Gotham Gazette

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Gotham Votes 2013

WeinerGate Revisited: The Morning After

While Anthony Weiner might have put the latest reveal about his internet trysts behind him, his rivals for Democratic mayoral nomination have not.

Adding to yesterday’s chorus of reaction, City Council Speaker and  fellow mayoral race frontrunner Christine Quinn never accused the scandal-plagued candidate of lying. Instead, she accused Weiner of having a “difficulty with the truth."

"The circus that Mr. Weiner has brought to the mayor’s race these last two months has been a disservice to New Yorkers who are looking for someone who has the judgment and maturity to lead this city and a record of actually delivering real results for them," she said at a news conference earlier today.

Quinn, like Comptroller John Liu and 2009 Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson, refused to speculate on whether or not Weiner should drop out of the race.

"I think that’s a decision for him, and clearly we heard yesterday he’s made it," she said.

Bill de Blasio is more definitive in his declaration.

The public advocate again called on Weiner to resign from the race. He’s made the argument ever since Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith report on the newest allegations were confirmed yesterday afternoon.

De Blasio lamented the coverage Weiner has been getting from the media during a news conference earlier today where he stood alongside healthcare union SEIU 1199’s President George Gresham and advocacy group New York Communities for Change. 

They said the Weiner distraction is coming at the cost of other issues, namely hospital closures and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto late yesterday of the racial profiling ban expansion and inspector general bills — both issues that De Blasio has been pushing for weeks.

Asked by a reporter if Weiner’s strength in the polls undercuts the argument that this could hurt him, De Blasio tried to circle back to the racial profiling bill.

"We haven’t had a debate on the issues so people are judging so far on name recognition and celebrity," he said. “I don’t see that scorecard being put up there that shows Chris Quinn voted against the racial profiling ban. Bill Thompson is against the racial profiling ban. Anthony Weiner is against the racial profiling ban. All of them taking the same position as Michael Bloomberg. If that’s front and center, we’d see very different results."

De Blasio’s campaign isn’t backing down, either. His supporters were sent an email early this morning asking them to sign a petition demanding that Weiner drop out of the race.

"These issues are serious, and finding solutions is critical," the e-mail said. “But right now the conversation in this campaign is neither serious nor critical — it’s a joke."

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