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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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September Trail

October Campaign Trail

9/30
Democrats who went to the polls in New York on Tuesday - two weeks after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center - might have thought they were beginning to settle the question of who would succeed Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at the end of the year.

They were wrong.

None of the Democrats won more than 40 percent of the vote, meaning that there will be a runoff election, on Oct. 11, between the top two vote- getters: Fernando Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, and Mark Green, the public advocate.

Mr. Ferrer's success in turning out Latino and black voters suggested that this will be a more competitive primary than Mr. Green might have expected. And Mr. Giuliani made clear that he was not about to go yet. The mayor told the candidates that he wanted them to agree to extend his term, for two to three months, to help with the transition. Otherwise, he said he would ask the State Legislature to overturn term limits so that he could run again. Mr. Green and Michael R. Bloomberg, who easily won the Republican nomination, agreed to Mr. Giuliani's demand. But Mr. Ferrer did not. (New York Times)

Mark Green yesterday belittled Fernando Ferrer's response to the destruction of the World Trade Center, saying Mr. Ferrer, the Bronx borough president and his rival for the mayoralty, had been "largely silent" in explaining how he would rebuild New York and guard against future terrorist attacks. Mr. Green mocked Mr. Ferrer's assertion that his work rebuilding the Bronx had prepared him to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. He also said he disagreed with Mr. Ferrer's position that the reconstruction that had to be done after the attack should be spread out across New York, and not concentrated in the financial district. (New York Times)

Mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer and the Rev. Al Sharpton taunted Mayor Rudy Giuliani for proposing a 90-day extension of his term in the midst of an election for his successor. "If I cannot address a crisis, and if I need to be an apprentice for Rudy, then why am I wasting the people's time with my candidacy?" Ferrer said. "I am ready now." Sharpton went further, suggesting Giuliani was attempting to impose himself on the city as a "king." "We didn't come together for you, Rudy. We came together for the victims of the World Trade Center," Sharpton said. "We elected a mayor, not a messiah." Sharpton added, "We would have come together if Bozo was the mayor." (Daily News)

With debate swirling over the need and appropriateness of his remaining as mayor after his term due to the World Trade Center disaster, Rudolph Giuliani yesterday strongly reiterated the necessity of a longer transition period between the Dec. 31 end of his administration and the start of the next mayor's tenure."All I care about is the future of the city, and that it be done right," Giuliani declared. "There's no other motivation, no other desire." He would not say whether he did not have faith in any of the candidates seeking to succeed him. "I would not have faith in myself being able to do the job at the high level of quality at which it has to be done, if I only had a month and a half to transition it under these circumstances." (Newsday)

9/29
In a mayoral campaign with relatively few distinctions among the candidates, Rudolph Giuliani helped create one by urging the contenders to bow to his demand for a term extension of several months, or face the threat of him trying to persuade the State Legislature to allow him to run for a third term. Mark Green acceded to Mr. Giuliani's request. Fernando Ferrer, who is Mr. Green's opponent in the October 11 runoff, did not. These contrasting positions, in a year when all the candidates have struggled to balance criticism of Mr. Giuliani with praise of his tenure, caught the eye of many Democrats yesterday, among them Green supporters who were not happy with the turn of events. Some suggested that Mr. Ferrer, who waited for Mr. Green to issue a news release backing Mr. Giuliani before announcing his opposition, had seized the higher ground, at least from the perspective of Democrats who tend to vote in a primary. (New York Times)

Yesterday the mayor uncharacteristically declined to respond to Fernando Ferrer's rejection of his plan to extend his term by three months. "I'm going to think about it," Mr. Giuliani said in his morning briefing with reporters, when asked about Mr. Ferrer's rejection. "It's not, it really is hardly the first thing on my mind." One of the mayor's aides, though, fired a warning shot, saying that Mr. Giuliani is still weighing his options, and that Mr. Ferrer's stance had been noted. "The last person who did that was Alan Hevesi," the aide said. (New York Times)

Each of the three major candidates defended his position on Giuliani's unprecedented proposal to remain in office for three extra months. (Daily News)

The Board of Elections began its official count of Tuesday's primary votes yesterday - hoping to have an official total by Sunday in preparation for an Oct. 11 runoff. But the efforts were immediately hampered by computer problems in the Bronx, and it was likely that votes in the borough would not be counted until Monday, Board of Elections Deputy Executive Director Joseph Gentili said. "They're counting Stone-Age" style, Gentili said. As workers recanvass the voting machines, others are going through thousands of absentee and affidavit paper ballots. The board's main focus is the tight Democratic primary for public advocate. Former Parks Commissioner Betsy Gotbaum got 24 percent of that vote, according to unofficial figures. Brooklyn Councilman Stephen DiBrienza; Norman Siegel, former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union; salsa musician Willie Colon, and Manhattan Assemblyman Scott Stringer each got 16 percent.(Daily News)

In an unusual move, the city's Campaign Finance Board has authorized runoff payments for all four eligible candidates in the race for public advocate amid concerns that a clear second-place finisher will not emerge until late next week. It was the first time the board had paid more than two candidates for a runoff, said Nicole A. Gordon, the board's executive director. Betsy Gotbaum, who finished first in the primary election, according to early unofficial returns, received the highest payment, $303,270. City Councilman Stephen DiBrienza was next, with $267,331, followed by State Assemblyman Scott M. Stringer, with $237,673, and the civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel with $114,407. (New York Times)

9/28
For a number of candidates, today will mark the beginning of a long process of vote-counting and double- checking at the New York City Board of Elections that will ultimately lead to naming the victors in 11 City Council primary races viewed as too close to call. In some of the races, the difference between the candidates in first and second place is fewer than 100 votes.

In the district 49 in Staten Island, Deborah L. Rose was 91 votes behind Michael E. McMahon. In district 28 in Queens (Richmond Hill, South Jamaica), Anthony D. Andrews received 31 percent of the vote, while Allan W. Jennings received 34 percent. The difference between winning and losing in that race is 385 votes. Mr. Andrews said that he was unwilling to concede until all the paper ballots were counted.

In district 20 in Flushing, Queens, Ethel Chen is 201 votes behind John C. Liu. "I have supporters who said they had problems with the voting machines and got the wrong guidance in operating the machines," said Ms. Chen. "We're going to recheck the machines, and we're going to count with the Board of Elections," she said. "It's definitely not over yet." (New York Times)

The two Democratic mayoral candidates yesterday dramatically split over Mayor Giuliani's proposal to stay on for an extra three months - leaving the possibility open that the mayor will push to end term limits so he can stay in office. (New York Post) (Daily News) (New York Times)

By refusing to go along with Mayor Giuliani's request for a three-month extension to his term, Fernando Ferrer yesterday kicked the debate upstairs - to Albany and, more specifically, to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

In the absence of a voluntary pact among all three candidates, only Silver can now break the political logjam by pushing through legislation to grant Giuliani the 90 extra days he seeks. In this, the Manhattan Democrat can likely count on the support of mayoral hopefuls Mark Green and Michael Bloomberg, both of whom agreed to the extension yesterday, as well as Gov. Pataki, Giuliani and every other Republican in the land. But Silver will likely face stiff opposition from elsewhere, certainly from Ferrer, and just as likely from the Assembly's Black and Latino Caucus, an important part of Silver's legislative base. (Daily News)

9/27
The day after the primary, the campaign for the October 11 Democratic mayoral runoff election began, with Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer competing for the votes of 250,000 voters, most of them white, seen as key to victory. City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, who finished third, endorsed Ferrer yesterday, while Green got the support of Queens Democratic leader Thomas Manton and Brooklyn leader Clarence Norman, both of whom had supported Alan Hevesi, who came in fourth.

Ferrer, whose black-Latino coalition made him the top vote getter on Tuesday, is now trying to win support from those white voters who had cast ballots for Hevesi or Vallone. Green, meanwhile, was portraying himself as the candidate with the broadest and most diverse support. (Daily News)

Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer has a choice about how to pursue his campaign for the Democratic runoff election on October 11. He can either try to broaden his appeal to attract more white voters to his mayoral campaign or he can make a direct appeal to ethnic pride to strengthen his foundation of black and Latino voters. Ferrer won 52 percent of the black vote and 72 percent of the Hispanic vote, but only 7 percent of the white vote, according to exit polls on Tuesday. And the surveys found that an overwhelming majority of white Democrats who voted for losing candidates Alan Hevesi and Peter Vallone would support Mark Green in a Ferrer-Green race. (New York Times)

Voter turnout for the primary, originally judged to have been unusually low, now appears to have been far higher than anticipated. A count by the Associated Press indicates that roughly 750,000 people voted inthe Democratic mayoral contest for a turnout of 26 percent. The City Board of Elections had said Tuesday night that turnout could be as low as 15 percent. The Associated Press count is unofficial, but there are no indications that it is not accurate. (New York Times)

Instead of celebrating his victory in the Republican mayoral primary, Michael Bloomberg spent the day Wednesday wondering whether Mayor Rudolph Giuliani would be running against him. Bloomberg refused to say whether he supported or opposed a Giuliani mayoral campaign but did reiterate his support for term limits, which bar Giuliani from seeking a third term. (Daily News)

Republican mayoral hopeful Michael Bloomberg who, like other candidates, suspended campaigning after the World Trade Center attack said his multimillion dollar advertising campaign would be back on radio and television this weekend. He will try to convince voters that his business and managerial skills make him uniquely qualified to help rebuild New York after the attacks and in troubled economic times. (New York Times)

William Thompson won the Democratic primary for city comptroller, beating out City Councilmember Herbert Berman by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin. Thompson, the only black running for citywide office, was clearly helped by the high turnout of black and Latino voters supporting the mayoral candidacy of Fernando Ferrer. There is no Republican candidate for comptroller. (New York Times)

Betsy Gottbaum was clearly the number one vote getter in the Democratic primary for public advocate. She won about 25 percent of the vote, far less than the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. And who she will face in that runoff remains unclear. Salsa performer Willie Colon, City Councilman Stephen DiBrienza, civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel and Assemblyman Scott M. Stringer are all virtually tied for second with about 16 percent of the vote each. (New York Times)

In the borough president races, Helen Marshall won the Queens Democratic contest, Adolfo Carrion the Bronx Democratic primary and Marty Markowitz the Brooklyn Democratic primary, while James Molinaro was the victor in the Staten Island Republican contest. At least two of the winners, though, still face significant contests in November. Molinaro will be challenged by Democratic Councilman Jerome O'Donovan, and Marshall will face Councilman Al Stabile who is running on the Republican line (Daily News)

