Playbook: De Blasio’s snow day
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HERE COMES THE SNOW: Before Bill de Blasio can push his agenda, he has to get city workers to push a lot of shovels. A snow-storm today and tomorrow will test de Blasio with “up to 9 inches of snow and near-blizzard conditions … gusting winds up to 40 mph and single-digit temperatures.” With progressives nationwide hoping de Blasio can prove that they can be trusted to run cities, plowing the streets on-time will be his first chance to prove it.
--SNOW BUZZ: Bloomberg allies, expecting tough comparisons with the former mayor’s handling of his first storm, preemptively point out that key managers of this crisis – including leadership teams at Fire, Sanitation and Emergency Management – are Bloomberg holdovers.
WHY DE BLASIO “WON’T WAIT”: Members of Mayor de Blasio’s inner circle say his call to progressive action in yesterday’s inaugural address was deliberately unyielding and aggressive, designed to signal both supporters and opponents that he’s doubling down on his key campaign promises. The message to Albany, and the wealthy, that he plans to fight fast and hard. Perhaps the most telling line in the whole speech: “We won’t wait.”
--The mayor reminded listeners of New York’s progressive history, and that the world will be watching. The address was designed to signal that although he wants to set a tone for national conversation, his focus will remain in New York. If the party wants to take its cues from him, that’s great. De Blasio said that “the inequality crisis” is “a quiet crisis, but one no less pernicious than those that have come before.”
DE BLASIO’S MESSAGE FOR THE RICH: In the Mayor’s address, he said: “[W]e do not ask more of the wealthy to punish success. We do it to create more success stories.” But his remarks were notably free of conciliation toward the wealthiest. That’s because he and his team, based on both instinct and research, are convinced that the idea of a rich people leaving the city because they don’t like his policies is overblown.
--THE MATH, in his address: “Those earning between $500,000 and one million dollars a year, for instance, would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year. That’s less than three bucks a day – about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks. … A five-year tax on the wealthiest among us – with every dollar dedicated to pre-K and after-school.”
--TEAM DE BLASIO’S CONFIDENCE was boosted by a Center for American Progress post last month, “Why Paying For Preschool In New York City With Tax Increases Benefits Everyone”: “[A] large body of research shows that the idea of ‘tax flight’ is a myth. More progressive tax structures that tax the wealthy at higher rates do not appear to impact migration across states. In fact, high-income workers are the least responsive to changes in the distribution of taxation.” http://goo.gl/GL7PDt
“DEAD AIM” AT TALE OF TWO CITIES -- Capital’s Sally Goldenberg and Laura Nahmias: “The new mayor also promised to expand the city's existing law mandating companies with more than 20 employees provide five paid sick days each year. … It fell to former president Bill Clinton … to yank the proceedings back in a more conciliatory direction, making a point of thanking Bloomberg …” http://goo.gl/mrBLSk
EXCLUSIVE: Lis Smith, a key de Blasio spokesperson during the campaign and transition until her relationship with her former client Eliot Spitzer broke and became a tabloid fixture, had her last official day on his team yesterday and won’t follow him into city government, City Hall sources tell Capital. In the latter part of the transition and during the inauguration, Smith was said to be on vacation.
--Smith is returning to her work as a consultant for the Democratic Governors Association and Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who remained clients while she was with de Blasio. According to a source close to Smith, she was contracted to work with de Blasio only through the transition.
Smith will be based in both New York and D.C.
--Laura Santucci – executive director of the Transition, and now chief of staff to the Mayor, said in a quote provided to Capital: “Lis was contracted to work with our team through the transition. She did exemplary work and we are grateful for the support she provided. Now that the transition is concluding, she is returning to her work as a political consultant.”
LOOK FOR a “conveyor belt” of de Blasio appointments in coming days. Among the next announcements: the City Hall spokesperson.
