Melissa Mark-Viverito Set to Hire Former State Senate Contender

Jay Otaño. (Photo: Facebook)
Jason Otaño. (Photo: Facebook)

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is set to hire Jason Otaño, an attorney and former candidate for the state senate and assembly, a spokesman for the office confirmed to the Observer.

Mr. Otaño will join the general counsel’s office of the City Council, though his exact title and salary have yet to be defined.

Continue reading “Melissa Mark-Viverito Set to Hire Former State Senate Contender”

Councilman Antonio Reynoso Vows to Stamp Out Irresponsible Development

As the new councilman for District 34, which includes Williamsburg and portions of Bushwick in Brooklyn and South Ridgewood in Queens, Councilman Antonio Reynoso personally understands the issues of his constituents.

He was born, bred and still lives in Williamsburg, a neighborhood he hopes never to leave. Plus, Mr. Reynoso spent seven years under the tutelage of his predecessor, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, working as her budget director, legislative director and, eventually, chief of staff until he quit to campaign for her seat.
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Gov. Cuomo Doesn’t Have ‘Any Plans as of Now’ to Call Special Elections

Four of the five vacant seats in New York City are in central and eastern Brooklyn.
Assembly map with the vacant senate district (No. 20) overlaid. Four of the five city vacancies are in central and eastern Brooklyn.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have any plans to fill vacant seats in the State Legislature through special elections, despite the approach of a new legislative session and many seats to fill.

“We don’t have any plans right now to call special elections,” Mr. Cuomo told Politcker at a Hurricane Sandy-related press conference on Staten Island today. Continue reading “Gov. Cuomo Doesn’t Have ‘Any Plans as of Now’ to Call Special Elections”

City Congressional Delegation Looks to Expand Its Electoral Influence

Nydia Velazquez. (Photo: Getty)
Nydia Velázquez. (Photo: Getty)

Members of New York City’s Congressional delegation, long relegated to the sidelines of local politics, are increasingly filling the void left by the declining influence of political party apparatchiks.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Brooklyn, home to Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio and his GOP rival Joe Lhota, as well as public advocate runoff contenders Letitia James and Daniel Squadron. The latest trend from the borough of hipsters, Hasidim and Caribbean homelands is the toppling of incumbents with the help of U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Nydia Velázquez.

Continue reading “City Congressional Delegation Looks to Expand Its Electoral Influence”

Redemption Seeking Pols Rejected En Masse

Anthony Weiner. (Photo: Getty)
Anthony Weiner. (Photo: Getty)

It was a rough night for redemption-seekers.

Four scandal-scarred candidates–Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Vito Lopez and Micah Kellner–all failed to win their bids last night, despite, in some of their cases, vaster war chests and soaring name recognition.

All four candidates succumbed to an onslaught of toxic press and apparent voter fatigue over the circus-like atmosphere of the election after Mr. Weiner and Mr. Spitzer jumped into the fray.

Continue reading “Redemption Seeking Pols Rejected En Masse”

Christine Quinn Stumps for Votes in Vito Lopez’s Backyard

Antonio Reynoso and Christine Quinn in Williamsburg.
Antonio Reynoso and Christine Quinn in Williamsburg.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn set out to do two things yesterday evening: gather Latino voters for her mayoral bid and undermine scandal-scarred Vito Lopez’s own campaign for the City Council.

Ms. Quinn, the one-time mayoral front-runner, trudged up and down Williamsburg staircases with Mr. Lopez’s electoral rival Antonio Reynoso, the 30 year-old former council staffer the Democratic establishment hopes can block Mr. Lopez from a second act in politics.

Continue reading “Christine Quinn Stumps for Votes in Vito Lopez’s Backyard”

Eliot Spitzer Says He Did ‘Great Things’ With Vito Lopez

Vito Lopez. (Art by Brian Taylor)
Vito Lopez. (Art by Brian Taylor)

After being forced to resigned after a lurid sexual harassment scandal that tarnished powerful Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, now-City Council candidate Vito Lopez has become the leper of the Democratic establishment, shunned by formerly loyal supporters and castigated in the harshest terms.

But ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who is locked in an increasingly negative race for comptroller, stands out as the rare candidate willing to offer a few kind words.

Continue reading “Eliot Spitzer Says He Did ‘Great Things’ With Vito Lopez”