Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Anthony Weiner at it again
- Cuomo in rough waters after fishing photo
- As the 3rd CD turns
The sext heard 'round the world
Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin announced Monday she and Anthony Weiner are separating, after a New York Post front-page story showing that the former congressman and mayoral candidate has continued the sexting habits that prompted his varied, repeated falls from grace.
The newest Weiner scandal includes a new low — Weiner appears to have taken a scantily clad image of himself that also pictures his young son, and sent it to a sexting partner. Weiner and Abedin were married in 2010 at Oheka Castle.
The Weiner saga is particularly perplexing and disturbing to New Yorkers who knew the man as a gifted politician with a head for policy, who might have been running New York City now instead of ducking once more into public embarrassment.
That was particularly clear to another person who direct-messaged on Twitter with Weiner — this writer. After I’d sniped at the former congressman for an article he’d written for the Daily News in April about current NYC politics, Weiner sniped back. Then he followed me on Twitter. This allowed me to take the conversation offline, and ask whether he’d be interested in discussing his views on city politics. He agreed.
In a phone interview, he was combative but eloquent in defending Mayor Bill de Blasio, then in the midst of intense press scrutiny over fundraising practices. Weiner expressed support for various de Blasio policies, including his affordable housing initiatives, and articulated the pragmatic, relatively centrist view for improving NYC life that Weiner espoused when he ran for mayor in 2013. He was happy to riff on local issues until I started to move the conversation toward his wife, Abedin, and the strange and fascinating documentary of his mayoral campaign which was then in theaters.
He said he had to go.
Though he wasn’t in a position of power, Weiner often took to Twitter over the past year to express his views on local and national politics, displaying the continued sharp and performative intelligence that never dulled, no matter what his behavior in other arenas.
The governor and the shark
There were two boats recently searching for sharks in the deep waters of the East End. One was an OCEARCH vessel with conservation researchers who were tagging juvenile great whites, and another contained Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who reeled in and killed a juvenile thresher shark, considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as ‘vulnerable to extinction.’After receiving a lot of blowback for the photo he tweeted with the dead shark strung up on a boat dock, Cuomo may now wish he’d chosen to be aboard that other boat.
Field trip to the Pentagon for the 3rd CD
An obscure program within the Department of Defense may determine whether voters go to the polls in the 3rd Congressional District in November or December.
When a federal judge ordered a Republican primary in October, he also ordered the state to seek a hardship exemption under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. That law requires ballots be sent to military and overseas voters 45 days before a federal election. But the October primary date is 32 days before this year’s general election so the absentee ballots couldn’t be sent in time to comply with the rule.
The state filed for a one-time exemption to the 45-day rule. The waiver application requests a plan for ensuring that overseas and uniformed voters have sufficient time to receive and return their ballots; that can include overnight delivery and the ability to download a ballot before mailing it back.
The state’s request goes to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, housed in the Defense Department. The final ruling will be signed by Peter Levine, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; Levine’s other jobs include overseeing recruitment, health and morale across the armed forces.
Lawyers for the 3rd Congressional District candidates will be in court on Tuesday for oral arguments on the motion by the Jack Martins campaign to reschedule the general election until December. The outcome may hinge on whether the state receives the UOCAVA waiver.
If the DOD grants the state’s application later today, a big piece of Martins’ argument will be moot.
Get out and walk
- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s grand plan for LaGuardia Airport includes a new central terminal and a train to the plane from Willets Point. Right now, travelers would settle for being able to take a cab to the old central terminal without having to get out on Grand Central Parkway and walk.
- Donald Trump national spokeswoman Katrina Pierson says Trump hasn’t changed his position on immigration, he’s just changed the words he’s saying. In other words, it’s like a lot of Trump positions.
- Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has hired two consultants instead of the usual one to forecast the county’s sales tax growth for next year, after Suffolk fell $68 million short in 2015 and is even more behind this year. OK, but it’s not like the two consultants are actually going to increase sales tax revenues.
- An East Setauket homeowner whose house near Stony Brook University had lots of extra rooms with locked doors said he knew nothing about potential illegal apartment conversions. After the deck on the house collapsed during a party with hundreds of students and two people got hurt, he said he was lucky no one was killed. Well, he got that part right.
- What was the bigger surprise: That the upstate Maine Endwell baseball team became New York’s first Little League World Series champion in 52 years, or that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s congratulatory tweet beat Sen. Chuck Schumer’s by 2 minutes?