Although most of the winners in City Council contests will be new to City Council, their names are familiar ones in city government. A number of children of incumbent members won election, including Peter Vallone Jr., Jose Serrano, David Weprin, Helen Foster and Yvette Clarke, as did current or former members of the state legislature, such as Al Vann, Larry Seabrook, Melinda Katz and Oliver Koppell. The political organizations also did well, with Queens Democratic chief Thomas Manton backing the winner in nine of 14 races and Bronx Democratic party leader Roberto Ramirez being on the winning side in five of eight districts. Brooklyn Democratic Party chief Clarence Norman did not fare as well. His selections lost two key contests. (Daily News)

John Liu, who is originally from Taiwan, will probably become the first Asian-American ever to serve on the City Council. Meanwhile, the race for council speaker is already gearing up. Incumbents Gifford Miller of Manhattan and Angel Rodriguez of Brooklyn are vying for support of newly elected members, as are council newcomers Melinda Katz, a Queens Democrat, and Assemblyman Al Vann, who won the primary in the council's 36th district in Brooklyn. (New York Post)

Several council races are too close to call and could remain that way for days, if not weeks. (New York Times)

Much was different about this election day. Smiling candidates did not meet commuters at subway stations. Victory parties lacked copious amounts of liquor and festive bunting. And none of the official candidates dominated the political talk. That distinction fell to Rudy Giuliani. (New York Observer)

9/26
The mayoral candidates all talked about the World Trade Center attack in their acceptance and concession speeches last night. "For the next 16 days there will be a runoff in the campaign for mayor, but it won't be a normal campaign because these are not normal times," said Mark Green. "Our campaigns must be utterly focused on the future, on how we can unite and rebuild the city, how to protect our families, how to begin the renewal, and we have to - and I am confident we will - avoid the kind of petty, personal, negative attacks that divert the public." Fernando Ferrer said there were many levels to recovery efforts. "Even as we recover our victims from the rubble we understand that rebuilding our devastated financial district is not just an economic imperative, it's a spiritual imperative as well," said Ferrer. "And that great work will require and demand all of us to reach across the aisle and reach out to those with whom we've sometimes been at odds to forge a new alliance with our federal, state and local governments, business and labor, to repair the incredible damage to the infrastructure and the economy of Lower Manhattan." Republican Michael Bloomberg also talked about the general election as a key to rebuilding the city. "It's time to step back and consider the monumental task ahead," said Bloomberg. "All of a sudden, what New York City needs has changed, and changed dramatically. We've weathered the crisis and now we face the rebuilding - an enterprise no city has ever faced before. The central question facing the voters on November 6 will be this: who has the knowledge, who has the experience, and who has the track record to handle the enormous job of rebuilding our city and moving forward?" (New York 1)

Last night, some of the mayor's aides continued to look for ways to extend his term, even as others seethed over the idea, fearing that he will sully the good will he has gained by engaging in a protracted legal battle that some say would be almost impossible to win. The mayor's office contacted City Council members last week to test the waters for a possible term extension or modification to the term- limits law, which bars the mayor from serving a third consecutive term. Such a modification would require state or city legislation; so far, leaders of the City Council and the State Legislature have not been very receptive to the idea. The mayor's office also asked Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, to survey members about such an effort and to lobby Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, on the matter, which many did, an official said. "We wanted to find out if the support was there, and it was," said a City Hall official. "Now we're trying to find out what is legal." (NY Times)

Mayor Giuliani said yesterday that he is "available" if people want him to keep his job. "I am open to the idea of doing it. I don't know yet the right way or the right thing to do, and I have to really consult and talk to the governor and other people that really have to have a voice and a role in figuring out how to do it," Giuliani told CBS-TV's Dan Rather in an interview to be broadcast tonight. (Daily News)

While the Board of Elections was plagued by machine breakdowns and other polling place failures in last November's general election, yesterday's primary drew fewer complaints. In Manhattan, as many as 40 machines had broken down before 10 a.m., but most were quickly repaired by mechanics dispatched to the scene. "I think they're heroes for being able to do this in such a short time," said Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Group. Call volume was low to NYPIRG's voter complaint hotline. Elections experts had feared poll workers wouldn't show for the hastily-rescheduled election, but most did. An exception was at the Jacob Riis Houses on E. 6th Street, where police had to break down the doors because a worker didn't appear to open the polls, according to Frederic Umane, the Manhattan Republican on the elections board. Other complaints, once again, involved translators. In the hotly-contested 20th Councilmanic District in Flushing, about 30 Korean-American voters left polling places without casting ballots. In some cases, there were no translators available to help them, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. (Newsday)

Voting has always been a civic duty. But for New Yorkers who were displaced from their homes or their polling sites in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, casting ballots yesterday was a patriotic obligation as well.It was a confusing experience for many Lower Manhattan residents who were forced to cast their ballots at alternate sites because their regular voting places were closed due to the destruction in the World Trade Center area or because those locations were being used to school displaced students. (Newsday)

They put up American flags, but they didn't come out to vote. New York's voter turnout appeared to sink to a historic low yesterday - weighed down by lousy weather, an uninspiring mayoral race, a changed primary date and the distracting horror of the World Trade Center attack. Election officials were estimating by the afternoon that only 12 to 15 percent - no more than 450,000 people - of the city's 3 million eligible primary voters would cast ballots. (NY Post)

The ethnic breakdown of voters for the Democratic mayoral candidates. (Newsday)

Now that Public Advocate Mark Green and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer have scratched their way to an apparent run-off, the race is on to snare key endorsements that had gone to the two losers. (NY Post)

9/25
The Times repeats its list of endorsements for the primary, including Mark Green for mayor, Betsy Gotbaum for public advocate, and William Thompson for comptroller, and borough-wide and local races. (New York Times)

The Daily News editorializes about voting, including a repeat of its endorsements, which include Peter Vallone for mayor in Democratic primary; Mike Bloomberg in Republican primary, Betsy Gotbaum for public advocate, and Herb Berman for comptroller. (Daily News)

Newday's don't forget to vote editorial, plus reminders of its choices: Alan Hevesi for mayor in Democratic primary, Bloomberg in Republican; Stephen DiBrienza for public advocate, and Herb Berman for comptroller. (Newsday)

New York Post endorsements: Peter Vallone (mayor), Scott Stringer (public advocate),

Village Voice endorsements: Mark Green (mayor), Norman Siegel (public advocate), Herb Berman (comptroller)

Crain's New York Business endorsement: Peter Vallone (mayor, Democratic)

[For details on these endorsements, endorsements in other local races, and endorsements by other newspapers as well as organizations and individuals, please surf through the Campaign Trail in September, August, and even July]

Scrambling to go forward with Tuesday's rescheduled primary election despite the attack on the World Trade Center, the city Board of Elections has erected a tent as a polling place for voters who live near the devastation. The tent, on Grove Street between Hudson and Bedford streets in Greenwich Village, will serve as the polling site for voters who normally vote at PS 3 on Hudson Street. The terrorist attack forced the relocation of eight polling sites. Some of the buildings that housed those sites in the aborted Sept. 11 primary are now condemned. Others were in schools that have additional students from closed schools, and the Board of Education decided those schools were too crowded to accommodate an election. In some cases, voters have been notified of the changes by mail. In others, poll workers will greet voters to redirect them. (Newsday)

Key legislators in Albany and New York City yesterday flatly rejected extending Mayor Giuliani's term - even as members of the mayor's inner circle split over whether he should try to remain in office past Dec. 31. "I don't contemplate any circumstance that would get the Senate back to change the election process in New York state," declared state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, the mayor's most reliable GOP ally in Albany. "It's too late," Bruno added. (New York Post)

9/24
A guide to new polling sites in Lower Manhattan. If you voted in 1 World Financial Center, for example, your new polling site is now Surrogate's Court, at 31 Chambers Street. (NY Times)

Mayor Rudy Giuliani has told his inner circle that he is interested in a third term. "He hasn't figured out legally how to do this," said an insider. "His feeling is, the people either elect you or don't elect you. How to make that legal is the question." (New York Post)

While Mr. Giuliani is barred from serving another consecutive term under the city's term limits law, he has rebuffed questions about his view of the matter in recent days. He is expected to address the issue directly as early as today, less than 24 hours before voters are to go to the polls in the rescheduled mayoral primary. (New York Times)

For Giuliani to be eligible to serve, either the City Council or the state Legislature would have to pass a bill repealing the term-limit law. City voters approved term limits in two referendums - in 1993 and 1996. (Daily News)

Some of the mayoral candidates invoked the World Trade Center disaster in their campaigns yesterday, asserting they had skills that made them particularly well suited to lead the city through this crisis. They urged New Yorkers to defy the terrorist attack by turning out to vote tomorrow. Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican making his first run for any public office, said his experience creating and running a private company made him a "mayor for tough times." His Republican opponent, Herman Badillo, noted his long experience as a member of Congress and in City Hall, saying, "This is not the time for on-the-job training."

Peter F. Vallone, the City Council speaker, said in a televised address that he had been, with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, at the center of efforts over the past 12 days to help the city respond to the bombing. Fernando Ferrer, another Democrat, compared the devastation in Lower Manhattan to what he found in the Bronx when he took over as borough president 14 years ago, suggesting that his years in the Bronx had prepared him for what he might face as mayor.

Alan G. Hevesi, a Democrat, said that his skills as city comptroller made him particularly qualified to lead City Hall through difficult budgetary times. And Mark Green, the fourth major Democrat, noted that one of his central campaign themes before Sept. 11 had been unifying New York; he argued that his theme was particularly crucial now. (New York Times)

9/23
Three of the Democratic mayoral candidates began spelling out how they would govern a radically changed New York yesterday, using their first forum since the terrorist attack to propose ideas that would have been unimaginable two weeks ago - from hiring more police officers to creating a public authority to oversee reconstruction of Lower Manhattan.

For 60 minutes, at a forum sponsored by NY1 and The New York Times, the candidates - Fernando Ferrer, Mark Green and Alan G. Hevesi - alternated between offering dark warnings about the city's immediate economic future and assurances that New York would survive this crisis.

All three candidates, speaking in somber if firm tones, took pains to praise the performance of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani during the crisis, but said that the city would - and should - survive the change in leadership at City Hall that will take place at the end of the year. (NY Times)

Some candidates in City Council and boroughwide races are treading gingerly back into some semblance of campaigning. Although little overt electioneering appears to be taking place, some have spent the last few days replenishing posters in their districts and reassembling their telephone campaigns. Many candidates have complained that the New York City Board of Elections has done too little to publicize the new election date. And the candidates argue that the public should have a greater awareness that any votes cast at the polls in Sept. 11 will not be counted, though all absentee ballots mailed to the Board of Elections remain valid.

Some candidates say they simply have no appetite whatsoever for campaigning. Matthew Farrell, a candidate for a City Council seat in Queens, said that one of his cousins, a firefighter, was headed to the campaign office at the end of his shift.

