Hardball host Chris Matthews is facing the wrath of Staten Islanders affected by Hurricane Sandy after he said he was glad the storm occurred on the air.
During his election night wrap-up on Tuesday, Mr. Matthews said it was “a good day for America,” and added, “I’m so glad we had that storm last week.” After Rachel Maddow, who was seated next to him, gave an audible “ooh,” at his choice of words, Mr. Matthews countered, ”No, politically, I should say–not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics.”
According to the Staten Island Advance, Mr. Matthews’ remarks didn’t go over very well with New York City’s least-populated borough, which suffered a majority of Hurricane Sandy’s fatalities in the city.
Don't Call it a Comeback
Hurricane Sandy finally got ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner to return to the scene of the transgression that cost him his seat in the House of Representatives–Twitter. Mr. Weiner took to the social media site this morning to post a link to a video encouraging people to support storm relief efforts in the Rockaways. It was hit first tweet since he admitted sending multiple women lewd photos and messages on the site before resigning from office in June 2011.
Tomorrow’s electoral process just got a little bit easier for people displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Governor Andrew Cuomo acquiesced to pressure from several elected officials and good government groups this evening and signed an executive order allowing anyone registered in a federally-declared disaster area to vote by affidavit ballot or choose from one of several other alternatives.
Trying to figure out where to vote tomorrow? You’re not alone: with the presidential elections and several local races being voted on tomorrow, the state is at a loss of how to deal with the thousands of displaced citizens who no longer have a place to cast their ballot–nor any information on how to do so. Several good government groups believe an expanded provisional ballot program could improve the chaotic situation, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to approve the proposal.
In The Heights
Northern Manhattan, the highest point of the island, largely escaped the kind of devastation Hurricane Sandy caused elsewhere in the five boroughs, however residents and politicians from the area are pitching in with a storm relief telethon this afternoon that will be broadcast on La Mega radio station and at least three Spanish-language cable television outlets. The telethon includes planned appearances by the New York Yankees’ star second baseman Robinson Cano, several of the likely 2013 mayoral candidates and a slew of area politicos.
“Although Upper Manhattan has been spared by the storm, we recognize our responsibility to help fellow New Yorkers,” State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who organized the event, said in a statement. “The Uptown Cares Telethon will directly help raise funds for victims on Staten Island and around the City.”
Mayor Bloomberg has announced the decision to cancel the New York City Marathon this year in light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. The mayor’s office announced the decision in a statement a few minutes ago.
“The Marathon has been an integral part of New York City’s life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division,” the statement said. “The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it.”
An anonymous person claiming to be a New York City Marathon worker who represents “a handful” of other race staffers has distributed a letter asking for the event to be cancelled in light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. In the letter, which was given to David Segal of the Long Island Progressive Coalition in the hopes they would distribute it, the author says the New York Road Runners club, which hosts the race, is sitting on a vast amount of supplies that could be used to help aid storm victims. The letter also claims police and first responders will be “pulled away from their jobs to staff the marathon.”
“Who could provide more assistance in this time of need than an organization like the New York Road Runners, who, in preparing for the marathon have amassed tens of thousands of bottles of water, apples, bags of nuts, pounds of pasta, medical blankets, and ponchos. Not to mention the scores of staff and volunteers, the trucks, the generators, etc,” the letter says. “Except for maybe the police and first responders who will be pulled away from their jobs to staff the marathon.”
Update (5:15 p.m.): NBC News is reporting the race will be cancelled.
Update (5:33 p.m.): And it’s confirmed, Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a statement announcing his decision to cancel the race.
The author of the letter, who said they wish to remain anonymous to protect their job, provided Mr. Segal with copies of internal documents that appear to be legitimate and a picture of their staff ID with their name and photo covered to prove they work for the race. They said they are being supported by several co-workers. This evidence was shown to Politicker though we have not been able to independently verify this author of the letter works for the race.
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli estimates the damage from Hurricane Sandy could cost the state at least $18 million. Mr. DiNapoli announced his estimate in a statement this afternoon.
“My office’s preliminary estimate of economic losses due to the storm ranges from $15 billion to $18 billion. Our daily infrastructure of highways, power, sewer and water–the elements of modern life that we take for granted–have all been altered by this storm,” Mr. DiNapoli said. “Though the rebuilding effort may offset some of these losses, we must continue to monitor what the long-term economic impact to New York will be.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker opened his home yesterday to over a dozen of his neighbors who were left without power by Hurricane Sandy. Alice Bell, who took refuge after the storm at the mayor’s house, talked to Politicker this morning and described the slumber party-like scene inside Mr. Booker’s home and what it meant to the people who stayed there.
“It meant–I can’t even explain,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion. “I mean, we were–I’m still overwhelmed that he would reach out to us like that, you know, that we meant that much that he actually invited the whole block.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has earned the nickname “supermayor” for rushing into a burning building to save a woman from a fire last April and regularly using Twitter to personally solve the problems of his constituents. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Booker is living up to this reputation by allowing at least one person affected from the storm to take refuge in his home and enjoy his power outlets and “working DVD player.”