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GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT ON CAMPAIGN 2001: CAMPAIGN TRAIL ARCHIVES

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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?
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July Campaign Trail

August Campaign Trail

7/31
In a 90 minute interview with reporters and editors of the New York Times, Peter Vallone, Speaker of the City Council, repeatedly and earnestly presented himself as the unrecognized architect of many improvements in city life often credited to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in the last eight years, including the drop in crime, fiscal stability, and other changes that turned around the perception of the city. He said he should be elected mayor because he could assure stability in City Hall and protect advances New York had made over the past decade. distinguished himself from his three major Democratic opponents by declaring that he would oppose any tax increases in the next eight years, and would push for further tax cuts, no matter what happened to the budget or the economy. He said that in the event of a economic downturn he would exempt only the Parks Department from spending cuts. He said the Police Department and school system might be subject to reductions. The Speaker argued that eliminating the Board of Education would be the most effective thing New York could do to revive the public school system. (NY Times) Excerpts from interview (NY Times)

Former Mayor Ed Koch endorsed Adolfo Carrion for Bronx borough president. (Daily News)

Jerry Skurnick is the man whom most politicians in New York City call on to help them figure out who the voters are, where they are, and how to pique their interest. He is, after all, the master of the lists: the names of potential voters for every neighborhood block in the city, tweaked and manipulated to help his politically ambitious customers focus their mass mailings and phone banks. (NY Times)

7/30
Veteran City Councilman Sheldon Leffler, who hopes to become Queens borough president, grabs an inch-thick sheaf of paper and thrusts it at a visitor. The pages summarize the 42 City Council measures on which he was the prime sponsor and 102 bills on which he was one of several prime sponsors. "I submit to you, with conviction, that nobody [else] can give to you a list of 42 serious, specific laws that they are the prime sponsor of," Leffler said. The laws include some big ones: the 1989 law that established mandatory recycling in the city, a measure requiring city vehicles to use alternative fuels, laws regulating asbestos and banning the posting of political signs. In his nearly 24 years on the council, the Democrat from Glen Oaks has made his presence felt, especially on environmental and public safety issues. Along the way, he's often taken unpopular stands, infuriating leaders of his party and the unions that are their traditional allies, as well as a succession of police and fire commissioners. Phi Beta Kappa at Princeton, cum laude at Harvard Law School, master's degree in taxation from New York University Law School, he is viewed as an intellectual on the City Council. (Newsday)

Michael Bloomberg outlined a plan for the city's public parks, beaches and pools, including a proposal to recruit lifeguards from South America, though he said he was not sure how he would pay for the recruitment program. Peter Vallone held a press conference to discuss the 62 people who were dragged by subway cars last year. Mark Green released a report urging private companies to help build 10 new small schools. Fernando Ferrer touted his proposal for city legislation to ban racial profiling. (NY Times)

From the Lord's Prayer as acceptable for Jews to taxis as a form of mass transit, Michael Bloomberg seems to have taken to the campaign trail with a simple maxim in mind: I am successful and what works for me should work for you. When it does not, Mr. Bloomberg has appeared genuinely mystified. (NY Times)

7/29
For seven years, Mark Green has held an elected position that nearly wasn't: a job created over the objection of those who thought it superfluous and ceremonial, all podium and no power. As the city's first public advocate, Green says he has been an energetic and effective voice challenging the Republican administration. Arguing that he's made the most of the post, his supporters cite at a moment's notice his mix of 244 investigations completed, lawsuits filed and legislation proposed or enacted, his more than 100,000 constituent complaints handled (with varying success), and 70 community meetings held throughout the city. His rivals paint him as a sound-bite artist hyping an office with little of the responsibility carried by the mayor, comptroller or City Council, and no need to show results. (Newsday)

Peter Vallone is pursuing the so-called outer- borough white ethnics. They are mostly Irish and Italians, but also Greeks, Poles, Albanians and so on, who, according to the calculations of his aides, represent up to 20 percent of the Democratic electorate, and who went for Giuliani eight years ago. Vallone, 66, is also in pursuit of the elderly vote. (NY Times)

Why is media mogul Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $8 million on his self-financed campaign and has hired some of the best people in the business, getting into hot water over almost everything he says? Sources say Bloomberg's notable off-the-cuff moments occur because his campaign runs like his company - no titles, no official campaign manager and no one calling the final shots except Bloomberg, the one with the least political experience. (NY Post)

Trash has become the centerpiece of Flushing's highly contested City Council race, with many of the 10 candidates in district 20 vowing to clean up the crowded, littered sidewalks and streets of downtown. (Newsday)

7/28
In a 90-minute interview with reporters and editors of the NY Times, Herman Badillo said there would be only stylistic differences between a Badillo and a Giuliani administration. He said his first priority would be public safety, closely followed by education, health and housing issues. He said he would keep at least two of Mr. Giuliani's commissioners, Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik and Nicholas Scoppetta, the commissioner of the Administration for Children's Services. But he would ask for the resignation of Schools Chancellor Harold Levy, whom he accused of failing to enforce uniform standards for all public school children. He would change the police force's racial composition, which he identified as "the root cause of the tension" between the predominantly white force and many New Yorkers, especially Latinos and blacks. And he would require schoolchildren to take standardized tests beginning in first grade to make sure they can read and write. (NY Times) Excerpts of interview. (NY Times)

In a setback to Peter Vallone's campaign alliance with District Council 37, the city's huge municipal union, Veronica Montgomery-Costa, president of Local 372, the union's largest local, announced yesterday that her 28,000 members were moving to buck District Council 37 and back the candidacy of Fernando Ferrer. (NY Times)

