Eva & Her Protesters

“I find them a little scary” said Eva Moskowitz about the protests she attracts.  Her City Hall press conference announcing that she will not run for mayor in 2017 unsurprisingly attracted a group of 20-25 protesters to the adjacent City Hall Park.  Their chants and shouts filled City Hall Plaza throughout her press conference, making it tough to hear the questions and answers.

In a stroke of good timing Moskowitz and one companion departed as the protesters chanted “hey hey, ho ho, Eva Moskowitz has got to go.”  She gave them a brief wave and kept walking, headed out to Broadway and back to work.

Here’s a brief clip of her departure:

No Mayor Moskowitz

IMG_4903Mayor Moskowitz?  Nope, at least not in 2018.  Success Academy Charter Schools founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz today announced that she will not run for mayor in 2017.  Moskowitz, a former City Council member who ran for Manhattan Borough President in 2005, has long had an interest in being mayor and she’s been deeply engaged with New York City and State government in her current role.  She’s been among a small group of potential 2017 mayoral candidates discussed in political circles and the press.

Moskowitz arrived early and alone, waiting for several minutes as a lectern was located and the press gathered.  Once a lectern was produced and the press in place Moskowitz told her audience that she is “not running for mayor in 2017.”  She dismissed any concerns about “winnability”, instead insisting that she’s idealistic and hopes to continue to have the opportunity to “dramatically change education.”

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The Grocery Governor (Updated*)

He went from prayers to produce in a Bed-Stuy flash.

Just minutes after a closing prayer at a political event Thursday night Governor Andrew Cuomo made a quick visit to a Bed-Stuy grocery store, greeting shoppers and staff and joining a grand reopening ribbon cutting.

Governor Cuomo attended a political event hosted by City Council Member Robert Cornegy in Bed-Stuy’s Restoration Plaza, receiving an award for “outstanding leadership and courage.”  Cornegy was joined by other Democratic Brooklyn elected officials, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Assembly Members Annette Robinson, Latrice Walker and Diana Richardson and Brooklyn Democratic County Chair Frank Seddio.

The event wrapped up with a prayer, introduced by Cornegy saying “Governor Cuomo, we know that prayer has been taken out of the schools but it hasn’t been taken out of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.”  As the minister leading the prayer asked that “everyone hold hands”, Cornegy chimed in “except the photographers.”  Cuomo joined the audience in clasping hands with his neighbors and bowing his head as the minister led a prayer in appreciation of Cuomo’s attending the event and praying for Cuomo’s safe travel home.

Governor Cuomo and others join hands during a concluding prayer at a Bed-Stuy event.

Governor Cuomo and others join hands during a concluding prayer at a Bed-Stuy event.

As Cornegy concluded he invited the audience, including the Governor, to join him at a grand reopening of an adjacent grocery store.  “Let’s go!” replied Cuomo.  The press, the elected officials and Cuomo and his staff then headed to Super Foodtown, about 100 yards away via an interior courtyard. Continue reading

Cuomo & Jeffries

The Cuomo-Jeffries lovefest continued last night, with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries lauding each other in back to back speeches.  Jeffries gave a warm introduction of Cuomo at an event in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy hosted by City Council Member Robert Cornegy, presenting Cuomo with an award for “outstanding leadership and courage in addressing the issues so vital to our Brooklyn communities.”  Recent news reports say that Cuomo has encouraged Jeffries to consider running for mayor against Bill de Blasio.


Governor Cuomo reciprocated Jeffries’ warm introduction with kind words of his own.  Here’s an excerpt from his speech in which he talks about Jeffries:


Here is Jeffries’ full speech, praising Cuomo generally as a “man of action”, and specifically on his executive order appointing the attorney general as a special prosecutor to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians killed by police.  Jeffries recounted several recent notorious cases, including Eric Garner, noting that “those officers weren’t even charged with a misdemeanor count of assault” as Cuomo listened and nodded.

Cuomo Press Q&A: The Bed-Stuy Edition

Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke this evening at a ceremony in Bedford-Stuyvesant hosted by New York City Council Member Robert Cornegy.  Cornegy was joined by other Democratic Brooklyn elected officials, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Assembly Members Annette Robinson, Latrice Walker and Diana Richardson.  Jeffries presented Cuomo with an award marking Cuomo’s Executive Order 147, which appointed the attorney general as a special prosecutor in all cases of police killing unarmed civilians.

Afterwards Governor Cuomo and the other elected officials walked to a nearby Foodtown which was holding a grand re-opening.  After a brief walkthrough and a ribbon-cutting ceremony Governor Cuomo spoke with the press just outside of Foodtown.

Cuomo began with a brief description of meeting the owner of this Foodtown at another store he owns located in Margaretville, New York during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and a question on Cuomo does his own grocery shopping.  Other question topics included whether the issuance of addenda to his Executive Order 147 signals a modification of how the cases will be reviewed and addressed, the status of an expected executive order mandating that 16 and 17 year olds held in New York State prisons be moved out of adult prisons, the latest on Hurricane Joaquin preparations, whether he’s yet selected races to focus on in the 2016 elections, whether he intends to declare a state of emergency related to Hurricane Joaquin and whether any arrests have been made in the killing Carey Gabay.

