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Adams leads new poll — Broadway gets reopening date — Rent board considers another freeze

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Andrew Yang has led every public poll in the mayor’s race — until now. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has edged him out for the No. 1 spot for the first time in a new survey, our Sally Goldenberg reports.

We’ve got a real race on our hands, with Adams the first choice of 21 percent of the respondents in a survey conducted by Washington, D.C.-based firm GQR, followed by Yang with 18 percent. The race has lacked the kind of repeated polling by the same established outfits needed for an apples to apples comparison (there’s still time, Marist and Quinnipiac), but Yang has generally placed first and Adams second in other surveys.

The poll was conducted over three days last week, and in the middle of that range City Comptroller Scott Stringer was hit with accusations of sexual assault and harassment from two decades ago. Stringer got 15 percent support in the poll, while other candidates are in single digits. Adams leads among Black voters, Yang among Hispanics, and Stringer among whites.

Expect the numbers to continue to shift as the full impact of the Stringer allegations and the collapse of his support on the left is felt, and the candidates meet next week for their first official debate. There will also be a lot more TV advertising hitting the airwaves. Adams has yet to run TV ads with any of his $7.9 million campaign war chest. Shaun Donovan and Ray McGuire, the two candidates who have spent the most on ads so far, have yet to see a big payoff if you believe the polls. They’re at 8 percent and 6 percent in the latest survey, respectively.

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

WHERE’S ANDREW? In Albany with no public events scheduled.

WHERE’S BILL? Holding a media availability and speaking at an NYPD graduation ceremony.

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“Broadway Shows to Return Sept. 14,” by Wall Street Journal’s Charles Passy: “Broadway can finally raise the curtain again. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that shows can resume performances at 100% capacity Sept. 14, with tickets allowed to go on sale Thursday. Theaters have been closed since March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The announcement followed one earlier this week from state officials that many businesses would be allowed to go to full capacity this month, provided they maintained 6-foot social-distancing measures. That was problematic for the Broadway community, whose business model depends on packed houses with patrons seated closely together.”

“Cuomo: Mets, Yankees can go to full capacity for vaccinated fans,” by Times Union’s Edward McKinley: “The state will allow the Mets and Yankees to host full-capacity sections of fans who are vaccinated, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday in a news conference in his New York City office, where he was accompanied by executives from the two teams. The policy begins May 19, coordinated along with the rest of the "major reopening" that Cuomo announced earlier this week. The seating in the stadiums will be split into two categories of fans: vaccinated and unvaccinated... For unvaccinated fans, their sections will remain at 33 percent capacity, with masks also required. The two organizations will also be hosting vaccinations before ballgames, and fans who come in to get a shot will be given a free ticket to that day's game. The shots will be the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one shot.”

— Asian Americans have the highest vaccination rate in the city, with 68 percent having received at least one dose.

“Many of New York City’s Covid-19 Dead Denied Burial Assistance,” by Wall Street Journal’s Katie Honan: “New York City has approved 13% of applicants seeking financial assistance in burying loved ones who died during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, city officials said Wednesday. As the virus killed thousands of New Yorkers, the city increased burial assistance to $1,700 from $900 in May 2020, and worked with families to ensure proper burials. But 476 of the 3,549 applications to the burial-assistance program in 2020 were approved, according to Natasha Godby, an assistant commissioner at the Human Resources Administration, which administers the program.”

De Blasio questions Cuomo's reopening plan, by POLITICO’S Erin Durkin: Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wasn’t consulted on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to lift New York’s pandemic restrictions this month, insisting his own plan for a full reopening of New York City on July 1 makes more sense. “I know you’ll be shocked, shocked and amazed, I hope you’re sitting down — no, he didn’t,” de Blasio told reporters when asked if Cuomo checked in before announcing the imminent reopening date. The two men are longtime rivals who have clashed repeatedly throughout the pandemic. Cuomo this week announced most of the state’s remaining Covid-19 restrictions — including capacity limits on restaurants, businesses and performance venues — will be removed on May 19... “I think what the city announced, July 1 full reopening, makes all the sense in the world because it gives us some more time to keep an eye on the trends. It gives us more time to get people vaccinated,” de Blasio said.

— Cuomo, meanwhile, cast blame on city management for large numbers of homeless people on the subway.

— The governor also disagrees with New York City schools’ plan to replace the Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day, but de Blasio said he didn’t sign off on that one.

“Stringer Urges Investigation Of His Accuser’s Sexual Assault Claims, Says He Can’t Remember When He First Met Her,” by Gothamist’s Elizabeth Kim: “As he fights to stay competitive in the mayoral race, Scott Stringer on Wednesday said he welcomed an investigation into claims that he sexually assaulted a woman who volunteered on his 2001 public advocate campaign. Speaking to Brian Lehrer, he said that while he supported a woman's right to come forward about sexual misconduct, he also ‘believes in due process and justice.’ The allegations, he claimed, ‘are 100% untrue.’ Last week, Jean Kim, now a lobbyist, accused Stringer of forcibly touching and kissing her as well as repeatedly propositioning her. Stringer has vehemently denied the allegations, saying the two had a consensual relationship. ‘We had a friendship, with a little more,’ Stringer told Lehrer. Kim maintains they never had sex.”

