With less than a week to go before the runoff election in the public advocate’s race, 1199 SEIU is dropping $150,000 on radio ads in support of Councilwoman Tish James.
The sizable purchase comes as the healthcare workers’ union, the largest in the city, looks to play an outsized role in the Democratic primary after successfully backing Bill de Blasio’s mayoral bid.
Endorsing Bill de Blasio was a move fraught with risk in May.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the vaunted front-runner in the mayor’s race, according to the polls. It was widely assumed that former Comptroller Bill Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would consolidate the minority vote.
But the influential healthcare workers’ union went with Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, who now stands as the all-but-assured Democratic nominee for mayor. Mr. de Blasio repaid their faith by making potential hospital closures a centerpiece of his campaign: in July, he was even arrested for protesting the closures of two Brooklyn hospitals, a move that gave him needed publicity.
Melinda Katz scored the endorsement of 1199 SEIU today, adding to her bevy of labor support in the race for Queens borough president.
Ms. Katz’s campaign touted the union’s endorsement–they represent more than 200,000 healthcare workers in the city, many black and Latino–as further evidence that crucial minority voters will back her and not her rival, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.
The influential 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers Union weighed in on two City Council races today, boosting Brooklyn’s Carlos Menchaca and the Bronx’s Ritchie Torres, in their bid for office this year.
“Carlos Menchaca has the background, experience, and judgment working people need in the City Council,” Kevin Finnegan, 1199′s political director, said in a statement. “A product of Bronx public housing and Bronx public schools, Ritchie Torres reflects the community he is running to represent in City Hall,” he said in another
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign for mayor got a significant boost Friday, with the endorsement of the city’s largest union: 1199 SEIU.
It is the first major labor endorsement for Mr. de Blasio, who has been aggressively courting unions as he tries position himself as the “progressive alternative” to the race’s early front-runner, Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Brooklyn State Senator Marty Golden may be a conservative Republican, but he can still rack up influential union endorsements as he campaigns for reelection against Democrat Andrew Gounardes. To wit, the 200,000 member union SEIU 1199 announced their endorsement of Mr. Golden this morning.
“He has written and passed many important pieces of legislation that have improved and protected the health and well-being of all New Yorkers,” Kevin Finnegan, 1199′s political director, said in a statement.
As George Pataki — and his website — inch closer to formally entering the 2012 GOP race for president, here’s a roundup of what people are saying about him.
Jonathan Capehart remembers that Pataki endorsed Carl Paladino for governor last year, which doesn’t bode very well for that “moderate” and “welcoming” presence some think the former governor brings to the GOP primary.
Gwyneth Paltrow sat next to Jimmy Fallon, with Anna Wintour and Pharrell Williams sitting nearby. But tucked into the back of Harvey Weinstein’s basement last night was one face that hadn’t been seen with President Obama at any of his New York fund-raisers so far this year: Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“I’m lucky enough, and he knows it’s true, to say that I was one of Governor Cuomo’s earliest supporters,” Weinstein told the crowd.
“Yes, yes,” Cuomo called out. “Angel investor.”
“You are an angel,” Weinstein gushed.
“That’s the first time anybody’s ever called him that,” Obama said.
Chelsea Clinton joined advocates this evening in Manhattan to mark the first week of a phonebank campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, and said she hopes that New York will pass a same-sex marriage bill by her anniversary this July.
“As someone who got married last year, it was certainly the happiest day of my life to be able to marry my best friend,” she said of her 2010 wedding to husband Marc Mezvinsky. “I fundamentally believe that every New Yorker, every American, and everyone should have the same right.”
Former President Clinton comes out in support of same-sex marriage, a sign of how far into the mainstream the LGBT agenda has become. (It was Clinton, after all, who signed things like the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states the right to refuse same-sex marriages performed in other states; and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military rule from the 1990s whose repeal earlier this year was cheered as a major LGBT victory).
In a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign, Clinton said:
Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ – deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community. That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality. For more than a century, our Statue of Liberty has welcomed all kinds of people from all over the world yearning to be free. In the 21st century, I believe New York’s welcome must include marriage equality.
As with the videos from HRC, the message is positive, points no fingers at those who are opposing it, and paints the issue as an expansion of freedom.
Update: Chelsea Clinton will join activists at a phone bank inside 1199 SEIU headquarters, around 7 p.m. tonight, pushing for the cause. Tonight kicks off bi-weekly calling sessions, notes Liz Benjamin.