Helen Rosenthal, one of the leading Democrats campaigning for an Upper West Side Council district, cut a $1,000 check for former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s aborted Senate campaign. But despite the neighborhood’s status as a progressive bastion, Ms. Rosenthal’s campaign told Politicker she stood by the contribution as a strategic play against a more conservative rival.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was especially chipper this morning during his weekly radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling, a day after the courts delivered two victories: a win on the city’s plan to introduce a new fleet of “Boro Taxis” that will roam the outer boroughs and one that will allow riders to use apps to hail cabs.
Anthony Weiner, who usually points to his congressional record or loud advocacy efforts, went a different route in Harlem yesterday and recalled his days battling then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani from the City Council.
“Do you remember when the stairwells were bursting into flames in public housing?” Mr. Weiner asked members of the Sojourner Truth Democratic Club’s mayoral forum gathered in a back room of the La Hermosa Christian Church.
Just Like Obama
At a fund-raiser last night for his one-time deputy mayor Joe Lhota, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani not only came out swinging against Democratic officials’ counter-terrorism policies, he blasted this year’s crop of Democratic mayoral candidates, saying neither they–nor President Barack Obama–had ever held a real job.
Mr. Giuliani, one of Mr. Lhota’s biggest backers as he seeks the Republican nomination for City Hall’s top job, touted his former attack dog’s record in the private sector and as the city’s once-budget director.
“That’s exactly what we need. Not these career politicians who have never really held a job. Like our President, who never really held a job,” he said, to laughs, according to footage of the speech at the Excelsior Grand in Staten Island, captured by blogger Jacob Kornbluh.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who led the city through 9/11, accused some in Washington of being in “denial” about the risks posed by terrorism and said that Democrats too preoccupied with “liberal ideas” are putting public safety at risk.
Speaking at a fund-raiser for Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota last night, Mr. Giuliani, who made an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2008, said that New York City remains a target, and that government must be ever-vigilant to stave off the next attack.
Longshot mayoral candidate Erick Salgado wants to bring Mayor Rudy Giuliani back to City Hall– this time as the new police commissioner.
Mr. Salgado, a socially conservative reverend, said he’d love to keep current Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on as the city’s top cop, but has at least one back-up choice in mind.
“I would consider Ray Kelly if he’s available. If he’s not interested, maybe I ask Rudy Giuliani to come and serve as police commissioner,” he said during the campaign’s first televised debate, which was held at John Jay College and sponsored by NY1.
A name familiar to millions of New Yorkers could enter a volatile Queens City Council race.
Rudy S. Giuliani, chief of staff to Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich and second cousin to the former mayor of the same name, is mulling a run for indicted GOP Councilman Dan Halloran’s seat, multiple sources told Politicker.
“If there’s a special election, it’d be hard to pass up,” one Queens Republican insider said. “That’s how he’s framed it to me.”
Across the breadth of policy issues, the Democratic candidates for mayor this year tend to share similar viewpoints. However, there are some notable exceptions, and at a debate sponsored by The New York Observer and 92Y, another one was revealed last night: their mayoral role models.
The first two candidates to speak, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, couldn’t choose just one mayor. Rather, the pair saw themselves as pulling from the best attributes from four and cited Ed Koch’s spirit, David Dinkins’s compassion, Rudy Giuliani’s toughness and Michael Bloomberg’s vision.
“I’ve been asked that question before and I’ve made sure that I haven’t alienated former mayors,” Mr. Thompson joked.
In an interview with DNAInfo, Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis claimed former Mayor Rudy Giuliani told him he has a far better chance of winning the mayor’s race than Joe Lhota, who was a deputy mayor in Mr. Giuliani’s administration and is widely assumed to have the ex-mayor’s support. However, this morning Mr. Giuliani told Politicker he didn’t tell Mr. Catsimatidis he has a better shot at a victory than Mr. Lhota.
“I never told John Catsimatidis that Joe Lhota would have a harder time winning,” Mr. Giuliani said. “What I told him is a fact: it’s difficult for any Republican to get elected in New York City. That’s a political fact.”
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died earlier this morning at the age of 88 after being hospitalized for congestive heart disease. Mr. Koch served as the 105th Mayor of New York City for three terms from 1978 until 1989. With a larger-than-life personality, Mr. Koch relished a position that allowed him to become something of a national ambassador for New York City.
Though critics accused Mr. Koch of worsening racial tensions in the city and not doing enough to fight the AIDS crisis that was particularly devastating to the gay community, Mr. Koch was fiercely proud of his legacy, specifically, what he saw as his efforts to save New York from the financial crisis of the late 1970′s, his vast expansion of public housing and programs and efforts he saw as bringing a more meritocratic approach to local government. Politicker conducted one of the final interviews with Mr. Koch on January 17, just two weeks before his death, and he characterized his administration as paving the way for his successors.
“I’m proud of what I did,” he said. “I also believe that both Giuliani and, particularly, Mike Bloomberg have made tremendous contributions to this city. … And I look upon what I did as laying the groundwork and the foundation on which they could build, and without what I did, they couldn’t have done what they did. So, I’m proud of my contributions.”