"My cousin heard about the attack at the World Trade Center and instead of coming to the campaign, he jumped back on the truck," he said. "And he hasn't been seen since."(NY Times)

9/22
Governor George E. Pataki declared yesterday that the primary election on Tuesday would go on as planned, saying, "This is a country of laws" and the attack on the World Trade Center should not be allowed to further disrupt the city's election process.

But the Republican governor volunteered that he would write in the name of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is prohibited by New York's term-limits law from running again, if he were a New York City resident. (NY Times)

The mood remains subdued, the nastier feuding suspended. But five Democrats and two Republicans in Tuesday's primary are trying in a gingerly way to revive support in the reconstituted race for mayor.

In interviews last week, all candidates stated a need to preserve freedoms amid New York's new preoccupation with security. But their emphases differed, as did their strategies.

All the candidates cited the obvious - the need for a long-term rebuilding effort and retaining business -but disagreed over what to do first and where.

And all said improving schools remains a priority. (Newsday) Several council leaders were contacted by Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota's office on Thursday to ask if they would be interested in repealing the term-limits law - in an effort to postpone the elections and keep the mayor in office. Giuliani has publicly ducked questions about whether he wants to continue in office. (New York Post)

9/21
A Brooklyn federal judge cleared the way for Tuesday's rescheduled citywide primary, ruling against nine City Council candidates who argued that many voters, preoccupied with the World Trade Center disaster, don't know they should go to the polls.

An emergency state law reset the aborted primary for Tuesday and also eliminated the requirement that notices be mailed to voters before the election. (Newsday)

The campaign for mayor commenced again yesterday amid concern about whether the Board of Elections could effectively administer the vote on Tuesday, with some of the Democratic mayoral campaigns saying that Gov. George E. Pataki had asked them whether he should postpone the primary again. The candidates were adamant that he should not. (NY Times)

Mark Green proposed the creation of a powerful city-state commission to oversee rebuilding New York. It was the first act that resembled electioneering by any of the mayoral candidates since the terror attack, and Green said he felt "awkward" doing it."It is a unique quandary. You don't want to do anything explicitly political, nor have I," he said. "But at the same time I have a special obligation to say where I think the city could be headed next year in order to rebound, regroup and rebuild. I admit it's a tightrope, and I hope I stay on the tightrope." Green's decision prompted a rebuke by Republican mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg. "Mike doesn't think this is a time for proposals," said Bloomberg spokesman Ed Skyler. "This is the time to support the mayor, the governor and the President while they lead us through this extraordinarily challenging period." (Daily News)

City Council Speaker Peter Vallone is eagerly pursuing Mayor Rudy Giuliani to take part in or lead an advisory commission to guide downtown reconstruction. Under Vallone's plan, the mayor would be able to handpick seven members to serve five-year terms on the commission, which could be granted broad power to rebuild lower Manhattan after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. (Daily News)

9/20
Although the Board of Elections admits it is not prepared for the primary Tuesday, the election will be held as planned. The contests, with their hundreds of candidates, always posed a challenge to the board, but now voters have been evacuated from their homes, some polling sites have had to be relocated, and the central Board of Elections office near the World Trade Center site has unreliable telephone service and power. Some voters in lower Manhattan will have to vote by absentee ballot and usual notices to voters and poll workers will not be mailed out.

A hearing is set for today on a lawsuit brought by five voters and eight City Council candidates aimed at delaying the primary. They argue that New Yorkers need more time before they can properly exercise their right to vote. (Newsday) Although all six major mayoral candidates have suspended campaigning, they did give individual interviews to the New York Times about their proposals for handling the crisis caused by the attack on the World Trade Center, a crisis they acknowledged had made many of their previous campaign stands obsolete. They discussed the need for tougher security and agreed that the city could be heading into extremely difficult economic times.

The specific proposals varied. Fernando Ferrer said the city should replace the lost space by dispersing construction throughout the city, while Alan Hevesi suggested not requiring businesses whose offices were destroyed to pay taxes for as long as 10 years. Michael Bloomberg proposed a housing construction program to help keep companies that might otherwise leave New York to stay. The issues that had perviously dominated the campaign were largely ignored. "Clearly, our first priority is to maintain safety and security, and the second is to rebuild our infrastructure. I don't doubt that local goals I had will have to yield in time to these first two goals," Mark Green said.

The candidates have decided not to participate in debates where they might be drawn into discussions or quarrels, but they have agreed to give six back-to-back nine-minute speeches on the challenge facing the city. Those statements will be broadcast on WNBC-TV this Sunday. (New York Times)

Some of New York£s biggest unions, which typically make a major effort to get out voters on election day, are not yet sure what, if anything, they will do for the primary on Tuesday. (Newsday)

Despite the current popularity of Mayor Giuliani, the state government is unlikely to take the steps needed to override term limits so the mayor can remain in office after January. For that to happen, the legislature would have to lift the city term-limits law and postpone the mayoral election. And the bills would have to be rushed through before the primary on Tuesday. Albany insiders said there is virtually no chance this will happen. (NY Daily News)

While three of the major Democratic candidates for mayor have barely been seen since the attack on the World Trade Center, City Council speaker Peter Vallone has been very visible, attending virtually every televised briefing and standing near Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. While his aides say this appropriate for the council speaker, some of his opponents have privately complained about it. (NY Post)

9/19
There will be a primary next Tuesday, but with candidates wanting to avoid offending voters in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center, they are, at all levels in the election, hamstrung in their quests for political office.Most candidates, including the major mayoral hopefuls, stopped campaigning on Sept. 11, and the Campaign Finance Board ruled last week that participants in the program for city matching funds could not spend any more money in the primary with two exceptions. Candidates are allowed to spend the same amount they would have spent on the original Primary Day, for such things as printing literature and paying workers to distribute it. They can also spend money to replace or repair offices or equipment destroyed or damaged in the disaster. But candidates have been avoiding the usual stumping anyway. While all six major mayoral candidates are participating in a WNBC-TV special that will air on Sunday in which each has nine minutes to make a statement, they are generally staying away from forums that might appear contentious. (New York Times)

Several city council candidates yesterday asked U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Dearie to delay the vote another two weeks, saying the hastily called election will deprive the rights of voters who haven't been properly notified. But Douglas Kellner, the board's Manhattan Democratic commissioner, predicted that the election will run smoothly. Voters will receive notices directing them to poll sites. Those who are displaced or whose sites have been moved will be allowed to cast absentee ballots. The board is relying on newspaper ads and news coverage to notify poll workers. (Newsday)

A New York Post editorial says its time to restart the campaign. The Post writes: Never before - not even in the darkest days of the fiscal crises - has New York been presented with a challenge of the magnitude now before it. This is precisely the time when New York needs continuity of leadership - a steady, tested hand to guide the reins of government and direct the city through this unprecedented emergency. (NY Post)

9/18
In one way, the city seemed to edge closer to normal yesterday: Political squabbling emerged for the first time since the disaster, with murmurs that Council Speaker Peter Vallone, a Democratic mayoral candidate, was using the crisis to win votes in the primary now set for next Tuesday. Vallone denied the charge. (Newsday)

9/17
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been showered with praise for his handling of the World Trade Center disaster. But because of term limits, Giuliani must leave office at the end of the year, and that has some worried about the city's efforts to overcome the devastation. Some people are trying to figure out how to keep him from leaving, some proposing to have the state legislature postpone the mayoral election for one year. This is legally possible but not likely to happen. (NY-1)

9/16
The World Trade Center tragedy has thrust urgent new problems to the top of New York's "to do" list - and rewritten the job description of the next mayor. But with just days until the rescheduled primary September 25, the candidates and their campaigns are virtually powerless to respond. "The next mayor has to rebuild the infrastructure of the city and rebuild the psyche of the city," said Steven Cohen, vice dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "It's not to say these candidates couldn't do it. It's just not the issues they have been focusing on." Yet the candidates agreed to an indefinite moratorium on electioneering after the terrorist attacks. (Daily News)

The city's Campaign Finance Board on Friday closed its bank vault, ordering candidates to stop spending their campaign cash and ruling no more public matching funds would be awarded at least until after the primary ends. "The campaign is over," the board has said. But there still is an election and the candidates have to figure out how to run for office without appearing insensitive or craven. (New York Post)

9/14
The New York mayoral primary, halted in mid-vote after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Tuesday morning, was rescheduled yesterday for September 25, presenting the candidates with an entirely transformed competition for a job whose demands now seem quite different from when the contest started eight months ago. The change in date, which applies to all primaries across New York, including one for county executive in Nassau County, was approved by the State Legislature during a special session in Albany. A runoff, should one prove necessary if none of the Democratic mayoral candidates win at least 40 percent, would be held on October 11, a Thursday.

The New York City Board of Elections met last night to review what officials described as an avalanche of problems confronting board officials as they move to arrange a new election. Those range from the fact that the company that printed registration sheets was situated in the World Trade Center complex (the board found another printer), to the chance that the Police Department would not have enough officers to provide the required posting at each of city's 1,300 polling sites. In addition, the board's offices, which house its computers and database, are just two blocks from the trade center site, and thus are inaccessible to board members (New York Times)

All six mayoral hopefuls suddenly find themselves in a strange political landscape - unable to campaign for the job they have sought for years, unsure of just what to do next."No one ever wrote a protocol or handbook for what to do when some maniacs bomb your city on Election Day," said David Axelrod, the Chicago-based consultant for Democrat Fernando Ferrer, the Bronx borough president. "It's unfathomable. We are just going to have to feel our way through this." Having agreed among themselves to halt campaign activity, the four Democratic mayoral candidates are focusing on their official duties. The candidates maintain that it would be inappropriate to politick now, and that they have no interest in doing so.This has enabled Peter Vallone, as speaker of the City Council, to be especially visible. (Daily News)

9/13
Governor George Pataki announced today that the primary will be rescheduled for September 25th, with a runoff election, if necessary, on October 11th.

