After Aurora: How Mayor Bloomberg Planned to Make the Next Massacre Count

Mayor Michael Bloomberg holding an AR-15 assault rifle like the one used in the Newtown shootings at a press conference announcing a gun trafficking bust last October. (Photo: Getty)
Mayor Bloomberg holding an AR-15 assault rifle like the one used in Newtown while announcing a gun trafficking bust last October. (Photo: Getty)

When the smoke cleared at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in the wee hours of a Friday morning last July, 12 people were dead, 58 were injured and Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in New York, readying an assault of his own.

The campaign that Mr. Bloomberg and his “gun team” came up with in the hours and days after Aurora involved carpet-bombing Washington with millions from the mayor’s immense fortune and a media blitz that would be deployed following the next massacre.

“He was so frustrated by the lack of conversation around this issue … that he decided to force the conversation himself,” Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for government affairs and communications, told Politicker. Continue reading “After Aurora: How Mayor Bloomberg Planned to Make the Next Massacre Count”

Charlie Rangel Is Attending Erick Salgado’s Campaign Event, But Not for Erick Salgado

Charlie Rangel Resident Magazine Shoot
(Photo: Getty)

Yesterday evening, socially conservative Democratic mayoral candidate Rev. Erick Salgado’s campaign sent out a press release announcing a breakfast in East Harlem this morning featuring “community leaders rallying support for Erick Salgado,” including Congressman Charlie Rangel. The event seemed an odd choice for the staunchly liberal veteran congressman and when we called his office to see whether he would indeed be attending they insisted he hadn’t heard of Mr. Salgado and that the breakfast wasn’t on his schedule. In spite of this, Mr. Salgado’s campaign insisted Mr. Rangel would actually be at their breakfast. The congressman called Politicker this morning to set the record straight and, according to him, it seems both his office and the Salgado campaign were partially correct.

“Edwin [Marcial], who happens to be–I understand now–the campaign manager of this Salgado, is an old El Barrio friend of mine. He came to see me a couple weeks ago and he wanted to have coffee with me and I don’t know how to say ‘no’ to an old-timer and I said, ‘I’d be glad to,'” Mr. Rangel explained. “I was surprised to see that there was a flier talking about this fellow Salgado and that Reverend Senator Díaz and I was going to be there and it went on talking about him. I called Marcial, I told him that I wasn’t thinking about meeting any candidate. I’ve never heard Erick Salgado and I would not be able to attend any breakfast in support of him.”

Continue reading “Charlie Rangel Is Attending Erick Salgado’s Campaign Event, But Not for Erick Salgado”

NRCC Says Obama’s Priorities Include ‘Martian Menus,’ ‘Robotic Squirrels’ and ‘Scaring American Families’

A graphic representation of "Martian Meals" from Sen. Tom Coburn's "Wastebook." (Photo: Coburn.Senate.gov)
A graphic representation of “Martian Meals” from Sen. Tom Coburn’s “Wastebook.” (Photo: Coburn.Senate.gov)

With the $85 billion in automatic so-called “sequester” budget cuts set to take affect tomorrow, the National Republican Congressional Committee has released a series of press releases blaming the situation on President Barack Obama’s fondness for “martian menus” and “robotic squirrels.” According to the NRCC, President Obama and House Democrats are more interested in funding wasteful programs and “scaring American families” than protecting the country from the impending, drastic cuts, so they highlighted a series of initiatives, including plans to develop food for astronauts and funding for a “Robosquirrel” used to research rattlesnake behavior. Several versions of the NRCC statement were released pairing President Barack Obama with different Democratic members of Congress.

“Most Americans will never get to order off the ‘Mars Menu’ that their taxpayer dollars are funding, but instead of cutting wasteful programs like that one, President Obama and Jim Himes are allowing cuts to important programs and services,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in the statement targeting Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes. “Rather than trying to scare Americans, Obama and Himes should agree to responsible cuts to wasteful Washington spending.” Continue reading “NRCC Says Obama’s Priorities Include ‘Martian Menus,’ ‘Robotic Squirrels’ and ‘Scaring American Families’”

Trio of NYC House Members Warn Obama They Won’t Back Cut-Based Sequester Bargain

(Photo: Getty)
(Photo: Getty)

Three members of New York City’s congressional delegation have signed on to a letter vowing not to back any White House bargain to avoid the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts known as the sequester that includes cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Both parties have been at an impasse over the cuts with Democrats favoring debt reduction through tax increases and Republicans wanting spending cuts. President Barack Obama has repeatedly expressed a desire to make a deal ahead of the March 1 deadline that includes both tax increases and proposals to reduce the costs of social programs. Now, Congressmen Jerry Nadler, Jose Serrano and Nydia Velazquez have all signed the pledge promising not to back any deal including the compromises being called for by the White House.

“Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the great bedrocks of our middle class society and, together, constitute an essential safety net for millions of Americans,” Mr. Nadler said. “I will fight like hell against any deficit plan that cuts these programs or fails to address our immediate jobs problem. It is unconscionable for Republicans to ask those who can least afford it – seniors, kids, our most vulnerable families – to sacrifice even more and shoulder a disproportionate burden. I do not support anydeal that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.” Continue reading “Trio of NYC House Members Warn Obama They Won’t Back Cut-Based Sequester Bargain”

Attorney Announces Campaign Against Nydia Velázquez

(Photo: Facebook)
(Photo: Facebook)

Jeff Kurzon, the managing partner of Manhattan law firm, says he’s ready to run for Congress and challenge  Nydia Velázquez in the Democratic primary next year.

“Hi,” Mr. Kurzon says on his recently-launched campaign website. “My name is Jeff Kurzon. I am a 36 year old attorney and have lived in both ends of District 7: from Bushwick in Brooklyn to Little Italy in Manhattan. I am a proud American with diverse roots ranging from Armenian to English, Irish and Scottish descent. My mother, a former social worker, now runs a small publishing business. My father is a retired physician who served in the U.S. Navy. I am Catholic, however, I respect all forms of spirituality that strengthens us as humans and connects us to each other and God.”

Continue reading “Attorney Announces Campaign Against Nydia Velázquez”

Congressman Joe Crowley on His Duet With Stephen Colbert

Congressman Joe Crowley singing along to "Call Me Maybe" at the Today Show. (Photo: NBC)
Congressman Joe Crowley singing along to “Call Me Maybe” at the Today Show. (Photo: NBC)

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert was the surprise guest this morning at the House Democratic retreat and his appearance included quips about his sister’s House bid in North Carolina and a “dramatic” duet of the Star Spangled Banner with Queens Congressman Joe Crowley. Sadly, Mr. Crowley’s office told us they don’t have video footage of the comedian and congressman performing, but Mr. Crowley did offer up a complimentary appraisal of his partner’s performance.

“All I can say is Stephen Colbert can be my back-up singer anytime,” he said. Continue reading “Congressman Joe Crowley on His Duet With Stephen Colbert”

How Ed Koch Helped Make Nikki Finke a Reporter

Nikki Finke during her days in Mr. Koch's office as depicted in a 1974 New York Times  engagement notice.
Nikki Finke during her days in Mr. Koch’s office as depicted in a 1974 New York Times engagement notice.

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch has had an influence in Hollywood as well as the Big Apple. Before coming to City Hall, Mr. Koch spent eight years in the House of Representatives. One of his staffers was Nikki Finke, who went on to become one of the most influential and feared reporters in the entertainment industry and, according to Ms. Finke, her time working with the future mayor in Congress helped inspire her to become a journalist.  Continue reading “How Ed Koch Helped Make Nikki Finke a Reporter”