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What is Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight on Campaign 2001 is a guide to the political races in what many are calling New York City's most significant campaign season in modern history.

What is so significant about it?
For the first time in memory, most political offices in the city will be wide open to people who have neither money nor connections.

Why will the races be so open?
There are two reasons. This year, a new law goes into effect that limits the terms of New York City elected officials, forcing the mass retirement of most incumbents in the city - including the mayor, the comptroller, the public advocate, four of the five borough presidents, and 36 of the 51 members of the City Council. At the same time, a new campaign finance law kicks in, which allows any candidate who agrees to certain restrictions to collect four dollars of matching funds for every dollar they raise.

What does this have to do with this site?
As a public service, Searchlight on Campaign 2001 has a separate page for each race, including all the races for City Council, that not only sorts out the candidates -- many of them new and unfamiliar -- but also offers an opportunity to learn about the issues, and the districts themselves.

Who is behind Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight on Campaign 2001 is a project of Gotham Gazette, a non-profit, non-partisan, non-ideological (but non-boring) web site about New York City news, policy and politics published by Citizens Union Foundation, part of the oldest and largest good-government group in the city (founded in 1897).

What's wrong with the way the regular press covers the races?
That is for you to decide. And one of our regular features, Campaign Trail, helps you to decide. Campaign Trail provides succinct summaries and links to campaign articles in the commercial press.

Who are we?


August Campaign Trail

September Campaign Trail

The New York Times makes endorsements in three races for borough president.

The Bronx: Three candidates are fighting to replace the outgoing president, Fernando Ferrer. They are June Eisland and Adolfo Carrion Jr., both City Council members, and State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. Of the three, Mr. Carrion would be the strongest candidate to represent the entire borough because of his temperament, his training as an urban planner and his focus on urgent problems with housing and schools in the Bronx.

Mr. Carrion's close ties to the Democratic Party organization cause some concern, but he has vowed that as borough president he will try to reconcile warring political factions and provide more openness and support to residents throughout this diverse borough. We have strong hopes that he will be the kind of thoughtful, independent-minded and inclusive politician the borough desperately needs. We endorse Adolfo Carrion Jr.

Queens: The race to replace outgoing Borough President Claire Shulman includes three candidates: Helen Marshall and Sheldon Leffler, both term-limited City Council members, and Carol Gresser, former president of the Board of Education. Mr. Leffler was a hard-working and intelligent Council member, but he was not known for his abilities as a consensus builder. Ms. Marshall, an African-American who proposes to carry on Ms. Shulman's agenda, has the backing of the county's Democratic Party. Her people skills are the best of the group, but she does not seem to have the independence or drive the job requires. Of the three, Ms. Gresser promises to be less dependent on party regulars and more creative in fighting for the borough's most obvious needs - more classrooms and certified teachers and more affordable housing and better services for seniors. Early in her career on the Board of Education, Ms. Gresser tried to limit discussion of diversity in public schools, but by the time she left the post in 1998 she had grown into a thoughtful member who showed her mettle in battles with the mayor and her former mentor, Ms. Shulman. We endorse Carol Gresser.

Brooklyn: Three candidates are vying to replace Borough President Howard Golden, who has run Brooklyn's Borough Hall for almost 25 years. Jeannette Gadson, Mr. Golden's deputy, has vowed to carry on his somewhat fatigued agenda. Kenneth Fisher, a City Council member who clearly prefers wrestling with more global policy issues, is an able person but not a good fit for this job. Rather the position best suits State Senator Marty Markowitz, an ebullient public servant who could provide a refreshing boosterism for the sometimes beleaguered borough. Mr. Markowitz used his Senate position to become a maestro of constituent service, providing everything from summer concerts to programs for senior citizens. His inclusiveness has made him one of the most popular officials in his mainly minority district. By hiring technical experts on complex areas such as urban planning, Mr. Markowitz could free himself to do what he does best, promote and help Brooklyn residents. We endorse Marty Markowitz. (NY Times)

Peter F. Vallone has won the endorsement of the 26,000-member New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association in his race for mayor. (NY Times)

LGNY, the newspaper for gay and lesbian New Yorkers, endorses Fernando Ferrer for mayor. (LGNY)

During most of the Republican primary campaign for mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg has treated his opponent, Herman Badillo, as a nuisance who is best left ignored. Mr. Badillo has kept a limited public schedule, has had trouble in raising money and has rarely stolen the spotlight from his big- name rival. But as the two men meet this morning for their first face-to-face debate, there are indications that the dynamic is changing. The debate, one of only two featuring the Republicans, will be broadcast live at 10 a.m. on WNYC-AM 820.In recent days, Mr. Badillo has stepped up his attacks on Mr. Bloomberg, raising a host of inflammatory issues that have so irritated the Bloomberg campaign - and shaken its confidence, Mr. Badillo's advisers suggest - that Mr. Bloomberg struck back yesterday with unusual vehemence.In objections that were to be filed with the Board of Elections, Mr. Bloomberg's campaign moved to disqualify an effort by Mr. Badillo to register a new political party for the November ballot. In doing so, a top Bloomberg strategist accused the Badillo campaign of fraud in collecting qualifying signatures for the party. (NY Times)

Herman Badillo is 72 now, a vision of elections past. His candidacy is his sixth for mayor since 1969. He twice came tantalizingly close to winning. He made history as the city's first Puerto Rican commissioner (of the Department of Housing Relocation in 1962) and borough president (elected in 1965), and the nation's first Puerto Rican congressman (1970). He enjoyed a resurrection when his lonely crusade to restore standards at the City University of New York gained currency in the 1990s, and Gov. Pataki named him CUNY's chairman. But the big office in City Hall is the goal he's nurtured for more than 30 years, friends and family say. (Daily News)

Sitting among his seven competitors, Leroy Comrie - outgoing Councilman Archie Spigner's top aide and the odds-on favorite to win the seat for district 27 - is almost serene as they take turns attacking him. And attack they do. There's attorney Stephen Jackson blasting Spigner, Comrie's mentor, for being "the invisible man." There's Erica Ford - supported by the Rev. Al Sharpton - talking about the need for change and delivering a message that's part black consciousness movement, part hip hop.And there's former Assemblywoman Cynthia Jenkins, as colorful and lively at 76 as she ever was, railing at the Queens Democratic organization. She told a York College crowd last month how she grabbed the Independence Party line despite being thrown off the Sept. 11 Democratic primary ballot by a machine-led challenge."Now, in November, when you open the curtain, you are going to see Cynthia Jenkins," she said to roars of laughter.And there's attorney Helen Cooper-Gregory, talking calmly about problems with the school district that Comrie has helped lead.Throw into the mix businesswoman Saundra Pope, computer specialist Larry Smith and Republican Ishmael Morgan and you have something for everyone. But Comrie, 41, a School Board 29 member who has worked for Spigner for 17 years, takes their barbs with aplomb. (Daily News)

Lynn Schulman is facing a daunting task in seeking to replace Forest Hills Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz in district 29. Her opponent in the Democratic primary, Melinda Katz, is well-financed and well-connected. But Schulman has a secret weapon: She's the only Schulman on the ballot this year. (In the past, there was Claire Shulman, popular departing Queens borough president) Pundits have warned, especially after the Florida election debacle, never to overestimate a confused voter. (Daily News)

The Board of Elections has decided to stop setting up 83 nursing-home voting sites throughout the city, and thousands of elderly voters could be affected. The city office discovered last year that it had been violating the state election law for decades by setting up a second site at nursing homes in districts where a primary voting site already existed. The board is sending poll workers to nursing homes to help the residents fill out absentee ballots. Residents are disgruntled. (NY Times)

The New York Times makes endorsements in seven City Council races in Brooklyn.

"Brooklyn voters have a chance this year to enliven New York's City Council with the kind of energy, intelligence and independence unrivaled in city politics in many years...

33rd District (Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Greenpoint): David Yassky, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, was Charles Schumer's firepower when Mr. Schumer, now senator, was in the House of Representatives. He helped create the Brady bill and the Violence Against Women Act and helped get more than 6,000 new police officers on the streets of New York City. Mr. Yassky has an uphill battle against the Democratic organization's candidate, Steven Cohn. Mr. Cohn, a lawyer, has a long record of community activity, but he harks back to the city's old political patronage era rather than forward to something better. We enthusiastically endorse David Yassky.

35th District (Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene): Letitia James, a former assistant attorney general for Brooklyn, is the Democratic organization's candidate in this race. But Ms. James, who has compiled a fine record as a legislative counsel in Albany, seems to have the strength of character to chart an independent course. Her main opponent, Peter Williams, is the director of housing and community development for the National Urban League. Mr. Williams has an impressive background of city activism, but we endorse Letitia James, with the hope that she will recruit Mr. Williams to advise her on housing and development issues.

39th District (Borough Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill): Even in a year when the quality of City Council candidates is exceptional, this race stands out. Bill de Blasio, a local school board member, is better known as the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's Senate race. Steven Banks, a Legal Aid lawyer, has a national name for his work on behalf of the homeless. Jack Carroll is an attorney who pioneered the development of low- and moderate- income housing in his Windsor Terrace neighborhood. Any of the three would make a fine Council member, but we endorse Bill de Blasio, who has the most potential as leader for the district and the city.

40th District (Central Brooklyn): Una Clarke is one of the many term-limited Council members attempting to bequeath her seat to a relative. Her daughter, Yvette Clarke, is a politically sophisticated candidate with experience in economic development. Another strong candidate is Jean Vernet, a community activist from the National Coalition for Haitian Rights. But he does not have the energy level that we think Ms. Clarke would bring to the job. Our endorsement goes to Yvette Clarke, in the hope that she will use her mother's better instincts in fighting for social services while avoiding political divisiveness.

44th District (Midwood, Borough Park, Bensonhurst): Two candidates stand out in this race to replace the outgoing Council member Noach Dear - Simcha Felder, chief of staff to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and Bob Miller, an attorney with a long record of civic work in the district. Bob Miller's well-thought-out proposals to improve schools in the area earn him our endorsement.

45th District (Flatbush, Flatlands): Kevin Parker, special assistant to State Comptroller Carl McCall, is an African-American running against two opponents who argue that the district should be represented by someone with Caribbean roots. What the area residents really need is an energetic and intelligent Council member who wants to serve everyone with equal vigor. That description best fits Kevin Parker, and he gets our endorsement.

47th District (Brighton Beach, Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend): Susan Lasher, the wife of the outgoing Council member, is running to continue "the Lasher legacy." Although Mrs. Lasher has an appealing personality, this diverse district needs to be represented by someone with a broader vision. Domenic Recchia, an attorney and school board member, is well versed in education issues but he seems too focused on the neighborhoods where he has his political base. Alec Brook-Krasny, who immigrated from Moscow in 1989, is less politically sophisticated but he appears to be genuinely committed to reaching out to all the neighborhoods in the district. His election would also give the city's Russian-American community a much-needed connection to city affairs. We endorse Alec Brook- Krasny." (NY Times)

For the first time since he won office 12 years ago, the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, will face an opponent in the Democratic primary, despite his best effort in court to knock the challenger off the ballot. The Court of Appeals upheld today a lower court ruling that petitions filed on behalf of the challenger, Sandra E. Roper, were valid, even though some of the 14,000 signatures had been forged. An appellate court ruled on Tuesday that the forgeries were not pervasive enough to disqualify Ms. Roper, a Brooklyn lawyer, from the primary next month. (NY Times)

In a huge legal assault, attorneys for Hynes had subpoenaed 172 witnesses - including Roper's father, who died 11 years ago - and sent investigators to question Roper's petition carriers at their homes. (Daily News)

Three of the four leading Democratic candidates for mayor oppose handing George Steinbrenner hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to demolish Yankee Stadium and build a replacement - raising the stakes for Mayor Giuliani to close a deal with the team before he leaves office. The fourth, Alan Hevesi, , said Yankee Stadium should remain in the Bronx but steered around specific questions about financing for new stadiums. Republican candidate Michael Bloomberg did not respond. (Daily News)

