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State Government Editor of The Gotham Gazette
Thompson Faces Pressure to Bow Out
New York City's Democratic power brokers moved quickly after Tuesday's primary to pressure second-place finisher Bill Thompson to avoid a runoff with first-place finisher Bill de Blasio. “I don’t think there’s much appetite within the Democratic Party to have a fight here,” Merryl Tisch, Thompson's campaign chair, told The New York Times. Rev. Al Sharpton also encouraged Thompson to abandon his bid. De Blasio finished election night with 40.3 percent of the vote--just over the threshold to avoid a runoff but paper ballots have yet to be tallied. Thompson has said he wants to make sure every vote is counted but the city's board of election won't begin counting paper ballots until next week. Labor groups quickly moved to consolidate their support around de Blasio on Wednesday. Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota would likely benefit from a bruising runoff battle between Thompson and de Blasio.
Other Stories We're Following
Brooklyn DA Loses Despite Legacy (NY Times)
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)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters yesterday that he won't weigh in on the New York City mayoral primary after receiving multiple questions about Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund school programs. "I am going to stay out of the New York City mayoral," Cuomo said. "Let's find out who the mayor is and what policies they actually put forth, and then let's take a look at them and consider them, and we'll have an opinion." De Blasio, who has a long relationship with Cuomo, has publically pressured Cuomo on plans to save a number of failing Brooklyn hospitals. Cuomo has avoided major appearances in the city this summer--including the West Indian Day Parade. Cuomo has held numerous events upstate and in Western New York. Some pundits see Cuomo's reluctance to engage in the race as a way for him to avoid having his name associated with the likes of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer. Cuomo told reporters yesterday that things aren't that complicated. "I'm not registered to vote in New York City, so I don't think it's a situation where it's appropriate for me to express a preference."
Bike Lanes May Be Increasing Traffic Speed (NY Times)
Looking For a Mayor Who Is a Friend to Immigrants (NY Times)
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.
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: