After traveling to Albany last month to support State Senator Jeff Klein’s push to ban the nutritional supplement DMAA, baseball great, reality television star, MMA fighter, admitted steroid user, author and social media enthusiast Jose Canseco’s latest cause seems to be the number of deaths linked to sugary drinks. After Mr. Canseco took to Twitter this evening to urge the president to “declare war on sugar,” Politicker asked whether he’d be interested in teaming up with a man who is perhaps the nation’s most high-profile anti-sugar crusader–Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Comptroller John Liu officially kicked off his campaign for mayor at a raucous rally on the steps of City Hall attended by several hundred people where he vowed to “be a mayor not of the one percent, but of the 100 percent.” Along with promising to enact populist reforms on housing, education, law enforcement and the business community, Mr. Liu dismissed the ongoing corruption case against two of his associates as a politically motivated “witch hunt” that would not stop him from winning the election.
“When you go after powerful people and rich corporations, they’re going to come after you,” Mr. Liu declared in a fiery speech. “They certainly have made my life challenging, but let me be clear, we are not backing down!”
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.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn launched her campaign yesterday with a nod to her roots by kicking off a five borough “walk and talk” tour at the intersection of Broadway and Isham Street in Inwood a stone’s throw from a church with ties to her family. Ms. Quinn used the tale of her grandparents’ journey from New York to Ireland to emphasize the main theme of her campaign–fighting for the middle class. Along with articulating her message, the five borough tour allowed Ms. Quinn to directly address the central questions and controversies surrounding her campaign, namely, her seemingly close ties to the current occupant of City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“It’s very exciting to get to be here right across the street from the church where my parents were married, and my sister was baptized and my grandfather was buried, from right near where my mother grew up to announce that today I am officially running to be the mayor of the great City of New York,” declared Ms. Quinn in the first of the day’s five speeches. “This is a city where, 100 years ago, all four of my grandparents, really just kids basically, got on ships and went across oceans … They had heard that magical things could happen here, that if you came here you could get work, you could get decent housing, you could be free and you could get out of poverty. And that’s what this city did for them and for my family it gave us a gateway into the middle class. … That’s the ultimate truth about New York, that it needs to remain and become even more that place of opportunity, a place that’s a beacon for the middle class and people who are fighting so hard to get into that middle class.”
If their administrations could be summed by Instagram alone, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo would be a fascinating study in contrasts. And one of the two top Empire State politicians is clearly much more at home on the popular photo sharing site.
This morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg journeyed into the belly of the meme-making beast when he visited Buzzfeed’s headquarters on 21st Street to announce a new “Made in NY” initiative involving a website and ad campaign designed to attract more tech startups to New York City. To mark the occasion, his staffers created a Buzzfeed-style listicle entitled, “5 Animals Who are Not Disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg,” on official city tumblr and his personal site.
“Since BuzzFeed is famous for lists, such as the ’33 Animals that are Extremely Disappointed in You,’ we came up with our own list,” the introduction to the post says. “Here are the 5 animals who are not disappointed in Mayor Bloomberg.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has emerged as one of the nation’s loudest gun control advocates in recent months. Unsurprisingly, in his response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night, the mayor focused on the Commander in Chief’s push for stronger gun control laws including background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
“Tonight, President Obama made a clarion call to fix the nation’s broken gun laws,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. “In a chamber filled with both survivors of gun violence and the men and women of the United States Congress who have the power to improve our gun laws, President Obama implored both parties to come together on an issue that has the support of the vast majority of Americans: keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
The Land of Ice & Snow
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says today’s snowstorm won’t be as bad as the epic “Snowpocalypse” of 2010.
“We don’t think that people are going to be that inconvenienced,” the mayor said in a radio interview with John Gambling this morning.
Though he didn’t give any dire warnings about the storm, Mayor Bloomberg did have some advice about helping your neighbors survive the wintry weather.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered one of the eulogies at former Mayor Ed Koch’s funeral in Manhattan this morning and he praised his predecessor for an attitude “full of humor and chutzpah” that ”embodied the spirit of New York City” and made him “our City’s quintessential Mayor.” In his speech, Mayor Bloomberg also credited Koch with laying the foundation that allowed subsequent mayor’s to make the five boroughs “great again.” In a nod to the setting of the funeral, the Jewish Temple Emanu-El, Mr. Bloomberg compared Koch’s achievements to the story of Moses.
“I’ve been doing my biblical research, and I think it’s only fitting that this week’s Torah portion is about Moses leading the Jews out of bondage in Egypt. Now, Ed, in his own way, was our Moses. Just with a little less hair,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “He led us out of darkness and he gave us hope. And while he may not have parted the Red Sea, he did break a subway strike by standing on a bridge and shouting words of encouragement.”
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died earlier this morning at the age of 88 after being hospitalized for congestive heart disease. Mr. Koch served as the 105th Mayor of New York City for three terms from 1978 until 1989. With a larger-than-life personality, Mr. Koch relished a position that allowed him to become something of a national ambassador for New York City.
Though critics accused Mr. Koch of worsening racial tensions in the city and not doing enough to fight the AIDS crisis that was particularly devastating to the gay community, Mr. Koch was fiercely proud of his legacy, specifically, what he saw as his efforts to save New York from the financial crisis of the late 1970′s, his vast expansion of public housing and programs and efforts he saw as bringing a more meritocratic approach to local government. Politicker conducted one of the final interviews with Mr. Koch on January 17, just two weeks before his death, and he characterized his administration as paving the way for his successors.
“I’m proud of what I did,” he said. “I also believe that both Giuliani and, particularly, Mike Bloomberg have made tremendous contributions to this city. … And I look upon what I did as laying the groundwork and the foundation on which they could build, and without what I did, they couldn’t have done what they did. So, I’m proud of my contributions.”