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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. 

 


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Brooklyn DA Loses Despite Legacy (NY Times)

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Quinn and De Blasio Neck and Neck

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's momentum continues to build in the race for New York City mayor according to a new Wall Street Journal-NBC 4-Marist survey. De Blasio is now in a tie with Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 24 percent according to the poll that shows de Blasio has jumped 7 percentage points with likely voters since last month. The poll puts Bill Thompson in third with 18 percent followed by Anthony Weiner and John Liu. The poll indicates that a Democratic runoff is very likely. If no candidate reaches 40 percent in the primary a runoff is triggered. The poll shows that de Blasio who is married to a black woman and features his black son in a recent television spot has won the support of many black voters since last month. 

 


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Bill Lynch Remembered By Those He Mentored (NY Times)

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Yesterday Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn filed a request to close in bankruptcy court. Most of the patients the hospital serves are without insurance and the hospital has suffered greatly since the state slashed Medicaid reimbursements. Unless there is some sort of bailout the hospital will close its emergency room in September and close totally in November. The news comes as Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill is on the verge of closure. Public Advocate and Democratic Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has made the hospital issue a focus of his campaign and has gone to court to keep LICH open. He has also released a plan that would create a super-authority to oversee Brooklyn Hospitals that would be run by the mayor and governor. De Blasio has continued to press his long-time friend Gov. Andrew Cuomo to act to save the hospitals. Meanwhile, the Cuomo administration holds out hope that the federal government will approve a request to use $10 billion the state saved from restructuring Medicaid payments to buoy the Brooklyn hospitals. 

 


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Campaign Finance Board Seeks to Deny Liu Public Funds (Wall Street Journal)

Did De Blasio Have Council Staff Watch His Kids? (NY Post)

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Anthony Weiner said more dirt about his Internet sex life would come out during his mayoral campaign and boy was he right. This week the revelation that Weiner had the sort of online sexual relationships with women that led to his resignation even after he resigned from office forced the Weiner campaign into damage control.  The revelations had a major impact in public opinion according to a Marist Pollthat showed his support dropping to 16 percent with his negatives at an all-time-high. Council Speaker Christine Quinn now leads the pack with 25 percent with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson at 14 percent. Weiner admitted on Thursday to having three explicit online relationships with women even after he resigned his seat in Congress. Weiner has said he will continue with his campaign. 

 


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911 Staffers Under Major Pressure (NY Post)

Amid Hospital's Turmoil, a Man Disappears (NY Times)

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Forgotten Coney Island

Only a few blocks down from the amusement district, where the sounds of the frolicking beachgoers and carnival games have come back with renewed vigor after the seashore neighborhood's near-cataclysmic meeting with Hurricane Sandy, there is a different Coney Island that most tourists and beach goers don’t see.

This is the Coney Island that continues to struggle to return to normalcy nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy came ashore. The Coney Island where parks and playgrounds remain fenced off because of sinkholes or other damage done by last year’s storm.

“They say Coney Island is open for business. Sure, the entertainment district is, but no one talks about the parts of Coney Island where people actually live. They don’t talk about the neighborhoods,” said Ed Cosme, a resident who formed The People’s Coalition of Coney Island to raise awareness about the problems in the parts of the neighborhood that don’t normally draw tourists and bathers.  

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Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner admitted to continuing lewd online exchanges with female admirers well after resigning from Congress amid a sexting scandal.

After images of Weiner's private parts and texts of private conversations with an admirer were made public yesterday by a gossip blog, the former congressman held a news conference to apologize for his behavior and to reaffirm his desire to be the next mayor.

Weiner said he would not drop out of the race. His wife, Huma Abedin, stood by his side.

"We discussed all of this before Anthony decided he would run for mayor, so really what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him," she said in a statement she read to reporters.

With the election increasingly looking like a made-for-the-tabloids drama, the political establishment began calling for the candidate to drop out of the race.

"The serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City," The New York Times Editorial Board wrote.

A handful of rival candidate for mayor also called for him to drop out.

GothamVotes: Bringing you real-time news on the historic 2013 elections.

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Speaker Silver In Midst Of Another Sex Harassment Case (Daily News)

Ending Long Battle, Cuomo Agrees To Plan to House Mentally Ill (NY Times)

Citi Bike Accidentally Exposes Customer Credit Card Information (Wall Street Journal)

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Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization For Women NYC, has responded to today's revelations of another sexting incident involving mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner by calling him "a distraction" and urging him to exit the race. NOW joins a chorus of voices calling for Weiner to withdraw. Here is Ossorio's statement: 

As if we didn't already have enough evidence of Anthony Weiner's utter lack of judgment, impulse control and honesty, these latest revelations show the degree to which his candidacy distracts us from the important business of choosing the next leader of New York City. He is clearly and compellingly unfit for public office and the sooner comes to this realization, the better for the people of New York.

