Tag Archives: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer

Poll puts Spitzer ahead of Stringer in comptroller race

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo/Photo courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's Flickr

Voters seem ready to give Eliot Spitzer a second chance.

The results of a NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll show the former Governor with a 9-point lead over Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the city comptroller race.

The poll found that 42 percent of registered Democratic voters support Spitzer, while 33 percent support Stringer.

Despite the prostitution scandal that led to Spitzer’s resignation as governor five years ago, 67 percent polled said he deserved a second chance, and 44 percent said he was a changed man. Voters also said they have a more positive opinion of Spitzer than Stringer, according to the poll results.

Stringer was considered the front-runner until Spitzer announced his plans to run on Sunday.

But it’s still not certain that Spitzer will make the September primary ballot.

He has until midnight Thursday to collect 3,750 signatures from registered Democratic voters.



Former governor Eliot Spitzer plans run for NYC comptroller

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Anthony Weiner won’t be the only disgraced politician running for citywide office this primary season.

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who resigned from the position five years ago following a prostitution scandal, is planning a political comeback with a bid for city comptroller.

“I’m hopeful there will be forgiveness, I am asking for it,” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday, July 8 with The New York Times.

The same night, he discussed his intentions to run on Twitter through the handle @SpitzerForNYC.

“As a former governor and attorney general, I believe I have the right record to continue fighting for the people of #NYC as comptroller,” a tweet on the account stated.

The Democratic candidate will need to gather at least 3,750 signatures from registered party voters by Thursday to make it onto the September primary ballot.

In the primary, he will face front-runner Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who has already picked up numerous endorsements.

Other potential opponents include Republican John Burnett, who has worked on Wall Street, Green Party candidate and former school teacher Julia Willebrand and former madam Kristin Davis.

A Libertarian candidate, Davis spent time in jail for her role in the Spitzer prostitution scandal.

Though he was caught on wire tap arranging for high-end hookers, Spitzer did not end up facing any criminal charges. But after it was publicly revealed that he spent thousands on prostitution services — and as threats of impeachment loomed — he resigned as governor in March 2008.

Since his resignation, Spitzer, 54, has stayed away from political office, but not the spotlight. He has hosted a primetime show on CNN and Current TV and been a commentator on NY1.

But his five years out of office are not enough for some Queens residents to give Spitzer a second chance.

“I can’t believe he’s actually putting himself back in the public eye after what he did,” said Vic McKinney. “I think it’s insulting to the voters and I hope he doesn’t get elected for anything.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to run,” said Alexander Ciccione. “But since Weiner is running again and he seems to be getting a decent amount of popularity, maybe Spitzer thinks he should try to make a comeback, too.”

Others were more forgiving of the former governor.

“I think it’s OK for Spitzer to run. He seems like he regrets what he did and should be given a second chance,” said Mandee Crenshaw. “I know a lot of other people won’t feel the same way, but I don’t see what harm he could do as a comptroller, so I think a comeback is possible for him.”

-With additional reporting by Johann Hamilton

Updated Monday, July 8



Queens Democratic endorsements: Party backs Katz for borough president, Quinn for mayor

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Melinda Katz: File photo; Christine Quinn; Photo William Alatriste

The Queens Democratic Party doled out its endorsements for this year’s elections Monday, giving key backings in multi-candidate primaries.

The party backed Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor, former deputy public advocate Reshma Saujani for public advocate; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for comptroller and Melinda Katz for Borough President. Stringer’s son was born earlier that morning.

Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, who nearly won the mayor’s race in 2009, only received three votes in his favor. Upon Quinn’s formal nomination, she received a standing ovation. The candidate promised better conditions for the middle class in terms of jobs and education.

Katz served in the Assembly from 1994 to 1999. After that, she went on to oversee Queens’ 14 community boards under former Borough President Claire Shulman. Katz then served in the City Council for two terms, and lost the 2009 Democratic primary for comptroller.

She is running against Councilmembers Leroy Comrie and Peter Vallone Jr., State Senators Jose Peralta and Tony Avella and former Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik.

“It was not an easy choice,” said Congressmember Joseph Crowley, chair of the county party. “But we believe that Melinda has all the assets necessary to become the next borough president.”

Katz said she’s excited for the nearly four months of primary campaigning that still lie ahead.

“Over the last year, I have come into your districts,” she said. “We have spoken with constituents together. I’ve gotten to know the issues that surround this entire borough.”

Comrie was considered a likely pick for the nomination in the days leading up to the endorsement. But he has had trouble raising funds and was snubbed earlier this year in a key endorsement from the Reverend

Floyd Flake. Flake’s congregation is in Comrie’s council district, but the religious leader backed Katz.
Vallone, who has been leading in polls and in fund raising, said he was not disappointed by the party’s backing for Katz, adding he did not expect to get the endorsement. His brother Paul was endorsed for City

Council District 19, beating out Austin Shafran. Shafran has received a slew of endorsements since January, one of the biggest being from the AFL-CIO.

“The endorsement is not something I was expecting,” Vallone said. “And I’m just very happy they went with my brother Paul, because I’m going to need him in City Hall if, God willing, I’m borough president.”

In her endorsement for Saujani, Crowley cited Saujani’s advocacy for housing and work in the public advocate’s office under incumbent Bill de Blasio.

She is running in a four-way Democratic primary against State Senator Daniel Squadron, Cathy Guerriero and Tish James.



Endorsements rolling in for city candidates

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The following candidates have received backings . . .

New York City Mayor

Former Councilmember Sal Albanese was endorsed by the Transport Workers Union Local 101 in the Democratic mayoral primary, while his opponent City Council Speaker Christine Quinn landed support from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

New York City Comptroller

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer gained the backing of Teamsters Joint Council 16.

