A purr-fect legislative win for Rosenthal and Gianaris

A cat licking its paw shows off its now-legally protected claws.
Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock
A cat licking its paw shows off its now-legally protected claws.

A purr-fect legislative win for Rosenthal and Gianaris

The two lawmakers championed a state ban on cat declawing.
June 6, 2019

Who was this week's biggest Winner?

Michael Gianaris & Linda Rosenthal
38%
Jumaane Williams
24%
John Brooks & Kimberly Jean-Pierre
23%
Peter Ward
9%
Carlos Menchaca
5%
Other (write your answer below)
1%

Update: Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and state Sen. Michael Gianaris passed legislation last week that bans cat declawing – and for animal lovers all across the state, it was the cat’s meow. On a less positive note, ex-prosecutor Linda Fairstein was voted the biggest loser for her part in the infamous Central Park Five case - fair or not

There’s so many Queens DA candidates that perhaps Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be forgiven for referring to Queens Borough President Katz as Melissa, not Melinda. And there are so many Vallones that it’s not too surprising that Katz’s campaign included Peter when it meant Paul. And if Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t know Dr. Jekyll from Mr. Hyde – well, they’re the same person anyway, aren’t they? You may not agree with this week’s Winners & Losers – but at least we hope we got the names right.

Winners: 
John Brooks & Kimberly Jean-Pierre

The Long Island lawmakers are aiming to save a few lives on the water this summer through a bill that requires safety training for the operators of motor boats. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Legislature this week. There will be no fines for people who skip the training, so peer pressure is going to be paramount. Luckily, that's how many people end up getting boats anyways.

Michael Gianaris & Linda Rosenthal

A moment of silence for all the leather couches that will be harmed by this new law. But a purr of appreciation to these two lawmakers who sponsored the bill that will make New York the first state in the nation to ban declawing cats, which opponents say is akin to amputating fingers. We only wish Grumpy Cat were alive to see this moment. She may have even cracked a smile.

Carlos Menchaca

The Brooklyn city councilman has his own way of making some money on the side. New financial disclosures show that Menchaca earned between $1,000 and $5,000 posing for a modelling agency. That might not be enough money to rehire the staffers he laid off before Christmas last year, but at least he’s got a little more spending money for that life coach.

Peter Ward

The enemy of your enemy is your friend, right? That’s the approach Hotel and Motel Trades Council President Peter Ward seemed to take in endorsing Bill de Blasio’s run for president. De Blasio has been a friend to HTC in cracking down on Airbnb and other home-sharing sites. While de Blasio won the backing of a major union, it won’t necessarily propel him to the White House. Ward, however, is already seeing immediate payoff, as the mayor championed a land use policy that would benefit the union at the endorsement rally.

Jumaane Williams

Most people go out of their way to avoid an arrest record. It certainly doesn’t look good on most resumes. Unless, that is, you’re in public office or an activist. In Williams’ case, getting arrested under the right circumstances (he is very thankful to have avoided arrest when he sold pot as a kid) is a good thing. This week, he was arrested during a rally for stronger rent regulations. “Will you arrest us already?” one demonstrator yelled at the State Police. They, and Williams, got their wish.

Losers: 
Albert Alvarez

The House of Rivera was once quite powerful: Assemblyman Jose Rivera was the Bronx Democratic boss, his son, Joel Rivera, was the New York City Council’s majority leader, and daughter Naomi Rivera served in the Assembly. Their power has faded away in various ways, but this week’s guilty plea by Joel Rivera’s former top staffer – Albert Alvarez, who admitted to stealing public funds by taking straw donations – was a reminder of how far the fortunes of the family and their friends have fallen.

Andy Byford

For the third time since February, a pedestrian under the elevated 7 train in Queens nearly got killed by falling debris. Although it wasn't a "Final Destination"-style beam through a car window like the first incident, a hunk of metal nearly hit a woman on the head. Three makes a trend, and it seems the MTA can longer ignore the potentially deadly debris. Byford caved and agreed to install a net under the tracks after initially resisting the idea. A little traffic disruption is probably better than death by decrepit infrastructure.

Linda Fairstein

Former prosecutor Linda Fairstein fell from a steep height this week with the release of “When They See Us,” Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series about the Central Park Five. Fairstein resigned from several high profile boards following backlash to her part in the series, in which she is portrayed as instrumental in the conviction of five young men of color – who were later exonerated – in the rape a white woman. The Central Park Five is a story of redemption and vindication, but for Fairstein, it is now one of a precipitous – if somewhat delayed – fall from grace.

Paul Manafort

After just a couple months of peace and quiet in the Poconos – in minimum-security federal prison – it looks like President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager is heading back to the big city. Thanks to the new state charges he faces, the man in the ostrich leather jacket might be one of many men in a Rikers Island jumpsuit. The new digs are a guaranteed downgrade, though it’s unclear if his possible solitary confinement is a blessing or a curse.

Scott Stone

Scott Stone has a bold vision for the U.S. legal system, one in which most defendants would be “probably swinging outside the door,” according to a complaint filed by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. The justice was just forced off the bench over that comment, along with others he allegedly made in 2015, like how the legal system “sucks” and how “thanks to lawyers, everybody has rights.” Damn the law and its pesky concerns for due process!

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