Republican mayoral hopeful George McDonald vowed to soldier on after raising less than $4,000 in the latest filing period, raising serious questions about the viability of his campaign.
The Doe Fund founder brought in just $3,580 from March 12 through May 11, according to a campaign spokesman–a total that would be considered disappointing for even a City Council candidate, let alone someone campaigning citywide. That leaves Mr. McDonald with just $126,000 cash-on-hand–$125,000 of which came from a loan from the candidate himself.
Taxation and Representation
City Republicans–and Adolfo Carrion Jr.–slammed proposed city legislation that would allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections, calling the idea offensive, illegal and just plain dumb.
The City Council held a hearing earlier today on a bill that would allow any resident legally living in the city for six months or longer to vote in municipal elections. The bill, which is opposed by the mayor, has wide support on the council, with 34 sponsors–a veto-proof majority.
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.”
2013 Mayoral Election
With less than six months to go until the primaries, the New York Observer and the 92nd Street Y have teamed up to host an evening of discussion with all of the major mayoral candidates. The event starts in one hour and, if you can’t make it to the 92nd Street Y to see it in person, you can watch live online right here.
Playing the Field
New York City’s last two mayors each left an indelible mark on the city. Rudy Giuliani’s eight years are remembered for his crime crackdown, the Disneyfication of Times Square and millions weeping as one after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. Mike Bloomberg’s town is an emerging tech hub, dotted with modern public spaces and glass towers, and packed with tourists and ex-smokers riding their bikes to Whole Foods. All that, plus a yogurt store on every block, $4,500 one-bedroom apartments in once-forsaken Brooklyn neighborhoods and a growing class divide that makes Downton Abbey look like a socialist commune. On the positive side: there’s still no Walmart here.
Among all public officials, the mayor is the one who shapes our day-to-day lives the most: not just our subways, schools and streets, but our ethos and identity as a city. This mayoral election, New York City’s first with no incumbent in more than a decade, has attracted a slew of hopefuls eager to remake the city in their own images. And what images they are. Assembled at the starting line are a quartet of formidable Democrats, alongside a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, a man with his own catchphrase and action figure, and a vibrator-wielding, marijuana smoking, alligator-hugging YouTube ranter.
Earlier today at Grand Central Terminal, George McDonald, the Republican CEO and Founder of the DOE Fund, kicked off his campaign for Mayor of New York City. The DOE Fund’s mission, which is to provide employment to the homeless and formerly incarcerated, was on full display at the event, where he was introduced and surrounded by graduates of his nonprofit’s program.
“Time is not what it seems in Grand Central Terminal. It’s said that trains leave promptly on schedule, one minute after the posted time on the big board, a kind of grace period for busy commuters. And in what seems like a minute, our city has been transformed,” Mr. McDonald expounded. “25 years ago New York was a different city, it was dirty, dingy, unsafe, and many believed unmanageable. It was widely thought that our best days were behind us. During those days, I came to Grand Central every night, 700 nights in a row to feed the homeless.”
the elephant not in the room
On a brisk mid-October day, Tom Allon announced he was dropping out of the highly competitive Democratic mayoral primary and would instead be a contender in the far sparser Republican field. “Theodore Roosevelt cleaned up New York by telling truth to power and truth to the public,” he declared, standing before the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt on the Upper West Side. “I plan to run a campaign that will talk about the hard truths facing our city, and ideas I have to fix our growing problems.”
The event’s august backdrop may have oversold its symbolic importance. It’s impossible to find a neutral party who thinks Mr. Allon, a local newspaper publisher whose weeklies include Our Town and The West Side Spirit, is anything but a long-shot to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013. But as no fewer than five heavyweight Democrats are already in contention for the office, each of whom has raised over a million dollars, Mr. Allon’s move highlights the fact that Republicans, so far at least, are still on the hunt for a formidable standard-bearer.
Sensing the vacuum, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. announced Monday night that he has also left the Democratic Party in hopes of securing the Republican line for mayor.
painting the town red
As the presidential race enters the home stretch, New York Republicans are already focusing on next year’s campaign to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last night, several candidates who are planning to run for mayor on the GOP line addressed a crowd of local party stalwarts at the Brooklyn Bar Association. Only two of the potential Republican mayoral hopefuls showed up–Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith, who has been mulling a possible party switch to run for mayor and another newly-minted Republican, Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon.
Former Republican New York Governor George Pataki was one of the surrogates backing Mitt Romney on “spin alley” after last night’s presidential debate at Hofstra. Politicker used the opportunity to ask Mr. Pataki which GOP candidates he thought might emerge to challenger the crowded field of Democrats who are likely to run for mayor in next year’s election. So far two political newcomers, Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon and Doe Fund boss George McDonald, are the only ones who have declared their intentions to run on the Republican line, but Mr. Pataki indicated there may be other Republicans mulling a mayoral bid.
“There are a number of people who are talking about running,” said Mr. Pataki. “I’m hopeful that we’ll have a strong candidate.”