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Anthony Weiner has raised $829,000 since he declared his campaign for mayor. Taxi drivers and dispatch employees gave him over $12,000 the day he announced his opposition to Bloomberg's outer borough taxi plan. Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign has the most cash on hand -- nearly $6 million, compared to $4.8 million for Weiner. Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota pulled in $516,000 between May and July but spent $732,000. Scott Stringer raised $110,000 in the four days following Eliot Spitzer's announcement that he was challenging Stringer in the comptroller race. That number is more than Stringer raised in nearly a year of fundraising before. In state election news, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver spent $115,000 in campaign funds during the past six months to pay legal bills stemming from his involvement in the Vito Lopez harassment scandal. And 80 percent of the cash Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised this election cycle came from donors who gave $10,000 or more. Meanwhile, the senate's Independent Democratic Conference announced that it has $2,835,000 on hand.

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Spitzer, Weiner Top Names In New Poll Of NYC Races (Associated Press)

Nearly 375,000 NYCHA Repair Requests Remain Outstanding (Daily News)

City Says Council's NYPD Monitor Makes Federal Monitor Redundant (Daily News)

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Spitzer Collects 27,000 Signatures 

Eliot Spitzer filed 27,000 petition signatures with the Board of Election last night in his bid to get on the Democratic line for New York City Comptroller. Spitzer announced his run with only 4 days left to file signatures. His opponent, should at least 3,750 of his signagutes stand up to scrutiny, Scott Stringer filed 100,000 signatures. Stringer's camp and allies areexpected to mount challenges to some of the signatures. Spitzer's campaign paid some signature seekers $800 a day leading up to the Thursday deadline. Experts think Spitzer will make for interesting news for quite some time to come.

Gotham Votes 2013: We've got your elections news! From now until November, we'll be curating the races, from the Bronx to Staten Island. And, as we get closer to the primary on Sept. 20, look out for expanded information on the candidates and the issues.

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Cuomo's Moreland Commission Meets Behind Closed Doors (Albany Times Union)

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Bloomberg Administration Looks to Block Police Bills

The office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg is moving to stoptwo bills passed by the council yesterday that would make it easier to sue the New York Police Department over profiling and one that would create more oversight for the agency. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have characterized the bills as undermining of the NYPD. The Mayor’s office hopes to veto the profiling legislation that passed with only the minimum votes required to override a veto. The bill creating an NYPD inspector general passed by what seems an insurmountable number for the Bloomberg administration. The Bloomberg administration will put its influence to the test over the next few weeks as Bloomberg serves out the end of his term. 

Some See Conspiracy in Number of Minority Lawmakers Caught up in Scandal (NY Times)

De Blasio Faces Major Setback With Hotel Trade Endorsement (Daily News)

Weiner Challenging Quinn For Gay Vote (Daily News)

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A new poll finds Anthony Weiner at the top of the pack in the Democratic field. A Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll shows him moving ahead of Christine Quinn, garnering support from 25 percent of registered Democrats polled, compared with Quinn's 20 percent. In a runoff between just the two candidates, voters chose Quinn, however. It would seem many are ready to forgive his sexting escapades.

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Court Ruling On Voting Act May Affect City (NY Times)

City School Chiefs Get Informal Job Checks (Wall Street Journal)

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Last-Ditch Effort For Campaign Finance Reform Fails in Senate 

Senate Democrats tried to bring a campaign finance proposal to a votethrough a hostile amendment last night but the measure failed. Republicans ruled the amendment not germane but Democrats requested a vote of the entire chamber to rule on whether it was appropriate. Thirty legislators voted to support the amendment. Those legislators included the four members of the Independent Democratic Conference who have come under attack by advocates for not bringing campaign finance to a vote. Sen. Malcolm Smith who last caucused with the IDC voted against the amendment. Smith is currently under indictment for fraud and bribery. Sen. Ruben Diaz, who conferences with Democrats, also voted against the measure. All of the Republican conference voted against the amendment. Democrats had a press release ready blaming the Republican/IDC conference for the amendment's failure but all of the IDC did vote for the amendment

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Thompson to Unveil Plan for Housing Authority Today (NY 1)

Assemblyman Cut Off For Bringing up Lopez During Debate (Lower Hudson Journal)

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Cuomo to Investigate Legislature 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that he could not come to terms with the state legislature on campaign finance reform and anti-corruption legislation and as a result will empanel a Moreland Commission to investigate campaign finance practices at the State Board of Election. Cuomo has long threatened such a move but after a session marred by multiple indictments of sitting legislators on federal corruption charges, Cuomo pledged he is prepared to act. Cuomo said a deal with the legislature failed because he felt they wanted to police themselves. A Moreland Commission would not be able to prosecute legislators but could refer cases. "I want to restore a level of trust," said Cuomo. 

