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.
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.
A Schmoozing Spitzer
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.
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.
Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer’s supporters gathered in front of a public housing complex this afternoon, railing against his opponent, Eliot Spitzer, for appearing at an event alongside a race-baiting candidate. They did this as the same controversial pol, Thomas Lopez-Pierre, stood beside them.
The end result was one of the wilder press conferences of this year’s election cycle.
“We are gathered here at the Douglass Houses as a community to repudiate one of the things that Eliot Spitzer has done, which is he has embraced individuals who are hate mongers,” said community activist Brian Benjamin at the event, which was crashed by Mr. Lopez-Pierre.
Newspaper editorial boards have not been especially kind to ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his return to politics.
The New York Times, New York Post and Daily News all enthusiastically endorsed rival Scott Stringer for comptroller last week, with the two tabloids using extensive editorial space–including their covers- to excoriate Mr. Spitzer over his gubernatorial record and infamous prostitution scandal.
But one Queens weekly, at least, is reversing the trend.
Out of Comptrol
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.
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.
Wearing a yarmulke and a wide grin, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stopped by Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood Friday, visiting two businesses and even purchasing prayer books for the Jewish New Year.
Mr. Spitzer met with local leaders for several hours, attempting to peel away coveted Orthodox Jewish votes from his opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who, like Mr. Spitzer, is Jewish. Though raised in a secular household, Mr. Spitzer made every effort to convey to Jewish voters and the press that he was still in touch with his roots.