Inauguration 2014 (Updated x 2)



Mayor Bill de Blasio took office on January 1st with an inauguration ceremony on the steps of City Hall.

For the Price of a Small Soy Latte:

In his inaugural address de Blasio highlighted his call for funding universal pre-K and middle school after school programs with an increased income tax on high earners.  We look at his clever framing of the anticipated additional tax burden for those high earners.

Update – Applause:

For the Kremlinologists (CityHallologists? deBlasiologists?), here’s a brief clip of the introductions of elected & former elected officials and their respective applause, both by and for.

Update #2 – Stringer Oath:

NYS Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten administered the oath of office to Comptroller Scott Stringer, continuing on despite a jailbreak by one young attendee.

Spitzer Speaks, Splits



Eliot Spitzer voted this afternoon in a prototypical Spitzer event: arrive on-time, take care of the business at hand expeditiously and move on.  He arrived right on time at his polling place, Manhattan’s P.S. 6, went inside, voted and came out.  Total time from arriving at the school steps to back in the car, including a 1/2 block walk?  About 7 minutes.  That includes just over 1 minute talking to the press.  You can watch that 1 minute press availability right here.

The only glitch?  A reporter, from the New York Post I believe, wanted to ask “where is your wife?”  Here’s what happened.

West Indian American Day Parade



Monday’s West Indian American Day Parade included appearances by many elected officials and candidates.  Here are some brief moments with a few of those attending.

Weiner’s Parade Performance

Anthony Weiner loves a parade.  Every parade.  Especially those with loud dance music.  (Here’s a past parade worth watching.)

And for those of you who just want to see Anthony Weiner dance, well, you’re welcome.

Will Schumer Endorse?

We asked Senator Chuck Schumer whether he plans to endorse any candidate in next week’s Democratic mayoral primary.

Spitzer on Polls

We asked comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer what he thinks about the recent wide swings in public polls on the race.

Stringer & Comptroller Diversity Issues



As Scott Stringer was endorsed by a group of about 50 clergy from around the city, he touted his plan to appoint a chief diversity officer in the comptroller’s office and to pursue diversity goals for businesses and city agencies.  Seemingly implicit in his plan was the premise that recent comptrollers have not done enough on these goals.  I asked Stringer for his view of how the two most recent comptrollers, John Liu and Bill Thompson, have performed on these issues.

Spitzer’s Harlem Stroll



Eliot Spitzer met with a small group of M/WBE business owners today to discuss the challenges that they face in obtaining city contracts. Afterwards, Spitzer walked down Harlem’s Malcolm X Boulevard, visiting several local businesses along the way.

During the walk, I asked Spitzer about what his family-owned real estate business does to facilitate hiring M/WBE contractors.  His answer was somewhat vague, beginning with “we haven’t built in a couple of years”, with the apparent implication that they would specifically seek, or be able to, to hire M/WBE businesses only as part of construction projects.  Watch.

Stringer Spitzer Slugfest: Round 3 (Updated)



Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer fought their way through Round 3 of their televised debates last night, participating in a debate organized by the NYC Campaign Finance Board and broadcast by WCBS-TV (CBS 2).  Moderated by Marcia Kramer, with panelists Rich Lamb and Marlene Peralta, the debate was co-sponsored by WCBS Newsradio 880, 1010 WINS, El Diario/La Prensa, and Common Cause/NY.  They returned to now-familiar jabs at each other (think “resigned … prostitution” and “3rd term”), but still managed to discuss some substance of the office that they’re seeking.  The entire debate is available here.

They also had a few odd moments which have captured media attention.  Moderator Marcia Kramer asked both to sing a line from their favorite song.  Stringer recited the opening line from his favorite (Heroes by David Bowie), while Spitzer named his favorite, but declined to sing or recite (Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen).  (Editorial note: NYTrue.com heartily approves of both choices.)  In responding to Rich Lamb’s question of “is there something nice you can say about your opponent”, Scott Stringer tried to give a friendly response, saying “we are definitely going to hang out after” the election and that as part of that “hang out” Spitzer could “help babysit my two kids.”

Stringer Press Q&A:

Here is Scott Stringer’s full Q&A with the press following the debate.  Among the topics discussed: Spitzer’s statement that he would serve for $1 per year if elected, the candidates’ singing ability (it was part of the debate, believe it or not), how his experience may prepare him to manage the very large staff of the comptroller’s office, his views on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the sexual harassment scandals that have occurred in Albany, the revelation that he refers to “Eliot Weiner”, and much more.

