Bill to Bill
Bill Thompson’s mayoral dream has officially ended.
At a City Hall press conference flanked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and some of Mr. Thompson’s most ardent supporters, including Congressman Charlie Rangel and teachers’ union president Michael Mulgrew, the former comptroller today endorsed his one-time Democratic opponent, Bill de Blasio, in the mayor’s race.
“I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the City of New York,” said Mr. Thompson.
Even Bill Thompson’s supporters are now saying publicly that it’s time for him to end his campaign and rally behind Bill de Blasio as the Democratic Party’s nominee for mayor.
“In an election year with so many tough decisions on crucial issues, we must begin a new chapter today by uniting behind our Democratic nominee for New York City’s next mayor,” Assemblyman Walter Mosley, a former Thompson endorser, announced in a statement this afternoon. “I am proud to support Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.”
Battle of Brooklyn
Mayor Michael Bloomberg would really prefer if reporters would cease inquiring about which candidate he’ll ultimately endorse in the race to replace him this year. And he conveyed that message again and again at an unrelated press conference earlier this morning.
“I know who I’m going to vote for and I may change my mind between now and then,” Mr. Bloomberg declared at one point. “If I do, you’re not going to know about it.”
“Uh, let me–” Mr. Bloomberg paused.
“Wrap up,” Marc La Vorgna, Mr. Bloomberg’s press secretary, jumped in. The mayor, however, wasn’t about to wrap up.
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez does not forget. And she does not forgive.
Accordingly, Ms. Velázquez is now hoping to unseat Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who endorsed Ms. Velázquez’s primary challenger last year. And she’s given the maximum contribution to Ms. Gonzalez’s opponent, Carlos Menchaca, part of an overall haul of $40,000 overall in just two weeks.
“I am impressed by how much Carlos has achieved in such a short period of time,” Ms. Velázquez said in a statement this morning.
Guy Molinari may be raging at Joe Lhota, but it doesn’t seem that anger has filtered up to the highest levels of the Staten Island Republican Party.
Mr. Molinari, a significant local power broker and a former borough president, unleashed on Mr. Lhota in the Staten Island Advance today, announcing he would withdraw his endorsement and instead back another Republican candidate, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, for mayor. Mr. Molinari said Mr. Lhota had not even returned his phone messages and thus was undeserving of his support.
“What the hell is going on?” Mr. Molinari charged. “They’re making me look bad. I still don’t have the courtesy of a stupid phone call.”
Late last night, The New York Times broke the news that M.T.A. Chairman Joe Lhota is considering entering next year’s mayoral race as a Republican, and is being strongly urged by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to do so. Since Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is Mr. Lhota’s boss and the chairman was beside him at a press conference this afternoon, a reporter asked the governor about this possibility. Needless to say, Mr. Cuomo does not sound not interested in adding to his current political complications he’s already dealing with in Albany.
“I’m going to try to stay out of the politics of New York City if I can avoid it,” Mr. Cuomo replied. Pressed on whether he will make any endorsement whatsoever, he succinctly added, “I’m not expecting to, no.”
In a surprising announcement this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left the Republican Party in 2007 and has been courted extensively by both presidential candidates, endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection. Mr. Bloomberg publicized his decision in a Bloomberg View op-ed and said Hurricane Sandy’s destruction and the need to tackle long-term climate change motivated his decision.
“We need leadership from the White House — and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks,” he explained. “His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.”
In contrast, Mr. Bloomberg said Republican candidate Mitt Romney was “abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported,” and the issue is simply “too important” to let slide.