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Thompson Faces Pressure to Bow Out

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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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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)

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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."


Other Stories We're Following

Bike Lanes May Be Increasing Traffic Speed (NY Times)

Looking For a Mayor Who Is a Friend to Immigrants (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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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.


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IDC May Back Richard Brodsky to Challenge Senate Democratic Leader (Lower Hudson Journal)

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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:

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The City Council is scheduled to vote today on overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg's vetoes of two bills designed to restrict the New York Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk. A bill that would create an inspector general to oversee the New York Police Department is expected to be enacted today but the second measure that would increase the ability to sue the NYPD for racial profiling is less likely to become law. The second bill initially passed with 34 vote--the minimum number needed to override a veto. If one council member is convinced not to vote to override the veto will stand. Members have been targeted by Bloomberg and police unions on the issue. Council President Christine Quinn said at a mayoral debate last night that she expects both overrides to succeed.

Other Stories We're Following

Family Trust Offers Possible Clues to How Spitzer Would Invest Funds (NY Times)

De Blasio Target at Mayoral Debate (NY Times)

Union Works Around Campaign Laws For Liu Ads (Daily News)

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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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A new Quinnipiac poll finds Bill de Blasio leading the pack of mayoral candidates in the Democratic primary, with 30 percent of likely voters supporting him. Christine Quinn dropped to second with 24 percent. The poll also found him winning in a runoff election against Quinn, which is called if no candidate wins over 40 percent of the vote. De Blasio began advertising on television last week, but his popularity may be due to his stance on stop-and-frisk. He's also the only candidate to support a tax increase on the wealthy. Despite the poll, it was Quinn who took the most attacks in the mayoral debate last night. After all, a third of those polled said they may change their minds.

Other Stories We're Following

Cuomo Real Estate Donors Among Moreland Subpoena Targets (Albany Times Union)

NYCHA Failed To Spend $50 Million From Council For Repairs (Daily News)

As Critics United, Stalled Battle Against Frisking Tactic Took Off (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.


Other Stories We're Following

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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Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Police Department say that 90 percent of all guns used in crimes in the city in 2011 came from another state. Bloomberg vowed to continue to fight the influx of out-of-state guns despite protests from lawmakers. "To those who say, 'Stay out of our state,' our answer is: We'd love to," said Bloomberg, "Just as soon as you stop letting guns seep into the black market, land in the hands of criminals and be used to murder our citizens." Bloomberg issued a list of the top out-of-state sources for guns. Virginia tops the list, followed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

GOTHAMVOTES: 2013 CITY COUNCIL RACES TO WATCH

The debate over what to do to prepare for the next big storm is shaping a fierce City Council race in southern Brooklyn. Six contenders are vying to replace term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson in the 48th district. By Latima Stephens. CONTINUE READING

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Group Finds Rents Have Risen For Sandy Victims in Staten Island (Staten Island Advance)

Mayoral Race Enters Negative Phase (NY Times)

Pataki Cleared in Lawsuit Over Sex Offenders' Rights (NY Times)

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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.


Other Stories We're Following

911 Staffers Under Major Pressure (NY Post)

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

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new plan to get storm-ravaged communities to work together in planning their futures during his NY Rising: Storm Recovery Conference in Albany yesterday. The 102 communities impacted by flooding across the state will be eligible for up to $750 million in combined state and federal aid. “What does the community think is the best approach to rebuild?" asked Cuomo. "And what are the best ideas and what is the best vision and let’s fund the community’s vision rather than ask the community to fit in the template that’s established from up above.” The Cuomo administration unveiled a website designed to help communities apply for the program and to find out how much recovery funding they are eligible for. You can watch a video of the conference here.

