Tag Archives: nyc mayor’s race

Bill de Blasio takes mayoral lead in new poll

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Instagram/de Blasio NYC

A new front-runner has emerged in the race for New York City mayor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is now ahead of his opponents, with 30 percent of likely Democratic primary voters saying they would cast their ballots for him next month.

In a July 29 Quinnipiac University poll, de Blasio, with 21 percent, finished second to fellow Democrat, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who had 27 percent.

In the August 13 poll, Quinn finished behind de Blasio with 24 percent, followed by former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 22 percent, former Congressmember Anthony Weiner with 10 percent, Comptroller John Liu with 6 percent, former Councilmember Sal Albanese with 1 percent and 7 percent undecided.

In a run-off situation, which is required if a candidate doesn’t receive at least 40 percent of the vote, de Blasio would win the Democratic nomination:

  • 54 – 38 percent over Quinn
  • 50 – 41 percent over Thompson
  • 72 – 22 percent over Weiner

The timing of the poll coincides with the release of de Blasio’s first televisions campaign ad, which features his 15-year-old son Dante.



Op-Ed: More than a sleep-over, a real eye-opener

| oped@queenscourier.com


As president of City Employees, Local 237, nearly 9,000 of my members work in developments operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Their work ranges from apartment repairs to grounds caretakers, boiler and elevator services, to rent collections. About one- third of these workers also live in NYCHA apartments throughout the city.

The problems in public housing have gotten a great deal of attention lately, as the long-standing tenant and worker frustration reached a new high due to sequestration cuts in federal dollars—basically, the only source of funding for the largest and oldest public housing in the nation. The $208 million in cuts would mean a loss of jobs and services.

Despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pledge to restore $58 million of federal dollars lost, the fact remains that NYCHA already has a $61 million operating deficit and $6-7 billion in much-needed capital repairs.

This is a case of too little, too late. With a three-year backlog of repairs, security cameras funded but not installed, reminders of Sandy everywhere in affected developments (and still without a plan to overcome the devastation of the next storm) and with a proposal—long kept secret—to build high-end housing on NYCHA property,

I have joined our members and residents to say “Enough is Enough!” We even held a huge rally at City Hall recently to send a strong message to all of the mayoral contenders: “NYCHA is broken. You need to fix it.” All of the candidates were invited to join the protest. Only one showed up—Bill Thompson. Thompson vowed to end the long suffering of the more than 600,000 NYCHA residents if he becomes mayor.

I guess I wasn’t surprised when Thompson invited me to join him and the other mayoral candidates for a “sleep-over” organized by Reverend Al Sharpton at a NYCHA development, Lincoln Houses in East Harlem. The choice of Lincoln Houses was not random. Residents of the aging, 25-building complex are suing NYCHA for 3,800 unfulfilled repair orders dating back to 2009. Thompson knew I had made repeated attempts to address the backlog and other key problems, all of which went unheeded.

So, after the many speeches and the grounds tour covered by dozens of reporters during the night of the sleep-over, Thompson and I met our host, Barbara Gamble, a NYCHA resident for 44 years, 30 of which were in the 10th floor apartment we visited. Without air conditioning on the sweltering night and with mold throughout the bathroom, we could now feel the human pain associated with the repair tickets that dated back so many years. We saw the struggles of Gamble— a proud grandmother who takes matters into her own hands by routinely cleaning the hallways of her entire floor!

When we met with the other candidates the next morning, the talk was about what they saw in their host apartments: ripped-out kitchen cabinets, chipped paint, water damage, faulty toilets, broken flooring and urine in the elevators (which frequently do not work). But, in my view, this was not the worst part of living in a NYCHA development.

No, it was the news that a few days after our visit, a 23-year old woman was shot to death on the project’s grounds in a location where NYCHA failed to install security cameras even though $ 1 million had been allocated by a NYC Councilmember. Despite these conditions, 227,000 people are on a waiting list for a NYCHA apartment because affordable housing in NYC is scarce. With an average of only 5,400 to 5,800 openings annually, the wait can take years.

