Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is a self-proclaimed conservative Democrat, a sharp-tongued proponent of stop-and-frisk and a perpetual thorn in the side of the borough’s Democratic establishment. John Liu is perhaps the most left-wing candidate in the mayoral race, in favor of abolishing the controversial anti-crime tactic and was once a darling of the Queens Democratic Party.
Yet Mr. Liu, the city comptroller running for mayor, and Mr. Vallone, who is running for borough president, may form a seemingly unlikely alliance that could further both of their ambitions.
The two Democrats have been in discussion about a plan to endorse each other, help carry petitions for each other and aid in pulling votes from certain constituencies, according to several Queens Democratic insiders familiar with their plans.
As he contemplates a run for City Council, scandal-scarred Vito Lopez isn’t getting any more popular just because he resigned from the State Assembly on Monday.
That was made abundantly clear at a City Hall rally yesterday, where a bevy of women legislators and candidates, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Councilwoman Diana Reyna, again denounced Mr. Lopez’s candidacy and endorsed the disgraced pol’s would-be rival, Antonio Reynoso.
Back in November, the New York Times noted this year’s mayoral race is historically significant because it lacked a Jewish candidate.
“The likelihood that no major Jewish candidate may seek to run for mayor is also the consequence of the extraordinary undoing of the political career of a man who could very well have been the Democratic front-runner at this point,” the paper argued. “Anthony D. Weiner.”
It was a long time coming, but former district leader and assembly candidate Ola Alabi officially threw her hat into the ring for outgoing Councilwoman Tish James’ Fort Greene-based district.
“I’m pleased to inform you that after careful thought and consideration, it’s official – I am a candidate for the New York City Council – 35th District,” Ms. Alabi wrote in an email, which you can view in full below, earlier today.
When former Congressman Anthony Weiner officially launched his mayoral bid yesterday, he took the unprecedented step of releasing an announcement video in the dark of night and only granting phone interviews with the media throughout the day. Some strongly speculated the strategy was designed to dampen the pun-filled tabloid reactions by entering the race after their print deadlines. If so, the plan worked–mostly.
Mr. Weiner was indeed kept off the front pages yesterday and today, but both the New York Post and Daily News managed to slip in some loud sideswipes. The News, in particular, seemed annoyed. On page 12, an insert read, “Here’s one for his scrapbook. Weiner’s midnight declaration prevented him from getting on the front page. Now for a ‘what if’ …”
Queens Councilman James Gennaro is not rolling out the welcome mat for Anthony Weiner’s mayoral bid.
Indeed, Mr. Gennaro released a lengthy, 824-word statement slamming Mr. Weiner. In paragraph after paragraph, Mr. Gennaro brought up Mr. Weiner’s infamous Twitter scandal that led to his downfall two years ago, arguing the former congressman’s poor handling of the affair disqualified him from being anything but a distraction.
Visiting the Neighborhood
In Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign announcement video, released early this morning, the former congressman visits a number of locations, including his childhood home in Park Slope, his current Park Avenue South residence and two small businesses in the Midwood section of his old congressional district.
“If you’re trying to run a business on a neighborhood shopping strip like this one, you’re drowning in regulations that nickle and dime you to death,” Mr. Weiner says as he stands on the corner of Kings Highway and East 18th Street in southeastern Brooklyn. “The very people who put everything they had into this city are getting priced right out of it.”
Politicker visited the two businesses in the video to see if Mr. Weiner left an impression after talking to the owners.
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who announced his highly-anticipated mayoral campaign in the wee hours of the morning today, has not managed to make up much ground in public polling since he floated his name a month ago. Indeed, his percentage in the Democratic primary–15 percent–is the exact same in today’s Quinnipiac poll as the firm’s April 19 survey.
The week before Vito Lopez resigned, the state ethics commission released a scathing 68-page report that detailed a lurid pattern of abuse in his district office.
According to the allegations, the former assemblyman once lamented the existence of statutory rape laws in the presence of a 14-year-old intern. Mr. Lopez demanded massages from female staffers, including one who cried and expressed her discomfort as a former rape victim. At a bar one evening, he grabbed an employee’s hands from across the table. When she tried to pull away, he tightened his grip. When she began to cry, Mr. Lopez said he’d release her only after she counted to 60. When she did, he stared at her for the full minute.
After resigning from his Assembly seat on Monday morning, Mr. Lopez is said to be contemplating a seemingly unfathomable second act: running for City Council. Given the accusations against him, what’s more surprising is that even his detractors acknowledge that Mr. Lopez actually has a viable path to victory.
If you’re a gambling man, you might try guessing which New York politician will be arrested for corruption next.
So wrote State Senator Rubén Díaz in his latest “What You Should Know” missive, where he claims bets are being placed on who in Albany will be the next to be indicted. As corruption charges rock Albany, Mr. Díaz says the state capital is now an “ambulatory casino.”