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Gotham Votes 2013

Court Ruling Clears Way For Unlimited PAC Spending For Lhota


A PAC supporting Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota can now receive donations that exceed the $150,000 limit under state law.

A three-judge panel today overturned a lower court’s decision preventing the New York Progress and Protection PAC from receiving contributions that exceed the state’s maximum. As a result, the political action committee can now make unlimited independent expenditures in the mayoral race. By law, PACs can’t coordinate with candidates.

Read more: Court Ruling Clears Way For Unlimited PAC Spending For Lhota

Lhota and De Blasio Attack Each Other in 2nd Debate

In a blistering second debate last night, Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota attacked each other on public safety, taxes and the legacies of the mayors they once served.

“When you go to vote on Nov. 5,” asked Republican and former subways chief Lhota in his closing statement, “do you want your vote to be safe or sorry?”

Democrat De Blasio, the outgoing public advocate, finessed his parting thoughts differently.

“We need a safe city and we need a fair city,” de Blasio said.

Read more: Lhota and De Blasio Attack Each Other in 2nd Debate

It Ain’t Easy Being Green


ALBANY, N.Y. — In a country nearly 8,000 miles away from the United States, being a member of the Green Party carries no stigma, no automatic dismissal by the press or pollsters, no brushoff from other parties.

Instead, what set Lynne Serpe apart in New Zealand, where she worked as a national voting reform coordinator, was her American accent. It made her so recognizable she didn’t have to introduce herself on the phone. But it wasn’t just the novelty of being an American that made her an important player in politics.

Serpe said that New Zealand regularly has five political parties at the negotiating table — including the one she belongs to: the Green Party. “And they get things done,” said Serpe, who helped set up instant runoff voting in the island nation and did advocacy for Green Party legislators.

Serpe hopes her work on community initiatives — not her accent — will help her stand out to voters in Queens’ 22nd City Council District as she campaigns as the Green Party candidate to replace Peter Vallone. Serpe is involved in a number of grassroots initiatives, food scrap recycling programs, works as a consultant to the Queens Library and already ran for the seat in 2009, garnering nearly 34 percent of the vote.

Read more: It Ain’t Easy Being Green

Campaign Trail: Weekend Update

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has a lot of ground to cover before the general election in two weeks, and some GOP observers aren’t confident that the former MTA chief’s campaign has the political wherewithal to pull it off. [NYDN]

Lhota disagreed, adding that “comments from the cheap seats mean nothing.” [NYDN]

Meanwhile, Lhota also tweeted to another Daily News report that his Democratic rival Bill de Blasio had a front row seat to the Crown Heights riots in 1991, when de Blasio was an aide in Mayor David Dinkins’ administration. [NYDN]

“It doesn't appear from the Daily News piece that de Blasio played any major part in the city's response to the riots,” wrote the Village Voice. [Village Voice]

Political consultant and former Koch advisor Luis Miranda told WNYC that Indepdendece Party candidate Adolfo Carrion’s dragging campaign for mayor belies his former political promise: “ I just thinking leaving the Democratic party killed his chances of being in elected office.” [WNYC]

De Blasio Tries To Link Lhota To Nat'l GOP In Mayoral Debate

In their first televised mayoral debate, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio tried to link rival Republican Joe Lhota to the national GOP brand that has been attacked for its role in the federal government shutdown.

Throughout the hour-long debate at WABC-TV studios on the Upper West Side on Tuesday night, de Blasio put Lhota on the defensive about the rival candidate’s ties to the national Republican Party. Lhota tried to beat back.

Read more: De Blasio Tries To Link Lhota To Nat'l GOP In Mayoral Debate

You May Have To Squint To Read The Ballot

The ballots for November's election will be printed in 6-point font, the smallest size ever used by the city's Board of Elections.

The font size is so small that board officials say they may offer anyone struggling to read the ballot specialized devices typically used by people who are visually impaired.

“This was the best decision we could make in this election cycle considering the challenges we were facing with the complexity of the ballot,” Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan said at the meeting.

Read more: You May Have To Squint To Read The Ballot

6 Proposals On November's Ballot And What They Mean

Besides picking a new mayor, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to approve or reject six ballot measures this year. Voters are being asked to decide on upstate land disputes, whether to approve an extension for how long certain state judges can serve on the bench and whether to allow up to seven casinos to be built. Since there are so many questions about the proposals, we here at the Gazette thought it might be helpful to provide readers with a look at the questions in advance and provide some context so that you won’t be left scratching your head at the polls.

Here are the ballot measures in order as they will appear on Nov. 5:

Read more: 6 Proposals On November's Ballot And What They Mean

Campaign Trail: Weekend Update

Republican GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota battles "spillover effect" from Republican-led shutdown of federal government. (Newsday)

Lhota's plan for downsizing government. (Crain's New York)

Over the weekend, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio labeled himself first as a "fiscal conservative" and then as a "fiscally responsible progressive." "I am a progressive, I am an activist, I’m also fiscally cautious,” de Blasio said. (The New York Post)

Business and real estate interests foresee battle with de Blasio over living wage. (Wall Street Journal)

De Blasio's fundraising soars. (The New York Times)

De Blasio and Lhota celebrated the Rev. Al Sharpton's 59th birthday with him at his organization's headquarters in Harlem on Saturday. De Blasio got a standing ovation; Lhota did not. (The Daily News)

Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who lost the Democratic primary for the 5th City Council District, filed papers indicating he intended to run in the general election on the Working Families Party line. (Politicker)

De Blasio's victory is "a reminder that through some inexplicable emanation, certain New York mayors have caught perfectly the gestalt of the city." (New York Review of Books)




Baruch to Host Conference on Ballot Measures

Baruch College will host a Justice League-style gathering of state government experts on Tuesday for a discussion of the state constitution and the six ballot proposals voters get to decide on this November. Some of those amendments include a measure that would allow the state to sanction up to seven new casinos, another would allow certain judges to serve to the age of 80 and another asks whether the state should engage in a land exchange with a mining company.

Read more: Baruch to Host Conference on Ballot Measures

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