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About to lose a major ally in Mayor Michael Bloomberg a group of business leaders and real estate groups have poured nearly $7 million into city council races. The Jobs For New York political action committee has spent $275,000 per council race on average in an effort to extend Bloomberg's pro-business policies past his term. The group has changed the dynamic of races that are normally based on community issues and connections. The PAC is organized by the Real Estate Board of New York that counts developers such as Larry Silverstein and Daniel Tishman as its members. Union's that would benefit from development projects are also part of the group. Tenants PAC, a group that represents tenant interests, has refused to endorse any candidate who refuses to condemn Jobs For New York.
CIty Dismisses Criticism of New 911 System (NY Times)
DOE Survey Finds High Approval For City Schools (Daily News)
De Blasio Warns Lhota Not to Run a Racially Divisive Campaign (NY Observer)
Bill De Blasio and Joe Lhota do Ferry Face Off (NY Observer)
De Blasio Holds Major Lead According to Polls
The polls have held nothing but good news for Bill de Blasio this week as the mayoral campaign heads into the final stretch to the primary. A New York Times, Siena College Poll found de Blasio leading the race by 32 percent followed by Bill Thompson with 18 percent and former frontrunner Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 17 percent. The poll found de Blasio leading other candidates among men, women young and old as well as those who think the city is headed in a positive direction and those who think it is headed in a negative direction. The poll does not hold good news for Quinn as it finds that 45 percent of likely Democratic voters view her unfavorably. De Blasio and Thompson have 17 and 16 percent unfavorability ratings, respectively. A Quinnipiac Poll released on Wednesday found de Blasio with a 38 percent lead over his opponents.
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IDC May Back Richard Brodsky to Challenge Senate Democratic Leader (Lower Hudson Journal)
Public Advocate Bill de Blaso's plan to tax the wealthy to pay for pre kindergarten and afterschool programs has come under attack by his opponents in the mayoral race, espeicially by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The plan has also been questioned by editorial boards--including The New York Times'. But a group of legislators came forward today to support de Blasio's plan. They sent a letter to Quinn pledging that they will work to pass the tax hike in Albany and also scolding Quinn for criticizing some of de Blasio's talking points.
De Blasio's and his plans have been targeted by his opponents has he has surged in the polls. A recent Quinnipiac Poll found de Blasio at 36 percent--close to the range of support he would need to avoid a runoff.
The letter signed by Sens. Liz Krueger, Bill Perkins, James Sanders and Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda. It is worth noting that the three Senators are in the minority in their chamber and have no control of whether the bill comes to a vote.
Here is the letter:
The City Council is scheduled to vote today on overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg's vetoes of two bills designed to restrict the New York Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk. A bill that would create an inspector general to oversee the New York Police Department is expected to be enacted today but the second measure that would increase the ability to sue the NYPD for racial profiling is less likely to become law. The second bill initially passed with 34 vote--the minimum number needed to override a veto. If one council member is convinced not to vote to override the veto will stand. Members have been targeted by Bloomberg and police unions on the issue. Council President Christine Quinn said at a mayoral debate last night that she expects both overrides to succeed.
Family Trust Offers Possible Clues to How Spitzer Would Invest Funds (NY Times)
De Blasio Target at Mayoral Debate (NY Times)
Union Works Around Campaign Laws For Liu Ads (Daily News)
Quinn and De Blasio Neck and Neck
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's momentum continues to build in the race for New York City mayor according to a new Wall Street Journal-NBC 4-Marist survey. De Blasio is now in a tie with Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 24 percent according to the poll that shows de Blasio has jumped 7 percentage points with likely voters since last month. The poll puts Bill Thompson in third with 18 percent followed by Anthony Weiner and John Liu. The poll indicates that a Democratic runoff is very likely. If no candidate reaches 40 percent in the primary a runoff is triggered. The poll shows that de Blasio who is married to a black woman and features his black son in a recent television spot has won the support of many black voters since last month.
Bill Lynch Remembered By Those He Mentored (NY Times)
Cuomo's Developer Donations
The New York Daily News reported today that Gov. Andrew Cuomo received $76,000 in donations from real estate developers just weeks before signing legislation that gave tax breaks to their properties. Three partners at Fisher Brothers donated $25,000 each to Cuomo on Dec. 27 of last year. Cuomo signed legislation giving tax breaks to their properties at New York Curb Exchange and 86 Trinity Place on Jan. 30. The Daily News reported last week that Extell Development Co. gave Cuomo $100,000 a few days before he signed the bill that gives creates $35 million in tax breaks on their One57 luxury apartment tower. The Moreland Commission that Cuomo created to investigate corruption has subpoenaed the five companies that received tax breaks from the bill. Cuomo administration officials say that the bill was supported by the city and wasn't their focus. The News writes however that legislators claims they don't know who inserted the tax breaks for the five subpoenaed companies.
Will BOE Struggle Through Mayoral Election? (Talking Points Memo)
Anthony Weiner said more dirt about his Internet sex life would come out during his mayoral campaign and boy was he right. This week the revelation that Weiner had the sort of online sexual relationships with women that led to his resignation even after he resigned from office forced the Weiner campaign into damage control. The revelations had a major impact in public opinion according to a Marist Pollthat showed his support dropping to 16 percent with his negatives at an all-time-high. Council Speaker Christine Quinn now leads the pack with 25 percent with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson at 14 percent. Weiner admitted on Thursday to having three explicit online relationships with women even after he resigned his seat in Congress. Weiner has said he will continue with his campaign.
911 Staffers Under Major Pressure (NY Post)
Amid Hospital's Turmoil, a Man Disappears (NY Times)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new plan to get storm-ravaged communities to work together in planning their futures during his NY Rising: Storm Recovery Conference in Albany yesterday. The 102 communities impacted by flooding across the state will be eligible for up to $750 million in combined state and federal aid. “What does the community think is the best approach to rebuild?" asked Cuomo. "And what are the best ideas and what is the best vision and let’s fund the community’s vision rather than ask the community to fit in the template that’s established from up above.” The Cuomo administration unveiled a website designed to help communities apply for the program and to find out how much recovery funding they are eligible for. You can watch a video of the conference here.
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Living Wage Law Beats Expectations, Backers Say (Crain's)
Bloomberg, Cuomo Taking Rafting Race Seriously (Wall Street Journal)
City Posts Biggest 6-Month Job Growth Since 2000 (Crain's)
It took an ambulance 31 minutes to respond after a Council intern fainted from heat stroke during a press conference with Christine Quinn. A Jewish volunteer ambulance brought the intern to the hospital before the FNDY ambulance arrived, despite it being a day of fasting. 911 relayed the multiple calls with no issues but was overloaded with nearly a third more calls than normal due to the heat. The incident was originally rated as a medium priority. Quinn, who called Commissioner Kelly for help and met with the FDNY commissioner later about the incident, said the city wasn't prepared for the heatwave and called for an increase in emergency vehicles.
Obama: Kelly 'Well-Qualified' To Lead Homeland Security (Reuters)
Wealthy Technology Executive Will Enter Mayor’s Race (NY Times)
Charities Haven't Spent $240 Million of $575 Million In Sandy Contributions (NY Times)
Spitzer Collects 27,000 Signatures
Eliot Spitzer filed 27,000 petition signatures with the Board of Election last night in his bid to get on the Democratic line for New York City Comptroller. Spitzer announced his run with only 4 days left to file signatures. His opponent, should at least 3,750 of his signagutes stand up to scrutiny, Scott Stringer filed 100,000 signatures. Stringer's camp and allies areexpected to mount challenges to some of the signatures. Spitzer's campaign paid some signature seekers $800 a day leading up to the Thursday deadline. Experts think Spitzer will make for interesting news for quite some time to come.