With the primary election now slated for September 25, some candidates said they did not see how they could campaign in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy. The Democratic mayoral candidates have suspended electioneering, although some appeared yesterday in their other capacity, as city officials. Council Speaker Peter Vallone was particularly visible. (Daily News)

Political experts say they have no idea what effect the World Trade Center attack will have on the mayoral campaign. (New York Post)

9/12
Barely five hours after the polls opened in New York City, Gov. George E. Pataki ordered primary elections across the state postponed indefinitely yesterday as city officials struggled to cope with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Mr. Pataki's executive order stopped the election literally in midstream: polls were open, New Yorkers were voting...Elections officials said it was the first time in memory that a primary had been postponed after voting had begun. Mr. Pataki's assistants said they had no idea when the election might be rescheduled. (New York Times)

9/11
A rundown of Times endorsements for the primary. (NY Times)

A rundown of Daily News endorsements for the primary (Daily News)

New York Post editorial on importance of voting (New York Post)

A rundown of Newsday's endorsements for the primary (Newsday)

Michael Wolff's column about The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg -- 32 pages of Bloomberg quips, anecdotes, and aphorisms with occasional illustrations -- dated February 14, 1990, which was compiled in part by Elisabeth DeMarse:
I read from the booklet: "The three biggest lies are: the check's in the mail, I'll respect you in the morning, and I'm glad I'm Jewish." I said: "He actually said that?"
Pause. "Often."
I read another Bloombergism: "If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they'd go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale's." And another: "I know for a fact that any self-respecting woman who walks past a construction site [and] doesn't get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one."
"This is Bloomberg culture," she said. "You have to understand, Mike is very uncensored." After a second, she went on: "When Mike says outrageous things, it's sort of a test. It's a loyalty test. It's a bonding thing when everyone laughs. You stop thinking that it might be inappropriate."
"Is all of this a direct quote -- these are his actual words?"
"Yes." (New York Magazine)

The six major candidates running to succeed Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani ranged across the city yesterday in the final burst of politicking before the polls open today. (New York Times)

9/10
On Education
Badillo
Abolish Board of Education. Instate mandatory preschool for 4-year-olds, and testing from first grade.
Bloomberg
Abolish Board of Education.
Ferrer
Retain Board of Education but eliminate community school boards. Keep middle schools open until 6 p.m. and on weekends.
Green
Abolish Board of Education. Shift $250 million from replacing jail beds to building schools. Fire bad teachers. Keep schools open 10 to 12 hours a day.
Hevesi
Retain Board of Education but give mayor a majority. Wire all schools for Internet. Reinstate personal income tax surcharge to pay for school reform.
Vallone
Abolish Board of Education. Dedicate residential property tax revenue to schools. Expand after-school programs.

Transportation
Badillo
Improve bus and subway service in Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
Bloomberg
Build Second Ave. subway line and extend No. 7 line.
Ferrer
Develop transit infrastructure and work on rail freight tunnel and intermodal centers to keep airports competitive.
Green
Build Second Ave. subway. Use funds from sale of World Trade Center for transit programs.
Hevesi
Build Second Ave. subway. Extend No. 7 line to Javits Convention Center. Create one-seat ride to airports. Build rail freight tunnel.
Vallone
Build Second Ave. subway. Reinstate commuter tax to fund capital projects.

Taxes
Badillo
Reduce personal income taxes. Endorse measures to close $8 billion gap between taxes sent to Washington and federal spending in the city.
Bloomberg
Oppose any increases. Reform tax structure.
Ferrer
Eliminate sales tax on clothing and essential household items. Fight to restore tax on suburban commuters. Reinstate part of expiring income tax surcharge to pay for after-school programs.
Green
Says it is "irresponsible to talk of tax increases on the brink of a possible recession."
Hevesi
Eliminate city corporation tax, unincorporated business tax and commercial rent tax. Reinstate income tax surcharge, if necessary, to fund education.
Vallone
Cut taxes to spur development. Tax incentives to business.

Housing
Badillo
Use revenues from World Trade Center lease to finance housing. Create owner-occupied housing with up to 95% low-cost financing available from state mortgage agency and federal lending agencies.
Bloomberg
Create 100,000 units. Use $77 million in surplus funds from Battery Park City to fund housing. Modernize zoning laws and reform land-use and environmental rules.
Ferrer
Build 100,000 units of affordable housing over five years with $300 million in city funds and $1 billion in leveraged resources.
Green
Spend $5.6 billion to create 150,000 units in 10 years. Create a housing trust fund with revenue from Battery Park City payments, sale of city-owned property and taxes on property that moves from public to private ownership.
Hevesi
Dedicate Battery Park City revenues and the sale of World Trade Center to help finance 105,000 units over five years.
Vallone
Use proceeds from sale of World Trade Center for a $10 million-a-year fund to build 220,000 units of low-cost housing

Police
Badillo
Reactivate John Jay College of Criminal Justice's "underused" training program. Mandate sensitivity training for entire force.
Bloomberg
Stress specialized units over community policing. Post stop-and-frisk data on the Internet.
Ferrer
Initiate stricter discipline. Restore community policing. Punish racial profiling.
Green
Stress getting guns off streets. Use overtime savings to pay for officers' tuition. Privatize nonenforcement jobs. Create deputy commissioner for victims.
Hevesi
Impose city residency requirement for new cops. Put more stress on management training. Increase use of video cams and other technology.
Vallone
Install independent commission to monitor abuses. Give civilians desk jobs. Fix dilapidated stationhouses

Health Care
Badillo
He favors universal health insurance.
Bloomberg
Reduce cost of prescription drugs to senior citizens.
Ferrer
Use city share of tobacco settlement to treat the uninsured and to provide asthma nebulizers to school children. Use $97 million earmarked for jails for health initiatives.
Green
Reduce Health and Hospitals Corp. losses. Win state approval to increase Medicaid reimbursements. Use city funds for teaching hospitals to focus on AIDS, asthma and Alzheimer's disease.
Hevesi
Emphasize prescription drugs for elderly and increased health care for children.
Vallone
Use city funds to pay premiums of children who do not qualify for Medicaid but are eligible for low-cost insurance. Earmark $260 million to provide drug coverage to seniors. (Daily News)

From the first moments of their candidacies, the six men hoping to succeed Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani have vowed to rehabilitate the New York City public schools. They offer visions of new school buildings, small classes, stimulating after-school programs and well-paid, impeccably trained teachers. Proposals that have stirred debate nationally, like school vouchers, privatization and more testing, have been largely absent from this race. Even charter schools, embraced by Republicans and Democrats elsewhere, have barely been discussed by mayoral candidates of either party. Since so many of the candidates' proposals sound the same in broad brush, the best way to glean differences is to listen carefully to how each discusses them. On teacher pay, for example, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer unabashedly calls for a 30 percent across-the-board raise. City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi says that the salary gap between city and suburban schools should be closed, while Mark Green, the public advocate, allows only that the gap should be reduced.

As for mayoral control of the school system, Michael Bloomberg and Peter F. Vallone, the Democratic City Council speaker, would go the furthest, abolishing the Board of Education. Mr. Hevesi would give the mayor control of the board but expand the number of members, a proposal embraced by the teachers' union. Mr. Green's plan lies somewhere in between: he would replace the board with a nonvoting panel of educators appointed by the mayor. The rest of the article summarizes the candidates plans for education, one by one. (New York Times)

Where the six major mayoral candidates stand on police issues (Newsday)

One of the city's biggest supermarket barons is giving special help to first-time City Council candidate Elana Waksal Posner - he's stuffing shoppers' grocery bags with her campaign literature. Gristedes chain owner John Catsimatidis is using his Battery Park City store at 71 South End Ave. to dole out material for Posner, who is running for the seat being vacated by Kathryn Freed in lower Manhattan. (New York Post)

9/09
A summary of the six major mayoral candidates' positions on housing:

FERNANDO FERRER: Mr. Ferrer, who often speaks of his youth in a walk-up tenement with sporadic heat, claims the most ambitious plan: building 150,000 homes in a decade for $13 billion, using a $1.3 billion revolving fund. The revenues would include Battery Park City profits and new property taxes from the World Trade Center. Mr. Ferrer, a Democrat, points to his 14-year record as Bronx borough president, in which he helped efforts that built nearly 67,000 dwellings. He has won praise from some tenant and housing leaders and, along with Alan G. Hevesi, has promised numerous changes in the Rent Guidelines Board to help tenants.

MARK GREEN: Mr. Green, the city's public advocate, initially proposed a "summit conference" of experts to plan the building of 50,000 units in five years at an estimated cost of $1 billion. Last week he expanded that goal considerably, to 150,000 units and $5.6 million in city funds, but gave no details. Unlike the other three Democrats, he opposes using World Trade Center taxes for housing and would reserve it instead for transportation. He says he favors the current exemption from rent regulation for households with annual incomes of $175,000 or more and wants stronger tenant protections.

ALAN G. HEVESI: Mr. Hevesi, the city comptroller, said that he would spend $3.8 million in five years for 105,000 new or renovated homes. The Tenants Political Action Committee, which promotes tenant rights, endorsed him, citing his long housing advocacy as a state legislator, his use of city pension funds to finance 11,000 homes, his promises to change the Rent Guidelines Board and his recent role in uniting tenant groups on legislative proposals.

PETER F. VALLONE: Mr. Vallone, the City Council speaker, was the first to propose a fund for housing, an idea that his rivals have copied. His initial plan was to use $100 million in World Trade Center and Battery Park City money to leverage $1 billion and build 20,000 units in five years. But now he says the process could be repeated yearly for a decade to create 200,000 units.

As the council speaker, Mr. Vallone helped enact Mayor Edward I. Koch's $10 billion housing rehabilitation program and more homeless services. Mr. Vallone says he saved rent regulation from abolition by compromising to allow so-called luxury decontrol for vacant apartments renting for $2,000 a month or more and for high-income households.

HERMAN BADILLO: Mr. Badillo, a Republican, was a housing commissioner, deputy mayor and state mortgage agency chairman who promoted Upper West Side and South Bronx renewal and the Nehemiah housing program. He supports using World Trade Center revenue for housing.

He says he would stamp out slums by extending homeownership to families with limited incomes and by building two- and three-family structures. Many experts support the ownership concept, but some critics say low-rise buildings do not yield enough units to solve the housing shortage.

MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG: Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, promises to put a deputy mayor and a multiagency "strike force" in charge of housing. At least 100,000 units are needed, he says, but he has not issued a detailed plan. Except for using some Battery Park City money for housing, Mr. Bloomberg objects philosophically to new subsidies. Instead, he said he wants to foster private development by streamlining city regulations and finding new sites in waterfront areas and in cleaned-up former industrial "brownfields," ideas that the other candidates generally support. He also urges businesses and labor to sponsor new housing, as they did decades ago. (New York Times)

To generations of New York mayoral candidates, parks have been like the family puppy - lovable but minor. But there has been an organized effort to make the improvement of the city's 1,704 parks a major issue in this year's mayoral race. Leading the effort is a group called Parks 2001, whose founders include the nonprofit Parks Council. Thanks to its lobbying, all the mayoral candidates but Herman Badillo have agreed that if elected, they would work to increase the parks' share of city coffers. And all the candidates have supported the idea of returning the $60,000 generated annually by concession stands in the parks to the Parks Department. The money now goes into the general fund. (New York Times)

All of the major candidates agree that city traffic is gridlocked and mass transit is overburdened. They agree on the big solutions: building a Second Avenue subway to increase the system's capacity, connecting the Long Island Rail Road with Grand Central Terminal, and building a rail freight tunnel under New York Harbor to cut down on truck traffic.

After years of languishing on the back burner, transportation has played a significant role in this year's mayoral race. Five of the major candidates -- all except Republican Herman Badillo -- released transportation plans and often speak about the issue at mayoral forums.

