If we had a dollar for all the baba coming from the handful of New York City Council members who aspire to be the next council speaker, we’d be millonarios by now. Here’s the latest from two bochincheros: the fight is between Manhattan council members Mark Levine and Corey Johnson. There’s even an effort to get an ABC – Anybody But Corey – campaign going. At this point, Levine is getting a good reception among his colleagues and outside City Hall.
However, there are also new members that will be elected to the council. B&B can tell you that among those prospective council members, there are a few mavericks that won’t go with the flow. One ejemplo is the polemic Rubén Díaz Sr. The current state senator has never forgotten that when he was hospitalized last summer, the only member of the City Council who visited him not once but twice (drumroll, please) was Corey Johnson. A Bronx bochinchero assured me: “That doesn’t mean that if Díaz wins his bid for the council he will vote for Corey. It just means that the Rev. doesn’t forget those things.”
What the hell could these two have in common?! What’s clear is Johnson may be able to pull support from the woodwork. Can Levine do the same?
For my July 7 B&B column, one bochinchero told me, “If push comes to shove, (Joe) Lhota isn't going to let (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo ruin his reputation.” Now, that person says, “I don’t understand what the fuck Joe is doing. He sounds like a fool saying that New York City controls the subways.” To be fair, what Lhota said, in part, is that the subways are merely “an affiliate of the MTA.” His amigo thinks that Lhota is letting his dislike for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (and his loss to de Blasio in the 2013 mayoral race) blind him to Cuomo’s disingenuous deflection that he does not control the MTA. Or it could be as simple as the fact that Lhota has endorsed Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the presumptive Republican New York City mayoral candidate. All aboard!
Tapping into state pensions?
As loco as this may seem, as I was finishing up this column I received a text message from an Albany bochinchero and a separate call on some buzz involving Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Word is that Cuomo wants to have access to our pensions the same way (the) feds have raided Social Security,” the bochinchero said.
New York state has the third-largest pension fund in the U.S. with an estimated $192 billion in assets as of March 2017. The buzz is that Cuomo wants the power to use state pension system money at his discretion, which can only be granted to him through a constitutional amendment.
B&B was also told that the Civil Service Employees Association is on the case and using this rumor to demand a “no” vote on the constitutional convention. The other bochinchero was too vague on the development, and because of my deadline, this is what I’m going with for now. Could Cuomo’s national ambitions drive him to consider something so controversial? A quick call to a political operative got me the following response: “With Andrew, you never know what he’s thinking or why he does some things that are stupid to most reasonable people.”