City & State: This week's political "Winners & Losers"
WINNERS Liz Benjamin ? What a happy two-year anniversary present for Capital Tonight superblogger Liz Benjamin: a "dossier" of her "generally snarky" blog posts from the Cuomo administration, helpfully gift wrapped by Buzzfeed's Ben Smith. Not that Benjamin needed evidence that she was getting under the governor's skin; we're sure she's received more than a few of those infamous off-the-record phone calls from you-know-who. And her response to the news that everyone else in New York politics was tripping over themselves to Tweet? Barely a shrug. More like generally unflappable. Maggie Brooks ? The Republican Monroe County executive's congressional bid got off to a strong start: she raised over a quarter million dollars in under two weeks, outdoing her Democraticopponent Rep. Louise Slaughter, and earning the designation as a promising "Young Gun" candidate by the NRCC. Meanwhile, the 82-year-old Slaughter has had to defend herself on questions about her health and fitness to run. Brooks has even been able to deflect questions about national issues, though the local press has started taking her to task for staying mum. Hakeem Jeffries ? It's one thing to end up winning a campaign by default when your opponent drops out if you're not a great candidate, but for Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who has run a gracious campaign against incumbent Ed Towns, the news that Towns would decline to run for re-election was just icing on a well-run campaign cake. Jeffries has made an impressive fundraising haul already, with $390,000 cash on hand. If he doesn't spend it all running against Councilman Charles Barron, it's just added muscle for future runs. Sheldon Silver ? The Assembly speaker got two bits of good news this week. First, the seating of Didi Barrett as the 101st Democratic member of his conference gave Silver back his veto-proof majority in the Assembly. And public polls show that voters continue to support his push for an increase in the minimum wage. And with the passage of Senate-approved mixed-martial arts bill hanging in the balance, he may have the necessary chits he needs to make a deal. And that's where all that's Silver turns gold. David Yassky ? The Taxi and Limousine Commission passed rules to put into place the far-reaching agreement between Cuomo and Bloomberg on expanding taxi service in the outer boroughs, a win for Yassky and his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Owners of the city's yellow cabs are irate and they're suing to block the plan, but the development means more business for livery cabs and a big influx of cash for New York City from the sale of the new permits. LOSERS Jeffrey Gottlieb - Jeffrey, we hardly knew ye. And yet, we wouldn't have known you at all but for your controversial, late entry into the NY-6 congressional race in Queens, where you were immediately pegged as a "plant" by Assemblyman Rory Lancman - allegedly running at the behest of Assemblywoman Grace Meng. Of course, the New York Post took things to the next level by rifling through the personal lives of an obscure congressional candidate, and finding a history of arson and mental hospitalization. It all ended yesterday when Gottlieb withdrew from the race and threw his signatures to Stephen Green. Hope your record's clean, Mr. Green. Carl Kruger ? The former Senator's plea for leniency was sadder than an abandoned baby in a cardboard box, sadder than a dead puppy, sadder than a blank passport belonging to someone who never got to go anywhere in his life. It's sadder than all these things because it contains all three and more, in a maudlin retelling of Kruger's life that would have been more effective told straight. As it is, the overkill in the 77-page sentencing memo might be indicative of just how worried Kruger is the judge in the case will throw the book at him, especially considering the federal prosecutors' plan to ask for nine-years in jail for the former senator, sad life story notwithstanding. Wendy Long ? GOP Senate hopeful Wendy Long knew her race against Kirsten Gillibrand would be an uphill battle. And with the release of her FEC filings this week, the public can see what an uphill battle costs ? more than half of what she has managed to raise so far. Long was incensed by the publicizing of her publicly available campaign finance filings, and dubiously claimed that Gillibrand's camp was responsible. But her fingers would probably be better served punching donor phone numbers than pointing at rivals. To read the full list and vote for this week's ultimate political winner and loser visit City & State by [clicking here](http://www.cityandstateny.com/winners-losers-april-20-2012/).
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