The candidates have tried to distinguish themselves with ideas for day-to-day transportation improvements.

Media mogul Michael Bloomberg wants to create dedicated express bus lanes on First and Second avenues -- Manhattan's most congested streets -- which would help relieve crowding on the Lexington Avenue subway lines. He also wants to create pedestrian-only zones at some major intersections, install more red light cameras and crack down on speeders.

City Council Speaker Peter Vallone proposes reopening some LIRR and Metro-North stations and expanding service on these commuter rail lines within the city. He also wants to provide a one-seat train ride from Staten Island to Manhattan by extending the Staten Island Railway (which operates only in that borough) through New Jersey and into Penn Station.

Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer wants to convert the city's bus fleets to clean fuels, study light-rail transit possibilities, expand greenways and bicycle paths and improve commuter hubs outside Manhattan, such as the Fordham Plaza area in the Bronx.

Comptroller Alan Hevesi has done a study documenting the city's capital-project needs and highlighting transit improvements. He calls for extending the No. 7 line to the Javits Center and for starting new ferry service around the city as a way to cut congestion. While he supports the three mega-projects, Hevesi cautions that they might have to take a backseat to other priorities such as school construction.

The only candidate who has proposed a funding source for the freight tunnel and Second Avenue subway is Public Advocate Mark Green, who suggested using new tax revenues from the Port Authority's 99-year lease of the World Trade Center to a private company. Green wants cheaper LIRR fares within the city, exclusive bus lanes on most Manhattan avenues, more traffic-calming changes on dangerous thoroughfares such as Queens Boulevard, and a regional fare pass that riders could use on both city and suburban transit systems. He also wants to expand a pilot program that charges commercial vehicles an increasing hourly rate to park in a five-block area of midtown Manhattan. (Newsday)

Three public polls this week have showed Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer jockeying for first place, with Alan Hevesi and Peter Vallone trailing. The polls were based on relatively small samples, and turnout in New York primaries in general - and this one in particular - makes it difficult to predict the outcome. Accordingly, aides to Mr. Vallone and Mr. Hevesi complained that the polls had influenced the coverage of the race, with disproportionate attention being paid to Mr. Green and Mr. Ferrer. (New York Times)

The results of Tuesday's primary hinge on which candidate is most effective in getting his supporters to the polls for an election that usually draws only about a fifth of registered voters. Get-out-the-vote armies have been dispatched in full force this weekend. The Green campaign, with more than 2,500 foot-soldiers supplied mostly by janitor and garment-worker unions and by Acorn, the community group, are knocking on 150,000 doors. Mr. Ferrer has dispatched flatbed trucks blaring his get-out-the-vote message into neighborhoods from Sunset Park to Woodside and all over the Bronx. Automated calls, bearing the Rev. Al Sharpton's recorded voice, have been piped into select homes, and Ed Koch is doing the very same for Mr. Vallone, urging voters not to sit it out on Primary Day. The subtext is that the last time white ethnics stayed home, in 1989, Mr. Koch lost the Democratic race to Mr. Dinkins. Meanwhile, Randi Weingarten, president of the 80,000- member teachers union , has saturated answering machines with her plug for Mr. Hevesi. And police officers have been on the horn for Mr. Vallone, while his campaign workers have fanned out to senior centers, arms stuffed with absentee ballot applications. The turnout war will test the effectiveness of much of the city's political establishment: the vaunted turnout machinery of the health care workers union, the mobilizing capacity of Mr. Sharpton (the union and the reverend are both behind Mr. Ferrer), the drawing power of former Mayor Dinkins, and the Brooklyn and Queens machines backing Mr. Hevesi. Someone will win the turnout war. (New York Times)

A University of Wisconsin research institute has carefully counted all the TV ads bought by the four Democrats and GOP candidate Michael Bloomberg. Through last Wednesday, they found that Bloomberg had run 3,383 spots and spent $12.8 million; Hevesi put out 1,826 ads at a cost of $3.8 million; Vallone broadcast 976 spots with a $2.65 million price tag; Green ran 765 ads for $2.1 million; Ferrer broadcast 748 ads and spent $1.7 million. (NY Post)

The battle for City Council on the Upper West Side, experts say, is being waged between one steamrolling competitor and just a challenger or two. This dynamic was nowhere more apparent than at a recent forum in the Sixth Council District, when each candidate chose to fire a potentially damaging question at the same competitor, Gale A. Brewer. Her two main competitors are seen as Larry Sauer and Anna Lewis. The candidates trace many of the district's problems, like high asthma rates, traffic congestion and school overcrowding, to the influx of residents in luxury buildings. (New York Times)

The four candidates in the Democratic primary district 33 in Brooklyn, which includes Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and parts of Park Slope, see themselves as running in vastly different races in vastly different territories. In this race, each neighborhood requires a different political strategy. One candidate, Steve Cohn, has raised more money than any City Council candidate in the city: $311,000, with an additional $73,590 in public matching money. Mr. Cohn's fund-raising and his close relationship with the Democratic organization have made him a target of intense criticism by his opponents, who include Kenneth Diamondstone, David Reiss, and David Yassky. The candidates embrace similar issues, particularly on the need to generate new spending for building new schools and the need to develop more park space throughout the district. (New York Times)

The Democratic primary for district 42, encompassing East New York and Brownsville, is highly competitive, with seven candidates running, including the current council member's son. Charles Barron, who has run for the office previously and raised the most money, champions giving some public-owned property to a nonprofit community redevelopment corporation for housing and commercial development. Gregory Jackson, who played basketball for the Knicks, said he would encourage the large chain stores and megastores to move into the district as a way to create new jobs. Donald Wooten, son of Councilmember Patricia Wooten, has emphasized the need to expand youth programs and to keep the school buildings open for longer hours to do so. (New York Times)

Interviews and evaluations of candidates in districts 40 and 45 (Caribbean Research Center of Medgar Evers College -- pdf format only)

9/08
The mayoral campaign of City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi got good news yesterday when Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said his office had found "no credible evidence to support the allegation" that Mr. Hevesi accepted a bribe in 1997. But the campaign was dealt a setback - a financial one - when the Campaign Finance Board disallowed nearly $300,000 in expenses that the campaign had claimed should be exempted from the city's strict spending limits. (New York Times)

Herman Badillo suffered a devastating blow in his bid to become mayor of New York yesterday when the Campaign Finance Board refused to release to him $1 million in city matching money. After an hour long deliberation, the board concluded that Mr. Badillo, a Republican, had not yet raised enough money on his own - a hurdle mandated by law that is meant to show a candidate has substantial support in the city he hopes to govern - to receive money from the city. (New York Times)

The Republican mayoral candidate said he would go to court to try to get his money.The decision also forced Badillo, just days before Tuesday's primary, to beg friends for loans. He'd planned a $450,000 TV blitz this weekend to coax voters away from billionaire opponent Michael Bloomberg. (Daily News)

"It has turned out to be a very rigid and bureaucratic organization," Badillo said of the Campaign Finance Board to Gotham Gazette. "They are worse than the Internal Revenue Service." (Gotham Gazette)

Last year, when Michael R. Bloomberg was consulting political advisers and gearing up for a bid for mayor, his charitable giving doubled from the year before. Compared with three years earlier, the increase was nearly fourfold, growing to $100.5 million from $26.6 million. In dispensing the enlarged bankroll last year, Mr. Bloomberg added nearly 200 new organizations, including 79 in New York City that covered a broad spectrum of causes he had not supported during the previous three years, according to four years of partial tax returns.His opponent in the Republican primary, Herman Badillo, makes the argument that Mr. Bloomberg was looking to buy the good will of New Yorkers - or perhaps exaggerate the scope and breadth of his generosity - as a backdrop to his mayoral bid. (New York Times)

For the second time this week, a poll has Public Advocate Mark Green and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer tied for the lead in Tuesday's Democratic primary for mayor - and the other candidates far behind. The Marist College poll, released yesterday, found 30 percent of likely Democratic voters backing Ferrer, to 29 percent for Green, 14 percent for Comptroller Alan Hevesi and 11 percent for Council Speaker Peter Vallone. When undecided voters were pressed to decide, Ferrer and Green were tied at 31 percent. The small sample of 334 voters and margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points raised questions about the poll's accuracy (Daily News)

They may disagree on who should run the city, but the four Democratic mayoral candidates and Republican Michael Bloomberg got together Friday to attack Gov. George Pataki for fighting a landmark court ruling that seeks to help city public school students. (Newsday)

Daniel Patrick Moynihan won't hit the streets with Fernando Ferrer before Tuesday's primary, but the popular former senator taped a TV ad for the Democratic hopeful, an aide said yesterday. (New York Post)

9/07
Six of the seven Democratic candidates for public advocate yesterday formally debated for the last time before Tuesday's primary, struggling to distinguish themselves and even tossing a few genial barbs at each other in what has otherwise been a relatively cordial contest. (New York Times)

Mayoral hopeful Michael Bloomberg lobs insults at everyone from gays and women to Jews - and even the borough of Queens - in a booklet of "wit and wisdom" compiled by his employees. The 32-page pamphlet of sayings was obtained by New York magazine's Michael Wolff and will be published in the magazine's next edition. (New York Post)

By his account, Public Advocate Mark Green has brought so much to the legislative table on a variety of issues, from campaign finance reform to domestic violence to police misconduct, that he considers his actual job description irrelevant. "If I had never been born," Mr. Green said in a recent interview, "I believe we wouldn't have a four-to-one matching law, we wouldn't have a gender discrimination law, we wouldn't have a carting law, we wouldn't have a cigarette vending machine law, we wouldn't have a domestic violence law."Mr. Green's position as public advocate has no authority to pass laws and little sway over the City Council or the mayor. But he argues that he has used his role as an official ombudsman to get things done. (New York Times)

With two of his rival candidates for mayor now labeled the front-runners, Peter Vallone tried to snatch back the spotlight by touring senior centers in Queens with crooner Tony Bennett, pounded rival Fernando Ferrer's strategy and launched a punchy TV ad that pokes his Democratic opponents in Tuesday's primary.The City Council speaker capped the day by standing with teachers union boss Randi Weingarten to demand that Schools Chancellor Harold Levy rescind budget cuts. Their appearance raised eyebrows because Weingarten endorsed Alan Hevesi, who is also behind in the polls. (Daily News)

With the opening day of school coming just five days before a mayoral primary in which everyone seems to want to become the education mayor, candidates took to the schools yesterday in search of votes, trumpeting their education plans and their school-related alliances. Alan G. Hevesi, the city comptroller, went to P.S. 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, bright and early to stump with one of his most important supporters: Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, which gave him its crucial endorsement last month.By midafternoon, though, Ms. Weingarten was heaping praise upon one of Mr. Hevesi's rivals, Peter F. Vallone, the City Council speaker, for his pledge to increase the Board of Education's budget before the year is out. Mark Green, the public advocate, was endorsed by the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, the union representing principals and other administrators. Fernando Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, released a plan to combat sexual abuse in the public schools. (New York Times)

