Watch The Throne
Bill de Blasio has had it with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Mr. Bloomberg gave his final State of the City address last week, earning a round of condemnations from some of the Democratic mayoral hopefuls who wish to replace him, including Comptroller John Liu and former Comptroller Bill Thompson. Yesterday, on Up Close with Diana Williams, Mr. de Blasio joined the mayoral peanut gallery.
“Ah!” Mr. de Blasio exclaimed when asked about Mr. Bloomberg’s ominous warnings concerning what will happen without his leadership in City Hall. “You know, he sounded a little royal when he was talking about [how] after him everything’s going to fall apart. I’m a little sick of this way of thinking about the world.”
Public Service Announcements
Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the final State of the City speech of his 12 years in elected office while announcing multiple new policy initiatives, including a ban on Styrofoam in stores and restaurants. Not everyone was thrilled with this new ban, however, including a Staten Island man who called into Mr. Bloomberg’s weekly radio show this morning declaring, “I’m very upset with you, you’re on a track to ban everything.”
“Come on,” Mr. Bloomberg shot back. “We’re not banning everything!”
While all-but-officially announced mayoral candidate John Liu aggressively slammed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City speech as revisionist history, one of Mr. Liu’s likely rivals in the mayor’s race, Bill Thompson, took a more moderate approach. Mr. Thompson released a statement earlier this afternoon that praised parts of the speech while critiquing others.
“I commend the mayor’s willingness to put forth specific ideas for our city’s future, including his Styrofoam initiative, and urge fellow leaders to engage in a vigorous and respectful debate on this important matter,” Mr. Thomspon began.
In Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s last State of the City speech today, he touted his record of accomplishments. But Comptroller John Liu, a likely candidate for mayor this year, isn’t so sure about that. Accordingly, only minutes after Mr. Bloomberg finished speaking, Mr. Liu fired off a statement blasting the mayor.
“Obviously, Mayor Bloomberg can point to some accomplishments after 11 years, especially in improving New Yorkers’ health through reductions in smoking,” Mr. Liu said. “But his selective retelling of history leaves out some troubling facts: near record unemployment, record numbers of homeless, record income disparity, record stop and frisks, record claims against the NYPD, record numbers of school closures, and a failed education record that has only one in five high school students graduating from college. How can we be satisfied with that? No one can say that New Yorkers of all walks of life shared equally in the accomplishments he claims as his legacy.”
Rock You Like a Hurricane
This afternoon City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gave her annual State of the City address, which seemed like a stump speech for her assumed mayoral campaign. Accordingly, her rivals who have already launched their mayoral bids issued rebuttals criticizing Ms. Quinn’s address. Bill de Blasio was first out of the gate with a statement blasting Ms. Quinn for failing to live up to her main promise of “creating even greater opportunity for the middle class and those striving to get there.” Bill Thompson followed that with a statement that took Ms. Quinn to task for failing to specifically address the needs of outer borough communities that were most heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
“Speaker Quinn’s State of the City speech today contained a number of very interesting proposals that are worthy of further study,” Mr. Thompson began. “However, it’s important to acknowledge and recognize communities across New York that have been devastated by Sandy, including Rockaway, Red Hook, Coney or Midland Beach, as well as Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Brighton Beach, Breezy Point, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island, Tottenville, South Beach, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Sea Gate, Manhattan Beach, and City Island. We need a mayor with the leadership and vision to support every community in every corner of New York City.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has stepped up his criticism of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, one of his all-but-officially announced rivals in the mayor’s race. Following Ms. Quinn’s policy-laden State of the City address earlier today, Mr. de Blasio blasted out one of his most aggressive statements to date against her policies.
“Strengthening and expanding the middle class requires more than lofty words and playing an assigned role in the annual kabuki theater that our city budget process has become,” Mr. de Blasio said. “From paid sick leave to early childhood and after-school program expansion to small business advocacy, Speaker Quinn has partnered with Mayor Bloomberg in blocking programs that would make a real difference to the lives of working families. If the next four years at City Hall are simply a continuation of the last 12, we will have failed millions of forgotten New Yorkers who deserve a mayor who speaks for them.”
Without a doubt, Comptroller John Liu knows how to bring pomp and circumstance to his speeches.
Mr. Liu, a likely mayoral candidate next year, appeared to do everything he could to best the pageantry of his last “State of the City” speech–which he gave just ten months ago–where traditional Chinese lion dancers and gospel singers performed before he discussed the city’s financial outlook. This time, Mr. Liu’s pre-speech entertainment included a phalanx of elementary school children singing and dancing to tracks from American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips and High School Musical. But the party didn’t stop there.
Queens State Senator Tony Avella, often known to speak his mind, wrote a letter to the editor of his local Patch publication highly critical of the “new fad we are witnessing is the multitude of ‘State of the State’ and ‘State of the City’ addresses.”
“I am writing to voice my disdain with what I see as a new fad being used as a self-promotional tool amongst politicians who, quite often, are seeking higher office throughout this city and state,” Mr. Avella began, explaining while he has “no problem with the governor, mayors and heads of municipalities” giving addresses, he is concerned with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, and the various Borough Presidents all needing to give speeches of their own.
Embattled Comptroller and likely 2013 mayoral candidate John Liu started off his State of the City address today with a “shout out” to pioneering Chinese-American New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin.
“I’d like to give a shout out to someone who is not here in body, but he’s on everybody’s minds, a guy who’s been carrying the Knicks for the last couple of weeks; Jeremy Lin,” Mr. Liu said to a huge round of applause. “A Harvard graduate, he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the guy gets great headlines in the New York Post. I’ve got to get some tips from him.”
A compromise on the living wage bill–one that would insure that building service workers receive the salary bump–seems to be in the offing.
During the State of the City, Mike Bloomberg “seemed to relish diving into some of the most controversial subjects in the education world, including merit pay, teacher evaluations and a large increase in charter schools,” write David Chen and Anna Phillips.
Bob McManus sees the speech as a direct challenge to Andrew Cuomo and Shelly Silver.
Genting has hired an army of top lobbyists in the state to ease passage of legalized gambling, including Patricia Lynch, James Featherstonhaugh, Bradley Tusk and Jennifer Cunningham.