Other Stories We're Following

Living Wage Law Beats Expectations, Backers Say (Crain's)

Bloomberg, Cuomo Taking Rafting Race Seriously (Wall Street Journal)

City Posts Biggest 6-Month Job Growth Since 2000 (Crain's)

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Down to the Wire For Spitzer

Eliot Spitzer has until midnight tonight to file 3,750 signatures to get on the ballot to run for comptroller as a Democrat. Spitzer is reportedly paying canvassers $800 a day in an attempt to hit the magic number. Spitzer's opponent Scott Stringer has already filed 100,000 signatures and his supporters will likely challenge a number of Spitzer's signatures. A new Wall Street Journal Poll gave the Spitzer campaign a boost--it shows that Spitzer leads Stringer 42 to 33 percent in the Democratic primary.

Spitzer in Albany: Good at Making Enemies

Eliot Spitzer made a lot of enemies in Albany with his agressive, uncompromising style. Experts say Spitzer could give the next mayor even bigger headaches and Wall Street should watch out too. “I pity whoever is the next mayor because, with the powers of comptroller, this guy is going to be on the mayor’s case on a daily basis,” Baruch College political science professor Doug Muzzio said in an interview this week. “This office is a stepping stone and he’s gotta step on the mayor.”

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Bill de Blasio was escorted out a State University of New York school today, hands bound in a zip tie handcuff after the mayoral candidate and public advocate joined healthcare workers to protest talks of closing Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital.

De Blasio was among a handful of arrests at the protest, organized by healthcare union SEIU 1199, which endorsed de Blasio's mayoral campaign in mid-May.

Brooklyn Councilman Steve Levin — whose district includes LICH — was also arrested by the New York Police Department, as were a handful of protesters.

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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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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.

Other Stories We're Following

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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A group of corporate leaders and real estate executives, concerned about the departure of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, plan to spend up to $10 million in City Council races this year to make sure electeds are business friendly. The Jobs For New York political action committee will direct donations to pro-business Council candidates from both parties because the City Council has major sway over development but also because the mayoral race is so uncertain. The Council will have 21 open seats this year mostly due to term limits. Good government advocates say the group could change the way Council campaigns are run. “The entire point of a City Council race is to reflect the needs of the neighborhoods in a district,” Susan Lerner of Common Cause told The New York Times. “This undercuts the neighborhood-based nature of a district and replaces neighborhood concerns with industry concerns.”


Other Stories We're Following

Bloomberg's Gun Stance Makes Him Lightning Rod (NY Times)

Mayoral Candidates Clash Over Transfer Station (Daily News)

Quinn Says City Workers Need Help WIth Health Care Costs (Daily News)

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced he is moving to expel Assemblyman Vito Lopez last night. Silver, facing a firestorm of criticism for his office's handling of the Lopez sexual harassment scandal is looking to take decisive action as soon as Monday. Silver refused to expel Lopez last year as the scandal broke but stripped Lopez of his seniority and committee assignments. Now, with more criticism focused on his office following the release of the Joint Commission on Public Ethic's damning report, Silver says he plans to introduce a resolution that according to his spokesman Michael Whyland will be, "voted on Monday to ask the Ethics & Guidance Committee to consider the full JCOPE report and to recommend appropriate sanctions including expulsion of Assemblymember Lopez." Earlier Thursday Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the Assembly shouldconsider expelling Lopez. “The reaction from the legislature should be zero tolerance,” Cuomo said. “If he doesn't resign, he should be expelled.”


Other Stories We're Following

City to Sell Councilwoman's Debt to Collectors (Daily News)

Voting Machine Firm Offers City Help in Upcoming Election (Daily News)

Lopez's Girlfriend Sticks With Her man (Daily News)

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Today's Lead Story

Weiner's Return?

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission in a New York Times Magazine article that he is considering a run for mayor has jolted the current pack of candidates. Weiner has considerable baggage to overcome as he resigned from Congress in disgrace after lying about sending sexually explicit internet messages to women. Weiner's wife Human Abedin has remained supportive of her husband throughout the ordeal. Even Weiner's possible opponents acknowledge he is a shrewd politician who can run a serious campaign. Most major candidates gave statements that indicated they weren't particularly concered with Weiner's entrance into the race. Comptroller John Liu playfully welcomed Weiner but warned, "Just stop Tweeting."


Other Stories We're Following

Cuomo Blasts Washington's Compromise on Gun Control (Buffalo News)

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