Early voting kicks off with a trickle — Cuomo troopers interviewed in harassment probe — Foes spar with Adams over class dimension feedback

Early voting kicked off this weekend as New Yorkers headed to the polls for primaries for mayor, comptroller, and City Council races across the five boroughs. Some New Yorkers did, anyway: The numbers showing up at polling sites appeared to be a trickle, compared to the long lines that greeted the opening days of early voting for the presidential election in November.

Some 32,032 people voted on Saturday and Sunday combined, according to the Board of Elections. Candidates and their canvassers, on other hand, were out in force at polling sites around the city, often outnumbering voters and attempting to pawn off stacks of campaign literature to residents and tourists alike. Mayoral hopefuls Kathryn Garcia and Shaun Donovan cast their own votes on Day One, while other candidates opted to wait.

Most voters are casting their first ballots under ranked-choice voting, the new system that allows them to pick five candidates in each race in order of preference. Many welcomed their chance to register their choices more thoroughly, even if they did not take full advantage and fill out all five slots. “It makes you feel a little more at ease,” said Andrea Glenn, 64, of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. “If my person doesn’t win, my second or third choice may still have the ability.”

Stephanie Horton, 50, who lives in Manhattan’s Financial District, noted that the new method required a hefty amount of research. “If you don’t have in-depth knowledge about the candidates, then it becomes a little random after the second or third round,” she said. “You’re not making an informed choice.”

With two days on the books, early voting sites will also be open every day this week and Saturday and Sunday. All poll sites are open for Primary Day next Tuesday.

IT’S MONDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected] and [email protected], or on Twitter: @erinmdurkin and @annagronewold

WHERE’S ANDREW? No public schedule yet.

WHERE’S BILL? Holding a media availability and appearing on NY1’s Inside City Hall.


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“Has New York Hit a Progressive Plateau? The Mayor’s Race Is a Key Test,” by The New York Times’ Katie Glueck and Jonah E. Bromwich: “A year ago, the left wing of New York’s Democratic Party was ascendant. Deeply progressive candidates triumphed in state legislative primaries and won a congressional upset, activists fueled a movement to rein in the power of the police, and Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to cut the Police Department budget. But for most of the Democratic primary season this spring, nearly every available metric has suggested that the political energy has shifted. The question is, by how much. The June 22 primary contests for mayor and other city offices are critical, if imperfect, tests of the mood of Democratic voters on the cusp of a summer that many experts believe will be marked by high rates of gun violence in cities across the United States.”

Adams and foes spar over class size comments, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: Mayoral candidate Eric Adams continued to mix it up with his opponents on the campaign trail on Sunday, parrying the latest round of attacks over his views on remote learning and class sizes at city schools. Adams, who has led recent polls in the Democratic primary, came under criticism after a months-old video resurfaced which showed him saying a teacher could in some circumstances lead a remote class with 300 to 400 students. On Sunday, he said he misspoke and meant to say 30 to 40 students. He also said he was referring to summer school classes and optional enrichment for high school students.

“Adams and Garcia lead in money race during closing days of NYC mayoral primary,” by New York Post’s Nolan Hicks: “Ex-Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia netted more donations than the rest of the crowded field in the Democratic mayoral primary during the most recent fundraising period, new figures filed with the Campaign Finance Board late Friday reveal. Meanwhile, front runner Eric Adams put his campaign war chest to work, spending $5.9 million over the same three-week period — that’s nearly twice as much as any rival campaign. The new filings, published by the city’s Campaign Finance Board, provide crucial new insights into the hotly contested June 22 race as the primary enters its closing days… All told, the eight Democrats running to replace Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is termed-out under city law, have spent more than $53 million on their mayoral campaigns.”

— Adams charged that Yang’s attacks on his residency are a form of racism.

— Rev. Al Sharpton won’t make an endorsement in the Democratic mayoral primary.

“Maya Wiley Crossed Wires with de Blasio on Failure to Bring WiFi to All New Yorkers,” by The City’s Reuven Blau: “When Maya Wiley went to work as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s legal counsel shortly after he took office in 2014, he asked her to figure out how to bridge the digital divide by bringing broadband to low-income neighborhoods. … Now Wiley is running for her old boss’ job, looking to both distance herself from him and tout herself as the candidate primed to deliver on the progressive promises of a mayor who critics say failed on his pledge to rewrite ‘a tale of two cities.’ Her record as de Blasio’s counsel during his ethics flaps and as his appointee to head the Civilian Complaint Review Board have drawn far more attention than her role as the would-be bridger of the digital divide. Wiley has long blamed de Blasio and her multiple predecessors for failing to deliver WiFi for the masses… An examination of Wiley’s role in the LinkNYC kiosk deal that aimed to connect many New Yorkers reveals a more complex accounting of why legions have been left in the digital dust.”

