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.
Yesterday evening District Council 37 held a mayoral forum with five Democratic candidates. We’ll be providing some extended reporting on the forum.
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.
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.
As a voter that is, not as a candidate.
We asked State Senator Daniel Squadron, a candidate for Public Advocate, whether he will endorse a mayoral candidate and whether he thinks the mayoral race is focused on the right issues. Watch what he had to say.
Be sure to also watch our coverage of Squadron’s endorsement rally here.
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
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.
Be sure to watch our earlier report on this question, 9 Candidates, 7 Zillion Debates, with Brian Lehrer and Joe Lhota.
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.
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.
The trial of John Liu’s campaign treasurer and an outside fundraiser is concluding, with closing arguments expected to finish today. As described by the New York Times, the government asserted in it’s closing argument that Liu must have been aware of the illegal “straw donor” arrangements that his campaign aides are accused of. The government has not, however, offered direct evidence of any such knowledge by Liu nor has he been charged with any crime. Liu has soldiered on since the first report of financing irregularities, his campaign surviving when many thought it would not.
As Liu marches on, he is infrequently asked about the charges in candidate forums and debates, but often brings it up on his own. His general approach is to proclaim that he is “very proud” of his fundraising, lament the need for campaign fundraising, sometimes complain about the federal government’s actions and then move on. He also, sometimes gingerly, complains about the New York Times’ role, once describing it as “in bed with the feds” and once asserting, presumably referring to the Times, that “newspapers which I think [Bloomberg] has a huge amount of influence over, they’ve come after me.”
Here are three recent examples of Liu addressing his fundraising, two of which have Liu raising the issue and in the third he responds to a question.
1) April 25, 2013 – Good Government Regular Democratic Club Candidate Forum.
2) April 15, 2013 - Staten Island Democratic Committee Candidate Forum.
(Here is our full report on Liu’s appearance at the Staten Island Democratic Committee forum.)
3) April 9, 2013 – Asian American Federation Candidate Forum.
(Here is our full report on Liu’s appearance at the Asian American Federation forum.)
George McDonald, a Republican candidate for mayor, has spent most of his professional life creating and running The Doe Fund, an innovative social program focused on helping “homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals … break the cycles of homelessness, addiction, and criminal recidivism.” The Doe Fund is best known for it’s Ready, Willing & Able program, which puts its “Men in Blue” to work cleaning and maintaining many neighborhoods and business improvement districts while also providing those workers with intensive counseling and development programs.
McDonald has an unorthodox perspective, shaped by nearly 30 years of creating and running a major social services provider on a “free enterprise model” and the premise that “a job is the best social program in America.” We visited McDonald off the campaign trail, to discuss his experiences and his view of the role of government in providing social services. Watch.
In our Mayoral Mashups we talk with voters, as well as political and policy leaders, about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.
For this Mayoral Mashup we spoke with voters at a mayoral candidate forum hosted by the New York Young Republican Club and Maverick PAC, asking one simple question: What do you see as the most important issue that our next mayor will face upon taking office? Watch to see what they had to say.
Erick Salgado made a widely noted comment at last night’s debate that he would consider appointing Rudy Giuliani as police commissioner. While that seems virtually certain to not occur, the comment does illustrate that Salgado, contrary to the prevailing Democratic view, has previously spoken admiringly of Giuliani’s policing policies.
Here is a short clip from Salgado’s campaign kickoff in early April in which he laments that “our police department cannot follow and continue the tough on crime policy of Mayor Giuliani”.
Our full report on Salgado’s campaign kickoff is here.