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Starting today and continuing each week during campaign season, we'll post an election roundup on Friday afternoons here on The Eye-Opener. Image of former Rep. Anthony Weiner courtesy of Step It Up 2007, used under Creative Commons license.
The week started with a debate over a scathing attack ad against Democratic mayoral frontrunner Christine Quinn that was paid for by an outside group. By midweek, anyone paying attention to #NYC2013 was talking about whether a certain former Congressman with a career-destroying penchant for social media would jump into the mayor's race.
The video begins with a fog-shrouded room and ends with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's disembodied head floating in the air. "All that's clear when the smoke clears is her political ambitions," an announcer intones in a deep voice. The anti-Quinn advertisement was paid for by a coalition of left-leaning labor groups and Democratic activists, The New York Times reported today.
Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota says City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's support for an independent police monitor is "reckless," "dangerous" and "redundant."
Lhota made the comments about Quinn, a Democrat who is also seeking to be mayor, from a prepared text while standing next to a super-sized printout of New York Police Department CompStat numbers.
"The police department needs to maintain a laser-like focus in the reduction of crime," Lhota said. "We can't allow reckless behavior like putting a handcuff on the police department, which is what the inspector general bill will do."
A supporter of NYPD's stop-and-frisk program, Lhota said that he would expect the NYPD to regularly train officers on how to use what he described as a constitutional practice.
The candidate praised Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commisioner Ray Kelly for their leadership on crime reduction, but also pointed to a spike in felony crimes between 2011 and 2012, which he highlighted on the board next to him. Lhota argued that public safety in the city is in too fragile a state to consider putting in place another level of bureaucracy on the police department.
Tom Allon has dropped out of the mayoral race, ending a long-shot candidacy to devote his energies to publishing.
His campaign announced early this morning that he would withdraw as a candidate because Allon had acquired the publisher of City & State, a political newspaper. A message left for his spokesman was not immediately returned.
"When I decided to enter the mayoral race in July 2011, I had a deep desire to lead this wonderful and unique city and to finally fix our crumbling public education system," Allon said in a statement released to the press.
He said that he would continue to "pursue a reform agenda as an education activist, a columnist and blogger, and parent of three teenagers."
Allon was running as a Republican and was endorsed by the Liberal Party, which released a statement saying that it respected his decision.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated with statements from the city's Board of Elections.
"Election day will be on Tuesday, that is not going to change," John Conklin, spokesman for the New York State Board of Election, said earlier today.
He said county boards across the state are currently assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to polling places and trying to determine what alternate arrangements need to be made to make sure everyone who wants to vote can.
"The local boards impacted by the storm are assessing damage to the polling places right now," Conklin said. "We have been in meetings with the governor's office and local boards to work on these assessments. We have to see if power still remains at the polling site, if they remain accessible to the public, the board and the machines. We also need to make sure the sites are safe. Once that is done, we will check on alternate polling sites and make sure they have tents, generators and whatever else they need."
Conklin said he hopes that all polling sites will have power, but he admitted, "Some might not." In that case, paper ballots will be made available for voters. The ballots will be put in a lock box and then scanned at county BOE headquarters.