Mr. Lander Goes to Washington

Brad Lander at a participatory budgeting meeting. (Photo: Facebook)
Brad Lander at a participatory budgeting meeting. (Photo: Facebook)

Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander’s interest in local issues has resulted in some national attention.

Tomorrow morning, the White House will be honoring Mr. Lander as an “open-government and civic hacking” “Champion of Change” for his work on behalf of participatory budgeting in the City Council.

Continue reading “Mr. Lander Goes to Washington”

Dan Halloran Loses Another Staffer

Dan Halloran, at a happier time, announcing for Congress last year.
Dan Halloran, at a happier time, announcing a congressional bid last year.

Embattled Councilman Dan Halloran, whom federal prosecutors have charged with quarterbacking a bribery scheme to rig the mayor’s race, is having trouble holding staff members.

First, Mr. Halloran’s legislative director, John Mulvey, bailed, followed by his chief of staff, Chrissy Voskerichian. And today, Kevin Ryan, Mr. Halloran’s spokesman, just did the same.

Continue reading “Dan Halloran Loses Another Staffer”

Embattled Councilman Dan Halloran Won’t Seek Re-Election

Dan Halloran (Photo: Facebook)
Dan Halloran (Photo: Facebook)

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.”

Continue reading “Embattled Councilman Dan Halloran Won’t Seek Re-Election”

City Council Will Vote to Strip Dan Halloran of Committee Assignments

Dan Halloran (Photo: Wikimedia)
Dan Halloran (Photo: Wikimedia)

The City Council will vote next week to strip Councilman Dan Halloran of all his committee assignments after he was charged today with taking part in a bribery scheme.

“These allegations represent a reprehensible abuse of the public’s trust,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement earlier this afternooon. “If true, then the full weight of the legal system should be brought to bear on all parties implicated. The matter will be immediately referred to the Council’s Standards and Ethics Committee.” Continue reading “City Council Will Vote to Strip Dan Halloran of Committee Assignments”

Malcolm Smith, Dan Halloran Arrested in Alleged Bribery Scheme

A photo of Senator Smith meeting Chair Savino when Politicker staked-out a steakhouse last year.
A photo of Senator Smith meeting Bronx GOP Chair Savino when Politicker staked-out a steakhouse last year.

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.

Continue reading “Malcolm Smith, Dan Halloran Arrested in Alleged Bribery Scheme”

Mayoral Hopefuls Discuss Their Role Models

The scene right before John Liu arrived.
The scene right before John Liu arrived.

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. Continue reading “Mayoral Hopefuls Discuss Their Role Models”

Vallone Ranger: Harley-Riding Political Scion Vies to Be Queens’ Rebel-in-Chief

Peter Vallone. (Photo: Facebook)
Peter Vallone. (Photo: Facebook)

“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.”

Mr. Vallone, a candidate for borough president, complains that Queens “hasn’t had a bully in the pulpit,” and he would like to change that. Continue reading “Vallone Ranger: Harley-Riding Political Scion Vies to Be Queens’ Rebel-in-Chief”