Playing With Fire
New Yorkers may no longer be able to buy lighters that look like the Statue of Liberty or that cute cow in the photograph to the left.
The New York State Assembly approved a ban on novelty lighters today, joining the State Senate, which did so last week, and leaving the bill just a gubernatorial signature away from becoming law.
Anthony Weiner slammed Mayor Michael Bloomberg for slapping small businesses with too many fines–but what was touted as the ex-Congressman’s first major policy speech fell flat with some in the Upper West Side audience, who walked away unimpressed earlier today.
Mr. Weiner’s address focused on complaints about the uptick in fines and summonses levied by the Bloomberg administration against small businesses, arguing the city should be making it easier–not harder–for small businesses to thrive. The issue of fines has been frequently touted by other candidates, including Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has made the issue a signature piece of his campaign.
Both at the time of his scandal and now during his political comeback attempt, the New York Post has simply reveled in making pun after pun with Anthony Weiner’s last name. But don’t expect any apologies.
Asked what he’d say to critics who have accused his publication of being immature, Post editor in chief Col Allan bluntly told the Australian news program Lateline, “I don’t know. They got to develop a sense of humor, I guess.”
The string of corruption arrests in New York State is far from over, according to the man who has issued many of the indictments.
In a rare televised interview with Capital Tonight, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said even more public corruption cases can be expected to emerge due to the “pervasive” nature of the problem in the state.
The battle between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the powerful teachers’ union entered a ghoulish new phase on Monday, as the mayor equated the union’s coveted endorsement to the “kiss of death,” and the union slammed a nod from Mr. Bloomberg as worse than a zombie attack.
The Democratic candidates for mayor have been courting the United Federation of Teachers and the union’s president, Michael Mulgrew, for months, but Mr. Bloomberg said this afternoon he thinks they’re making a grave electoral mistake.
“It’s almost a kiss of death,” the mayor said of the union’s coveted endorsement, which Mr. Mulgrew believes will be decisive in the race. “I don’t know what goes through voters’ minds, but maybe they understand if the UFT wants it, it ain’t good and you don’t want that person.”
Anthony Weiner took his first major shot at Republican Joe Lhota on Sunday, saying the former MTA chair should have worked harder to give the city more control of its state-run transit system before stepping down to run for mayor.
“For too long the MTA has been here in New York City, but we have very little control over it,” Mr. Weiner said at a Park Slope street fair, when a voter asked him what he would do to curb rising fares. “There’s no accountability now. And we have to push back and we have to try to get some control.”
Born to Run
Some candidates revere former mayors and presidents as their political inspiration. But for Christine Quinn, it’s all about Bruce Springsteen.
The City Council speaker and mayoral candidate delivered a scathing speech against her rivals Monday morning, touting her record and vowing to run the city in the model of her musical idol, “The Boss.”
Thus far in the mayoral race, almost all of Bill de Blasio’s endorsements have come from the battleground borough of the Bronx, but today he is branching out to Queens, where State Senator James Sanders is joining the public advocate’s team.
In a statement, Mr. Sanders, whose district includes the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Rockaways, touted Mr. de Blasio’s support in the aftermath of the storm.
Anthony Weiner’s 17-month-old son, Jordan, joined him on the campaign trail on Father’s Day Sunday, earning the occasional “awww” as the former congressman greeted voters at a street fair in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he grew up.
Little Jordan, decked out blue plaid pants and a stylish fedora, seemed unfazed by the crowd of campaign staffers and reporters who trailed his dad, who was juggling babysitting, posing for photos and urging Democratic voters to sign petitions to get him on the ballot.
“You’re big-time upstaging me, bud,” he told his son, who munched on a cheese crepe as photographers snapped.
Yesterday, Politico and other outlets reported that Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was investigating whether Huma Abedin’s role in the U.S. State Department conflicted with her private consulting work. Ms. Abedin, of course, is the wife of Anthony Weiner, a Democrat mounting a high-profile campaign for mayor this year. Politicker caught up with Mr. Weiner earlier today to get his take on the situation.
The former congressman, speaking broadly, touted his wfe’s accomplishments in pubic life while insisting everything she did was “above board.”