Briefing: ‘Game Change 2012’ exclusive, a stop-and-frisk stay, Mercury rises

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SNEAK PEEK — "Double Down: Game Change 2012," by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, out Tuesday from The Penguin Press — via Mike Allen: “Obama found hanging out with [Bill] Clinton wearing, at times exasperating. In New York for another night of fundraising, … Clinton held Obama captive in the presidential limo, curbside at the Waldorf, regaling him with a lengthy anecdote, grabbing his hand when Obama tried to hop out of the car before Clinton finished. (Bill, we have to go, Obama kept saying. Just one more second! Clinton kept insisting.)

"Upstairs at the hotel, they were supposed to share a one-on-one meal, but Obama couldn’t handle any more undiluted Clinton. Casting about for buffers, he invited a gaggle of aides – [Doug] Band, [Patrick] Gaspard, [Valerie] Jarrett, [Jack] Lew – to join them, and spent much of the dinner asking the underlings about their kids rather than picking the fellow-presidential brain. …

“Biden decided he wanted to hire a new counselor to be his de facto campaign chief of staff. His choice for the job was Kevin Sheekey, a raffish New York operative who had helped turn Mike Bloomberg into a political force – and had been the maestro orchestrating the mayor’s 2008 dabblings with an independent presidential bid. … The Obamans, however[,] … were threatened by his mojo and the prospect that we would vivify Biden’s shop. …

Obama had defied all expectations – and the advice of his own people – by bringing [Hillary] Clinton onto his team. The alliance seemed tenuous and fraught, but it had worked out better than anyone save Obama himself ever expected; he and his former rival proved effective partners. Now, … Obama’s relationship with the Clintons had reached a new and unforeseen phase. On election night, the instant that Obama hung up with Romney, he turned to Messina and said, ‘Get Bill on the phone.’ Amazingly, The One and the Big Dog had become something like friends. …

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"Once upon a time, not all that long ago, the Obamas and the Clintons had been the Montagues and the Capulets. Now, more and more, it seemed as if the four most popular political figures in the country – Barack and Michelle, Hillary and Bill – were part of the same powerful family.” Amazon.com pre-order: $20.07 hardcover, $11.99 Kindle, $26.96 audiobook CD http://goo.gl/oxpGMU

EXCLUSIVE — MERCURY RISING — Capital's Jimmy Vielkind: Mercury Public Affairs will re-establish its Albany office with lobbyists who have recently left Patricia Lynch Associates, Capital has learned. Patrick McCarthy, Jim Quent and Lisa Reid are all signing on to Mercury, a firm founded by Pataki administration veterans that has diversified and grown, over time, to include 120 employees in six states.

McCarthy and Reid will work from a new office at 11 North Pearl Street, while Quent, who had worked for Patricia Lynch Associates in New York City, will stay in the Big Apple, according to Michael McKeon, a Mercury partner.

It's unclear whether any of the lobbyists' clients will migrate with them. Patricia Lynch Associates, founded by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said last week that it was in the middle of a “restructuring” after several indications of financial troubles, including a federal lien for unpaid payroll taxes. http://goo.gl/ipey1t

STOP-AND-FIX — Capital’s Reid Pillifant: “A federal appeals court today stayed a lower court decision that found the city's stop-and-frisk policies in violation of the Constitution, and removed the district court judge who ruled against the city.

“The three-judge panel of the Second Circuit stayed both the remedies and the findings of the district court, and ruled that Judge Shira Scheindlin, who has presided over the sprawling case for years, was in violation of the Code of Conduct for her handling of the case.

“…The ruling pushes back changes to the program until after Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves office at the end of the year. The appellate court set a timetable for filings in the new year, and ordered that oral arguments be heard sometime after March 14.

“The city had already begun reducing the number of stops, prior to Scheindlin's ruling.” http://goo.gl/oyVOD5

VERDICT AVOIDED — Times’ Joseph Goldsetin: “The appeals court has not yet taken up whether Judge Scheindlin’s decision reached the correct constitutional conclusion regarding the police tactics.

“…In its ruling, the panel of three judges — John M. Walker Jr, José A. Cabranes and Barrington D. Parker — criticized Judge Scheindlin for granting media interviews and for making public statements while the case was pending before her, including articles in The New Yorker and by The Associated Press. In criticizing the judge for improperly bringing the stop-and-frisk case under her purview, the three-judge panel also cited an article by The New York Times in a footnote.” http://goo.gl/eHmKLS

The Times' editorial board calls it "unwise" and says the appeals court "overreached" in removing Scheindlin. http://goo.gl/wjd34k

‘Ray Kelly’s Complicated Legacy’ — New York magazine’s Chris Smith: “Ray Kelly has in many ways been the greatest police commissioner in the history of New York City. And now, at the start of his final two months in office, he’s being booed off the stage in Providence. That contrast is one sign that evaluating Kelly’s true legacy may take as long as the twelve years he has led the NYPD under Michael Bloomberg.

“…By declining to run for mayor, which would have given Kelly the chance to make a more sustained, nuanced case for the effectiveness of his department’s crime-fighting tools, he allowed his opponents to make stop-and-frisk look like the NYPD’s only weapon. …Mayor De Blasio’s police commissioner will have a very difficult act to follow.” http://goo.gl/RtFzr3

NEWSLETTER EXCLUSIVE — Speak-Her? Inez Dickens to Capital’s Azi Paybarah: “All of us, including me, are still in the mix” to be the next New York City City Council Speaker, Dickens told Capital yesterday. “It starts coming together in December."

What makes her stand out? “I’m the only one that has served in leadership.” And: “I have had negative press in the past” about violations at buildings. “They weren’t really that significant,” she said of the violations, noting "the community re-elected me overwhelmingly in September.”

Asked what it meant to have Bill de Blasio, now the Democratic nominee, endorse her challenger, Dickens said, “It didn’t do my opponent any good.” She said of de Blasio: “I’m working hard for him right now. I’m helping to raise a few dollars. … I’m supporting him. The fact that he endorsed my opponent, I haven’t had a discussion with him.”

TRUMP ON DE BLASIO — Daily News' Glenn Blain: “I think he’s a smart guy that knows what’s going on really big league and I think he is not going to want to destroy New York. I think he is going to want to make New York great. … I think pretty strongly that he’ll end up being a good mayor , maybe a very good mayor and I don’t think he’s going to want to kill the golden goose.” http://goo.gl/dlU6Bf

Meanwhile, in court papers, Trump said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — who alleged fraud in a suit over Trump University — is on a “no holds barred quest to make a name for himself and propel his own political ambitions.” http://goo.gl/Ar6Szr

In apparent response, Schneiderman rolled out 100 new complainants. http://goo.gl/B4m9eN

MEDIA — Graham Rayman laid off from Village Voice — Rayman to Capital’s Joe Pompeo: “I had a really good run at the Voice. I won a series of awards for my work, including the New York Press Club’s top prize and two Association of Alternative News Weekly awards. It was a great experience, and I’m excited about pursuing new opportunities in journalism. I wish editor Tom Finkel and the staff all the best.” http://goo.gl/mGgkvD

NEW TOP PAPER — Capital’s Joe Pompeo:USA Today has become the most widely-circulated weekday paper in the country, according to the latest figures released today from the Alliance for Audited Media.

“For the six-month period that ended on Sept. 30, USA Today had a combined print and digital weekday circulation of 2.877 million, besting perennial weekday champion The Wall Street Journal (2.274 million) and The New York Times (1.898 million).” http://goo.gl/HAA5XX

TAPPAN ZEE CASH — Feds approve $1.6B loan for Bridge — Journal News' Theresa Juva-Brown: It's still unclear what the toll will be, but, “Thursday’s announcement comes more than a year after New York State Thruway Authority submitted a $1.58 billion loan request to the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. It also comes just days after Standard & Poor’s gave the Thruway an “A” long-term bond rating, down from the “A+” rating it had.” http://goo.gl/6SOsgv

TODAY: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no announced public schedule. The State Board of Elections meets at noon. Joe Lhota will campaign with Rudy Giuliani on Staten Island. De Blasio is scheduled to speak at two get-out-the-vote rallies.

