Off Topic/On Politics

Off Topic/On Politics

What happens when three New York reporters sit in a (small) room and talk politics? Join host Zack Fink and the NY1 political team each week for a conversation where no topic is off-limits and everything is on the record.

Episodes

May 7, 2021 35 min

In the last few days, the conversation around the race for mayor has been somewhat dominated by the way in which Scott Stringer has responded to the sexual harassment and abuse allegations he’s facing. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross, and Bob Hardt analyze how other mayoral hopefuls might stand to benefit from the turmoil.

And as part of the series of interviews with the mayoral candidates, Zack and Courtney sit down with former N...

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Just as his campaign seemed to be gaining momentum, mayoral candidate Scott Stringer is facing sexual harassment and abuse allegations. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross, and Juan Manuel Benítez weigh in on what this bombshell means for his candidacy and the rest of the race.

And with the June primary around the corner, we are launching a series of interviews with eight leading contenders for mayor. The first one up is housing exper...

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After the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, some of the leading mayoral candidates reacted with renewed calls to reform the NYPD and increase police accountability.

NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross, and Juan Manuel Benítez explain what the mayoral hopefuls are proposing, and discuss the role that public safety is playing during this campaign cycle.

They also analyze wha...

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April 16, 2021 30 min

We’re two months away from the June primary in New York City, and it is time to dive into the race for mayor. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross, and Juan Manuel Benítez weigh in on the state of the race.

They also comment on the controversy generated by the slate of endorsements recently announced by an influential organization that carries significant sway among progressive voters.

We want to hear from you, especially what you thi...

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The New York state legislature just approved the most expensive budget in the state’s history. NY1’s Zack Fink, Courtney Gross, and Bob Hardt analyze the $212 billion deal, which includes a tax increase on high-income earners, and billions of dollars in relief for undocumented New Yorkers.

They also keep an eye on the race for mayor, as four candidates took the stage to present their ideas on education before the city’s powerful t...

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April 2, 2021 25 min

Pretty soon, all New Yorkers 16 years and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But is the system ready to absorb the exponential surge in requests for appointments?

NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez and Courtney Gross discuss how the immunization rollout has been going so far and what can be done to make sure disadvantaged New Yorkers are not left out of the process.

They also comment on new reports that, in the s...

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It’s been years in the making, but New York might finally legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Albany lawmakers are closer than ever to striking a deal.

NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez, and Gloria Pazmino discuss the details of the tentative agreement and explain how legalization could affect New Yorkers, especially in minority communities.

They also weigh in on the race for mayor, as the field is shrinking and the fr...

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Amid a sexual harassment investigation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to control the narrative by focusing on vaccine distribution, economic recovery and state budget negotiations — while also surrounding himself with the few supporters he has left.

NY1’s Juan Manuel Benítez, Courtney Gross, and Bob Hardt comment on the governor’s strategy, and tell us if they think Albany Democrats will get their way in the state budget.

They also...

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The list of New York political figures calling for Gov. Cuomo to step down keeps growing, as more women have leveled sexual harassment allegations against him.

NY1’s Juan Manuel Benítez, Courtney Gross, and Bob Hardt weigh in on the controversy and tell us if they think this will cause the governor’s political demise.

They also discuss recent news coming out of the campaign trail, now that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has o...

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An unusually contrite Gov. Cuomo apologized on Wednesday after being accused of sexual misconduct by three women, two of them former aides. But he refused to resign, and said that he’s never touched anyone inappropriately.

NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez, and Courtney Gross comment on the governor’s first public appearance since these allegations came to light and discuss how Albany power players are reacting to Cuomo’s apolo...

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Following weeks of renewed criticism over his policies regarding nursing homes during the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing sexual harassment allegations by a former aide.

NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez, and Courtney Gross explain how these accusations fit into the narrative that has recently emerged of a governor who often uses bullying and intimidation as a political tactic.

They also comment on the way the mayoral ca...

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February 19, 2021 33 min

In a new chapter to a nursing home controversy that has dogged his administration, Gov. Cuomo went after Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim, one of the most outspoken critics of Cuomo for his handling of the pandemic in facilities for the elderly.

NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez, and Courtney Gross explain how the scandal reached this boiling point, and what this could mean for the governor’s political brand.

They also discuss the l...

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It’s Vaccine Education Week on NY1, so we’re bringing you a very special episode in which political reporters Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez, and Courtney Gross discuss New York’s COVID-19 vaccination program with the chairman of the City Council Committee on Health, Mark Levine, who’s been closely following the rollout in the five boroughs.

The three hosts also comment on the immunization plans some of the mayoral candidates are ...

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Gov. Cuomo is facing scrutiny on multiple fronts over his handling of the pandemic. NY1's Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez, and Courtney Gross discuss the fallout from the state attorney general's report accusing him of undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.

They also comment on the latest in the mayoral race, including the news that Andrew Yang has tested positive for coronavirus after hitting the streets much more...

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The city’s COVID-19 vaccine program is not running smoothly. The vaccine supply is quickly dwindling and, as always, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio are singing different tunes, causing a great deal of disharmony. NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benítez and Courtney Gross explain what has gone wrong with the rollout and also comment on President Biden’s attempts to increase distribution.

They also play an excerpt from an exclusive ...

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Joe Biden's inauguration marks a new beginning not only for the nation, but also for New York. NY1's Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benitez, and Courtney Gross analyze how the city could benefit from the new balance of power in Washington, where a Brooklynite is now Senate Majority Leader.

They also react to the news that Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang has been forced to quarantine after one of his aides tested positive for COVID-1...

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On the heels of Andrew Yang's official launch of his campaign for mayor, NY1's Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benitez, and Courtney Gross analyze the former presidential candidate's entry into the crowded race, and the controversy over Yang spending much of his time upstate during the pandemic.

They also discuss Gov. Cuomo's priorities for the new year, aimed primarily at beating the virus and bringing about economic recov...

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After Trump supporters violently sieged the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, NY1's Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benitez, and Courtney Gross reflect on the chaos, Rudy Giuliani's role, and the effect on the nation's democracy.

They also talk about Charles Schumer soon becoming the new Senate majority leader and what that means for New York.

And they discuss the rocky start to New York's COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the back-an...

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In the final episode of the year, NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benitez, and Courtney Gross discuss the city’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine after an ICU nurse in Queens received the first vaccine shot.

And they talk about the debate over raising taxes, as the state faces a massive budget crisis and awaits aid from Washington, D.C.

We want to hear from you:

Twitter: #NY1OffTopic or @ZackFinkNews@JuanMaBenitez, and ...

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December 11, 2020 31 min

Six City Council members are suing to get ranked-choice voting delayed, making the case that the new system, if executed right now, will hurt non-white voters and cause voter disenfranchisement. NY1’s Zack Fink, Juan Manuel Benitez and Courtney Gross explain the controversy around the voter-approved ranked-choice system and discuss if New York is ready to implement the new system. They also weigh in on Shaun Donovan’s official laun...

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