— Stringer continues to try to keep his campaign afloat.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: State Sen. Liz Krueger on Thursday will endorse Kathryn Garcia’s bid for mayor, referring to her as the most “competent” person for the job as the city looks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. “Every time I thought about issues that need to be addressed and the skillsets required to be a responsible, competent and present mayor, I would think, ‘Kathryn Garcia would know how to handle this,'” Krueger told POLITICO. The endorsement is notable, considering the two were once foes when Garcia erected a waste transfer station in her Upper East Side district — a project Krueger bitterly opposed. But Krueger said even though she thinks the project was still a bad idea, her interactions with Garcia left a good impression. Assemblymember Nily Rozic, who represents Flushing, will also endorse Garcia at a separate press conference. The endorsements come as Garcia has struggled to break out from a crowded field of candidates and continues to poll in the single digits. — Danielle Muoio


“New York Gov. Cuomo signs bill that automatically restores felons right to vote after release,” by CNN’s Taylor Romine and Chandelis Duster: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill expanding felon voting rights on Tuesday, according to the state legislature, allowing for people on parole in the state to be eligible to vote as soon as they leave prison. The law codifies a 2018 executive order that allowed for Cuomo to individually pardon parolees. According to the bill text, Department of Corrections officials are required to provide a voter registration form as the felon is leaving the facility. Previously, parolees would have to wait a period of four to six weeks to receive a pardon and then must register to vote on their own. The law goes into effect immediately, although some portions are delayed until 120 days after its signing, according to the bill text. The New York legislature passed the bill in April.”

“Advocates: Cuomo has ignored people with disabilities too often,” by City & State’s Zach Williams: “Humor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have not always gone well together in recent years. One incident of note was the way the governor talked about his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, to a group of state Democratic Party dignitaries in 2018. 'It’s actually a funny story,' the governor said. ‘He was found at our front door in a basket and he was 16 years old. So he has certain development issues.’ The governor has delivered high-profile policy victories for historically disadvantaged groups. His record includes the legalization of same-sex marriage, criminal justice reforms, expansions of the social safety net like paid family leave and a domestic terrorism law aimed at combating antisemitism. But advocates for people with disabilities offer mixed reviews about his record during three terms in office. ‘The past several years have been tough,’ state Senate Disabilities Committee Chair John Mannion of Syracuse said in an interview.”

Cuomo signs bill requiring employers to protect against airborne disease, by POLITICO’s Bill Mahoney: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the “NY HERO Act,” a bill that requires businesses to implement safeguards against the spread of airborne diseases. The measure, sponsored by Senate Deputy Leader Mike Gianaris and Assemblymember Karines Reyes (D-Bronx), has become a top priority for organized labor. “This pandemic exposed the weaknesses in workplace safety. This legislation will help ensure that employers take every reasonable measure necessary to keep workers safe on the job,” New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said in a release applauding the Wednesday night signing.

“Here is what Sheldon Silver likely can and can’t do while out of prison,” by New York Post’s Ben Feuerherd: “Disgraced ex-State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver may be back in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — but he probably won’t be going out for poppy seed bagels any time soon. The US Bureau of Prisons wouldn’t provide the specific restrictions the convicted fraudster is facing after it let him out on furlough Tuesday, but documents for another inmate sprung under similar circumstances reveal restrictions that include staying at home unless given specific permission to leave — and staying away from poppy seeds... The document also makes it clear that although the inmates cut loose through the program may by physically out of prison, they are still considered to be in the custody of the US Department of Justice.”

#UpstateAmerica: A mystery man has been dipping in and out of a Schenectady manhole like it’s no big deal.

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“Giuliani cuts down his entourage,” by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman: Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for ex-president Donald Trump, has reduced the size of his personal entourage, according to three people familiar with the matter. Giuliani laid off several staffers and independent contractors in the last few weeks, according to one of the people, who said the ousted employees had been told that the former New York mayor was seeking to cut costs... The news of Giuliani’s shrinking entourage comes after years of stories suggesting he might be having financial difficulties — or is at least seeking creative ways to make money as he manages his growing legal woes.


“How Elise Stefanik Rose to Cusp of GOP Leadership,” by Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Hughes, Kristina Peterson and Jimmy Vielkind: “Rep. Elise Stefanik, one of the youngest women ever elected to Congress, is set to leap into the GOP leadership after raising her profile as a prominent defender of President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and Mr. Trump backed the New York Republican for a promotion on Wednesday, as party leaders aired their growing frustrations with Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.), the current House Republican Conference chairwoman who has been critical of Mr. Trump over his claims that the election was stolen from him...

