Hochul tests positive for Covid- POLITICO

Gov. Kathy Hochul quipped at an event last month that she and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins were “the only two people in the entire state who haven’t had Covid yet.” That streak is over: Hochul announced Sunday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and boosted, and I’m asymptomatic. I’ll be isolating and working remotely this week,” Hochul said in a tweet, canceling a planned trip to Washington, D.C. “A reminder to all New Yorkers: get vaccinated and boosted, get tested, and stay home if you don’t feel well.”

Her diagnosis comes less than a month after New York City Mayor Eric Adams also tested positive for the virus. Hochul also sat next to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday at a Regional Plan Association event.

And it comes as infections are once again rising across the state, though officials have made few policy changes in response. Some 13,902 positive results were reported across New York on Thursday, compared to 8,452 a week before and 5,904 four weeks back — numbers that don’t include at-home tests. There are 36 counties in upstate New York classified by the CDC as having “high” coronavirus transmission — representing nearly half of the 79 counties in the entire country with that classification. Hospitalizations have also gone up.

New York City, meanwhile, jumped last week into the “medium” risk level from its previously “low” alert level, and infections have continued to rise since then.

According to the city’s rubric, that designation means officials should consider bringing back vaccine requirements for indoor dining and entertainment as well as a school mask mandate, both of which the mayor scrapped in early March. “We’re not there yet,” Adams said Friday when asked about taking those steps, though he left open the option to “pivot” at any time.

IT’S MONDAY. 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 Albany with no public events scheduled.

WHERE’S ERIC? Making an announcement with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, holding a rally for mayoral control, meeting with hospital executives, speaking at the opening of the Institute for Community Living’s supportive housing apartment complex, an Association for a Better New York celebration, a Solomon Partners dinner, and a Robin Hood benefit.

The Secrets Ed Koch Carried,” by the New York Times’ Matt Flegenheimer and Rosa Goldensohn: “Edward I. Koch looked like the busiest septuagenarian in New York. Glad-handing well-wishers at his favorite restaurants, gesticulating through television interviews long after his three terms as mayor, Mr. Koch could seem as though he was scrambling to fill every hour with bustle. He dragged friends to the movies, pursuing a side career in film criticism. He urged new acquaintances to call him ‘judge,’ a joking reference to his time presiding over ‘The People’s Court.’ But as his 70s ticked by, Mr. Koch described to a few friends a feeling he could not shake: a deep loneliness. He wanted to meet someone, he said. Did they know anyone who might be ‘partner material?’ Someone ‘a little younger than me?’ Someone to make up for lost time? ‘I want a boyfriend,’ he said to one friend, Charles Kaiser.”

Adams to make personal push for mayoral control in Albany, by POLITICO’s Madina Touré: Mayor Eric Adams is planning to head to Albany to make his own personal push for a four-year extension of mayoral control. The mayor was scheduled to headline a rally with union leaders in support of mayoral control Thursday afternoon but postponed the event when a flight home from Los Angeles, where he was speaking at a conference, was canceled. He told POLITICO in an interview Friday that he’ll be going to the state Capitol with schools Chancellor David Banks to discuss the issue with state leaders next week. “I do want to get to Albany and walk the halls with the chancellor and speak to the lawmakers one-on-one as we do this final push and moving to the end of the session,” Adams said during a phone interview.

Adams pays off ‘political debt’ with 10 hires for high-paying NYC posts,” by New York Post’s Rich Calder: “Mayor Eric Adams has rewarded 10 ex-City Council members with plum leadership posts in his administration since taking office in January. The new hires — which include four department heads and other top advisors who mostly traded in council seats for higher-paying, six-figure gigs at City Hall — were tapped from both sides of the political aisle by the former Brooklyn borough president.”

NYPD violates stop-and-frisk order by underreporting, fed monitor says,” by New York Post’s Rich Calder: “The NYPD continues to violate a court order by underreporting the rate that cops use controversial stop-and-frisk practices, a federal monitor says. In a 169-page status report filed Friday in Manhattan federal court, Mylan Denerstein praised the NYPD for making ‘significant strides in meeting the court’s requirements,’ including its use of body worn camera by cops to make legal stops and searches. However, Denerstein also said ‘there is still additional work that needs to be done’ — adding ‘the issue of underreporting of stops remains a concern and limits the extent’ that progress can be properly judged off stats provided by the NYPD.”

— Stats of 2,200 nonemergency 311 complaints from a South Brooklyn precinct are under investigation.