June Eisland, 61, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Bronx borough president in Tuesday's primary, hopes her 22 years on the City Council isn't her only edge in the race. Facing her are two men, state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. of Soundview and City Councilman Adolfo Carrion Jr. of Kingsbridge. "We've never had a woman borough president in the Bronx, and this is an historical opportunity," Eisland said. "I also believe I have more experience in public office than both my opponents combined." (Daily News)

Helen Marshall will turn 72 years old this month and has been in politics since she was 16, when a Democratic leader recruited her to stuff envelopes for $2 an hour.She served on her local community board for 15 years, in the state Assembly for 10 years and has been an East Elmhurst city councilwoman for the past nine years. Now she wants to take Claire Shulman's place as Queens borough president. Although Marshall doesn't often mention the issue of race while on the stump, she would be the first African-American elected to the post. (Daily News)

Angel Del Villar, a candidate for City Council district 21 in Corona and East Elmhurst, Queens, was present at a cop killer's hideout in 1992 where plans were made for the gunman's escape. Del Villar was working as a bouncer at the Palm Club in Bayside, Queens, on July 18, 1992, when another bouncer, Patrick Bannon, fatally shot two men and wounded a third after a brawl outside the club on Bell Boulevard. "My statement is I had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting or death of anyone that night," he said. "I fully cooperated with the district attorney's office. That's my statement." Timothy Nickels, president of the housing police union at the time of the slaying, expressed outrage that Del Villar was running for public office. (Daily News)

Flushing is a neighborhood on a crucial demographic cusp, a community where old jostles with new and where this year's City Council contest is seen as a bellwether of the city's ethnic politics. Almost half of Flushing residents are Asian, though among registered voters, they are a smaller share - roughly 20 percent, according to estimates based on surnames. And so the race in the 20th Council District in Queens has come to stand for things larger than itself. The next council member from here could be the first Asian-American elected to city office in New York. Of the eight candidates vying to succeed the longtime incumbent, Julia Harrison, four are of Asian descent. At a forum last week attended by seven of the eight candidates, they championed the same things: a tidier downtown, smaller classes in the public schools, less expensive housing. They each said they were best equipped to solve the ethnic tensions in Flushing. (NY Times)

9/06
Newsday has endorsed Comptroller Alan Hevesi for mayor.

In its editorial, the paper says it pities the next mayor for having to follow Rudy Giuliani, continuing his successes while correcting problems the incumbent has left unsolved. Hevesi, the paper says, is best equipped to do this.

"He is tough, he is intelligent, and he has a breadth of experience the other candidates lack. Public Advocate Mark Green has been a fine fighter for consumers. City Council Speaker Peter Vallone has worked tirelessly to improve the image of that body. Borough President Fernando Ferrer has helped bring new housing to the Bronx. But Hevesi -- the city's comptroller for the past eight years -- has been involved in more formidable issues."

On the Republican side, Newsday finds the choice "painful." But despite the paper's "respect" for Herman Badillo, it endorses Michael Bloomberg who it called a quick study. "He demonstrates freshness, energy and a healthy respect for the challenge of running the toughest city in America. He could be a wily innovator in City Hall -- something New York City still desperately needs."

For comptroller, Newsday endorses Herbert Berman, largely because of cost overruns in the school construction program during his opponent William Thompson's tenure as school board president. And for public advocate, a job that the paper believes should not exist, it chooses Stephen DiBrienza. (Newsday)

For Queens borough president, Newsday endorses City Councilmember Helen Marshall. The paper says Marshall "is no Claire Shulman, who, by force of personality, has deftly turned the position into a persuasive and productive platform. But of the three Democratic candidates, who include former Board of Education President Carol Gresser and Councilman Sheldon Leffler, Marshall is most likely to throw Shulman-like bombs, with a degree of accuracy." (Newsday)

The New York Times endorses William Thompson for comptroller in his race against Herbert Berman. "Neither man, unfortunately, is an ideal choice for the job of the city's financial watchdog. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Berman were both in positions that should have allowed them to discover that the city's public school construction program was running wildly over budget, but neither blew the whistle. Both, in fact, seemed to feel that they should not have been expected to find out about the overruns unless someone else informed them.. . .As head of the Finance Committee, [Berman] has had plenty of experience with the creation of a city budget. But the committee's oversight work, despite some good intentions, has been thin. Mr. Berman may also be too mired in the old-style political horse-trading that is the hallmark of the council's part in budget-making.

"Mr. Thompson, a younger and more thoughtful candidate, has some missteps on his record. As a 'rainmaker' for the investment firm of George K. Baum & Company, he waited too long to take the test required by the National Association of Securities Dealers. He also failed to pay enough state tax on two occasions. . . . Both of these matters, although relatively minor, are worrisome in a candidate for the comptroller's post.

"Nevertheless, of the two candidates we prefer Mr. Thompson, whose tenure as president of the Board of Education brought an unusual period of quiet progress. Mr. Thompson also seems the more energetic candidate, who would regard the comptroller's job as a challenge to be met. Mr. Berman, on the other hand, is more likely to see it as the capstone of a long political career.

"The only African-American running for a citywide office, Mr. Thompson wants to be a more 'activist' comptroller, speaking out on the city's financial state. During this campaign he has expressed concern about the city's debt level 1"2 an attitude we prefer to Mr. Berman's more optimistic approach. Mr. Thompson has also promised to make more of the audits public, building on his efforts at the Board of Education, where he worked to make financial records more transparent.

"The most important first step for the next comptroller will be his choice of deputies. . . . The new comptroller must also be especially scrupulous about picking a top-notch first deputy, a job that should go to someone who is above reproach, who has a great range of experience and is respected in government and in the financial marketplace. We endorse Mr. Thompson with the expectation that he will make those personnel choices his first priority to send a signal that his stewardship is based on the public trust, not political favors." (New York Times)

The Daily News endorses Berman. "Fiscal experience and prudent sensibilities will matter much during the next term. Herb Berman has those qualifications, and more, making him the Daily News' choice for the job. As chairman of the City Council Finance Committee since 1990, Berman has navigated the ins and outs of the budget process and capital-spending programs. Working with Mayor Giuliani and Speaker Peter Vallone, he helped negotiate successful and responsible budgets. Berman would barely have to switch hats to assume the controller's key roles 1"2 scrutinizing the city's books, selling bonds, safeguarding the pension system and advising the mayor, council and public on the city's monetary health. He also has worn the fiscal watchdog cap comfortably.

"Berman's opponent, ex-Board of Education President Bill Thompson, is an attractive candidate whose sensible stewardship kept the peace on a fractious board. Questions have been raised about two tax liens filed against him for late payments, but they do not disqualify him from elective office. Indeed, Thompson's political future in this city is bright. But, here and now, for the controller's job, Berman is the better candidate." (Daily News)

As he enjoys a sharp rise in the opinion polls, Fernando Ferrer is trying to broaden his support beyond the black-Latino coalition that has been the base of his mayoral campaign so far. He has pulled an ad that touted his efforts to help the "other New York" and is seeking help from former Senator Daniel Moynihan, who has endorsed his candidacy. (Daily News)

With the campaign in its final days, Fernando Ferrer faces a quandary. His advisers assert that the key to his victory in a crowded field is his success at rallying black and Latino voters, along with white liberals. But if he is perceived as running a campaign driven by ethnic appeals 1"2 suggested by some of his recent television and radio advertisements, as well as his decision to campaign with the Rev. Al Sharpton 1"2 he risks pushing away those white voters who could be integral to a victory. (New York Times)

Fernando Ferrer's rise in the polls played a major role in his winning the endorsement of Local 1199, which represents many New York health care workers, according to union president Dennis Rivera. In an interview, Rivera said Ferrer was long his first choice, but he hesitated to push the union's executive council to endorse him in part because many 1199 officials did not think the Bronx borough president had a chance. The latest poll numbers apparently changed that. (New York Times)

The New York Observer seems to accept it virtually as a given that Mark Green will be the next mayor of New York. In an editorial, the weekly hails his "journey from forever-young agitator to middle-aged respectability," but goes on to question who the Mark Green of today really is and whether he recognizes that the policies of the past have been discredited. The paper says, "If he remains, in his heart of hearts, the Nader's Raider of his youth. . .then he will be a disaster as mayor." However, if "he can challenge politics-as-usual" and make a few bold moves this month, such as pledging to appoint former Police Commissioner William Bratton to a post in his administration and to keep Harold Levy as schools chancellor, then "that Mark Green, smart, wise and still capable of breaking the rules, would make one heck of a mayor."

The Observer also endorsed Councilmember Herbert Berman in the Democratic primary for comptroller. Its editorial cites Berman's understanding of how the budget and government work, his 26 years of government experience, and his having been a key player in the city's budget process as chair of the council's budget committee. On the other hand, the Observer says, his opponent, William Thompson "was missing in action while the [school] capital spending plan ran up cost overruns of nearly $3 billion." (New York Observer)

Michael Bloomberg's campaign may file a complaint with the Campaign Finance Board accusing Republican rival Herman Badillo of inaccurately reporting campaign expenses. (Daily News)

The two Democratic candidates for comptroller, Herbert Berman and William Thompson, clashed yesterday in a heated television debate. Each candidate in the increasingly bitter race argued the other is unfit for the post. Berman accused Thompson of failing to pay his taxes on time and not getting legally required licenses on time when he worked on Wall Street. Thompson countered by accusing Berman of running "a gutter-type, mudslinging nasty campaign." Both men are running negative television ads. (NY Times)

Some of the bitterness of the comptroller's race could be due to the fact that it's so close. According to a Quinnipiac College survey, William Thompson and Herbert Berman are virtually tied with Thompson at 24 percent and Berman at 22 percent. But 52 percent of voters have yet to make up their minds. (New York Post)

Marty Markowitz doesn't have the organization or endorsements that his two Democratic opponents for Brooklyn borough president have. But the state senator from Flatbush could pull an upset and defeat Ken Fisher and Jeannette Gadson on primary day. A Markowitz win would be victory for "the politics of ubiquity. His legislative achievements are, by his own admission, nil, but he's remained popular by simply showing up, at block parties, street fairs, Little League games, anything." (Village Voice)

The Daily News continues its series of profiles on Bronx borough president candidates with an article on Adolfo Carrion (Daily News)

The Daily News continues its series of profiles on Queens borough president candidates with an article on Carol Gresser. (Daily News)

Flushing City Councilwoman Julia Harrison, who held the council seat from the 20th District for 15 years, has endorsed Ethel Chen for the post. (Daily News)