DE BLASIO’S TEAM celebrated with him at an unannounced reception at Gracie last night. In keeping with his themes, there was no inaugural ball. But family, top donors and key aides got together for a low-key thank you after the long, frigid day at City Hall.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: Dasani Coates, the 12-year-old featured in a moving Times series about children and families in the New York City’s homeless shelters, “is going to be a fixture” in Public Advocate Tish James’ office. “From time to time we’re going to visit Bill de Blasio and make sure he stays on track,” James told supporters at a reception yesterday. Capital asked Dasani what she thought would happen 4 years from now, when the firsts terms of James, Mayor De Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer is over. “I bet I can have a wonderful job,” she said.
--See Dasani’s family at inauguration here, via Chris Smith. http://goo.gl/zVpfpy
**From the National Retail Federation: We asked New Yorkers how many retail positions they could name in ten seconds. Here’s how they did. http://bit.ly/1ev8NTg
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HOW THE INAUGURATION PLAYED: Times 4-col. lead, “De Blasio, Taking Office, Pledges to Fix Inequalities: Sets Liberal Tone for New York in Address” … Post, “D TRAIN ARRIVES … and smashes into Bloomberg” … News, “RIDIN’ THE De TRAIN! Historic transfer” … WSJ A3, “Mayor Vows to Shape a Liberal New York” … Financial Times, photo atop p. 1 of U.S edition, “New York oath: First Democratic mayor for two decades” … am New York, “‘IT BEGINS TODAY’” … Newsday, “Mayor de Blasio: WE ARE ONE CITY.”
--SEE THE DAILY NEWS wraparound cover. http://goo.gl/1vDOBw
--CHRIS SMITH ON NYMag.com: “Most candidates win and tack toward the middle before taking office — partly because they'll be governing citizens who didn't vote for them as well as the ones who did, but mostly out of a calculated need to create some wiggle room in case they can't deliver on all their lofty campaign promises. De Blasio has done the opposite: He's become more definitive since November 5.” http://goo.gl/301OFw
--BEN SMITH on BuzzFeed: “[H]e did in his inauguration what Obama didn’t: He promised to stay true to his detailed and ideological agenda. … De Blasio devoted far less of his energy and stagecraft to what Obama spent his early first term fruitlessly focused on: Reaching out to his enemies and critics.” http://goo.gl/AlhCBs
--MICHAEL POWELL “Gotham” column on Times A1, “On Stage, Reminders of the Limits of Populism”: “Shedding coat and gloves, and the last inhibitions of the inside operative, Bill de Blasio used the ice-edged tapestry of his inauguration to make clear that his campaign oratory would become the lodestar for his administration. … de Blasio’s hopes are grand. … But you suspect that his life’s experience has also taught him that chasms are rarely crossed in a single step.” http://goo.gl/yf6ALI
--DAN BALZ “The Take” column on WashPost A3, “Is Mayor de Blasio helping to reposition the Clintons?”: “De Blasio [is] now one of the nation’s most liberal elected officials, … [Bill] Clinton, as always, was thinking about tomorrow. … The former president was clearly mindful that the Democratic Party of 2014 and of Barack Obama is not quite the same as the one he led in the 1990s — and that one potential obstacle in the path of Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential ambitions is a primary challenge from the left.” http://goo.gl/ZNIYsS
GILDED AGE – “Billionaires Worth $3.7 Trillion Surge as Gates Wins 2013,” by Bloomberg’s Matthew G. Miller and Peter Newcomb: “The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index … The aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31 … The biggest gains came in the technology industry … Of the 300 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2013, only 70 registered a net loss for the 12-month period. … Jonathan Gray, the 43-year-old who runs Blackstone Group LP’s real estate business, became a billionaire when shares of the New York-based private-equity firm surged in May. … Henry Kravis’s fortune rose about $740 million.” http://goo.gl/1xr9Hq
SCOOP: The United Federation of Teachers will make a push to raise taxes in New York City to fund universal Pre-K “one of the main pieces in our legislative package this year,” the union’s president, Michael Mulgrew, told Capital. He declined to name names, but Republicans in the State Senate and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo have so far declined to embrace the idea, citing an openness to the program but a reluctance to raise taxes. “There might be different ideas about this, but right now, this is the idea we are supporting,” said Mulgrew, adding that “an additional revenue source” is needed. “It should not come out of any revenue source that we currently have. The state budget is tight enough as it is; we are still not past the economic damage of this recession.”