This was to be the year of the level playing field in New York City politics. Term limits would loosen the grip of incumbency, throwing open the gates to an unprecedented number of contenders for public office. Public financing would reduce the power of money by giving candidates $4 for each $1 they raised. But in the races for City Council, it has not quite turned out that way. After a bitter challenge season that knocked more than 60 candidates off the ballot, about a third of the remaining ones who are participating in the public financing program cannot campaign as vigorously as they would like because they will not get their matching funds until four days before the primary - if they get them at all. (NY Times)

Comptroller candidate Herbert Berman picked up the endorsement yesterday of Harrison Goldin, who served as controller for 16 years until 1990. Goldin returned to City Hall for the first time in a dozen years to make one of his rare political endorsements. (Daily News)

An analysis of Hevesi's last-minute change in strategy, turning from caution to strident attacks both on Mayor Rudy Giuliani and on the New York Post. (NY Times)

As he crisscrosses the city seeking the Democratic party's nomination for mayor, Fernando Ferrer is proudly carrying the hopes of his party's oldest and most orthodox wing. In stump speeches and neighborhood tours, Mr. Ferrer, 51, often seems like a candidate from another era, the old-style populist coaxing votes from the city's precincts with promises of government largess. "Pay them like professionals!" Mr. Ferrer exclaimed at a church in Queens, pushing his 30 percent pay raise for the city's teachers. "The most ambitious housing plan this city has ever seen!" he said, promising 150,000 new homes at this mayoral forum. "After-school programs at 200 middle schools!" he added. "Hallelujah," someone called from in the pews, and the others whooped and clapped. (NY Times)

Among the myriad open City Council seats this year, few have attracted as many candidates with the political credentials and connections as those in the six-way race in the Democratic primary in the 39th Council District. The candidates' rÚsumÚs cover the spectrum of local politics in what is commonly known as brownstone Brooklyn, but their names are known outside the borough and each one can boast of influential endorsements. Steven R. Banks, the director of the Homeless Rights Project of the Legal Aid Society, has made a name for himself as an advocate for the homeless. John W. Carroll is president of a powerful Democratic club in Brooklyn, and has also served as counsel to several neighborhood and preservation groups. Bill de Blasio, a member of the community school board in District 15, is a veteran Democratic strategist who worked for Andrew M. Cuomo at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and was the manager of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign last year. Paul Bader, a longtime neighborhood advocate who owns a print and design shop, is married to United States Representative Nydia M. Vel½zquez.Craig H. Hammerman has been the district manager of Community Board 6 for 11 years. And Anthony J. Pugliese is a carpenter who has been a longtime community activist and an organizer for his union.The district stretches from the relatively affluent Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens sections of Brooklyn through a portion of Park Slope and Kensington and into Borough Park. For the last 10 years, the district has been represented by City Councilman Stephen DiBrienza, who is running for public advocate. (NY Times)

The New York Times makes its endorsements for what it calls Queens' six particularly competitive Democratic City Council races for the September 11 primary:
District 19 (Northeast Queens): In this district, which borders on Nassau County, Arthur Cheliotes, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1180, is running against Tony Avella, the former chief of staff for State Senator Toby Stavisky. Mr. Cheliotes has the longer record of service and has shown the more sophisticated understanding of the city's needs. One concern is his plan to keep his union job in order to build up seniority toward his pension, although he promises to work for $1 a year and devote most of his time to the Council. Mr. Avella is far from a totally independent politician himself; his friends in the Queens Democratic Party worked to bump others from the ballot in this district. Our endorsement for the primary goes to Arthur Cheliotes.
District 20 (Central Queens-Flushing North area): The two strongest candidates in this race are Ethel Chen, a retired library supervisor, and John Liu, a financial analyst and civic leader. Mr. Liu is an energetic, articulate contender. But his campaign finances raise questions about his connections to developers in the area and to his father's bank; the elder Mr. Liu and other bank officials were convicted of bank fraud earlier this year. We recommend Ethel Chen, who has a longer and more impressive record in community service.
District 24 (South Flushing, Jamaica Hills, Briarwood, Forest Hills): In this race, Barry Grodenchik has a better grasp of city issues than James Gennaro, a worthy opponent with strong environmental credentials, or David Reich, who has worked for two state senators. Mr. Grodenchik has been a loyal lieutenant to the Queens borough president, Claire Shulman, an attachment that might give pause in a period when voters are searching for independent representation. We endorse Barry Grodenchik in the hope that he will use his skills to serve the district and city rather than the borough's Democratic regulars.
District 25 (Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, Corona): In a diverse field of seven, the top candidates are Helen Sears, the pick of the Democratic county organization; Jimmy Van Bramer, a gay activist; and Rudy Greco, a real estate lawyer and community leader. Mr. Van Bramer offers promise for future races, but Mr. Greco is the most thoughtful candidate. He has worked hard in the district for years, and has even produced a children's book on Jackson Heights for fourth-grade students in the area. We endorse Rudy Greco.
District 26 (Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth): There is almost total agreement among several very strong candidates on the major issues facing this district, including overcrowded schools and more affordable housing, especially for the elderly. Eric Gioia, who helped manage Al Gore's campaign in New York and worked in the White House, is the youngest and most energetic of the group, and has promise as a leader both in the district and in the Council. We endorse Eric Gioia.
District 31 (Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway): The city's poorer districts frequently suffer with the worst political representation, but one of the pleasant surprises this year is the number of races in low-income areas that have attracted two or three good candidates. In this district, James Sanders Jr. and Charlotte Jefferson would both make excellent Council members. Mrs. Jefferson has the support of the Democratic organization, but it appears to need her more than she needs it. In a very narrow decision, we prefer Charlotte Jefferson for her superior knowledge of community problems and ideas for how the city could help solve them. (NY Times)

A candidate for City Council district 20 from Flushing is being accused of an ethical violation for voting to support a project proposed by a developer who contributed to his campaign. Councilwoman Julia Harrison's chief of staff charged that John Liu, a member of Community Board 7, violated conflict of interest laws when he voted on a Flushing mall proposal last year. Liu received $7,000 in campaign contributions from the developers of the mall, known as Prince Center. (Daily News)

One thing is certain about the Corona-East Elmhurst City Council race in district 21: It will produce the first elected Latino representative from Queens. The Queens Democratic party made sure of that when it knocked two African Americans off the ballot through petition challenges.The smart money in the race is on Hiram Monserrate, the Democratic organization-backed candidate. But the other Democratic candidates - Aida Gonzalez-Jarrin, Angel Del Villar and Luis Rosero - say they also have a chance to win. (Daily News)

In the race for comptroller, William Thompson had raised barely $1 million to Herb Berman's $1.5 million, as of Aug. 10. And by far, Berman is attracting the big money. Berman's donors include just about all of the city's biggest real estate developers, its biggest bus companies and many landlords.(Daily News)

The New York Times has made three endorsements for City Council in the Bronx.
District 11 (northwest Bronx): "Residents of this district, which includes Riverdale, will be able to elect an experienced and trusted public servant in Oliver Koppell, who was New York's attorney general seven years ago, and spent almost 23 years as an assemblyman from his Bronx district. Although Laura Spalter has run a spirited campaign, we strongly endorse Oliver Koppell."
District 16 (Highbridge Morrisania, Melrose): "Mr. Benjamin is energetic, but his ties to the Bronx organization suggest Ms. Foster may be the more independent. Our endorsement goes to Helen Foster."
District 18 (Soundview, Parkchester, Castle Hill) "Armando Montano, a lawyer with a strong record of public service, is by far the best candidate. His competition includes the Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. the father of the area's assemblyman and the choice of the county Democratic Party. Mr. Diaz has a track record of allowing his conservative religious beliefs to shape his political views. This district has long suffered from a lack of good representation in the City Council. We believe that could change with the election of Armando Montano." (New York Times)

The Rev. Al Sharpton finally endorsed Fernando Ferrer for mayor yesterday, and campaigned with him in all five boroughs. (Daily News)

City Comptroller Alan Hevesi accused City Hall yesterday of a coverup involving welfare contracts while Mayor Giuliani dubbed Hevesi the "ethically challenged candidate" in the race to succeed him. Hevesi released a Department of Investigation memo, dated December 2000, revealing that city Human Resources Administration Commissioner Jason Turner worked for several months in 1997 as a consultant for Opportunity America, a joint venture with the State University of New York that bid on a city welfare-to-work contract. The company was headed by Richard Schwartz, a former Giuliani senior adviser who is now editor of the Daily News editorial page. The Daily News just endorsed Hevesi's rival, Peter Vallone. (Daily News) (NY Times)

Michael R. Bloomberg called yesterday for measures to make the police more accountable to the public, saying that racial data on stop- and-frisks should be posted on the Internet and that the Civilian Complaint Review Board should report to the mayor rather than to the police commissioner. (NY Times)

Every election year, there are candidates outside the mainstream political parties who manage to wangle their way onto the ballot. But this year, in one of the most crowded primaries in 30 years, the race for City Hall boasts the most candidates, seven, on alternative party lines ever. Many of these candidates share similar ideas and platforms with the six men seeking office on the Democratic and Republican lines. They all contend that the city needs a strong housing plan, that the Board of Education should be abolished and that crime reduction should stay a municipal priority. Among the candidates are: Christopher Brodeur and Julia Willebrand running against each other on the Green Party; Terry Gray (Conservative); Kenny Kramer (Libertarian); Bernard Goetz, who is best known for his shooting of four black men on the subway whom he claimed were menacing him in 1984. On his campaign Web site, he refers to himself as "well known on crime issues." [This article also features George Spitz, who has run unsuccessfully for office eight times in 33 years, even though he is running on the Democratic line, not "an alternative party line."] (NY Times)

This year's mayoral campaign is the first in more than a quarter of a century that doesn't include the incumbent, and just about everybody else who could plausibly enter the race has. The four candidates for the Democratic nomination-Mark Green, Alan Hevesi, Peter Vallone, and Fernando Ferrer-all occupy prominent city posts, and any one of them would be a logical, if not exactly compelling, choice. Together, they have nearly a hundred years of experience in local government. Bloomberg's justification for jumping into the race is that this sort of experience is exactly what no one needs. "Going back to politics as usual in New York City is crazy," he declared in his inaugural ad. Whatever force there is to Bloomberg's argument comes mostly from the number of times it has been-and will be-reiterated. He did not declare his candidacy till June, yet managed in his first two months in the race to buy nearly twice as much advertising as all his rivals combined. Already, he has waged the most expensive primary campaign in the city's history, and he will probably break the record for the general election as well. (The New Yorker)

A mailing sent out by comptroller candidate Herbert Berman directly attacks the integrity of rival William Thompson.It focuses on published reports about tax liens that had been filed against Thompson in 1984 and 1997 and allegations he violated securities regulations while he was a private investment banker in the early 1990s. But Thompson's campaign spokeswoman replied that Berman is resorting to "an underhanded and despicable distortion of the facts." (Daily News)

The three-way race in the 24th Council District, which includes Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica Estates and Utopia, is distinctive not only because it is an area that has seen little in the way of hotly contested primary battles for City Council seats, but also because of the depth of government experience of its candidates. It is also expected to show the extent to which the support of the Democratic organization in the borough has potency. One candidate, Barry Grodenchik, has served as a senior aide to Queens Borough President Claire Shulman for the last nine years, after having worked for Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn and former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo. Another, James F. Gennaro, worked in the budget office in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch and has been an environmental policy adviser to the City Council for 11 years. The third candidate, David Reich, is chief of staff and counsel for State Senator Seymour P. Lachman and worked previously for State Senator Emanuel R. Gold. Mr. Grodenchik, 41, has been endorsed by the Queens Democratic Party organization and a host of elected officials in the borough, including Ms. Shulman and Mr. Povman. Mr. Gennaro, 44, has been endorsed by Mr. Koch and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmental lawyer, and has put together a formidable campaign organization. Mr. Reich, 36, is proud that he has received no labor or political endorsements, and said his work in government and with community groups had earned him a significant grass- roots following. (NY Times)

The New York Times makes endorsements in what it calls Manhattan's most competitive Democratic races for the September 11 primary:
First District (Lower Manhattan): Seven candidates are competing in this diverse district, three of whom stand out. They are Brad Hoylman, a former Rhodes Scholar, gay activist and counsel to the New York City Partnership; Alan Gerson, a lawyer with a solid record of community service; and Rocky Chin, a civil rights lawyer for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. We endorse Brad Hoylman, who promises to serve the entire district in a thoughtful and lively way, focusing on broader democratic reform of the Council as well as district needs for housing and expanded city services.
Sixth District (Upper West Side): The two main candidates are Anna Lewis, a lawyer and law judge, and Gale Brewer, who has experience at several levels of city government. Ms. Brewer has worked for Public Advocate Mark Green on voting issues, former Mayor David Dinkins as the city's federal lobbyist and Ruth Messinger as her top aide at the City Council a decade ago. Ms. Brewer recently completed a much-needed study of 30,000 nonprofit organizations in the city. With a nod to Ms. Lewis's effort to bring new ideas into the debate, our endorsement goes to Gale Brewer.
Seventh District (Washington Heights, West Harlem and Inwood): The two top candidates in this race are Robert Jackson, a longtime champion of quality education, and Mark Levine, an energetic community activist. Mr. Levine has done an important service to the neighborhood by establishing a community development credit union. But Mr. Jackson has spent years working for better schools for the entire city. He breathed life into the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which recently won a historic lawsuit to bring the city more state funds. In a year when virtually every candidate says schools are the top priority, our choice is Robert Jackson.
Eighth District (Central Park West, East Harlem and Mott Haven in the South Bronx): This is one of the few districts in which an incumbent not being forced out by term limits is facing a real challenge. Councilman Philip Reed is in a tough fight against Felipe Luciano, a dynamic radio and television personality who is appealing to Hispanic voters. Given the turnover in the Council this year, Mr. Reed offers the advantages of stability, seniority and a solid record of representing the needs of all his constituents, particularly on the issues of housing and asthma. We endorse Philip Reed.
10th District (Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill): Councilman Guillermo Linares, who became the first Dominican-born elected official in the city, is now leaving, and there are eight candidates, all of Dominican descent, vying to succeed him. Victor Morisete-Romero, a former aide to Mr. Linares with a background in bilingual education, stands out as the most qualified by virtue of his experience and his proposals. He should serve his district well in a year when many members are struggling to learn the ropes. He has thoughtful ideas about improving Council oversight and monitoring the School Construction Authority. Our endorsement goes to Victor Morisete-Romero.

Crain's NY Business endorses Peter Vallone for mayor. "On the issues, Mr. Vallone is clearly superior to the other candidates. He is the political and legislative architect of the Safe Streets program, which laid the groundwork for the assault on crime. He has presided over fiscally responsible budgets. Alone among the candidates, he tells the unpopular truth that high taxes hurt the New York economy. He has pushed sensible economic development efforts to retain companies and encourage new industries. He strongly favors mayoral control of education. His 12-year tenure as speaker of the council has demonstrated his ability to lead and to promote unpopular policies." (Crain's NY Business)

Mayor Rudy Guliani attacked Alan Hevesi for the fourth time in five days, again questioning his integrity. Alan Hevesi, in a potentially risky strategy, escalated his response: "It is obvious that the mayor is intruding himself as a lame-duck Republican into the Democratic primary," Mr. Hevesi said. "He wishes to stop me from being elected mayor; he knows that I will expose the damage he has done for the next mayor, particularly on the budget. He knows that I will be a strong mayor and very difficult to beat four years from now, and he knows what he is saying is a series of pathetic lies. The mayor has a history of lying. He is lying now." (NY Times)

While some polls show Fernando Ferrer - not his Democratic opponents Alan Hevesi or Peter Vallone - winning the coveted run-off spot against Mark Green in the Democratic primary, some political observers say Ferrer's game plan for the primary could spell trouble in a faceoff against Green, the city's Public Advocate. Ferrer is trying to forge a victory from a coalition of Hispanic and Black voters - to the apparent exclusion of white, liberal voters who have long been the bedrock of the city's Democratic majority. "The very strategy that makes him popular among his core constituents in the Bronx cuts him off from the rest of the city," said Fred Siegel, a history professor at Cooper Union. "Freddy needs to go to Brooklyn and Queens and talk to middle class white voters who don't see why Freddy is going to be good for them."In fact he is a guy who has the character and intelligence and rhetoric to be appealing to them," added Siegel. "His strategy is making a lot of people scratch their heads." (Daily News)

Who has the best track record for community service? That's the platform on which most of the 11 candidates vying for the District 31 seat are running. In an area of overcrowded schools and low math and reading scores, the candidates - who include several educators - are focusing on how they will address what one called an "education crisis." Jobs, economic development, transportation, dumping, airplane noise, flooding and senior citizens' needs are other concerns they share. But by and large, the candidates are running on the contributions they say they're already making in the largely black, middle-class district, which includes Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens and parts of Cambria Heights and South Ozone Park. (Newsday)

The Daily News endorses Peter Vallone in the Democratic primary for mayor. "Vallone is the candidate who will best be able to advance the interests of New York City, especially as we enter a period of economic uncertainty. There's no question he can do it. He already has.As speaker of the City Council, he has worked in close partnership with Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani to run the city. And 8 million New Yorkers are the better for it. Vallone was the guiding force behind the Safe Streets, Safe City program to expand the Police Department and dramatically improve public safety. Citywide, crime is down an astonishing 63%.At the same time, he led the Council in the passage of sensible budgets that cut taxes and kept spending well under control." (Daily News)

Alan Hevesi urges the city to release $120 million to the Board of Education. (NY Times)

When City Council Peter Vallone and Mayor Rudy Giuliani locked up the city's budget in June, they said they would free up $120 million to the Board of Education only when Schools Chancellor Harold Levy made serious slashes in the central board's spending and directed more money to classrooms. Alan Hevesi insisted Levy's recent decision to slash $100 million worth of the board's bureaucracy means he held up his end, and that it's time to hand over the money. "This issue is in the lap of Speaker Vallone and the mayor," Hevesi charged. "All the mayor is trying to do is deflect attention on this issue because he has no public-school reform plan aside from giving money to private schools." (NY Post)

An analysis of the campaign for mayor, which promises to heat up in the last two weeks before the September 11 primary, when the Democratic candidates for mayor will offer a hurricane of television advertisements, some of them negative. The past three months, while desultory, have shown some twists in the race: "Alan Hevesi - whom many Democrats had viewed as the sleeper candidate, given his resume, fund-raising skills and alliance with the political consultant Hank Morris - felt compelled to offer deferential remarks about his political difficulties less than three weeks before the primary. Similarly, it would have been difficult to anticipate that Fernando Ferrer - who in 1997 ran for mayor as a moderate Democrat, supporting the death penalty and advocating the fingerprinting of welfare recipients - would remake himself as the candidate of the left, attaching his candidacy to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is to formally endorse him and begin campaigning with him tomorrow. Or that Mark Green, who in the course of nine previous campaigns has never shied away from the punch or the provocative stand, would this time seek to coast to victory by taking few chances and throwing few elbows, building a campaign based on endorsements and a succession of mostly unremarkable position papers. Or that Peter F. Vallone, the City Council speaker and the most conservative Democrat in the field, would be calling for what even Mr. Green described as liberal-sounding government spending programs. If there is anything approaching a consensus among Democrats following the race, it is that Mr. Green is likely, though not certain, to emerge as one of two Democrats in a September 25 runoff, which is required if no candidate gets over 40 percent of the vote. (NY Times)

Michael Bloomberg, the self-made billionaire media mogul, prides himself on being approachable. In the sleek Park Avenue headquarters of his corporate empire, he used to sit at a small wooden desk out in the open, where workers could find him. Now that he is seeking the Republican nomination for mayor, supporters say his accessible style, along with his competitiveness and willingness to take risks, would serve him well as mayor. When it comes to managing the city's 216,000 workers, Bloomberg is betting that it won't be a big leap from having managed 7,800 employees worldwide. The necessary skills -- management, leadership, listening and accountability -- are the same, he argues. "The biggest job the next mayor has is to lead the quarter of a million people," Bloomberg, 59, said in an interview last week in his midtown campaign headquarters. The latest in the series on the current jobs of the mayoral candidates. (Newsday)

The return to the campaign trail of Israel Ruiz, 58, a politician with one of the most colorful histories in the Bronx, has been a fascinating chapter in a competitive race in the 14th Council District, which includes Fordham and Kingsbridge Heights. In his quest to regain his former seat, Mr. Ruiz is confronting four other candidates. One is Maria Baez, who took a leave of absence as chief clerk of the Bronx office of the Board of Elections to run for the Council. Ms. Baez, 43, is backed by the Democratic Party organization in the Bronx. The others are Sergio Villaverde, 34, a lawyer and former police officer who has been involved in a number of civic and community organizations; Charles Williams, the five- term president of Community School Board 10, who became known because of his efforts to prevent the construction of a new school for Marble Hill and Kingsbridge, arguing that it was racially exclusive; and Agustin Alamo, a public school teacher in the Bronx who has run unsuccessfully in the past for City Council and for the State Assembly. (NY Times)

The race to replace outgoing Republican Mike Abel in district 19 in Queens pits a former nightclub singer, a union leader, a party insider, an ex-prosecutor and a former Peace Corps worker against one another. They agree on most issues - more cops, more schools, more senior service - but there is little love lost among them.The former prosecutor, Jerry Iannece, relishes attacking the party candidate Tony Avella, who will be battling him for a strong Italian-American vote.The singer, gadfly Joyce Shepard, vows to move if union official Arthur Cheliotis is elected. (Daily News)

All six major mayoral candidates have been courting Asian-American New Yorkers, who are themselves paying more attention to this year's elections than they have in the past. Nearly 1 in 10 New Yorkers are of Asian ancestry, making New York City home to the largest number of Asian-Americans in the country. Yet no Asian-American has ever held elected office in the city, though this year's City Council election is likely to change that. Asian-American community leaders hope their newfound political appeal will result in more attention to their issues: access to government services for people who do not speak English; money for Asian-American community organizations; expansion of affordable housing; and classes in English as a second language. (NY Times)

In his third consecutive day of bristling assaults on mayoral candidate and comptroller Alan Hevesi over his ethics, Mayor Rudy Giuliani charged "the comptroller involves himself directly in" the process of selecting the firms that arrange the city's multi-billion-dollar bond sales, "and he shouldn't." A Hevesi spokeswoman called the accusation "another lie." (NY Post)

Both candidates for comptroller, Herb Berman and Bill Thompson, are longtime political insiders with a head for figures. Each uses the word "utilize" a lot. And each agrees with the other on almost every issue. To the extent that the candidates disagree on anything, it is on the outlook for the city's economy and budget. Mr. Thompson takes the gloomier view But the lack of drama does not mean that the comptroller's race is unimportant, especially now that the city's economy is beginning to skid and tax revenues look likely to shrink. The comptroller will have to be the bearer of any bad economic news to the new mayor, the new City Council and the public - as well as paying the bills, borrowing the money and checking out the contracts signed by the city. (NY Times)

Responding to public complaints, a nonprofit group that posted New York City voter registration records on a Web site blocked a feature yesterday that allowed people to retrieve voters' home addresses and party affiliations. (NY Times)

Mayor Rudy Giuliani kept up his attack on Alan Hevesi yesterday, saying that Mr. Hevesi's "pattern of activity raises serious questions about the way he uses his office." The attack on Mr. Hevesi, coupled with the mayor's decision to play host to Michael R. Bloomberg at a news briefing so that he could be paraded in front of cameras on the steps of City Hall last week, further illuminates how the mayor and his closest aides are quietly trying to help the candidates of their choice. The mayor clearly favors Bloomberg and Peter Vallone. (NY Times)

Peter F. Vallone and Michael R. Bloomberg received the backing yesterday of the Citizens Union, a nonpartisan civic organization, in their respective primary races for mayor. Mr. Vallone, a Democrat, and Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, were given preferred rankings by the group. It also identified preferred candidates in the citywide races for public advocate and comptroller, in four borough president races and in 32 City Council races. The complete list has been posted on the group's Web site, (NY Times)

A new Web site that makes New York City voter registration records - including home addresses - freely available on the Internet has become the latest example of a growing tension between the individual's right to privacy and the public's right to public records in an electronic age. At, any visitor can type in the last name and birth date of anyone registered to vote in New York City and retrieve that person's address and party affiliation. The site uses data that has always been publicly available on paper at the Board of Elections, and more recently for a fee on compact disc. Run by a nonprofit group called e-the People, the site is intended to encourage voting by letting voters check their registrations, find the proper polling place, or download a voter registration form. But critics say the privacy risks of such an online system may actually discourage voter registration - particularly among celebrities, people who fear they are targets of stalkers and those who might go out of their way to keep their addresses and other personal information private. (NY Times)

The two candidates for comptroller got endorsements from Latino public officials yesterday, Herb Berman from Councilmembers Margarita Lopez, Victor Robles, and Guillermo Linares, and Assembly member Jose Rivera (one of the Vieques Four); William Thompson from Congressmembers Nydia Velazquez and Jose Serrano (Daily News).

