Anthony Weiner was clearly not bothered today by a new poll that placed him a distant fourth in the mayor’s race, even implying that front-runner Christine Quinn was the one who should be worried by the numbers.
“It was an interesting poll, I mean, on some levels,” the sexting-scarred former congressman told Politicker earlier this afternoon while crossing the street at a campaign event in Brownsville, Brooklyn. “One of my opponents has been on the air [with ads] for three weeks and actually went down in the poll.”
Anthony Weiner came bearing treats.
The ex-congressman brought his embattled mayoral campaign to Brownsville, Brooklyn today, chatting with seniors while toting a large plate piled high with sugar cookies.
“You know what they say, beware of politicians bearing sweets,” Mr. Weiner said, as he carried the cookies through the Rosetta Gaston Senior Center, nestled among looming public housing buildings and an elevated train. (He successfully implemented the same cookie strategy earlier this week in Queens.)
During the course of reporting this week’s cover story on William Boyland Jr., I spent over a month attempting to speak to the allegedly corrupt Assemblyman including sending emails, Facebook messages, multiple calls to his work number and personal cell phone and visits to his office in Albany, his district office in Brownsville and his home in Bedford Stuyvesant. I finally met Mr. Boyland last Saturday night in the lobby of the Hotel Albany where he was on hand for the annual New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus association weekend.
Upon seeing Mr. Boyland, who was handing his young son money to spend in the hotel gift shop, I immediately walked over, whipped out my audio recorder and introduced myself.
“I know who you are, you stopped by my house,” Assemblyman Boyland responded.
Mr. Boyland declined to discuss the pair of corruption trials against him, the bullets fired at his car last August, or the, at last count, 41 lawsuits filed against him by the State Board of Elections for his failure to file required campaign finance disclosures.
“You have a card or something? I’m not going to do any comment now. I’ll reach out when you get home OK?”
Even though I already left a card for Mr. Boyland on my visit to his house, I gave him another one. He never called.
Mr. Boyland didn’t have much to say to me, but his father, William Boyland Sr., who’s better known as Frank, was far more forthcoming.
The past 12 months have not been good for assemblyman William Boyland Jr. In March, he was arrested on federal corruption charges. In July, it was reported he was playing computer games when he should have been in session in Albany. In August, his GMC Yukon was shot at as he drove through his neighborhood of Brownsville—though this last event seems to have been random.
There was moment of hope when Mr. Boyland was acquitted in November. But no sooner had he settled back into life as a free man—nearly three weeks later—than FBI agents arrived at his home, and he was arrested on a second set of corruption charges. According to the indictment, the bureau had him on tape, soliciting bribes.
(He declined to be interviewed.)
Should he be convicted of the charges against him, Mr. Boyland will be the last of a nearly-40-year-long Brooklyn political dynasty.
Crime & Punishment
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Brownsville this morning to preside over the opening of the first office of the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (“NeON” for short), a program that aims to improve the way New York handles the probation process. Joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi, Mayor Bloomberg touted the facility as a crucial step in helping people on probation stay out of trouble. “We believe that this new approach can make a real difference in one of society’s most intractable problems; the high rate in which probationers return to prison,” Mayor Bloomberg said.