Queens' 21st District has seen a huge influx of immigrants from Latin America and is about to elect its first Hispanic councilmember. Who that will be is at the center of a fierce competition among four candidates in the Democratic primary. (New York Times)

Seven candidates are vying for the council seat from the 31st District in southeastern Queens, a contest that appears to be one of the tightest in the city. (Daily News)

In Ozone Park's 32nd District, all the candidates are for better transportation, more cops and better schools. With the area split by Jamaica Bay, each candidate is fighting to secure his or her base. (Daily News)

In Brooklyn's increasingly diverse 47th District, which includes Coney Island, Brighton Beach and part of Bensonhurst, six Democrats and two Republicans are vying for the council seat. The field includes a local school board member who has the Democratic organization's backing, the wife of the incumbent, and two Russian Democrats, one of whom was ruled off the ballot and then back on. (New York Times)

The Brooklyn Democratic organization is pulling out all the stops in its effort to defeat James Davis and elect Leititia James in the 35th Council District. His opponents charge that Davis, a cop-cum-minister, has misused funds collected for his annual "Stop the Violence" march in Crown Heights and has tried to create a cult of personality. Davis say the charges are untrue and merely reflect the organization's ire at him for ousting party leader Clarence Norman from his job as district leader. (Village Voice)

With no black candidate for mayor this year, the African American community is divided among the Democratic contenders, all of whom are scrambling for this vote and discovering that, this year at least, it's not a solid bloc. (Village Voice)

With a few strong council candidates this year, the city's Chinese American community seems to have reached political maturity. But political activism in the South Asian community is at a much earlier stage. (Village Voice)

9/05
The Staten Island Advance endorses Peter Vallone for mayor in the Democratic primary and Michael Bloomberg in the Republican. In its editorial, the daily paper dismisses the "jaded, cynical" view that the four Democratic contenders are virtually indistinguishable from one another and goes on to say that Vallone "stands above his opponents in the Democratic primary, both in terms of his ability to manage this large and complex city in the trying years ahead and in terms of his extraordinary talent for meeting challenges on a borough-to-borough, community-to-community basis." The paper also argues that the Queens resident would be more likely to appreciate the concerns of Staten Islanders than a Manhattanite would. (Staten Island Advance)

On the Republican side, the Advance says that while it respects Herman Badillo, "We just think that it's time for a top city executive who will not rely on the tried and true methods of the past and bring a new 'outside-the-box' thinking and dynamism to the office in the challenging years ahead. Mr. Bloomberg is that candidate." The editorial praises Bloomberg for getting a good grasp on city issues in a comparatively short period of time and for developing innovative, yet practical solutions to problems facing New York. (Staten Island Advance)

Newsday announces its endorsements in a number of Queens City Council races.

District 19: Jerry Iannece's "legal experience and community activism make him qualified. Each of his opponents - particularly Arthur Cheliotes, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1180, and the party-backed Tony Avella. . . is a credible candidate. But Iannece has the most innovative ideas for addressing the district's needs."

District 20. "John Liu, the party designee, could have avoided some last-minute controversy had he used better judgment. As a member of Community Board 7 in Flushing, he voted last year with the majority to approve a variance for a development company whose partners include a campaign contributor. Liu, an actuary, should have recused himself. . . . We hope he has learned something about appearances. Still, his energy and impressive command of the issues make up for his lack of political acumen. And while his civic service isn't as long as that of opponent Ethel Chen, he seems better suited to alleviate the tensions between old-time residents and new immigrants.

District 21. "Despite the ethnic conflict dividing various Latino communities in the district, the four candidates - all Latinos - are evenly matched. . . .Luis Rosero is the most appealing. . . .His background gives him intimate knowledge of government and politics. His contacts at the federal level wouldn't hurt, either. He also understands the common concerns of a diverse population."

District 22. "As a member of Queens School Board 30, John Ciafone has worked diligently on behalf of school kids. . . . But Ciafone made a mistake that we cannot overlook: His ads in a local weekly newspaper boasted of endorsements by mayoral candidates Fernando Ferrer and Mark Green. Such endorsements never existed. Ciafone says the ads should have read "supported," not "endorsed" - a stretch, to say the least. . . . That leaves Peter Vallone Jr., the party's designee. Voters get more than a name with Vallone. He helped found a community group to fight power plants in western Queens. And he has learned something from watching his father's success as Council speaker. Newsday endorses Vallone."

District 23. "David Weprin is a Democratic district leader, his brother is a state assemblyman, and their late father was Assembly speaker. By contrast, Jairam Thakral immigrated from India 30 years ago, got an MBA from St. John's and recently retired as chief financial officer of the State Veterans Home on Long Island. Thakral emphasizes his financial experience in dealing with city, state and federal governments. . . . He contrasts his "diversity" with Weprin's "dynasty." Weprin, a lawyer, was the state's deputy superintendent of banks. . . . Thakral radiates eagerness to improve the city's quality of life, but Weprin has more experience and a deeper knowledge of the district. We endorse Weprin.

District 24. "The three candidates are already on the public payroll. Barry Grodenchik is Borough President Claire Shulman's chief administrative officer. He emphasizes the downside of the 2012 Olympics, which he says could freeze development in western Queens and shut down much of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for years. James Gennaro has been a policy analyst for the City Council since 1990, specializing in environmental issues. He's positive on the 2012 Olympics but negative on destroying Flushing Meadows wetlands to create a rowing course for the games. David Reich, chief of staff to a state senator from Brooklyn, cites his experience drafting bills in Albany . Gennaro offers greater familiarity with the council and broader concern for the environment. We endorse Gennaro."

District 25. "The organization person in this multi-candidate race is Helen Sears, a longtime district leader and community affairs director at Elmhurst Hospital Center. . . . Louisa Chan, a nurse and three-term secretary of School Board 24, wants community school boards to have more power and the central board to be elected. Magdalena Schultheis, vice president of an international hospitality consulting firm, would like to cut back bureaucracy to produce more affordable housing. James Van Bramer, community affairs manager for the Queensborough Public Library, has been an activist for campaign finance reform as well as gay and lesbian rights. . . .Finally, Rudolph Greco is a lawyer, civic enthusiast and author of a children's history of Jackson Heights. Along with a dedicated tax to provide higher teacher pay and smaller classes, he would encourage corporate partnerships to improve schools. Greco is a convivial, seasoned, one-of-a-kind candidate with a shrewd grasp of the district's needs and possibilities. Newsday endorses Greco. (Newsday)

A new poll rocked the mayoral race yesterday by showing Fernando Ferrer vaulting into a statistical tie with Mark Green for the Democratic nomination. The small sample of 303 voters and margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points raised doubts about the poll's accuracy. But the findings reflected a trend showing Green's lead slipping. (Daily News)

New York's Health and Human Service Union 1199/S.E.I.U. has endorsed Fernando Ferrer's bid for mayor, giving him a potentially major boost in the waning days of the primary race. (NY Times)

The Police Benevolent Association endorsement gave Vallone the unanimous backing of the unions representing the various ranks of the NYPD. He also has the backing of the correction officers' union. (Daily News)

Retired Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Fernando Ferrer battle over stop-and-frisks. (NY Post)

When four Democrats run a peace-pact primary, it means reporters have to do the work themselves, inspecting the records and assertions of the candidates. Instead, the coverage has been as bland as they have. (Village Voice)

The Village Voice endorsements: Mark Green (mayor), Herb Berman (comptroller), Norman Siegel (public advocate), Adolfo Carrion Jr. (Bronx Borough President), Helen Marshall (Queens Borough President) Rocky Chin (dist 1) Margarita Lopez (dist 2), Gale Brewer (dist 6), Victor A. Bernace (dist 7) Philip Reed (dist 8), Bill Perkins (dist 9) Ydanis Rodriguez (dist 10), G. Oliver Koppell (dist 11), Arthur Cheliotes (dist 19), Ethel Chen (dist 20), James Van Bramer (dist 25), Erica Ford (dist 27), James Blake (dist 31), David Yassky (dist 33), Peter Williams (dist 35), Al Vann (dist 36), Jack Carroll (dist 39), Wellington Sharpe (dist 40), Charles Barron (dist 42), and Kevin Parker (dist 45). (Village Voice)

Daily News endorses Betsy Gotbaum for public advocate. (Daily News)

The Post endorses Scott Stringer for public advocate (NY Post)

Profile of Brooklyn Borough President Candidate Ken Fisher. The first in a series of articles on the candidates in the race (Daily News)

Profile of Bronx Borough President Candidate Pedro Espada. The first in a series of articles on the candidates in the race (Daily News)

Profile of Queens Borough President Candidate Sheldon Leffler. (Daily News)

Heywood Dotson retreated to his mother's house in Staten Island after being disqualified in the City Council race in district 7 and returned home to learn he was reported dead. The saga added even more color to a race already saturated with it. District 7 is sprawling and diverse, stretching from 123rd to 218th Street, covering Manhattanville, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights and Inwood - and it has a field befitting it. There are 10 Democrats on the primary ballot, so many that candidates start staking out subway stops at 6:30 a.m. because there are barely enough to go around. (NY Times)

Council district 30 candidate Elizabeth Crowley finally gets her matching funds. (Daily News)

The five Democratic candidates running in district 26 talk about the need for more cops or affordable housing, but darker issues lurk just below the surface: Revenge, payback and political power. Or, as one candidate put it, lots of "petty personal politics and intramural squabbling." (Daily News)

New York Times Endorsements for Civil Court. Brooklyn (Countywide): Of the four candidates vying for two countywide Civil Court seats, Mark Partnow, a well-regarded law clerk to a State Supreme Court justice, is easily the most promising. Mr. Partnow's thoughtful manner, work ethic and knowledge of the law earn our endorsement. For the second spot, we reluctantly favor Howard Ruditzky, a sitting Civil Court judge running for re-election. Despite his unimpressive record, Judge Ruditzky's judicial experience and "approved" rating by the city bar association screening panel make him preferable to the two other candidates, Eileen Nadelson and Peter Sweeney, both private practitioners.

Brooklyn, Sixth Municipal District (Flatbush, Midwood, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect- Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights and Ditmas Park): In what amounts to a leap of faith, we endorse Michael Gerstein, a solo practitioner specializing in civil matters. Mr. Gerstein's admonishment nine years ago, for unprofessional conduct relating to the late filing of court papers for a client, gives us pause. But his legal knowledge combined with his independence from the patronage politics of the borough's Democratic clubhouse makes him a better bet than the three other candidates for this seat.

