John Catsimatidis held a press conference this afternoon to exchange endorsements with several Queens Republican candidates for City Council. I asked Catsimatidis for his thoughts on why all four current Republican members of the City Council have endorsed Joe Lhota, rather than Catsimatidis. Catsimatidis responded by discussing “a few several investigations” into “certain situations going on where there were threats made on people losing their city jobs if they didn’t do certain things certain ways.” When asked why he was privy to such investigations, Catsimatidis replied “maybe I testified”.
Background: Two of the four current Republican City Council members, Dan Halloran and Eric Ulrich, are from Queens. Halloran has been charged by the U.S. Attorney with taking a bribe from a Queens Democratic State Senator in exchange for helping that Democrat get on the Republican mayoral primary ballot. Ulrich has been in a long-running Queens County Republican feud in which Ulrich and others are bitterly opposed to the Queens County Republican Chairman, Phil Ragusa. Ragusa supports Catsimatidis for mayor.
Last night, the Brooklyn Young Democrats hosted a candidate forum in the little-noticed race for New York City Public Advocate. The forum featured four Democratic candidates; Council Member Letitia James, former Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Cathy Guerriero, and was moderated by Colin Campbell, senior editor of The New York Observer and kingpin of Politicker.com.
The forum was held at a bar in Downtown Brooklyn – our apologies for the poor lighting.
For more background on the role and structure of the office of Public Advocate, watch our interview with the current Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio.
You can watch some of our earlier coverage of the Public Advocate race here, here and here.
On June 17th, the Coalition for Queens, along with a number of other groups, hosted a Tech Policy Forum at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Update #2: – The “Most Important Question”
Candidates answer the “most important” questions – what phone and service provider do they use, and what is their favorite app?
Update: Anthony Weiner and the SNAP Challenge
After the forum we spoke with Anthony Weiner about the SNAP, or Food Stamp, Challenge that he is participating in. The challenge is to live for one week with all spending for food and meals limited to the average benefit amount for city residents enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That’s about $31 per person.
We’ll start our report with this exciting snippet in which Anthony Weiner’s forum standing strategy is stymied.
Last night, El Diario, the Hispanic Federation and Hostos Community College hosted a mayoral forum with seven Democrats, two Republicans and one Independence Party candidate. It was quite an evening.
Update #3: Quinn v. de Blasio
In this excerpt, Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio engage in a pointed discussion of their respective views of their accomplishments.
Update #2: Weiner on his House Immigration Subcommittee Work
In this excerpt, Anthony Weiner is asked what he accomplished as a member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration. He demonstrates his substantial speaking skills, giving a lengthy description of acting as “an advocate” and pledging to be “an advocate on immigration” just “as Mayor Bloomberg does on guns.” When pressed by the moderator on what he has to show from his time on that subcommittee, Weiner says that “every member of the Democratic caucus … didn’t get much done” during that time. He does, however, assert that he “tilled the fields” and “fought really hard.”
Update: O, Alma Mater, glorious …
In this brief excerpt, the candidates focus on their love for a particular high school. Really. Well worth watching.
In our initial report the candidates discuss the city’s solid waste disposal plan. It’s a unique exchange in several ways. First, more than any other forum or debate segment that I can recall, the candidates engage in a long and unusually involved discussion with each other. Second, there are some clear personal frictions that emerge. Finally, there are a few loopy moments. All in all, this segment displays more candidate personalities more effectively than any other moment that I’ve seen so far in the campaign.
Last night, Families for Excellent Schools held a mayoral candidate forum. Four Democratic candidates attended: Anthony Weiner, Christine Quinn, Sal Albanese and John Liu.
Here is our initial report, covering two charter school questions asked at the forum, and including the complete answers of each candidate. Despite being asked as “yes or no” questions, the responses are fairly lengthy and we thought it worthwhile to give you the complete answers.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a package of ten proposed bills, prepared following a series of council hearings examining the City’s response to Hurricane Sandy. The bills include a number of specific directives to OEM, the Office of Emergency Management, as well as other measures aimed at avoiding future traffic and fuel management troubles.
Here is our report:
We also have the full statements of Speaker Quinn and Council Member Donovan Richards, who represents a large portion of Rockaway:
Tonight the New York City Bar Association hosted a mayoral candidate forum. The forum, moderated by NY1’s Errol Louis*, featured separate panels of four Republican and Independence Party candidates and four Democratic Party candidates.
This excerpt has the “Lightning Rounds” in which Errol Louis posed a series of yes/no questions to each panel. He asked four questions of the Republican/Independence candidates and the same four, plus one additional question, to the Democratic candidates. (It’s possible that I’ve missed a fifth question due to a recording or editing glitch, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.) Among the notable answers, all eight candidates indicated that they are in favor of settling the Central Park Five case.
Update: In this excerpt George McDonald criticizes Anthony Weiner and Vito Lopez, and laments the lack of voter participation as enabling improper conduct by elected officials.
* This was the ninth mayoral forum of 2013 hosted by Errol Louis. Be sure to watch our interview with Errol Louis discussing the enormous number of candidate forums and whether they are a productive exercise.
At the conclusion of the forum, we spoke with Bill de Blasio about civil liberties and the NYPD. Watch it here.
Last night, Union Settlement Association and several other groups hosted an East Harlem Mayoral Forum. Seven candidates participated: Sal Albanese, Adolfo Carrion, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, George McDonald, Erick Salgado and Bill Thompson.
Update: This excerpt covers a question concerning job training, with the complete candidate answers. (George McDonald arrived during this question/answer and was not invited to answer this question.)
For our initial report, here are the two “lightning rounds” conducted by moderator Errol Louis. In the first lightning round, held mid-forum, all seven candidates participated. The second lightning round was held at the end of the forum, with four candidates remaining. All of the questions cover substantive policy issues, and the last may be the most surprising.
Be sure to watch our post-forum conversation with Errol Louis, available here.
Also, don’t miss our lighthearted look at this forum, available here.
Finally, courtesy of the forum hosts, here is a transcript.
Last night Errol Louis moderated his 8th mayoral candidate forum of 2013. After the forum, hosted by Union Settlement Association and several other groups, we spoke with Errol concerning the many candidate forums and whether they are productive for candidates and for voters.
Be sure to watch our previous discussions on the multitude of forums, one with forum moderator and former mayoral candidate Tom Allon, Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu and candidate Sal Albanese, available here, and one with political journalist and triple forum moderator Brian Lehrer and candidate Joe Lhota, available here.
The North of 96th Street Public Health Coalition recently held a “Mayoral Forum on Public Health Issues in the Communities of Harlem and Northern Manhattan”. Five candidates, Sal Albanese, Adolfo Carrion, John Liu, Erick Salgado and Bill Thompson attended, while the remaining Democratic and all of the Republican candidates declined invitations.