— Rivals criticized Wiley for hesitating when asked at a debate whether cops should continue to carry guns.

“NY-Presbyterian to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for staff,” by The Associated Press: “The NewYork-Presbyterian hospital system will require all of its 48,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a valid exemption, hospital officials announced Friday. ‘As a leading health care organization, we believe it is essential to require vaccinations to protect our patients and ourselves against the threat of further harm from the pandemic and the possibility of more dangerous mutations,’ Dr. Steven Corwin and Dr. Laura Forese, the president and executive vice president of the 10-campus hospital network, said in an email to staff. Employees will be required to receive their first vaccine dose by Sept. 1, the officials said, with applications for medical or religious exemptions due Aug. 1.”

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — A pro-Andrew Yang PAC is launching two new TV ads today. The Future Forward PAC is spearheaded by startup investor David Rose. One ad goes after rival candidate Eric Adams, who has overtaken Yang for first place in most polls. “The choice between Eric Adams and Andrew Yang couldn’t be more clear,” the ad says, citing Adams’ past as a registered Republican and the allegations he has used his official charity to boost his political fortunes. “Sound familiar?” it says — with an image of former President Donald Trump. The other ad dubs Yang the “real progressive” in the mayor’s race, citing his support for a public city-run bank.

“Troopers who guard Cuomo being interviewed in harassment probe,” by Times Union’s Brendan J. Lyons: “Troopers assigned to an elite unit that protects the governor are being interviewed as part of a state attorney general’s investigation into sexual harassment and groping allegations that multiple women have been made against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The interviews with current and former members of the governor’s Protective Services Unit indicate the investigation has crossed into a realm that is rarely pierced by outside investigations. Indeed, the members of the governor’s protective unit are generally hand-selected for their abilities and expected to keep secret what they see or hear in terms of the governor’s official and private dealings.

“For years, the troopers and investigators on the protective detail have also been required to sign non-disclosure agreements that describe their role with the governor as a ‘special trust,’ according to language in the agreement that was obtained by the Times Union… But Cuomo has at times had an icy relationship with the troopers who guard him, his staff and his family. ‘He demands 100 percent loyalty and 100 percent commitment and gives none to the people who work for him,’ said a former member of the State Police who has been interviewed by the attorney general’s investigators.”

Cuomo signs bill to fund a Cuomo impeachment among dozens of others, by POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that opens the door for the Legislature to access money for its investigation into and potential impeachment of Cuomo. The measure passed the state Senate unanimously on Thursday and the Assembly by a margin of 148-to-1 early Friday morning. Had Cuomo vetoed the measure, it would have almost certainly resulted in the first veto override of his tenure. Such an override would have likely resulted in numerous headlines about a failed attempt by the governor to block an investigation into his behavior. The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. It lets lawmakers draw on a $157 million budget line designed to pay for lawsuits against the state to get the funds needed for impeachments, impeachment trials and “investigations and hearings necessary to inform the decisions relating to such proceedings.”

“$15-a-month internet law on hold in New York, judge rules,” by The Associated Press’ Marina Villeneuve: “New York cannot require internet providers to offer broadband service for low-income customers for as little as $15-a-month starting next week, a federal judge ruled on Friday. The low-income broadband consumers law passed in the state budget in April, which was supposed to come into effect on Tuesday. It allowed the state’s attorney general to issue penalties up to $1,000 per violation from providers. USTelecom, CTIA, the New York State Telecommunications Association and other industry groups representing internet providers had sued in April arguing that the law meant they could either face penalties for not complying or be forced to provide the services ‘at a loss.’”

“As Child Victims Act nears end, details of abuse still elusive,” by Times Union’s Edward McKinley: “Nearly two years ago, the Child Victims Act went into effect, touted as a way to bring both a reckoning for individuals and institutions involved in decades of child abuse and a measure of justice for their victims. But none of the thousands of court cases that have been filed in New York have yet gone to trial and many details of the alleged institutional coverups that shielded the abuse remain cloaked in secrecy. Although there has been extensive pre-trial discovery in many of the cases, including internal records and depositions of key leaders in both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, much of that information remains off-limits to the public due to stipulations approved by judges that require all parties in the cases to keep the information private. It’s also possible, if cases are settled and do not go to trial, that the details on the extent of any cover-ups or the systemic protection of abusers would never be revealed.”

#UpstateAmerica: Woody Harrelson’s HBO Watergate series, “The White House Plumbers,” is filming in Albany this week.

