George Santos picks a curious Twitter fight with Eric Adams
Presented by Rebuild NY NOW
In an apparent attempt to appeal to New Yorkers concerned about government waste, Rep. George Santos started a Twitter spat with Mayor Eric Adams Wednesday over $200 million in Covid-19 supplies his administration sold for under $1 million.
“Hey @ericadamsfornyc care to explain what’s going on here?” Santos tweeted from his campaign account @Santos4Congress above a story by The City detailing how Adams officials sold off $12 million worth of ventilators to scrap metal dealers for less than $25,000.
Curiously, Santos tagged Adams’ campaign Twitter account that has just 98,600 followers compared to his official mayoral account that has 1.5 million.
The taunt caught the attention of Adams’ communications director Maxwell Young, who couldn’t help but use the tweet to ridicule the Long Island Republican, who’s under multiple investigations after fabricating much of his campaign biography and allegedly orchestrating pet charity scams.
“Hey @Santos4Congress care to explain where you worked, why you lied about being on the Volleyball team, who funded your campaign, why you faked a dog charity and bounced checks trying to buy puppies, and where you got the nerve to lie to the New Yorkers who elected you?” Young replied.
Adams is an odd target for Santos. Unlike most New York Democrats and many state Republicans, Adams initially pledged to work with the pariah congressman after The New York Times first broke the news of his largely invented resume. (Santos insists he only embellished parts of his background and he never violated any laws.)
It was only late last month that Adams said it was time for Santos to go.
A representative for Santos would only say that Adams should answer for his administration’s decision to auction off unused Covid supplies for “pennies on the dollar.”
Young sent Playbook this statement: “Instead of trying to distract from his burning pile of lies and deceit, Rep. Santos (R-Fantasy Land) should be focusing on how he’s going to serve the constituents and the country he’s betrayed.” — Julia Marsh
IT’S THURSDAY. Got tips, suggestions or thoughts? Let us know … By email: [email protected] and [email protected] or on Twitter: @annagronewold and @sallygold
WHERE’S KATHY? Making an announcement at the JetBlue Airways Hangar at JFK.
WHERE’S ERIC? Convening the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City’s Board of Advisors, doing a live discussion called “Faith & the City: A Conversation With Mayor Eric Adams,” and attending Grand Central Partnership’s “Grand Gourmet 2023: The Flavor of Midtown” gala.
QUOTE OF THE DAY “In New York City, you have a lot of idiots that you have to ignore as you move forward. ” — Mayor Eric Adams,during an event in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday
ANOTHER: “Better breathing = better health.” — also Adams, doing a cold plunge at “the world’s first holistic psychedelic wellness center”
WHAT CITY HALL IS READING
“New York City Coffers are Flush With Cash as It Taps Bond Market,” by Bloomberg’s Martin Z. Braun: “The city’s cash balance, which includes reserves, stood at $14.6 billion in early February, twice as much as the same time a year earlier, according to the Comptroller. Although Wall Street bonus payments are projected to decline 20%, personal-income-tax revenue withheld from worker paychecks in January was almost 7% higher than the same month last year, showing that the city is still gaining from the strong labor market.”
“Madison Square Garden’s Permit Is Expiring — but Cancellation Is a Long Shot,” by THE CITY’s Gabriel Poblete: “But MSG is hardly down for the count. That’s because uprooting the Garden isn’t as simple as yanking the permit. For starters, say real estate lawyers, the arena’s owners — a company controlled by the Dolan family, which also owns the Knicks and Rangers teams — would be due a financial payout.”
“NYC transit union Local 100 activists busted in Bronx subway station break room brawl,” by Daily News’ Evan Simko-Bednarski and Rocco Parascandola: “A long running beef in the union representing New York bus and subway workers turned into a bloody brawl. MTA conductor Tramell Thompson and union vice president Canella Gomez were busted after a fist fight Tuesday night in the crew room of the Bedford Park Boulevard subway station in the Bronx, police said.”
WHAT ALBANY'S READING
“Mayor Adams and Gov. Hochul clash over proposed MTA funding,” by NY1’s Zack Fink: “In his Albany testimony last week, Adams took issue with the Hochul’s executive budget, which calls on the city to pay an additional half billion dollars per year to fund the MTA. In a radio interview Wednesday, he doubled down on that sentiment. ‘No other municipality is being called on to do this. And it’s just unfair,’ Adams said on WABC Radio’s ‘Sid and Friends in the Morning.’ ‘And I disagree with the governor on it. I shared that with her. And I am going to fight like Hell to make sure New York City is not treated differently throughout the state.’”
