This Week's Political Winners & Losers: Cuomo's PAC Gets Casino Money

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It was a dramatic week. From explosive news reports on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Super PAC-ish Committee to Save New York and its relationship to the gambling lobby, to Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos's disquisition on weed, to JCOPE commissioner Ravi Batra being carried out of an ethics commission meeting on a gurney, we were almost "windswept" by the amount of news in New York. But we're also counting down to Congressional primaries and even state Senate races, where endorsements are being handed out and money is being raked in. When all these powers combine, we get some winners and their counterparts, the losers. Winners Tony Avella ?Woody Allen famously said 80 percent of success is just showing up. Who knows if Avella's perfect attendance record in the Senate has anything to do with the fact that he chalked up the Independence Party's endorsement this week and seems to be cruising to a surprisingly easy reelection, but it certainly didn't hurt. By taking seriously the fact that he works on the taxpayers' dime, Avella deserves a gold star and inspires the question: why can't his colleagues do the same? Brad Hoylman - Is it possible that a West Side state Senate seat could be open - and the field will be pretty much clear? It's not quite certain yet, but Sen. Tom Duane quickly said he was likely to back Brad Hoylman if he runs, and no other definite contenders have yet emerged. It also doesn't hurt that Duane announced his decision only two days before petitioning began - making mounting any sort of insurgent campaign difficult. Charles Barron -Even if you buy that Barron's endorsement on Monday by the longtime incumbent, Ed Towns, was neutralized by Hakeem Jeffries' starring role in Governor Cuomo's pro-pot decriminalization press conference, there was still ample reason to conclude that the councilman's campaign keeps building momentum just when it matters most. After leaving little doubt as to who got the better of their NY1 debate, Barron continued to bruise Jeffries the next day by landingThe Amsterdam News' support. Could this be the start of a Nehru jacket craze in Congress? Barry Caro - New York Congressional candidate Richard Becker has an uphill battle in a four-way Democratic primary this month, but he's got a great asset in his dogged press secretary Barry Caro, who sniffed out an incendiary Facebook post written by Jay Townsend, the press man for Rep. Nan Hayworth, in which Townsend recommended hurling acid at female Democratic senators. Caro flagged the post and pushed it until it went viral, ultimately forcing Hayworth to let Townsend go. It's the kind of moment that catches national attention and could ultimately focus more eyes and dollars on the race, a plus for whichever Democrat ends up staring down Hayworth this fall. To read the full list of this week's political winners and losers, and to vote for the best and worst, visit City & State by [clicking here. ](

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