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.
Longshot mayoral candidate Erick Salgado wants to bring Mayor Rudy Giuliani back to City Hall– this time as the new police commissioner.
Mr. Salgado, a socially conservative reverend, said he’d love to keep current Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on as the city’s top cop, but has at least one back-up choice in mind.
“I would consider Ray Kelly if he’s available. If he’s not interested, maybe I ask Rudy Giuliani to come and serve as police commissioner,” he said during the campaign’s first televised debate, which was held at John Jay College and sponsored by NY1.
The Kids Don't Stand A Chance
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is a big fan of the band Vampire Weekend, apparently.
“I just can’t wait for the new album, Modern Vampires in the City!” Mr. de Blasio, a candidate for mayor this year, says in a promotional video released today. “It’s something that I’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait for it to come out.”
Anthony Weiner’s possible entry into the mayoral race is being thoroughly mocked by the New York Post and late-night comedians, but for the candidates already in the field, it’s not necessarily a light-hearted affair. Mr. Weiner, once the leading mayoral contender, tumbled out of the spotlight in 2011 thanks to a digital sex scandal and the ensuing cover-up. But as the former congressman still has a full campaign war chest and strong name recognition–and the fact that electoral politics is a zero-sum game–the question rises: which of his hypothetical rivals would be most impacted by his decision?
Speaking to various operatives involved in the race–usually off-the-record or on-background–three central arguments emerged: Mr. Weiner would hurt Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Chris Quinn or, possibly, no candidate at all.
Church & State
Cops resemble “slave catchers.” Sal Albanese never smoked a joint. The Bloomberg Administration has locked the men of God out of City Hall.
These were all arguments presented at yesterday’s peculiar mayoral forum, moderated by clergymen in the Bronx.
“How do you make the city safe with the thugs who are running around from the police department undercover who are from the outer boroughs and Long Island?” Randy Credico, a comedian and long-shot mayoral candidate, boomed. “They have thousands of undercover cops that are whacked out on steroids, going around like slave catchers, this is true, like slave catchers did back in the 1860′s and 1850′s in the wake of the fugitive slave law.”
If Anthony Weiner campaigns for mayor this year, he’d likely shake up the race’s dynamics due to his name recognition, campaign war chest and the widespread media interest in his post-scandal political rehabilitation. But the candidates already in the field said they aren’t sweating their potential rival’s newfound electoral interests, revealed today in a New York Times Magazine profile. Comptroller John Liu already commented on Mr. Weiner by tweaking his infamous Twitter error this morning, and several other contenders for the city’s top job weighed in further this afternoon.
For instance, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio–who is targeting same sorts of progressive activist and outer borough voters that Mr. Weiner could be aiming for–said his strategy wouldn’t be altered by a Weiner candidacy.
“My strategy is set, I’m comfortable with it,” he explained after a candidate forum in the Bronx.