State Democrats are wasting no time embracing abortion rights as a key to their November races with the kickoff of New York’s “Defend Choice Week of Action” yesterday. It’s advocacy, campaigning, and old-fashioned party politicking all rolled into one.
NYS Democratic Party spokesperson James Martin called the week — which is part of a national push — “a chance for New Yorkers to turn their outrage into action by working with the New York State Democratic Party to hold far-right Republicans like Lee Zeldin accountable and help elect Democrats up and down the ticket to protect their rights.”
Part of that was Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Tuesday announcement that the first $10 million from the state’s special $25 million abortion access pool is headed to 63 locations across the state to shore up resources for out-of-state patients.
“As we call around and talk to providers around the state, places like Western New York are seeing a major increase in women from Pennsylvania, which has more restrictions, Ohio. … We’re seeing a surge of cases from elsewhere,” Hochul said during a briefing in Manhattan. “They’re coming now to our providers. And we knew this would happen. Not just from 1970. Common sense told us they’re going to come here.”
(According to the Times Union: “The governor’s office later clarified that the information from providers in southern and western New York was anecdotal and they do not yet have data on any apparent increase in out-of-state patients.”)
The week is a foundation for the kind of targeted campaigning Hochul has tended toward — it allows her to point to actions she’s taken in office so far and highlight scary reasons New Yorkers should keep her there.
It’s also an opportunity for Hochul, who has appeared reluctant to engage opponents in specific attacks, to call out Zeldin on a fairly straightforward anti-abortion rights position.
Today, the party has planned a press conference at Columbus Circle in front of the Trump Hotel with abortion rights advocates, Assemblymember Latrice Walker (who is also Secretary to the New York State Democratic Committee), NOW New York President Sonia Ossorio and Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts’ Kristen Dart.
WHERE’S KATHY? Making an economic development announcement in Queens.
WHERE’S ERIC? Making announcements on mental health, arts and culture and business, and delivering remarks at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Police Officer of the Year Luncheon.
“Tax Collections Plunge in Wake of Stock Market Downswing,” by THE CITY’s Greg David: “In the first sign of fallout in New York from the stock market decline, collections from a key component of the income tax fell by one-third in June from June 2021, raising doubts about the revenue estimates anchoring the city and state budgets. Estimated payments to the city, which are closely tied to capital gains realized when individuals sell stock, bonds and other assets, dropped 31% in June to $353.9 million over the same month a year earlier, according to the monthly economic report by city comptroller Brad Lander. Except for pandemic-plagued 2020, it was the lowest total for the month since 2017. Sources say the state will show a similar decline when the state comptroller issues its monthly cash report later this week. The sharp decline in estimated taxes is one of several signs that the stock market decline is rattling the city’s crucial finance industry.”
“Bodega leaders ‘hopeful’ Manhattan DA Bragg will reduce charges on clerk accused of killing attacker,” by WNYC’s Michelle Bocanegra: “Associations representing bodega owners in New York City said Tuesday they’re ‘very hopeful’ that a store clerk facing murder charges will see either his case dropped or the charges lessened by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg following a morning meeting with the DA. Bragg has been facing mounting pressure after charging bodega worker Jose Alba with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a person in July in upper Manhattan who appears to have attacked the clerk behind the counter, according to surveillance footage. ‘We’re very hopeful that Jose Alba’s case will be dismissed, will be dropped, by the district attorney,’ said Fernando Mateo, a spokesperson and co-founder of United Bodegas of America, in a press conference after the meeting. The DA’s office has given no indication that it will drop the case or lessen the charges.”
“Police Seek Man in String of Stabbings of Homeless Men Sleeping Outdoors,” by The New York Times’ Hurubie Meko and Andy Newman: “The first homeless man was fatally stabbed in the abdomen as he slept on a bench in the West Village in Manhattan. The second was wounded as he lay on a bench in Midtown. The third was attacked while asleep in a playground on the Upper East Side. The police believe all of the attacks, which occurred in the span of a week, were connected. They released images of a man they are hoping to question about the attacks and asked for help in identifying him. ‘We will catch the person responsible,’ Mayor Eric Adams said on Tuesday afternoon. ‘It is unacceptable for an individual to attack a person that is homeless or not homeless.’”