Adams Community Relations Chief Lobbied for Developers — and Local Leaders Are Aghast,” by The City’s Greg B. Smith: “The neighborhoods of Queens Community Board 3 — covering East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and North Corona — already hosted four shelters, and several hotels within the district were temporarily housing homeless individuals during the pandemic. Behind the scenes, LGA Hospitality LLC, the owners of the property, fought back, hiring a politically wired lobbyist firm, James Capalino Associates, to move the project along, obtain all required permits and roll over local resistance. Today the shelter, located at 112-16 Astoria Boulevard near LaGuardia Airport, is scheduled to open soon, but local leaders are now hoping for a more sympathetic ear from de Blasio’s successor, Mayor Eric Adams. … There might be a problem with that.”

Abortion battle, new lieutenant boost Hochul’s election bid after rough stretch, by POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold: Gov. Kathy Hochul was expecting to spend the last month taking a victory lap after completing her first budget deal and delivering billions of dollars for projects across New York. Instead, the Democratic governor had her worst month in office since she succeeded scandal-scarred Andrew Cuomo last August. She slogged through April cleaning up after her lieutenant governor’s federal bribery charges and resignation, deciphering court decisions regarding now-defunct congressional and state Senate district lines her fellow Democrats drew, and fending off criticism about millions of dollars of state funding she’s sending to keep the Buffalo Bills in New York. All of it led her poll numbers to sag.

But Hochul could be getting past the difficult stretch as a potential June 28 primary approaches. Hochul this week announced a new lieutenant governor and running mate, Hudson Valley Rep. Antonio Delgado, just a day after she convinced the state Legislature to pass a new law allowing her former pick to remove himself from the ballot. And she is diving into what may become a prominent national role in Democrats’ pushback to a draft Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade, rallying voters in New York and across the country who may now emerge in greater-than-expected numbers on Election Day.

Steuben County court hears pleas for new congressional and state Senate maps, by POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney: Around two dozen people made their final pitches for New York’s new congressional and state Senate maps on Friday in the Steuben County courthouse where the lines are now being drawn. And far more so than in any of the dozens of public map-making hearings that have been held over the past year, Democrats were on the defensive. Most of their time was spent criticizing plans suggested by Republicans and several other interested parties. That’s a sharp change from just a few months ago, when Democrats enacted a plan that would have left them well-positioned to pick up new seats in both Congress and the state Senate with no Republican input.

Tom Suozzi running mate Diana Reyna owes $138K to NYC Campaign Finance Board,” by New York Post’s Jon Levine

#UpstateAmerica: The Times Union traced the final months before a 26-year-old man’s suicide last year at the Grand Canyon, which included an exorcism during several months he spent among a religious order in Cobleskill.

Schumer calls for vote to force Republicans to make public stance on abortion,” by New York Daily News’ Shant Shahrigian: “The Senate will hold a vote this week that will force lawmakers to share their stances on abortion publicly, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday. The New York Democrat said he would move to hold a Wednesday vote on codifying the right to abortion — which the Supreme Court is poised to ban, according to a bombshell leak of the majority’s draft ruling on the matter. He acknowledged that the vote in the evenly divided Senate would be a symbolic but worthwhile gesture. ‘Republicans have tried to duck it. They have surreptitiously tried to take away rights by packing the courts, but they don’t get up and talk about it,’ the senator said at a Midtown Manhattan news conference. ‘Now they have to show which side they’re on.’”

— “Gillibrand calls abortion rights ‘fight of generation’ after ‘bone-chilling’ court draft opinion,” by The Guardian’s Maya Yang

— “NY lawmakers push to prevent abortion clinics from facing out-of-state lawsuits,” by Gothamist’s Caroline Lewis 

Labor regulators find merit in accusations by unions at Amazon and Starbucks,” by The New York Times’ Noam Scheiber: “In a sign that federal labor officials are closely scrutinizing management behavior during union campaigns, the National Labor Relations Board said Friday that it had found merit in accusations that Amazon and Starbucks had violated labor law. At Amazon, the labor board found merit to charges that the company had required workers to attend anti-union meetings at a vast Staten Island warehouse where the Amazon Labor Union won a stunning election victory last month.”

— Amazon fired more than half a dozen senior managers involved with the Staten Island warehouse.

Son of a New York judge who participated in January 6 riot in costume receives 8-month sentence,” by CNN’s Holmes Lybrand: “The son of a New York judge was sentenced to eight months behind bars Friday for civil disorder and stealing police equipment during the January 6, 2021 US Capitol attack. During the riot, Aaron Mostofsky —- who prosecutors say was dressed as a caveman during the attack — joined a group of rioters fighting against a line of police officers who were adjusting a fence barricade. Mostofsky pushed on other rioters to add to the thrust against police. Later, Mostofsky stole a police vest, which he donned on top of his costume that day, and a riot shield which he says were both abandoned. ‘You were literally on the front lines of this attack,’ district Judge James Boasberg said during the sentencing in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.”

