Richard Brodsky stood in the middle of Zuccotti Park one afternoon last week, surrounded by several dozen drummers, a quartet doing tandem tai chi, two Native Americans calling for the freeing of Leonard Peltier and a stack of Godiva chocolate donated to the Occupy Wall Street protests. He was trying to get some answers.
Earlier in the day, the Bloomberg administration announced that all of the demonstrators would have to vacate the park so that it could be cleaned, and a few minutes prior, police commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters that the demonstrators wouldn’t be able to come back with their tents or sleeping bags. The protesters were vowing to resist and were furiously scrubbing the ground and replanting flowers to convince the mayor to change his mind. If that failed, they were planning to link arms and keep the cops from entering the park. The sky above the park began to darken. A massive thunderstorm was moving in. Something bad seemed to be in the offing.
These days, Susan Chin is moving at breakneck speed. “I can barely fit this in,” she lamented when The Observer rang her in early October, just days before she took her post as the executive director at the Design Trust for Public Space, a forward-thinking nonprofit that links private development projects with community needs.
The “this” she is referring to wasn’t even an interview; it was the call to try to organize a time for the interview. Read More
A Yahoo News piece about Herman Cain this morning showed that pizza executive and current Republican presidential front-runner gave lots of money over the years to Democratic candidates. Mostly, those pols were from Nebraska, where Godfather Pizza was headquartered.
“They were business decisions and personal decisions,” Mr. Cain told Yahoo when asked about the donations to Democrats. “One was a restaurateur. One was a personal friend. All moderate Democrats.”
But one donation stuck out: a $250 check to Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano in 1993.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry released dueling web videos in preparation for tonight’s debate in Vegas. Their combative clips make competing claims about which candidate has a stronger record on jobs.
Brooklyn Democratic Party leader Vito Lopez is the latest pol to jump on board the Occupy Wall Street movement.
A reader passes along the following invitation from the longtime assemblyman for a “Making a Difference Rally” with Brooklyn legislators and union leaders. The group is slated to meet at Brooklyn Borough Hall and march over the Brooklyn Bridge, where they will join the folks down at Zuccotti Park.
North Korean news agency KCNA covered the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations yesterday and Kim Jong Il’s favorite media outlet called the protests “an eruption of the wrath on the greed of capital and economic inequality.”
Former ”Real World” reality TV star and hip-hop journalist Kevin Powell has announced that he will not run for Congress in 2012.
“While I am still very much dedicated to the issues I raised in our campaigns, I will not be running for Congress or any other office in 2012,” he wrote on his website this afternoon. “For the immediate future my heart is with political and community organizing. For the past year, I have been working very quietly with diverse fellow leaders of my generation, the generation behind me, and my team to build a new national organization that will address the concerns of progressive, multicultural America.”
Mr. Powell challenged long-time Brooklyn Rep. Ed Towns in 2008 and 2010, and made an abortive run in 2012, and had previously told The Politicker that he was gearing up for a rematch this year.
Mr. Powell got around 30 percent of the vote both times, which didn’t seriously challenge Mr. Towns, but would have made him a factor in 2012, when a lot of attention has been placed on Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who has all but announced that he will run against Mr. Towns.
The dropping out of Mr. Powell also means that Charles Barron, a City Councilman who nearly knocked off Mr. Towns in 2006, may run. He has previously told The Politicker that he would stand aside for Mr. Powell.
A new poll out today by the Siena Research Institute showed that Republicans have a steep climb ahead of them if they hope to lighten the dark shade of blue of New York State.
The poll gives President Barack Obama a 58-31 lead over Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and a 55-37 lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He also leads Herman Cain 58-32. In the previous poll last month, Mr. Obama led Mr. Perry by a smaller, 23-point margin, and led Mr. Romney by larger 20 point margin.
Silicon Alley U
With less than two weeks until the deadline for the RFP, universities are ready to pull out the show-stoppers. Cornell just threw the process (and Betabeat!) for a loop by announcing that it would be partnering with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in its bid.
Early on, Technion was rumored to be a favorite--along with Cornell and Stanford. Although it all depends on what's proposed, the prospect of two frontrunners combining their efforts has to set the playing field off-kilter. Suri Kasirer, Cornell's power lobbyist, and BerlinRosen, its PR firm hired especially for the occasion of the chance to build on city-owned land, certainly know how to make an announcement. Read More
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain likes to tout his background as a business man, but one of his ventures could cause him trouble on the trail. A for-profit publishing company owned by Mr. Cain called “Herman Cain T.H.E. New Voice” received over $150,000 in campaign contribution cash.