City’s new monkeypox vaccine portal crashed by high demand, by POLITICO’s Georgia Rosenberg: Amid surging cases, the city’s new monkeypox vaccination scheduling website crashed the moment it opened on Tuesday afternoon, thanks to high demand in the city’s second botched attempt at a vaccine rollout. And once the portal came online, available appointments quickly ran out. The city announced on Monday that 1,250 online appointments would open to New Yorkers at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and even pivoted contractors after last week’s rollout was ridden with technological glitches. As of Tuesday afternoon, 267 New Yorkers had tested positive for orthopoxvirus, the virus that causes monkeypox — a one-day jump of nearly 20 percent from 223 cases reported Monday.
“Why City Workers in New York Are Quitting in Droves,” by The New York Times’ Dana Rubinstein and Emma G. Fitzsimmons: “New York City, the largest municipal employer in the country, is facing an exodus of city workers that has led to a surge in job vacancies and difficulties delivering basic municipal services. The wave of departures has included health care workers, parks employees, police officers and child protective service workers. Some are high-ranking officials with decades of experience; others are younger employees, some of whom bypassed higher-paying private sector jobs because they wanted to make a difference. The city’s overall job vacancy rate was 7.7 percent as of March — five times higher than in recent years, according to the most recent data from the Citizens Budget Commission.”
“NJ may make it impossible for states like NY to issue its drivers speed-camera tix,” by New York Post’s David Meyer: “New Jersey pols want to prohibit other states from accessing its driver records to levy speed and red light camera fines — setting up a confrontation with New York City, where the majority of out-of-state speeders come from the Garden State. New Jersey state senators voted unanimously in favor of the legislation, which would prohibit the state’s DMV from providing license holders to states to issue red light or speed camera fines. ‘We’ve heard from a number of folks, [on] both sides of the aisle, who all say that they get it,’ bill co-sponsor Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth County) told The Post.”
“Lawmakers, advocates call for Hochul to give up control of Penn Station project,” by WNYC’s Stephen Nessen: “A growing chorus of critics is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to relinquish control of the massive Penn Station redevelopment project and allow a new entity to be in charge. That public benefit corporation would coordinate the myriad of transportation agencies, real estate interests, city agencies and the public for the sake of increasing transparency and accountability on the project, which could total as much as $40 billion, About two weeks ago, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine sent a letter to Hochul asking her to create a new entity to manage the project, other than the quasi-government agency the Empire State Development corporation (ESD).
“The ESD is managing it for now and isn’t subject to the same transparency requirements as other city and state agencies. … It’s not the first time this group has made the suggestion, but after a recent public hearing on the project, lawmakers and critics of it are increasingly concerned over how the project will be funded and how much taxpayers could still be on the hook for if developers come up short with their side of the deal.”
“Three names stand out to replace Janet DiFiore as Chief Justice,” by Crain’s New York Business’ Brian Pascus: “There are several candidates that legal experts expect Hochul to consider who could ostensibly pass the standards of Hoylman’s judiciary committee. Janos Marton, a progressive attorney and former candidate for Manhattan District Attorney, said that three Associate Judges on the Court of Appeals would all make strong choices, particularly Judge Rowan D. Wilson, who is Black, and Judge Jenny Rivera, who is Hispanic … He also praised Judge Rivera as someone who has pushed for social justice causes throughout her legal career. … One wildcard candidate according to Bonventre could be Judge Shirley Troutman, who was appointed by Hochul to the Court of Appeals earlier this year.”
“In New York school board races, incumbents and union nods carried weight,” by Spectrum’s Nick Reisman: “The analysis comes after local school board races in New York and around the country drew more attention than usual as candidates and parents’ groups that have organized around concerns that ranged from indoor masking rules and school closures to challenging curricula ran for board positions. Polarizing national issues that had spilled into Facebook group chats and school board meetings led to campaigns and platforms based on those concerns in some communities. But the analysis of 1,453 candidates conducted by the school boards association found voters in many of these races instead supported incumbents, with 54% of elected candidates returning to office. Candidates endorsed by teachers’ unions also saw the most success, with 88% of those endorsed by labor groups winning re-election.
#UpstateAmerica: Saratoga County, as a tourist destination (we see you, track season), is also a monkeypox vaccination destination, the only one upstate.
