New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer continued his series of town hall meetings focused on Hurricane Sandy recovery, visiting the Arverne Section of Rockaway Wednesday evening. (Our report on his initial town hall, in Rockaway’s Breezy Point, is here.)
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.
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.
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.”
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 Stringer & The Campaign Finance Board: The 2005 Edition→
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,
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.”
Here is the full recording of Scott Stringer’s media availability.
We asked the two aspiring Democratic comptroller candidates, Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer, the same question: What do you think is the biggest substantive issue in the race? Here’s what they had to say.
With John Liu’s expected formal campaign kickoff on Sunday, the Democratic mayoral field appears to be set. Four “major” candidates, Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Bill Thompson, and a couple of lesser candidates, are in.
The next big change in the field will likely come when one, or both, of the citywide officeholders in the race faces a reality check. Bill de Blasio and, presumably as of Sunday, John Liu have declared that they are giving up their current citywide office and running for mayor. Presently, public polling shows both significantly trailing Christine Quinn, and with only modest recent gains for de Blasio and little change for Liu. Both are in their first term, and term limits do not apply to them in this cycle. Both would likely be readily re-elected, although John Liu would face the somewhat tricky circumstance of dealing with Scott Stringer’s candidacy. (The four Democratic candidates for Public Advocate would not present such a problem for de Blasio.)
Will one, or both, rethink their target office when petitioning begins in early June? Absent significant poll movement, it seems likely. Stay tuned as they each try to emerge as the clear alternative to Christine Quinn.
~ John Kenny
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