Assemblymember Grace Meng secured a major boost to her campaign this week, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted her as the “independent voice” in Congress for middle-class families and a “bridge-builder in Albany.”
“New Yorkers demand representation in Washington that puts the needs of the taxpayers ahead of partisan politics,” said Bloomberg, who endorsed the Democrat’s run for the 6th District seat on Monday, October 1.
“Whether it’s her outspoken support for sensible gun legislation to help make our streets safer or her advocacy for common sense immigration reform, Grace embodies the values that Queens residents care about most,” the mayor said.
Meng — who also secured boosts from the Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association earlier this month — returned the praises, saying the mayor’s leadership helped make the city and nation stronger.
“Like the mayor, I have made the tough, but necessary choices to deliver for my constituents as an assemblymember — a habit I plan to continue as a member of Congress,” she said.
But Meng’s rival, Republican Councilmember Dan Halloran, disagreed on both counts, arguing the mayor disregarded the will of the voters while depicting Meng as a “go-along Democrat,” whose majority of votes lie in tandem with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in Albany.
“I have vocally fought the mayor‘s social engineering pet projects and spending excesses,” Halloran said, “and despite the mayor’s billions, I will continue to speak truth to power. [Meng] certainly isn’t rocking the boat here in New York, and we can’t expect her to in Congress.”
Halloran’s camp minimalized Meng’s mayoral endorsement by dumping it alongside other “feel good” and often widely unpopular measures Bloomberg championed for this year, including the ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks from certain venues.
The soda ban, bike lanes and the endorsement of Meng top the pile of the mayor’s “bad ideas,” the councilmember’s team said.
“Bloomberg’s latest suggestion for the [city], voting for Grace Meng, is just as detrimental to New Yorkers’ freedom and prosperity as the rest of the mayor’s ill-conceived ideas,” said Halloran’s spokesperson, Kevin Ryan. “Our voters need Meng in Congress like they needed the soda ban.”
Bloomberg — now an independent, but who was a Democrat before seeking elective office, later switching his registration in 2001 and running for mayor as a Republican — gave $1 million to State Senate Republicans last week.
Meng also received the endorsement of former mayor Ed Koch in August, but another former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is slated to be the special guest at an October 9 fundraiser for Halloran.