“Hochul Projects Horse Racing Renaissance, Declines to Share Evidence,” by New York Focus’ Sam Mellins: “Hochul and the horse racing industry claim that the loan, which would be paid back over 20 years with the money that the state gives the industry, would unleash massive economic growth and reverse the industry’s decades-long decline. The proof? ‘I know there’s a study out there that demonstrates that there will be job growth,’ Hochul told New York Focus. ‘I think it goes without saying that there will be job growth.’”
“Overhaul of NY’s prison sentencing laws could shape criminal justice conversation,” by Times Union’s Raga Justin: “Legislative conversations around changes to New York’s criminal justice system have been dominated in recent years by the measures that overhauled bail laws. But advocates in a movement to end mass incarceration said that a recent push to amend prison sentencing measures represents an equally important “back-end” tool in reducing what experts deem a costly overreliance on imprisonment. They’re ramping up their call to end mandatory minimum sentences this year — a move that has gained traction among policy groups and Democrats nationwide, including President Joe Biden, who made it a focus of his 2020 presidential campaign.
#UpstateAmerica: A new multi-day music festival might be coming to the original Woodstock site. Details are sparse, but hoping for better results than previous revamps.
FROM THE DELEGATION
“To Retake the House, Democrats Put Early Money on New York,” by The New York Times’ Nicholas Fandos: “New York almost single-handedly cost Democrats their House majority in last fall’s midterm elections. Now, a leading Democratic group is preparing to pour record sums into the state, in hopes it can deliver the party back to power next year. House Majority PAC, the main super PAC aligned with congressional Democrats, will unveil a first-of-its-kind, $45 million fund this week dedicated to winning back four seats Republicans flipped in New York, and targeting two other competitive districts. Republicans currently control the chamber by only a five-seat margin.”
“How a Liberal NY Senator Became a Primary Target of the Left,” by Daily Beast’s Sam Brody and Jake Lahut: “As Gillibrand kicks off her 2024 re-election bid, there’s an emerging sense among New York insiders that she may be vulnerable enough to invite a primary challenge from a fellow Democrat. … While it’s still early, some New York political consultants are increasingly convinced a primary challenge is inevitable, especially for an up-and-coming figure from the New York City area who can afford to take a gamble.”
AROUND NEW YORK
— The 34th Street Partnership is using K-9 units to prevent shoplifting.
— The Sarah Lawrence College sex cult “lieutenant” was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.
— The woman accused of setting a Pride flag on fire outside a Manhattan restaurant had a boisterous day in court.
— The five-foot-long alligator pulled out of a lake in Prospect Park this week is “extremely emaciated” and undergoing treatment, doctors say.
— LISTEN: To Acting Budget Director Sandra Beattie tell the Capitol Pressroom about her move to the top role amid this year’s budget-sausage making.
— University at Buffalo resident doctors and fellows launched a union campaign.
SOCIAL DATA BY DANIEL LIPPMAN
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Jennifer Epstein … NewsNation’s Erenia Michell … Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Nikki McArthur
MAKING MOVES — Simone Kanter has been promoted to be comms director for Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.). He most recently was press secretary for Goldman. … Bryan Lozano has been named senior director of strategic initiatives at Empire State Development. He most recently was senior director of strategic partnerships at Per Scholas. … Jeff Jakubiak has joined Vinson & Elkins as part of an eight-lawyer energy regulatory team from Gibson Dunn. Charlie Specht is succeeding Bob McCarthy as The Buffalo News’ political reporter. … Dina Powell McCormick has taken over as chair of the poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood. The Goldman Sachs exec was previously vice chair of the board, which also welcomes Policylink’s Angela Glover Blackwell, Blackstone’s Michael Chae, and Seven Seven Six’s Alexis Ohanian.
“The housing market is learning to live with higher mortgage rates,” by Buffalo News’ Jonathan D. Epstein: “After years of go-go sales and soaring prices, Buffalo Niagara’s housing market is starting to look a lot different. Gone are the days when dozens of prospective buyers might traipse through houses before putting down 30, 40 or 50 bids. Now it’s back to just a handful, at most. … And there’s less need for bidders to give away the farm when making an offer in order to be more attractive. … Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still bidding wars or higher prices. The one thing that hasn’t changed in the local market — a severe shortage of homes for sale — is seeing to that.”
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