LG debate nods to function’s current attention- POLITICO

The sole debate among Democrats vying for lieutenant governor this year was a 90-minute journey that — unlike the gubernatorial sparring so far — traversed wonky policy topics affecting every one of the state’s 62 counties.

It also presented vastly different views of how much independence and prominence should come with the office, one which has garnered an atypical number of headlines in New York of late, Bill Mahoney reports. Two of the last three elected lieutenant governors ended up in the top job when their bosses resigned in scandal and current Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado took office just recently after his predecessor, Brian Benjamin, resigned after a federal indictment.

For instance, when Delgado was asked if Gov. Kathy Hochul should sign a controversial bill that would impose a limited moratorium on cryptocurrency mining in defunct fossil fuel plants, he responded “she should give it some serious thought, for sure.”

That deference is no longer OK for an LG, said his opponent Ana Maria Archila (New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ running mate) with a nod to recent events. “This is a perfect example of a governor being an obstacle to process and the lieutenant governor saying nothing,” she said.

Still, among voters, Delgado’s got more lovers than haters, according to a new poll from Siena College Research Institute this morning. Though more than half of Democrats don’t know or have an opinion of him, 37 percent of those who did viewed him favorably compared to 8 percent who did not. Siena didn’t poll Archila or former New York City Council Member Diana Reyna (who is running with Rep. Tom Suozzi).

Among those at the top of the ticket, Delgado’s running mate held the strongest position of the three candidates just two days before the start of early voting. Sixty-five percent of registered Democrats view Hochul favorably, 60 percent gave her a positive job performance rating and 70 percent would elect her to a full term in November if she’s the Democratic nominee.

In the four-way Republican primary, Andrew Giuliani came out with the good news. He was viewed favorably by Republicans by a margin of 50 percent to 28 percent, compared to 36 percent to 21 percent for Rep. Lee Zeldin, who has the backing of the state party.

For those of you still hanging in there for Great Debate Week 2k22, our third debate since Monday will be tonight, a 7 p.m. event organized by The Times Union, NBC 4 New York/WNBC and Telemundo 47/WNJU and the final faceoff among Democrats vying for the executive mansion.

IT’S THURSDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: (email protected) and (email protected), or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold

WHERE’S KATHY? In New York City to sign a bill to create the NYCHA Preservation Trust.

WHERE’S ERIC? Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, delivering remarks at the NYCHA Preservation Trust bill signing, holding a roundtable with the State of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism and then one with MTA officials, delivering remarks at New York City and New Jersey’s FIFA 2026 World Cup Host City Selection, and hosting a Juneteenth Celebration reception.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: New York Playbook will not publish on Monday, June 20 for Juneteenth. We’ll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday. Please continue to follow POLITICO New York.

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Tensions rise between onetime allies Adams and de Blasio, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: Bill de Blasio is fighting a crowded contest for Congress and scrapping for every advantage he can find. But the former New York mayor is pulling his punches when it comes to one the city’s biggest names: Mayor Eric Adams. The progressive former mayor’s bid for Congress is testing the tensile strength of his longstanding relationship with Adams — a moderate Democrat who he quietly supported in last year’s mayoral election, only to see Adams unravel some of his progressive policies and rail against the “broken” and “dysfunctional” city he inherited. De Blasio had avoided publicly criticizing Adams, and they’ve largely shadow-boxed around one another in statements to the press. But tensions came to a head Monday, when de Blasio pointedly participated in a protest against school budget cuts championed by Adams. After the rally, de Blasio said in an interview that he’s not afraid to take a proverbial swing at Adams — but he’s not spoiling for fights, either. “I will take each issue one at a time,” de Blasio said.

“Black, Latino students again admitted to elite NYC high schools at disproportionately low rates,” by Gothamist’s Michelle Bocanegra: “A small fraction of offers to New York City’s selective specialized high schools were given to Black and Latino students again underlining persistent racial disparities in the country’s biggest school system. Black students — a larger share of whom sought admission to the schools for the upcoming year than the previous fall — comprised more than 20 percent of Specialized High School Admissions Test takers while receiving roughly three percent of offers, according to data released by the city Department of Education Wednesday. Latino students also received disproportionately fewer offers than white or Asian students, making up more than 25 percent of SHSAT participants and just over five percent of offers.”

