In December of last year, Politicker published a seven-page 1979 Essence magazine article where Chirlane McCray, the wife of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, frankly discussed her identity as a lesbian. The news made waves, amplified by a New York Post cartoon condemned as offensive. Now, more than six months after our report and decades after the original essay, Ms. McCray returned to Essence‘s pages to discuss Mr. de Blasio, her sexual identity and more.
“I came out at 17. I hadn’t really dated any men. I thought, Whoa, what is this?” she said at one point in the Essence interview, when asked about entering her relationship with Mr. de Blasio. “But I also didn’t think, Oh, now I’m attracted to men. I was attracted to Bill. He felt like the perfect person for me.”
Apples to Apples
John Catsimatidis was not too pleased when he opened up today’s New York Times to read about his reportedly embattled supermarket chain, Gristedes, which it dubbed the “unloved uncle of the New York City grocery scene.”
“I’d say ‘ugh.’ I’d say ‘ugh,’” the billionaire Republican candidate for mayor replied when Politicker asked him about his reaction to the piece, which detailed how the grocery chain has been struggling financially and targeted by several class action lawsuits.
He elaborated by comparing his relationship with Gristedes, which launched his successful business career, to a wife who doesn’t like her name.
The candidates for mayor of New York City made their pitch to animal lovers yesterday, and needless to say, they repeatedly professed their love for various species that don’t have a vote.
Republican John Catsimatidis–who likes to call himself “the cat man”–once begged the fire department to rescue his daughter’s cockatiel, for example. Bill Thompson claimed that he had not one, but two rescued cats. And Sal Albanese insisted his mother-in-law lived a few years longer because of a chihuahua named Joey.
Only days after railing against the entire slate of Democratic mayoral candidates for playing politics with people’s lives–a big failing, he suggested, as public safety is “the most important job of any mayor, period”–Mayor Michael Bloomberg heaped heavy praise on one of those would-be successors.
“Chris Quinn has done a very good job as speaker,” Mr. Bloomberg declared during his weekly WOR radio show this morning. “Whether you’re going to vote for her or not, she has been a very good speaker. The city has been very well served by her. I don’t think that she gets enough credit for it.”
As the four biggest Democratic mayoral campaigns push against one another for every voter in the five boroughs, their focus has often turned to the Bronx, home to constituencies that none of them can lay natural claim to.
And, earlier today, former Comptroller Bill Thompson was the latest to announce Bronx officials’ endorsements in the form of Congressman José Serrano and his son, State Senator José Serrano. The duo labeled Mr. Thompson a “coalition builder” who can reach out to their heavily Hispanic communities.
Earlier today, Washington Wizard’s center Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. And, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who’s vying to become the first openly gay mayor of New York City, is rather happy about it.
“What Jason did today is literally going to save lives,” Ms. Quinn said in a statement. “Because the greatest athletes – who are children’s heroes more than athletes? – are also LGBT and it’s okay.”
Cats Out of The Bag
Earlier today, John Catsimatidis gave his mayoral campaign pitch to the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, and it was certainly not a humdrum affair. His initial speech, given as he stood in the backroom of a Cobble Hill Irish pub, went smoothly enough. When Mr. Catsimatidis veered into the question-and-answer period, however, the GOP candidate quarreled extensively with a multiple audience members.
“I still don’t understand what your plan is,” conservative activist Frank Russo told Mr. Catsimatidis, for example, about his job training program. “Quite frankly, I’m being honest. I’m not trying to be confrontational.”
“That’s public money, that’s my money,” another audience member chimed in about the proposal, which would train some young people trade skills early on in their careers. “You think it’s okay to steal it!”
In the basement of Ahi Ezer Congregation in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn last night, conservative Democrat Rev. Erick Salgado gathered with rabbis and other Jewish leaders to raise money and support for his mayoral campaign. And for some, the event was a forum for rabble-rousing against the socially liberal positions embraced by the vast majority of New York City’s Democratic officials.
“It is my party–my Democratic Party–that takes away everything I believe in,” Rev. Rubén Díaz, Sr., a Bronx State Senator, declared in a passionate speech. “It is the Democratic Party–my party–that imposes in our communities gay marriage. It is the Democratic Party that wants to impose abortion. It is the Democratic Party that takes away our rights.”
The race for City Hall’s top job continues to get more and more crowded these days.
Whether it’s a “socially media journalist,” a bewhiskered anti-rent activist, a socially conservative reverend or a certain former congressman, the field continues to grow. The latest entry will be He Gin Lee, a Queens architect, who says he’ll announce his campaign for the Democratic primary tomorrow at City Hall Park.
Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign scheduling arrives with a caveat that her rivals rarely, if ever, employ: “NOT FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST” and “ALL ITEMS EMBARGOED UNTIL DATE AND TIME OF EVENT.”
Beginning with her bid’s launch last month, the Quinn campaign has told reporters they cannot reveal Ms. Quinn’s whereabouts until the event she is attending is underway. In contrast, all but one of Ms. Quinn’s competitors have no stipulations whatsoever, oftentimes simply stating “Media Advisory” or “For Immediate Release.” Only Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign says, “For Planning Purposes Only,” but there is no specific order to avoid publishing the details.