COMING ABOARD: Post’s former investigative reporter Candice Giove is now the press secretary for Jeff Klein, the Bronx/Westchester state senator who heads the Independent Democratic Conference. Today is her first day. Follow her: @CandiceGiove
CAPITOL MOVES: Stephen Lewandowski will replace Carmine Donofrio as state steward of the New York State Racing Association. Tin Kim will become deputy comptroller for state government accountability.
THE TALK OF WALL STREET: “Here are the three biggest winners and the three biggest losers in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in 2013,” per AP: “The Winners:  Netflix, up 298 percent …  Micron Technology, up 243 percent … Boise, Idaho-based semiconductor maker  Best Buy, up 237 percent … The Losers: Newmont Mining, down 50.4 percent … Denver-based mining company has been stung by sharply lower prices for gold and copper …  Cliffs Natural Resources, down 32 percent … another mining company …  Edwards Lifesciences, down 27.1 percent … maker of heart devices.”
“JOHNNY JET”? Post sports back: Jets GM John “Idzik must do whatever it takes and … GO JET JOHNNY,” by Steve Serby: “You couldn’t take your eyes off Johnny Football on New Year’s Eve, … couldn’t help yourself from imagining him on the biggest NFL stage. … [T]he dream begins the first night of the 2014 NFL Draft, when Idzik trades up from 18 the way Mike Tannenbaum traded up from 17 to 5 for Mark Sanchez to turn Johnny Football into Johnny Jet. … You see him standing on a bench exhorting Jets fans. You see him imploring Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson to get him the ball back.” http://goo.gl/wCLW0V
THE HOME TEAMS -- Capital’s Howard Megdal: Alex Rodriguez's appeal of his 211-game suspension can come down "at any time", per Newsday. The Yankees' pursuit of a sub-$189 million payroll hangs in the balance. http://goo.gl/VQpknD
--NETS, SOMEDAY -- Kevin Garnett still thinks the 10-21 Nets are a good team, and simply need to "come together". Getting Andrei Kirilenko back won't hurt, either. http://goo.gl/DPy9fR
--sKNICKering -- Carmelo Anthony is listed as probably to play Thursday against the Spurs, and listed as certain that one of his critics is a "Glazed Donut Face Ass". http://goo.gl/DMkuoB
#UpstateAmerica A teenager arrested for stealing a phone escaped from police in rural Rensselaer County by sneaking out a back door of the station and stealing a police car, which he then left two blocks from his parent’s house: http://goo.gl/55odxA
BROADWAY BEAT – “‘Wicked’ Breaks the $3 Million Barrier in Record-Breaking Christmas Week,” by Variety Legit Editor Gordon Cox: ““Wicked’ ($3,201,333 for nine perfs) became the first show ever to top $3 million for a single week of shows, with the flood of Gotham’s holiday visitors driving demand for the 10-year-old hit high enough to sustain an average price paid per ticket of $184.50. … [T]he predominance of premium-priced seats has accelerated the timeline for record-breaking feats like last week’s. …
“Last week … four shows … logged more than $2 million apiece. ‘The Lion King’ ($2,837,158 for nine) placed ahead of a best-ever tally for … ‘Kinky Boots’ ($2,247,240 for nine) as well as ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ ($2,176,436 for nine), upswinging dramatically ahead of its Jan. 4 closing, and ‘The Book of Mormon’ ($2,145,404).” http://goo.gl/G56omB
** From the National Retail Federation: You’ve heard the mantra, “The customer is always right.” Shoppers want quicker access to products, smarter shopping through mobile, and better customer experience. And our members – retail businesses, large and small – are responding through innovative technology and smart business practices. Here’s what Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, Whole Foods’ Walter Robb, STORY’s Rachel Shechtman and Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal think about the future of the industry. Watch the video: http://bit.ly/18FgftY