A bitter political fight in district 40 in Central Brooklyn became an actual shoving match between the feisty mother-in-law of candidate Jean Vernet and the volunteers for the only other Haitian-American in the race, Lola Poisson, causing a commotion that brought police to the scene. The two candidates are among 11 West Indians vying for Una Clarke's City Council seat. (Daily News)

7/27
In a 90-minute interview with reporters and editors of the New York Times, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer said he is waging a mayoral campaign to revive what he says is a tradition of activist government abandoned by Rudolph W. Giuliani and bolster "the other New York" left out of the city's economic boom. If elected mayor, he would raise teacher pay by 30 percent, oversee the construction of 150,000 units of housing and ban the practice of racial profiling by the police. He said that he hoped to pay for most of his new programs with taxes already collected and requests for more state aid, and by weeding out fraud and abuse. (NY Times)

Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi called yesterday for an overhaul of the city's election system and for advancing the primary by four months, from September to May. The fact that election officials are considering postponing this September's runoff election, he said, indicates problems with the current system. "We're dealing with a third-world- country level of administration of elections here in New York, with voting machines that are 40 years old and processes that discourage voting all too often and participation all too often," said Mr. Hevesi, who is seeking the Democratic mayoral nomination. (NY Times)

Last week, Mark Green took his place amid a crowd of Hasidim, as aides circulated a statement saying that "leaders from the Satmar Congregations of New York City, the largest of the three major Hasidic groups in the city with some 100,000 followers" supported his mayoral campaign. As Mr. Green smiled for the cameras, most of the leaders of the Satmar establishment in New York City - including its grand rabbi - were actually in Europe, unaware that political endorsements were being made in the name of the Satmars. Many of the Hasidim surrounding Mr. Green in the picture belonged to a smaller group that is at odds with the Satmar establishment, which is based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A few of them live in Orange County. "It's obvious that those people who endorsed Mark Green wanted to take advantage of Mark Green and make him think they were the leaders," said Rabbi Isaac Wertheimer, the man chosen to discuss the matter by the Satmar leadership in Williamsburg. "Mark Green, I guess, he didn't know exactly what he was getting into." (NY Times)

Green has accepted the endorsement of a coalition of 15 Muslim-American organizations that includes a group that calls U.S. aid to Israel "blind support of Zionist colonialism." A Green spokesman said he was unaware of the group's views. (Daily News)

Peter Vallone's first campaign ad will feature former Mayor Ed Koch: "Hi. I'm Ed Koch, and I'm supporting Peter Vallone for mayor. He won't have to learn the job. As they say, he's been there, done that. I know. I was mayor for 12 years when he was majority leader of the City Council. He was my partner in government. No one in this election has his experience and ability. So if you're interested in electing a mayor who can run the city in good times and bad and never lose his cool, always remembering that he serves you, please join me in voting for Peter Vallone." Times analysis: Actually, Vallone was majority leader for only three years of Koch's mayoralty, and they famously clashed over Vallone's to make the Council a more powerful body. (NY Times)

Evidence of Bloomberg's deep-pocketed campaign is hitting mailboxes across the city.It's a glossy, 12-page, multicolored, mass mailing by the Bloomberg campaign that is virtually a minimagazine filled with everything you want to know about the billionaire, and then some. But nowhere in the magazine is the fact that he is running as a Republican. (Daily News)

Barry Grodenchik, Tony Avella and John Liu called this week for a complete overhaul of the city's Department of Buildings, which seems to get involved in corruption or incompetence charges on a recurring basis. All three also are candidates for Queens City Council seats and have the backing of the Queens County Democratic Organization, which has been known to refer job applicants to the Department of Buildings. (Newsday)

07/26
Mark Green is clearly ahead in the campaign for the Democratic nomination for mayor, according to a new Quinnipiac College poll, but the race for second is too close to call. With 30 percent of the vote, Green does not have enough support to avoid a runoff, and it's impossible to predict who his opponent would be in that contest. The poll found Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer with 18 percent, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi with 17 percent, City Council Speaker Peter Vallone with 16 percent, and 18 percent undecided. (New York Post)

The poll also indicates that Republican candidate Michael Bloomberg's $8 million investment in campaign ads and other electioneering is beginning to pay off. He remains far behind his major Democratic rivals, but the huge margins are shrinking. Bloomberg trails Mark Green 54 percent to 28 percent, the poll found. City Comptroller Alan Hevesi's 37-point lead over Bloomberg in June is down to 22 points, and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone's 43-point lead has shrunk to 25 points, according to the poll. Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer now leads the billionaire 48 percent to 33 percent, down from the previous 55 percent-to-25 percent advantage. (Daily News)

Mark Green has enlisted David Boies, the lead attorney for Al Gore's campaign during last year's recount in Florida, to put together a team of hundreds of lawyers to monitor polling places on Primary Day. The lawyers would guard against balloting mistakes and the possibility of voter fraud. Observers believe the effort is designed to compensate for Green's lack of support from the traditional Democratic Party establishment whose loyalists are often deployed as poll watchers. "In the outer boroughs, the polls will be opened and closed by inspectors from the Democratic Party machinery," said one lawyer involved in the Green campaign. "So it's in our interest to have a set of eyes and ears trained in the law and ready to spot problems of any type that may arise." (New York Observer)

In a meeting with the Post editorial board, mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi yesterday said that New York has generally been going the right way under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, contesting his opponent Fernando Ferrer's claim that New York is turning into "two cities." (New York Post)

7/25
Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant who has become a symbol of police brutality, gave his endorsement to Alan Hevesi. (NY Times) (Daily News)

