Republican Debate Report (Updated)

Update:

Here’s a segment with George McDonald and Joe Lhota discussing bike lanes and the Citi Bike program.  The audience was most animated and engaged on this topic, and clearly not fully in sync with either McDonald or Lhota.  The question was narrowly posed: “Are bike lanes dangerous?”

McDonald began by holding out his Citi Bike membership card, drawing a few mild boos.  He then unequivocally stated that he’s in favor of bike lanes, pivoted to a critique of “anybody [read: Democratic mayoral candidates] who criticizes the New York City Police Department for political gain” and concluded.

Lhota began with a lengthy critique of bike lanes, noting the importance of vigorous enforcement of bike safety laws and that “bike lanes do impede commerce” before stating that he’s “not opposed to the Citi Bikes program.”  (He doesn’t state whether he supports or opposes bike lanes.)  Lhota then conflated the Citi Bikes program with the death of a bicyclist unrelated to the Citi Bikes program, stirring consternation in his audience.    Lhota  closed by criticizing a lack of coordination among city agencies in implementing the Citi Bikes, without mentioning or directly criticizing Michael Bloomberg.

(John Catsimatidis attended part of this forum, but left before this discussion.)

                                       

At a candidate forum hosted by the Republican National Lawyers Association, Joe Lhota gave a pointed criticism of the Office of Emergency Management under Mayor Bloomberg.  OEM was created during the Giuliani administration and was the focus of significant energy and attention during that administration.

While Lhota has generally spoken highly of Mayor Bloomberg, he has nonetheless offered sharp comments on a number of specific actions and agency management issues under the Bloomberg administration.

Here is what Lhota had to say:

Army Corps of Engineers Update

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is performing substantial Sandy-recovery work in Rockaway and elsewhere.  We spoke with Colonel Paul Owen, commander of the New York District of the Army Corps of Engineers, for an update on their progress and a look ahead.

Additional detailed information from the Army Corps of Engineers is available here.

D’aja Robinson

D’aja Robinson, a 14 year girl, was shot and killed Saturday evening while boarding a city bus.  Council Speaker Christine Quinn, along with other elected officials and community leaders, held a press conference to draw attention to the ongoing investigation and possible preventative measures.  Here is an excerpt from Speaker Quinn’s remarks.

Tour de Gracie: The Peloton Reels Quinn Back In

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.

In the Quinnipiac poll released this morning, the breakaway leader continues her slide back into the peloton.  Here are a few observations: Continue reading Tour de Gracie: The Peloton Reels Quinn Back In

Bob Hennelly & the 5 Amigos (Updated x 3)

Yesterday evening District Council 37 held a mayoral forum with five Democratic candidates.  We’ll be providing some extended reporting on the forum.

Update #3:  DC 37 endorsed John Liu for mayor on May 29th.  Extended excerpts of John Liu at the mayoral forum are here.

Update #2:  Excerpts showing the discussion on retroactive pay under union contracts are here.

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.

de Blasio, Drivers Licenses & the Undocumented

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.

Comrades in the Struggle Against Surveillance (Updated)

AFP Photo/John Moore

Being surveilled is not a nice feeling.  New York State legislators know it, John Liu knows it, the New York City Muslim community knows it and now a broad swath of the Wall Street elite knows it.

In a curious twist, Bloomberg looms large in two* of these episodes:  Bloomberg the mayor in the police department’s surveillance of the Muslim community and Bloomberg the company in the surveillance of Goldman Sachs and other financial industry players.  Whether it’s a meaningful connection, or just coincidence remains to be seen.

In a startling story first reported by the New York Post, the New York Times has reported that “‘several hundred’ reporters” from

“Bloomberg News, the journalism arm of Bloomberg L.P., had for years used the company’s terminals to monitor when subscribers had logged onto the service and to find out what types of functions, like the news wire, corporate bond trades or an equities index, they had looked at.”

Continue reading Comrades in the Struggle Against Surveillance (Updated)

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