Playbook: 22 Days 'til De Blasio

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22 DAYS TO MAYOR DE BLASIO – “The woman who shaped de Blasio on schools,” by Eliza Shapiro: “Carmen Farina, a leading chancellor contender, not only holds an educational philosophy nearly identical to Bill de Blasio’s, but helped to construct the mayor-elect’s beliefs during the decade she has advised him on school issues. … Sources close to Farina and de Blasio say the mayor-elect is trying to convince his longtime adviser to become the next schools chancellor, and that Farina is considering the post.

“The 70-year-old Farina’s influence on de Blasio’s educational philosophy is strong. Her progressive stance of focusing on the whole child and doubling down on early childhood education and middle school are themes de Blasio adopted in his campaign. He made education his centerpiece, promising universal pre-K and after-school programs for every middle schooler.”

-- NY1 reports that one potential chancellor “turned him down right away.”



-- The Observer’s Jill Colvin says that compared to his predecessors, de Blasio’s announcements are very much on schedule: “By this time in 2001, Mr. Bloomberg had appointed a trio of deputy mayors and his police commissioner, waiting until the end of the month to name most of his picks.”

LEGACY TIME -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure has been defined by big ideas, realized and not: The Olympics; congestion pricing; bike lanes, one million new trees. Today, the City Council is voting on one of his last projects: turning the Kingsbridge Armory into the country’s largest ice skating rink. It’s Bloomberg’s second attempt to develop Kingsbridge, after the first effort was stymied by Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. over a living wage requirement.

The culprit this time could be Councilman Fernando Cabrera, whose district includes the armory, who says he has objections about the traffic the development will bring. There’s been reports that he pressured the developer to send money to a non-profit Cabrera controls. The Council generally defers to local members, which could sink the deal, or the questions about Cabrera’s motivations could make members feel free to break from his recommendation.

SNOW ALERT: The New York City Sanitation Department has issued a snow alert starting at 6 a.m. Track snow plows and salt spreaders here:

MANHATTAN REAL ESTATE HAS DONE A GOOD JOB of having tech growth offset finance decline – “U.S. Office Vacancies Seen Falling as Technology Drives Demand,” by Bloomberg’s Dan Levy: “U.S. office vacancies will drop at a faster pace in the next two years as technology and energy companies drive demand for space, according to CBRE Group Inc. … Manhattan's new office projects, mostly located downtown near the World Trade Center site and in the West Side's Hudson Yards area, are being built after a 15-year construction drought, [said Arthur Jones of CBRE’s Boston-based forecasting group].… About two-thirds of the office buildings in Manhattan … are more than 40 years old.”

THE DAILY NEWS GETS RESULTS -- WSJ A21 (N.Y. cover) “‘Bill of Rights’ Targets Profiling,” by Keiko Morris and Adam Janos: “Major retailers agreed to a customer bill of rights to prevent racial profiling and unreasonable searches, following incidents where black shoppers were detained by police and store security after purchasing luxury items. The Retail Council of New York State and executives from retailers including Macy's, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue met with the Rev. Al Sharpton, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, officials of the National Urban League and others to outline a set of practices and customer rights.

“The merchants are expected to post the guidelines on their websites and in stores this week … Sharpton said the group of civil rights advocates and retailers has asked to meet with incoming police Commissioner William Bratton to determine the boundaries of police involvement with store security.”

THE TABS: The Daily News – which drove the profiling story with the classic wood, “BUSTED AT BARNEYS FOR BEING BLACK” -- takes its victory lap, reprinting a thumbnail of that front page, running a pic of Sharpton and headlining, “RIGHT ON! High end stores bow to ‘shop & frisk’ fury” … Post, “SHOE-ICIDE: Gal’s footwear fetish drives loves to leap” and “A stray in the manger” (cats in a Red Hook creche!) … Newsday, “TAKING AIM AT DEER: Federal sharpshooters could kill up to 3,000 under East End plan.”

-- amNewYork cover, “INSIDE NYPD STATS … Breaking down the info in city’s new Web map,” by Ivan Pereira and Meredith Deliso: “The mayor’s office yesterday said the city is on track to have a record low number of murders this year. … [T]he map … shows … Midtown South … led in several crime categories and was the precinct with the most crimes per 1,000 residents … City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who chairs the public safety committee, said the high number isn’t surprising, given the area’s popularity with tourists. ‘You’ve got pickpockets.’” See a breakdown of crime stats by precinct number:

** From the National Retail Federation: When you think retail, do you think innovation? Technical leads, user experience developers, and information architects – not the retail industry positions you’d expect, right? Retailers hire more engineers than Silicon Valley. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at tech at Nordstrom: **

HOUSEKEEPING: We’ve relaunched our morning email newsletter as Capital Playbook (tips, news, feedback and corrections to,,, please). The new-look launched last week, and we’re launching a subscription news service in early 2014. For more information and to get free access, email Lauren Englander at

BINGE CLICKING: The Times made a fascinating decision by putting all five chapters of “Invisible Child” online simultaneously, before four of them had run in the paper. The 29,000-word series -- in its focus, writing and photos -- is quite simply amazing. Christine Kay, deputy investigations editor, who oversaw the project, told us through a Times spokeswoman: “We decided to put the entire project on the web at once because of the narrative nature of the stories. The five parts function more like chapters than traditional, self-contained articles. We wanted to give readers the opportunity to experience it that way and to be able to read it at whatever pace that suited them.” Chapter 2 is on A1 today, “A Future Resting on a Fragile Foundation.”

--A THOUGHT-PROVOKING PARAGRAPH in Chapter 1: “On the subway, Dasani can blend in with children who are better off. It is an ironic fact of being poor in a rich city that the donated garments Dasani and her siblings wear lend them the veneer of affluence, at least from a distance. Used purple Uggs and Patagonia fleeces cover thinning socks and fraying jeans. A Phil & Teds rain cover, fished from a garbage bin, protects Baby Lele’s rickety stroller.”

CUOMO ‘STATESMANLIKE’ ON D.C. SWING: Gov. Cuomo drew roughly 120 firm employees, clients and friends to a Monday morning fundraiser at the offices of The Podesta Group for an event that raised an estimated $150,000 to $200,000. Cuomo watchers said the fundraiser was aimed at keeping the Democratic governor, who is famously averse to leaving the Empire State, on the national radar as chatter about 2016 hopefuls rises. The event took place in a huge conference room where artificial walls were removed and guests gnoshed on a spread of coffee, fruit and bagels. The governor himself gave a “statesmanlike” presentation and greeted each person individually. There were even some hugs, including embraces for old friends from HUD, which Cuomo ran during the Clinton administration.

The governor’s remarks included some standard themes, including the contrast between D.C. gridlock and Albany’s relative accomplishment. According to attendee Ben Barnes, Cuomo spoke “about economic development, talked about cutting taxes, making New York state more friendly to business and make certain your educational requirements were being met.”

The governor told reporters after a later meeting of the Democratic Governors Association that he used the event as chance to talk up the tax-free zones created by his recently enacted START-UP NY program. "One of the things I was saying to these businesses is, bring your business to New York," Cuomo said. "New York is the least expensive state to locate your business, because we're zero taxes -- no income tax, no property tax."

--BUT CUOMO 2016 SEEMS TO BE ON ICE -- POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Maggie Haberman: Multiple early-state activists told POLITICO last week that while other Democratic presidential hopefuls have been courting them, laying the groundwork to run especially if Clinton doesn’t, Cuomo is a non-factor in their minds. Cuomo is simply not part of the discussion in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where activists delight in their unique status in the nominating process and long to see candidates on repeated visits in the lead-up to primaries and caucuses.

-- QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I have come to believe that he is quite content with the challenge of being the governor of New York and has every intention of remaining,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said. “It would be highly unusual for anyone who is considering running for president in this cycle or the next three or four cycles for me not to know it.”

-- And the counter argument, as delivered to POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Maggie Haberman: “No governor of the State of New York has ever ruled out being president!” said former DGA Executive Director Nathan Daschle in an email. “He might not be actively running, but I don’t buy for a second that he has ruled it out. There is no reason to. Coming from such a big state, and with his background, network, and name ID, the timetable is much more forgiving. He has a 6-12 month organizational lead built into the fact that he’s Andrew Cuomo. I imagine he’s taking his time, watching the field shake out, and doing the smartest and most important thing he can do — focusing on his current job.”

CONVERSATION PIECE -- NYT A1, bottom of page, “Late Train? Skeptical Boss? M.T.A. Will Give Passengers a Note,” by Matt Flegenheimer: “Since June 2010, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has given more than 250,000 such notes, titled Subway Delay Verificatio … Passengers are asked to provide information like their subway line and the times and locations of their entries and exits. And then, maybe hours later, maybe days, the authority returns with its judgment — the transit equivalent of a doctor’s note … Though a version of the program has existed for decades, enlisted chiefly by municipal workers who were paid according to a punched clock, the authority said that requests had nearly tripled since the service first became available online in 2010.”

VACATION HOUSES – “Page Six” – “Tycoon’s Miami Beach refuge,” by Emily Smith: “Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein must need to get away from it all once in a while. He is said to have bought a place in the new billionaires’ enclave Faena Miami Beach. Other residents at the $1 billion development, to be completed next fall, include Apollo’s Leon Black. The 18-story oceanfront tower, which boasts residences costing up to $50 million, was designed by Norman Foster, while hip architect Rem Koolhaas is masterminding an arts center.”

SATURDAY IS FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF SANDY HOOK SHOOTINGS – AP’s Michael Melia: “Christmastime has returned to Newtown and, along Main Street, families have been putting a single electric candle in each front window of the mostly Colonial houses. On side streets, elaborate displays of colored lights twinkle. … [Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.], townspeople plan to gather in a park … for the annual tree lighting ceremony. … As always, a big crowd is expected as Newtown, in its way, takes another step forward.”

TALKRADIO SHUFFLE – “WOR ends an era in New York radio and officially kicks off the new coming war with rival WABC,” by Daily News’ David Hinckley: “It's … officially over for old-style, homey, folksy radio in New York. WOR announced its 2014 lineup Monday, a near-total makeover that moves Joan Hamburg to weekends and instead is built on afternoon institutions Rush Limbaugh, noon-3 p.m., and Sean Hannity, 3-6 p.m. Because Limbaugh and Hannity have been WABC's anchors for more than a decade, their move could dramatically change the ratings equation … In 2013, … WABC's audience … [was almost triple] WOR's.

“WOR is optimistic that will change with a mostly new lineup that also includes Elliot Segal, 6-10 a.m. [moving to N.Y. from D.C.]; the returning Mark Simone, 10 a.m.-noon; Andy Dean, 6-9 p.m.; and Dave Ramsey, 9 p.m.-midnight. … Joan Hamburg will do 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday and Sunday. … WOR [used to feature] local hosts who chatted about health, lifestyle, restaurants and New York topics in an across-the-kitchen-table style. … Hamburg was the last, and now she will be heard only on weekends.”

TRANSITIONS: Andrew Holt is named publisher of City & State, and Nick Powell is named City Hall bureau chief

TODAY: Mayor-elect de Blasio participates in the National Women's Law Center and Strong Start for Children Campaign's Tweetchat. Hashtag to follow: #InvestInKids Officially, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in the New York City Area and Albany, but he’ll announce the results of his tax commission during a 10:30 event on Long Island.