“She’s running for Congress, despite the anti-Asian attacks against her,” by The Washington Post’s Soo Youn: “The tweet wasn’t necessarily new information to her followers; she has opened up before, both in interviews and on social media, about the death threats and sexual harassment she said she receives regularly online. Niou, 38, knows it comes with the territory, she said: ‘A lot of women of color who run for office get that.’ Still, ‘some of the things have gotten really extreme. When people send you pictures of their penises and their guns, it’s a very strange message,’ she recently told The Washington Post. A day after her July 4 post, Niou talked more about that type of harassment in a virtual discussion with comedian and actor Ronny Chieng.”
“City haul: Ex-mayor Bill de Blasio rakes in $500K for quarter in Congress bid,” by New York Post’s Sam Raskin: “Ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised more than half-a-million dollars for his congressional run in the past three months — about equal to Rep. Mondaire Jones’ self-reported haul in the same race, but significantly less than former Trump impeachment lawyer Dan Goldman’s, The Post has learned. De Blasio raked in $509,850 during the second quarter of this year as of June 30, according to a campaign staffer who viewed the former mayor’s fundraising figures. The Park Sloper, who represented the neighborhood in the City Council in the aughts, has $361,000 at his disposal with the late August Democratic primary election six weeks away, according to the source.”
“Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney accepted international travel co-sponsored by GOP group prior to leading Democratic committee,” by New York Daily News’ Michael Gartland: “Before Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) became chairman of the powerful Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2021, he took more than $50,000 worth of junkets to European capitals that were partly paid for by a right-wing think tank closely aligned with the Republican party, a Daily News analysis of public records found. In the five years preceding his ascension to the powerful political post, Maloney attended several junkets co-sponsored and paid for in part by the Ripon Society, a right-wing think tank named after the Wisconsin town where the Republican Party first began to take root. Maloney’s travel included trips to Prague, London, Berlin and Copenhagen — and cost more than $54,000 combined, federal ethics records show.”
— The manwho most recentlydied in a Rikers Island jail cell was lying dead for hours before correction staff discovered his body.
— Mayor Adams says the city’s PSA for what to do in the case of a nuclear threat is a “great idea.”
— Hochul said she’s still negotiating with Adams about legislation mandating lower class sizes in city schools, but didn’t give any new details.
— AG Tish James’ office is investigating the death of Malik Williams after he was fatally shot by the NYPD.
— James’ officealso released some of the body cam footage from an incident where Saranac Lake village police shot and killed a stabbing suspect.
— The Tops supermarket in Buffalo where 10 people were killed in a racist shooting will reopen Friday.
— A 200-acre, $14.8 million Catskills compound has hit the market for the first time since 1839.
— Election experts predict turnout in New York’s August primary to fall to even lower rates than in June’s.
— Two people, including a child, died Tuesday after a boat overturned in the Hudson River just off of Manhattan.
— A Long Island town is releasing tick-eating birds into the wild in an attempt to cut down its local tick population.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: POLITICO’s Joe Spector … WaPo’s Josh Dawsey and Devlin Barrett … Joe Lockhart … Vice News’ Todd Zwillich … Antoinette Rangel … Nick Newburger … Patrick Ruwe … Clement James, Jr., senior adviser to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
“Airbnb Operator Sued by New York City in Fight Over Short-Term Rentals,” by The New York Times’ Mihir Zaveri: “The five-story building near the East River in Manhattan was supposed to house eight residential apartments on top of a doctor’s office, according to city records. But city inspectors in recent years noticed people carrying suitcases in and out of the building. On one occasion, five guests told inspectors they were visiting from Italy. They said they had booked a six-day stay for more than $3,000. In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court on Tuesday, New York City officials asserted that the building was in fact one of the biggest illegal hotel operations housing visitors in the past year.”
“Good news: NYC now only the 3rd least-affordable U.S. housing market,” by The Real Deal’s Katherine Kallergis: “Miami again topped the list of least affordable U.S. housing markets in July, ahead of Los Angeles and New York, which fell to third place, according to a report comparing home prices to median annual incomes. A New York City household earning the median annual income of $68,000 would have to spend 84.6 percent of that to afford a median-priced home, RealtyHop‘s monthly index found. In Los Angeles, a typical household would need to put 84.8 percent of its annual income toward buying a median-priced home. Despite dropping to third place, New York City’s housing market is less affordable in July than it was in June, the report found, as meager wage growth and a slight decline in the home prices have likely proven insufficient to make up for the rising cost of obtaining a mortgage.”