Going big on a sordid story about the teachers union
A lawsuit against United Federation of Teachers head Michael Mulgrew alleges that he had sex in a classroom in 2005 with a married guidance counselor and helped that woman get a plum union job, and then traded away members' rights in contract talks in exchange for keeping the affair quiet.
The Post, which ran the story of the suit on its cover over the weekend, follows up with another cover story today, this time quoting a rival union official saying Mulgrew should step down "if we find there's anything suggesting any proof to the allegations."
That "if," from a highly motivated source, illustrates the catch with this story.
The suit itself says, "Everyone has only hearsay knowledge, but almost everyone in the school talked about it." Which sounds like what you might say if you were more interested in embarrassing the target than successfully suing him.
Which is where the Post comes in. The paper has long crusaded against the teachers union and in favor of the charter-school movement, and in that context this story is irresistible: an alleged sex scandal involving the head of the teachers union which took place in a public school.
The story hasn't been picked up elsewhere yet, but look for the Post to have another run at it at the next opportunity, like maybe when Mulgrew answers a question about the allegations at his next public appearance.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's top education official, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, is the subject of a mini-feature in the Times in which he talks about singing in his church's choir.
We are now sending the morning Briefing out as an email newsletter. If you'd like to receive it, please sign up here.
Andrew Cuomo is in Albany.
10 a.m. Councilman Oliver Koppell will endorse Adriano Espaillat for Congress, at the Kingsbridge Armory
5:45 p.m. Bloomberg receives a lifetime achievement award at the Webbys at 311 West 34th Street.
Super PACs have provided a whole new set of career incentives for political operatives. [Nick Confessore]
Mitt Romney refers to Bill Clinton often, positively. [Jonathan Lemire]
Many more State Department employees donate to Barack Obama than to Romney. [Geoff Earle]
More on the police union leader who whispered an answer to Liz Crowley. [Jill Colvin]
Republican Dan Halloran said Rory Lancman would be a tough opponent but, "Unfortunately, his voting record does not match his personal commitment to his faith. He was on the opposite side of gay marriage; opposite side of abortion…" [Yossi Gestetner]
Adriano Espaillat: "Every community wants to have its Jackie Robinson moment." [Carl Campanile]
A Rangel ally threatened to primary State Senator Bill Perkins if he didn't support the congressman for re-election. [Daniel Prendergast and Gary Buiso]
Joyce Johnson talks about a voter she met named "Natasha." [Inside City Hall]
Ray Kelly: "Did the New York Civil Liberties Union and certain City Council members protest or demand something be done to reduce black-on-black violence? Not at all. Instead, they have directed their animus toward the Police Department, condemning the very tactics that have saved more than 5,600 lives in New York’s poorest neighborhoods in the last decade." [Daily News]
Mike Lupica: "Is stop-and-frisk perfect? Kelly admitted on Thursday that it wasn’t. But as imperfect as it is, in an imperfect city, it works." [Daily News]
Bill de Blasio: "The same week as the commissioner announced these changes the mayor was saying it was impossible to change stop-and-frisk one iota." [Up Close]
Baher Azmy: "It seems to me a sort of reckless form of rhetoric, to scare people to think this is necessary to reduce murders when there is absolutely no evidence of that correlation." [Up Close]
Kate Taylor: The NYPD is weeding out a few bad apples "rather than wholesale addressing the program." [Inside City Hall]
Tina Moore: "I don't know if there's any real change there."
The NYPD is saving lives in minority neighborhoods. [
A Bloomberg aide says the mayor may make an endorsement in the 2012 race. [David Seifman]
A member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Rev. Mitchell Taylor, said the group isn't staffed well enough to investigate allegations of police wrongdoing. [Michael Howard Saul]
"The wealthiest 1 percent of New York City residents took in nearly one-third of the personal income in the city in 2009 — almost double the comparable proportion nationwide, a new study shows." [Patrick McGeehan]
Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden "was an 'it girl' of the go-go 1960s, with The New York Times fawning over her 'chestnut mane of Alice in Wonderland hair' and going on to say that she and Mr. Burden were not merely 'known,' but 'idolized, rhapsodized, fantasized and utilized.'” [Julie Satow]
Democratic Senate leader John Sampson is not likely to regain his post next year. [Ken Lovett]
State Senator Tony Avella wants to legalize sports gambling. [Carl Campanile]
Andrew Cuomo should consider getting rid of Brooklyn D.A. Joe Hynes. [New York Post]
The leak of an ongoing JCOPE investigation reflects poorly on the governor, since his "longtime associate and former inspector general, Ellen Biben," runs the group." [New York Post]
Liberals, unhappy with Cuomo's economic policies, want him to support a boost in the state's minimum wage. [John Eligon]
Andrew Cuomo: "I am never scared." [Cindy Adams]
Erik Engquist: "I have never seen a governor react so quickly to anything that is in the media. I mean, there hasn't been one negative story in the media that he has not responded to. Sometimes he responds even before the stories come out." [Inside City Hall]
Ken Lovett: "Don't forget, despite the rocky relationship, they got along really well the first couple of months. The governor needed the mayor on pension reform. The governor needed the mayor on teacher evaluations and the governor needed the mayor on the budget. So, they did all this work together and the minute those were off the table, then he came out with this thing [ending fingerprinting of food-stamp applicants] he knew the mayor didn't like." [Inside City Hall]
Schools chancellor Dennis Walcott's Sunday routine includes running and choir. [Robin Finn]
U.F.T. president Michael Mulgrew is the target of a "rambling 73-page suit" by a union member. [Susan Edelman]
A rival within the union said Mulgrew should step down if any proof of the allegations materializes. [Reuven Fenton, Antonio Antenucci and Yoav Gonen]
Mulgrew is criticized for opposing bonus pay for high-performing teachers but supporting payouts for poor performing ones. [Daily News]
A recent arbitration decision could spell trouble for taxpayers. [Nicole Gelinas]
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men packed Citi Field for a rally about the dangers of the internet. [Michael Grynbaum]
The official photos. [William Alatriste]
A slideshow of guests coming and going. [Jill Colvin]
"Amid New York's Political Elite, Council Speaker Weds Her Longtime Partner" [Kate Taylor]
Stacey Sager: "It was a much anticipated political event." [ABC]
Grace Rauh: "But this wedding was not always a sure thing. At this time last year the couple did not have the right to marry in New York." [NY1]
Enemies of Liu
"It’s hardly uncommon for some in the minority community to believe that the white establishment uses its power to slander and destroy minority politicians who threaten the status quo. We saw the idea rising during the high-profile corruption trials of Councilman Larry Seabrook and Assemblyman William Boyland — and as City Comptroller John Liu’s campaign came under scrutiny.
"Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James’ remark about the “invisible and permanent powers-that-be” trying to take down John Liu typifies that sentiment." [Michael Benjamin]
Chris Wallace* to Rep. Paul Ryan: "Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts for four years [and] during that time Massachusetts ranked 47th of the 50 states in job creation. The only reason the unemployment rate went down is because so many people left the work force, more than any other state in the country except for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Is that a record to be proud of?" [* name fixed] [Fox News Sunday]
Kenan Thompson as Al Sharpton. [Saturday Night Live]