THE CUOMO CARD — Casino foes use Mario Cuomo in ad — Capital's Dana Rubinstein: After voicing Mario Cuomo's thoughts on casinos from his time in office, the ad concludes, "Mario Cuomo didn't support changing the New York State constitution to allow Las Vegas-style casinos. He knew gambling was a bad bet for New York. Vote with Cuomo. Vote 'no' on Proposition 1." http://goo.gl/YMUYIM

Mario responds: “I made those statements in 1994,” the former governor said. “A great deal has changed in 20 years. The New York that I was dealing with was a different place. We didn’t have casinos on every border. Gaming was only in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.” http://goo.gl/V6jdr5

Times Union's Jordan Carleo-Evangelist: The AFL-CIO is telling the state's union members to support the amendment in a special, targeted mail advertisement. http://goo.gl/tBZctd

ADIRONDACK LAND SWAPS ON BALLOT — Capital's Scott Waldman: Two ballots propositions before voters on Tuesday will address the transfer of Adirondack park land. One ends a century-old fight over land ownership around Raquette Lake in Hamilton County and appears to have no opponents. The other is more controversial and would swap 200 acres of protected park land for 1,500 acres of land now held by a mining company. http://goo.gl/hOq8c0 and http://goo.gl/q9En5k

BOYCOTTING RACE TO THE TOP — Districts forfeit federal grant money amid doubts over student-data privacy — From Capital's Jessica Bakeman: A handful of school districts are abandoning a multi-year federal grant program over concerns about student-data privacy, but the state Education Department said three quarters of districts have already signed on to an online data portal for collecting student information like attendance and test scores. A dozen districts are prepared to pull out of Race To The Top, a federal competitive grant program through which New York won $700 million in 2010, according to news reports. “Because parents are very, very concerned about the improper use of their child's personal data, more and more school boards and superintendents are choosing to turn back their Race To The Top funds,” said Leonie Haimson, executive director of the advocacy group Class Size Matters. http://goo.gl/U21f5C

SCHNEIDERMAN VERSUS N.R.C.: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is criticizing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its assessment of the risks surrounding the storage of nuclear waste on site at the nation's 100 reactors, including those at Indian Point in Westchester County. At a hearing in Tarrytown this week, a deputy attorney general submitted Schneiderman's criticism of the NRC's environmental impact proposal, saying it “fails to provide such a full and detailed accounting, and therefore, fails our communities.”

AMENDING A PRESS RELEASE — JCOPE's Marvin Jacob writes letter after contentious vote — Times Union's Jim Odato: “In the past we have precleared press releases when dealing with high profile announcements. This one should have been as well. It inaccurately leaves the impression that the ED vote was unanimous and as we all know it wasn’t. This needs to be corrected. You should describe the Commission vote as 9-5 or, at least, as a majority, but let’s try to be accurate about what happened yesterday. It’s quite enough that that we have again done in executive session what clearly could and should have been done in public (had Ellen’s motion not been mischaraterized as a personnel matter compounded by the inaccurate assertion that all personnel matters must be conducted in executive session). John, you can do this or I will. Please let me know.” http://goo.gl/UGBLfT

GIULIANI CAMPAIGNS IN NEW JERSEY TODAY — The Star-Ledger’s Jenny Portnoy: Gov. Chris Christie and Giuliani “will travel together in the afternoon to four stops in Rutherford, River Edge, Hackensack and Harrison. Giuliani is one of few nationally known Republicans who can help Christie in a blue state like New Jersey.” http://goo.gl/FznnkL

GIULIANI CAMPAIGNS IN STATEN ISLAND TOO — His General Election Debut — Newsday’s Matt Chayes: " ‘Rudy will help me significantly with voters,’ Lhota told reporters. ‘Come out tomorrow and see how much he's loved.’ Lhota gave two reasons why Giuliani has not joined him more often: ‘It wasn't necessary’ and ‘He's been out of the country on business.’” http://goo.gl/5iQzWJ

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE ENDORSES DE BLASIO: “Some centrist voters (certainly conservatives) may have found some of Mr. de Blasio’s past rhetoric unsettling. But that should be put in the context of the long, drawn-out Democratic primary campaign in which the winner would have to ‘out-progressive’ a field of other liberal Democrats.

