As indictments of minority elected officials continue to pile up, some leaders have openly suggested, while offering scant evidence, that a conspiracy exists to remove blacks and Latinos from power. But U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, one of two federal prosecutors responsible for bringing many of the recent corruption charges, outright rejected any conspiracy theories last night. Read More
John Liu’s mayoral campaign may be hovering around ten percent in the polls, but according to the candidate himself, they understate his support by more than twofold. Indeed, a beaming Mr. Liu told a room full of teachers yesterday that if the surveys were accurate, he’d actually have the support of a quarter of the city’s Democratic primary electorate.
“My true base of support in the electorate is closer to 25 percent,” Mr. Liu, the city’s comptroller, exclaimed at a teacher’s union mayoral forum in Brooklyn. “You add on top of that the tremendous amount of labor support I’m going to have, that puts me very much in the running–much more so than other candidates who I don’t think have any piece of their base that is not being reflected in the public poll numbers.” Read More
The Queens County Democratic Party is expected to endorse Councilman Leroy Comrie for borough president next week, according to four sources plugged into various sides of the race.
The sources–some of whom were disappointed in the decision–told Politicker that Congressman Joe Crowley, the head of the borough’s Democratic organization, will probably endorse Mr. Comrie to balance his leadership position in one of the most demographically diverse counties in the country. Read More
Although Assemblyman Vito Lopez was cleared of criminal charges today, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics still found plenty to to dislike about him in a revealing report that concluded that Mr. Lopez fostered a shockingly sordid work environment in clear violation of official standards of conduct.
In the scathing 68-page report, Mr. Lopez–who was stripped of his powerful committee chairmanship and his position atop the Brooklyn Democratic Party after sexual harassment allegations first surfaced last year—engaged in such acts as hanging mistletoe in his district office and forcibly kissing a staffer, shoving his hand “all the way up” the inner thigh of another staffer and more. Read More
Councilman Dan Halloran’s former chief of staff, running in the race to replace him after he was arrested on corruption charges, has raised about $11,000 in less than two weeks.
Chrissy Voskerichian abruptly left her post when Mr. Halloran, a Republican, was charged last month for allegedly quarterbacking a bribery scheme for a mayoral candidate. She filed a campaign committee to run in the Democratic primary in Mr. Halloran’s northeast Queens district, even before he said he would not seek re-election. Read More
Ben Kallos, a candidate for City Council on the Upper East Side, was apparently offering campaign internships in the south Bronx.
That was according to the campaign website of Pedro Alvarez, a Bronx City Council candidate, which bore a striking resemblance to the website of Mr. Kallos. Under an “internships” section that was removed after Politicker contacted the Alvarez campaign, the text was identical to the Kallos site, even going as far as to mention Mr. Kallos several times. Read More
Short on bombast and long on analysis, left-leaning academics and the co-chair of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus took to the stage at the CUNY Graduate Center last night to outline their alternative vision for a city in the twilight of the Bloomberg era.
“We’ve been in a kind of sitting in the laboratory, mixing the chemicals phase in the past nine months and we hope to go out and cause a few explosions in the coming months and after the elections,” said John Mollenkopf, a CUNY political science professor and co-organizer of the panel discussion, “Progressive Policies for the Future of New York City,” which the New York Times’ Michael Powell moderated. Read More
It is a question few in the New York political establishment dare to ask publicly: is the seemingly endless string of indictments and arrests of elected officials a conspiracy against minorities in power?
But there was Queens State Sen. James Sanders Jr., bellowing in a theater with a preacher’s rhythm, more than implying last night that the recent arrests of black elected officials like Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, State Sen. Malcolm Smith and State Sen. John Sampson were not coincidental. Even State Sen. Shirley Huntley, who admitted to stealing funds earmarked for her district’s underprivileged children and was sentenced Thursday for her crimes, could have been linked to a conspiracy, Mr. Sanders said.
Months into his first term, his short time in Washington D.C. has Congressman Hakeem Jeffries convinced the Tea Party is out of control. Read More
When Lynn Smith, the niece of ex-State Sen. Shirley Huntley, wrote to a federal judge in February to beg for leniency for her indicted aunt, she neglected to mention one crucial fact of her own story: she had pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 a week earlier.
Ms. Huntley, who will be sentenced tomorrow after pleading guilty to embezzling $87,000 and tampering with physical evidence to obstruct a probe into the theft of member item money she sponsored for a nonprofit, roped Ms. Smith and several other associates into the scheme. Ms. Smith pleaded guilty in February to stealing $30,000 in taxpayer funds from a sham nonprofit group that Ms. Huntley founded. This information was not mentioned in her letter, made public today, to Judge Jack Weinstein. Read More