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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

The Eye-Opener

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Today is primary day in the city. To find out who the candidates are, what offices they're running for, and which parties and districts they're in, check our Guide To The Last Minute Voter. You can view information on specific candidates or whole races, read exclusive interviews, find out what district you reside in, and more. Make sure you have all the details you need before heading to the polls.

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Other Stories We're Following

Four Major Candidates Vie For New York Public Advocate Job (NY Times)

Kelly Says Mayoral Candidates Overlook Terror Threats (NY Times)

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The final debate for the Democratic candidates for mayor last night was used primarily as a means to attack Bill de Blasio, who has become the front runner in the polls. He was hit on issues like his support for a tax hike on the rich to pay for prekindergarten classes - which his opponents point out needs Albany's approval. De Blasio was attacked for supporting expansion of term limits when he was running for Speaker. His late support for a living wage bill was another source of contention, as was his acceptance of earmarks. The candidates did, however, elaborate on their stances towards union contract negotiations a bit. De Blasio said the city couldn't afford to give the unions all the retroactive raises they want, while most of them said they wouldn't raise taxes to pay the workers. The NY Times published a useful fact checking piece for their claims throughout the debate here.

Other Stories We're Following

Bloomberg Sues Council Over NYPD Profiling Law (Daily News)

What Can The Next Mayor Do About Affordable Housing? (Capital)

City’s Unionized Workers Are Mostly Minorities, Study Shows (NY Times)

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Whoever the next mayor may be, one of the biggest issues they'll need to handle will be working out deals on all the expired labor union contracts, the Wall Street Journal points out today. Although it's not exactly breaking news, the issue hasn't been much of a headline-grabber during this campaign season of sex scandals and intimate revelations. Critics say that Democratic candidates have voiced little substance on the issue, while Republicans have taken a hard line. The issues include years of retroactive raises, and having employees pay a larger percent of their health coverage. The stakes are high - in the billions and lasting years - and other municipalities may look to the city as a model.

Other Stories We're Following

In Mayoral Race, Attacking Real Estate But Taking Its Cash (NY Times)

Still Struggling From Sand, Rockaway Loses Half Its Summer Beach-Goers (WNYC)

Sandy's 'Freaky' Path May Be Less Likely In Future (Associated Press)

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The city asked a judge to put a freeze on her ruling that stop-and-frisk practices be overhauled and a monitor for the NYPD be installed until its appeal of the decision was heard. In the administration's request, numbers were cited showing a significant drop in the stops. Mayor Bloomberg will also begin making public weekly updates on crime statistics. Meanwhile, Commissioner Kelly announced that the number of people shot by police dropped to 18 this year compared with 22 at this point last year. In related news, the NYPD has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorism organizations.

Other Stories We're Following

Push To Keep State's Teens Out Of Adult Court (City Limits)

49 New Transit Apps Unveiled For 2013 MTA App Quest (WNYC)

Rikers Island Guards To Receive Increased Training After Bloody Brawl (Daily News)

Bloomberg’s Plan For Bigger East Midtown Tower Criticized (NY Times)

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Councilman Brad Lander is proposing legislation aimed at cracking down on spending by outside groups in city races. Such "independent expenditures" exploded following the Citizens United court decision, which allows near-unlimited spending, as long as the groups don’t directly co-ordinate with campaigns. Lander's plan would close a loophole that allows corporations to spend lavishly on candidates through LLCs and require mailings and similar communications to include a notice outlining who paid for them.

Of particular concern to Lander is the real estate industry-backed "Jobs 4 NY" committee. It's already spent $1.35 million - including $167,000 in support of Brooklyn Councilwoman Sara González and $110,000 to back Paul Vallone in Queens - and aims to spend $10 million citywide. The PAC supports several council incumbents who are up for re-election, which might make it difficult to pass during an election year. But even some candidates who've received its support, like Brooklyn's Laurie Combo, say it's unwelcome and support Lander's proposal.

Other Stories We're Following

City At Risk From Rising Seas, Stronger Hurricanes (Daily News)

Corruption Panel Co-Chair Received Campaign Contributions From Silver (Daily News)

De Blasio Once Supported Expanding Term Limits Too (Wall Street Journal)

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