Staten Island's elder statesman, state Sen. John Marchi, endorsed Deputy Borough President Jim Molinaro yesterday for the borough's top job in the Sept. 11 Republican primary. Marchi joined such GOP heavyweights as Gov. Pataki and Mayor Giuliani in endorsing Molinaro over Assemblyman Robert Straniere, even though Molinaro is a registered Conservative and Straniere worked for Marchi for 17 years. (Daily News)

City Councilman Alfonso Stabile, the lone Republican running for borough president, got tired of lying low and showed up at a candidates' forum this week [sponsored in part by Citizens Union Foundation.] Stabile has been out of sight since revelations in June that authorities are investigating his handling of a Little League's books and his campaign finances. "All of us would make an excellent, excellent borough president," he told a crowd at York College on Wednesday night. "What is different is that the way I will execute the office is in your face." (Daily News)

Former state senator and current City Council candidate Larry Seabrook thought he was finished with Eliot Engel after losing to the congressman in last year's elections. But Engel (D-Bronx, Westchester) is again trying to block Seabrook's path to public office - this time by endorsing his longtime aide, Shirley Saunders, for the 12th District City Council seat in the Bronx that Seabrook covets. (Daily News)

A St. John's University law student filed a designating petition that was "permeated with fraud" in his bid for a City Council seat from Flushing, according to a State Supreme Court judge. But the Manhattan judge ruled that, because of legal technicalities, Republican Ryan Walsh may run in the 20th Council District anyway. (Newsday)

The 35th Council District in Brooklyn is the scene of one of the most hard- fought City Council campaigns of this election season, where seven candidates are battling for the Democratic nomination and the opportunity to succeed Councilwoman Mary Pinkett, who has represented this district since 1973. The candidates' resumes could hardly be more divergent. Letitia James, 41, the endorsed candidate of the Democratic Party organization in Brooklyn, has worked for several Democratic officials, from Assemblyman Albert Vann to Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer. Peter M. Williams, 42, the director of Housing and Economic Development for the National Urban League, served his political apprenticeship as a technician in the mayoral campaigns of David N. Dinkins. James E. Davis, a police officer, minister and Democratic district leader, came close to beating the Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman in an Assembly race three years ago.The race also includes Sidique Wai, the president of the United African Congress and a longtime community organizer on health concerns; William Saunders, another Democratic district leader and a long-term aide to State Senator Velmanette Montgomery; and Robert Hunter, a former investment banker and Vietnam veteran who serves on several community boards. And then there is Abraham Wasserman, a real estate developer and the first member of the Lubavitch Hasidim community to run for a City Council seat. (NY Times)

In the first major newspaper endorsement in the mayoral race, The New York Post has endorsed Peter Vallone. "He has been a pillar of fiscal probity, a key consideration as the city faces an economic slowdown. He doesn't shrink from hard choices. Case in point: His handling of the "Safe City, Safe Streets" tax surcharge. Vallone promised that the surcharge would be temporary: It was he who insisted on a seven-year "sunset" provision in the bill. In 1998, Giuliani (in a moment of weakness) sought to extend the tax. But Vallone held firm. And the sun set on the surcharge. Just as he had promised."(NY Post)

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani called yesterday for an investigation into whether Alan G. Hevesi, the city comptroller and a Democratic candidate for mayor, had inappropriately used his city post to help a major campaign contributor arrange a meeting with a private company. With the Democratic primary less than three weeks away, Mayor Giuliani spoke about an issue that none of Mr. Hevesi's rivals have publicly discussed so far: Mr. Hevesi's acknowledgment that he instructed one of his top aides to help arrange a meeting about a contract between one of his major campaign contributors and a private company in 1997. "It seems to me that the circumstances suggest inappropriate use of influence," Mr. Giuliani told reporters. "And it's not the first time that's happened with Comptroller Hevesi." Mr. Hevesi fired back that Mayor Giuliani was simply "getting revenge" after the comptroller had moved to block a contract that the city had wanted to award to a welfare-to-work company, Maximus Inc. (NY Times) "It's perfectly appropriate to help businesses in the city," Hevesi said. We do it all the time." (Daily News)

In several interviews with a reporter, Shawn Bullock, a former administrative assistant for one of Lowinger's companies, stands firm in her accusation that Maurice Lowinger (who died in March) handed Alan Hevesi $6,000 in cash at a 1997 meeting during which Lowinger asked for the comptroller's help getting a contract with Bell Atlantic to make telephones. (NY Observer)

Michael Bloomberg picked up the endorsement of all five Republican City Council members yesterday, bolstering his already-strong chances to win the GOP mayoral primary - even as his rival, Herman Badillo, submitted petitions to launch his own third party. (Daily News)

If The New York Times follows its tradition, Gail Collins will publish her first political endorsements as editor of The Times' editorial page on Sunday, Sept. 9, two days before the primary. Along with her editorial board, Ms. Collins-who has been at her post for less than one month-will have a potent opportunity to influence city government. The Times editorial page is likely to play a significant role in the race for Mayor, which has turned into a contest for second place behind Public Advocate Mark Green. As the candidates jockey for the nods of labor unions and public figures, the talk among politicos is that The Times could play a large hand in determining who faces Mr. Green in a runoff-or, perhaps, help Mr. Green to lock up the 40 percent he needs to avoid a runoff altogether. For some time, it has been the consensus-both inside and outside The Times-that the editorial board's endorsement was Alan Hevesi's to lose. But lately that mood has been changing, as Mr. Hevesi, the City Comptroller, has faced intense scrutiny about the financing of his campaign. Campaign-finance reform, of course, has long been a Times editorial crusade, and though no one suggests Mr. Hevesi is out of the running, sources inside the paper say an endorsement of Mr. Hevesi does not appear as certain as it once did. (NY Observer)

Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayoral candidate, declined an invitation yesterday to appear with his main Republican opponent Herman Badillo on a locally televised debate. Mr. Bloomberg had been asked to take part in an hour-long debate sponsored by The New York Times and the cable news station New York 1, to be held on Sept. 6, five days before the Republican primary. Mr. Bloomberg regularly fails to appear at forums open to all major candidates. His spokesman says he has agreed to two other debates with Badillo -- a one-hour debate to air on WNYC-AM (820) between 10 a.m. and noon on Aug. 31, and a 30-minute debate on WNBC-TV set to begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 9. (NY Times)

Mayoral candidate Mark Green stood on the steps of Bronx Borough Hall yesterday and exchanged endorsements with Pedro Espada. But it was not Pedro Espada Jr., who is running to replace Green adversary Fernando Ferrer as borough president. It was his son Pedro G. Espada, who is running for reelection in the City Council's 17th District. Although the elder Espada, a state senator, was on hand to pose for news photographers holding Green's hand high in the air, Green said his endorsement in the borough president's race would have to wait. "One Espada at a time," Green said. "And I know the difference - 'Junior' [the elder] and 'G' [the younger]." (Daily News)

The four Democratic mayoral candidates held their first televised debate last night. The post-debate evaluation depends largely on which newspaper headlines one reads. The New York Times called it a "Harmonious Gathering, With A Touch of Discord" and said that the candidates "Struggled to Define Themselves." The Daily News called it a "Vallone-Hevesi Slugfest" and the Post declared "Hevesi and Vallone Duke It Out." Newsday focused on the countdown with the headline "20 Days Until the Primary." And various columnists called different candidates and even Giuliani the "winner." Read a short excerpted transcript of the debate from the New York Times

Reverend Al Sharpton will endorse Fernando Ferrer for mayor, the Voice reports. (Village Voice)

It was a study in black and white when City Council candidates in southern Queens made their pitch to voters. In one section of the auditorium of Beach Channel High School in the Rockaways Monday night, seven white candidates for the 32nd District made their pitches to an all-white audience. Just a few steps away, the four black candidates in the 31st District made their pitches to a mostly black audience. (Newsday)

Home to some of the city's most overcrowded schools, and some of the scariest stretches of Queens Boulevard, District 29 is looking for a new leader in the fall. A former assemblywoman, a public relations executive, a TV newswoman and several community activists are battling for the city council seat now held by Karen Koslowitz, who cannot run again because of term limits. The district includes the sprawling suburban areas of Forest Hills and Kew Gardens as well as Rego Park and parts of Maspeth and Ridgewood. Even with six candidates, there was little disagreement among the contenders about such issues as education, Queens Boulevard safety and rent stabilization.Public relations executive Lynn Schulman and Melinda Katz are running for the Democratic line, while television journalist Rene Lobo is the sole Republican. Norbert Chwat is running as a Conservative, Joseph Tiraco on the Independence line and Jeanette Evans with the Green Party. (Newsday)

Fernando Ferrer yesterday vowed to give city workers time off to meet with their kids' teachers, saying it would encourage more parents to take an active role in education. (NY Post)

A former top staffer to Public Advocate Mark Green ran a political consulting firm while working full time for Green's office and used city phones to make hundreds of dollars worth of private calls. Scott Levenson worked as president and sole shareholder of The Advance Group, a private firm he owns, while serving as Green's $95,000-a-year chief of operations from 1994 to 1999. Levenson replies that he reimbursed the city for phone calls, that he worked far more than the required 35 hours for Green, and he obtained clearance from the city's Conflicts of Interest Board to hold both jobs. (Daily News)

Of the $8.3 million that the Democratic candidates have raised collectively in the borough of Manhattan (far more than in the other boroughs), Mark Green has raised the most, $3 million, while Fernando Ferrer lags behind his opponents, with $1.25 million. The result is that he is far behind Mr. Green in fund-raising, even though Mr. Ferrer has raised more money in Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. (NY Times)

Steve Cohn, a City Council candidate for District 33, which stretches from Brooklyn Heights to Greenpoint, took the unusual step of returning nearly $75,000 allotted to his campaign by the city's Campaign Finance Board. Cohn, executive secretary of the Kings County Democratic Party, has raised more than $300,000, and Council candidates are limited to spending $274,000 to qualify for matching funds. (Daily News)

The race to succeed City Councilman Guillermo Linares, the city's first Dominican-American elected official, is a rollicking political contest in Washington Heights, New York City's Dominican heartland. The campaign is fueled partly by old antagonisms, new political faces and no shortage of candidates. At first glimpse, the race for the Democratic nomination in the 10th Council District could easily be viewed as the latest in a series of clashes between the longtime rivals, Mr. Linares and Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, both of whom have political proteges in the race. But the contest is far more complicated because there are a total of eight candidates, all of them Dominican, and many have their own neighborhood or political history, making the race utterly unpredictable. (NY Times)

In recent weeks, the candidates for mayor have turned their attention slightly, from public safety and education toward health care. While their proposals and ideas differ around the edges, they have homed in on the two issues they seem to believe command attention: the city's 1.7 million uninsured residents, and its troubled public hospitals.But in so narrowly focusing their interests and proposals, most of the candidates have overlooked or misinterpreted other key health care questions in the city, such as where people are to get care once they are placed in a health care plan. Further, many of the candidates' proposals depend on state or federal acquiescence. (NY Times)

The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr., senior minister of the Riverside Church and one of the most prominent clerical voices for leftist causes, has endorsed Fernando Ferrer for mayor of New York. (NY Times)

In this most crowded of primary seasons, no major race is shaping up to be more crowded than that for public advocate, a position that has existed for less than a decade. But even though so many candidates are aspiring to an office that sometimes looks as if it involves little more than needling the mayor, few New Yorkers seem to know or care who any of the contenders are. (NY Times)