"Ms. Stefanik, 36 years old, would succeed Ms. Cheney as the only woman in the House GOP leadership, and would hold a position that puts her in charge of the conference’s messaging effort... Unlike Ms. Cheney, Ms. Stefanik has been a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump, particularly over the last two years. It is the most visible difference between the two and one that highlights the way that Ms. Stefanik — who came to Congress as a relative moderate and occasional critic of Mr. Trump — remade herself for an era in which many Republicans define themselves by their loyalty to or distance from the former president.”


— Here’s everything you need to know about the Toronto Blue Jays’ home games in Buffalo this season.

— There’s a new push to put additional restrictions on the costumed characters in Times Square.

— ICYMI: “9/11 jeopardized first responders’ health. Nearly 20 years later, COVID brought new risks.”

— Former Rep. Anthony Brindisi, ousted after the lengthy unraveling of a bungled vote count, thinks some voting laws need to be changed.

— More than 200,000 students over the last school year lacked access to devices needed to learn remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

— An Albany police detective lieutenant has been accused of making “several racist and disparaging remarks” during a meeting of the city’s Citizens Police Academy last month.

— A fiery crash closed down the Northway on Wednesday.

— Two pols who represent Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods endorsed Andrew Yang for mayor, consolidating his support in that community.

— The state’s highest court will hear the case of Happy the Bronx Zoo elephant.

— A 10-alarm fire (as of 6:45 this morning) at a Long Island commercial waste facility in Westbury has suspended LIRR service.The local fire chief does not expect the blaze to be fully extinguished today.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Jamie GorelickAlyse Cohen ... Bloomberg’s Joe Nocera Tucker Eskew of Vianovo … Benjamin Levine of the Sovereign Infrastructure Group ... MSNBC’s Lisa FerriSheena Mollineau of PwC … Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York … WSJ’s Jimmy Vielkind and Telis Demos Kristen Curran of J Strategies … Stefan Friedman of Mercury … Dani Lever of Facebook

MEDIAWATCH — “Please buy this newspaper: A Daily News reporter begs a local owner to rescue the tabloid from Alden Global Capital,” by New York Daily News’ Larry McShane: “Like any good tabloid headline, it’s simple, snappy and succinct: DAILY NEWS NEEDS NEW OWNER. And not just any owner: a New York owner, someone who knows the city and embraces the paper’s 102-year legacy, who hears the voices of the five boroughs shouting from every page and our website. Someone who can treat the newspaper as a public trust, not simply as a property from which to squeeze every last bit of possible profit.”

— Katherine Borgerding is now social media editor at MarketWatch. She is an alum of Protocol, Vox, Recode and POLITICO.

MAKING MOVES — Keith Castaldo will join Subject Matter’s government relations team. He previously was general counsel for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). (h/t POLITICO Playbook)

ENGAGED — Fiona Kaye, assistant New York attorney general, recently got engaged to Christian Emanuel, licensed salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens. The couple met at their Green Bay Packers bar where they both have been volunteering for close to a decade grilling bratwurst for our fellow fans on game days, and they got engaged at Veselka in the East Village. Pic

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Throughout the pandemic, in New York and across the country, CVS Health has been delivering essential care. Thanks to the efforts of our employees, we opened 4,800 COVID-19 test sites and administered over 15 million tests at our stores and through partners in underserved communities. With many still staying home, we increased access to prescription delivery, virtual visits and mental health services. Now, we’re offering vaccines in nearly 6,000 stores across 49 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Every day, CVS Health works to bring quality, affordable health care closer to home—so it’s never out of reach for anyone. That’s health care, from the heart. Learn more.


“New York City May Freeze Rent Again for More Than 2 Million Tenants,” by The New York Times’ Matthew Haag: “The panel that sets rents for more than two million New York City residents signaled on Wednesday that it may again freeze rents for some of them, a move that would be a boon to tenants but a blow to landlords as both camps scrape by amid the coronavirus pandemic. The panel, the Rent Guidelines Board, voted 5 to 4 to consider keeping rents on one-year leases as is or letting property owners raise them up to 2 percent. Doing so would essentially extend a rent freeze the board approved last summer. Rents on two-year leases could rise 1 to 3 percent. The vote on Wednesday was preliminary. A final decision by the board, which sets rents for about half of the city’s rental housing stock, will come in June and take effect in October.”

“To Save Penn Station, New York Wants to Build 10 Skyscrapers,” by The New York Times’ Matthew Haag and Luis Ferré-Sadurní: “For years, one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s top priorities has been an enormous development in the heart of Manhattan that would be among the largest real estate projects ever built in the United States. Ten new buildings — five taller than 1,000 feet — would rise around Pennsylvania Station and form a towering business district stretching west toward Hudson Yards, the biggest private development in the country, and east to the Empire State Building. At the center, the universally disliked rail station — North America’s busiest train hub — would be brought into the modern age with a sleek, expanded redesign and additional tracks and platforms. Before the coronavirus pandemic the transit hub served 600,000 daily riders.”

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