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Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz has tapped a longtime associate and a former rival for key positions in Borough Hall come January.
Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), who dropped out of the borough president race this past summer, will serve as deputy borough president, while Jay Bond, a former policy advisor to Katz during her tenure on the City Council and in the state Assembly, will be brought on board as chief of staff.
Austin Shafran, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 19 City Council seat in September’s Democratic primary, has been named New York legislative director of the Working Families Party.
Shafran, 32, of Bayside, lost to Paul Vallone by only 193 votes in a five-person race. It was the first time he ran for office, although his career has centered around working for Democratic Party officials.
This year’s elections and a lawsuit filed this week against the city together demonstrate the need for two reforms in the electoral process.
First off, voters are entitled to privacy when voting, but under the system being used now, they’re not getting it. Mayor Bloomberg himself said that a poll worker had seen his ballot.
Blaming the city for holding back roughly $3.5 million in matching funds for his mayoral run, Comptroller John Liu announced last Friday that he is suing for damages.
The former Flushing city councilman filed a notice of claim that seeks an unspecified amount of money from the city. The papers were filed in the Comptroller’s Office, which is the legal channel when suing the city. He will recuse himself from the case.
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, those who aren’t political junkies may be surprised at some of the names on the ballot and propositions they’ll be making decisions on. Think the mayor’s race is between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota? Sure it is, along with 13 other people. Ready to make a choice on a parcel of land in the Adirondack Mountains? You’ll be asked to. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what Queens voters will see on the ballot, according to the city Campaign Finance Board.
Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) fended off all challengers Tuesday night, earning renomination from Democratic voters for the 28th Council District with a comfortable 15-point victory.
Unofficial totals posted by the New York City Board of Elections on Wednesday gave Wills more than 48.6 percent of the vote with a total of 4,857 of the 9,985 ballots cast.
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.
For an incumbent Democratic city Councilman to have a serious primary challenger is rare.
For that challenger to have outfunded him by more than $25,000 is practically unheard of.
Say this about the battle to replace Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) in City Hall — voters will not lack for choices in the Sept. 10 primary.
Comrie, the popular dean of the Queens delegation, is being forced out after 12 years by term limits. And while there has been rampant speculation about the Councilman’s future ranging from Borough Hall to the state Senate, the battle to replace him has been one of the most hotly contested ones in the city.
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?
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer would be capping an improbable political comeback should he prevail against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the Democratic primary for comptroller on Sept. 10.
The two-term state attorney general was forced to resign as New York’s governor in 2008 after only 13 months amid scandals involving prostitution and using the state police to gather information on political enemies.
This was going to be the Scott Stringer endorsement for the Democratic nomination for city comptroller. The Manhattan borough president has served his constituents well, with integrity. He’d make a fine candidate to face Republican John Burnett in November, and if he were to win, a fine comptroller, we figured. He was certainly a safer bet than his primary opponent, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who had, after all, resigned in disgrace after doubtlessly committing illegal acts.
But then we met with both candidates, Stringer last Friday and Spitzer on Monday. And, after much deliberation, we changed our minds.
Political endorsements often mean more to the candidate than to the voting public, but some are more meaningful than others.
In the crowded Democratic race in the 19th District to replace Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who is not seeking re-election, five contenders are attempting to stand out in the voters’ eyes.
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 mayoral frontrunners from both major parties chose to skip a candidates forum in Laurelton last week.
But those hoping to force their way into a runoff after the Sept. 10 primaries took full advantage of the platform offered by the Concerned Citizens of Laurelton to make their case before about 200 potential voters.
Two of the men seeking to be New York City’s next comptroller touted their different backgrounds and experiences in an Aug. 1 forum in Laurelton, each saying his made him more qualified than the other to be the city’s next top financial officer.
Democrat Scott Stringer is the Manhattan borough president and also served 13 years in the state Assembly.
The city’s Campaign Finance Board on Monday denied matching funds to John Liu’s mayoral run, citing “serious and pervasive” potential violations across the campaign’s fundraising efforts.
The decision could cost Liu’s campaign $3.5 million. Under normal circumstances, taxpayers provided $6 in funding for every $1 in eligible contributions raised by candidates.
Though he’s way behind in the polls, John Liu is confident he will be elected mayor of New York City.
“I’m confident we can win this,” the candidate said in a sit-down with the Chronicle editorial board. “I wouldn’t be in this race if I didn’t think I could win.”
The city is on the cusp of a huge transition. Whoever the next mayor is, he or she will not be Michael Bloomberg, for better and for worse.
There isn’t a single city union with a current contract. The mayor and City Council are locked in a battle over how to manage the Police Department and how exactly it should be fighting crime. The school system seems to be perpetually taking a step or two forward and a step or two back. In Queens, the community is riven over plans to build on land in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The question of development vs. preservation is as controversial as ever. And then there are the skyrocketing pension and healthcare costs that are eating up the budget to the detriment of every service the city should be providing.
Staffers at the city Campaign Finance Board are reportedly recommending that Comptroller John Liu not receive matching funds in his race for mayor, a decision that would cost his campaign $3.5 million.
The CFB will determine which candidates in this year's city elections are entitled to matching funds at a public meeting on Monday morning. Taxpayers provide $6 in funding for every $1 in eligible contributions raised by candidates.
Last Thursday the Campaign Finance Board determined that Eric Gioia committed violations amounting to $72,402 in fines during his 2009 run for public advocate.
Gioia, who once occupied Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s (D-Sunnyside) seat, allegedly broke the law in 15 different ways. At the top of the list is a nearly $30,000 violation for spending more than the $3.8 million cap at the time for those running for public advocate and about $13,000 for accepting 47 different contributions higher than the city’s $4,950 universal limit.
City offers more data on campaign finance
Term limits, and in one case a federal indictment, have made for some wide-open City Council races.
But money may make the difference in some of the more hotly contested races, and campaign finance reports, due this past Monday, are starting to draw a clearer picture of just who may have staying power through the Sept. 10 primaries.
Democratic District Leader Al Baldeo of Ozone Park, facing trial on campaign finance violation charges, filed a motion this week asking a federal judge to drop all the charges against him, arguing that the case is a example of “overreach.”
Baldeo, who twice ran for the City Council and ran for state Senate in 2008, is accused of using straw donors in order to get matching funds during a 2010 campaign for City Council in a special election to replace Tom White. He was arrested last October and is facing charges of fraud and obstruction of justice.