The Public Advocate's office, though not well-defined, gave the current incumbent, Mark Green, a platform for raising his visibility and launching his campaign for mayor. The winner of this year's election will automatically become a major voice in the city's political discourse as well as a potential candidate for higher office. Each of the major candidates would reshape the public advocate's office in ways that conform to his or her past experience. Stephen DiBrienza, who is chairman of the council's General Welfare Committee, sees the job as the city's "chief of research and development." He would use the office's legislative role-the public advocate presides over the City Council-to investigate systemic problems in city government. Betsy Gotbaum, who has served under three mayors, wants to expand the public advocate's ombudsman role so that she can work with the new mayor and other city officials "to make government work better." Norman Siegel, who ran the New York Civil Liberties Union for 15 years, wants to turn the office into a combination of an inspector general's office and a public interest law firm. He would send hundreds of private lawyers working pro bono into housing projects to listen to complaints. And Scott Stringer, who cut his political teeth on Upper West Side politics, wants to use the office as a "soapbox" for playing a role in such issues as education, housing, transportation and planning. Political observers say the contest will likely be decided by TV ads and endorsements from unions, politicians and especially newspapers, which are very influential in races that get little attention. (Crain's NY Business)

Crain's NY Business endorses Stephen DiBrienza for Public Advocate, with Norman Siegel a close second. "Mr. DiBrienza has spent 11 years on the City Council, including stints heading important committees. He understands how the council can work, and he promises to put most of his time into legislative activities-holding hearings, introducing legislation, working with the freshman legislators, shepherding bills. He outlines his approach with energy, which offsets the temper he has shown occasionally in clashes with the current administration." (Crain's NY Business)

Crain's NY Business endorses Herbert Berman for comptroller. "Mr. Berman's major qualification is his work as chairman of the City Council's finance committee, which has given him unmatched expertise in fiscal issues. Prosperity has helped, for sure, but the mayor and the council have crafted budgets that have kept spending reasonably in check, cut taxes and produced a surplus. Mr. Berman deserves a large share of the credit." (Crain's NY Business)

With three weeks to go until the mayoral primary, there are signs of anxiety as voters begin to consider the imminent departure of a mayor whose interest seemed so closely tied to middle-class neighborhoods like those in the 66th Assembly district (including the Village, Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park City), whose residents voted overwhelmingly against Giuliani in his first race for mayor, and for him in his second. It was a Democratic district settling in behind a Republican mayor, in one sign of how politics in New York were changed. "I am worried about the future," said Steven Man, 55, an optometrist who is a registered Democrat. "I don't know what will happen from here. It could go back to the way it was. I'm really not sure, and that troubles me." (NY Times)

Mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg claims in his autobiography and in his campaign literature that he "volunteered" for military duty in Vietnam but was rejected for having flat feet. But a review of Selective Service documents and interviews with former draft officials casts serious doubt on Bloomberg's story. (Daily News)

Mark Green released his second TV ad, about crime, with former police commissioner William Bratton. "I'll target juvenile crime ... stop the flood of illegal guns from coming into our city ... and do even more to help the victims of crime - especially senior citizens." (Daily News)

Alan Hevesi has dwelled for nearly eight years in the engine room of municipal power, a world of billion-dollar bond floats, huge procurements and major pension funds. City Hall players -- including unions, mayors, lawmakers, investors, financial underwriters, developers and their agents -- have a clear stake in his actions, as with any city comptroller. In this post, Hevesi, a former state legislator from Forest Hills who also holds a doctoral degree in political science, commands a unique mixture of civil-service personnel, technical experts and advisers from his long political career. Latest in a series on the current jobs of the mayoral candidates. (Newsday)

Both Mark Green and Alan Hevesi will be on the ballot in November, Green because of his endorsement by the Working Families Party, Hevesi because of his endorsement by the Liberal Party. The question that Democratic party officials worry about is whether either of them will stay in the race if they lose the Democratic primary in September, which could split the Democratic vote. A Green spokesman (though not Green) has said he will not run if he does not win the primary. The Hevesi camp has been silent. Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the Independence Party line in November, says he will remain in the race whether or not he wins the Republican primary. (NY Times)

Alan Hevesi's campaign has decided to create a third party called the Better Schools Party, leaving the field free for Michael Bloomberg to create an Education First Party. Both candidates had been seeking to create a new party with the word "education" in the name - essentially to give themselves another line on the ballot in November - but the Board of Elections ruled that neither could have it. (NY Times)

In one of the most competitive races in a season of highly charged contests, Helen Foster is running in City Council district 16 in the Bronx to succeed her father Wendell Foster, whose career has been both a plus and a minus for his daughter's campaign. One of her opponents in the race is Michael Benjamin, who has a history as an aide to several Bronx politicians and is endorsed by a wide array of Bronx elected officials, including Fernando Ferrer. (NY Times)

Alan G. Hevesi, the city comptroller and a Democratic candidate for mayor, yesterday defended using his staff to help a campaign contributor obtain a business meeting with Bell Atlantic in 1997, saying that "we connect businesses all the time - that's what I do as comptroller." But he angrily denied an allegation that he had taken a $6,000 cash bribe from the contributor, Maurice Lowinger, who died earlier this year, in exchange for the meeting. "It is an absolutely despicable lie," he said at a news conference called to rebut the charge. (NY Times)

Trying to unite the city's largest minority groups behind a single candidate, a group of mostly black and Latino politicians threw their support yesterday to one Democratic mayoral candidate, Fernando Ferrer. Congressman Charles Rangel was the most prominent of black leaders attending the endorsement ceremony yesterday; others included Assemblyman Keith L. Wright; the Manhattan borough president, C. Virginia Fields; and two City Council members, Bill Perkins and Philip Reed. (NY Times)

Peter Vallone's campaign accused Michael Bloomberg of stealing Vallone's ideas to help the elderly, such as making "reasonably priced" prescription drugs available to the elderly through bulk purchases by the Health and Hospitals Corporation, and keeping bicyclists and skateboarders off the sidewalk. "They are stealing our idea of saying that somebody stole our idea," said a Bloomberg spokesman (NY Times)

Stephen L. Green, the brother of the mayoral candidate Mark Green and the chief executive of one of the city's largest commercial real estate companies, has helped raise $672,450, or about 12 percent of the $5.8 million in political donations collected by his brother, the campaign disclosed yesterday, far more than previous estimates had suggested. (NY Times)

In a compromise with the Campaign Finance Board, New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi agreed to pay $240,000 extra in fees and commissions to his political consultant Hank Morris, who had been working for free. The board then released $2.6 million in public funds for Hevesi's campaign. (NY Times)

All was not good news for Hevesi yesterday, however. Prosecutors are looking into a claim by a former employee of the Lowinger family, which owns U.S. Electronics and other companies, that Hevesi took a $6,000 cash payoff in early 1997 to help the family's business. (Newsday)

Republican mayoral hopeful Michael Bloomberg has set up a political committee for his Educaiton First Party, even though he has been told by the Board of Elections that he and Alan Hevesi have to change the names of their proposed third-party lines, since both used the word "education" and election laws prohibit two lines with similar names. (NY Post)

Michael R. Bloomberg suggested yesterday that both Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy and Public Advocate Mark Green, a Democratic candidate for mayor, have been lifting Mr. Bloomberg's ideas about education. Aides to Mr. Levy and Mr. Green both said the men were surprised by the suggestion, that they had talked about their proposals long before Mr. Bloomberg had outlined his education plan in June, shortly after announcing for mayor. "He should check his facts before he talks," said Mr. Green's spokesman. (NY Times)

The three Democratic hopefuls for Brooklyn borough president offered lots of ideas but no easy solutions to the lack of affordable housing at a recent forum on the topic.One candidate even admitted he had trouble finding affordable housing himself. State Senator Marty Markowitz told the audience of about 100 that after he married in 1999, it took him five months to find an apartment that ate up only half of his Senate salary. (Daily News)

In a section of western Queens with new immigrants, severely overcrowded schools and an unusual mix of manufacturing and residential neighborhoods, the race for a City Council seat is brimming with candidates who praise their experience and say they have no need for on-the-job training.There are five of them, all trying to succeed Councilman Walter L. McCaffrey in the 26th Council District, which includes Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City. (NY Times)

The United Federation of Teachers endorsed mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi. It is only the second time since 1977 that the union, one of the city's largest and most powerful with 140,000 members, has endorsed a primary candidate. (NY Times)

Mark Green, the public advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate, has released his first television advertisement which focuses on education. (NY Times)

Alan Hevesi received contributions from a Chinese-American businessman who conspired to smuggle hundreds of illegal immigrants into the United States, according to The Post. When told that the contributor was the focus of a federal investigation, Hevesi's aides refunded the donations given last November. (NY Post)

City Councilman Herbert Berman is fueling his campaign for city comptroller with donations from several officials and employees of the city Finance Department. (Daily News)

Rodolfo Flores, who wants to run for the City Council, believed that district 25 voters should be allowed to choose who would represent them. And he is still paying for it more than two weeks after the Board of Elections kept him on the Democratic primary election ballot. The Queens Democratic organization is trying to knock him off. (Daily News)

In the waterfront neighborhoods of district 26, something interesting is happening in this season's City Council race.While candidate Matthew Farrell, of Woodside, has received the endorsement of the Queens Democratic Party and local party politicians such as Queens Borough President Claire Shulman and City Councilwoman Helen Marshall, pop-up candidate Eric Gioia may give him a race to the finish line. Gioia, who has raised more money than anyone in the race - nearly $130,000, including the city's matching funds - has been endorsed by almost every major union in the city, including the United Federation of Teachers. Joe Conley, of Woodside, the president of Outlet City and Med-mac Properties and a consultant to Modell's Sporting Goods. Conley, also the chairman of Community Board 12, has won the endorsement of the incumbent Councilman Walter McCaffrey (D-Woodside) and has raised around $112,000, including matching funds. (Newsday)

The latest Quinnipiac College poll shows Mark Green comfortably ahead of his three Democratic rivals for the mayor but still short of the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. The survey found Green leading with a 32 percent share of registered Democrats. The others remain close together with Comptroller Alan Hevesi at 18 percent, City Council Speaker Peter Vallone with 15 percent, and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer at 14 percent. Twenty-one percent were undecided. (Daily News)

The two Democratic candidates for comptroller, Herbert Berman and William Thompson, each blamed the other yesterday for not blowing the whistle on massive cost overruns in the school construction program. The exchange took place at a candidates forum. Thompson, who was Board of Education president from 1996 until March, said it was "finger-pointing at its worst" to blame the overruns on the school board and said Berman, chair of the City Council's finance committee, had voted for the capital budget that included the construction projects. Berman blamed Thompson, his fellow school board members and Chancellor Harold Levy for not flagging the overruns earlier. (Daily News)

Hevesi staffers camped out overnight outside the Board of Elections downtown Broadway offices. Bloomberg staffers arrived at about 8 a.m. to be ready when the offices opened. In the end, it didn't matter. The board ruled neither candidate could create a party line with "Education" in the name. Officials had said several weeks ago that only one new party with the word "Education" in its name would be allowed and whoever handed in their petitions first would get it. But because Alan Hevesi and Micahel Bloomberg turned in their petitions at 9 a.m., when the board's office opened, officials ruled neither camp could use the coveted "e" word. (New York Post)

Even without an "education" party, Alan Hevesi is moving closer to winning the endorsement of the city1s teachers. United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is expected to ask her executive board to throw its support to the comptroller1s mayoral bid. Such a move has been expected for some time. (Newsday)

Peter Vallone came under attack from the Catholic bishop of Brooklyn and Queens for allowing a bill that would ban demonstrating at abortion clinics to reach the council floor. Vallone is not a sponsor of the bill but, as speaker, controls the flow of legislation. Bishop Thomas V. Daily urged people to write to Vallone to express their opposition to the measure. The bishop's criticism seemed to catch Vallone's staff by surprise. Vallone is an observant Catholic with close ties to Daily, despite the speaker's political support for abortion rights. Vallone aides stressed he hasn't made up his mind on the bill and will attend Tuesday's hearing on it. But one of the measure's key sponsors, Kathryn Freed of Manhattan, issued a statement commending Vallone "for his leadership on this issue." (Newsday)

