Blast From The Past
Some campaigns point to endorsements from powerful labor unions. Others tout backing from notable elected officials and political clubs.
Upper West Side Councilwoman Gale Brewer boasted today about her former interns.
“Council Member Gale Brewer has been known since she was elected to office, and even prior, for enlisting interns that could make US Senators jealous,” declared the release from her campaign. “During her tenure in the City Council, Gale offered countless internships in her district and city hall offices. “
The Fourth Estate
Manhattan City Councilman Robert Jackson has a message for the New York Post: Lay off Anthony Weiner’s wife.
Mr. Jackson, who is also running for Manhattan borough president, went on a brief solo rant this afternoon, condemning a recent Post editorial column on former Congressman Anthony Weiner that featured a fake byline from Mr. Weiner’s wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
“It crossed the line, in my opinion, of decency,” Mr. Jackson proclaimed on the steps of City Hall this afternoon, a huge foam board depicting the paper’s Sunday story behind him. “We need to stop all this sensationalism … I’m asking the New York Post, stop it!”
Likely Manhattan voters will begin receiving rob0-calls today from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., announcing his endorsement of Councilman Robert Jackson in the Manhattan borough presidents race.
Mr. Jackson is facing a trio of well-known challengers in his race to replace Scott Stringer: former Lower Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin, Upper West Side Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Upper East Side Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. As the only African-American candidate, Mr. Jackson is focusing on solidifying black and Latino support in Upper Manhattan, which he’s represented in the Council for more than a decade.
Upper Manhattan’s Barack Obama Democratic Club voted last night on its endorsements, and the list might surprise you. The home club of City Councilman Robert Jackson and City Council candidate Mark Levine, a long-time ally of State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, gave its nods to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for mayor and City Councilwoman Letitia James for public advocate.
It also voted to endorse Mr. Jackson for Manhattan borough president and–unsurprisingly–Mr. Levine for the 7th District council seat, currently held by the term-limited Mr. Jackson.
New Club on the Block
New York City’s first Muslim club is looking to have an impact on the mayor’s race. And organizers of the group, the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, cited current Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies–notably, the city police department’s controversial Muslim surveillance efforts–as a key motivating factor as they seek to ensure his successor follows a new path.
“The mayor has been a problem for this community,” one club leader, Ali Najmi, told Politicker. “We want to send a message to City Hall that the next mayor needs to treat us differently.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind held a press conference in front of his home this afternoon responding to the uproar over a story that first appeared on Politicker today about his “black basketball player” Purim costume. In front of a small crowd of reporters, Mr. Hikind apologized that people were “offended” and reiterated his initial defense that the getup, which consisted of an orange jersey, brown face paint, an afro wig and sunglasses was merely a costume to celebrate the Jewish Purim holiday. However, even after Mr. Hikind addressed the firestorm, several members of the City Council sent letters to the Assemblyman arguing his apology did not go far enough.
“Anyone who was offended by the outfit that I was wearing on Purim yesterday … it was not meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone in any fashion,” Mr. Hikind began. “That is not what I am all about for the past 31 years in pub office and before that.”
Councilman Robert Jackson has racked up the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers in his bid to be Manhattan’s next borough president. UFT President Michael Mulgrew announced the endorsement, which was voted on by the members of the teacher’s union, in a statement today.
“For more than 30 years, Robert Jackson has fought for New York City’s public school children and has been their champion and advocate,” Mr. Mulgrew said. “He understands personally the power of education and has fought to make sure every child has the chance for the best education possible.”
Over the weekend, Thomas Lopez-Pierre, an uptown activist who has been running a Council campaign characterized by a series of angry, racially charged emails sent another missive endorsing Robert Jackson, the man he’s trying to replace. Mr. Jackson is prevented by term limits from running for re-election to his council seat and is instead pursuing the Manhattan borough presidency. However, Mr. Jackson is clearly not eager to have Mr. Lopez-Pierre’s endorsement.
“We totally reject Thomas Lopez-Pierre. Throughout his life, Robert Jackson has been a leader fighting for justice and understanding and against bigotry and intolerance,” Richard Fife, Mr. Jackson’s spokesman, said in a statement. “He has condemned the racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic rants of Lopez-Pierre in the strongest way possible.”
levine la vida loca
Mark Levine, a Democratic district leader campaigning for the seat held by outgoing Councilman Robert Jackson, is flexing his political muscles even as attention in the race has shifted to the racially-charged epithets used against him and his supporters. Indeed, this morning Mr. Levine announced he has received the formal endorsements of three notable elected officials on the northern side of Manhattan: Congressman Jerry Nadler, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Councilman Robert Jackson is rolling out his high-profile allies in the Harlem political establishment to help him celebrate his birthday and raise money for his bid to be Manhattan borough president later this month. Former Mayor David Dinkins sent out an email this afternoon announcing a fundraiser and birthday celebration for Mr. Jackson that he will be attending along with Congressman Charlie Rangel, State Senator Bill Perkins and Councilwoman Inez Dickens on December 17.
“Robert Jackson is an effective and energetic fighter who understands the challenges we face in this borough and has proven that he can get the job done,” Mr. Dinkins wrote. “He has been a strong, hard-working, progressive leader in the City Council, and I have great confidence that he will continue to advocate for measures that promise to improve the lives of all the people of the Borough of Manhattan.”