Former Governor Eliot Spitzer was mobbed by an army of reporters as he made his first campaign appearance this afternoon, five years after resigning from office amid a prostitution scandal.
Mr. Spitzer, carrying a clipboard with a single petitioning sheet, was swarmed by dozens of cameras in front of the Union Square subway station and then trailed through the green market as he attempted to gather petition signatures from voters. Also in the crushing crowd was at least one heckler, who shouted obscenities as Mr. Spitzer took questions for more than an hour, sweat dripping down his face.
On Wednesday, Anthony Weiner became the latest official to embark on the “Food Stamp Challenge,” where privileged politicians live on just $31.08 a week–or $1.48 per meal–to raise awareness of the hardships faced by those living in poverty.
“In New York City, there’s an enormous amount of need right under our nose,” said Mr. Weiner, who intends to participate for a week, and said he started the day with nothing but a cup of tea for breakfast–which he’d dunked repeatedly to try to capture maximum caffeine.
That might explain why Mr. Weiner–usually brimming with confidence and at no loss for words–seemed strangely unprepared, requesting a press release from his spokeswoman and reading directly from the page until he found his groove in the midst of the pricey green market in Union Square, surrounded by $6 pints of strawberries, $8 rhubarb pies and artisanal cheeses that likely wouldn’t last him through the day.
With horns honking, drums pounding, cowbells jangling and even a mariachi-esque band playing, a diverse group of organizations gathered in Union Square in the late afternoon yesterday to protest low wages as part of the New York Workers Rising Day of Action.
30 groups–including the Utility Workers Union of America, Make the Road New York, Local 338, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union–mingled together united in their discontent. The last time wages had been raised was three years ago to the day.
“Is the product worth more than the worker?” the speaker hollered into the crowd.