Yesterday afternoon, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson delivered the keynote speech at the annual luncheon of the Association of Master Painters and Decorators of New York, Inc. at The New York Hilton hotel. Though he didn’t give his opinions on any decorative matters such as Anthropologie kitchenware or Rococo-inspired wall treatments, he was certainly well-received by the members of the association.
Earlier tonight, Comptroller John Liu held a birthday party extravaganza at the renowned Jing Fong dim sum restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. It was quite the affair, featuring a number of speakers, a packed crowd, a massive display of balloons, a gigantic American flag-themed birthday cake and even a celebrity impersonator. The event, which doubled as a fundraiser for his expected mayoral campaign, also served as a teaser for the expected electoral effort.
“2013 is going to be a year of change, a year of change in the City of New York, the greatest city in the world!” Mr. Liu declared in a policy-laden speech outlining his plans to achieve greater economic equality in the five boroughs while deftly avoiding directly announcing his intention to run for mayor. “We’ve got a lot of ideas. We’ve got the will to start this campaign and to win this campaign. And 2013 will be a year of change and with all of your support, I know we’re going to get there.”
Then came the “big” announcement.
Without a doubt, Comptroller John Liu knows how to bring pomp and circumstance to his speeches.
Mr. Liu, a likely mayoral candidate next year, appeared to do everything he could to best the pageantry of his last “State of the City” speech–which he gave just ten months ago–where traditional Chinese lion dancers and gospel singers performed before he discussed the city’s financial outlook. This time, Mr. Liu’s pre-speech entertainment included a phalanx of elementary school children singing and dancing to tracks from American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips and High School Musical. But the party didn’t stop there.
Tao of Joe
Before MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced he would be stepping down from his post to run for mayor, the former Giuliani administration aide was a prolific Twitter user. Though Mr. Lhota’s Twitter feed has been silent since earlier this month, his earlier tweets shed light on the Republican candidate’s thoughts on a wide variety of subjects.
Tom Allon wants you to know he doesn’t have an Independence streak.
The Manhattan Media CEO, recent Republican and long-shot mayoral candidate released a statement blasting the controversial Independence Party and his rivals in the wake of an opinionated Daily News investigation into the party’s origins. The piece, which quoted party leader Lenora Fulani asserting that Jews “do the dirtiest work of capitalism, to function as mass murderers of people of color,” enraged Mr. Allon.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, an all-but-officially announced mayoral hopeful, has prominently featured his wife Chirlane McCray in his campaign literature and on his web site. Despite Ms. McCray’s front-and-center role in his campaign, for which she also serves as an unpaid advisor, one aspect of her life has thus far remained out of the public eye.
Prior to meeting Mr. de Blasio, Ms. McCray identified as a lesbian and had several long-term relationships with other women. In a seven-page essay she wrote for the September 1979 issue of Essence magazine entitled “I am a Lesbian” she frankly discussed her sexuality and expressed gratitude that she came to terms with her preference for women before marrying a man.
“I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman” Ms. McCray wrote. “Coming to terms with my life as a lesbian has been easier for me than it has been for many. Since I don’t look or dress like the typical bulldagger, I have a choice as to whether my sexual preference is known.”
painting the town red
As the presidential race enters the home stretch, New York Republicans are already focusing on next year’s campaign to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last night, several candidates who are planning to run for mayor on the GOP line addressed a crowd of local party stalwarts at the Brooklyn Bar Association. Only two of the potential Republican mayoral hopefuls showed up–Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith, who has been mulling a possible party switch to run for mayor and another newly-minted Republican, Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon.
The Great Switcheroo
“Thank you for joining me today in front of this famous statue of Theodore Roosevelt, one of New York’s great political leaders. I’m proud to announce that I’m running a fusion candidacy for mayor in 2013,” Manhattan Media C.E.O. Tom Allon proclaimed in front of a small gathering of reporters in the Upper West Side this morning. “I’m now a registered Republican and I will be the Republican and Liberal Party nominee in 2013.”
Mr. Allon, who was previously running as a Democrat continued by vowing to run “a fusion campaign that would make Theodore Roosevelt proud.”
“We need a leader who will lead rather than pander, who will not put forward these counterproductive ideas like raising taxes on the wealthy,” Mr. Allon said. “I’m here today to ensure New Yorkers that they will have a real choice in 2013.”
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is most definitely running for office next year, the question is, which one? While Mr. Stringer has long been considered among the crop of likely mayoral candidates, there are mounting rumors and multiple reports he may instead run for comptroller.
It’s time for the latest installment of our weekly scorecard for next year’s potential mayoral candidates, rating how they’ve been doing in recent days. Overall, the candidates seemed generally pretty active on the issues they cared about, with the biggest change possibly being a Wall Street Journal report discussing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s feelings and meetings with the candidates. But at Politicker, we’re really just interested in Lady Gaga. That’s something you’re just going to have to deal with.