The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner is an annual white tie fundraising gala to benefit Catholic Charities USA, and it’s attendance sheet each year is filled with enough important names to make you wonder if the Jews are maybe losing their foothold in this city. Between Mayor Bloomberg, Cardinal Dolan, Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Charles Schumer and Police Comissioner Ray Kelly, the event last night at the Waldorf-Astoria was not only a political powerhouse, but one that managed to raise over $3 million.
And lest you think this was a lot of podium guilt-talk, The Dinner had a 16 minute keynote address from Stephen Colbert, which you can listen to below
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took some shots at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speech this morning, but rival mayoral contender John Liu just took today’s Bloomberg criticism to an even higher level in a statement of his own.
“An ‘unprecedented opportunity’?” Mr. Liu asked of Mr. Bloomberg’s suggestion the next mayor use labor negotiations to keep pension and healthcare costs down. “That’s a rather diplomatic way to describe what hundreds of thousands of workers would actually call ‘dine-and-dash.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s depiction of New York City’s economy was a tad too rosy, Bill de Blasio said, even as the mayor was predicting a gloomy future unless his replacement follows his lead.
Shortly after Mr. Bloomberg delivered a speech this morning warning that New York City was at risk of facing the same economic fate as Detroit, Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate and a leading mayoral candidate, released a statement praising the mayor for diversifying the city’s economy while also bashing him for letting income inequality soar.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is a proponent of equality. His approach has been slowly gaining steam in the mayoral race. In the most recent Quinnipiac poll of likely Democratic primary voters, Mr. de Blasio (21 percent) only trails Christine Quinn (27 percent).
Wired City: Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn worked toward making the city a tech hub. Were they successful?http://commercialobserver.com/2013/08/president-obama-visits-chattanooga-to-talk-jobs/
The waning months of Mayor Bloomberg’s reign are expected to be marked by a series of high-powered departures, as one official after another jumps ship before the mayor leaves office. The latest is Bloomberg stalwart and Dan Doctoroff protégée Seth Pinsky, who is stepping down from the Economic Development Corporation to take a private sector gig with RXR Realty, as the agency announced today. Kyle Kimball, who is currently the agency’s executive director, will succeed him.
City Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander left City Hall in the wee hours of this morning after successfully quarterbacking two controversial bills aimed at reforming NYPD practices. And less than twelve hours later, they returned to City Hall’s steps enlivened and exultant to celebrate the victory.
Joined by Reverend Al Sharpton and a cadre of supporters, the group heralded the combined efforts of members of the City Council in passing the two bills that comprised the Community Safety Act with veto-proof majorities.
Earlier this week, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg breathed fire and brimstone at a plethora of politicians for failing to support his law-and-order agenda, some police reform advocates reacted harshly and said Mr. Bloomberg was deflecting from the real issues.
But not Joe Lhota. In fact, Mr. Lhota, a Republican vying to replace the term-limited Mr. Bloomberg, thought the speech was better than anything he’s ever heard from a mayor.
“Bravo! Bravo to Mayor Bloomberg for that speech,” Mr. Lhota exclaimed in a radio interview with Brian Lehrer this morning. “It was probably the best speech I’ve ever heard a mayor of the City of New York give in the 59 years I’ve been a resident of this city.”
Back to the Future
The first act of last weekend’s annual Inner Circle show featured a spoof of Back To The Future with Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveling back in time in an attempt to find a famous historical figure worthy of serving as his successor. At his press conference this afternoon announcing the LINK initiative to connect low-income New Yorkers with job opportunities, Politicker asked Mayor Bloomberg which historical figure he would choose if he could indeed travel back in time to pick someone to follow him in City Hall. Mayor Bloomberg declined to answer the question.
“No matter what I say there is no good answer to that without you making fun of me,” said the mayor. “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid, even though that’s a stupid question.”
At his press conference this afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked about his thoughts on the “Twitter universe” in light of a recent scandal involving an EMS lieutenant who was suspended after the New York Post revealed a series of racist statements he made on the social media site. Mayor Bloomberg described it as evidence people need to be far more careful about what they post online and suggested he’d even warned one of his fellow media moguls, Rupert Murdoch, to stay away from Twitter.
“Everything you send out is going to be retweeted, re-Facebooked, re this, re that and … if you write it down, some day somebody’s going to FOIL it or get it based on a judge’s order,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “You should write down, number one, only things you believe and, number two, then think about how it would look if somebody else sees it.”
Over the weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a $12 million ad campaign dedicated to pushing senators to back legislation that would expand background checks against gun buyers. This ad blitz was the latest salvo in the expensive attack on illegal guns the billionaire mayor has focused on in recent months and it prompted National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to accuse him of trying to “buy America.” At a press conference this afternoon where he was announcing a new program to help connect low-income city residents with job opportunities, many of the questions Mayor Bloomberg fielded from reporters were about his war of words with the NRA. Mayor Bloomberg first addressed the response he’s received after announcing the ad campaign and said an “enormous number” of people have thanked him for the commercials.
“Nobody’s going to walk up to me and say bad things, so I’m not so sure that I can actually represent, but I’ve just had lots and lots of phone calls, text messages, emails, people in the street … that are just so thankful that somebody’s willing to stand up and to counter the NRA,” he said.