— A 25-year-old man died at Rikers Island Saturday evening, the fourth death this year.

— Subway ridership hit 3.5 million on Thursday, the highest since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

— A federal grand jury indicted the man suspected of shooting up a New York City subway train.

— Some critics are calling for former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pension to be docked if he doesn’t pay back what he owes for improper use of his security detail.

— The MTA ordered bus drivers not to open back doors in order to deter fare evasion.

— Adams expressed support for a move to let the Civilian Complaint Review Board prosecute the NYPD officer who killed Delrawn Small.

— Rat sightings are more frequent than they’ve been in a decade.

— Adams visited Rikers for the first time as mayor Friday to thank correction officers.

— Documents in a lawsuit suggest that de Blasio intervened in NYPD hiring decisions to increase people of color in high-ranking positions.

— Adams and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, two individuals on opposite sides of the Democratic Party, haven’t spoken to each other in almost a year.

— An appellate court ruled that law enforcement agencies can’t use a state DNA database to investigate the possible relatives of people whose genetic material matches those on file.

— The second-highest ranking NYPD official is accused of cheating on his sergeant’s exam 30 years ago and disciplined for four misconduct cases.

— A proposed bill would offer a $1,000 reward for people who provide information helping to catch a hit-and-run driver.

— A City Council member in Brooklyn withdrew $5,000 in funding from the Museum of Jewish Heritage over its decision not to host Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: NYT’s Ezra Klein … Fox News’ Dana Perino, Garrett Tenney and Jordan Powell … Veho’s Theo LeCompte … POLITICO’s Victoria Guida Nihal Krishan of the Washington Examiner … Chris Ullman of Ullman Communications … John McEntee Shiza ShahidJulia Robertson(was Sunday): former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio … AP’s Chris Megerian … CNN’s Ed Meagher Johnson & Johnson’s Clare Hiler Eric Rodrigues … Hamilton Place Strategies’ André Bransford … Guidehouse’s Cooper Smith Melissa Moss of Moss Advisors … Conor Lynch

…(was Saturday): Fox’s Brian Kilmeade … NBC’s Mark MurrayRob Saliterman turned 4-0 … CNBC’s Amanda Macias Scott Conroy Lileana Pearson Sandra R. “Sandy” Galef

FIRST IN NY PLAYBOOK — MEDIAWATCH — Isis Almeida has been named the new Chicago bureau chief of Bloomberg News. She currently is the team leader for gas, power and renewables in Europe for Bloomberg.

MAKING MOVES — Raymond Rodriguez is now national press secretary for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. He previously was comms director for Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.). … Rush Perez is the new deputy communications director for 32BJ. He was press secretary for the New York Immigration Coalition. … Former New Jersey Commissioner of Transportation Kris Kolluri has been named the next head of the Gateway Program Development Corporation, a partnership of New York, New Jersey and Amtrak that oversees the building of the bridges and tunnels that make up the Gateway program.

WEEKEND WEDDING — Emma Levin, a Democratic political consultant, married Eli Simon-Mishel, a director for corporate development and M&A at ERM: Environmental Resources Management, at the Bowery Hotel on Saturday night in New York City. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a toast. Pic

Adams says he’ll ‘get out of the way’ of rent hike vote, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: Mayor Eric Adams said he plans to “get out of the way” after a board whose members he appoints voted to raise rents by up to 4 percent on one-year leases. Adams stressed the independence of the Rent Guidelines Board, which sets rents for 1 million rent-regulated apartments, even as he again expressed sympathy for small landlords struggling with rising costs. “When you appoint members of the board, that’s your role to do. But the next thing you should do is get out of the way,” Adams said at an unrelated press conference in Times Square on Friday. “That’s an independent board.”

Bid to spare West Park Presbyterian Church from demolition wins Upper West Side committee’s support,” by WNYC’s Arun Venugopal: “Members of Manhattan Community Board 7’s Preservation Committee took a stand against the proposed demolition of West Park Presbyterian Church last night, voting against the 132-year-old Upper West Side church’s application to be relieved of its landmark designation. The committee’s 8-1 vote (with one abstention) is advisory and came at the end of a four and a half-hour meeting that included many impassioned pleas from community residents to save the crumbling red sandstone building, once described as ‘one of the best examples of a Romanesque Revival style religious structure in New York City.’”

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