Full Court Press
South Brooklyn Sagas
First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris today defended his new administration’s press shop, which has come under growing fire in recent weeks after a series of alleged faux pas.
During a Crain’s New York Business breakfast this morning, Mr. Shorris was asked directly whether the mayor needed to beef up his communications team, which includes a handful of veteran campaign staffers, but few with extensive experience in the notoriously difficult New York City media scene.
Assemblyman Bill Colton may have shared an overlapping southern Brooklyn district with former Councilman Domenic Recchia for 12 years, but he’s not quite willing to back the Democrat against a possible long-shot primary challenge from Rev. Erick Salgado.
Mr. Salgado, a socially conservative pastor who ran a colorful campaign for mayor last year, publicly thanked Mr. Colton today for helping put together the paperwork he needed to run for the Staten Island congressional seat now held by Republican Michael Grimm.
After Mayor Bill de Blasio took a pounding on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today for his sometimes critical approach to charter schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo scheduled an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show to praise them.
Not only are charter schools not a threat, Mr. Cuomo said, but they are part of the solution to failing public schools, which he called “the civil rights issue of our day.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first deputy mayor this morning provided a rosy assessment of the administration’s tenure so far, concluding that “we’re in a pretty credible place,” despite a “few bumps along the way.”
Speaking to business leaders, lobbyists and reporters at a Crain’s New York Business breakfast forum in Midtown, Mr. Shorris broke with the mayor and acknowledged the pace of appointments in the administration has been “a bit slower than some.”
Pre-K this Way
Assemblyman Karim Camara endorsed State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s bid against Congressman Charlie Rangel this morning, a largely symbolic move attempting to show that Mr. Espaillat is successfully dipping into the incumbent’s African-American base.
Mr. Camara, the leader of the state legislature’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, hails from central Brooklyn and did not make an endorsement when Mr. Espaillat first tried to unseat Mr. Rangel two years ago. While Mr. Camara’s constituency resides nowhere near the northern Manhattan and Bronx district that Mr. Espaillat is hoping to win, the lawmaker, who is considered by many to be a rising star in the Democratic party, promised to work to “amplify” Mr. Espaillat’s accomplishments in the district.
As Seen on TV
Mayor Bill de Blasio today said he would accept a check from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fund universal pre-K in place of his signature tax on high-income earners–as long as the governor provides enough cash.
“We haven’t seen the final plan yet … And what I’ve tried to say is we need the verification here for New York City that we’ll have the money each year we need for five years,” said the mayor, speaking this morning on Morning Joe.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Mayor Bill de Blasio spent nearly half an hour this morning talking education on Morning Joe, where he got an earful from the show’s hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who hammered the new mayor for his allegedly antagonistic stance toward charter schools.
“I don’t understand your positions on charters,” stated Mr. Scarborough. “The waiting list is 50,000. And it’s not a bunch of rich kids from Manhattan that want to get in there, it’s some of the poorest, most disadvantaged children of colors.”
bills bills bills
Mayor Bill de Blasio today named Meera Joshi, the former general counsel at the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), as his pick to lead the agency.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has spent nearly $2 million on his inauguration and transition efforts so far, according to new numbers released today by the city’s campaign finance board.
The new numbers show that, between January 1 and February 28, the campaign spent more than $980,00 on the efforts, including more than $240,600 on the new mayor’s Inauguration Day festivities. That’s in addition to the more than $1 million spent between early November and December 31, 2013 and reported by the board earlier this year.
Two years ago, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez fended off a furious challenge backed by then-Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez.
This year, at least so far, her path to re-election appears to be clearer. But one challenger has emerged and another, former Comptroller John Liu, may be eying the seat.