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:
Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese recently criticized several of his rivals for their government hiring practices. He focuses on what he considers improper government hiring of political staff, with an added criticism of Anthony Weiner.
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.
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.
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
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.
At the Asian American Federation mayoral candidate debate, one of the questioners began to ask Christine Quinn about restrictions in the city health code which prevent the legal making of kimchi, a widely served Korean food. Watch what happens, even before the question is complete.
Here is why yesterday’s NY Times story on Christine Quinn is good, possibly great, for her:
It shatters two lingering memes, first that she is weak-willed, indecisive and not strongly in control as speaker, and second that she is simply the mayor’s “lapdog”, doing his bidding. Those don’t hold up well.
We have just concluded a months-long EdKochfest, celebrating his New York flavored orneryness. Her NY Times profile sets her up as Koch’s emotional/tempermental successor.
Most regular people think that yelling at “city officials, lobbyists and political operatives” is probably justified and a good thing.
Bill Thompson must be jealous – a major part of his campaign is convincing voters that he has “fire in the belly.” Wouldn’t he love a story like that about him?
Every day that we spend talking about Christine Quinn is a bad day for Bill de Blasio, John Liu, Bill Thompson and Sal Albanese.
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.
David Dinkins, or at least his political ghost. As Christine Quinn attempts to become the first Democratic mayor in 20 years, the political shadow of the last Democratic mayor lurks as a danger zone.
In broad stroke, David Dinkins and Christine Quinn have some meaningful similarities: adept career politicians, successful one step below the mayor’s office, from Manhattan and powerful symbols of the political progress of their respective communities. Dinkins, a smart, steady politician and decent person, was ultimately overwhelmed by the City’s challenges and perpetually played political defense. “Dave, Do Something” still echoes hauntingly.