Councilman Dan Halloran, who has been charged with helping quarterback a bribery scheme to rig the mayoral race, will not seek another term in office, he announced this afternoon.
“Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council,” he said in a statement. “After much thought, I have concluded that it is impossible for me to properly do these things and take on the enormous demands of a political campaign, so I will not to pursue another term in the Council.”
Two of the most colorful characters in New York City politics, Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith and GOP Councilman Dan Halloran, were arrested earlier this morning, according to multiple news outlets. They were among six people reportedly charged, including Bronx GOP chair Jay Savino and Queens GOP vice-chair Vince Tabone, in an alleged bribery plot to secure Mr. Smith a slot to run in the Republican mayoral primary.
Mr. Halloran is known for many things in city politics, including his outspoken embrace of libertarian philosophy, disputed reports of an intentional snowplow slowdown after 2010’s infamous blizzard, and his pagan religion. Meanwhile, Mr. Smith might be best known for his zoot suits complete with suspenders and pinstripes, picking strange political battles like a press conference denouncing the rapper Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter, and his somewhat surprising decision to seek City Hall’s top job on the other side of the partisan aisle without actually changing his voter registration. He would have needed the support of three GOP county leaders to do so, which federal prosecutors are alleging is at the heart of today’s case.
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.
“Queens is discriminated against on an almost daily basis,” Councilman Peter Vallone told Politicker last week at Dark Horse, a restaurant near his City Council office.
“Things happen to Queens that would never happen to another borough,” he said, sipping a Stella Artois and taking bites of blackened salmon. “They’d never rename the Brooklyn Bridge. They’d never rename the Manhattan Bridge. Queensboro Bridge is renamed, nobody says a peep. Nobody makes a peep other than me.”