All posts by John Kenny

D’aja Robinson



D’aja Robinson, a 14 year girl, was shot and killed Saturday evening while boarding a city bus.  Council Speaker Christine Quinn, along with other elected officials and community leaders, held a press conference to draw attention to the ongoing investigation and possible preventative measures.  Here is an excerpt from Speaker Quinn’s remarks.

Tour de Gracie: The Peloton Reels Quinn Back In



The mayoral race is like a long distance bicycle race, with the peloton reeling the current breakaway leader back in.   In long distance bike races, such as the Tour de France, often a single rider will break will away from the peloton, or main pack of riders, and move into a significant lead for a time.  Without the wind and friction breaking benefit of riding in the pack, the breakaway rider often tires and eventually fades back into the peloton.

In the Quinnipiac poll released this morning, the breakaway leader continues her slide back into the peloton.  Here are a few observations: Continue reading Tour de Gracie: The Peloton Reels Quinn Back In

Bob Hennelly & the 5 Amigos (Updated x 3)



Yesterday evening District Council 37 held a mayoral forum with five Democratic candidates.  We’ll be providing some extended reporting on the forum.

Update #3:  DC 37 endorsed John Liu for mayor on May 29th.  Extended excerpts of John Liu at the mayoral forum are here.

Update #2:  Excerpts showing the discussion on retroactive pay under union contracts are here.

Update:  Here are excerpts showing moderator Bob Hennelly in action.  In this forum, his campaign season premier, he joined the ranks of the 2013 campaign’s most effective moderators.  He skillfully used humor to facilitate the discussion, kept it moving while allowing time for substantive answers and interacted with a very engaged audience.  Unlike many moderators, he began with his own impassioned description of the state of the city as Mayor Bloomberg’s term comes to an end.

Our initial clip covers a question, and full answers, on a proposal to allow non-citizens to vote.  The exchange illustrates several features of last night’s forum:  host Bob Hennelly’s use of humor to effectively facilitate the discussion while keeping it moving, the candidate’s attempts, some humorous, to engage the audience, in this case with their widely varying spanish language skills, John Liu running to the left of the more measured Bills (Thompson and de Blasio) and a very engaged audience which at the start of this question objected to the questioner speaking in spanish rather than english.

de Blasio, Drivers Licenses & the Undocumented



Today New York City Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio proposed having New York State issue drivers licenses, and New York City issue municipal identification, to undocumented immigrants.

We spoke with de Blasio about his proposal, it’s prospects of enactment and the lessons of Eliot Spitzer’s failed 2007 proposal to issue such drivers licenses.

Comrades in the Struggle Against Surveillance (Updated)



AFP Photo/John Moore

Being surveilled is not a nice feeling.  New York State legislators know it, John Liu knows it, the New York City Muslim community knows it and now a broad swath of the Wall Street elite knows it.

In a curious twist, Bloomberg looms large in two* of these episodes:  Bloomberg the mayor in the police department’s surveillance of the Muslim community and Bloomberg the company in the surveillance of Goldman Sachs and other financial industry players.  Whether it’s a meaningful connection, or just coincidence remains to be seen.

In a startling story first reported by the New York Post, the New York Times has reported that “‘several hundred’ reporters” from

“Bloomberg News, the journalism arm of Bloomberg L.P., had for years used the company’s terminals to monitor when subscribers had logged onto the service and to find out what types of functions, like the news wire, corporate bond trades or an equities index, they had looked at.”

Continue reading Comrades in the Struggle Against Surveillance (Updated)

Mayoral Forum Vintage Video



Well, sort of.  This two week old video is from a forum held on April 25, 2013 by the Good Government Regular Democratic Club.  The Rockaway-based club hosted four Democratic mayoral candidates, Christine Quinn, Sal Albanese, Bill Thompson and John Liu.  Each candidate appeared separately, giving a lengthy presentation and then engaging in Q&A with the audience

We’ve posted some extended video below for three of the four.  Sal Albanese video is still in process, and we’ll add it soon. Continue reading Mayoral Forum Vintage Video

Lunacy … or Democracy in Action?



This mayoral campaign’s most notable feature is the proliferation of candidate debates and forums.  Numbering well into the scores, perhaps even 100, so far, they occur daily and even multiple times a day.  It’s a worthwhile question whether this grueling schedule is sensible or an effective campaign structure.

In this report, we consider that question with two candidates and a former candidate.

Watch.

Be sure to watch our earlier report on this question, 9 Candidates, 7 Zillion Debates, with Brian Lehrer and Joe Lhota.

NYCLASS Animal Rights Mayoral Candidate Forum (Updated x 3)



Today NYCLASS hosted a mayoral candidate forum, with Tom Allon moderating, focused on animal rights.  It was a lively forum, with both the candidates and the audience engaged and energetic.

We’ll have lots of coverage, but we’ll start you with this brief snippet of Dean and Jerry Sal Albanese and John Catsimatidis.

Update #3 – Carriage Horses:

Here is the full discussion around carriage horses.  Only Bill de Blasio calls for a full immediate ban, while the others express concerns around the economic impact on the drivers.  All, however, were ready, willing and able to criticize Christine Quinn for her impeding council action on this issue.

Update #2 – The Cat Man in the Lion’s Den:

John Catsimatidis, the “Cat Man” as he has dubbed himself, was the sole Republican candidate to attend the NYCLASS forum.  Here are two clips of the Cat Man; his opening statement and his answer to a question on the fate of horse-drawn carriages in midtown Manhattan.  We’ve selected these for two reasons:  First, there are a number of funny moments, some intentional, some not.  (“My kids were raised in Central Park” (not allowed in the house?) and, without evident humor or irony stating that “there’s no free rides” for the horses, make me laugh aloud.)  Second, watching a first-time candidate make his way through unfamiliar policy issues and governmental processes while trying to connect with voters is worth watching, both in these brief moments and in the broader campaign.

Opening Statement:

Horse-drawn Carriages:


Update #1 – Quinn in absentia:

Christine Quinn, despite not attending the forum, received significant attention.  She has a fraught relationship with NYCLASS and the organized animal rights community, as shown in these excerpts.