NYCHA began more than 75 years ago as an experiment in municipal responsibility that developed into a model of social pride. Many former residents, including a NYC mayor, a supreme court justice, and a world-renowned entertainment mogul, have all gone on to make a lasting, positive impact on society.

Yet, as I saw the hardships of Barbara Gamble and her neighbors first-hand, it became clear that what is wrong with public housing today is not only broken buildings, but broken management.

The next mayor, with the ability to appoint a new chairman and form a new board, also has the ability to fix it.

Gregory Floyd is president, Teamsters Local 237, IBT




Weiner falls to fourth place in latest poll

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

After losing his lead in the mayoral race in one poll last week, Anthony Weiner has fallen to fourth place in another survey of voters.

In a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday Weiner received 16 percent of the likely Democratic primary vote, down from 26 percent in a July 24 Quinnipiac survey, where he placed first.

“With six weeks to go, anything can happen, but it looks like former Congressman Anthony Weiner may have sexted himself right out of the race for New York City mayor,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Pulling ahead of Weiner is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 27 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio with 21 percent and former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 20 percent.

Finishing behind Weiner in the poll were Democratic opponents Comptroller John Liu, who garnered 6 percent, and former Councilmember Sal Albanese who had 2 percent.

The poll also found 53 percent of Democratic primary voters believe Weiner should drop out of the race following the former Congressmember’s latest sexting scandal.

If Weiner does withdraw his bid for mayor, the poll showed Quinn would still receive the most votes in the primary, but a runoff would still be likely.

In a runoff between Weiner and Quinn, the poll found Quinn would come out on top. But if the City Council Speaker faced Thompson, then she would lose the primary.



Anthony Weiner loses lead in new poll

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has lost support among voters after it was revealed he continued sexting following his resignation from Congress, a NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released today found.

In a June poll, 25 percent of registered Democrats said they would vote for Weiner and 20 percent said they would chose City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The new poll, conducted Wednesday, showed Quinn leading with 25 percent, and 16 percent of voters supporting Weiner.

In a runoff situation, Weiner is virtually tied with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who both are at 14 percent, according to the new poll results.

The poll also found his favorability rating has dropped from 52 to 30 percent since last month, and 47 percent of registered Democrats believe Weiner doesn’t deserve another chance, down from 59 percent in June.







Poll puts Weiner ahead in mayoral race

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

A new poll released Tuesday night shows Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner as the front-runner in the race one month after announcing his bid.

The NBC New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll found that 25 percent of registered Democrats would vote for the former congressmember in the primary. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn came in second with 20 percent, followed by former Comptroller Bill Thompson, at 13 percent, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at 10 percent and city Comptroller John Liu at 8 percent.

In earlier polls, Quinn was the candidate to beat.

A May 28 Marist poll showed Christine Quinn with 24 percent and Anthony Weiner with 19 percent.

But even with Weiner in the lead, a primary runoff, which is required if a candidate receives fewer than 40 percent of the vote, seems likely.

Though Weiner would lose in a runoff to Quinn, he still has gained ground since the May Marist poll.

Tuesday’s poll found that Quinn would win 44 percent to 42 percent, with 14 percent undecided.  Last month, the Marist poll showed Council Speaker beating him 48 percent to 33 percent, with 18 percent undecided.



Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Thursday: Clear in the morning, then partly cloudy. High of 81. Winds from the West at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the South in the afternoon. Thursday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 63. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Live in the Sky Concert Series

Come to the Z Hotel in Long Island City on Thursday nights for its Live in the Sky Concert Series featuring live performances, drink specials and a hand rolled cigar bar. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

UFT endorses Thompson for NYC mayor

New York City’s massive teachers’ union is backing former City Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor. Read more: AP

James Gandolfini, star of ‘The Sopranos,’ dies at 51

James Gandolfini’s lumbering, brutish mob boss with the tortured psyche will endure as one of TV’s indelible characters. Read more: AP