Michael Bloomberg said he is uncomfortable with the idea of the city using its money from a national settlement against tobacco companies. In response to a question at a forum on health care, most of the mayoral candidates said they would use the money for health care projects. Bloomberg, however, said, "There is something that makes me uncomfortable about taking tobacco money." (New York Times)

This shows he's a political novice. Mayoral hopeful Michael Bloomberg yesterday hinted that he does not root for the Mets or the Yankee but the Boston Red Sox, longtime archrivals of the Bronx Bombers. When asked yesterday whether he was a Mets or Yankees fan, Bloomberg responded, "My answer to that is: I grew up in Boston, sir." The audience at a Rotary Club lunch on Staten Island responded with a mix of laughs and hisses. Dan Shaughnessy, a columnist for the Boston Globe, said Bloomberg's election could be "payback for the Curse of the Bambino," the spell supposedly cast on the Red Sox when the team's owner sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920. The Red Sox have failed to win a World Series since 1918. "Maybe this is our way to get even," Shaughnessy said. (Daily News)

To those who follow the ins and outs of political factions in the Bronx, yesterday's endorsements in the borough president race could hardly have been a surprise. Representative Jose Serrano, who often has the backing of the Bronx Democratic organization, declared his support for Adolfo Carrion, who also has the organization's backing. Then, Representative Eliot Engel threw his support behind candidate June Eisland. Engel has been feuding with party leaders. (Daily News)

Republican mayoral candidate Mike Bloomberg last night suggested abolishing the city's income tax for the 100,000 poorest New Yorkers. (NY Post)

In a CD-Rom entitled "Toward a Smarter City - 100 Ideas For a New Century" that he is planning to mail to voters, Mark Green reiterates goals he has stressed throughout the campaign, like smaller class sizes for the earliest grades, higher salaries for teachers and an expanded Jacob Javits Center. He also wants to see every city worker get e-mail, to add youth officers to 20 police precincts with high rates of juvenile crime, and to place cameras at dangerous traffic intersections to record the speed of cars. (NY Times)

Peter Vallone's campaign was accused of conducting a push poll, in which, under the guise of conducting a regular poll by telephone, a campaign supplies a voter with negative information about its opponents. The campaign denied the charge. (NY Times) Larry Warden, who dropped out of the race for Bronx borough president, endorsed Pedro Espada Jr. for that position, and was made Espada's campaign chairman. (Daily News)

The 17th Council District in the South Bronx, which includes the gritty, poorer neighborhoods of Mott Haven and Hunts Point, also has pockets of middle- class residents along the Grand Concourse and in Soundview. But the issues of the district's overcrowded schools, its growing demand for affordable housing and strategies for reducing hospitalization rates for asthma in those areas that have the highest number of cases in the state have been all but obscured by the candidates' recriminations against one another. (NY Times)

Five Democratic mayoral candidates are expected to participate in a debate to be broadcast on Channel 11 Aug. 28. (Newsday)

Attorneys for Democratic party leaders have been challenging the primary petitions of candidates who were not backed by the party.The attorneys were using what some critics call technicalities, such as forcing petition carriers to prove they reside at an address stated on the petition, even though it is not required that the carriers live in any particular neighborhood of the city.The Democratic parties in Brooklyn and Queens seem to be especially aggressive in using such tactics, some election reform advocates say. (Newsday)

With a month to go before the September 11 Democratic primary, the mayoral race has turned into a fierce battle among three candidates struggling to get into a runoff with front-runner Mark Green. Polls have shown Mr. Green leading the four-way race, but shy of the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. His three challengers-Fernando Ferrer, Alan Hevesi and Peter Vallone-have bobbed up and down in recent months. But now they are in a virtual dead heat for second place, with each getting 17 percent in the contest. Green has adopted what some call a "Rose Garden" strategy to maintain his lead -- issue position papers, announce endorsements and ignore his rivals. (Crain's New York Business)

He is an Eisenhower-era conservative who mocked Vietnam War protesters and twice voted for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. He is a multimillionaire who wears monogrammed shirts with French cuffs and tie pins, and controls one of Manhattan's largest commercial real estate empires. He just bought a sprawling condominium at the Trump World Tower, the latest symbol of establishment New York. In short, he is just about the last guy who might be expected to end up a chief strategist and fund-raiser behind the mayoral campaign of Mark Green, the left-leaning Democrat who has made a career challenging the system. But this real estate executive is Stephen L. Green. And the one-time Vietnam protester, now mayoral candidate, is his brother. (NY Times)

The Rev. Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem announced his endorsement of Mark Green for mayor. (NY-1)

More than 17 years after shooting a group of black teenagers on the subway and an ensuing controversial trial, Bernard Goetz is collecting signatures to get on the ballot to be New York City mayor. (NY-1)

New Fernando Ferrer TV commercial: "The big money in public education comes from the governor, comes from the State Legislature. And they've made a decision that New York City kids get less and suburban kids get more, and it's not right. Our public schools need more. We're going to have to find that money. We're going to have to make some tough choices." Since the New York City Campaign Finance Board withheld up to $2.87 million in public matching funds from Alan Hevesi's campaign this month because of questions about whether he was trying to skirt the city's spending limits, Mr. Hevesi's campaign has worked hard to change the subject. Wearing his city comptroller's hat, he held a news conference to criticize the city's process for issuing death certificates. Back in his candidate's hat, he gave what aides called a "major policy address" on crime and policing. On the trail, he shows no fear of facts or figures. He is nothing if not wonkish. As he campaigns for the Democratic mayoral nomination he seems to take genuine delight in the arcana of municipal government and finance. For nearly eight years now he has been the city comptroller, or numbers-cruncher-in-chief, a role in which he has dared to be dull. (NY Times)

A group of black elected Democrats, led by Representative Charles B. Rangel of Harlem and including Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, has decided against endorsing any of the white Democrats running for New York mayor, and will instead seek to create a black-Latino coalition that is likely to support Fernando Ferrer's bid to become the city's first Puerto Rican mayor, Mr. Rangel said yesterday. Several Democrats suggested yesterday that any black support that went to Mr. Ferrer could come out of frontrunner Mark Green's column, and could dampen any hope Mr. Green had of winning the 40 percent his aides have pushed for to avoid a runoff election (NY Times)

Michael Bloomberg has spent $16 million on the race for mayor so far, more than all the other candidates combined. He is now spending an average of more than $300,000 a day. Documents filed yesterday with city election officials show that he has sent much of his money to a single Washington firm, Squier Knapp Dunn Communications, which specializes in making and distributing television ads for politicians, and for hiring political consultants and pollsters. (NY Times)

Herman Badillo's latest quest to be mayor suffered a setback yesterday when he failed to raise enough cash to qualify for at least $1.25 million in taxpayer matching funds. Badillo has collected $197,261 in matchable funds from donors, falling short of the $250,000 needed to receive money under the city's campaign finance program, reports filed yesterday show. (Daily News)

Mixing politics and pop stars, Democratic mayoral candidate Mark Green has lined up Jon Bon Jovi, Jewel and Mary J. Blige to headline a rock-the-house fund-raiser a week before the September primary. The star-studded affair will be held September 5 at Town Hall, and actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening will be the hosts. (Daily News)

Mark Green's front-runner status in Democratic primary polls appears to be fanning his fund-raising efforts. From July 12 to Aug. 6, Green posted $576,620 in private contributions - the most of the four main contenders, according to Campaign Finance Board statements filed Friday. (Newsday)

By the time a brash young councilman named Fernando Ferrer was ushered in as Bronx borough president in 1987, the Bronx had become a symbol of urban decay and corruption. Fourteen years later, life by many measures is better in the Bronx. During his tenure, Ferrer, now 51, says proudly in an interview, 67,000 units of affordable housing were built in the Bronx, and in the last two years more jobs were created there than in any borough but Manhattan. But how much of the progress can be credited to Ferrer's work -- and how much to a massive citywide housing program and a long economic boom -- offers a key question in the mayoral race, as he pitches himself as a leader who can bring people together and transform communities. Third in a series about the current jobs of the mayoral candidates. (Newsday)

In the 17th City Council district in the Bronx, incumbent Pedro G. Espada says challenger José Marco Serrano is trying to fool voters by changing his voter registration to José Serrano - the same as his father, the veteran congressman. Serrano offers no apologies, and points out he is not the only one whose name might confuse voters. Pedro G. Espada's father, State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., is running for Bronx borough president. (NY Post)

Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan endorsed Fernando Ferrer for mayor yesterday, calling him "the social conscience of our state.... Let's have a City Hall with Fred Ferrer's policies. If they worked in the Bronx, they'll work in New York." (Daily News)

Alan Hevesi released his crime agenda yesterday. He said he would retain city cops by providing salaries "competitive" with suburban police departments, affordable housing and tuition assistance. He also said new police officers should be required to live in the city, undergo orientation by the local community council and receive more training on the "probable cause" standard used to stop and frisk suspects. (Daily News)

Alan Hevesi has unquestionably benefited from his association with his political consultant Hank Morris, given Mr. Morris's skills, and his ties to elected officials, political leaders and unions. But inevitably, because these two men have become so intertwined, Mr. Hevesi is at risk of paying a price when the irascible Mr. Morris is seen as stepping off in the wrong direction. This is how he was seen when he threatened to sue the Campaign Finance Board for denying matching funds to the Hevesi campaign. (NY Times)

Peter Vallone rolled out a cable TV ad yesterday featuring Ed Koch and touting Vallone's new proposals to provide prescription drug benefits for the elderly and health insurance for kids. (Daily News)

Alan Hevesi's dispute with the Campaign Finance Board could hurt his image, cost him money and generally damage his mayoral candidacy, according to some of his supporters. The dispute over whether Hevesi has sidestepped campaign spending limits comes five weeks before the primary with Hevesi virtually tied with two rivals for second place among the four major Democratic mayoral contenders. The dispute could result in a fine for Hevesi or force him to increase his payments to campaign guru Hank Morris by several hundred thousand dollars. That, in turn, could force a cutback in spending on TV ads in the closing days of the primary. (Daily News)

Many believe that consultant Hank Morris has made Alan Hevesi the prominent citywide figure he is today. He is the candidate's strategist, friend, alter ego, mentor, campaign manager, campaign consultant and press spokesman. Certainly Hevesi has benefited. But now, because of Morris's feud with the Campaign Finance Board, the consultant is threatening to eclipse and so perhaps damage the candidate. (New York Times)

Mayoral candidates Mark Green and Peter Vallone both focused on health-care issues yesterday. Vallone proposed that the city pay the health-insurance premiums currently paid by parents whose children do not qualify for Medicaid but are eligible for a low-cost insurance program. Green said he would like to use city agencies frequented by the poor, such as food stamp enrollment sites, to entice people to sign up for Medicaid and Child Health Plus, the low-cost insurance program for children. (New York Times)

The Working Families Party made Mark Green its mayoral candidate yesterday, guaranteeing the public advocate a place on the November ballot even if he fails to get the Democratic nomination. Party officials say the endorsement was a sign of Green's growing support among organized labor, which plays a key role in the Working Families Party. (Daily News)

City Council Speaker, and mayoral candidate, Peter Vallone's office has spent $94,000 in city money since last year on small flags celebrating several nationalities and gay pride. The flags all also say "Compliments of the New York City Council, Peter Vallone, Speaker." The speaker's office has also spent $100,000 on tote bags with the same message. (Newsday)

The main thing residents of the working class neighborhoods of Bushwick and Williamsburg want from the next mayor is affordable housing. The largely Latino district is home to many young people whose political allegiance is up for grabs. (New York Times)

Mayor Giuliani isn't running for anything, this year at least, but that has not kept his political committee from spending about $500,000 in the first six months of 2001. At the end of June, Friends of Giuliani had $2.6 million in the bank, money that could come in handy if the mayor decides to make a bid for governor, senator or city hall some day. (Daily News)

The Campaign Finance Board is holding up checks for Queens borough president candidates Helen Marshall and Carol Gresser. Meanwhile, the third candidate in the race, Councilman Sheldon Leffler, received almost $300,000. Marshall and Gresser each are seeking about $400,000 in matching funds. Their spokespeople say the problems are technical and they should have the money by Monday, although a Campaign Finance Board official said Marshall's money was being withheld because of "issues of noncompliance." (Daily News)

