Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the Sunnyside Greenmarket Saturday afternoon, greeting shoppers at the outdoor market on a mild afternoon. He was guided by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the area.
Arriving 30 minutes late, the mayor spent close to 30 minutes working his way through a block-long open air market. It was reasonably busy, but not overcrowded. It appeared that the people the mayor greeted were shoppers who happened to be there and not part of an organized group or rally. He received a very cordial welcome, with many people eager to shake his hand and get a photo. Some people asked him to take action (on the subway, for example), but I didn’t hear any hostile comments or rejection of his entreaties to vote for him on November 7th.
The 2017 Columbus Day Parade had its usual large helping of politicians, including a full set of mayoral candidates. Among those attending were Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Representatives Tom Suozzi and Carolyn Maloney. 2017 mayoral candidates attending, in addition to Mayor de Blasio, included Republican/Conservative candidate and Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, independent candidate Bo Dietl and Reform Party candidate Sal Albanese.
Mayoral candidate friction was exacerbated by the contretemps over statues of Christopher Columbus. Bo Dietl shouted and booed as Mayor de Blasio marched past a waiting Dietl without acknowledgment
Zymere Perkins, Warren Wilhelm, Big Bird, Sal Albanese and Joseph Ponte. Those names are not at the forefront of New York City’s political awareness, but all figure into Bo Dietl’s preparations for tonight’s mayoral candidate debate. Dietl, distantly trailing Mayor de Blasio and his two fellow de Blasio challengers in recent public polls and experiencing a significant drop off from early fundraising success, is looking to the mayoral debate to recharge his campaign. In several discussions over the past week Dietl has outlined his debate plan, mentioning topics he regularly brings up while campaigning and, mostly, promising an aggressive approach. Continue reading Dietl Debate Drama?→
Sunday’s African American Day Parade drew elected officials to Harlem, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis. de Blasio, accompanied by his wife Chirlane McCray, received an extremely warm welcome. Steadily working the sidelines as the parade worked its way up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, de Blasio was showered with smiles, handshakes and hugs. Malliotakis worked her way through waiting marchers ahead of the parade, but did not march in the parade. She was well-received, with many people interested in her candidacy, but her reception did not match de Blasio’s.
The mayor has ridden off the rails. That’s the essence of Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ assessment of Mayor de Blasio’s effectiveness at managing the subway system, offered this afternoon at a Columbus Circle press conference.
Malliotakis’ criticism at times skirts the reality that Governor Cuomo primarily controls the MTA and its subway system. That’s particularly the case on criticism of de Blasio for operational troubles, but less so on a Malliotakis focus today; that the City should contribute more money to the MTA budget.
They have competing presidential ambitions, but de Blasio can’t get along with anyone. That was the essence of Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ assessment when I asked for her view on whether she attributes Cuomo and de Blasio’s poor relationship primarily to either of them.
Malliotakis spoke at a press conference in which she extensively criticized the mayor for recent declines in subway service. It’s a major campaign theme for her, fitting into a broader criticism of de Blasio as a poor municipal manager. Her subway criticism is somewhat complicated, however, as Governor Cuomo primarily controls the MTA and its subway system. Malliotakis is much less critical of the governor and pledges to work cooperatively with him as mayor. Assessing the prospects of a future Governor Cuomo/Mayor Malliotakis relationship starts with considering the causes of the current problematic governor/mayor relationship and whether its causes will continue with a new mayor.
Labor leaders and the politicians who court them marched up Fifth Avenue today, leading the Labor Day Parade. Virtually all senior members of New York City’s organized labor movement attended, including Mario Cilento (president of the NYS AFL-CIO), Gary LaBarbera (president of the Buildings & Trades Council), Vinnie Alvarez (president of the NYC Central Labor Council), Mike Mulgrew (president of the United Federation of Teachers), Randi Weingarten (president of the American Federation of Teachers), George Miranda (president of Teamsters Joint Council 16), Stuart Appelbaum (president of RWDSU), George Gresham (president of 1199) and Grand Marshall Edgar Romney of Workers Unite. Politicians marching included Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis also made a brief appearance.
Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl had mixed results as he sought out Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio ahead of the West Indian Day Parade this morning. Cuomo and de Blasio lined up separately for the parade, with Cuomo doing a brief press Q&A before marching.
As Cuomo walked toward the waiting press Dietl called out “we love Governor Cuomo”, drawing a finger point and “ohhh, Bo.” “Democrat Bo” replied Dietl. As Cuomo and the Rev. Al Sharpton stood waiting to march Dietl moved in, drawing a “what’s up Bo” from Sharpton as they exchanged a handshake and kiss. (“I know Al Sharpton 40 years … I regard him as a friend” Dietl said afterwards.) A smiling Cuomo looked toward Dietl, shook his hand and kept smiling as he turned away.
Dietl moved on to de Blasio, waiting for a moment as the mayor posed for a picture. “Mr. Mayor, no Columbus, come on, no Columbus” he called out, drawing a mayoral smile and quick handshake. A silent Chirlane McCray, Mayor de Blasio’s wife, smiled wanly and gave a small flick of her flag as Dietl reached past her to take the mayor’s hand.
Governor Andrew Cuomo gave Mayor Bill de Blasio yet another political cold shoulder today, brushing off the possibility of endorsing de Blasio for reelection just a week ahead of the Democratic mayoral primary. de Blasio was an energetic supporter of Cuomo in his 2014 reelection, publicly supporting him as early as May and energetically helping Cuomo win the support of the Working Families Party. Speaking with reporters ahead of the West Indian Day Parade today, Cuomo avoided any mention of de Blasio in reply to questions from NY1’s Grace Rauh and the Daily News’ Erin Durkin, declaring that as a Westchester resident “I’m not voting in this election so I don’t have any primary endorsements at this time.”
Here’s what Democratic mayoral candidate (and incumbent mayor) Bill de Blasio, Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl had to say about the Charlottesville violence and President Trump’s statement. Each spoke just ahead of today’s Dominican Day Parade in Manhattan; de Blasio in a statement to an assembled press pack (without taking any questions) and Malliotakis and Dietl in separate brief interviews with me. Video of their respective full statements is below. Continue reading Mayoral Candidates On Charlottesville→
The Travis 4th of July Parade drew mayoral rivals Bill de Blasio and Nicole Malliotakis together Tuesday, as they attended the annual event in the Staten Island neighborhood of Travis. Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer were the two off-Island electeds participating, while Assembly Member Malliotakis was one of many Staten Island elected participating. Others included Borough President Jimmy Oddo, NYS Senator Diane Savino, Assembly Members Michael Cusick (also the parade Grand Marshal), Ron Castorina and Matt Titone, City Council Members Steve Matteo and Debi Rose and Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner also attended. Continue reading Travis Parade→
The sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and the politicians waving as New York City’s annual Pride March was held Sunday. Once a small protest on the political fringe, the Pride March is now decidedly in the mainstream of New York politics. This year’s edition featured many elected officials and candidates, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer and mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Bo Dietl.
It was a regular Cuomo/de Blasio affair, with the two leading Democrats arriving separately and taking pains to avoid each other. Governor Cuomo delayed his arrival until the March began, rolling up 34th Street in his SUV to the parade route just as his marching contingent came down Fifth Avenue to 34th. Cuomo then held a brief press Q&A as his contingent stood still, blocking the parade route for Mayor de Blasio and the rest of the March.
Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade featured many elected officials, although some elected and appointed officials skipped the parade in reaction to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera. Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the parade, but appeared to make significant effort at avoiding Lopez Rivera, skipping the opening ribbon cutting and instead arriving after Lopez Rivera had joined the parade. Continue reading Photo Gallery: Puerto Rican Day Parade→
Insight, analysis and reporting on New York and national politics