— The Staten Island district attorney’s office is investigating allegations of voter fraud in a City Council race.

— The de Blasio administration is delaying a design for a permanent Open Street on 34th Avenue in Queens.

— Upper West Side residents are worried about one or more naked men wandering around the neighborhood.

— The Dutchess County Conservative Party has endorsed Rep. Lee Zeldin for governor.

— Thousands of people marched in Brooklyn in support of Black trans and gender-nonconforming youth.

— The owner of a 113-year-old Long Island duck farm wasn’t going to let the pandemic delay plans to revamp the business into a modern hatchery.

— Albany’s racial wealth gap is the product of a decadeslong broken system residents and advocates are struggling to correct.

— The city allocated $39 million to redesign Brooklyn’s McGuinness Boulevard after a local teacher was killed by a hit and run driver.

— Manhattan DA candidate Tali Farhadian Weinstein was not a regular voter until 2016.

— The Fair Fares program may need more funding to meet a surge in demand as MTA ridership continues to climb.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Former President Donald Trump is 75 … Facebook’s Campbell Brown … City & State’s Jon Lentz … Barclays’ John McFarlane … Northwestern Mutual’s Christopher Gahan … Amber Marchand of Hamilton Place Strategies … Brian Fallon of Demand Justice and president of Barracks Row Media is 4-0 … Bill Wasserman of M+R … CNN’s Pete Muntean …

… (was Sunday): Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) … CNN’s Jamie Zahn-Liebes … former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon … Andrew Grossman, chief of staff to the CEO at Bloomberg Media … Marissa Shorenstein … Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute … Ryan Rhodes … Bill Mergner … (was Saturday): Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of POLITICO … Dag Vega of BCW Global … Bloomberg’s Kevin Sheekey … Campbell Curry-Ledbetter … Josh Kushner … David Nevins … Rachel D’Oro … Alexis Levinson … Hazel Crampton-Hays of the city comptroller’s office

MAKING MOVES — Elisa Crespo will be the new executive director of New Pride Agenda, a non-profit that advocates for LGBTQ New Yorkers. Crespo recently ran unsuccessfully for a City Council seat in the Bronx.

MEDIAWATCH — Sam Hornblower, who produced the two-part 60 Minutes piece, “The Opioid Playbook,” has won the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service.

WHAT WALL STREET IS READING — “Private Inequity: How a Powerful Industry Conquered the Tax System: The I.R.S. almost never audits private equity firms, even as whistle-blowers have filed claims alleging illegal tax avoidance,” by NYT’s Jesse Drucker and Danny Hakim

TRIBECA FESTIVAL BEAT — “‘Larry Flynt for President’ Review: Yes, This Really Happened” — Variety: “The joke of it is that Flynt, a shrewd megalomaniac, literally thought he could win. The joke no one could possibly know at the time is that as seen today, in Nadia Szold’s lively archival documentary ‘Larry Flynt for President,’ the Flynt campaign now looks like a trashy, penny-ante anticipation of the 2016 Donald Trump campaign — or, at least, certain aspects of it. It was a mud-slinging circus, an all-out assault on decorum in politics, though with a serious issue at its heart: Flynt’s absolutist defense of the First Amendment.” Streaming on Tribeca at Home. (Full disclosure: Nadia is Daniel Lippman’s sister)

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“Eric Adams says he would protect small landlords from a rent freeze,” by New York Post’s Julia Marsh: “Mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams said he would not support a rent freeze for the city’s 1 million rent-regulated apartments without mortgage help for small landlords because they wouldn’t be able to afford the lost income. ‘The greatest wealth of black and brown people in this city is in their property,’ Adams said Friday when asked by a reporter about the issue at a Brooklyn campaign event. ‘So when we start making these decisions on small property owners we need to factor that in because if we’re not going to freeze mortgage payments for those small property owners. If we’re not going to roll back their mortgage payments, then we need to be careful.’”

“Staten Island Building Bust Makes New Breed of Candidates Skeptical of Big Real Estate,” by The City’s Clifford Michel: “After seeing megaprojects on Staten Island’s North Shore fail to materialize or flop after being built over the past decade, some candidates fighting to be the borough’s next generation of leadership are campaigning against high-end luxury developments. Several City Council contenders running to represent the North Shore — an area that’s attracted over a $1 billion in development plans, much of it incomplete or unbuilt, on city-owned land — oppose the construction of River North, a proposed trio of towers near the waterfront and the St. George Ferry Terminal. The resistance to the towers follows the pattern of Council campaigns across the city, with some candidates growing more critical of real estate developers and rezoning plans on luxury frontiers.”