Taking on Tony
Through the Liu-king Glass
State Senator Tony Avella’s decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference is irking ex-Comptroller John Liu and Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Mr. Liu and Ms. Meng–who like Mr. Avella, are Democrats hailing from northeast Queens–criticized Mr. Avella when asked about about his recent move to join the breakaway conference Democrats governing the State Senate with the Republican Party.
Rain on my Parade
John Liu still won’t rule out another try for elected office.
The ex-comptroller and mayoral candidate refused to swat down rumors that he is mulling a bid against Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, even as he put another batch of rumors to rest by endorsing his own congresswoman, Grace Meng, for re-election.
The International Man
In an apparent slip of the tongue, Mayor Bill de Blasio today said he had skipped yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Rockaways because it excluded some groups–even though he had marched in the same event last year.
“My approach has been to embrace parades that are inclusive. And that’s the standard we’re going to hold,” he said today during the St. Pat’s for All Parade in Sunnyside, Queens, when asked why he’d skipped the event Saturday, drawing criticism from some in the Sandy-ravaged neighborhood.
Taking on Tony
Mayor Bill de Blasio today weighed in on the escalating tensions in the Ukraine, where a standoff with the Russian military has led to a full-blown international crisis.
The new mayor, who seems eager to comment on foreign policy topics, including Israel and sanctions against Iran, sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for his incursion into the Crimean peninsula.
stand clear of the closing doors
State Senator Tony Avella met a handful of protesters outside a local school in Queens today, where the lawmaker took flack for his decision to join a breakaway faction of Democrats in Albany.
Mr. Avella, now the fifth member of the Independent Democratic Conference, arrived in Douglaston to give a citation to an elementary school. But four protesters, unfurling signs like “Tony the Traitor,” stood outside the school in the numbing cold to denounce Mr. Avella’s defection from the Democratic caucus.
deja vu all over again
Google will eliminate a phantom subway stop that found its way onto the company’s ubiquitous mapping site, after a Politicker inquiry on the subject.
The current version of the map claims the N train makes a stop just after the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City. According to the map, the “11th Street Cut” is the N train’s first stop in Queens after crossing over from the east side of Manhattan. Its iconic blue “M” puts it several blocks west of the Queensboro Plaza 7/N/Q stop and a block south of the Queensbridge F stop, not far from the neighborhood’s waterfront.
Malcolm and Clyde
Is the third time the charm?
John Messer, an attorney and business owner, may try yet again to unseat Queens State Senator Toby Stavisky, he told Politicker this afternoon. He previously ran unsuccessful challenges against Ms. Stavisky in 2010 and 2012.
Mr. Liu Goes to Washington?
If Clyde Vanel fails to defeat indicted State Senator Malcolm Smith, it won’t be for lack of start-up cash.
According to the latest campaign finance filings, Mr. Vanel, a business attorney, loaned himself a sizable $100,000 to launch his campaign against Mr. Smith, a southeastern Queens Democrat charged last year in a bribery scheme to land himself on the GOP mayoral ballot.
Mr. Smith Gets a Challenger
Could John Liu be running for Congress?
The indefatigable ex-comptroller, who ran an unsuccessful bid for mayor, has been the subject of still-undefined rumors that he’s contemplating a primary bid against Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng, a fellow Democrat.
Pressed with repeated phone calls, texts and direct questions asked of his spokesperson through email, Mr. Liu wouldn’t deny his interest.
An attorney with close ties to Queens County politics is planning to challenge embattled State Senator Malcolm Smith next year.
Mr. Smith, still reeling from an arrest on corruption charges earlier this year, is openly despised by his fellow Senate Democrats after caucusing briefly with a breakaway faction of Democrats that govern the Senate with Republicans and is considered a major target in 2014.