East Elmhurst rezoning would keep neighborhood feel: city

More than 125 blocks of East Elmhurst will be rezoned to both protect the residential character of the neighborhood, but also bolster Astoria Blvd. as the area’s shopping strip, said city officials, who will present the plan Thursday. Read more: New York Daily News

Amtrak: Track problem to blame for LIRR derailment

A track issue was likely to blame for a derailment on the Long Island Rail Road that left hundreds of commuters stranded this week, Amtrak announced Wednesday. Read more: CBS New York

New York City police unions livid over bill on racial profiling

New York City police unions are lining up to blast a bill they say would handcuff them from doing their job. Read more: CBS New York

New U.S. climate strategy coming within weeks: Obama adviser

President Barack Obama will target carbon emissions from power plants as part of a second-term climate change agenda expected to be rolled out in the next few weeks, his top energy and climate adviser said on Wednesday. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Thursday: Partly cloudy. Fog early. High of 91. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 75. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Thursday Nights Out

Kick your weekends off early this summer by visiting Bell Boulevard, Bayside’s “Main Street.” Every Thursday this summer these businesses will be staying open late and offering specials on Thursdays. For the latest specials check out baysidevillage.net. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

FBI agent’s car found after theft in Queens

An FBI agent’s car was found abandoned Wednesday, the day after it was stolen in Queens. Read more: CBS New York

Ricin letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Two threatening letters containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington, police said. Read more: AP

Barbara Sheehan loses appeal on gun possession conviction

Barbara Sheehan, the woman acquitted of fatally shooting her husband inside their Howard Beach home, has lost her appeal of a criminal weapons conviction related to the same case, District Attorney Richard Brown announced Wednesday. Read more: The Queens Courier

Poll: Commissioner Kelly would be a game-changer in mayoral race 

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is not running for mayor, but one pollster said her survey shows voters would love for him to do so. Read more: CBS New York

NYC architects offer plans for a new Penn Station

Four teams of architects presented plans Wednesday for a reimagined Penn Station that would be a spacious, welcoming gateway to New York City instead of the crowded, confusing and dark transportation hub now used by hundreds of thousands of daily commuters. Read more: NBC New York 

Prosecutor tapped to head FBI known for role in Bush-era surveillance standoff

The man poised to be the next head of the FBI is a former prosecutor respected by both sides of the aisle who may be best known for his role in a Hollywood-esque Washington showdown that thwarted the reauthorization of a controversial surveillance program. Read more: NBC News 

Anthony Weiner speaks with The Queens Courier

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo and video by Melissa Chan

A few days after announcing his candidacy for New York City mayor via a YouTube video, Anthony Weiner returned to the Queens community he represented for over a decade in Congress to sit down with several weekly papers including The Courier.

“Community papers have been a fundamental part of the way that I’ve always wanted to communicate with citizens I’ve represented,” Weiner explained. “And frankly, in the mayor’s race it’s going to be the same way.”

The Democratic hopeful also stopped by a Rockaway community meeting the same day he sat down with The Courier.

“There’s really been two times [since] I’ve left Congress that I’ve really felt a sense of real regret, that I’ve missed it, and one of them was when Sandy hit my district,” Weiner said.

“There are some risks that come with living near the water, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do everything we can to mitigate them,” he continued.

Among major issues affecting Queens, Weiner also discussed development including a possible new soccer stadium, Willets Point and the expansion of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Weiner said his default position is the belief “we should be developing and that we should try to create jobs and that we should try to create economic activity in places outside of Manhattan.”

He said he was somewhat conflicted about expanding the tennis center, even voting against the move when he was on the City Council. But Weiner said generally speaking, he is in favor of the three projects and wants to see them move forward. He added he wants to leave himself some wiggle room on details of the soccer stadium.

Addressing issues concerning voters citywide, Weiner expressed a desire to ease health care costs for middle class New Yorkers and help small business owners deal more easily with burdensome summonses.

