Today is this reporter’s last day here at the good ship Politicker. We hoped our last post on the site would be a final journey into the “Vallone Zone,” but, as of this writing, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. did not respond to our email sent late this afternoon. As a result, we have no option other than to print a series of thank yous and farewells with a few juicy bits of gossip thrown in to, hopefully, help you forgive us for publishing something so utterly self-indulgent. Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/25/13 6:18pm
The first act of last weekend’s annual Inner Circle show featured a spoof of Back To The Future with Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveling back in time in an attempt to find a famous historical figure worthy of serving as his successor. At his press conference this afternoon announcing the LINK initiative to connect low-income New Yorkers with job opportunities, Politicker asked Mayor Bloomberg which historical figure he would choose if he could indeed travel back in time to pick someone to follow him in City Hall. Mayor Bloomberg declined to answer the question.
“No matter what I say there is no good answer to that without you making fun of me,” said the mayor. “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid, even though that’s a stupid question.” Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/25/13 3:56pm
At his press conference this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked about his thoughts on the “Twitter universe” in light of a recent scandal involving an EMS lieutenant who was suspended after the New York Post revealed a series of racist statements he made on the social media site. Mayor Bloomberg described it as evidence people need to be far more careful about what they post online and suggested he’d even warned one of his fellow media moguls, Rupert Murdoch, to stay away from Twitter.
“Everything you send out is going to be retweeted, re-Facebooked, re this, re that and … if you write it down, some day somebody’s going to FOIL it or get it based on a judge’s order,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “You should write down, number one, only things you believe and, number two, then think about how it would look if somebody else sees it.” Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/25/13 3:19pm
Over the weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a $12 million ad campaign dedicated to pushing senators to back legislation that would expand background checks against gun buyers. This ad blitz was the latest salvo in the expensive attack on illegal guns the billionaire mayor has focused on in recent months and it prompted National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to accuse him of trying to “buy America.” At a press conference this afternoon where he was announcing a new program to help connect low-income city residents with job opportunities, many of the questions Mayor Bloomberg fielded from reporters were about his war of words with the NRA. Mayor Bloomberg first addressed the response he’s received after announcing the ad campaign and said an “enormous number” of people have thanked him for the commercials.
“Nobody’s going to walk up to me and say bad things, so I’m not so sure that I can actually represent, but I’ve just had lots and lots of phone calls, text messages, emails, people in the street … that are just so thankful that somebody’s willing to stand up and to counter the NRA,” he said. Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/22/13 7:10pm
On Sunday, MSNBC host Chris Hayes is hosting a roundtable featuring many of the main Democratic mayoral candidates on his eponymous show, Up With Chris Hayes. However, the panel won’t feature the woman who’s currently enjoying a large lead in the polls–Council Speaker Chris Quinn. Though Mr. Hayes has been highly critical of Ms. Quinn of late, both her aides and MSNBC spokespeople attributed her absence from his roundtable to scheduling.
“Speaker Quinn has been able to make 14 candidate forums thus far–two yesterday alone– and she has another 12 committed over the next six weeks. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make this one work,” Mike Morey, a spokesman for the Quinn campaign, told Politicker. Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/21/13 6:30pm
With less than six months to go until the primaries, the New York Observer and the 92nd Street Y have teamed up to host an evening of discussion with all of the major mayoral candidates. The event starts in one hour and, if you can’t make it to the 92nd Street Y to see it in person, you can watch live online right here. Read More
Outspoken Councilman Charles Barron is backing John Liu in the New York City mayoral election this year and he’s also getting involved in races out of state. On Tuesday, Mr. Barron served on the host committee of a Soho fundraiser for Chokwe Lumumba, who is running for mayor in Jackson Mississippi. Mr. Lumumba is an attorney and City Council member whom Mr. Barron said he has known for years through their work in activist circles.
“Chokwe Lumumba is a long-time friend and freedom fighter,” Mr. Barron told Politicker at a forum on stop-and-frisk last night in Brooklyn. “He got elected to the City Council in Jackson, Mississippi, which is, you know, a majority-black population town. There’s seven Council Members. So it’s good to see black, strong, conscious people getting involved in the electoral arena. And [when] he becomes mayor of Jackson Mississippi–that’s going to be a historic moment.” Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/19/13 7:09pm
After traveling to Albany last month to support State Senator Jeff Klein’s push to ban the nutritional supplement DMAA, baseball great, reality television star, MMA fighter, admitted steroid user, author and social media enthusiast Jose Canseco’s latest cause seems to be the number of deaths linked to sugary drinks. After Mr. Canseco took to Twitter this evening to urge the president to “declare war on sugar,” Politicker asked whether he’d be interested in teaming up with a man who is perhaps the nation’s most high-profile anti-sugar crusader–Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/19/13 5:04pm
Prior to launching his mayoral bid, Republican former MTA chairman Joe Lhota was an extremely prolific Twitter user. Since hitting the campaign trail, Mr. Lhota has made far fewer posts on the social media site and stopped tweeting the witticisms he was previously known for. When Politicker saw Mr. Lhota at lunch yesterday, we asked him why he reduced his Twitter presence. Mr. Lhota attributed his lower Twitter profile to instructions from his campaign press team, specifically, his spokeswoman Susan Del Percio.
“I eventually will get back. You know I get handled by my press people,” said Mr. Lhota. “Susan, she threatened me, so I have to be careful.” Read More
By Hunter Walker 3/18/13 3:20pm
About two hours after announcing he was ending his campaign for mayor, local media mogul Tom Allon had lunch with a man he would have faced off against in September’s Republican mayoral primary, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota. Both men insisted their meal at Michael’s in Midtown was already on the schedule and wasn’t a sign Mr. Allon will be endorsing Mr. Lhota following his departure from the race.
“We had an appointment to meet a couple weeks ago and it’s just by happenstance,” Mr. Lhota said when asked about the timing of the meal. “It’s the honest to god truth.” Read More