Charles in Charge
Into Left Field
His lame-duck status on the City Council certainly has not tempered the fiery Charles Barron.
The term-limited Brooklyn Councilman blasted Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and the City Council’s Progressive Caucus in an interview on NY1′s Road to City Hall last night, accusing Mr. de Blasio of being a faux-liberal and the caucus of reinforcing a white male power structure.
Last night Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio was again the darling of the left.
Headlining a Brooklyn fund-raiser for the group New York Communities for Change, Mr. de Blasio was hailed as a progressive hero and the fruit of a more than decade-long battle by labor groups, grassroots organizations and the Working Families Party to crown one of their own.
After losing the Democratic primary for City Council last month, Assemblyman Micah Kellner has filed paperwork indicating his intention to run in the general–this time on the Working Families Party line.
According to a certificate of active candidacy filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, Mr. Kellner has raised sufficient funds and has also entered into an agreement with a firm to produce mailers for the campaign.
Although the chaotic Democratic mayoral primary has ended with Bill de Blasio emerging the victor, the race to replace the public advocate is just ramping up.
The October 1 runoff between Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James and State Senator Daniel Squadron is widely seen as a tossup by political insiders, who note each Democrat carries glaring strengths and weaknesses into the contest. While Ms. James has a broad labor coalition and would be the only non-white Democrat to win a nomination, Mr. Squadron has enjoyed a fund-raising advantage and solid debate performances thus far.
Taking Care of Business
Democratic leaders and labor unions are making it very clear they do not want a runoff election.
Standing before the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall, a mass of elected officials and unions, including the labor-backed Working Families Party, officially endorsed Public Advocate Bill de Blasio for mayor today.
They join Rev. Al Sharpton and other labor leaders who announced their support for Mr. de Blasio yesterday.
Secrets and subterfuge
Jobs for New York, a political action committee dedicated to electing pro-development City Council candidates, rolled out a new round of endorsements today.
The PAC, founded as a partial counterweight to the left-leaning Working Families Party, has raised at least $5 million and has said it intends to spend up to $10 million on independent expenditures in support of its chosen candidates.
In a scathing letter to labor unions and progressive political clubs, Democratic Councilman Lew Fidler accused fellow Democrat Igor Oberman, who is seeking to represent a neighboring district, of leaking information to his one-time Republican opponent.
Mr. Fidler entered a hotly-contested special election for the State Senate last year, losing by only 13 votes. One of the contributing factors to the loss, Mr. Fidler said, was Mr. Oberman passing along campaign secrets to his GOP rival, David Storobin. Mr. Fidler argued that these actions should disqualify Mr. Oberman, who has positioned himself as the most left-wing candidate in his southern Brooklyn City Council race.
“Igor Oberman purported to support me. In actuality, he was a ‘mole’ inside my campaign for Storobin,” Mr. Fidler charged.
The influential 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers Union weighed in on two City Council races today, boosting Brooklyn’s Carlos Menchaca and the Bronx’s Ritchie Torres, in their bid for office this year.
“Carlos Menchaca has the background, experience, and judgment working people need in the City Council,” Kevin Finnegan, 1199′s political director, said in a statement. “A product of Bronx public housing and Bronx public schools, Ritchie Torres reflects the community he is running to represent in City Hall,” he said in another
Last night, the labor-backed Working Families Party announced their support in a host of races across the city, beginning with Tish James for public advocate and working their way down to open-seat council campaigns.
The endorsement for Ms. James, a Brooklyn councilwoman, is particularly notable because, with a less sizable campaign war chest than her top rivals, Ms. James’ strategy relies on unifying union forces. There are two other citywide races this year, but without a strong labor consensus for mayor and a virtually uncontested race for comptroller, the public advocate competition is relatively unique.
Over the weekend, the influential Working Families Party announced their support in a number of key races across the city, sending a signal of labor support as candidates vie for a seat in the City Council next year.
“New Yorkers have a huge opportunity to decide the direction of our city. It’s time to choose whether we’ll be a city that caters to the rich and powerful 1%, or whether New York City can work for all of us,” Bill Lipton, the party’s deputy director, said in a statement. “Every day New Yorkers can count on WFP-endorsed candidates to stand up for all of us.”