Here’s his full Q&A:


It was a study in Republican contrasts.Christie NH 9-25-15

Spending Friday attending separate New Hampshire town halls with Rand Paul and Chris Christie highlighted two of the most contrasting Republican presidential candidates.  Although they share weak poll results, generally at the tail end of the top ten candidates, they differ markedly in style and substance.

Paul NH 9-25-15On a personal level Paul is physically compact, appearing trim and fit, seemingly reserved and not very interested in talking about himself.  Christie is none of those.  Although they’ve held elective office for almost the same length of time (Paul was elected in 2010, Christie in 2009), Paul is a legislator and Christie an executive, each with disdain for the other’s current branch of government. Continue reading

Christie On Boehner Resignation

Chris Christie was gentle in his direct comments on House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation.  Although he was critical of Congressional leadership more broadly in earlier comments, Christie politely said that “the Speaker obviously made a very personal decision” and “that it’s hard to tell” when I asked if in his view the House, and the country, would be better off without Boehner as Speaker.

We spoke after a Christie town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Paul On Bush

“I think you’ll get another big war in the Middle East.”  Senator Rand Paul today dismissively described rival candidate Jeb Bush’s foreign policy as a retread of his brother’s and father’s.  Saying “we’ve had a bunch of Bush’s” Paul asserted that “people are looking for something fresh, something new.”

Paul comments came as he briefly spoke with reporters following a town hall this afternoon in Salem, New Hampshire.  Here’s what he had to say when asked about Jeb Bush’s decline in public polls:

Rand Paul On Boehner Resignation

“A step in the right direction” is how Republican presidential candidate and Senator Rand Paul characterized House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation announcement.  Speaking at campaign town hall in Salem, New Hampshire, Senator Paul criticized Congressional Republicans for failing to change federal spending and characterized Boehner’s departure as a product of frustration on that by voters and some Congressional Republicans.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Paul disclaimed any interest in a specific candidate to replace Boehner.

Here are excerpts of Paul’s comments during the town hall and from a brief press Q&A:

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Pre-Papal Edition

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan came together yet again on Wednesday, this time holding a Bronx press conference to announce a program establishing a new program providing beds for homeless people linked with the providing of social services.  The Archdiocese of New York, headed by Cardinal Dolan, has committed to providing 150 of the contemplated 500 beds in the program.  de Blasio and Dolan spoke at a South Bronx shelter for homeless men operated by the Franciscan Friars.


The Mayor and Cardinal answered “on topic” questions, with topics including the geographic spread of the 500 contemplated beds and size of the expected facilities, the timeline for implementation, the availability of federal funding, security at the facilities, an existing Staten Island drop-in shelter and its spillover effects on the surrounding neighborhood, the process to assist people once they are in this program, the prospects of fulfilling the 500 bed goal and whether the impending visit of Pope Francis will boost the Mayor’s agenda on addressing homelessness.  Here’s the full Q&A:

Mayor Claws His Way To Victory

IMG_4740Mayor Bill de Blasio avenged his 2014 softball loss to the City Council, leading his team to a 13-12 victory last night.  Playing before a handful of fans at the Staten Island Yankees home stadium, the teams fought hard for the City Hall bragging rights at stake.  Our full photo gallery is here.

Mayor de Blasio boosted his team by enlisting Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo.  Oddo, a former City Council member, and de Blasio asserted that as an “executive branch” employee Oddo was eligible for the Mayor’s team.  Oddo razzed his former colleagues and raised the level of play for the Mayor’s team.


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Photo Gallery: 2015 Labor Day Parade

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo were among the many elected officials in Saturday’s Labor Day Parade.  Our full photo gallery is here.

Cuomo Gaggles: The Labor Day Edition (Updated)

Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke briefly with press today at the conclusion of the Labor Day Parade.

He began with a statement advocating an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Cuomo has recently reversed course, having previously regarded $15 as too high a minimum.  His conversion may be an effect of his friction with the self-described “progressive” Mayor de Blasio, with Cuomo here claiming that the increase he now supports “is the single most progressive thing we can do to help the families of this state.”

Question topics for Cuomo included what he plans for any small businesses that “might go out of business” as a result of an increased minimum wage, the condition of Carey Gabay, a Cuomo staffer grievously wounded in a shooting last weekend, his views on the James Blake/NYPD incident and whether he’s open to running as a vice presidential candidate with Joe Biden.  Cuomo said that “the mayor was right to apologize” to James Blake and replied with a simple “no” when asked if Biden has asked him to be his running mate.  When asked if he would be open to running with Biden, Cuomo gave a lengthy response that included the statement that “I am about governing this state more than politics, frankly.”

Our Labor Day Parade photo gallery is here.