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From campaign finance reform in Albany to the Brooklyn district attorney's new reality show: Here's our news roundup for May 28, with stories from WNYC, The Daily News and The Associated Press.
Campaign Finance Reform Unlikely To Proceed In Albany (WNYC)
Next Mayor Facing $7.8 Billion Fiscal Cliff (Daily News)
Effort Emerges To Solve Local Government Crisis (Associated Press)
Cuomo Bickering With Canada Over 'Peace Bridge' (NY Times)
After what some advocates call years of inaction, the City Council has spent the last few months passing a series of bills aimed at helping veterans.
The flurry of legislative action comes at a time when the resources for veterans across the country are increasingly strained but the need for them is increasing as post-9/11 soldiers come home.
The latest bill to be passed by the Council directs each city agency to name a veterans' affairs liaison who would also work with the mayor's office to make sure former soldiers' needs are being met. Training would also be provided as needed for the liaisons. The bill passed 49-0 yesterday.
Sponsored by Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile, the bill follows up on a 2008 executive order from Mayor Michael Bloomberg the calls for the coordination of veterans services with the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs. Called ineffective by some, the order has fallen flat. The inaction prompted Gentile to propose Int. 0480, which already boasted 27 co-sponsors.
Gentile called the bill a benefit for both the city and veterans.
Anthony Weiner says he's going to run his mayoral campaign like he did during his first run for the office back in 2005: "light on endorsements and big bucks, but heavy on new plans for the city."
He does have nearly $5 million for his campaign and a booklet of 64 policy ideas, which draws from a similar document he distributed in 2009 outlining a bid for mayor that never happened.
A quick look back in the Gotham Gazette archives reveals that he did get a handful of endorsements the last time he ran — including from unions, elected officials and newspapers.
It's unclear whether he can win them over again.
His late entry in the race — and his tarnished reputation — may spoil his chances.
Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner got into the race for mayor yesterday, upending what has been widely described as an uninspired contest for City Hall.
He says he can win, too. But how? Weiner is more or less going it alone, without the many endorsements, strategists and other allies that help to support a campaign for mayor. Results from a Quinnipiac survey released yesterday show 49 percent of voters don't want him in the race. Of those polled, 52 percent of women say they don't want him to run. But polls also show him second in the race for the Democratic nomination, behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Weiner has other positive attributes: political chops, name recognition and about $5 million in his campaign account. Strategists tell Politico's Maggier Haberman that Weiner needs to convince New Yorkers that he has the judgment necessary to run a big city, following his sexting scandal.
In an editorial in the Daily News today, Weiner writes that he will make "new ideas" the focus of his mayoral campaign. "I hope that even New Yorkers who would never vote for me will join me in making sure that the campaign for the future mayor of this great city is a full-throated debate about real solutions," he wrote.
Rivals for the Democratic nomination welcomed him to the race — but not without taking digs at him. “He loves the cameras,” Sal Albanese, a Brooklyn candidate, told the Times. Former comptroller William Thompson's campaign sent out a fundraising email to supporters with the subject line "Anthony."
Once-powerful Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez has said he will resign from the Assembly this morning before his colleagues have the opportunity to expel him from the state Legislature.
Lopez had said on Friday that he woud finish out his term in June in spite of mounting calls for his immediate resignation following the release last week of a detailed report of sexual harassment allegations against him. A special prosecutor found no basis for bringing criminal charges against the 71-year-old political veteran last week.
Before the weekend, the Albany leadership began making plans for Lopez to depart sooner, with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver backing a resolution that could lead to Lopez's expulsion. But Lopez said Saturday he would leave today instead.
Political science Professor Doug Muzzio of Baruch College told The Associated Press that Lopez's resignation amounted to "partial deodorizing" of Albany. He added, "Albany needs more extensive and permanent disinfectant."
Lopez said in a statement Friday that he was innocent of the allegations against him, and was leaving office largely to focus on winning a seat in the City Council. The New York Post reported that Lopez has more than $1 million left in his state campaign account and could redirect some of those funds to his Council campaign.