Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign for mayor got a significant boost Friday, with the endorsement of the city’s largest union: 1199 SEIU.
It is the first major labor endorsement for Mr. de Blasio, who has been aggressively courting unions as he tries position himself as the “progressive alternative” to the race’s early front-runner, Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
As the mayoral candidates jockey to prove they’re gaining momentum, political club endorsements are becoming an increasingly useful tool for the campaigns to point to and tout. And Public Advocate Bill de Blasio snagged his first club endorsement last night from the Lower Manhattan Democrats, a prominent downtown club.
The foundations of any successful high-profile campaign usually include strong fund-raising operations, and the race to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg is no exception. As tomorrow’s deadline approaches for candidates to release their quarterly fund-raising totals, most of the campaigns are claiming success.
Former MTA chair Joe Lhota for example, raised a healthy $558,000 for his bid.
Bill Thompson raised more than $600,000 over the past two months for his mayoral bid–a haul his campaign touted as a “dramatic” uptick in their fund-raising pace.
The money, raised from March 12 through May 11, is nearly double what Mr. Thompson raised during the previous period–a sign, staffers said, that his campaign is gaining steam.
Members of the Broadway Democrats, one of the Upper West Side’s most influential political clubs, are at odds over their endorsement of John Liu for mayor.
The club’s endorsements process spun into minor chaos late last night when members were forced to complete their counting in the club’s president’s home. Then, early this morning, a member realized the club had miscounted the ballots because of a misinterpretation of the club’s run-off procedures–forcing a re-count that gave the city’s comptroller a victory.
He may be running for mayor, but Bill de Blasio’s last campaign is still causing headaches. Mr. de Blasio’s 2009 campaign for public advocate was fined more than $20,000 Thursday for various violations by the city’s campaign finance board.
The fines range from $300 for failing to file a daily disclosure statement, to $1,625 for accepting nine over-the-limit contributions that it eventually refunded, and $1,750 for accepting contributions from eight unregistered political committees, which the campaign also eventually reimbursed.
In December of last year, Politicker published a seven-page 1979 Essence magazine article where Chirlane McCray, the wife of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, frankly discussed her identity as a lesbian. The news made waves, amplified by a New York Post cartoon condemned as offensive. Now, more than six months after our report and decades after the original essay, Ms. McCray returned to Essence‘s pages to discuss Mr. de Blasio, her sexual identity and more.
“I came out at 17. I hadn’t really dated any men. I thought, Whoa, what is this?” she said at one point in the Essence interview, when asked about entering her relationship with Mr. de Blasio. “But I also didn’t think, Oh, now I’m attracted to men. I was attracted to Bill. He felt like the perfect person for me.”
West Side Story
City Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral bid secured its first major endorsement last night following the convictions of his former campaign treasurer and a fund-raiser on fraud charges, giving him a symbolic victory as he seeks to soldier on in his electoral quest.
The Three Parks Independent Democrats, one of the Upper West Side’s major political clubs, delivered its support to Mr. Liu, who has defiantly campaigned since verdicts while insisting he can still win.
The candidates for mayor of New York City made their pitch to animal lovers yesterday, and needless to say, they repeatedly professed their love for various species that don’t have a vote.
Republican John Catsimatidis–who likes to call himself “the cat man”–once begged the fire department to rescue his daughter’s cockatiel, for example. Bill Thompson claimed that he had not one, but two rescued cats. And Sal Albanese insisted his mother-in-law lived a few years longer because of a chihuahua named Joey.
A mayoral election season that has been dominated by one hum-drum debate after the next got a rare moment of levity Friday when former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an unannounced appearance, courtesy of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Mr. de Blasio was making the point that New York City would soon eclipse Silicon Valley as the nation’s tech capital, so he channeled the none other than star of Kindergarten Cop.
“If Arnold Schwarzenegger were here, he would say this: No-thern Ca-lee-for-nia, your domination of the tech industry is being Terminated,” said Mr. de Blasio in his best (though lacking) Schwarzenegger accent.