The Haitian immigrant's vote of confidence on the steps of City Hall seemed to energize Hevesi's campaign, which has been lagging in polls, and caught his three principal rivals off guard. (Newsday)

Hevesi contacts in the Haitian community as far back as 1994. Three years ago, he helped organize planes to shuttle food and medical supplies to Haiti after Hurricane George. (NY Post)

The Rev. Al Sharpton - Abner Louima's longtime adviser - was said to be surprised by the police-torture victim's decision to back Alan Hevesi. (NY Post)

The city Campaign Finance Board will begin auditing Alan Hevesi's mayoral campaign today. Hevesi's rivals have suggested that Hank Morris, his campaign manager, is undercharging him, which would give the city comptroller an advantage in a primary in which spending by each of the Democrats is capped at $5.5 million.(NY Times)

Hevesi is the only major candidate for mayor since the Campaign Finance Board began in 1988 to run with only the barest of staffs, and without a traditional headquarters or discernible overhead costs. With payments to Hank Morris's firm concealing and reducing these expenses, Hevesi has been able to air TV ads for months while keeping his spending total only slightly higher than his three Democratic rivals, who have yet to buy commercial time. (Village Voice)

With more than three months to go before Election Day, this campaign season has already been a huge boon to political consultants. A computer database analysis of campaign filings of the 350 candidates across the city shows they have spent a combined $26 million through July 11 - with $8 million shelled out alone by media mogul Michael Bloomberg, the only major candidate not to be enrolled in the city's voluntary campaign-finance program. (NY Post)

The top five political consultants who have charged the most in this year's election: Squier, Knapp & Dunn ($4.8 million) Morris, Carrick & Guma ($1.75 million), Penn, Schoen & Berland ($465,000), Sheinkopf Communications. ($348,000), and the Global Strategy Group ($304,000). (NY Post)

City Council Speaker Peter Vallone yesterday joined a lawsuit against the city to stop a bus service arrangement a union calls improper. (Newsday)

Former Mayor Ed Koch will play a prominent role in a TV ad for mayoral hopeful Speaker Peter Vallone. (Daily News)

Herman Badillo appealed to members of the Campaign Finance Board yesterday to count about 125 more donors to help his cash-strapped campaign qualify for matching city funds. Badillo missed the first opportunity to qualify, when he did not raised the required $250,000 from at least 1,000 New York City contributors. (NY Times)

Before announcing his bid for mayor, Michael Bloomberg began resigning from four exclusive clubs in Manhattan and Westchester County that have predominantly white memberships. Bloomberg quit the Harmonie Club, the Century Country Club, the Brook Club, and the Racquet and Tennis Club, according to his campaign. (NY Times)

7/24
Fire Department officials suspect that a fire was deliberately set at the campaign headquarters of Anthony Andrews, one of the 11 candidates running to succeed Thomas White in the district 28 seat of City Council representing Jamaica. At 4 a.m., someone threw paint on a 10-foot-long banner above his headquarters and then started a fire, officials said. (Daily News)

In his race for mayor, Mark Green has been going to as many as 11 events a day, and clearly keeping tabs: Number of African-American churches visited, 130; number of schools he has popped in on, 50; 70 town hall meetings in 53 community districts. (NY Times)

Some of Hollywood's biggest names are taking sides in a little-noticed City Council race - all thanks to a childhood friendship between a novice candidate and superstar actor Edward Norton. Producers David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg have each chipped in $2,500 to Mark Levine, one of 10 Democrats slugging it out to succeed term-limited Councilman Stanley Michels in district 7 in northern Manhattan. Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Courtney Love have also written $2,500 checks, as has Norton himself. Director Milos Forman came in with $250. Levine has amassed an impressive $105,644 war chest, surpassing his two closest rivals, Mario Torres, a vice president of the Battery Park City Authority ($82,066), and Robert Jackson, who led the lawsuit challenging the state's education formula ($33,607). (NY Post)

7/23
A recent study concluded that 90 percent of New Yorkers do not have the foggiest idea who their City Council representatives are. (Daily News)

Bloomberg said that because both New York senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, are Democrats, he would try to "be, as mayor, the third senator, if you will," a Republican lobbying the Republican administration in Washington for increased federal aid. His opponents ridiculed his remarks. (NY Post)

After weeks of offering little but praise for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Michael R. Bloomberg, the Republican mayoral candidate, sent a modest critical punch in the mayor's direction yesterday. He said that Mr. Giuliani was wrong in 1995 to have ousted Yasir Arafat from a concert for world leaders at Lincoln Center. (NY Times)

7/22
Mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi's opponents have pressed the city's Campaign Finance Board to rule on whether his political consultant Hank Morris is unfairly providing cut-rate office and consulting services to his friend, the man he wants to make New York's next mayor. The dispute over Hevesi's novel arrangement with Morris suggests the difficulty that proponents of stricter campaign finance regulations across the nation have faced over a generation of trying to restrict the influence of money on politics. (NY Times)

Democratic mayoral hopeful Peter Vallone yesterday threatened a lawsuit over the Board of Elections' plan to close more than 100 voting booths at senior facilities around the city. (NY Post)

As the September 11 primary creeps closer, Mark Green holds a double-digit lead over all three Democratic rivals. Two private polls have him near 40 percent, the threshold needed to avoid a primary runoff. (Daily News)

Michael Bloomberg told a radio audience of mostly Spanish-speaking listeners yesterday that learning English was a key to "the American Dream." "In the end, immigrants to this country have to learn to get the skills to participate," Bloomberg said on WNNY-AM's "Cara a Cara" ["Face to Face"]. On the one-hour live interview, the Republican mayoral hopeful spoke mostly in English, apologizing for not speaking Spanish.(Daily News)

