City Comptroller John Liu will announce the endorsement of a slew of Democratic officials from across Brooklyn Friday in another effort by his mayoral campaign to show he’s gaining steam, despite the recent guilty verdicts against his former campaign treasurer and a fund-raiser.
The supporters include Assemblywoman Inez Barron, City Council candidate Ari Kagan, and Democratic district leaders Melba Brown, Betty Ann Canizio, Jeanette Givant, Christopher Olechowski, Chris Owens, Corey Provost and Charles Ragusa.
Charles in Charge
Charles Barron, the bombastic Brooklyn councilman who lost a contentious congressional primary to Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries this summer, now has his eye on the city’s second highest elected office–Public Advocate. Mr. Barron, who will be term-limited out of his current seat next year, is also, as has long been speculated, considering running for the assembly seat currently held by his wife, Inez, who may campaign to succeed her husband in the City Council. If Ms. Barron were successful in that effort, a special election would be held to replace her position in the State Legislature.
A tipster informed Politicker Mr. Barron has recently made a round of calls to test the waters for a potential Public Advocate run. When we reached the councilman today, he confirmed he has been discussing the possibility with members of his “inner circle.”
“I’ve been talking to my inner circle about it, but I haven’t been making calls outside of my inner circle,” Mr. Barron said of a possible campaign for Public Advocate. “I’m definitely considering that and also considering, you know, my wife is considering a run for the City Council and I’m considering her seat as well. Those two things we definitely have open.”
It’s Election Day in New York next Thursday! But instead of a titanic battle between ideologies–your Mitt Romneys vs. Barack Obamas, if you will–the options on the ballot will be little-noticed state legislative contests between candidates of the same party, often with few policy differences.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exciting races happening. From “Who Gets Arrested for Raping a Grandmother?” to “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men,” there’s been no shortage of nasty drama and mud slinging as voters head to the polls.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s running and why it might matter who wins. The list below focuses on Democratic races because the few Republican primaries in this staunchly blue city tend to have clear favorites or are taking place in such Democratic territory that the victor is reasonably likely to be irrelevant.
The State Senate passed a bill yesterday banning “yield spread premiums,” which are payments given to mortgage brokers or lenders for directing borrowers to more expensive loans. The bill was sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, who described yield spread premiums as a “predatory practice” that contributed to the foreclosure crisis.
“Yield spread premiums have created perverse incentives, driving irresponsible, dangerous activity in the mortgage market,” Ms. Krueger said. “It’s a predatory practice, and it’s passed time we banned it–permanently.”
Chris Banks, who founded the antipoverty group East New York United Concerned Citizens, Inc., announced intentions to run against Assemblywoman Inez Barron in front of a Brooklyn barber shop Saturday morning. “We have longed for leadership that respects your opinion. We have longed for leadership that is accountable,” Mr. Banks said to the cheers from the relatively sizable crowd. “We need new leadership in this community.”
One of Mr. Bank’s supporters suggested paying attention to the campaign disclosure reports that will be soon coming out. “The real story will be next week, after the filing,” he said, alluding to the possibility that the incumbent Assemblywoman’s fundraising would be more questionable.
Assemblywoman Inez Barron attempted to rain on Governor Cuomo’s parade at his annual State of the State address today by distributing flyers blasting his tax plan prior to the speech. The leaflets featured an essay written by Assemblywoman Barron’s husband Councilman Charles Barron, in December describing the tax plan as “Cuomo’s ’3-Card Monte’ Tax Scheme.” “Warning! You better watch Governor Cuomo’s hands as he shuffles this new Tax Scheme of his on the public,” Councilman Barron wrote. “Cuomo played the public like a 3-Card Monte hustle.”
The Times-Union’s Capitol correspondent Jimmy Vielkind had a very interesting story today in which he details how Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to campaign in the districts of Assembly Republicans who voted against his tax deal.
At an earlier appearance today, Gov. Cuomo denied it. Yet barely 36 hours after the bill was signed, Gov. Cuomo is making a rare Brooklyn appearance on the doorstop of, but not in, the district of one of the few Democratic lawmakers who didn’t sign the bill.
54th Assembly District
The first round of campaign filings for the 54th Assembly District gives a glimpse into the proxy battle between three of Brooklyn’s power brokers.
Deidra Towns, raised $93,915, the most of any candidate, and also had the most corporate donations with $20,650.
Her father, Congressman Ed Towns, gave $1,000 from his personal account and $3,000 from his reelection fund, and appears to have leaned on some friends in the Congressional Black Caucus.