Adams endorses Hochul for full term as governor, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: Mayor Eric Adams gave his formal endorsement to Gov. Kathy Hochul Wednesday, backing her campaign for a full term as governor. “I need a partner. We need a partner. We need a worker. We need someone with a vision. Someone who knows how to roll up their sleeves and get stuff done for the state of New York,” Adams said in an appearance with Hochul at the Manhattan headquarters of building workers union 32BJ. “Let’s put Kathy Hochul back into the governor’s mansion. I strongly endorse her as the governor,” he continued.

“What the U.S. Supreme Court gun ruling could mean for mass transit in New York City,” by WNYC’s Stephen Nessen: “The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on New York’s strict gun permitting laws this month. Many New Yorkers fear the court’s conservative majority will overturn a state law that requires gun owners to show ‘proper cause’ for needing to carry a concealed gun. If the court throws out the century-old provision to New York’s gun law, there is concern more handguns will come into public places, along with more shootings. But also there are questions about how public places like the subways and buses, which have already seen several high profile shootings this year, will be regulated. Legal experts said the city and state can make an argument designating the subways, buses and rails a so-called ‘sensitive place’ — a designation barring all firearms in certain locations even to concealed carry owners.”

“Was the NYPD budget increased this year? Yes – but it’s complicated,” by City & State’s Sara Dorn: “At a time when rising crime has contributed to a shift away from calls for progressive police reforms, including cuts to the NYPD, police spending remains one of the most closely scrutinized aspects of the city’s spending plan. Advocates have called the NYPD budget the largest in city history, while Mayor Eric Adams and council leaders have said spending remains flat from the previous fiscal year. Both are true, in part. The NYPD usually ends up spending more than its allocated budget, and that will happen this year, as well. The NYPD is forecasted to directly spend $5.88 billion by the end of fiscal year 2022, on June 30. So by that measure, the $5.53 billion allocated this year is a significant reduction of more than $300 million – if the department sticks to the budget.”

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, a Democrat running in the crowded race for New York’s 10th Congressional District, has received endorsements from six state legislators. Her Democratic backers include state Sen. Roxanne Persaud, Assemblymembers Steven Cymbrowitz, Peter Abbate, Linda Rosenthal, Pat Fahy, and former Assemblymember Joan Millman. Simon, who represents Brooklynites from Park Slope to Dumbo in the state’s 52nd District, will face off against a spate of other candidates vying for the congressional seat, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Mondaire Jones.

“This group has fought and delivered for New Yorkers on reproductive rights, workers’ rights, rent stabilization, and environmental protection,” Simon said of her endorsers in a statement. “Our campaign for Congress will continue to fight for those same issues in Washington and give the people of Brooklyn and Manhattan the representative they need and deserve.”

“Accused Buffalo Supermarket Shooter Payton Gendron Charged With Federal Hate Crimes,” by Wall Street Journal’s Sadie Gurman: “Federal prosecutors brought hate-crimes charges against the man accused of killing 10 people in a racist massacre at a supermarket here, according to court filings, as Attorney General Merrick Garland traveled to meet with the families and survivors of the rampage. The Justice Department on Wednesday charged Payton Gendron, 18, with 26 counts of hate crimes and a firearms offense that carries the potential penalty of death. He already faces a number of state-level charges including domestic terrorism and first-degree murder in the May 14 attack at the Tops Friendly Markets, one of the deadliest mass shootings this year. He pleaded not guilty to those charges. … A federal complaint filed in the Western District of New York cites the manifesto at length in accusing Mr. Gendron of killing people at Tops ‘because of their actual and perceived race and color.’”

“Law school deans unveil New York’s new ethics system,” by Times Union’s Brendan J. Lyons: The deans of New York’s 15 accredited law schools on Wednesday announced a rigorous vetting process to select nominees for the state’s new 11-member Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, which was created this year to overhaul the existing state ethics panel which has for years faced criticism for some of its members’ apparent allegiance to the lawmakers who appointed them. The law school deans were enlisted by state lawmakers to create the rules for appointing candidates to the new commission that’s scheduled to take shape next month as the much-maligned Joint Commission on Public Ethics — which was formed in 2011 — will be dismantled on July 8 under the Ethics Commission Reform Act signed into law this year by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“Unlike JCOPE, whose commissioners were generally appointed by New York’s top lawmakers with little vetting — including any deep review of their independence and impartiality — the new rules will enable a nominating committee comprised of the law school deans to reject someone not found to have ‘undisputed honesty, integrity and character.’”

