on the attack
In what may be the most direct and harsh attack to emerge from her campaign so far, Council Speaker Christine Quinn took her Democratic rival Bill Thompson to task today for his cross-partisan support from former Senator Al D’Amato.
“Al D’Amato isn’t just anti-woman,” an email from Ms. Quinn’s campaign declared to supporters, “he is anti-choice, anti-Medicare, and anti-civil rights. He also had the dubious honor of being known as the most investigated Senator in New York history.”
Comptroller John Liu may be facing the scrutiny that comes with two associates being convicted of an attempted fraud scheme on his behalf, but his mayoral campaign is still plugging along. Indeed, Mr. Liu will be endorsed by Brooklyn Assemblyman Peter Abbate tomorrow morning, according to a Democratic operative with knowledge of the event.
Many had expected Anthony Weiner’s quarterly campaign finance filing to reveal additional information about his efforts to ramp up a highly-anticipated mayoral bid, but the former congressman’s report ended up showing very few additional details.
The foundations of any successful high-profile campaign usually include strong fund-raising operations, and the race to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg is no exception. As tomorrow’s deadline approaches for candidates to release their quarterly fund-raising totals, most of the campaigns are claiming success.
Former MTA chair Joe Lhota for example, raised a healthy $558,000 for his bid.
It’s not a surprise, but it’s a key part of Reshma Saujani’s strategy as she campaigns for public advocate this year.
The Alliance of South Asian-American Labor, a group that’s worked to mobilize South Asian voters in past elections, officially threw their support to Ms. Saujani today, vowing to help elect her as the city’s first official of South Asian descent.
“It was very surreal,” Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James said, reflecting on the moment her predecessor was assassinated. “When I got the news that he had been shot, I said, ‘I think I know who did it.’”
Othniel Askew wanted to run against Councilman James Davis. Instead, on a City Hall balcony in July of 2003, he drew a silver .40-caliber pistol and started shooting–killing Mr. Davis and setting events in motion that would place Ms. James in public office.
“The person who assassinated him visited me the night before,” Ms. James recalled, speaking with Politicker recently at a Manhattan campaign office.
Last night, the labor-backed Working Families Party announced their support in a host of races across the city, beginning with Tish James for public advocate and working their way down to open-seat council campaigns.
The endorsement for Ms. James, a Brooklyn councilwoman, is particularly notable because, with a less sizable campaign war chest than her top rivals, Ms. James’ strategy relies on unifying union forces. There are two other citywide races this year, but without a strong labor consensus for mayor and a virtually uncontested race for comptroller, the public advocate competition is relatively unique.
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.”
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.
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.