It’s one of those dog-bites-man type stories.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, running for re-election on the Republican line, has endorsed a local GOP candidate, Bob Capano, who is trying to unseat the 43rd Council District’s popular Democratic Councilmember, Vincent Gentile.
Capano, who’s also running on the Conservative and Independence lines, received the mayor’s endorsement last Saturday in Dyker Heights.
Noted Bloomberg, “Bob Capano has outstanding qualifications for public office. As a life-long resident of Bay Ridge, he truly understands the needs of the 43rd Council District.He has an impressive record of community service and understands the need to find common sense solutions, create jobs and build on the work we have done on the streets to reduce crime.”
Beyond party politics, Capano likely got Bloomberg’s endorsement because the mayor has no love for Gentile, stemming from Gentile’s use of a photo of Bloomberg’s opulent Manhattan residence in a campaign mailing, as he criticized Bloomberg for raising property taxes and being out of touch with the needs of outer borough homeowners. Bloomberg, at the time, had reportedly been livid because of Gentile’s use of the photo, reportedly because of safety concerns, despite the fact that the photo had previously run in the Daily News.
GOP candidates have been largely unsuccessful against Gentile since he was elected to the State Senate over Republican State Senator Robert DiCarlo in 1996. Gentile subsequently beat back challenges from both DiCarlo and another GOP former State Senator, Chris Mega, losing only when he and former State Senator Marty Golden faced off against each other. In 2003, he won a five-way special election against three Dems and one GOPer to snag Golden’s old council seat, and has held back spirited challenges ever since.
So many City Council candidates attended a Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats meeting, Thursday September 24, ten days after the Democratic Primary, that it felt like a cross between a bar mitzvah and a wake.
Defeated City Council candidate Josh Skaller, who ran in the 39th District and was endorsed by CBID, received the most applause, though Democraticnominee Brad Lander (39th District) worked hard to win over a skeptical crowd.
Jo Anne Simon, the second highest vote getter in the 33rd District City Council race, was also received warmly, as she gave her analysis of why she lost.
“We had a lot of candidates%u2026we had seven%u2026which was an awful lot,” said Simon. “Unfortunately the machine candidate won. That’s something we need to be careful of.”
She did say something nice about Steve Levin, winner of the Council race, however.
“He’s a smart young fella,” she said, adding that it was her hopes that he “represents the interests of this side of the 33rd Council District.”
Canarsie State Senator and Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson isn’t too worried about Rudy Giuliani’s rumored run for Governor.
“Giuliani will have no effect,” he told this paper in a recent interview. “He failed in running for President and in the same way he’s going to fail in becoming this state’s next governor.”
The former New York City mayor’s potential run for governor came into the spotlight last week after White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard approached Governor David Paterson extending a message from the country’s commander-in-chief: Don’t run in 2010.
Worried over Paterson’s woefully low poll numbers, Obama and members of his camp feared that Giuliani would soar into Albany in 2010 -- a move which would endanger the White House’s plans for New York, as well as the campaigns for a few key Democratic New York Congress members and U.S. Senators important to pushing ahead Obama’s agenda.
Other political insiders said that a Republican Governor would drastically hamper the work of the new Democratic State Senate and even bring the ruling body back into the Republican fold -- something Sampson said he will fight to stop at all costs.
“We’re not taking anything for granted,” he said. “Since day one, we’ve been working to maintain and increase the Democrats power in the State Senate. My motto is, once you have the opportunity to grab hold of something this elusive, you’re not about to give it back.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg enlisted the help of Boston-bred actor Matt Damon in his bid for a third term.
In a video posted on the mayor’s reelection Web site, Bloomberg asks “The Bourne Identity” star for his endorsement. Bloomberg, who was reportedly the only guest at Damon’s wedding, says, “If you think that I’ll be a good mayor and you tell people that, a lot of people will follow you.”
A reluctant Damon, who has reportedly just moved from Miami to New York City, responds, “Do you focus-group this stuff? I don’t know if these celebrity endorsements even help.”
After some more prodding from Bloomberg, utilizing all of his amateur acting chops, Damon relents, “If we do it, it’s gotta be original, it’s gotta be unique.”
The mayor’s suggestion? Skydiving.
Bloomberg finally receives his endorsement at the end of the short clip. In front of the Brooklyn Bridge, he and Damon stand side by side wearing matching blue suits and pins for the standard, “Hello, I’m Matt Damon and I highly endorse Mike Bloomberg for mayor of New York City.”
After a quick “good luck” from Damon, Bloomberg chirps, “Thanks. Need it.”
Showing no love lost, Rep. Yvette Clarke last week endorsed Queens City Councilmember John Liu over Brooklyn City Councilmember David Yassky for the Sept. 29 Democratic Primary City Comptroller runoff.
Three years ago Clarke defeated Yassky for the 11th Congressional District seat that includes Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Windsor Terrace, Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
Yassky was the only white candidate in the four-candidate congressional race, which was originally established as a federal Voting Rights District to ensure more black representation in the borough.
Clarke said she endorsed Liu because he takes “a courageous stand on issues that matter most to the people in my district and in disaffected communities throughout New York City.”
It’s a good thing that Mike Bloomberg has billions of dollars because he’d starve as a stand up comedian.
Da Mayor tried out his less-than-seaworthy shtick last week at a fund-raiser for the New York Aquarium, and while we don’t want to “carp” about how much Bloomy is paying his writers - it’s clearly too much.
Referring to Councilmember Domenic Recchia as the “sea lion of the Coney Island Community” and Borough President Marty Markowitz as “the kingfish of Kings County,” the two-term mayor seemed genuinely delighted fishing for groans and guffaws.
“I hope this dinner by the sea nets a big catch,” Bloomberg shamelessly quipped. “I’m not saying this for the halibut...this sea change really has my seal of approval.”
Insert rim-shot here.
Don’t try telling Community Board 15 Chair and smoker Theresa Scavo that banning tobacco at public parks and beaches is a good idea - she’s liable to tell you to “butt” out.
“I think the whole thing is ludicrous,” Scavo said of the Bloomberg administration’s latest effortsto expand the city’s smoking ban.
Scavo argues that people are hit with more second-hand smoke from a passing city bus than the guy standing next to them dragging on a cigarette.
Columnists celebrating the “health Gestapos” efforts really infuriate Scavo.
“Those articles make smokers sound like inferior lepers,” she sad.
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