The Bronx, Second Municipal District (Western Bronx, including Riverdale, Kingsbridge and Norwood): Larry Schachner, a Housing Court judge known for his competence, fairness and independence, easily wins our endorsement over Carlos Jenkins, a private practitioner. (NY Times)

9/04
It is hard to imagine how the labor movement could be more divided than it is in the city's Democratic mayoral primary. City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi has the backing of the mighty teachers' union, while Public Advocate Mark Green has the support of the largest apparel workers' union, a 70,000-member janitors' union and the United Auto Workers. Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone has endorsements from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the corrections officers and District Council 37, the 125,000-member union of municipal employees. But the largest union local within District Council 37, representing 25,000 cafeteria workers and crossing guards, has defied its parent union and endorsed Fernando Ferrer, the Bronx borough president. The city's largest union, District 1199, the National Health and Human Service Employees Union, has remained neutral (NY Times)

The New York Times endorses Betsy Gotbaum for public advocate, saying in part: "Given the amorphous nature of the job, New Yorkers should pick a public advocate who is a self- starter and is capable of building programs and focusing public attention on the dustier corners of city government. Betsy Gotbaum best meets those criteria. As parks commissioner in the Dinkins administration, she was ingenious at finding ways to protect the parks and finance their programs at a time of terrible budget reductions. More recently, as president of the New-York Historical Society, she literally saved this city treasure from financial ruin, converting it into a cultural gem. (NY Times)

The Daily News makes three endorsements for borough president:
In Brooklyn, Kenneth Fisher.
In the Bronx, Adolfo Carrion.
In Queens, Helen Marshall.
(Daily News)

State Senator Guy Velella, the Bronx's only elected Republican, is endorsing Herman Badillo (Daily News)

Fernando Ferrer sought to turn former Police Commissioner William J. Bratton's endorsement of Mark Green against him yesterday, demanding that Mr. Green explain why the police commissioner had supported policies that many black leaders have criticized as harmful to minority neighborhoods. (NY Times)

Peter Vallone's criticisms of Mayor Rudy Giuliani are rare, and gentle. By most accounts, Mr. Vallone is closer to Mr. Giuliani's brand of conservative politics than he was to Mr. Dinkins's. Nonetheless, as speaker of the City Council, Mr. Vallone has overriden roughly two dozen mayoral vetoes in the Giuliani years, considerably more than during either the Dinkins or Koch administrations. (NY Times)

The Democratic mayoral contest has serious implications for key state politicians who are backing different candidates in the race for City Hall. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is leaning towards Alan Hevesi, Denny Farrell has endorsed Mark Green, State Comptroller Carl McCall has endorsed Fernando Ferrer. (NY Post)

City Comptroller candidate Herb Berman is set to unleash a TV ad today attacking his rival, William Thompson, as a tax scofflaw and law-breaking banker. "William Thompson managing our tax dollars? New York City filed warrants against Thompson for five years of unpaid taxes," a narrator says as copies of warrants flash across the screen. "He broke the law as an investment banker and had his securities license suspended." Thompson's campaign shot back yesterday, saying Berman has "sunk to the politics of lies and slander." (Daily News)

9/03
The platforms of the six major Democratic and Republican candidates for mayor are filled with planks that would require action by the Legislature and the governor: mayoral control of the schools; tax increases or decreases; changes in the handling of police misconduct; and more money for schools, housing, transit and parks.There is a broad consensus here among lawmakers, aides and lobbyists that of all the contenders, City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi would be best equipped to deal with the Capitol. He spent 22 years as an assemblyman from Queens, knows and gets along with the powerful here and understands Albany's often maddeningly arcane ways. (NY Times)

With little political backing and even less money, Herman Badillo has tried to beat the odds to become the Republican nominee in a campaign that has pitted him against one of the richest men in the United States, Michael R. Bloomberg, the media entrepreneur. Few of Mr. Badillo's old political allies have come to his aid. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, for whom Mr. Badillo has campaigned on many occasions, has been cautiously supportive of Mr. Bloomberg. Gov. George E. Pataki's top aides had pointedly asked Mr. Badillo early on to stay out of the race. Mr. Badillo has ignored the slights and the advice of Mr. Pataki's aides and has persevered. Indeed, barely a week before the primary, Mr. Badillo's campaign seems to have gathered some steam. Last week, in the busiest week of his campaign so far, he started running print advertisements that challenged Mr. Bloomberg's copious campaign spending and bona fides as a Republican with the slogan, "He has commercials, I have credentials." Mr. Badillo also filed and won a lawsuit against the Campaign Finance Board to force the board to consider $20,000 toward the total he needs to qualify for matching city money. (NY Times)

In a contest among two Puerto Rican men and one white woman, the focus of the race for Bronx borough president is now on the Bronx's African- Americans, who make up an estimated 40 percent to 45 percent of the borough's Democratic voters. (NY Times)

In 1991, when the City Council was expanded to add more minority members, the new First District in Chinatown was expected to produce the city's first Asian-American elected official. With that in mind, Chinatown's leaders debated whether it would be better to yoke their neighborhood to the heavily Latino East Side, which might share its concerns about bilingual education, health care and housing, or the whiter, more affluent West Side, where Asians would be the predominant minority. The West Side won out, producing a district that includes parts of the East and West Village, SoHo, TriBeCa, Little Italy, South Street Seaport, Wall Street and Battery Park City - but, so far, no Chinese-American council member. With the field wide open, there had been much talk in the district that this year, that could change. But of the six candidates in the race who are participating in the city's campaign finance system, the three who are Chinese-Americans are lagging in fund-raising and endorsements behind two white candidates, Brad M. Hoylman and Alan J. Gerson. (NY Times)

Seven Democrats are vying to replace Mark Green as the public advocate - the city's paid ombudsman, rabble-rouser and mayoral critic. For savvy politicians - like Democratic mayoral hopeful Green - the office is a ready-made soapbox. And the $150,000 salary isn't bad either.But how do you capture the attention of a voting public barely keeping its eyes open for a mayoral race? Television commercials. And lots of them. (Daily News)

9/02
The New York Times endorses Mark Green in the Democratic primary for mayor, writing in part: "In the Democratic primary, Mark Green has shown the most evidence that he is evolving into a man who could be a successful mayor.During his long career in politics, Mr. Green has demonstrated some, but not all, of the qualities New York City needs in its chief executive. He has always had political courage, and he does not buckle under fire. He was unafraid to take on Senator Alfonse D'Amato when other Democrats quailed at an unwinnable race. In his role as consumer affairs commissioner and later as public advocate, Mr. Green took on the tobacco industry, long before it was a safe target. He also, of course, battled frequently with Mr. Giuliani, spending years as the mayor's least-favorite Democrat until Mr. Hevesi took over the title a few weeks ago. Mr. Green's opponents have argued that he does not have enough executive experience. But running New York City is a job so big that there may be no adequate training... We wondered if he had the political finesse to reach a goal through negotiation rather than by calling a press conference. But as a candidate for mayor he has been extremely deft.His statistics on number-of-churches-visited and number-of-neighborhoods-toured sometimes seem like overkill, but they do assure us that Mr. Green would be a mayor who would go anywhere and talk to anyone." (NY Times)

The Daily News endorses Michael Bloomberg for the Republican primary for mayor: "Bloomberg's opponent, Herman Badillo, is one of our city's most venerable public figures. An American success story himself, Badillo was instrumental in reforming the City University system. And for that, the city is forever in his debt. But after numerous mayoral runs, he has been unable to spark any meaningful interest in his campaign this year. Bloomberg, meanwhile, has proven himself to be the right kind of Republican for New York: pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights. And he's right on the issues: law enforcement, the budget, the economy and education."(Daily News)

9/01
The New York Times makes endorsements in Staten Island:
"For Borough President: Many New York City officeholders facing term limits are looking for ways to extend their influence. Some are trying to make sure that children, spouses or parents succeed them. Others are promoting proteges. Staten Island's borough president, Guy Molinari, is backing the candidacy of his deputy, James Molinaro, a top official of the state's Conservative Party. Mr. Molinaro is running for the Republican nomination against Assemblyman Robert Straniere.

"Mr. Straniere, a lawyer, has the backing of many Republicans who dislike the idea of giving their nomination to a non-party member. He is also the superior candidate on the issues. He has focused directly on the borough's most crucial questions of overbuilding and the overcrowding of facilities, especially schools. His farsighted efforts on campaign finance and the environment have also won him the endorsement of the Citizens Union and the Sierra Club. Because he provides a refreshing departure from the Molinari era, we endorse Robert Straniere in the Republican primary for Staten Island borough president.

"For City Council: District 49 (North Staten Island): Though Staten Island is the city's most Republican borough, this district is a Democratic stronghold. The three impressive candidates are Michael McMahon, a lawyer who is currently counsel to Jerome O'Donovan, the outgoing Council member; Jon Del Giorno, administrative manager of the New York City Board of Elections; and Deborah Rose, an educator who runs a dropout prevention program and has been a longtime Community Board member.

"Any one of them would make a good Council member. But Ms. Rose has shown a particular energy and persistence in the face of party opposition to her candidacy. We endorse Deborah Rose, who hopes to become Staten Island's first African-American political officeholder." (NY Times)

In the first debate between the two Republican mayoral candidates, Michael Bloomberg asked Herman Badillo to accept a job in a Bloomberg administration. Mr. Badillo, who said he was overqualified for a job like that, spent much of the debate portraying Mr. Bloomberg, 59, as unfit for the city's highest office because he has no experience in governing. Whenever possible, Mr. Badillo, 72, injected his own resume into the discussion, relating experiences from his nearly 40 years in government and ticking off his previous job titles, from Bronx borough president to congressman. Mr. Bloomberg said that his success in private business gives him managerial skills that are particularly relevant as the city enters a period of economic change. (NY Times)

The Republican Michael R. Bloomberg has passed the $20 million mark in his bid for City Hall, continuing to spend more than all of the other mayoral candidates even as the four Democrats vying for their own party's nomination have accelerated their spending in recent weeks on television advertising, reports filed yesterday show.(NY Times)

Alan Hevesi, locked this year in a close mayoral race, is facing questions once again about his relationships with campaign contributors. He has been put on the defensive not by his rivals for the Democratic nomination, but by the man he hopes to succeed, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, the onetime corruption busting federal prosecutor. For more than a week, the mayor had criticized Mr. Hevesi almost daily about how he arranged a meeting between a major contributor and a city vendor in 1997. Mr. Giuliani has revived a few allegations that Mr. Hevesi, as city comptroller, sought to invest city pensions in funds run by his contributors, questioned the way Mr. Hevesi awarded bond business, and added his voice to those who accused him of trying to skirt the city's campaign finance rules. Most of Mr. Hevesi's rivals for mayor have taken pains to defend his integrity, and he has never been formally charged with even minor wrongdoing in all his years of public service. With the Sept. 11 primary nearing, Mr. Hevesi defended himself against the allegations point by point during an interview this week even as he conceded that he could have done some things differently. (NY Times)

August Campaign Trail

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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.


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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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