On Sunday, MSNBC host Chris Hayes is hosting a roundtable featuring many of the main Democratic mayoral candidates on his eponymous show, Up With Chris Hayes. However, the panel won’t feature the woman who’s currently enjoying a large lead in the polls–Council Speaker Chris Quinn. Though Mr. Hayes has been highly critical of Ms. Quinn of late, both her aides and MSNBC spokespeople attributed her absence from his roundtable to scheduling.
“Speaker Quinn has been able to make 14 candidate forums thus far–two yesterday alone– and she has another 12 committed over the next six weeks. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make this one work,” Mike Morey, a spokesman for the Quinn campaign, told Politicker.
Across the breadth of policy issues, the Democratic candidates for mayor this year tend to share similar viewpoints. However, there are some notable exceptions, and at a debate sponsored by The New York Observer and 92Y, another one was revealed last night: their mayoral role models.
The first two candidates to speak, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, couldn’t choose just one mayor. Rather, the pair saw themselves as pulling from the best attributes from four and cited Ed Koch’s spirit, David Dinkins’s compassion, Rudy Giuliani’s toughness and Michael Bloomberg’s vision.
“I’ve been asked that question before and I’ve made sure that I haven’t alienated former mayors,” Mr. Thompson joked.
2013 Mayoral Election
With less than six months to go until the primaries, the New York Observer and the 92nd Street Y have teamed up to host an evening of discussion with all of the major mayoral candidates. The event starts in one hour and, if you can’t make it to the 92nd Street Y to see it in person, you can watch live online right here.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn may be allies, but they thoroughly disagree on Quinn-backed legislation that would install an inspector general to oversee the city’s police department. Accordingly, before speaking at an unrelated event this morning, Mr. Bloomberg delivered a lengthy speech blasting the bill.
“That’s not an Inspector General; that’s a policy supervisor, and I don’t think any rational person would say we need two competing police commissioners,” Mr. Bloomberg said, according to a transcript provided by his office. “There would be questions in the ranks of police officers about who is really in charge – and whose policies they should follow. That kind of breakdown in the chain of command would be disastrous for public safety.”
Bill Thompson is ramping up pressure on his mayoral rival, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, on her refusal to allow a vote on paid sick leave legislation. Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Thompson was more muted on the topic, but he’ll be on the steps of City Hall later today to directly push Ms. Quinn to allow a vote.
“It is long past time for paid sick leave to become the law in New York,” Mr. Thompson wrote in a letter to Ms. Quinn earlier this morning. “We should no longer force parents to choose between holding their jobs and caring for loved ones, especially young children. While paid sick leave would enable fathers to lean in by pitching in during family illness, it will especially be a godsend to single mothers.”
Comptroller John Liu officially kicked off his campaign for mayor at a raucous rally on the steps of City Hall attended by several hundred people where he vowed to “be a mayor not of the one percent, but of the 100 percent.” Along with promising to enact populist reforms on housing, education, law enforcement and the business community, Mr. Liu dismissed the ongoing corruption case against two of his associates as a politically motivated “witch hunt” that would not stop him from winning the election.
“When you go after powerful people and rich corporations, they’re going to come after you,” Mr. Liu declared in a fiery speech. “They certainly have made my life challenging, but let me be clear, we are not backing down!”
Bill de Blasio and his campaign got quite a kick out of a prank internet site that mocked his mayoral opponent, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, this afternoon. The site, which looked exactly like Ms. Quinn’s campaign page, featured an announcement claiming Ms. Quinn would permit a vote on the Paid Sick Days bill Mr. de Blasio and other critics have long accused her of stalling in the Council. An email was also sent out linking to the page and proclaiming, “It’s time for an up-or-down vote on paid sick days.” Shortly after the site was unveiled, Mr. de Blasio’s campaign sent out a statement reacting to the hoax and praising the mysterious prankster.
“Consider us had. We thought after 3 long years of blocking paid sick days, the million New Yorkers who need them were finally going to get a break,” Dan Levitan, a spokesman for Mr. de Blasio’s campaign said. “Whoever is behind this may have an odd sense of humor, but they do have better judgment for what’s right for New Yorkers than Speaker Quinn.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn launched her campaign yesterday with a nod to her roots by kicking off a five borough “walk and talk” tour at the intersection of Broadway and Isham Street in Inwood a stone’s throw from a church with ties to her family. Ms. Quinn used the tale of her grandparents’ journey from New York to Ireland to emphasize the main theme of her campaign–fighting for the middle class. Along with articulating her message, the five borough tour allowed Ms. Quinn to directly address the central questions and controversies surrounding her campaign, namely, her seemingly close ties to the current occupant of City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“It’s very exciting to get to be here right across the street from the church where my parents were married, and my sister was baptized and my grandfather was buried, from right near where my mother grew up to announce that today I am officially running to be the mayor of the great City of New York,” declared Ms. Quinn in the first of the day’s five speeches. “This is a city where, 100 years ago, all four of my grandparents, really just kids basically, got on ships and went across oceans … They had heard that magical things could happen here, that if you came here you could get work, you could get decent housing, you could be free and you could get out of poverty. And that’s what this city did for them and for my family it gave us a gateway into the middle class. … That’s the ultimate truth about New York, that it needs to remain and become even more that place of opportunity, a place that’s a beacon for the middle class and people who are fighting so hard to get into that middle class.”
As Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially kicked off her bid to be the first female Mayor of New York City today, one of her chief rivals in the Democratic primary, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, had his own launch event for “Women for de Blasio.” Not shying away from boisterous rhetoric, Mr. de Blasio labeled the event “an extraordinary moment for our campaign” and said it was part of a process that would ultimately change New York City’s future.
“I want to thank everyone for being here. I got to tell you, this is how the world turns. This is how things change,” he told the crowd of supporters gathered at the Synagogue for the Arts in Lower Manhattan. “People who have decided what they believe in, who have decided they can make a difference. That applying that … energy in an infectious manner starts to change a society before their very eyes. If we had a dozen such people, we’d be beginning to change this city, but there are hundreds of such people in this room. I’ve always adored the quote from Margaret Mead, ‘Never doubt that a small group of [thoughtful,] committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’”
Time Is Money
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio really wants you to know that one of his rivals in the mayor’s race, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, has bottled up legislation that would require paid sick days for workers in New York City. And Mr. de Blasio, who has been holding press conferences and stumping in churches on the issue for the last few months, has a new tool for the mission: a clock.