Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson was the “third happiest man” in New York City last week following run-off victories by Working Families Party-endorsed Bill de Blasio and John Liu, one longtime politico observed.
“All the efforts of the media to undermine the WFP appear to have failed,” said the typically insightful source. “The editorials and the polls didn’t hold the day,” the person continued, concluding that the wins “are evidence of a sense of at least some independent thinking on the part of the voters of the city, who maybe won’t be intimidated by a tsunami of ads in the media.”
Still, Thompson’s good spirits might sour quickly. Sure, Thompson narrowly won the endorsement of the union heavy party, but whether WFP classifies him its top priority, as de Blasio was, remains to be seen.
City Hall News is already predicting that the WFP will give Thompson a tepid turn-out, citing a person who said the party would much prefer backing a winner.
So much for high-minded ideology.
Three candidates for the 33rd District City Council race had a reunion of sorts on October 4 at the Atlantic Antic, the annual street festival that celebrates everything Brooklyn.
The reason?The Campaign for Brooklyn Bridge Park, which shared a booth with Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn.
Democratic Council nominee Steve Levin passed through and lingered at the DDDB booth while two former Council candidates, Boerum Hill resident Ken Diamondstone and Brooklyn Heights resident Doug Biviano, asked passersby to sign a petition.The campaign calls for the current plan to be revised to remove any proposed private development projects in public park space. “The idea of luxury housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park as the only funding source or even an appropriate funding source is bunk,” said Diamondstone.
Biviano took a break from job searching to help out with the campaign.On Primary Day, he lost his job as a superintendent in his Brooklyn Heights building and now he is in the process of getting evicted. “I’m going to court on Thursday,” said Biviano.“I’m hoping to get a postponement.”
Fortunately, another super offer for Biviano may be in the works.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be pitching his re-election on his support for the city’s middle class, but at least one Brooklyn pol isn’t buying it.
At a recent meeting, Assemblymember Alan Maisel excoriated the mayor for the increase in ticketing that appears to be taking place around the city.
“You can’t blame the police officers,” Maisel told members of the Friends United Block Association during their October meeting, adding, “Since our current mayor has become mayor, tickets have become a very important way of raising revenue for the city. The problem with that is that it’s often unfair.”
How unfair? One resident, last year, came into his office to complain because she had received a ticket for double-parking when she dropped her eight-year-old daughter off at dancing school. “I don’t remember when they gave tickets for dropping someone off, but I believe the cops are under pressure to give as many tickets as possible,” he remarked.
People, Maisel added, praise Bloomberg as a “brilliant businessman.” But, he said, “I could the same thing he could do. I could raise taxes. I could raise water rates. I could make sure everybody gets a ticket for stepping out of their house. If that’s what it means to be a businessman mayor, then, frankly, I don’t think we need such a businessman.”
“He has no understanding of what it means to be a middle-class person in the city of New York,” Maisel said.
David Yassky, who’s that?
It appears that Brooklynites were asking that question in droves on primary day, according to recently certified vote tallies.
An Assembly District (AD) breakdown of September 15 Democratic primary election results supplied by the city’s Board of Elections show that Queens City Councilmember John Liu carried 12 assembly districts in the borough. Yassky carried eight.
While Yassky managed to hold onto his core constituent base in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and downtown Brooklyn, Liu managed to cull voters from all over northern Brooklyn, as well as Midwood, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Sunset Park.
Yassky managed to beat Liu in several southern Brooklyn districts including Bay Ridge, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island and Brighton Beach, but only by a few hundred votes in each AD.
The only AD that wasn’t scooped up by Liu or Yassky was in Borough Park, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of David Weprin.
When the polls closed, 42,727 Brooklyn residents voted for Liu. Yassky received 40,775 votes.
Still, Yassky did manage to get enough votes for a runoff which he ultimately lost last Tuesday. The Board of Elections hadn’t released those results as this paper went to press.
Queens’ City Councilmember John Liu’s victory over David Yassky in Brooklyn was sullied somewhat by recent news that a longtime supporter may have bused Chinese voters to the polls.
According to the New York Post, the Brooklyn Chinese American Association, which is located in Sunset Park, helped over 1,500 elderly Chinese voters to get to the polls during Liu’s runoff election against Brooklyn Heights Councilmember David Yassky, an election that Liu ultimately won.
Paul Mak, who runs the nonprofit group, admitted to supplying vans and transporting elderly voters to the polls, as well as telling voters “where to go and what to do.”
“Some of [the voters] need language help. A lot of people could not find their names, so they had to do the paper ballots,” Mak told the Post. “At least 30 percent of Chinese voters do not know how to operate the machines.”
Mak said that his staffers did not tell the Asian voters who to vote for, although Liu is the first Asian American seeking citywide office.
“I don’t think they would do that,” he said. “As far as influence, there wouldn’t be much. [Voters] are coming out for John, so I don’t think they need to convince them to do that.”
Officials for the Liu campaign said that Mak’s actions were done without their knowledge. Yassky staffers said that they were unaware of the Brooklyn Chinese American Association’s activities.
He may not have been stuck on their minds, but David Yassky was certainly stuck to voters’ windshields last Tuesday morning.
The day of the run-off election for comptroller between the Brooklyn councilmember and Queens lawmaker John Liu, pro-Yassky flyers were firmly affixed to cars in Windsor Terrace — vexing commuters who were forced to use their fingernails or other devices to remove the campaign literature.
“I tried to take it off, and it just wouldn’t come off,” said Sam Himmelstein, an area resident who alerted this newspaper about the sticky situation. “It was very annoying — you needed some sort of a scraper,” he said. Yassky spokesperson Danny Kanner said the flyers were actually meant to be put on door knobs, not windshields. “We did, regrettably have some overzealous volunteers,” he said. Because it rained Monday night, the flyers became virtually cemented to the cars when they dried off, he noted. “They are not stickers, but it appears they stuck to the windshields, and we are sincerely apologetic,” Kanner added.
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