Claim of forced kiss by IDC leader may stall Senate Dem reunification

Mike McKee of TenantsPAC (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With sexual misconduct allegations having been made last week against Jeff Klein, the Bronx state senator who controls the Independent Democratic Conference, the proposal to reunite the Senate mainline Democrats with the IDC is likely to continue to stall.

Political watchdog Mike McKee, treasurer of TenantsPAC, said he suspects that “Jeff’s days may be numbered.” While not exactly unbiased — McKee rarely misses a chance to call Klein a landlord puppet — the veteran Albany activist put it this way: “I think this puts a monkey wrench into Governor Cuomo’s plan to reunify the Senate, which was very flawed to begin with.” But, he added that he doesn’t believe the plan was going anywhere anyway.

Under the proposed deal put forth last fall, the IDC, a breakaway group of eight Democrat senators who vote with Republicans, would share power with Democrats with each chamber’s chair becoming a co-leader. However, they would also still need Republican-aligned but non-IDC Senator Simcha Felder and two new Democrat senators in two vacant seats formerly occupied by Democrats to actually secure a majority.

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Maloney: Government shutdown would hurt economy and it’s all GOP’s fault

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday at noon, after the government was technically shut down for two days, the Senate agreed to end the stalemate over a spending bill, with the Congress expected to follow, according to multiple reports.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been in Washington, where she spent the weekend prepping for the Monday vote.

Earlier that morning, the representative of Manhattan’s East Side spoke with Town & Village on how government shutdowns hurt the economy, and why she, like other Democrats, blame Republicans for the mess (who in turn blame Democrats).

Reached on the phone at around 10 a.m., Maloney said, “Right now we are trying to get the government open again. You have to continue funding it.”

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Fire breaks out at Union Square building

Photo via Google Maps

By Sabina Mollot

The FDNY is investigating a fire that broke out at a high-rise building in Union Square on Monday morning.

Eighty-four firefighters from 26 units responded to the “all hands” fire at 8:10 a.m., but according to the FDNY, it was under control in 31 minutes. The fire was on the seventh floor of the commercial building, 25 East 15th Street on the west side of Union Square Park. A spokesperson for the fire department said it is standard for that many firefighters to respond to any fire at a high-rise. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still being determined.

After putting out the blaze, the FDNY sent out an emailed alert to warn New Yorkers to expect smoke and traffic delays in the area as well as emergency vehicles.

Child Victims bill gets boost from governor and Me Too founder

Me Too founder Tarana Burke

By Sabina Mollot

It’s been a good week for the Child Victims Act, legislation sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman that would significantly expand the statue of limitations survivors of sex abuse have to file charges. Currently, they have until the age of 23. Under the legislation, they’d have until 50 for civil cases, 28 for criminal ones.

On Monday, the founder of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, said the bill had her support as a survivor of sexual abuse herself.

She told The Daily News that “The origins of the Me Too movement are rooted in the protection of children.”

While actually a decade old, the Me Too movement became a household hashtag last October during the Harvey Weinstein scandal when celebrities encouraged other victims to come forward.

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Police suspect convicted robber behind mugging in Gramercy

Theodore Gaddy

By Maria Rocha-Buschel 

Police are looking for 32-year-old Theodore Gaddy in connection with a robbery that allegedly took place in front of 150 East 24th Street earlier this month. The 13th precinct tweeted that Gaddy was wanted for a robbery on the evening of January 8. The “wanted” notice in the tweet said that the most recent incident happened in 2017 but police confirmed that the robbery actually occurred this year.

Gaddy allegedly pushed a 16-year-old boy to the ground before grabbing his cell phone and ID card and fleeing the scene. Police said that Gaddy and the boy didn’t know each other and that Gaddy was wearing all black at the time of the incident.

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