Thursday, March 30, 2017

He may be the most anti-Trump politician in New York

Aaron Elstein writes for Crain's:
There's an undeclared competition underway between New York's top elected leaders: Who is the most anti-Trump? And the city comptroller is firmly in the lead.
So far this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued 70 press releases, seven of which criticized Donald Trump's policies, according to his office's website. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office has put out 176 March press releases, only five of which expressly mention the president. Ten of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's 49 press releases assail the president or his administration.
Which brings us to Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has slammed Trump in 50% of his press releases issued this month. While that's only 14 releases, Stringer has criticized the president in three of the last four, and the steady stream of criticism could help raise his profile should he run for mayor in a city where 80% of voters backed Hillary Clinton.
In Thursday's salvo, Stringer took Trump's tax policies to task. He said if the president's tax plan is adopted by Congress, 40% of all single parents in the city would see their taxes go up while 90% of millionaires would get a decrease. That said, Trump's tax plans appear to be in flux and Stringer staffers acknowledged in the report's footnotes they had analyzed a plan accessed from the Trump campaign website that has since been taken down.
Stringer has criticized the president more frequently since the attempted Obamacare repeal fell apart and polls showed Trump's popularity sliding into the Mariana Trench.
On Wednesday, Stringer warned that amid "anti-immigration messages and policies from the White House," employers with city contracts must not underpay immigrant workers. On Tuesday, he called the president's signing of an executive order to roll back environmental safeguards "backwards and wrong." That statement broke 19 days of silence about Trump. Stringer evidently rested up after criticizing the president on March 9 for threatening to eliminate funding for the arts.
As comptroller, Stringer's actual job is to monitor city spending and serve as a trustee to the municipal employee pension plans. That means his platform to criticize Trump is smaller than the governor's, mayor's or the attorney general's. But he is clearly trying to make the most of the space he's got.
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