Rock You Like a Hurricane
This afternoon City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gave her annual State of the City address, which seemed like a stump speech for her assumed mayoral campaign. Accordingly, her rivals who have already launched their mayoral bids issued rebuttals criticizing Ms. Quinn’s address. Bill de Blasio was first out of the gate with a statement blasting Ms. Quinn for failing to live up to her main promise of “creating even greater opportunity for the middle class and those striving to get there.” Bill Thompson followed that with a statement that took Ms. Quinn to task for failing to specifically address the needs of outer borough communities that were most heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
“Speaker Quinn’s State of the City speech today contained a number of very interesting proposals that are worthy of further study,” Mr. Thompson began. “However, it’s important to acknowledge and recognize communities across New York that have been devastated by Sandy, including Rockaway, Red Hook, Coney or Midland Beach, as well as Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Brighton Beach, Breezy Point, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island, Tottenville, South Beach, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Sea Gate, Manhattan Beach, and City Island. We need a mayor with the leadership and vision to support every community in every corner of New York City.”
Back That Thing Up
On Monday, New York Magazine published a profile of Council Speaker and likely mayoral candidate Christine Quinn that contained a quote from Mayor Michael Bloomberg that got a great deal off attention. According to Jonathan Van Meter, who wrote the story, while at a Christmas party, Mayor Bloomberg “gestured toward a woman in a very tight floor-length gown” and said, ”Look at the ass on her.” Politicker asked the mayor about the comment at a press conference this morning announcing new measures to eliminate a backlog of maintenance claims in New York City’s public housing system.
“I never said it and I don’t know where it came from, next question,” the mayor replied tersely.
Earlier this afternoon, four of the five top-tier mayoral candidates stood on the steps of City Hall to criticize recent school closures. City Comptroller John Liu, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took to the stand to criticize Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education policies.
The four candidates applauded and supported one another as they spoke, and their messages were largely similar. They all generally indicated the Bloomberg’s administration enjoys closing schools or fails to appreciate the significance of such actions.
“To too many people over at Tweed building, closing schools is a panacea. They think it’ll solve our problems, to close a school” Mr. de Blasio said. “They think it’s a cure-all, but in fact it misses the point.”
sort of breaking news
Is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn living a double life in Massachussetts? Does she have an identical twin named Kim Morrison?
These are just two of the many thoughts going through the Politicker team’s head upon stumbling on a flier for JB Auto C.A.R.E., an auto mechanic shop in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
In addition to offering free brake inspections and picture-perfect car repair, the flier, sent to Politicker from a reader in the Bay State, prominently used a photo of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to shill for the quality of their business.
Only the name slapped on next to Ms. Quinn’s face was not the Council Speaker’s, but “Kim Morrison.”
“Dealing with JB Auto Care has been the best experience I have ever had with car repair,” the satisfied customer says. “I’ve been letting people know and will continue to do so. Thank you.”
The dust has barely settled on the grand living wage compromise and progressive forces are already mobilizing for their next initiative. On the steps of City Hall today, City Council Members and labor leaders announced what it would be: a bill requiring businesses to give their employees paid sick days off.
“We were here a year ago. We got close, we thought we were going to finally see passage about a year ago,” Dan Cantor, the Executive Director of the Working Family, announced. “Politics is hard, so we come back now, a year later.”
Things have changed, Mr. Cantor insisted, citing other localities that have passed similar bills, and the Occupy Wall Street protests energizing the public.
Democrats also contend that both legislative tweaks and the political environment make things much more favorable for paid sick day advocates this time around than the start of 2011, when Council Speaker Chris Quinn shelved the legislation.
Demonstrating the traction that the issue has among elected officials, a plethora of prominent officials have signed a letter to the CEO of Cablevision, James Dolan critical of what they feel are anti-union efforts on behalf of the company. The list includes several top 2013 candidates in Comptroller John Liu, Speaker Chris Quinn, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, as well as other notable names like Reverend Al Sharpton, Minority Leader John Sampson, Congress Members, Council Members and more.
“We are very disappointed that Cablevision refused to participate in the public, union-management debate this past Wednesday, over the merits of union representation for your Brooklyn workforce,” the letter begins. “This debate would have provided an opportunity to bring conversations about joining the union out of the darkness of your ‘captive audience’ meetings and into the public where Cablevision, union organizers and workers could have an open discussion.”
Full Court Press
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and his colleague, Jumaane Williams, are pushing their City Council colleagues to sign on to their resolution supporting the Occupy Wall Street protests. The Politicker discussed the resolution with both councilmen as they attended the Occupy Wall Street protests in Duarte Square this weekend.
“I already have 15 council members that have signed on to this resolution,” Councilman Rodriguez said. “I would like to see our speaker, Christine Quinn, helping us move forward on this resolution so that New York City can send an official statement of support as other cities have passed resolutions of support to the Occupy movement.”
New Quinnipiac poll numbers show NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly at the top of the heap of potential mayoral candidates with 24% of voters saying they’d support his City Hall bid. However, a Kelly candidacy seems increasingly unlikely. Earlier this week, former Mayor Ed Koch told Politicker Mr. Kelly has assured him he’s not going to make a run for mayor.
Village Voice reporter Graham Rayman factchecked Mayor Bloomberg’s claim his personal army is the world’s seventh biggest.
A gay community center is moving to a building named after staunch same sex marriage opponent Ruben Diaz Sr.
Chris Quinn might be suing the Bloomberg administration, but she said she still has a good relationship with the Mayor.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez held a press conference on the steps of City Hall this morning to discuss his arrest during the NYPD raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park. Councilman Rodriguez said he was thrown to the ground by arresting officers, held for more than 12 hours and prevented from speaking with his attorneys during his time in custody.
He was joined by his lawyers and a slew of other elected officials including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, Councilman Jumaane Williams, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilwoman Tish James who condemned the arrest and Mayor Bloomberg’s overall handling of the Occupy Wall Street eviction.
“It is simply outrageous that City Hall felt it necessary to swoop in on Zuccotti Park under cover of the dark of night and to show up with such an incredible show of force somewhat similar to the shock and awe that was employed in Iraq,” Comptroller Liu said.