Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, almost one week into his raucous mayoral campaign, is running a close second behind Council Speaker Christine Quinn, according to a Marist poll released today. Mr. Weiner polls at a relatively formidable 19 percent, while Ms. Quinn continues her slide, falling to 24 percent, her lowest percentage in a Marist poll yet.
Mr. Weiner increased from 15 to 19 percent since Marist last took their poll in April amid speculation that he would enter the race.
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.”
The Weiner Revival
In his first television appearance since a social media-induced scandal torpedoed his political career two years ago, a contrite Anthony Weiner began to describe what life may be like under a theoretical Weiner Administration.
In particular, during the taped NY1 interview with Errol Louis, Mr. Weiner staked out several policy positions and offered criticism of the Democratic campaign primary thus far, edging closer to a mayoral bid that, based on the tone of the interview, appeared more likely.
“I got to do it soon. I mean, I’m starting the process and people are inviting me to come things and to talk to them about issues and I’m going to look for opportunities to talk about things as I move forward,” Mr. Weiner said, responding to a question about when he would officially launch a mayoral campaign. “I’ll tell you one thing for sure, I want to be a part of the ideas primary, that’s for sure. That primary I want to do very well in.”
Earlier this evening, conservative Christian Pastor Erick Salgado’s campaign announced a breakfast event for his Democratic mayoral bid tomorrow in East Harlem that would feature “community leaders … rallying support for Erick Salgado.” The event’s press release claimed two local Democratic officials, veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, would “be in attendance.” However, Hannah Kim, Mr. Rangel’s spokeswoman, told Politicker the congressman has no plans to attend the breakfast and isn’t even aware of Mr. Salgado.
“The Congressman doesn’t know anything about this candidate at all,” Ms. Kim said. “This event is not on his schedule.”
Law & Order
On Monday, three individuals were arrested and accused of stealing more than $50,000 from a lunch program for senior citizens, including Veda Jamoona, a staffer in Comptroller John Liu’s government office. In the wake of her arrest, a spokesperson for Mr. Liu said Ms. Jamoona has been suspended without pay “until further notice.”
“We have been informed by the NYC Dept. of Investigation that Ms. Veda Jamoona was arrested yesterday morning for conduct unrelated to her employment at the Comptroller’s office,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Ms. Jamoona has been suspended without pay until further notice. Veda Jamoona has been employed since Jan. 17, 2012 as a public affairs associate at the annual salary of $55,000.”
Last night in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, Republican officials, operatives and activists gathered to toast influential Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, including multiple mayoral candidates and–jokingly–at least one Gracie Mansion contender whose campaign has yet to be mentioned.
“I’m happy to be here,” Mr. Long, the honoree of the evening, declared as he name-checked various officials in the room. “Joe Lhota, they’re saying that there’s an interest he may be running for mayor. … Adolfo Carrión, I hear the same rumor about you, that you may be thinking about running for mayor. There’s a lot of people in the room running for mayor and I haven’t even made my announcement yet!”
Joe Lhota isn’t worried about the weather.
In fact, the Republican mayoral contender said his experience in the Giuliani administration would help him better manage some of the worst natural disasters that have hit New York City in recent years, citing post-blizzard plowing needs and Hurricane Sandy’s crippling floodwaters in particular.
“Look, as Deputy Mayor for Operations, I had numerous assignments,” Mr. Lhota said in a WNYC interview this morning, touting his “priority number one” work to close the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island.
Malcolm in the Middle
Having already conquered the rapper Lil Wayne for his alleged slights against New York City, State Senator Malcolm Smith is now calling for a boycott against actor Alec Baldwin until he seeks professional help. Mr. Smith made the call for Mr. Baldwin to be blacklisted following a New York Post story that claimed the 30 Rock star used racial slurs in a confrontation with one of the tabloid newspaper’s paparazzos.
‘’If these allegations are true, then no television network or film studio should hire the veteran actor until he seeks help,” Mr. Smith said in a statement. “In today’s modern age it’s a disgrace that people still use remarks that provide hatred to others based on race, religion or origin.”
Watch The Throne
Bill de Blasio has had it with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Mr. Bloomberg gave his final State of the City address last week, earning a round of condemnations from some of the Democratic mayoral hopefuls who wish to replace him, including Comptroller John Liu and former Comptroller Bill Thompson. Yesterday, on Up Close with Diana Williams, Mr. de Blasio joined the mayoral peanut gallery.
“Ah!” Mr. de Blasio exclaimed when asked about Mr. Bloomberg’s ominous warnings concerning what will happen without his leadership in City Hall. “You know, he sounded a little royal when he was talking about [how] after him everything’s going to fall apart. I’m a little sick of this way of thinking about the world.”
While all-but-officially announced mayoral candidate John Liu aggressively slammed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City speech as revisionist history, one of Mr. Liu’s likely rivals in the mayor’s race, Bill Thompson, took a more moderate approach. Mr. Thompson released a statement earlier this afternoon that praised parts of the speech while critiquing others.
“I commend the mayor’s willingness to put forth specific ideas for our city’s future, including his Styrofoam initiative, and urge fellow leaders to engage in a vigorous and respectful debate on this important matter,” Mr. Thomspon began.