At a press conference this morning announcing the groundbreaking of the Sugar Hill Affordable Housing Development on 155th Street, Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed the possibility scandalized former congressman Anthony Weiner might be planning a political comeback.
Mayor Bloomberg first mentioned Mr. Weiner, who resigned last June after he was caught sending illicit Twitter messages to several women, when a reporter asked him about a situation involving an ex-Vietnam veteran who has been sleeping in his hot dog cart in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art because he claims rival vendors will take the prime real estate if he leaves the area in the evening.
“Why did I know we were going to get a Weiner story today?” Mayor Bloomberg joked.
Bill Thompson, the former comptroller and close runner up to Mayor Bloomberg in the 2009 mayoral election, launched his website for the 2013 campaign today. BillThompsonForMayor.com includes an “About Bill” page with links to his biography, past accomplishments and a statement about his reasons for running. The site also has links to Mr. Thompson’s social media accounts and pages for supporters to volunteer and donate.
“The 2009 race is in the past, and I’m not running for the past,” Mr. Thompson said in a statement announcing the site. “I’m running for the future of this city – of every New Yorker in every borough – and that’s what I want this race to be about.”
The already packed field of potential candidates running for mayor in 2013 looks like it’s going to get a bit more crowded.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference this afternoon at P.S. 218 to trumpet a drop in New York’s childhood obesity rates. Afterwards, he approached The Politicker to inquire why we hadn’t questioned him about the race for City Hall.
“I’m considering it, absolutely,” Mr. Diaz said. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Occupy City Hall
Former Mayor Ed Koch thinks Chris Quinn is the best person to take his old job in 2013 now that he’s given up his dream of seeing NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in City Hall.
“I urged Ray Kelly to run for the last year-and-a-half. He told me he would not. I urged him again, he told me he would not. And when he decided he would not, I started backing Chris Quinn,” Mayor Koch told Politicker.
Community publisher and 2013 mayoral hopeful Tom Allon weighed in on the Occupy Wall Street eviction this morning with a cautious statement attempting to balance both sides of the controversy.
Conventional wisdom in the 2013 Mayoral race suggests newspaper Tom Allon is a longshot to win in a field that’s expected to include 2009 runner up Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Mr. Allon got his campaign off to a head start this week with the race’s first TV commercial and a new web site.
Yesterday, he explained his reasons for getting in the game early and why he thinks he can win to the Observer. “I wouldn’t call it a field of heavyweights.” Mr. Allon said. ”It is, you know, I think a wide open race.”
By the end of the month, Chris Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be out of a job. Some of his aides and allies—and even possibly the big man himself—think they have a good position lined up for The Man Who Saved Ground Zero: mayor of New York City.
“Mayor Bloomberg has changed the public perception of what it means to be mayor, and that is a good and a bad thing” one Ward aide involved in the recruitment efforts told The Politicker. “People think this is a job for someone outside of politics. Chris kind of fits that bill. He is a chief executive, and chief executive of a huge municipality. Do we want to revert to form after we’ve broken the mold?”
While most of the pressure has come from those in Mr. Ward’s orbit and a few outsiders (call them the Wardens!), the lumbering, loquacious life-long civil servant would not pass up Gracie Mansion if the opportunity presented itself. Over the past few months, since things started to go south at the Port Authority under deteriorating relations with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mr. Ward has been saying in private that he would not mind running for political office, in particular mayor, according to a person present for some of those conversations.
So long as the political—and financial—support is there, there may well be a Chris Ward candidacy.
City Council president Christine Quinn might not want to start picking out wall-paper for Gracie Mansion just yet. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has found a crucial celebrity ally in the 2013 mayoral race: actress Scarlett Johansson.
A lifelong New Yorker who grew up in Greenwich Village and was a strong supporter of Pres. Obama’s election, Ms. Johansson told PolitickerNY she will be working to help make Mr. Stringer the city’s next mayor. She’s currently helping to plan an October kickoff party, and plans to pledge the maximum of $4950 in addition to enlisting friends to the cause.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is planning a big roll-out today of plan to bridge some of the differences between the teacher’s union and the NAACP and charter school advocates over charters sharing space with traditional public schools.
By one account, John Liu had a tremendous fund-raising period, but one that seems to have been marred by a shaky roll-out.
The New York Times seemed to stick its nose out at the City Comptroller this morning, writing in a story about how much the 2013 mayoral hopefuls raised:
John C. Liu, said through an aide that he would disclose his preliminary figures if an article about them focused heavily on him — an arrangement that was not agreed to. He had $484,000 in his account in January.