Weiner outlined those ideas in more detail in his “64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class” pamphlet that he put online shortly before he made his campaign announcement.

Describing his philosophy, Weiner told The Courier, “Don’t build a campaign on a foundation of endorsements and money.”

“Good ideas are something people honor, even ideas they might not agree with,” he added.

Below is video of more of what he discussed.



Anthony Weiner launches mayoral run

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Anthony Weiner has officially kicked off his political comeback.

Almost two years after resigning from Congress because of a Twitter sext scandal, the former Queens politician is running for mayor.

Weiner made the announcement late Tuesday in a video posted to YouTube.

“Look I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons. I’m running for mayor because I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you,” he said in the video.

His candidacy ends months of speculation on his return to politics.

Leaving office with a sizable campaign war chest, and a former bid for mayor in 2005, it wasn’t soon before rumors surfaced that he was contemplating another try for Gracie Mansion.

It was also thought that Weiner might run for public advocate.

Speculation grew as he allocated some of those funds and started speaking with the media.

In March, campaign filings showed that he spent more than $100,000 on polling and research.

The April publication of a New York Times article was Weiner’s first in-depth interview since his resignation.

“It’s his comeback,” Michael Krasner, an associate political science professor at Queens College told The Courier following the publication of the piece.

Krasner said Weiner was taking a page from former President Bill Clinton’s political playbook, comparing the Times article to the interview Bill and Hillary gave following the Gennifer Flowers sex scandal during the 1992 presidential election campaign.

Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, was featured in the article with her husband.

The piece was followed by other media interviews, and a new Twitter account with the handle @anthonyweiner and tagline “Fighting to keep New York City the Capital of the Middle Class.”

When he launched the account, he tweeted a link to a pamphlet outlining his “”Keys to the City” with “64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class.”

Those “64 Ideas” are referenced in his campaign video, which opens with Weiner speaking about growing up middle class in Brooklyn, as well as his campaign website.

“To maintain New York’s place as the capital of the middle class we must meet today’s challenges with fresh ideas. In Keys to the City, I present 64 ideas of my own to start the dialog. But in a dynamic city like New York, the challenges and solutions are constantly evolving. I invite you to review my ideas, share your thoughts and send me ideas of your own,” he says on his site.

Weiner probably has as much name recognition or more at this point as opponent City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, even if some of it’s negative, said Krasner.

In a Quinnipiac University poll released today, Weiner comes in second in a Democratic primary behind Quinn.

The poll found 25 percent of New York City voters would elect Quinn. Weiner received 15 percent, followed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 10 percent each. Comptroller John Liu came in at 6 percent, and former Councilmember Sal Albanese at 2 percent, with 27 percent of voters undecided.

Weiner’s percentage is unchanged since an April 19 Quinnipiac poll, but Quinn’s support is down from the 28 percent she received in the April survey.





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.



‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ candidate Jimmy McMillan releases rap video in bid for mayor

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video via Animal New York

Jimmy McMillan, the “Rent Is Too Damn High” candidate, is trying to rap his way to Gracie Mansion.

The 66 year-old, who ran for New York governor in 2010 and president in 2012, collaborated with Animal New York to “make an anthem” for his 2013 mayoral bid.

“Jimmy McMillan, the political candidate whose slogan represents the one issue that all New Yorkers can agree on–that the rent is too damn high–is running for mayor. ANIMAL isn’t in the business of endorsing candidates, but we did want to help him get that message out,” ANIMAL said on its website.

The anthem is featured in a music video with McMillan rapping in front of some of New York City’s most famous sites, including the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.




Poll: Anthony Weiner places second in potential Democratic mayoral run

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

An Anthony Weiner mayoral run could mix up the Democratic primary, a new poll found.

The former Queens congressmember, who resigned in disgrace after sending lewd pictures over Twitter, placed second in a recent NBC New York/Marist poll.

According to the results, 15 percent of voters would elect him as the Democratic mayoral candidate, behind front-runner City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 26 percent.