TONIGHT: New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s fund-raiser at the Park Lane Hotel, 36 Central Park South, starts at 6:30 p.m. And State Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan discusses a new audit of hate-crime reporting, on Capital Tonight, which airs at 8 p.m.

FOLLOWING THE MONEY — Ed. critics dissect a Bill Gates connection to state policy — Capital's Jessica Bakeman: Two of the charities bankrolling a controversial $18 million education fellowship program also gave millions to a data company to which the state Education Department plans to send personal student information, despite parents' objections. The charitable foundations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, are major investors in inBloom, Inc., the data company. The two charities and other entities underwriting the fellowships support rigorous standardized testing for the purpose of assessing teachers, the Common Core curriculum, and student-data collection.

VOLCKER RULES: Vote today, enforcement 2015 -- WSJ’s Scott Patterson: “Five U.S. financial regulatory agencies are expected to approve the rule, which bans banks from making bets with their own money and limits their ability to invest in certain trading vehicles, such as hedge funds and private-equity vehicles. … The rule, which hasn't been publicly released, will require banks to provide "demonstrable analysis of historical customer demand" for financial assets they buy and sell on behalf of clients. That essentially requires a firm to prove it has engaged in a certain type of trading previously. It is an effort to keep banks from attempting to disguise bets made for a profit—so-called proprietary trading, which would be banned—as permissible market-making activity.”

54 DAYS TO SUPER BOWL 48 – “New York Area Transit Agencies Prepare for Super Bowl 2014 Crowd,” by Bloomberg’s Terrence Dopp: “The Feb. 2 championship game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford … is projected to bring 400,000 visitors to the … region. Seventy percent of the 80,000 game attendees are expected to arrive by train or bus, and more will be visiting the area for events such as the four-day Super Bowl Boulevard celebration in Manhattan, said Al Kelly, head of the National Football League's host committee. … Though MetLife has 28,000 parking spaces, only 13,000 will be available on game day to accommodate media satellite trucks. About 1,600 of those spots will be occupied by shuttle buses …

“The NFL plans to offer a $51 ‘Super Fan Express’ ticket, guaranteeing attendees a ride to and from the game from one of nine stops -- six in New York and three in New Jersey. New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is printing 1 million commemorative Metro Cards for the event. … Kelly said dropoffs at the stadium won't be allowed, eliminating taxis and livery cars as an option. The NFL also has banned people from walking to the game, and said all vehicles that enter the sports complex must remain there for the duration.”

THE HOME TEAMS -- Capital’s Howard Megdal -- The Knicks and Nets were off, mercifully. The Mets are exploring deals for Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy in lieu of spending money they don't have. The Yankees, intent upon signing Masahiro Tanaka, may not get the chance.

#UpstateAmerica:A Madison County woman who believed she was rescuing an abandoned fawn left by its mother ended up with a surprise: a ticket from a state wildlife officer and a $27.50 fine.

CUOMO AND BILLY JOEL, BFFs -- Times’ Thomas Kaplan: “They have appeared together three times in the last week. Mr. Cuomo helped announce Mr. Joel’s new monthly gig at Madison Square Garden; Mr. Joel helped fund-raise for Mr. Cuomo’s re-election campaign; and Mr. Cuomo showed up on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, declaring himself the ‘New York cheering section for Billy Joel.’ ‘I’m a big Billy Joel fan,’ Mr. Cuomo said at Madison Square Garden. ‘He is a great New Yorker, and he’s always there for New York when we need him.’ He has helped memorialize Sept. 11 and performed in concerts for Hurricane Sandy relief, Mr. Cuomo said. ‘He’s always been there for New York — and he’s a friend, and he’s a buddy, and I enjoy being with him.’”

** From the National Retail Federation: You’ve heard the mantra, “The customer is always right.” Shoppers want quicker access to product, 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. The most innovative retail brands in the business will gather in New York City, January 12-15, for Retail’s BIG Show. See who’s attending and what they’re talking about.

Learn more about retail innovation at #thisisretail **