Earlier this week, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a likely candidate for mayor next year, waded all the way down into a district leader’s race to endorse Lincoln Restler for reelection. Well, add another fellow contender for Gracie Mansion to the Restler column as Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer figuratively went across the East River to do the same this afternoon. Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Stringer don’t necessarily endorse in competitive races for more notable elected positions, so the fact that Mr. Restler continues to garner high-level support for his unpaid, little-known position is testament to his ability to raise the district leader post to a bizarrely high level.
“Lincoln is a tireless advocate for his community with a record of delivering real results,” Mr. Stringer said in a statement. “From fighting for more green space and better public schools, to expanding transportation options, Lincoln is a proven leader on the issues Brooklynites care about. Lincoln is the right choice for reform minded voters and I am proud to endorse his re-election.”
Police Sergeant Damaris Díaz, daughter of State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., was arrested last weekend for keying her boyfriend’s car, charged with a felony and suspended without pay until the trial. Mr. Díaz, who at the time had no comment, finally issued one of his long-winded “What You Should Know” statements this afternoon to give his own theory on why his daughter might be getting tougher treatment than the average citizen.
“You should know that when Amadou Diallo was murdered by 4 police officers, they were not suspended without pay after shooting 42 bullets into Amadou Diallo,” he wrote. “We hear almost daily about police officers who commit all kinds of crimes and engage in police brutality to the point where some innocent people have lost their lives – and yet those police officers are not suspended without pay.”
Kings County District Attorney Joe Hynes is increasing the pressure on Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the once-powerful outgoing chair of the borough’s Democratic Party, by applying for a special prosecutor to investigate sexual harassment reports against Mr. Lopez. Mr. Hynes said past support from the local Democratic organization “had the potential to create an appearance of impropriety,” and an independent district attorney could better carry out the investigation.
Avraham Tischler, a 21-year old underdog candidate for the State Senate in southern Brooklyn, has suddenly surged to over 27,400 followers as his September 13 primary date fast approaches. A cursory survey of dozens of the followers showed all of them to have no activity and no followers, a hallmark trait of fake, automated accounts. Furthermore, the Twitter tool StatusPeople estimated 100 percent of his followers as “fake.”
The number stands in sharp contrast to his generally inactive account. Mr. Tischler, who started his campaign account earlier this summer, has only made 23 tweets, and the only interaction others have had with his profile in recent days was political blogger Yossi Gestetner noting the giant leap in followers. The exact point when he accumulated these followers was unclear, but a Google cache from last month shows him with six followers.
The Democrats in the State Assembly are rallying around Speaker Shelly Silver as his feeling the heat from Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal and the discovery that Mr. Silver authorized over $100,000 in state funds to be spent on confidential settlements for prior harassment claims. And you can count Assemblyman Keith Wright, the head of both the Manhattan and state Democratic Parties, among Mr. Silver’s supporters, although not passionately so to the press.
Yesterday evening, the Politicker approached Mr. Wright outside the Midtown meeting where New York Democrats were preparing to select their official delegates for President Barack Obama’s reelection, first inquiring what he made of the situation with Mr. Lopez, who chairs the neighboring Brooklyn Democratic Party. Mr. Wright responded with a nonverbal shrug.