The Eric Adams Media Advantage
What he has that his predecessor lacks
A week ago, Politico broke a rather notable story about the man who, for a brief period, ran New York City. Frank Carone, the old chief of staff to Mayor Eric Adams, had left the administration after a single year of public service to rejoin the private sector, where he would make much more money. Carone decided to set up a consulting firm to represent clients who, in some cases, have business before the city, monetizing his close relationship with Adams. He vowed not to directly lobby City Hall for an indefinite period of time—municipal employees are barred from interacting with their old agencies for at least a year—though anyone who intimately understands politics knows consultants can perform de facto lobbying without having to suffer the indignity of registering their activity in a public database. One of Carone’s major clients will be SL Green, the city’s largest commercial landlord, which is bidding to bring a casino to Times Square. The real estate company will benefit plenty from the insights of a man who knows Adams as well as anyone.
Adams’ choice was always a curious one. Before joining City Hall, Carone was known as the de facto leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, an attorney who had grown wealthy through his deep political connections. Carone’s old firm, Abrams Fensterman, includes a major fundraiser for Chuck Schumer and other top Democrats, and is heavily involved in lucrative ancillary businesses, including nursing homes. Carone was an ally of the previous mayor, Bill de Blasio, who also had his political base in Brooklyn. But de Blasio, despite his ethical entanglements, never invited Carone into his government.
Adams was more brazen.