Come next year, Queens will finally have at least one Hispanic representing it in City Council. That's because all the contenders for the seat from the 21st District are Hispanic, as is 68 percent of the district's population.(Daily News)

All six major mayoral candidates rejected Mayor Giuliani's decency panel yesterday, saying it was unnecessary and that they would disband it.(Daily News)

Almost three-quarters of the City Council candidates who registered to participate in the campaign finance program did not receive any public matching funds this week Some were denied the funds because their ballot status is tied up in court. But many simply were unable to raise the minimum required $5,000 from city residents, 50 of them from their own district.. (NY Times)

Alan Hevesi backed down from the aggressive tone that his political consultant Hank Morris had taken in response to the Campaign Finance Board's decision not to provide matching funds to his campaign. Morris threatened to sue. Hevesi said yesterday he wanted to settle the dispute "amicably," and dispatched aides to cooperate with the board. (NY Times)

If he were mayor, Peter F. Vallone would scrap the insurance premiums that hundreds of thousands of low- income parents pay for government- subsidized health insurance for their children, his aides said yesterday. Instead, the city would pick up the cost of the premiums, which range from $108 to $180 a year per child. Campaign aides said they hoped such an incentive would compel many more parents to sign up. There are roughly 300,000 city children eligible but not yet enrolled in Child Health Plus, as the insurance program is called. (NY Times)

The president of the Gramercy Park Republican Club, the city's largest GOP club, yesterday threw his weight behind Herman Badillo's bid for City Hall, claiming Mike Bloomberg can't win in November. (NY Post)

Billionaire mayoral hopeful Michael Bloomberg referred to domestic violence and sexual abuse yesterday as "quality-of-life crimes" - immediately drawing fire from victims' rights groups and his opponents. (Daily News)

Carol Gresser, a candidate for Queens borough president, proposes turning school buildings into community centers after hours. (Daily News)

A judge ruled that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes does live in Brooklyn, in a case brought by his challenger. (Daily News)

In a borough where Republicans usually dominate the political landscape, the 49th City Council District on the north shore of Staten Island is an anomaly: a Democratic Party stronghold that for two decades has elected the same councilman, Jerome X. O'Donovan. O'Donovan has endorsed Michael McMahon, 43, a lawyer who has worked as counsel to many Democratic officials in Staten Island, to succeed him. The Staten Island Democratic Party organization has endorsed Jon R. Del Giorno, the administrative manager of the New York City Board of Elections. But what once might have been a straightforward contest between two candidates with deep Democratic roots has been complicated by the presence of Deborah Rose, an administrator at the College of Staten Island. Ms. Rose is vying to become the first black council member elected in the borough. (NY Times)

The Campaign Finance Board voted unanimously yesterday to deny mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi any matching funds, a decision that could cost him as much as $3.2 million, because his political consultant, Hank Morris, has been working for Hevesi for free. (NY Times)

Promising to ensure "quality health care for all," mayoral hopeful Fernando Ferrer pledged yesterday to streamline the process so that the uninsured and immigrants would have better access to health care. (Daily News)

A tenant-rights group, Tenants Political Action Committee, endorsed Alan Hevesi, then joined him in bashing Peter Vallone as a disaster for tenants and rent protections. Tenant activist Michael McKee said his chief beef with Vallone was a 1994 law pushed through by the Council speaker that ended rent controls on regulated apartments that have become vacant and rent for $2,000 or more a month. Vallone aides said the Council speaker had no choice but to back the 1994 decontrol law. If the Council did not act, the state Senate's Republican majority would have allowed all rent control and stabilization rules created under state law to expire. (Daily News)

While Ferrer talked about health and Alan Hevesi announced his endorsement by the tenants group, Mark Green said it was time to abolish community school boards, and Peter Vallone campaigned among some elderly in the Bronx. (NY Times)

Carl Thomas, the Brooklyn lawyer and activist who helped bring public attention to the police torture of Abner Louima, died in his sleep Sunday, apparently from a heart attack. He was 41. Thomas, a former prosecutor who came the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago about 20 years ago, was one of 10 candidates seeking to fill the term-limited seat of City Councilwoman Una Clarke in district 40, which covers Flatbush. (Daily News)

Board of Elections brusque behavior in a hearing to kick Norbert Chwatt off the ballot in district 24 in Forest Hills resulted in his 77-year-old wife Estelle being hospitalized with a stroke. (Daily News)

Civil rights lawyer Sandra Roper, who is challenging incumbent Charles Hynes in next month's Democratic primary, was in court yesterday to argue that the Brooklyn district attorney actually lives in Queens. (Daily News)

The race for the district 20 City Council seat in Flushing is getting attention around the city as the contest that may produce New York City's first Asian-American elected official, heralding a new era in city politics. But from the well-funded, party- backed Democrat, John Liu, to lesser known Green Party candidates, the candidates have kept a local focus, proudly touting their records of civic involvement. The second in a series of articles about the Queens City Council campaigns. (Newsday)

Few would deny that Peter Vallone, 66, is the quintessential City Hall insider. As council speaker, leader of the city's legislative branch, he holds the second most powerful job in city government. Some say he deserves to share whatever credit falls to Giuliani for improving the city's quality of life. Others complain he was reluctant to challenge the mayor on tough issues. The second in a series on the mayoral candidates' current jobs. (Newsday)

Abner Louima campaigned alongside Alan Hevesi yesterday. (NY Times) (Daily News)

Peter Vallone went inside to pay respects to the grand rabbi of the Satmars, Moses Teitelbaum. The endorsement may come later. (NY Times)

Candidates in City Council district 19 (Bayside) in Queens target zoning laws. The first in a series of articles about the Queens City Council campaigns. (Newsday)

Rodolfo Flores, a would-be candidate for the District 25 City Council seat now held by John Sabini believed that term limits would give him a real chance to serve their communities as elected officials for the first time. Yet the Queens Democratic Party organization had other ideas. (Daily News)

The composition of the broad field of more than 300 City Council candidates sprouts right out of the 2000 census data, reflecting New York City's diversity and its surging immigrant population more closely than any other election year in memory. There are candidates from Guyana, nearly every island in the Caribbean, Russia, India, Taiwan and Peru, to name a few. (NY Times)

The six major candidates for mayor of New York City have encouraged voters to measure them by Rudolph Giuliani's yardstick. Even as they criticized Giuliani's style, they sought to assure New Yorkers that the change in leadership at City Hall next year would not bring an end to the policies that are widely credited with moving the city in the right direction. (NY Times)

As he travels New York's four other boroughs in his quest to become mayor, Fernando Ferrer has taken much of the credit for the Bronx's renaissance. He is selling the image of the rebuilt borough as a model for serving "the other New York" that he says was left out of the city's economic surge of the 1990's.(NY Times)

Columnist Michael Kramer does his own numbers on the September primary in the mayoral election. He predicts Mark Green will top the field but may not be able to avoid a run-off; Alan Hevesi may be running to the "left," where his rivals are; Latinos will be an important voting bloc and may put Ferrer in second place; Vallone may fall 80,000 votes short of what he needs to make the runoff. (Daily News)

Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that he regretted that his "Mike for Mayor" campaign T-shirts were manufactured in Salvadoran sweatshops. He said his campaign was unaware of the origins of the 500 shirts and had ordered them through a union supplier. He said he would stop distributing the shirts. (Daily News)

The Democrats running for mayor share a painful political experience: they were all affected by the 1986 suicide of Donald Manes, the Queens borough president and Democratic leader. The scandal, prosecutions, and media coverage that followed destroyed many careers, but Green, Vallone, Ferrer, and Hevesi emerged. (Newsday)

The hunt for votes and endorsements in the New York City mayor's race took a northward turn this weekend - straight out of the city and up into the Catskills - as the Democratic hopefuls Mark Green and Peter Vallone intensified their efforts to attract different factions of Satmar Hasidim.(NY Times)

A coalition of 15 Muslim-American organizations withdrew its endorsement of mayoral hopeful Mark Green on Friday (Daily News), then reasserted that it would maintain its endorsement on Saturday. (Newsday)

While three of his mayoral rivals dashed around the city to stump stops yesterday, Republican Herman Badillo was almost thwarted at his one appearance of the day. The manager of a BJ's Wholesale Club told him to stop campaigning in front of the store, saying it was off-limits. (NY Post)

About a third of the more than 90 City Council candidates from Queens were knocked off the ballot by the Board of Elections. (Daily News)

In 1986, she was the first woman to become a New York City borough president, and now Claire Shulman is backing the bid of Queens City Councilwoman Helen Marshall who, if elected this fall, would become the first African-American to become Queens borough president. (Newsday)

The National Labor Committee, an advocacy group for worker and human rights in Central America, researched the origin of the mayor candidate Michael Bloombergs "Mike For Mayor" T-shirts and concluded they were sweatshop-produced. The committee has found horrendous conditions that the plant, including mandatory pregnancy tests for women seeking jobs, mandatory 11-hour shifts and an average workweek of 65 hours, and average pay of 60 cents an hour. (Daily News)

Alan Hevesi sent a letter yesterday to campaign monitors, accusing rival Peter Vallone of improperly using $100,000 in taxpayer funds to buy tote bags bearing Vallone's name. The tan canvas bags, which say "Compliments of New York City Council, Peter Vallone, Speaker" in bold blue letters, are part of a "pattern of abuse" in Vallone's campaign, Hevesi charged. (Daily News)

The race for comptroller has zeroed in on a big issue: Who should have alerted the citizenry to $1.9 billion in projected cost overruns that have wrecked the Board of Education's budget for school construction. Both leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for comptroller - Herbert E. Berman, chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, and William C. Thompson Jr., former president of the Board of Education - had some responsibility for the board's capital spending and plenty of opportunity to spot problems in it. (NY Times)

Former Mayor David Dinkins has endorsed Thompson. (Daily News)

Peter Vallone unveiled a $1.5 billion plan that he says would transform the city's "rotten" public school system. (Daily News)

Abner Louima is planning to campaign actively for Alan Hevesi. (Daily News)

By Monday, Republican mayoral candidate Herman Badillo must meet two goals to qualify for taxpayer financing of his campaign: He must show he has at least 1,000 donors and at least $250,000 in contributions from the five boroughs. If he achieves both, the Campaign Finance Board will begin giving him cash - $5 for every $1 he has raised, with a maximum match of $1,250 for each donor. If he does not, he can qualify again on Aug. 31, but by then it may be too late to help in the Sept. 11 Republican primary.Media mogul Bloomberg is not using public money. Badillo's task was made more difficult yesterday when the board ruled that $20,000 he raised from 120 city donors cannot be counted toward the thresholds because he was four days late in submitting paperwork to the board last year. (Daily News)

Republican Michael Bloomberg's mayoral campaign yesterday charged it was thwarted in a bid to post in subway stations ads that criticize the city's transit system and boost the candidate's plan. But officials at Viacom Outdoors - which is under contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to post subway and bus ads - insisted the campaign's claims just aren't true. (New York Post)

Council Speaker Peter Vallone's office spent more than $100,000 in city funds since last year on thousands of giveaway canvas tote bags with the Queens Democrat's name custom-printed on them. (Newsday)

Three mayoral candidates -- Fernando Ferrer, Alan Hevesi, and Mark Green -- spoke about HIV and AIDS issues at a forum in Harlem last night. Republican candidates Herman Badillo and Michael Bloomberg declined an invitation. Peter Vallone was scheduled to appear, but sent a surrogate to read a letter instead. The audience, who voted on each candidate response with a thumbs up or thumbs down, decided not to listen to what Vallone had written in the letter. The candidates appeared one at a time to answer questions about housing for people with AIDS, needle exchange programs, the Division of AIDS Services, and safe sex curriculum in public schools. Ferrer, Hevesi, and Green agreed with each other on many of the issues, but each added his own emphasis. Ferrer advocated getting the funding to community based groups, Hevesi stressed health legislation he introduced in the State Assembly, and Green highlighted his advocacy for gay and lesbian rights. And two candidates told the same joke. When asked to sign a letter to Mayor Giuliani urging that the $5 million dollars in the city budget be allocated in communities of color, both Hevesi and Green signed the letter, enjoyed the applause, then said, "I just signed Peter Vallone's name."

