This week city taxpayers spent $13 million to hold an election for an office whose budget is $2 million a year. Hey, elections are sacrosanct, but the cost-benefit ratio of the Democratic primary runoff for public advocate just highlights the need for reform of our system.
That reform is instant runoff balloting. That’s a system in which you rank candidates in your order of preference, obviating the need for another day of balloting.
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For all of their perceived power in city politics, the Queens County organizations for both major political parties were not on the winning side of their respective mayoral primary races this year. Queens Democrats chose City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) as their choice for mayor, while the Queens Republican leadership choose supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis as their standard-bearer.
Both lost, and now with six weeks to go until the city selects its new mayor, the county parties are seeking to unify behind the primary winners, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former MTA chief Joe Lhota.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, left, received endorsements this week from former rivals Bill Thompson and Christine Quinn, ending the Democratic mayoral primary.
For some, the Democratic Party’s long, competitive and sometimes bruising primary for mayor ended not with a bang, but with a whimper.
But for city Democrats, desperate to win back City Hall for the first time in two decades, that whimper came with a smile, a handshake and perhaps a sigh of relief on Monday.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who had backed Christine Quinn for mayor, threw his support behind Bill de Blasio on Tuesday as Democrats coalesced around the public advocate.
Only two weeks before the potential runoff between Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller and 2009 Democratic candidate Bill Thompson, the race came to a quiet ending engineered by the state’s most powerful Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
We congratulate all the winners of Tuesday’s primaries. Many are de facto winners of the general election because they have no opponent in the other party, which underscores the importance of primaries.
Not every race went the way we had hoped, as regular readers of this page know. But winners and losers alike fought hard, and, for the most part, over substantive issues.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took a commanding lead in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for mayor, and may have won enough votes to avoid having a runoff election.
De Blasio scored 40.1 percent of the votes, according to preliminary Board of Elections figures. His closest rival was former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who won 26.2 percent. But not all votes have been counted yet.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took a commanding lead in yesterday's Democratic primary for mayor, and may have won enough votes to avoid having a runoff election.
Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson greets residents at an event in Long Island City, where he pitched his plan to improve the jobs outlook.
Congressman Gregory Meeks, left, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and the Rev. Floyd Flake call for an end to prosecuting youth as adults.
With just days to go before the primaries for citywide offices, the Council of Senior Centers and Services last Thursday posted online a detailed questionnaire it gave to the candidates, along with their answers.
The CSCS, which says it is the leading advocate for senior services, posted the questions and answers on its website, cscs-ny.org. To see them, click on the candidate questionnaire link under the “News Alerts and Advocacy” tab.
With the cityís unemployment rate at 8.7 percent, and the rate in Queens at 7.7 percent, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson last week announced a new plan to create jobs if he is elected ó and he unveiled it in Long Island City.
Thompson offered a multifaceted proposal designed to coordinate the efforts of various city agencies and nonprofit groups; increase state support for employers to help workers further their education; force the Department of Education to adopt a more work-oriented curriculum; and provide ìvulnerable New Yorkers,î especially those who have been released from prison, with the training they need to succeed in the workplace.
De Blasio, Lhota at top in latest mayoral primary poll results
With primary elections now less than a week away, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has widened his lead over the other Democrats running for mayor while former Deputy Mayor and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota remains the favorite of Republicans, according to the latest survey.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson on Tuesday unveiled a proposal that he said would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and expand opportunities for city youth.
Thompson and Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) are calling for the state to end of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Thompson said this would generate at least $50 milion “a year in foregone wages and millions in lost tax revenue to the state.”
The city’s at a crossroads. The next mayor will face serious challenges even before you consider the unexpected. The choice of whom we elect will largely determine whether the gains of the last couple decades are maintained or we reverse course. You’ve heard it all before. But that’s because it’s true.
These are uncertain times. When will Wall Street’s recovery finally make its way to Main Street? How will roughly 150 new city union contracts be hammered out without either bankrupting the taxpayer or shortchanging the worker? Will violent crime begin to rise again? Will the next terrorist plot be successful? How can the schools be improved without leaving so many children behind?
There was a Christine Quinn sighting in Floral Park Tuesday evening.
Council Speaker Quinn (D-Manhattan) came out on offense against Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at a forum for mayoral candidates at North Shore Towers.
Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) regularly hosts community, religious and party leaders at a buffet breakfast to help them keep tabs on what is going on in Washington, and to keep tabs on his district.
But at York College on Monday, he was up front with the fact that this one was going to be different, with mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and comptroller candidate Scott Stringer — both of whom Meeks has endorsed — invited to speak.
Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio stood in front of Haveli, an Indian cuisine restaurant located at 116-33 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills, on Friday to lay out his proposed changes to the city’s approach to small immigrant businesses.
“The bottom line is, we have a lot tobe proud of as New Yorkers but we need to make sure our economy works for everyone,” said de Blasio, who toured small businesses throughout the city last week. “We need to make sure that there is opportunity for everyone.”
On Monday a federal U.S. District Court judge ruled that stop and frisk, the controversial practice that allows police officers to stop and search any individual they deem suspicious, unconstitutional as it stands.
“… the City is liable for the violation of plaintiffs’ Fourth and 14th Amendment rights,” Judge Shira Scheindlin, who presided over the cases challenging the practice, wrote. “The idea of universal suspicion without individual evidence is what Americans find abhorrent and what black men in America must constantly fight. It is pervasive in policing policies — like stop and frisk, and … neighborhood watch — regardless of the collateral damage done to the majority of innocents. It’s like burning a house down to rid it of mice.”
And the reports show that citywide races are still up for grabs among major candidates.
The following figures do not include those who have suspended their campaigns, or have reported little or no campaign fundraising or spending.
The candidates to replace Bloomberg responded quickly to the test scores on Wednesday, with City Comptroller John Liu, a Democratic candidate, releasing a statement Tuesday, even before the results were made public. In a statement, Liu accused the Bloomberg administration of “cooking the books” on test scores for the last 12 years and creating a culture in which students graduate having learned little.
“Pointing to rising high-school graduation rates, the mayor claimed that high-stakes testing was leading to greater student achievement and teacher accountability,” he said. “He excoriated teachers and others who pointed out the flaws in his analysis. In fact, the regime of teaching to the tests pushed kids out the schoolhouse door, even if their diplomas were worthless and their skills did not permit them to succeed in college or jobs.”
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, center, arrives Monday morning at York College, where Congressman Gregory Meeks appealed to the community to support Thompson and Democratic comptroller candidate Scott Stringer in primaries on Sept. 10.