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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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
Bill Lynch Remembered By Those He Mentored (NY Times)
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 WATCHThe 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
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)
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.
911 Staffers Under Major Pressure (NY Post)
Amid Hospital's Turmoil, a Man Disappears (NY Times)
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.
Thompson to Unveil Plan for Housing Authority Today (NY 1)
Assemblyman Cut Off For Bringing up Lopez During Debate (Lower Hudson Journal)
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.
Teachers' Union Backs Thompson's Bid For Mayor (NY Times)
State Expected to Reduce Role of Long Island Power Authority (NY Times)
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.
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)
Bill Thompson isn't scared by poor showings in recent polls.
In recent polls from both Quinnipiac and Marist College, the former comptroller and second-time mayoral candidate has stayed in the low double digits while former Congressman Anthony Weiner creeps up and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tumbles downwards.
"I've yet to see the polls be particularly accurate," Thompson said. "They've been inaccurate through most of my career and many of the elections that I've seen, they've been incredibly inaccurate. This is about Sept. 10 and the primary. That'll be the great indicator."
Whether or not the polls are inaccurate, Thompson continues to shore up support from both Latino elected leaders and long-time New York political stalwarts. The latest came earlier today from former Congressman Herman Badillo.
Badillo was the first Puerto Rican to serve as Bronx borough president and as U.S. House representative. He also served as a deputy mayor to former Mayor Ed Koch. The 83-year-old joined Thompson in East Harlem today to announce his endorsement.
A union representing police detectives opposes legislation that would create an independent monitor to oversee the New York Police Department.
But their opposition to the proposal hasn’t stopped the union from endorsing Democrat Bill Thompson for mayor — who has said he supports the idea.
Michael Palladino, chief of the Detectives' Endowment Association, was asked by a reporter yesterday at a rally for Thompson whether the candidate’s support of the inspector general legislation weighed into the union’s decision to endorse him. “Obviously it didn’t,” Palladino replied.
Palladino is also the chairman of the Uniformed Workers of New York, which held the campaign rally to show their support for Thompson.
Thompson reiterated his support of the proposal for an independent police inspector general, as well as a modified form of stop-and-frisk.
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.”
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)
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.”
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)
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.
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)
As Democratic mayoral candidates continue to court political leaders in the outer boroughs, former Comptroller Bill Thompson today secured an endorsement from one of the Bronx's most powerful Latino leaders.
Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. stood in front of City Hall alongside Thompson, touting the former comptroller's commitment to the Bronx and his track record with the community.
Díaz said Thompson has shown that when worked on "broader issues" that "there's been equity."
"There's a certain commitment," he said. "There's a heart that he has that says, 'I want to do for all New Yorkers.'"
Diaz said that he had been in talks with other Democratic candidates who vied for his endorsement, namely Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.