8:10 am Feb. 13, 2013
A year after Rudy Giuliani was re-elected mayor, the owners of the Marriott Marquis approached his administration and renegotiated their lease.
Ostensibly as an incentive for the company to continue to contribute to the revitalization of Times Square, and to generate revenue for the city in the near term, the lease was cut down by 40 years and the deal included a set price for the hotel company to buy the city-owned land on which the hotel sits.
According to New York City Comptroller John Liu, the price is pennies per square foot, far below comparable rates nearby.
A spokesman for the hotel said the property is actually worth a "negative" amount of money, because of deferred rent payments.
A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg disparaged the audit, saying Liu is now "rummaging through Giuliani files."
A spokesman at the New York City Economic Development Corporation defended the lease, which was negotiated well before the current team was in place.
One person who may be in a position to talk about it is Joe Lhota, who was a deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration and, like Liu, is running for mayor.
"This is probably one of the most bizarre mayoral elections I've seen in decades." — Craig Eaton
New York City Comptroller John Liu said it's unclear why the Giuliani administration renegotiated the Marriot Marquis' lease in 1998. [Laura Kusisto]
"Our reading is the land had a negative value of $12.7 million," said a Marriot Marquis spokesman Bob Chlopak. [David Seifman]
A dentist accused of Medicaid fraud by then-attorney general Eiiot Spitzer won a $7.7 million judgement against Spitzer's former staff. [John Marzulli and Corky Siemaszko]
Why Cuomo is missing deadlines on fracking. [New York Post]
Democrat Tom Suozzi said he'll run for his old seat as Nassau County executive. [Robert Brodsky]
How much do the mayoral candidates differ from Bloomberg on education policy? [Dana Rubinstein]
Picking Jenny Rivera shows Cuomo likes the idea of outsiders serving on the bench. [Reid Pillifant]
Victims "deserve a vote" on gun laws, Obama said. [Reid Pillifant]
On Staten Island, Joe Lhota lost Guy Molinari but is holding onto the Republican chairman, Robert Scamardella. [Dana Rubinstein and Azi Paybarah]
John Catsimatidis supports a higher minimum wage for older workers. [Azi Paybarah]
9:30 a.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins NYU president John Sexton and a donor to announce a major gift to help establish a New Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment, at Vanderbilt Hall at NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square South, Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg #NYUcities
11 a.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State and budget presentation, in the Main Stage Theater at LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, in Long Island City, Queens. @nygovCuomo #NYbudget #NYsafe
12:30 p.m. Mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson join UnitedNY, 32BJ, RWDSU, Make the Road NY, New York Communities for Change and others to discuss the state of low-wage workers, on the 19th floor of the CUNY Murphy Institute, 24 West 43rd Street, Manhattan. @DeBlasioNYC @BillThompsonNYC @32BJ_SEIU @RWDSU @NYchange @united_ny #WorkersRising
12:45 p.m. New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott speaks at the College Board Middle States Regional Forum, at New York Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn. @NYCschools #EduElection
1 p.m. The City Council's Committee on Public Housing has an oversight hearing on NYCHA's planning and response to Hurricane Sandy, on the 16th Floor of 250 Broadway, Manhattan. @CM_MargaretChin @Erik_Dilan @Dan_Halloran @mmViverito @RosieMendez @JimmyVanBramer @NYCHA #Sandy
Obama got aggressive in his State of the Union address. [Carrie Budoff Brown]
"Obama's incredibly ambitious second-term agenda" [Ezra Klein]
As Obama arrived, he spoke to Reps. Meeks, Meng and Clarke but not Engel. [MSNBC]
He also signed a long-awaited executive order to help combat cyberthreats. [Michael Schmidt]
"Rubio interrupts speech for badly needed sip of water" [WPIX]
Bobby Jindal thought he did "wonderful." [@BobbyJindal]
Bike lane supporters fear the next mayor will remove some of them. Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson said, "The great bike war is over, and the opponents lost." [Matt Flegenheimer]
John Catsimatidis is funding the Queens County Republican organization's lawsuit against Jimmy Oddo, Vinnie Ignizio and Eric Ulrich. [Julia Marsh]
More on that lawsuit. [James Fanelli]
More on Guy Molinari's defection from Joe Lhota to Adolfo Carrion Jr. [Celeste Katz and Jonathan Lemire]
Despite the defection, the Staten Island Republican chairman is still supportive of Lhota. [Nicholas Rizzi]
City Hall / City Council
A Columbia University study compared murder rates in New York City neighborhoods to those in countries around the world. East Harlem: Brazil; Hunts Point: Benin; Mott Haven-Melrose: Nicaragua; University Heights: Russia. [Frank Rosario and Bob Fredericks]
The NYPD referred a case to the Civilian Complaint Review Board after video surfaced of several cops assaulting a Queens teenager while he was on the ground. [Lorena Mongelli]
"Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is becoming Hamlet on the Shale." [Danny Hakim]
A spokesman for the state's Budget Division said the decision to redact money from spinal-cord research to the state's general fund was made in 2010, before Cuomo took office. [Erik Kriss]
Cuomo supports the "rape is rape" bill. [Ken Lovett]
Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos is more of a doormat than opposition leader. [Bill Hammond]
The anti-gun-control rally was far larger than the pro-gun-control rally in Albany. [Laura Nahmias]
Fixes are still needed in Cuomo's gun control bill. [Democrat and Chronicle]
Fracking opponents are suing the town of Sanford for barring any discussion of the issue at their monthly meetings. [Peter Applebome]
More disgusting accusations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez. [Sally Goldenberg]