In December of last year, Politicker published a seven-page 1979 Essence magazine article where Chirlane McCray, the wife of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, frankly discussed her identity as a lesbian. The news made waves, amplified by a New York Post cartoon condemned as offensive. Now, more than six months after our report and decades after the original essay, Ms. McCray returned to Essence‘s pages to discuss Mr. de Blasio, her sexual identity and more.
“I came out at 17. I hadn’t really dated any men. I thought, Whoa, what is this?” she said at one point in the Essence interview, when asked about entering her relationship with Mr. de Blasio. “But I also didn’t think, Oh, now I’m attracted to men. I was attracted to Bill. He felt like the perfect person for me.”
This afternoon, courts released a sentencing document for State Senator Shirley Huntley, detailing her cooperation with federal authorities in the wake of her arrest in a bribery scheme. After a slew of corruption scandals have rocked New York State politics in recent weeks, including several of Ms. Huntley’s Albany colleagues, particular attention was placed on the names of officials and staffers caught in Ms. Huntley’s wiretaps. There are nine names on the list.
Bronx City Councilman Fernando Cabrera was ready to defy established order.
He sensed that Speaker Christine Quinn was losing her grip on the legislative body.
“I’m scared,” he told Politicker at the time. He kept the petitions he gathered at home–just to be safe.
Mr. Cabrera, a pastor, quietly went from colleague to colleague to rally support for two bills that the speaker had stalled, one that would let churches rent school property and another codifying a Tenants’ Bill of Rights. He said he gathered the dozen signatures necessary to give him the power to force a vote—a tactic, called a motion to discharge, that has not been deployed during Ms. Quinn’s tenure.
Apples to Apples
John Catsimatidis was not too pleased when he opened up today’s New York Times to read about his reportedly embattled supermarket chain, Gristedes, which it dubbed the “unloved uncle of the New York City grocery scene.”
“I’d say ‘ugh.’ I’d say ‘ugh,’” the billionaire Republican candidate for mayor replied when Politicker asked him about his reaction to the piece, which detailed how the grocery chain has been struggling financially and targeted by several class action lawsuits.
He elaborated by comparing his relationship with Gristedes, which launched his successful business career, to a wife who doesn’t like her name.
What You Should Know
Outspoken State Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr. is out with another one of his “What You Should Know” missives, this one addressing the recent spate of New York legislators being arrested, a list that State Senator John Sampson joined yesterday. And Mr. Díaz, in a roundabout way, very strongly suggests there’s a racial component to federal prosecutors’ targets.
“The only thing we do know that is new in these times in New York State, is the Black and Hispanic politicians are the ones being wired and sent out to root out corruption among Black and Hispanic officials,” he said in a statement dismissing alarmist rhetoric to describe the Empire State’s corruption controversies. “I would hate to think that as Black and Hispanic leaders who are elected to represent our communities, that we would be targeted to weed out corruption only in our backyards, and that we would be held to a higher standard than the non-Black and Hispanic leaders.”
The candidates for mayor of New York City made their pitch to animal lovers yesterday, and needless to say, they repeatedly professed their love for various species that don’t have a vote.
Republican John Catsimatidis–who likes to call himself “the cat man”–once begged the fire department to rescue his daughter’s cockatiel, for example. Bill Thompson claimed that he had not one, but two rescued cats. And Sal Albanese insisted his mother-in-law lived a few years longer because of a chihuahua named Joey.
Another Shoe Drops
State Senator John Sampson, who up until recently led his chamber’s Democratic conference, is set to turn himself into federal authorities today after being ensared in a bribery scandal, according to The New York Times and New York Post.
It’s unclear to what extent Mr. Sampson may have been cooperating with federal prosecutors prior to this point. His involvement in an alleged scheme with then-State Senator Shirley Huntley, who already pleaded guilty to her own charges, was revealed last week when a sentencing letter made public Ms. Huntley’s own cooperation. The Times reports Mr. Sampson be charged with obstruction of justice.
Only days after railing against the entire slate of Democratic mayoral candidates for playing politics with people’s lives–a big failing, he suggested, as public safety is “the most important job of any mayor, period”–Mayor Michael Bloomberg heaped heavy praise on one of those would-be successors.
“Chris Quinn has done a very good job as speaker,” Mr. Bloomberg declared during his weekly WOR radio show this morning. “Whether you’re going to vote for her or not, she has been a very good speaker. The city has been very well served by her. I don’t think that she gets enough credit for it.”
A chicken in every pot
The city’s professor-in-chief delivered his final budget speech at City Hall today and made it clear that he’s rather happy with the job he’s done balancing the city’s books as he passes the baton.
“The news today is I think, reasonably good–as good as it’s been in a long time,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters of Read More
Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign took a significant hit this afternoon when a donor, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, and his young former campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou, were found guilty in federal court for helping to orchestrate a straw donor scheme on his behalf.
“As the jury found, Jia Hou and Oliver Pan stuck a knife into the heart of New York City’s campaign finance law by violating the prohibition against illegal campaign contributions, all to corruptly advantage the campaign of a candidate for city-wide office,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Cases like this give the people of New York yet another reason to be troubled by the electoral process, and they have a right to demand fair, open, and honest elections untainted by cynical subversion of campaign finance laws.”