City Council speaker and mayoral candidate Peter Vallone said yesterday that if Schools Chancellor Harold Levy can not find a way to trim $120 million, the district superintendents should help him do it. Vallone sent letters to the city's 40 superintendents asking them for a list of suggested savings. (Daily News)

Mayoral candidate Mark Green said yesterday that if he were elected mayor, his administration would be profoundly different from the current one running New York City, even within the Police Department, where he would like to shift some of the overtime budget used for crime fighting to social programs for the police and for crime prevention. (NY Times)

Republican candidate Michael Bloomberg said yesterday he supports expansion plans at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a contentious issue that has split the upper East Side neighborhood. (Daily News)

Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg said yesterday he wants to get rid of graffiti-covered metal shutters on storefronts that make neighborhoods "look like a war zone." (NY Post) And his rivals respond. (Newsday)

An adviser to Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg shoved a Daily News reporter yesterday, causing the paper to file a complaint with the campaign. (Daily News)

The firefighter running for City Council in Far Rockaway was knocked off the ballot because he did not have the 900 signatures needed to qualify. ""An ordinary Joe doesn't have a chance," said candidate Palmer Doyle. (Newsday)

The challenge season is underway as candidates try to oust their opponents from the ballot. Since Monday, commissioners at the Board of Elections have heard hundreds of cases to determine who has enough valid signatures to qualify for running in September's primary. Their findings, though, are only preliminary as state Supreme Court judges will rule on appeals of the commissioners' decisions as well as on cases brought directly to the court. (New York Times)

This first round of Board of Elections rulings took their toll in Queens where about a quarter of Council candidates were knocked off the ballot after hearings yesterday. (Newsday)

The city is about to encounter rough economic times and would do well to have someone with a business background leading it through the slowdown, billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg told the New York Times. But the Republican candidate for mayor offered few specifics on how he would cope with the difficulties he believes lie ahead. He said he would rely on his commissioners to suggest spending cuts and try to expand the city's tax base by encouraging private investment and making the city a more attractive place to live by repairing the school system. He also said he would use techniques that he has employed at his company, Bloomberg L.P., to improve morale at city hall. (New York Times)

Bloomberg is making his hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to charity a centerpiece of his campaign. Last week, Bloomberg aired a television ad featuring a charitable organization, and when he disclosed his tax information last month, the only dollar figures he released involved his philanthropy. Last year, while contemplating a mayoral run, Bloomberg donated about $100 million, more than double the previous year. Sara Melendez, president and chief executive officer of Independent Sector, a nonprofit group that promotes philanthropy, said it is unusual for politicians to prominently showcase charitable giving in their campaigns. (Daily News)

In 1987, the Bronx machine named Fernando Ferrer to fill out the term of disgraced Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon. Today even those not supporting his candidacy for mayor say Ferrer has proved to be much more than a party hack. And many point to his first vigorous steps to erase, both literally and politically, the stains from the landmark Bronx county courthouse. (Village Voice)

The Central Labor Council, the umbrella organization of city unions, has decided not to endorse a mayoral candidate for the September primary. Council president Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin said the council could not agree on any one of the four major Democratic candidates, with most of them having substantial support in the labor group. (Daily News)

Five of the mayoral candidates said last night that they would boost spending on parks if elected but only Council Speaker Peter Vallone pledged to commit 1 percent of the city budget to the parks. Parks 2001, a nonpartisan group, is seeking to boost spending on the city's parks from 0.4 percent of the city's budget to 1 percent, an increase from about $170 million to $375 million. Candidate Michael Bloomberg did not attend last night's forum on the parks. (Daily News)

July Campaign Trail


My Street Address:

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Find what city council district you are in -- and learn more about what's going on there, and who's running.

What is this?
Gotham Gazette's Searchlight on Campaign 2001 offers a comprehensive look at what is being called New York City's most significant campaign season in modern history. (See the left-hand column for an explanation).

Districts of the Week

District 1 -- Lower Manhattan
Whoever wins the election in district 1 will represent immigrant Chinese garment workers, as well as Wall Street traders living in Battery Park City. There are several candidates hoping to be the council's firsts -- the first Asian-American man, the first Asian-American woman, the first gay Rhodes Scholar, the first dot-com guru -- running against some politically well connected opponents. Endorsements and fundraising will play a big role in this race. But voter turnout could be the main determinant of who will next represent district 1 on the council. The key question is how many voters from each community will come out on Election Day.

District 7 -- Washington Heights, Manhattan
The northern tip of Manhattan has become one of the most popular places for new immigrants to call home. The northern tip of Manhattan is a place that today's new immigrants call home. The majority have come from the Dominican Republic, but also from countries in South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. But it is not just new immigrants that are moving in. Students, artists, and other Manhattanites looking for less expensive rents and larger apartments have also moved north. Ten Democratic candidates are competing for the 15,000 voters expected on primary day. The winner who emerges from a crowded field of candidates will have to balance the needs of the newcomers with those who have lived there for years.

District 16 -- Highbridge, Bronx
The neighborhoods of district 16 are the city's poorest, with the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest median household income. But those who live there also point out that much is positive and stable about the area, thanks in large part to local organizations, not-for-profit agencies, and houses of worship that help hold the neighborhoods together. Each candidate for City Council believes that through his or her connections to churches and local organizations, they can help empower the community toward a better life. Helen Foster, the current council member daughter, will face Michael Benjamin, who has worked as an aide to several government officials and Anthony Curry, a Bronx neighborhood activist.

District 20 -- Northeast Flushing, Queens
This year district 20 may elect the first Asian-American ever to the City Council to an area which now has the second highest number of immigrants from Korea and Taiwan in the city. There are three Asian candidates in the Democratic race who have each drawn big endorsements. Council Speaker Peter Vallone endorsed Terence Park, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi endorsed John Liu, and the New York Times recently endorsed Ethel Chen The campaign has also drawn national and international press coverage

District 25 -- Jackson Heights, Queens
Thirty-seventh Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens is one of the most diverse streets in the world. Little India quickly blends into Little Colombia, with vendors selling Latin American food to Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and Uruguayans. And each summer, the Queens Pride Parade fills the same street with rainbow banners. So it is no surprise that this election year the district produced a diverse field of candidates. A number of them, however, found out that getting on the ballot is not an easy task, especially when the Queens Democratic organization sends teams of lawyers to challenge petitions. But five Democratic candidates survived and will face off on September 11.

District 31 -- South East Queens
When a heavy rain hits southeast Queens, many residents in neighborhoods like Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale head to the basement with a bucket in hand. And it has been that way for the last 50 years. In the rush to build housing in the area after World War II, developers overlooked the need for storm drains in hopes that the city would eventually build a city-wide sewer system. The plan never materialized and the area has experienced "100-year rains" three times in the last decade. The eight Democrats -- all with little experience overseeing massive infrastructure projects--will try to convince voters that they can finally solve the flooding problems.

District 35 -- Central Brooklyn
The residents in council district 35 have some of the highest incomes in Brooklyn and some of the lowest. They can play in a famous park and a beautiful botanical garden, and live in the city's most crumbling public housing. They can attend one of the four institutions of higher learning in the district, and the worst-scoring high schools in the city. Such juxtapositions are a way of life for a district that includes the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; mid dle-class African-American communities near Prospect Park; immigrant communities from Haiti, Sierra Leon, Nigeria, and Trinidad, and in Crown Heights, a mix of Hasidic Jews and African-Americans. Seven Democratic candidates are campaigning in hopes that they can bring some kind of unity, and attention, to the area. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the neighborhoods themselves.

District 39 -- Park Slope/Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
The candidates in district 39 include a chief of staff for an Assemblywoman, the husband of a member of U.S. Congress, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, an attorney and president of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, the district manager of Community Board 6, and a labor organizer. This is the race to watch this year. The group of high-profile Democrats have raised a lot of money, almost $1.4 million combined.

District 45 -- East Flatbush
In no place in the city are the effects of campaign finance reform and term limits being felt more than in East Flatbush. The seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent this largely West Indian district come from a number of Caribbean nations. Many have been working on politicians' staffs and serving with community groups, clearly hoping someday to win their own elected office. Term limits has presented them with that opportunity, and they want to make the most of it. But this race that usually draws only about 8,000 voters could be decided by just a few votes. The candidates are attempting to come up with anything that will separate them from the pack.

District 49 -- North Shore, Staten Island
Staten Island has always been somewhat of a suburban stepchild to New York City. When a 1998 survey asked New Yorkers why they go to Staten Island, the top two responses were ''visiting friends and relatives" and ''passing through.'' But in many ways, the north shore has more in common with areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn than with the rest of the Staten Island. The top priority for all the candidates -- Jon Del Giorno, an administrative manager for the Board of Elections, Mike McMahon, an attorney and counsel to current Councilmember Jerome O'Donovan, and Debi Rose, an administrator at the College of Staten Island and the first African-American candidate in Staten Island politics -- is to make sure that the island becomes more than just a turn-around-point for the over one million tourists who ride the free ferry from Manhattan each year.

Register To Vote or Be A Poll Worker

Voter Registration Forms
After printing and filling out the voter registration form, please send them by mail to:

Board of Elections
32 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY

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Poll Worker Applications

After completing the forms, please send them to the address on the form.

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Links You Can Use

Government sites
NYC Campaign Finance Bd.
NYC Board of Elections
NYC Voter Assistance Comm.
NY City Council
Federal Election Comm.

Local non-partisan sites
NY League of Women Voters
Common Cause New York

National non-partisan sites
Ctr. for Responsive Politics
Common Cause
League of Women Voters

NAACP Voter Empowerment
Vote Smart


Political consultants
Amer. Assc. of Pol. Consultants

Prime New York

Gotham Gazette
The Empire Page
Campaigns and Elections
Legislative Gazette

Political columnists
Andrea Bernstein
Joe Conason
Mario Cuomo (radio)
Rudy Giuliani (radio)
Clyde Haberman
Nat Hentoff

Joseph Mercurio
Joyce Purnick
John Tierney
Michael Tomasky

Political parties
Right to Life
Working Families
Marijuana Reform
Natural Law Party
Taxpayers Party

Political clubs and groups
Blueprint Camp. Finance Reform
Central Queens Greens
The Jefferson Democratic Club of Flushing
NY Young Republican Club
Stonewall Democratic Club
Village Independent Dems.

2001 Election Calendar

June 1 -- Deadline for candidates to join the Campaign Finance program, qualifying for the four-to-one match of contributions.
June 5 - First day for candidates from the eight major parties (Democratic, Republican, Indpendence, Conservative, Liberal, Green, Working Families, and Right to Life) to circulate petitions. Candidates running for City Council must collect the signatures of at least 900 people living in the district for which they are running in order to appear on the Primary ballot. Candidates not running under these eight major parties do not appear on the Primary ballot and have a separate set of deadlines.
July 12 - Deadline for major party candidates to file petitions.
July 10 - First day for unaffiliated candidates to circulate petitions, in order to appear on the ballot in the General Election. They must collect the number of signatures equal to five percent of the total enrolled in that party.
August 7 - Board of Elections announces candidates appearing on the Primary ballot.
August 17 - Last day for non-absentee voters to register to vote in the Primary Election.
August 21 - Deadline for non-major party candidates to file petitions to be included on the General Election ballot.
September 4 - Last day to postmark application for absentee voting in the Primary
September 10 - Last day to personally deliver application for absentee voting in the Primary Last day to postmark absentee ballot for Primary
September 11 - Primary election; Polls open at 6:00a.m. and close at 9:00p.m.; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by 9:00 p.m.
September 25 - Runoff Primary election for Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate, if needed
October 12 - Last day to for non-absentee voters to register to vote in the General Election
October 30 - Last day to postmark application for absentee voting in the General Election
November 5 - Last day to hand-deliver an application for absentee voting, or to postmark an absentee ballot for the General Election.
November 6 - General Election; polls open at 6:00a.m. and close at 9:00p.m. in NYC; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered by 9:00 p.m.

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