Alan Hevesi yesterday called for the re-establishment of the "911 Committee," an advisory body that for 20 years ensured the city's emergency rooms were equipped and maintained. (Newsday)

7/21
A day after he endorsed voluntary prayer in public schools, Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg came out for posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms. "I don't see how you can study history without reading the Ten Commandments," Bloomberg told reporters yesterday, adding that the tenets "are probably a good thing to post." (Daily News)

City Council Speaker Peter Vallone's endorsement for mayor by District 37, the city's largest municipal union, was made final late Thursday in a vote by its locals' delegates. The two biggest locals, Local 1549 and Local 372, abstained from voting. In Queens, with all 14 seats open due to the introduction of term limits, the delegates reversed one executive-board recommendation - voting to support Robert Cermeli, a member of Local 375, instead of Liz Crowley in the 30th Council District. (Newsday)

District Council 37, which comprises 56 union locals, endorsed Vallone by a very narrow margin, with 42 percent voting to abstain in the primary. At the same time, the city's two other giant unions, the United Federation of Teachers and 1199, the health care workers' union, have apparently decided to sit out the primary because their members are so divided about the four major Democratic candidates. (NY Times)

In the first formal endorsement ever given by a large, organized coalition of Muslim voters in New York City, the Muslim Political Coordinating Committee of New York, which represents about 15 Muslim organizations, has said it will support Mark Green for mayor. Ali Mirza, chairman of the committee, said his group chose Green because it liked his record as public advocate, and because he twice participated in the annual Muslim Day parade. (NY Times)

In the 45th district in central Brooklyn, a largely West Indian, working-class district of 150,000 people, nine candidates have declared for City Council; others might enter the fray. A podiatrist is running. So is an elementary school teacher. So is a rent examiner. So is a college professor. So are several political aides. So is a beverage store owner. Candidates have been hustling to round up endorsements. Vaughan Toney has been endorsed by current Councilmember Lloyd Henry. Kendall Stewart, who ran in 1997 against Lloyd Henry, is a Democratic district leader and has the support of the party. Ernest Emmanuel has proclaimed the backing of Abner Louima, whose fateful encounter with the police occurred in the district. (NY Times)

7/20
Mayoral candidate Peter Vallone criticized his three Democratic rivals for expressing support for gay marriage. "It's a state and federal question. Even if you wanted to do it, you couldn't do it." Vallone also took on Ferrer and Hevesi for being open to tax hikes to improve schools, calling it "pandering of the worst kind," in order just "to get a union endorsement." (NY Post)

Bucking a political taboo, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer yesterday became the first Democratic mayoral contender since the early 1990s to launch a campaign to roll back a tax cut. For weeks, since Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Council Speaker Peter Vallone announced agreement on a further reduction of personal income taxes for city residents, Ferrer has belittled the move as failing to help working New Yorkers and forgoing useful revenues. On the City Hall steps yesterday, he kicked off a "Keep My Four Pennies" campaign - referring to the 4 cents a day the income tax cut would save most residents. (Newsday)

Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that he supported reciting the Lord's Prayer in the city schools. He was criticized by his opponents, and by Jewish leaders. (Daily News)

Mayoral candidate Mark Green won endorsements yesterday from black ministers and a group of Hasidic Jews as he hop- scotched around Manhattan in what his advisers said was an attempt to demonstrate the ideological and ethnic breadth of his political support. (NY Times)

Mayoral hopeful Herman Badillo demanded yesterday that his Republican rival Michael Bloomberg nix $14.4 million in city tax breaks that is media company received in exchange for agreeing to stay in Manhattan. (Daily News)

New television commercial from Alan Hevesi: "As mayor I won't use my energy searching for indecency inside our museums. Instead, I'll fight for decency outside them and to keep our city moving in the right direction for all of us. For smaller schools, smaller classes and the best teachers. For affordable housing and an economy that creates new jobs. And for a police force that's tough on crime and misconduct. I'm Alan Hevesi and that's why I'm running for mayor." Analysis of ad: The reference to Giuliani's battle with the Brooklyn Museum of Art over a photograph he labeled anti-Catholic is the latest attempt by Hevesi to distance himself from the mayor (NY Times)

Mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi's latest campaign disclosures claim what seems impossible: The comptroller pays nothing for rent and little for phones, postage and photocopying. He lists four employees, while his rivals have staffs of a dozen or more. In addition, he is being charged relatively low rates by his political consultant, Hank Morris. The speculation is that his plan is to save up his cash for a TV ad blitz shortly before the September 11th primary. The Campaign Finance Board is conducting an audit: Campaign finance rules dictate that candidates who get public matching dollars must pay market value for services. (Daily News)

The next political muscle that may be flexed with some impact could come from Muslim voters. The American Muslim Alliance and the Muslim Coordinating Council of New York have been interviewing candidates for city office this year and plan to make their endorsements Sunday night. "Muslims are getting off the fence and getting involved in politics," said Faroque Khan, president of the New York State chapter of the American Muslim Alliance. (Newsday)

City Councilmember Ken Fisher said yesterday that if he is elected Brooklyn borough president, he will appoint himself to the Board of Education. (Daily News)

City Councilmember Helen Marshall, running for Queens borough president, received the endorsement of the Working Families Party. She told them that her father was a porter, which would endear her to the Service Employees International Union, which represents porters. But she said in a recent interview with a Newsday reporter that her father was a merchant seaman who jumped ship and became a house painter during the Depression. (Newsday)