Gotham Votes 2013: We've got your elections news! From now until November, we'll be curating the races, from the Bronx to Staten Island. And, as we get closer to the primary on Sept. 20, look out for expanded information on the candidates and the issues.
Cuomo's Moreland Commission Meets Behind Closed Doors (Albany Times Union)
Christine Quinn yesterday said she wants to impose health standards on meals marketed towards kids at chain restaurants. She said those meals should meet the guidelines set by the USDA for school lunches. The standards would apply to chains with at least 15 locations in the city. The change would be made either through legislation, which she may try to pass while still council speaker, or through rules adopted by the Board of Health if she's elected mayor. The proposal was one part of a plan to combat childhood obesity.
Silver Kills Own Ban On Confidential Settlements (Daily News)
Officials Knew 911 Was 'Losing' Calls (Daily News)
Panel To Review Up To 50 Convictions (NY Times)
Bloomberg Administration Looks to Block Police Bills
The office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg is moving to stoptwo bills passed by the council yesterday that would make it easier to sue the New York Police Department over profiling and one that would create more oversight for the agency. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have characterized the bills as undermining of the NYPD. The Mayor’s office hopes to veto the profiling legislation that passed with only the minimum votes required to override a veto. The bill creating an NYPD inspector general passed by what seems an insurmountable number for the Bloomberg administration. The Bloomberg administration will put its influence to the test over the next few weeks as Bloomberg serves out the end of his term.
Some See Conspiracy in Number of Minority Lawmakers Caught up in Scandal (NY Times)
De Blasio Faces Major Setback With Hotel Trade Endorsement (Daily News)
Weiner Challenging Quinn For Gay Vote (Daily News)
A new poll finds Anthony Weiner at the top of the pack in the Democratic field. A Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll shows him moving ahead of Christine Quinn, garnering support from 25 percent of registered Democrats polled, compared with Quinn's 20 percent. In a runoff between just the two candidates, voters chose Quinn, however. It would seem many are ready to forgive his sexting escapades.
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Court Ruling On Voting Act May Affect City (NY Times)
City School Chiefs Get Informal Job Checks (Wall Street Journal)
Today the Supreme Court struck down what a number of observers call the "heart" of the Voting Rights Act. The move has shocked and angered a number of New York politicians who say the Act is essential to fair elections.
Chris Bragg of Crain's Insider Blog has a solid piece cataloging just how New York City will be impacted by the decision. In the long run the decision will change how district lines are drawn for city council and state legislature. The city will also be able to use lever voting machines without federal approval.
Here are a few statements:
From Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Robert Jackson and Fernando Cabrera:
Cuomo to Investigate Legislature
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that he could not come to terms with the state legislature on campaign finance reform and anti-corruption legislation and as a result will empanel a Moreland Commission to investigate campaign finance practices at the State Board of Election. Cuomo has long threatened such a move but after a session marred by multiple indictments of sitting legislators on federal corruption charges, Cuomo pledged he is prepared to act. Cuomo said a deal with the legislature failed because he felt they wanted to police themselves. A Moreland Commission would not be able to prosecute legislators but could refer cases. "I want to restore a level of trust," said Cuomo.
Teachers' Union Backs Thompson's Bid For Mayor (NY Times)
State Expected to Reduce Role of Long Island Power Authority (NY Times)
Cuomo's Women's Agenda Stalls
In an attempt to gain support from Senate Republicans Gov. Andrew Cuomo and women's advocates offered an amendment to the abortion plank of his 10-point women's agenda yesterday. The amendment made it clear that the bill that creates an affirmative right to abortion "as established by the United States Supreme Court in the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade" would not allow for partial-birth abortions or interfere with the federal ban on them. Cuomo and advocates have insisted that all 10 points must be voted on as a whole. Republicans and members of the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference have said they would vote on 9 of the points that include measures to assure pay equity, tough penalties for sexual harassment and domestic violence. The amendment was dismissed by Republicans on Thursday who have insisted the bill will not come to a vote.
