The Puerto Rican news site El Nuevo Dia just published an account of an interview an Argentine woman who claims to be a childhood sweetheart of the newly-elected Pope Francis gave to reporters today. In the interview, the woman, who is named only as “Amalia,” said she had a relationship with Pope Francis when he was about 12-years-old and he told her, “If I don’t marry you, I’m entering the priesthood.” Read More
Andrew Cuomo is among the mourners attending Ed Koch’s funeral today in Manhattan, but the governor and his family didn’t always enjoy the best relationship with the former mayor.
Koch ran against Governor Cuomo’s father, Mario, twice. They first faced off when Koch made it to City Hall in the 1977 mayoral election. In 1982, Koch ran for governor and was defeated by the elder Mr. Cuomo. The 1977 campaign included an incident where posters alluding to the widespread rumors about Mr. Koch’s sexuality by proclaiming “Vote For Cuomo, Not The Homo” were placed all along Queens Boulevard.
This situation evidently caused a lasting rift between Koch and the Cuomos. However in one of his final interviews with Politicker, Koch explained the signs weren’t among the reasons he initially had issues with Cuomo the younger. Read More
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch has had an influence in Hollywood as well as the Big Apple. Before coming to City Hall, Mr. Koch spent eight years in the House of Representatives. One of his staffers was Nikki Finke, who went on to become one of the most influential and feared reporters in the entertainment industry and, according to Ms. Finke, her time working with the future mayor in Congress helped inspire her to become a journalist. Read More
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, an all-but-officially announced mayoral hopeful, has prominently featured his wife Chirlane McCray in his campaign literature and on his web site. Despite Ms. McCray’s front-and-center role in his campaign, for which she also serves as an unpaid advisor, one aspect of her life has thus far remained out of the public eye.
Prior to meeting Mr. de Blasio, Ms. McCray identified as a lesbian and had several long-term relationships with other women. In a seven-page essay she wrote for the September 1979 issue of Essence magazine entitled “I am a Lesbian” she frankly discussed her sexuality and expressed gratitude that she came to terms with her preference for women before marrying a man.
“I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman” Ms. McCray wrote. “Coming to terms with my life as a lesbian has been easier for me than it has been for many. Since I don’t look or dress like the typical bulldagger, I have a choice as to whether my sexual preference is known.” Read More
With the Romney campaign blasting President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy in the wake of the new jobs report, the Obama campaign has continued their attack on Mitt Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 until 2007. Pennsylvania Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and several local Massachusetts politicians held a conference call this afternoon arguing Mr. Romney “failed Massachusetts.”
“Mitt Romney’s made his business experience a centerpiece of his campaign for president and he claims that the experience and the lessons he learned would result in economic growth for this country,” Ms. Schwartz said. “Yet when you look at his experience and record as the Governor of Massachusetts at a critical time, you can see that it did not work. It failed Massachusetts at that time and it would fail this country as well at a time when economic growth is obviously of keen interest to all of us.” Read More
This morning, Buzzfeed published excerpts from Dave Maraniss’ upcoming biography of Barack Obama that detail the president’s usage of marijuana in high school and his years at Occidental College. Mr. Maraniss revealed some of the common names for pot stains in Hawaii, the specific weed slang employed by President Obama and his buddies at Punahou high school and their preferred smoking soundtrack (Blue Oyster Cult, Stevie Wonder and Aerosmith).
Though the excerpts from Mr. Maraniss’ book have generated considerable excitement among the chattering classes, the president has admitted to youthful drug use for years now and, in the past, former classmates have described it as a relatively small part of his life. Read More
Mitt Romney’s family has been a prominent presence in business, politics and Mormonism, since the mid-19th century, but the first famous Romney rose to prominence in the art world. George Romney, Mr. Romney’s great great great great grandfather, was a renowned British portraitist whose work hangs in museums around the world including the Louvre and the Met. Read More
The Washington Post may have found a bunch of former high school classmates of Mitt Romney’s who remember him bullying, pranking and giving forced haircuts to fellow students, but the Romney campaign dug up some others who have a different recollection of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The campaign distributed a pair of statements from a pair of prep school chums who have positive memories of Mr. Romney this afternoon.
“Mitt never had a malicious bone in his body–trying to imply or characterize him as a bully is absurd,” said former Cranbrook Schools student John French in his statement distributed by the campaign. Read More
To hear Charlie Rangel tell it, he received his congressional district in 1970 as a birthday present from Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Mr. Rangel described his gift from the governor in a little noticed portion of his 2007 autobiography, And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since. It’s an interesting tale to revisit in light of the current race for Mr. Rangel’s seat and the furor over the shape of the district that defined this year’s redistricting process.
It was a summer day and the man who is now the fourth most senior in the the House of Representatives was in his second term as a New York State assemblyman and preparing to make a run for Congress against a powerful incumbent, Adam Clayton Powell. Mr. Rockefeller called Mr. Rangel to an office in the State Capitol building in Albany.
“There were all these guys on the floor poring over a map of the state of New York. They had slide rules and string, and grease pencils and data about the population of the various counties and cities from the recent census,” Mr. Rangel wrote. “They were actually drawing the congressional district reapportionment lines for the 1970 elections.”
Mr. Rockefeller smiled, wished him happy birthday and handed him a pencil.
“I proceeded to draw myself a wicked district in Manhattan,” Mr. Rangel wrote. Read More
Assemblyman Dov Hikind was not happy with the new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition of Gertrude Stein’s art collection. Mr. Hikind, a leader in the Orthodox Jewish community, has been harping on the Met to modify the exhibit with a note explaining it “was owned and collected by fascist/Nazi-collaborator Gertrude Stein.” After teaming up with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to raise the issue at a meeting with museum officials this morning, Mr. Hikind said he was able to convince the Met to add a note about Stein’s relationship to the Nazis.
“Visitors have the right to know that this collection exists because Gertrude Stein sold her soul; that she lived in comfort, aiding the Nazi cause while her fellow Jews were being robbed, tortured and murdered,” Mr. Hikind said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for accepting the historical accountability of full disclosure. I also want to thank Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for joining me in correcting this glaring omission.” Read More