7/19
The latest campaign finance figures filed by candidates show Mark Green leading the fund-raising race for the last six months. The public advocate took in $1.7 million for his mayoral bid since mid January, compared with Alan Hevesi's $1.2 million. Hevesi, though, received far more money from intermediaries known as bundlers. Of every dollar Hevesi raised, 37 cents came from intermediaries, while 10 percent of Green's money came in in batches. Hevesi also has sent back far more donations than his opponents. Much of the more than $215,000 he returned was raised by intermediaries but sent back after ethical questions were raised about the contributions or contributors. (New York Times)

Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg has spent an estimated $8.1 million on his campaign already, purchasing ads and mailings. While the effort has boosted his name recognition, private polls cited by his Democratic rivals show that, in a race against any of them, Bloomberg would capture less than 30 percent of the vote. This is unchanged from the polls taken just after he got into the race. (New York Observer)

A small portion of those millions is apparently going to ordinary New Yorkers. The Bloomberg campaign is paying people $5 to answer its on-the-street surveys. (Newsday)

Herman Badillo told the Daily News editorial board yesterday that he would try to create a new party for his mayoral campaign to guarantee him a place on the November ballot. His Republican opponent Michael Bloomberg and Democratic candidate Alan Hevesi are mounting similar drives. Badillo said he did not know what he would call his nascent party. (Daily News)

Leaders of the ultra Orthodox Jewish Satmar sect, long supporters of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are expected to endorse Mark Green for mayor today. The move is seen as symbolically important to Green's attempt to assemble a winning coalition. Satmar leaders reportedly liked Green's plan for affordable housing. (Newsday)

City Councilmember Larry Warden said he dropped out of the race for Bronx borough president because he didn't have enough money to wage what he called a "quality" campaign. Warden did not say which of the remaining three Democratic candidates he might endorse, though one insider said Warden would probably try to make a deal with State Senator Pedro Espada. (Daily News)

7/18
Financial records from the Campaign Finance Board and petitions for the Board of Elections became the subject of campaign attacks as candidates accused each other of producing false numbers. (NY Times)

Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon and his Sterling Equities real-estate company donated nearly $100,000 in this year's city elections, including $50,700 to the four Democratic mayoral hopefuls. They also donated $35,300 to city comptroller candidate Herb Berman, a Brooklyn city councilman who was a key in building a $33 million stadium in Coney Island for a minor-league Mets team. The Mets are seeking a new $500 million major-league stadium. (NY Post)

Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg could end up spending as much as a $35 million in his campaign, The Post reports. (NY Post)

Mayoral candidate Speaker Peter Vallone proposed a plan to expand city train service using existing tracks and stations. (NY Times)

Mayoral candidate Mark Green proposed expanding the Javits Center north to 42nd St. yesterday. Mayor Giuliani wants to expand the center south as part of a plan to create a West Side stadium. (Daily News)

Two candidates for Bronx Borough President dropped out yesterday. City Councilman Larry Warden told the city Board of Elections that he was withdrawing his nominating petition and Ronald Law did not get the 4,000 signatures needed to get on the ballot. The remaining candidates for the Democratic primary include state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and City Council members June Eisland and Adolfo Carrion Jr. (Daily News)

Queens Borough President Claire Shulman officially endorsed Alan Hevesi for mayor. (Daily News)

Former Board of Education President and city comptroller candidate William Thompson won the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers union yesterday. (Daily News)

The city's campaign financing program is helping even the race for Brooklyn borough president. Councilmember Fisher has raised nearly $931,000 with state Sen. Marty Markowitz raising $490,500 and former Deputy Borough President Jeannette Gadson raising $250,000. But more than half of Fisher's money came in donations of more than $250 and will not be matched. (Daily News)

Several of the 90 City Council candidates running in Queens are approaching the $137,000 limit, according to the Campaign Finance Board. (Daily News)

7/17
Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman who is making his first foray into politics, has already spent a little more than $8 million of his own money in his bid for mayor. That is more than the combined expenditures of all four of the Democrats and one Republican vying against him. (NY Times)

Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, the city's top elected black official, has endorsed Herb Berman for comptroller, rather than his rival Bill Thompson, the only citywide African-American candidate. (NY Post)

Queens has no elected Latino officials in the City Council or the state Legislature. But with Queens' growing Latino population - nearly 25 percent of the borough - and with election interest fueled by Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer's mayoral candidacy, there's no doubt that the Hispanic vote will be more energized. There are about 85,000 registered Latino Democrats in Queens. One race they may help determine is Queens borough president. (Daily News)

The blessing of the Queens County Democratic Organization seems to have done wonders for the fund-raising of Helen Marshall, one of three leading candidates for Queens borough president, according to records released yesterday. Marshall, a city councilwoman who represents an East Elmhurst district, has raised $213,000 to date - nearly triple the $76,915 she had raised by her January filing with the city's Campaign Finance Board. One of her opponents Carol Gresser has raised $329,000; the other, Sheldon Leffer, $156,000. (Newsday)

Of the five candidates for the district 39 city council race in Park Slope who have made their fund-raising numbers public, only two received more than half their money in Brooklyn. For example, Bill de Blasio, who ran Hillary Rodham Clinton's successful Senate campaign last year, raised only two percent of his funds in Brooklyn; some 40 percent of his funds are from people who live outside the five boroughs. (Daily News)

7/16
Mayoral candidate Mark Green yesterday called for slashing the city's energy use - including offering landlords bigger incentives to replace old refrigerators in apartments - to spur conservation. Green, the city's public advocate, wants $16.6 million cut from the $332 million that city government currently spends on power each year. Doing so, he said, would come from such measures as cutting down on the amount of heat and air conditioning and installing sensors to turn off lights when no one is in a room. (NY Post)

Peter Vallone and City Council Member Gifford Miller stood on an Upper East Side street corner Sunday to call for stricter enforcement of New York City' s bicycle laws. Standing with Alan Finger - who was recently hit by a bicycle while walking on a sidewalk - Vallone and Miller demanded that the police department enforce the law that keeps the sidewalk clear of bicycles.

Two weeks ago, a report by Mark Green on the shooting of Amadou Diallo contended Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's public support of the police officers in the case "short-circuited" the department's internal investigation. Bill Bratton, the former police chief who is supporting Green, was finally reached for comment on Green's report. He said he was not consulted about the report and that it "made certain presumptions based on circumstantial information." (Newsday)

7/15
Michael Bloomberg has a novel idea to boost his prospects in the mayoral race: Create a new political party so he can appear on an additional line on the November 8 ballot. He's calling it the Education First Party, to underscore his commitment to improving city schools. There's only one problem. Democrat Alan Hevesi also is forming a new political party so he can grab an extra line on the ballot. And he's calling it the Education Party to showcase his commitment to the schools. (Daily News)

In the 21st Council District - drawn 10 years ago with the expressed purpose of electing a Hispanic to the City Council - politicians of Dominican and Ecuadorian descent are openly complaining of what they call Puerto Rican dominance of Latino politics in New York. The strong rivalries are making it possible - some say likely - that the primary victory in September will go not to a Latino, but to a longtime black activist and minister, the Rev. Marvin J. Bentley, a resident of the small but politically powerful African-American community of East Elmhurst. (Newsday)

7/14
Mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg, who has been estimated to be worth around $4.5 billion, presented four years of tax information Friday, but revealed very little. He offered reporters only what is required by election law, and did so under tight restrictions. He did not include actual tax returns, which his rivals for mayor have done, and which mayoral candidates traditionally release. His campaign said that such information could harm his company. But some tidbits can be gleaned. He donated more than $100 million to nearly 600 charities, including beleaguered Hale House, in the year 2000, which was more than twice the donations he made the year before. He sold off his portfolio of stocks in preparation for his run for mayor. He is owner of several horses that his daughter rides competitively, part-owner of a yacht, and he has invested in a national tour of the musical "Annie" and in making Arthur Miller's novel "Focus" into a film. (Daily News) (NY Times)

His opponents attacked Bloomberg for his non-disclosure disclosure. "Are there issues about whether the taxes he paid don't correlate to the total income he's earned? We don't know," city comptroller Alan Hevesi said. "He might as well have taken the forms and not answered any question and left them blank." (NY Post)

7/13
Republican Herman Badillo appears to face the highest risk of being knocked out of the mayoral race after he and the five other major candidates submitted petitions yesterday to the Board of Elections to qualify for the September 11 primary ballot. Badillo handed in 13,927, which is nearly twice as many as the 7,500 signatures mayoral candidates need, but considered a risky margin since it is common for candidates to challenge the signatures on their rivals' petitions. By contrast, the Democratic mayoral candidates handed in up to 150,000 signatures each. (Daily News)

Mayoral candidate Mark Green enjoyed a big fund-raising edge over his Democratic rivals in the first six months of 2001, figures released yesterday show. Green's campaign reported that he collected $1.8 million. Hevesi reported $1.25 million, Vallone, $1 million, Ferrer, $625,000 (Daily News)

Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg released his plan to untangle traffic. (Bloomberg campaign Web site)

District Council 37's surprise backing of Council Speaker Peter Vallone was part of a wider pattern in which the mammoth municipal union has rewarded several term-limited members of the City Council seeking higher office. For comptroller, Herbert Berman; for public advocate, Stephen DiBrienza; for Queens borough president, Helen Marshall; for Staten Island borough president, Jerome X. O'Donovan. A little inside insight into the Vallone endorsement: Karen Persichilli, a longtime Vallone loyalist now running day-to-day campaign operations, happens to be married to Mike Keogh, the union's political director. (Newsday)

The three Democratic candidates for Queens borough president say they all easily collected enough signatures to get on the ballot. So, too, has the Republican candidate Al Stabile. (Newsday)

All three Democrats, incidentally, have one thing in common: None of them was born in Queens. Helen Marshall was born in Harlem, grew up in the Bronx and moved to Queens in 1960. City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis) was born in Brooklyn and moved to Queens with his family when he was 2 years old. Former Board of Education President Carol Gresser was born on Long Island and moved here after her marriage.

Candidates for public office who sit on local school boards get a fund-raising boost from teachers in their districts, campaign finance records show. One example: Juan Martinez, the president of Community School District 14 in Williamsburg (which has a history of financial irregularities), who is running in Bushwick's 34th Council District. Martinez has amassed $51,000 in campaign contributions, one of the heaviest war chests of any Brooklyn council candidate, and 63 percent of that money comes from teachers and employees of the school district. (Daily News)

7/12
Mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg's campaign is trying to assert tight-fisted control over everything, which makes sense. Even before his political ambitions surfaced, no one understood the value of control better than Mike Bloomberg, a guy who literally built his fortune on the control of financial information. (The New Republic)

Today's the day. Candidates for city office have until midnight to file their petitions to qualify for this year's elections. A Council candidate looking for a spot on the September primary ballot must produce at least 900 valid signatures from party members living in his or her district. Mayoral candidates need 7,500 signatures citywide. (Daily News)

Leaders of District Council 37 made their union the first municipal union to make an endorsement in the mayoral race and in doing so gave a boost to the candidacy of City Council Speaker Peter Vallone. If, as expected, the decision is ratified by the rank and file, it will provide Vallone with organizational support and give his flagging mayoral bid an "instant infusion" of credibility. Union leaders said they were endorsing the speaker because he had stood with them on many issues and they "believe he will be a good mayor for the entire city." With 125,000 members, District 37 is the city's largest municipal union. (Daily News)

Many unions, however, as well as leading elected officials are holding off on making endorsements in this year's mayoral race. Noting that voters seem uninterested in the campaign, several union leaders and politicians say they might stay neutral in the September 11 primary and wait to see who emerges in an expected two-way runoff. Others, such as U.S. Representative Charles Rangel say they will not make any endorsement until it appears that voters are paying attention to what Rangel sees as a lackluster campaign. (New York Times)

Michael Bloomberg yesterday vowed that, if elected mayor, he would take mass transit at least once a day. But under the billionaire candidate's definition, taxi cabs qualify as mass transit. Riding the F train, Bloomberg called for mayoral control of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and for building the Second Avenue subway, adding a Grand Central station stop for the Long Island Rail Road and extending the 7 train west of Times Square. He offered no new ideas on how to pay for those projects however. (Newsday)

Mayoral candidate Mark Green launched his radio advertising campaign yesterday with spots featuring former Police Commissioner William Bratton and former Mayor David Dinkins, both of whom have endorsed the public advocate's candidacy. (Daily News)

State Senator Pedro Espada yesterday formally announced his candidacy for Bronx borough president. Espada says he has 25,000 signatures, enough he believes, to withstand any attempts by his long-time adversaries at the Bronx Democratic Party organization to keep him off the ballot. The organization is backing City Councilman Adolfo Carrion for borough president. (Daily News)

7/11
After six months of campaigning, the polls on the mayoral candidates remain the same. The lack of change in the polls may mean the race will be decided in the final days before the Sept. 11 primaries. (Daily News)

The mayor's race has turned to issues of taxes and economic development, as Republican Michael Bloomberg toured downtown Jamaica, Queens, and Democrats debated a tax cut.(Newsday)

City Comptroller Alan Hevesi reportedly tried to get the spending cap lifted in the Democratic primary race because of concern about running against billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Mark Guma, one of Hevesi's chief political advisers, asked the city's Campaign Finance Board to eliminate the $5.23 million spending cap for Democratic candidates because Bloomberg is already spending millions of dollars on television commercials. (NY Post)

City Councilman Ken Fisher, a candidate for Brooklyn borough president, promised yesterday that fixing up the waterfront would be his top priority. Fisher met with the Daily News Editorial Board and said that he supported rezoning that would help Williamsburg change from an industrial area to a residential and commercial neighborhood. (Daily News)

City Councilman Adolfo Carrion formally announced his bid for Bronx borough president on the steps of Borough Hall yesterday. (Daily News)

Carol Gresser, candidate for Queens borough president, received the support of candidate Haydee Zambrana who dropped out of the race and endorsed the former Board of Education president. Zambrana, a community activist in Corona, had the support of some Hispanic voters in the area. (Daily News)

7/10
During a campaign stop on Wall Street, Fernando Ferrer vowed to reinstate the most recent cut in the personal income-tax surcharge and said he would consider restoring a portion of the hotel-occupancy-tax cut. Ferrer labeled the Mayor Giuliani-backed reduction in the surcharge adopted last month as "trivial and superfluous," saying it saves the average New Yorker pennies a day, while depriving the city treasury of $180 million a year. (NY Post)

Peter Vallone pledged yesterday to make "values education" a hallmark of reform in the city's public schools. "I will put important values like respect and responsibility back into the classroom," the City Council speaker said. "I will make it a central tenet of my school reform." Other values to be part of the lesson plan: honesty, kindness, freedom and nonviolence. (Daily News)

George Delis was all prepared to run to succeed Peter Vallone in the district 22 Astoria seat of the City Council, until Peter Vallone Jr. entered the race, and received the Queens Democratic Party organization endorsement. Delis dropped out, afraid to continue running because his current job is a political appointment. "Term limits did not go far enough," he said. "Is it fair that a son should move in and the party hands him the seat?" As many as 11 of the 35 open seats are being sought by relatives of the departing representatives. (NY Times)

7/09
Mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi proposed yesterday putting five so-called mammogram vans on city streets to offer free - and potentially lifesaving - breast exams to uninsured women. Each van could provide more than 7,000 women with the breast cancer screening annually, Hevesi said. (Daily News)

7/08
Mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer criticized the education plan of Republican hopeful Michael Bloomberg yesterday, calling the businessman's proposal to fix city public schools "amateur." (NY Post)

7/07
A city housing official who was one of Controller Alan Hevesi's top mayoral campaign fund-raisers has been removed from his post and reassigned pending an investigation. Officials in the Department of Housing Preservation and Development said the investigation of Fred Buzzeo, director of the department's Queens Anti-Abandonment Office, will seek to determine whether any of the $61,000 Buzzeo raised for Hevesi's campaign came from employees under his supervision or businesses that have contracts with the agency. (Daily News)

7/06
Term limits and the city's campaign finance law have combined to create a boom year for political consultants. Some of them are veterans in the city's political world. But with some 350 people running for an array of city offices, many novices are benefiting as well. (New York Times)

For one campaign aide, though, the political bonanza could become a legal morass. City Council candidate Joyce Shepard has sued her former campaign manager, Jack Ballinger. The District 19 contender alleges that Ballinger created a campaign website for her and then lied about her on it. (Daily News)

Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg has announced a sweeping plan to create at least 100,000 housing units and preserve 2.9 million existing ones. To accomplish this, Bloomberg would designate a deputy mayor as housing czar and "re-engineer" the Department of Buildings to expedite development. In addition, he would condemn privately owned vacant land for housing development; give tax incentives to builders who maximize the size of their developments; and turn city-owned waterfront land into new housing zones. Perhaps most radically, Bloomberg wants the city to seize buildings that have suffered chronic housing code violations and turn them over to responsible owners. (City Limits Weekly)

The director of a Queens office of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Urban Development is being removed from his post while officials investigate whether any of the $61,040 in contributions he delivered to Alan Hevesi's mayoral campaign came from city employees he supervises or contractors who do business with his agency. The official, Fred Buzzeo, collected more than 130 donations for the comptroller last year, according to campaign finance records. City ethics rules ban workers from soliciting donations from their subordinates or from using any city-paid time or resources to collect donations. (New York Times)

7/05
Politicians took advantage of the Fourth of July holiday to press their campaigns. Favorite stops for mayoral hopefuls included the Coney Island Boardwalk and the Fourth of July parade in Staten Island. Among the highlights (if it can be called that): Public Advocate Mark Green tried to teach a parrot to say "Vote for Green." (New York Times)

Joe Heaphy, executive director of the New York State Tenants and Neighbors Coalition, has ended his campaign for the City Council seat from the 26th District. "I have decided that the best way for me to continue serving the needs of the community and the city is to focus my energy on my work to preserve affordable housing for those who need it most," Heaphy said. Public advocate candidate Norman Siegel used Independence Day to attack Mayor Giuliani for allegedly infringing on New Yorkers' freedom of speech. "New York has, under his administration, become increasingly authoritarian and repressive," said Siegel, former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. (Daily News)

7/04
Herman Badillo yesterday accused his Republican rival for mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, of engaging in dirty tricks and a smear campaign against him. His opponent's representatives deny the charge. (NY Times) (Daily News)

City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, who has languished for months in the back of the Democratic pack, has begun to retool his low-flying campaign for mayor. The goal, Mr. Vallone's advisers say, is to find an issue that can galvanize his candidacy and change his image with voters, to the extent that voters have an image of him at all. (NY Times)

William Thompson, the ex-Board of Education president and investment banker who's running for city comptroller, broke a half a dozen securities regulations over his vaunted eight-and-a-half-year banking career, raising doubts about his qualifications for the city's second most important elected post. (Village Voice) Thompson denies the charge. (NY Times)

7/03
Mayoral candidate Alan Hevesi was endorsed by the state Public Employees Federation yesterday, but declined to say whether public employees should have the right to take contract disputes to binding arbitration.(Daily News)

Michael Bloomberg is taking heat in a political TV ad for suggesting that sanitation workers have more dangerous jobs than firefighters or cops. A Conservative Party ad unveiled yesterday rakes the Republican for the controversial comments. "Don't trash the Finest and the Bravest, Mr. Bloomberg," a voice says in the ad. (Daily News)

Republican mayoral candidates Herman Badillo and Michael Bloomberg face a first test of strength next week, when each submits voter signatures to get on the Sept. 11 primary ballot. Petition gatherers for both candidates have fanned out in the five boroughs in search of 7,500 signatures from registered city Republicans. Failure to deliver enough signatures to the city Board of Elections by midnight on July 12 will bump a candidate off the ballot. (Newsday)

Public Advocate Mark Green described himself as a "proud liberal" yesterday and set off a debate about the L-word. (NY Post)

Just a few days after his release from a federal prison in Brooklyn after being held for 40 days, Adolfo Carrión is returning to his race for Bronx borough president with a fury. But Mr. Carrión, a Democratic city councilman, has returned to a campaign whose competitive dynamics have intensified significantly since he was arrested and jailed for his role in a protest against the United States military's bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. In that time, State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. has unleashed a campaign whose pitch can only be described as feverish. Apart from daylong campaign appearances throughout the borough, Mr. Espada has raised more than $100,000 and plastered the Bronx with his campaign posters and campaign literature. And another competitor, Councilwoman June M. Eisland, is also raising money and increasing her public profile throughout the Bronx. Moreover, the names of two other candidates have surfaced. One, Ronald Law, who was once an aide to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the former senator, and Mario M. Cuomo, the former governor, has entered the race. Councilman Lawrence A. Warden, another Democrat, has also begun raising money and collecting signatures to qualify for the ballot in the Sept. 11 Democratic primary. All of that has heightened the sense of unpredictability in a race that is the most competitive contest the Bronx has seen for the borough presidency in recent years. (New York Times)

7/02
Three mayoral candidates -- Peter Vallone, Mark Green, and Michael Bloomberg -- went to church yesterday looking for support in black congregations. (New York Times)

City Councilman Adolfo Carrion, who spent more than a month behind bars after protesting Navy bombing in Vieques, got a warm homecoming yesterday at the Bronx church once headed by his father. (Daily News)

7/01
Only two of the six mayoral candidates - Democrat Alan Hevesi and Republican Mike Bloomberg - have run television commercials touting their candidacies. So far, this article argues, the commercials have failed to sell the product. (Daily News)

June Campaign Trail

 

My Street Address:

My ZIP Code:



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

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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
SavvyVoter.org
NYVote.com
Votesmart
NYPIRG
NY League of Women Voters
Common Cause New York

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

NAACP Voter Empowerment
Vote Smart

E-Voting
Election.com

Political consultants
Amer. Assc. of Pol. Consultants

Prime New York

Media
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
Conservative
Democratic
Green
Independence
Liberal
Republican
Right to Life
Working Families
Communist
Libertarian
Marijuana Reform
Natural Law Party
Socialist
Taxpayers Party

Political clubs and groups
Blueprint Camp. Finance Reform
DL21C
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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