Candidates Support Staten Island R Train (Capital)
Weiner Claims he Coined 'Obamacare' (NY Times)
"What I can tell you is we’re going to have a woman mayor," City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn declared with confidence at City Hall yesterday.
She was, of course, speaking about herself, as she recognized the endorsement of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women.
"If you look at my record and what I've done on issues that matter to all New Yorkers, and issues that matter particular to women, I don’t think anyone else in the race has the same kind of record that I do," Quinn, who is running for the Democratic nomination, said.
With less than 100 days to the primary election, mayoral candidates have been announcing endorsements almost daily. The endorsement from NOW-NYC is important for Quinn, since she has been criticized in the past for holding up the passage of a paid sick leave law that was supported by prominent women activists.
Quinn managed to hammer out a deal on the bill in March, and the Council passed it 45-to-3 in spite of the mayor's promise to veto it (he did last week).
Bill Thompson isn't scared by poor showings in recent polls.
In recent polls from both Quinnipiac and Marist College, the former comptroller and second-time mayoral candidate has stayed in the low double digits while former Congressman Anthony Weiner creeps up and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tumbles downwards.
"I've yet to see the polls be particularly accurate," Thompson said. "They've been inaccurate through most of my career and many of the elections that I've seen, they've been incredibly inaccurate. This is about Sept. 10 and the primary. That'll be the great indicator."
Whether or not the polls are inaccurate, Thompson continues to shore up support from both Latino elected leaders and long-time New York political stalwarts. The latest came earlier today from former Congressman Herman Badillo.
Badillo was the first Puerto Rican to serve as Bronx borough president and as U.S. House representative. He also served as a deputy mayor to former Mayor Ed Koch. The 83-year-old joined Thompson in East Harlem today to announce his endorsement.
A group of corporate leaders and real estate executives, concerned about the departure of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, plan to spend up to $10 million in City Council races this year to make sure electeds are business friendly. The Jobs For New York political action committee will direct donations to pro-business Council candidates from both parties because the City Council has major sway over development but also because the mayoral race is so uncertain. The Council will have 21 open seats this year mostly due to term limits. Good government advocates say the group could change the way Council campaigns are run. “The entire point of a City Council race is to reflect the needs of the neighborhoods in a district,” Susan Lerner of Common Cause told The New York Times. “This undercuts the neighborhood-based nature of a district and replaces neighborhood concerns with industry concerns.”
Bloomberg's Gun Stance Makes Him Lightning Rod (NY Times)
Mayoral Candidates Clash Over Transfer Station (Daily News)
Quinn Says City Workers Need Help WIth Health Care Costs (Daily News)
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner's entry into the mayoral race ate into City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's lead among likely Democratic voters, a new poll shows.
A Marist College poll released today showed that despite a 4 percentage point drop from April, Quinn still has a command across the Democratic spectrum: liberals, conservatives and moderates. She also came out in front across most of the boroughs, save for Brooklyn. However, where Quinn falls short is in loyalty among voters, proving that the race is still hers to lose.
Of those who said that they support Quinn, almost three out of four Democratic respondents said that they somewhat support her or might vote differently come the September primary. That's good news to the whole slate of candidates, potentially even more so for Weiner.
Weiner actually enjoyed the highest bump after he announced his candidacy last week, up 4 percentage points to 19 from his 15 percent in April. Despite Quinn's drop in the poll to 24 percent from last month's 26 percent, he still trailed the speaker by five points.
Weiner did have a lead on Quinn in his home borough of Brooklyn, although Public Advocate Bill de Blasio isn't too far behind. Fresh off a spate of labor endorsements, De Blasio inched up 1 percentage point among Democrats citywide. He also barely edges out former Comptroller Bill Thompson — who remains steady at 11 percent.