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Teachers' Union Backs Thompson's Bid For Mayor (NY Times)

State Expected to Reduce Role of Long Island Power Authority (NY Times)

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Cuomo's Women's Agenda Stalls

In an attempt to gain support from Senate Republicans Gov. Andrew Cuomo and women's advocates offered an amendment to the abortion plank of his 10-point women's agenda yesterday. The amendment made it clear that the bill that creates an affirmative right to abortion "as established by the United States Supreme Court in the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade" would not allow for partial-birth abortions or interfere with the federal ban on them. Cuomo and advocates have insisted that all 10 points must be voted on as a whole. Republicans and members of the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference have said they would vote on 9 of the points that include measures to assure pay equity, tough penalties for sexual harassment and domestic violence. The amendment was dismissed by Republicans on Thursday who have insisted the bill will not come to a vote


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Candidates Support Staten Island R Train (Capital)

Weiner Claims he Coined 'Obamacare' (NY Times)

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Two female Assembly staffers have filed federal and state lawsuits against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. The women allege that Lopez repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances. In one case Lopez reportedly told a staffer she should have sex with a Cuomo administration official to get a housing bill passed. The lawsuits allege that Silver provided "assistance" to Lopez that allowed him to continue harassing the women. Silver came to a secret settlement with two other women who Lopez harassed and allowed Lopez to hire the two staffers who have since brought other sexual harassment claims and these two lawsuits. The incidents have shined a spotlight on the culture of sexual harassment in Albany. Lopez resigned his seat after intense pressure and facing a vote that would have expelled him. He is still likely to face over $300,000 in fines from the legislative ethics board. Silver has apologized for his handling of the incident but has brushed off calls for his resignation. 


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Council Bill Would Cut Down on Adult Day Care Centers (NY Times)

Report: Pot Arrests in New York Vary By Race (Democrat and Chronicle)

Finger-Pointing On Stalled BIlls (Albany Times Union)

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Former Congressman Anthony Weiner's entry into the mayoral race ate into City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's lead among likely Democratic voters, a new poll shows.

A Marist College poll released today showed that despite a 4 percentage point drop from April, Quinn still has a command across the Democratic spectrum: liberals, conservatives and moderates. She also came out in front across most of the boroughs, save for Brooklyn. However, where Quinn falls short is in loyalty among voters, proving that the race is still hers to lose.

Of those who said that they support Quinn, almost three out of four Democratic respondents said that they somewhat support her or might vote differently come the September primary. That's good news to the whole slate of candidates, potentially even more so for Weiner.

Weiner actually enjoyed the highest bump after he announced his candidacy last week, up 4 percentage points to 19 from his 15 percent in April. Despite Quinn's drop in the poll to 24 percent from last month's 26 percent, he still trailed the speaker by five points.

Weiner did have a lead on Quinn in his home borough of Brooklyn, although Public Advocate Bill de Blasio isn't too far behind. Fresh off a spate of labor endorsements, De Blasio inched up 1 percentage point among Democrats citywide. He also barely edges out former Comptroller Bill Thompson — who remains steady at 11 percent.

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Anthony Weiner's entry into the mayoral race continues grabbing headlines. A mass of reporters trailed him around the city yesterday. The campaign will be one lacking institutional support. Gov. Cuomo "joked" that it would be a "shame" if he were elected. Weiner's wife - a Clinton operative - has been a main architect of the campaign. Since he left office, he didn't have to release financial disclosure forms like most of his Democratic competitors. Some have speculated that the midnight leak of his announcement was meant to keep puns off the front pages.

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Former Staffer Received Threatening Letters (Daily News)

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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.

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Tagged in: Anthony Weiner

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Former Congressman Anthony Weiner announced his campaign last night with a video ad on his Web site. It went up accidentally at first but was still viewable on mobile browsers. He brings with him a $4.8 million war chest and could force a run-off election with rival candidate Council Speaker Christine Quinn. He was forced to resign from Congress over a sexting scandal and ran a strategic consulting firm during his absence. He has a 64 point plan with ideas spanning from giving public school students Kindles to using Medicaid money to create a city-run, single-payer health system for the uninsured.

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Three Hurt In Anti-Gay Attacks Days After Hate Killing (DNAinfo)

City Agrees To Faster Cleanup Of PCBs In Schools (NY Times)

More Questions In Assembly Harassment Case (Associated Press)

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The state's ethics commission issued a report yesterday that not only detailed a torrent of inappropriate behavior by Assemblyman Vito Lopez but that tore into Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his staff for shielding the lawmaker. At one point after two women made sexual harassment complaints against Lopez the report states that Silver's office relocated the women to other positions which enabled Lopez to hire two more women who he also harassed. The report details Lopez asking a staffer to give him eye drops for pink eye, demanding staffers share hotels with them, forcing them to feel his tumors, looking for a large apartment in Albany to share with one of them and perhaps most shockingly Lopez demanded a female staffer continue massaging his hand after the woman told Lopez she was uncomfortable because she had been raped in college. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics' report was released after a special prosecutor found no criminal wrongdoing by Lopez or Silver. Lopez issued a statement saying he was under attack by people wishing to destroy him. JCOPE's report was released by the legislature after facing mounting pressure. Members of the legislature also tried to redact large swaths of the report relating to the performance of Assembly staffers during the matter. JCOPE, which has members appointed by Silver, did not authorize an investigation into the behavior of Silver and the Assembly in the matter. Yesterday, Silver's spokesman defended him in a statement and Silver renewed his call for Lopez to resign


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Weiner Said to be Struggling to Find Campaign Staff (NY Times)

State Reviewing Pay For Fast-Food Workers (NY Times)

Judge Blocks City Plan For New Taxis (NY Times)

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