Michael Bloomberg’s mayoralty has been built on one simple fact: The City Charter of New York City gives the mayor enormous power. During his mayoralty, Mr. Bloomberg has aggressively used instruments of power to influence almost every aspect of civic life: health, transportation, public schools (which he has twice persuaded the state legislature to place under his control), parks, culture and economic development through bold rezoning and preservation policies.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has ducked a potentially divisive primary runoff in the mayor’s race, but the candidates vying to replace him have no such luck.
As their one-on-one face-off heats up, Councilwoman Tish James and State Senator Daniel Squadron are racking up endorsements as they work to secure enough support to reach the 50 percent they’ll need when voters head back to the polls on October 1.
Members of New York City’s Congressional delegation, long relegated to the sidelines of local politics, are increasingly filling the void left by the declining influence of political party apparatchiks.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brooklyn, home to Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio and his GOP rival Joe Lhota, as well as public advocate runoff contenders Letitia James and Daniel Squadron. The latest trend from the borough of hipsters, Hasidim and Caribbean homelands is the toppling of incumbents with the help of U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Nydia Velázquez.
In the aftermath of Monday’s mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making yet another push for tougher gun purchase background checks.
“We don’t have all the facts about the shooter,” Mr. Bloomberg said at press conference today at City Hall, “but what we do know [is] what happened this week has happened before–and sadly it looks like it will happen again until we get serious about this issue of just too many guns around.”
Finding an unpublished George Gurley piece is like opening a perfectly written time capsule. In May 2001, New York City was preparing to say farewell to a term-limited Rudy Giuliani and welcome anyone from Mark Green to Freddy Ferrer to Michael Bloomberg as its first new leader in eight years. An intrepid young Observer reporter named George Gurley hit the party scene to ask prominent New Yorkers what they thought would happen to the city. He wrote it up and then … it disappeared.
The Observer never published Mr. Gurley’s observations, captured first at the annual benefit for the African Rainforest Conservancy, held at The Park on 17th and Tenth Avenue and the second was for the 10th anniversary of the Paramount Hotel.
Twelve years later, as we approach another change of guard at City Hall, Mr. Gurley got to thinking about that piece. When he realized it hadn’t seen the light of day, Mr. Gurley, still an intrepid young Observer reporter, brought it to our attention.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg today refused to explain his recent comment labeling Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign “racist.”
Speaking at since first open-question press conference since New York magazine published the controversial comments ten days ago, Mr. Bloomberg repeatedly insisted he would not talk about the race to succeed him.
“Look, I’m gonna stay out of this race,” he said in respond to the first question, which asked what he meant by the remark and whether he thought it played a role in Mr. de Blasio’s Democratic primary win.
Bill Thompson’s mayoral dream has officially ended.
At a City Hall press conference flanked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and some of Mr. Thompson’s most ardent supporters, including Congressman Charlie Rangel and teachers’ union president Michael Mulgrew, the former comptroller today endorsed his one-time Democratic opponent, Bill de Blasio, in the mayor’s race.
“I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the City of New York,” said Mr. Thompson.
Monday Morning Quarterbacking
After an electoral loss, it’s never hard to find pundits who, with the benefit of hindsight, can tell you exactly what went wrong.
Still, the long, brutal decline of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign stands out. She had dominated the early polls of the race—at one point approaching the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Last night, as the votes poured in, she was ultimately relegated to a distant third, holding just 15.5 percent of the primary vote.
At her somber election party, campaign staffers and surrogates acknowledged they had underestimated voters’ deep frustrations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and demand for a change in leadership—a message seized on early by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the decisive winner in the race. “New Yorkers have made it clear that they want a very different direction,” said Ms. Quinn’s campaign spokesman Mike Morey, referring to what he coined “Bloomberg fatigue.”
Election Day: 2013apalooza
After what may have been the nastiest–and most high-profile–race for comptroller in New York City history, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer eked out a four-point win tonight over his better-known rival, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Mr. Stringer and his wife took the stage at the campaign’s victory party to great applause, cheers and even the throwing of a hat.
Thanking family, friends and his campaign staff, the victorious candidate energized the crowed and made a “promise to bring integrity, experience and leadership” to the office–a less-than-subtle final dig at Mr. Spritzer, who was forced to resign five years ago in the wake of a prostitution scandal.
Election Day: 2013apalooza
Former deputy mayor and MTA Chair Joe Lhota decisively beat back his billionaire opponent tonight in the Republican mayoral primary, despite the onslaught of millions of dollars worth of negative mailings and television ads.
Though he’d called John Catsimatidis’s ads “amazingly disgusting” earlier today and seemed to have little patience for another challenger, Doe Fund founder George McDonald, Mr. Lhota offer an olive branch to both of his opponents in a victory speech delivered to cheering supporters at a Midtown hotel.