“Wilson walks back debate claim Zeldin asked him to team up,” by Associated Press’ Marina Villeneuve: “Tuesday, though Wilson clarified that Zeldin had asked him to run as state comptroller as part of his slate of candidates — not lieutenant governor. He said he never heard Zeldin say ‘lieutenant governor’ during the exchange because the two candidates were talking over each other. ‘On January 12th, Mr. Zeldin told me that he was a ‘Harry Wilson fan,’ that I was ‘massively talented’ and a ‘fantastic candidate’ and asked me if I would consider serving as the 2022 comptroller candidate because he wanted to ‘put together an insider ticket to win everything,’ Wilson said. ‘I politely declined his suggestion. I raised it on the debate stage on Monday night to highlight the rank hypocrisy demonstrated by Mr. Zeldin’s dishonest attacks.’”

“Seneca County Passes Measure Supporting Cryptocurrency Mining Moratorium,” by WSKG’s Vaughn Golden: “The Seneca County Board of legislators passed a measure Tuesday to send a letter to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul asking her to sign legislation implementing a two-year moratorium on refiring fossil fuel power plants for the purpose of cryptocurrency mining. The measure passed unanimously, an unusual feat considering the board consists of 13 Republicans and a lone Democrat. Republicans have largely rallied against the efforts to address environmental concerns associated with generating some types of cryptocurrency. The resolution also asks Hochul to instruct the Department of Environmental Conservation to deny the renewal of air permits for Greenidge Generation. … ‘We are holding up our end of the deal to protect our environment and honor the state’s climate goals,’ the letter to the governor reads.”

#UpstateAmerica: “You’ve heard of glamping, now try picnique-ing, New York’s new luxury outdoor trend.”

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— The cityis seeking to replace the main health insurance plan that it provides to its employees with a new, lower-cost option.

— A Central Park carriage horse crashed into two cars.

— Sales tax collections continue to soar, but state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says that inflation is a big factor for the revenue boosts coming in.

— Limousine owners say regulations governing stretch limos are ruining their business.

— AG Tish James announced the indictment of 11 members of a drug trafficking ring in Ulster, Dutchess and Saratoga counties.

— State auditors and executive agency officials are working to thaw a frosty relationship.

— The Healthcare Association of New York State has launched a new redistricting tool to show what hospitals fall in new districts.

—New York’s Philharmonic returned to Central Park on Wednesday night after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

—Staten Island’s Community Board 1 voted in favor of ending public funding for the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Parade over its continued exclusion of LGBTQ+ groups.

—City and federal officials are urging New Yorkers to stay informed and not panic as monkeypox cases are detected in the city.

—A majority of New York voters said crime was a “very serious” concern, according to a new poll.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff … Phil Singer of Marathon Strategies … Treasury’s Liz Bourgeois … Omar Khan … Cayla O’Connell Davis … Ken Wolf

MAKING MOVES — Nick Manriquez is now a legislative analyst for GrayRobinson’s government affairs and lobbying team. He previously was a paralegal in the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

WEEKEND WEDDING — Amy Fisher, associate at Freshfields Brauckhaus Deringer in New York, and Theo Di Pauli von Treuheim, incoming orthopedic surgical resident at NYU, got married Friday in his hometown of Kaltern, South Tyrol, Italy. They attended Union College in New York together and started dating their senior year. Pic … Another pic

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“Development metrics in Mayor Adams’ NYC housing plan? Depends on who you ask in his administration,” by New York Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt and Michael Gartland: “They’re apparently not on the same page. In rolling out his housing plan this week, Mayor Adams has refused to offer a target for how many affordable apartment units he would like to see developed in the city over a given time frame, contending it’s counterproductive to be ‘throwing out numbers’ like that. But just last month, Adolfo Carrion, Adams’ commissioner of housing preservation and development, laid out specific short and long-term benchmarks for the Big Apple’s affordable housing stock.”