“That exercise in inanity has passed and Mr. de Blasio is free to espouse more moderate positions which we believe truly reflect his views.” http://goo.gl/PiOBYk

WARNING SHOT — ‘Lobbyists-for-de Blasio’ — Tom Robbins in News: “Joe Lhota is so very right about Bill de Blasio taking us back to the bad old days of the David Dinkins era. …the threat comes from the return of lobbyists like Sid Davidoff, who, with the rise of de Blasio, are returning like Freddy Krueger on Halloween.

“…Earlier this month, the lobbyists-for-de Blasio crew turned out in strength at the Roosevelt Hotel to celebrate the presumptive mayor-elect and his friend, Hillary Rodham Clinton.” http://goo.gl/GXsFOa

You Are Now Free to Surf About The Cabin — WSJ’s Jack Nicas and Andy Pasztor: “The Federal Aviation Administration's decision, its first big shift on electronic devices since it restricted their use in flight in 1966, caps years of debate over whether electronic emissions from devices can interfere with cockpit instruments.

“….Phone calls remain banned in flight and devices must remain in airplane mode, shutting off their cellular connection.” http://goo.gl/prH05F

CAUGHT ON TAPE? — News’ Barry Paddock and John Marzulli: “A Queens judge released a video Thursday that appears to support his claim that he was struck in the throat by an NYPD cop without provocation.” http://goo.gl/7UgVvw

HALLOWEEN TREAT — Bloomberg posed with Revelers at Waldorf-Astoria dressed as Chiara and Dante de Blasio. Dispatch from News’ Jennifer Fermino. http://goo.gl/U2dQ21

CAPITOL MOVES: Jason Elan has been promoted to press secretary for the Independent Democratic Conference, where he'll work under Eric Soufer. Elan had previously worked for Sen. David Carlucci, an IDC-er from Rockland County.

RADIO MIGRATION — Fred Dicker, Live from Florida: “[T]hat’s the start of what I’m billing as radio-New York in exile. Welcome to Live from the State Capitol, this time, broadcasting from way down south in Florida [where] I’m living occasionally…” http://goo.gl/f20nef

TV CAMEO — Former Cuomo aide Austin Shafran once appeared on Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. SEE IT: http://goo.gl/R15ZTd

Shafran, yesterday: “As chief journalistic sleuth, it's no surprise that Azi was able to uncover my youthful pursuit of Carmen Sandiego. Since I couldn't catch that crook I entered New York politics where the odds were considerably better in my favor.”

SIDE NOTE — Political Consultant Gerry O’Brien announced: “I am delighted to announce that Ben Bova has agreed to serve as literary agent for my first novel, 1901.” http://goo.gl/hhanQY

FRONT PAGES: amNewYork: "Free to Frisk"; Post: "Go Frisk Yourself"; Newsday: "Stop&Frisk; Court Blocks Limits"; News: "$8M to screw their tenants"; Times A1: "Appellate court Blocks Changes to Frisk Tactics"; WSJ: "FAA Loosens Rules on Gadgets"; Syracuse Post-Standard: "State to Pay $15M For East Syracuse Mayor's Death." SEE THEM:  http://goo.gl/mk6YrS

#UpstateAmerica: “MOREAU—The Moreau mother who faces criminal charges for allegedly hiring strippers to perform at her son’s 16th birthday party rejected a plea deal Thursday that would result in the charges being dropped.” http://goo.gl/s3k7Wp