Update – Spitzer Press Q&A:

Here is Eliot Spitzer’s full Q&A with the press following the debate.  Among the topics discussed: Stringer’s babysitting invitation, Mayor Bloomberg’s 3rd term, Spitzer’s statement that he would serve for $1 per year if elected and Stringer’s description of Spitzer as living in an “ivory tower.”

Catsimatidis, Community Safety & Comebacks



John Catsimatidis held a press conference this afternoon to urge New York City Council members to not override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act.  Catsimatidis was joined by several Republican former elected officials, including former governor George Pataki and former congressman Vito Fossella.

I asked Pataki how he feels about the return of his successor, Eliot Spitzer, to electoral politics.

I asked former congressman Vito Fossella, who resigned in his own sex scandal, for his reaction to the candidacy of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner.

Stringer & The Campaign Finance Board: The 2005 Edition



In his last competitive primary, Scott Stringer was fined over $72,000 by the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) for exceeding the primary spending limit.  The CFB audit results are available on the CFB website.

One of Stringer’s main lines of attack in his comptroller race against Eliot Spitzer has been Spitzer’s decision to not participate in the NYC campaign finance system and to instead self-fund.  Stringer lauds the campaign finance program and publicly urges Spitzer to abide by the program’s spending limits. Continue reading

Spitzer in Flatbush (Updated)



We caught up with Eliot Spitzer last night, while he was campaigning in Flatbush.

I asked Spitzer about the recent Fred Dicker column in which Dicker reported that “[a]n increasingly nervous Gov. Cuomo” is considering acting to try to block a Spitzer victory, and whether there’s any reason that Governor Cuomo should worried about the prospect of a Spitzer victory.

Update:

Here’s a brief clip of Spitzer with people on the street.

Stringer Spitzer Slugfest: Round 2



Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer slogged through Round 2 of their slugfest Monday night.  They participated in a debate organized by the New York City Campaign Finance Board and moderated by Errol Louis and Brian Lehrer.  As widely reported, the candidates were  notably aggressive, sparring the full length of the debate, and continuing to trade jabs afterwards.

Following the debate, the candidates separately spoke with the media.  We have the full availability for each candidate,

Eliot Spitzer:

Scott Stringer:

Dominican Day Parade – Candidates Edition (Updated x 3)



Mayoral candidates flocked to today’s Dominican Day Parade.

To start our coverage, here’s a short clip from Anthony Weiner’s parade visit.  It’s important to note that Anthony Weiner wore his special red pants to the parade.  To set the scene, during a momentary break in the parade I put my camera down on a very short tripod, with this clip as the result.

Update #1 – Eliot Spitzer:

We spoke briefly with comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer.  (We also looked for Scott Stringer.  A group of his supporters marched past, but he was not with them.)

Update #2 – Erick Salgado:

We spoke with mayoral candidate Erick Salgado about his exclusion from an upcoming mayoral candidate debate to be televised on WABC-TV.

Update #3 – Anthony Weiner:

Here’s a montage of Anthony Weiner marching running through the parade.

Stringer Spitzer Slugfest (Updated)



The Democratic candidates for comptroller smiled and punched their way through their first debate yesterday.  Hosted by WABC-TV 7, along with co-hosts Noticias 41 Univision, the Daily News and the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, it was the first campaign encounter between Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer.  The race is essentially a referendum on Eliot Spitzer, both his past and his prospective suitability for the comptroller’s office, and both candidates approached the debate that way.  Stringer repeatedly raised Spitzer’s prostitution scandal, with additional attacks on his shortcomings as governor.  Spitzer countered by focusing on his record as attorney general, particularly his Wall Street cases.

At the conclusion of the debate, both candidates separately answered media questions.

Here is Eliot Spitzer’s full availability.  It begins with a little bit of a media rush, prompting Spitzer to remark that “this feels like Union Square again.”  Once things were sorted out (and our camera in place), Spitzer answered questions on topics such as Scott Stringer’s attacks, how much money Spitzer actually plans to spend on the campaign and criticism from Crain’s.

In this excerpt from Scott Stringer’s availability he answers questions from Josh Robin of NY1 and Marcia Kramer of WCBS-TV concerning Stringer’s initial pledge to not discuss Spitzer’s “personal life” and his more recent move to focus on Spitzer’s patronizing of prostitutes five years ago.  As Stringer notes, “maybe I have a different view of what constitutes personal life.”

Update:

Here is the full recording of Scott Stringer’s media availability.