Escape From New York
Outspoken Councilman Charles Barron is backing John Liu in the New York City mayoral election this year and he’s also getting involved in races out of state. On Tuesday, Mr. Barron served on the host committee of a Soho fundraiser for Chokwe Lumumba, who is running for mayor in Jackson Mississippi. Mr. Lumumba is an attorney and City Council member whom Mr. Barron said he has known for years through their work in activist circles.
“Chokwe Lumumba is a long-time friend and freedom fighter,” Mr. Barron told Politicker at a forum on stop-and-frisk last night in Brooklyn. “He got elected to the City Council in Jackson, Mississippi, which is, you know, a majority-black population town. There’s seven Council Members. So it’s good to see black, strong, conscious people getting involved in the electoral arena. And [when] he becomes mayor of Jackson Mississippi–that’s going to be a historic moment.”
North vs. South
Earlier this week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed Mississippi–the state that recently passed an “anti-Bloomberg bill” to ban localities from requiring displayed calorie counts or restricting soda cup sizes in restaurants–as a “farce” with its efforts to block any importation of New York City’s health initiatives. And, on his weekly WOR radio show this morning, Mr. Bloomberg took his argument to the next level by pointing to the Magnolia State’s obesity rate and the life expectancy of its citizens.
“You’ve got to love it,” the mayor exclaimed. “In the state with the highest rate of obesity, they passed a law that says you can’t do anything about it. Life expectancy in that part of the country is 20 years lower than it is in our part of the country. Thank about that! The average person lives 20 years less and they pass laws to keep … from making that better? If you wrote a book about it–if you wrote a movie–nobody would produce the movie. It would be so inconceivable, it would be ridiculous.”
North vs. South
Earlier this week, lawmakers in Mississippi overwhelmingly passed an “anti-Bloomberg bill” to stop local communities from copying two of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s signature public health initiatives–limiting portion sizes or forcing restaurants to post calorie counts. Needless to say, Mr. Bloomberg was highly critical of the legislation when he was asked about the bill this morning in an interview on CBS.
“You know, Saturday Night Live couldn’t write this stuff,” Mr. Bloomberg exclaimed. “How can somebody try and pass a law that deliberately says we can’t improve the lives of our citizens? It’s just farce. Nobody would believe it if you wrote it in the book.”
The Magnolia State
Rick Santorum continued to poke holes in Mitt Romney’s aura of inevitability by following up his victory in the Alabama primary with a win in the Mississippi primary tonight. Though Mr. Romney still has a large lead in the overall delegate count, a win tonight would have gone a long way toward cementing his status as the clear frontrunner. Mr. Santorum’s wins in more conservative states are prolonging the race for the Republican nomination and fueling the perception Mr. Romney has issues connecting with important elements of the Republican base. Despite his losses in the South, Mr. Romney is expected to win tonight’s caucuses in American Samoa and Hawaii, though those results won’t be official until much later due to the time difference.
The Yellowhammer State
Rick Santorum won the Alabama primary tonight. NBC News declared Mr. Santorum the winner a little less than one hour after polls closed. Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the nomination, still holds a strong delegate lead, but he has had trouble winning primaries in the Southern states.