A mayoral forum that shed extensive light on numerous issues facing New Yorkers and the next mayoral administration once again came down to sparring over Anthony Weiner’s judgment and, well, you know.
“He’s a self-pleasuring freak,” Republican candidate George McDonald said during a round of questions concerning Day 1 priorities.
The Thursday forum, to which all major candidates for major and comptroller were invited, was sponsored by Concerned Citizens of Laurelton at the Linden Seventh-Day Adventist Church on 137th Avenue.
Democratic mayoral contenders Bill Thompson, Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Councilman Sal Albanese were on the dais, as were Independent candidate and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. and Green Party hopeful Tony Gronowicz, Democratic comptroller candidate Scott Stringer (D-Manhattan) and Republican comptroller candidate John Burnett.
Absentees included the Democratic mayoral frontrunner, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan); Republican mayoral contenders Joseph Lhota and John Castimatidis; and Democratic comptroller candidate and former governor Eliot Spitzer.
The freewheeling discussion brought out the candidates’ differences — ranging from nuanced to polar opposite — on subjects such as stop and frisk, funding for education, middle class jobs and housing, and ways to foster small businesses.
Weiner, the Brooklyn native who served a large portion of Queens during his 14 years in Congress, continued with his campaign’s theme of wanting to be mayor of all five boroughs, not just Manhattan.
“When Mayor Bloomberg’s head hits his pillow at night, he sees the Manhattan skyline,” Weiner said. “I see Brooklyn, Queens ... I’m on your side.”
Former Councilman Albanese, speaking next, took a diplomatically worded swipe at both Weiner and what some critics have called his underwhelming record of accomplishment as a congressman.
“You have to have good character; you need to have good judgment,” he said. “People need to know they can take your word ... Some people are interested in serving the public. Others are interested in serving themselves, and I think you’ve just heard from one.”
A bit later, Liu, who is trailing Weiner in the most recent Quinnipiac poll, spoke.
“When my head hits the pillow at night, I’ll be resting to help new Yorkers the next day,” he said. “Not taking pictures of myself.”
McDonald’s broadside came just before the mayoral debate gave way to Stringer, the current Manhattan borough president, and Burnett, who has worked in the financial sector for more than 20 years.
Stringer spoke of how the comptroller can use his influence to help effect changes, directly and indirectly, on city policy.
Burnett said he will keep the main function of the office to overseeing and growing the city’s pension funds, thus trying to keep city taxpayers off the hook.
Stringer elicited some oohs from the crowd with his only reference to Spitzer.
“It was nice to meet my Republican challenger tonight,” he said. “I wish I could have met my Democratic challenger too.”