Better Late Than Never
Rev. Calvin Butts III, who notably endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election bid four years ago, is officially throwing his support to the man Mr. Bloomberg defeated in this year’s mayoral race: former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
The endorsement–announced in Harlem at the intersection of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard–is part of Mr. Thompson’s effort to consolidate the minority vote as he faces off against his two top rivals: Democrats Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn. Indeed, at today’s event, the influential Harlem minister said Mr. Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would be able to uniquely deliver for the African-American community.
“I think he brings a perspective that we all need,” said Mr. Butts. “What do I say to African-Americans? I say, ‘Yes, I stand with Bill Thompson’ because I think he is the enlightened African-American who can provide great leadership for this city.”
Scott Stringer can’t claim to be completely surprised by the dramatic boost in his poll numbers over the past two weeks.
In fact, the Manhattan borough president and city comptroller candidate predicted as much–although not quite the 19-point jump displayed today–in a Wednesday interview at The New York Observer‘s Midtown office.
“Our numbers are much different than the Q poll,” he said. “We’re in a very tight race.”
The race to become the city’s next comptroller just got a lot more interesting.
When Quinnipiac University surveyed the field two weeks ago, they found ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer with a dominating 19-point lead over Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Well, things have changed significantly in their latest poll.
Mr. Stringer and Mr. Spitzer are now tied with 46 percent of the vote each among likely Democratic voters, the poll found.
A Schmoozing Spitzer
The increasingly negative race to become the next city comptroller now features pie charts referencing a certain Canadian pop sensation.
Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan, who has already used his Twitter profile to ridicule rival Scott Stringer for once proclaiming a “Justin Bieber Appreciation Day” in Manhattan, took his Bieber references even further today with an unrelated attack against Mr. Stringer’s attendance record as a trustee of the city’s public-workers retirement system.
On the same day that a leading mayoral candidate hit the campaign trail for the Orthodox Jewish vote at a pizzeria in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer took his own front-running comptroller campaign to Basil, a kosher pizza restaurant in Crown Heights.
Sporting a yarmulke and a particularly festive tie, Mr. Spitzer deftly juggled social niceties with hardball policy issue talk, all the while expressing confidence in his chances of winning the Democratic primary–just two weeks away.
Comptroller hopeful Scott Stringer wants to use the city’s financial clout to boost the number of women serving in the country’s corporate boardrooms.
In honor of Women’s Equality Day–and in what some may see as a subtle dig against rival Eliot Spitzer and the infamous prostitution scandal that ended Mr. Spitzer’s governorship–Mr. Stringer will roll out plans today to encourage greater female representation at the highest levels of corporate power, with proposals that include the appointment of a “chief diversity officer” in the comptroller’s office.
Out of Comptrol
Taking a page from the Anthony Weiner shopping-with-the-press playbook, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer took reporters on a tour through West Harlem this afternoon–following a roundtable discussion with minority business leaders–and got some fashion advice along the way,
After picking up an iced coffee at the newly-opened Harlem Shake (“Why’s ice coffee more expensive than regular coffee? You get less coffee, you pay more, I’ve never understood it,” he mused), Mr. Spitzer popped into Harlem Haberdashery, a funky–and expensive, he’d later learn–clothing boutique popular with professional athletes and local pols, including mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and Rev. Al Sharpton.
Almost immediately, Mr. Spitzer made a beeline to an antique globe sitting near the cash register, picking it up like a basketball. “This is cool, man. Globes are cool!” he exclaimed.
It’s not just the mayor’s race that’s growing increasingly contentious.
At an Uptown campaign stop that was billed as former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s first policy proposal announcement, the comptroller candidate toured the Frederick Douglass NYCHA housing complex before briefly criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial proposal to fingerprint all public housing residents–all the while mercilessly blasting his opponent.
Baby on Board
Former Gov. David Paterson campaigned with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer this morning outside a subway stop in Harlem, but the appearance quickly turned awkward as the former governor refused to criticize Mr. Spitzer’s opponent: his former boss
Mr. Paterson, who served under Eliot Spitzer as lieutenant governor and took over when he resigned, repeatedly refused to answer a simple question: why voters should choose the little-known Stringer over Mr. Spitzer, who is leading the polls in the comptroller’s race.
“I’m not going to answer the question of why they should choose Scott over Eliot. That’s your question. I didn’t ask that question and I’m not answering it,” said Mr. Paterson, who had endorsed Mr. Stringer long before Mr. Spitzer entered the race.
It was time for Scott Stringer’s wife and baby to shine.
Elyse Buxbaum–a.k.a. Mrs. Stringer–officially hit the trail for the first time this morning on behalf of her husband’s city comptroller campaign, with the pair’s 11-week-old son, Miles, in tow. Accompanied by public advocate hopeful Reshma Saujani, Ms. Buxbaum visited two senior living centers in Queens, showing off her bundle of joy to the elderly residents milling about before lunch.
“This is his wife,” Stringer spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said to a resident who was familiar with the borough president. “Do you like babies?”