When the Queens Democratic Party rolled out its endorsements this morning in Forest Hills, one notable demographic, African Americans, was left without a major candidate. Indeed, Queens’ black political establishment looked on with disappointment as their favored candidates for mayor, borough president and public advocate were passed over for rivals.
Congressman Joe Crowley, the party chair, endorsed Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor and former Councilwoman Melinda Katz for borough president. While a vast majority of district leaders voiced their approval, Elmer Blackburne and several other black district leaders dissented, indicating that instead they would support Bill Thompson, the former comptroller, who is also black. Ms. Quinn and Ms. Katz are white.
on the attack
In what may be the most direct and harsh attack to emerge from her campaign so far, Council Speaker Christine Quinn took her Democratic rival Bill Thompson to task today for his cross-partisan support from former Senator Al D’Amato.
“Al D’Amato isn’t just anti-woman,” an email from Ms. Quinn’s campaign declared to supporters, “he is anti-choice, anti-Medicare, and anti-civil rights. He also had the dubious honor of being known as the most investigated Senator in New York history.”
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.”
Reshma Saujani’s campaign for public advocate is getting a boost from Silicon Valley, with contributions from some of high-tech’s biggest names.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is among the contributors who will appear in filings the campaign expects to file today with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. Grammy-award winner John Legend also chipped in.
Comptroller John Liu may be facing the scrutiny that comes with two associates being convicted of an attempted fraud scheme on his behalf, but his mayoral campaign is still plugging along. Indeed, Mr. Liu will be endorsed by Brooklyn Assemblyman Peter Abbate tomorrow morning, according to a Democratic operative with knowledge of the event.
Councilman Dan Halloran’s former chief of staff, running in the race to replace him after he was arrested on corruption charges, has raised about $11,000 in less than two weeks.
Chrissy Voskerichian abruptly left her post when Mr. Halloran, a Republican, was charged last month for allegedly quarterbacking a bribery scheme for a mayoral candidate. She filed a campaign committee to run in the Democratic primary in Mr. Halloran’s northeast Queens district, even before he said he would not seek re-election.
Short on bombast and long on analysis, left-leaning academics and the co-chair of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus took to the stage at the CUNY Graduate Center last night to outline their alternative vision for a city in the twilight of the Bloomberg era.
“We’ve been in a kind of sitting in the laboratory, mixing the chemicals phase in the past nine months and we hope to go out and cause a few explosions in the coming months and after the elections,” said John Mollenkopf, a CUNY political science professor and co-organizer of the panel discussion, “Progressive Policies for the Future of New York City,” which the New York Times’ Michael Powell moderated.
Former Councilwoman Melinda Katz raised $80,000 during the most recent filing period, placing her total at $489,313 raised thus far, her campaign for Queens borough president announced this morning.
“We’re in great shape going into our final push to hit the max by the July filing,” a campaign source wrote to Politicker in an email.
It’s not a surprise, but it’s a key part of Reshma Saujani’s strategy as she campaigns for public advocate this year.
The Alliance of South Asian-American Labor, a group that’s worked to mobilize South Asian voters in past elections, officially threw their support to Ms. Saujani today, vowing to help elect her as the city’s first official of South Asian descent.
“It was very surreal,” Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James said, reflecting on the moment her predecessor was assassinated. “When I got the news that he had been shot, I said, ‘I think I know who did it.’”
Othniel Askew wanted to run against Councilman James Davis. Instead, on a City Hall balcony in July of 2003, he drew a silver .40-caliber pistol and started shooting–killing Mr. Davis and setting events in motion that would place Ms. James in public office.
“The person who assassinated him visited me the night before,” Ms. James recalled, speaking with Politicker recently at a Manhattan campaign office.