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.