Canal...The site is located within the proposed Gowanus rezoning area and could give rise to an 800,000-square-foot, mixed-use residential and commercial project if the rezoning is approved.” Commercial Observer’s Rebecca Baird-Remba
“TWO LGBTQ COMPLEXES GEARED TOWARDS HOUSING GAY SENIORS are being built in the Bronx and Brooklyn. … In Fort Greene, a brand new building is being created from a partnership with SAGE, NYCHA and the developer BFC. The country’s largest LGBTQ friendly senior housing building will have a 6,800 square-foot SAGE center on the ground floor and 145 units upstairs for low income seniors — 37 of them homeless. ABC7
Phillies 13, Mets 7: Where to begin? After Sunday’s combination attack on Newsday Mets reporter Tim Healey by manager Mickey Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas, the Mets fined them both, but neither apologized, leading to widespread ridicule and for Callaway to call a second pregame press conference in which he did apologize. In the first one, he mentioned that former manager Billy Martin had once punched a reporter, making the case that “it’s a part of the game.” The incursions into press freedom and access are very much a part of the sports landscape right now. Oh, then Steven Matz got shelled.
Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8: Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez homered, while neither Aaron Boone nor any Yankee players attacked a reporter just trying to get quotes and do his job.
The day ahead: The Mets are in Philly. The Yankees host the Blue Jays.