City Council District 19

Republican incumbent Dan Halloran bagged an endorsement from the NYPD Captains Endowment Association. Austin Shafran, one of four candidates in the race’s Democratic primary, rolled out boosts from UFCW Local 1500.

City Council District 22

Costa Constantinides got a leg up from Communications Workers of America Local 1180.



Anthony Weiner has war chest, but will he run for office?

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

More than a year-and-a-half after he was forced into resigning, there’s still speculation former Congressmember Anthony Weiner will make a bid for some public office, several media sources have reported.

The Daily News claimed an anonymous pollster was calling registered voters to gauge if they still had a favorable view of the disgraced legislator, who resigned in June 2011 after he was embroiled in a sexting scandal. Weiner, despite his resignation, kept steadfast that the scandal did not stretch past the inappropriate pictures he sent.

The New York Post reported the same day that Weiner, who spent about 12 years in Congress, was eyeing a run for City Comptroller, meaning, if true, he’d face off against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in a Democratic primary.

Weiner, who represented south Brooklyn and a significant portion of Queens, has nearly $4 million in campaign funds, most raised while he was in Congress, according to the State Board of Elections 2013 January Periodic Report. Money paid out between July and January has mainly been for rent and phone lines. The only exceptions were in July when Anthony Weiner for Mayor paid out legal fees, purchased a hard drive and paid Godaddy.com $241.92 for domain hosting.

The former congressmember has continually told reporters rent and phone bills are standard procedure but doesn’t mean he will actually make a run. Before he resigned two years ago, Weiner was considered a front runner to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor.

After the scandal, Weiner slipped from the limelight and focused on being a stay-at-home dad for his newborn son. He came back into the public eye for roughly half an hour last summer on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care reform — something he supported during his time on Capitol Hill. Broaching the scandal and his resignation for just a moment, Weiner apologized to his constituents but would not comment on his political future.


MTA discusses platform doors, other possible safety measures

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Crown Infrastructure Solutions

After a record-tying 55 deaths from subways striking straphangers in 2012, including two high-profile shoving incidents, the MTA is reviewing platform safety.

“This is a troubling and dangerous trend with serious implications for the millions of commuters who ride the subway each day,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “With six fatalities so far in 2013, New York is on pace to reach nearly 100 deaths this year. I renew my call for an investigation by the MTA inspector general to determine why accidents are on the rise and what can be done to make our subway system safer.”

In a letter, Stringer asked the transit agency to look into what safety programs and features transit systems around the world are using, including platform doors, and their costs and feasibility.

At a presentation during its transit committee meeting on Monday, January 27, the MTA addressed many of those items, discussing both current measures and possible future tactics to prevent subway cars from hitting people.

The agency said that it has always emphasized platform safety, but it also plans on implementing a more rigorous campaign.

These actions include enhancing station announcements and their frequency, and posting signs highlighting platform safety in multiple languages in trains, buses, stations and on MetroCards.

The MTA is also considering a pilot for intrusion detection technology, which would warn train operators someone was on the track, and one for platform doors.

Transit systems throughout the world, including Beijing, Paris and London, are incorporating track barriers into their stations. Though they are a direct way to reduce accidents, they have drawbacks, said the MTA. They include installation and operational difficulties, and cost, estimated at $1 billion or more.

As far back as 2007, the MTA was in talks with Crown Infrastructure Solutions to create advertisement supported train barriers, but according to the company’s president, Michael Santora, those discussions never moved forward.

Installed system-wide, over time they would have been fully paid for with ads placed on the barriers, said Santora.

But MTA interim president Thomas Prendergast emphasized that the barriers are not a “silver bullet.”

“It would not solve the problem totally,” he said. “But if you look at it in terms of order of magnitude cost and what it would compete against in terms of other safety improvements, it’s a difficult argument. But we know we can do is we can focus efforts right now at trying to change customer behavior and that’s what we’re doing.”


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Monday: Overcast. High of 50. Winds from the NE at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 39. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Snowflake Lighting 

Kids can meet Santa Claus and have their photo taken with him. There will also be face painting, balloon twisting and a holiday arts and crafts station. At 5 p.m., Macy’s wil light up its Snowflake, marking the official start of the holiday season. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Sketch released in mosque stabbing; possible hate crime

It is crystal clear when looking at Bashir Ahmad that the 57-year-old cheated death. He is covered with stitches, almost too many to count. Read more: ABC New York

NYC gas rationing continues through Friday

New York City has extended its odd-even gas rationing system through Friday. Read more: Wall Street Journal

24-year-old woman killed in late night Queens crash after failing to stop at intersection, slamming into speeding car

A 24-year-old woman died after she drove her car into a Queens intersection and was crushed by a speeding Mercedes early Sunday, cops and witnesses said. Read more: New York Daily News

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel reopens Monday, more trains restored

The morning commute will get a little easier Monday for some as the Hugh Carey Tunnel, better known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, reopens to cars and several train lines are restored. Read more: NBC New York

Middle Eastern shopkeepers scared for lives after .22-calliber serial killer strikes 3rd victim

The NYPD added a hate-crimes detective to the hunt for a serial killer who may be targeting Brooklyn shopkeepers of Middle Eastern descent — and continues to strike fear in business owners worried they will be next. Read more: New York Daily News

Manhattan Borough President Stringer announces fun for city comptroller

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer announced Sunday that he is running for city comptroller in 2013. Read more: NY1

Obama offers praise, pressure on historic Myanmar trip

Barack Obama became the first American president to visit Myanmar on Monday, using a six-hour trip to balance U.S. praise for the government’s progress in shaking off military rule with pressure to complete the process of democratic reform. Read more: Reuters