The candidates for mayor of New York City made their pitch to animal lovers yesterday, and needless to say, they repeatedly professed their love for various species that don’t have a vote.
Republican John Catsimatidis–who likes to call himself “the cat man”–once begged the fire department to rescue his daughter’s cockatiel, for example. Bill Thompson claimed that he had not one, but two rescued cats. And Sal Albanese insisted his mother-in-law lived a few years longer because of a chihuahua named Joey.
A mayoral election season that has been dominated by one hum-drum debate after the next got a rare moment of levity Friday when former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an unannounced appearance, courtesy of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Mr. de Blasio was making the point that New York City would soon eclipse Silicon Valley as the nation’s tech capital, so he channeled the none other than star of Kindergarten Cop.
“If Arnold Schwarzenegger were here, he would say this: No-thern Ca-lee-for-nia, your domination of the tech industry is being Terminated,” said Mr. de Blasio in his best (though lacking) Schwarzenegger accent.
The three leading Republican candidates for mayor all support the use of controversial unmanned drones to watch over New York City–as long as cameras aren’t peering into their bedrooms.
“I’m absolutely for it,” said former MTA Chair Joe Lhota, speaking at a candidates’ forum hosted by the New York Young Republican Club in Midtown Tuesday night. “Drones to be used from a surveillance point of view, so long as it understands people’s privacy rights.”
Church & State
Cops resemble “slave catchers.” Sal Albanese never smoked a joint. The Bloomberg Administration has locked the men of God out of City Hall.
These were all arguments presented at yesterday’s peculiar mayoral forum, moderated by clergymen in the Bronx.
“How do you make the city safe with the thugs who are running around from the police department undercover who are from the outer boroughs and Long Island?” Randy Credico, a comedian and long-shot mayoral candidate, boomed. “They have thousands of undercover cops that are whacked out on steroids, going around like slave catchers, this is true, like slave catchers did back in the 1860′s and 1850′s in the wake of the fugitive slave law.”
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.
Kathy Wylde, the head of the pro-business Partnership for New York City had a question for New York’s four Democratic mayoral hopefuls at the candidate forum she hosted today.
“Will the next mayor be as understanding, as visionary, as sympathetic to issues of the economy and business as Mayor Bloomberg, one of our own, has been?” Ms. Wylde said many of the city’s businesses leaders are inquiring, before elaborating, “So there is consternation about the post-Bloomberg era with regards to who is the next mayor.”
In case it wasn’t clear, this particular mayoral discussion, hosted by Crain’s New York Business, may have tilted a little bit towards the pro-business side of things. But at least one Democrat on stage, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, pushed back against the idea the business community has reason to be anxious about City Hall without Bloomberg.
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In one of the more memorable exchanges of tonight’s final presidential debate, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clashed while discussing the focus of our military. After Mr. Romney attacked Mr. Obama over the size of the U.S. Navy and Air Force, Mr. Obama accused his Republican rival of being uneducated about “how our military works,” quipping, “The question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships.”
Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are facing off in their third and final debate tonight. The verbal contest, hosted by Bob Schieffer, will focus on foreign policy and provide a highly-anticipated back-and-forth as polls tighten and Election Day looms on the calendar, almost exactly two weeks away.
Ahead of last night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University, several members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a prominent organization backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, penned an op-ed in the Long Island publication Newsday urging questions that demand accountability from the candidates on policies to address gun violence, and for substantive plans to be offered in response. Well, in a post-debate statement the group said they got half their wish.
“President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals,” local voter Nina Gonzalez asked President Barack Obama during the town hall-style discussion. “What has your administration done or plan to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?”
Though Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the audience at tonight’s debate, he was not on the official list of Democratic surrogates passed out by President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Indeed, his office told Politicker a few hours before the debate the governor was not set to make an appearance in the post-debate “spin alley.” Nevertheless, Mr. Cuomo wandered in some time after the proceedings began.
“The president clearly won tonight,” he declared, later adding President Barack Obama’s performance was “masterful.”
“As someone who supports the president, I was very, very pleased,” Mr. Cuomo explained.