“Right now, a Weiner candidacy attracts double-digit support in the Democratic primary,” Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. “He makes it even more difficult for any of the Democratic contenders to reach the needed forty percent to avoid a run-off.”

Although Weiner has yet to announce his candidacy in the 2013 race, he flirted with the idea in a New York Times article published last week.

“It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time,” he told the Times. “But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something.”

Weiner was also interviewed by NY1 on Monday, where he again mentioned the idea of running for office, while apologizing for the actions that led to his resignation.

“I think I’ll be spending a lot of time, here on out, saying I’m sorry,” he said during the interview.

“If I run for mayor and if I become the mayor, I want people looking at me and saying, ‘You know what, you are in charge, you did this. You are accountable.’”





Anthony Weiner considers mayoral run in new interview

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Is Anthony Weiner poised for a political comeback?

According to a new interview, the former Queens congressmember gave the New York Times, he is considering a run for mayor.

“I don’t have this burning, overriding desire to go out and run for office,” he told the publication. “It’s not the single animating force in my life as it was for quite some time. But I do recognize, to some degree, it’s now or maybe never for me, in terms of running for something.”

The article, which was published online on Wednesday and is appearing in print on Sunday, is the first time he has given an in-depth interview since the sexting scandal that forced him to resign from his seat in June 2011.

Before that time, Weiner was considered a rising political star and one of the front-runners for the next mayor of New York City.

But he could still achieve that goal, according to Michael Krasner, an associate political science professor at Queens College and co-director of the Taft Institute for Government.

It’s his comeback,” said Krasner, who believes that Weiner is taking a page from former President Bill Clinton’s political playbook.

The interview Weiner gave The Times is similar to the one Bill and Hillary Clinton gave following the Gennifer Flowers sex scandal during the 1992 presidential election campaign, Krasner explained.

Clinton persuaded voters that it was private matter and that he shouldn’t be judged politically for it, Krasner said. “It’s the same ploy, it’s the same device.”

The Times also interviewed Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, and photographed the couple with their 13-month-old son.

Showing him as a doting father and with a forgiving spouse could also translate to a forgiving public, said Krasner.

If polls show more support for Weiner following the article, then he will likely go ahead with a Democratic mayoral run, he said.

“Even if he doesn’t win this time, he gets beyond the scandal, said Krasner. “Then he can run another time.”



More endorsements come in for Queens, mayoral candidates

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

City Council

The Working Families Party last week endorsed several Queens candidates for City Council. Five incumbents received the party’s backing, as did three candidates running for open seats.

City Council District 21: Julissa Ferreras
City Council District 25: Daniel Dromm
City Council District 26: Jimmy Van Bramer
City Council District 30: Elizabeth Crowley
City Council District 31: Donovan Richards

Open Seats:
City Council District 24: Rory Lancman
City Council District 27: Daneek Miller
City Council District 34: Antonio Reynoso

New York City Central Labor Council endorsed Austin Shafran in the City Council District 19 race.


State Senator Serphin Maltese endorsed Republican candidate John Catsimatidis.

Borough President

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1500 endorsed Melinda Katz for Borough President.



Street Talk: What was your reaction to the mayoral bribery scandal?

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

scandal street talk

It’s a shame. It almost sounds like it’s a made for TV scandal.
Joel Yu

Unfortunately this is American politics. They forget it’s government by the people.
Jeff Meltzer

Shocked. Disappointed. Makes you wonder if anyone is honest anymore.
Patti Seiler

The city has enough problems. We can’t afford this.
Gail Kaplan 

That’s terrible. I’m trying to get money to survive right now, I’m struggling to pay rent and they’re trying to get money to rig an election.
Mindy Singer 

I think they’re crooks and robbers. They’re legitimate criminals.
Ernest White 

Nothing surprises me anymore. Not in this city, not in this political environment. Politicians are out for themselves and in the end it’s the people that suffer.
John Alexopoulos 

They should put them if jail if it’s true.
Nestor Murdocca