Two weeks ago, Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested and charged with trying to bribe his way into the Republican mayoral primary, prompting cries for reform from both ends of the political spectrum. Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo rolled out a series of proposals that he hopes will address many of these concerns.
“You’ve heard the expression pay to play, this is pay to run,” Mr. Cuomo said at a press conference announcing the measures. “The allegations that the minor parties basically, on occasion, have used campaign contributions to determine who gets the line and it’s almost that the line goes to the highest bidder.”
Last night, the Kings County Conservative Party backed their borough’s district attorney, Joe Hynes, for re-election and, citing his safety record, they formally offered him their ballot line come November. Although Mr. Hynes has been endorsed by the Conservatives for years, at least one of his Democratic primary rivals, Ken Thompson, was outraged by the bipartisan embrace and released a statement detailing his disgust.
“It is appalling that DA Hynes would accept the endorsement of a fringe right-wing group which opposes a woman’s right to choose, gun control and a minimum wage increase, supports the racial profiling of suspects, and sought to remove President Obama from office,” Mr. Thompson said this morning.
Tells us how you really feel, Councilman Lew Fidler.
Mr. Fidler, who yesterday criticized Senator-elect Simcha Felder for vowing to cross party lines and caucus with the Republicans, took another pass this afternoon in a lengthy statement where he demanded Mr. Felder himself answer questions about the decision.
“Simcha is correct that the parties are not a religion, nor should they be,” Mr. Fidler wrote. “But being open and honest with the voters should be.”
the elephant not in the room
On a brisk mid-October day, Tom Allon announced he was dropping out of the highly competitive Democratic mayoral primary and would instead be a contender in the far sparser Republican field. “Theodore Roosevelt cleaned up New York by telling truth to power and truth to the public,” he declared, standing before the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt on the Upper West Side. “I plan to run a campaign that will talk about the hard truths facing our city, and ideas I have to fix our growing problems.”
The event’s august backdrop may have oversold its symbolic importance. It’s impossible to find a neutral party who thinks Mr. Allon, a local newspaper publisher whose weeklies include Our Town and The West Side Spirit, is anything but a long-shot to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013. But as no fewer than five heavyweight Democrats are already in contention for the office, each of whom has raised over a million dollars, Mr. Allon’s move highlights the fact that Republicans, so far at least, are still on the hunt for a formidable standard-bearer.
Sensing the vacuum, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. announced Monday night that he has also left the Democratic Party in hopes of securing the Republican line for mayor.
Last night, The New York Times broke the news that former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión had left the Democratic Party and would now be seeking to run for mayor on the Republican line. Of course, there are other potential hurdles Mr. Carrión will need to overcome for this electoral endeavor, including securing the support of the GOP county leaders and beating potential primary rivals. One such rival is Manhattan Media C.E.O. Tom Allon, another former Democrat and the only Republican candidate who has formally announced his candidacy so far. Needless to say, Mr. Allon seems displeased with the former borough president’s candidacy.