Don’t expect Ed Koch to pull another party-switcheroo in South Brooklyn– the former mayor says he is firmly in the corner for Councilman Lew Fidler when he runs to replace Carl Kruger in the state Senate.
“I like to support Democrats whenever I can,” Koch told City & State. “[Fidler] is a Democrat who I consider to be in the image of Hubert Humphrey-kind of Democrat, the Scoop Jackson Democrat, the Pat Moynihan Democrat. A moderate.”
Koch played a decisive role in Republican Bob Turner’s victory over David Weprin last September for Anthony Weiner’s old Congressional seat. At the time, Koch said he was supporting Turner to send a message to Barack Obama about the White House’s policies toward Israel. Message sent, Koch has since said he would vote for Obama for re-election next year.
This State Senate district lines up very directly with the Brooklyn third of Weiner’s old Congressional district mentioned in the quote above. Although Turner dominated this Brooklyn third roughly 2 to 1 in the special election earlier this year, it’s possible Koch’s vocal support of Turner was even more heavily felt in Queens by elderly voters in certain high-rises there.
To combat a surge in the theft of handheld electronic devices, which contributed to a high rate of grand larcenies in the city this year, the Police Department devised Operation Take Back, aimed at anyone seeking a stolen iPhone or iPad.
According to a Dec. 16 Police Department news release, undercover officers, working in all five boroughs, arrested 141 people who had “eagerly” bought what the officers were peddling as stolen goods at discounted prices. Most of the transactions were made inside businesses, including places suspected of receiving stolen electronics in the past, though “a few of the sales took place on street corners.”
Six days later, Councilman Vincent J. Gentile questioned the nature of the police initiative and called for its review in a two-page letter to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. While Mr. Gentile lauded the effort to crack down on locations where stolen goods are sold, he wrote that he had heard of instances in which officers were “openly soliciting people on the street by enticing them to buy the goods at a reduced price and then arresting the individual on the street if any negotiation or transaction transpired.”
Restaurateur Alex Borgognone, the one announced candidate against freshman Republican Michael Grimm, has exited stage right:
"New and unexpected business opportunities have arisen, the timing of which has to be acted upon immediately," Borgognone said in a prepared statement. "Consequently, I cannot pursue these opportunities and devote myself full time to the voters of Staten Island and Brooklyn."
Borgognone, who co-owns his family’s restaurant in the Bronx, was the first Dem to formally say he would challenge Grimm, and had taken the steps of raising money and setting up a fund-raising committee with the Federal Election Commission.
There’s a long and growing list of people potentially challenging Grimm (an outdated version of which you can find here), but no one is currently running full steam into this race despite the district being swingy.
New York State is currently considering different options for its primary election date(s) in response to a new federal law, and Councilman David Greenfield sent out a statement urging New York State to look for at an earlier date:
“Although Congress has taken important steps to end the disenfranchisement of our service men and women in fall primaries, I believe that scheduling the New York State primary in the months of July and August would only serve to disenfranchise a different group of voters,” Councilman Greenfield wrote. “About half of the voters in my district will typically leave the city during those months, and families based outside of New York City for the summer will find it very difficult to return for a July or August primary… A June primary will not only meet the goal of guaranteeing the opportunity to vote for our men and women in the armed forces, it will also ensure that my constituents in Brooklyn will have a fair chance to participate as well.”
Many Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn and Queens head up to the Catskills and beyond during these summer months. If you remember, Congressman Bob Turner campaigned in the Catskills in his upset special election win earlier this year.
Larancuent, who was involved in the 1998 founding of the labor-backed Working Families Party and is a member of its 13-member executive committee, has approached multiple labor officials to gauge their interest in a 2012 primary run against Dilan, who has held the office for a decade.
Larancuent has deep ties in progressive labor circles and among immigrant rights groups. He has run the 5,000-member, largely immigrant Laundry, Dry Cleaning and Allied Workers Joint Board for the past 11 years, has been a key player in the national labor movement, and helped devise the strategy for the WFP’s considerable successes in the 2009 election cycle.
This could set up a similar contest that we saw in the Assembly special election in these neighborhoods earlier this year, where the Working Families Party unsuccessfully sought to defeat Dilan’s son Councilman Erik Dilan’s Chief of Staff, Rafael Espinal, in the race to replace former Assemblyman Darryl Towns.
Congressman Ed Towns apparently has the most expensive car lease of any Congressional member. This story is a little weird, because the high price tag isn’t because Towns is leasing a lamborghini — he’s simply overpaying for a 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid.
His spokesman assures that there’ll be a better lease situation when the lease ends in May.
The NY Post editorial board, writing about the likely upcoming special election to replace State Senator Carl Kruger, dislikes the current system of local county political parties choosing their special election nominees instead of actual elections:
Democrats seem poised to name City Councilman Lewis Fidler as their nominee; Republican brass are eyeing David Storobin, a lawyer and party official.
Voter input? Fuhgeddaboutit.
Other candidates? Don’t stand a chance.
An actual primary?
Now that’s a real knee-slapper.
I’m kinda yawning though, this is the same tired process New York State has been consistently using to pick special election candidates for some time. It desperately needs reform, but for unexpected individual elections it’s hardly the prospective candidates’ or local parties’ faults.
Congressional Republican leaders are taking a lot of heat for their their rejection of the payroll tax cut extension passed by the Senate, but one person is encouraging Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to stick to their guns–Queens Congressman Bob Turner. In a letter to Speaker Boehner and Congressman Cantor today, Congressman Turner told them to keep fighting the good fight. “I am writing you today to ask you to continue fighting for the one year extension of the payroll tax holiday, and to convince the Senate that doing the hard work necessary to come to an agreement on a bill that will help our citizens long term, is much more important than a vacation,” Congressman Turner wrote.
“This president knows he can’t run on his leadership ability or completely failed policies, so he plays into campaign statistics that tell him to run against a broken Congress. Urging the Senate to work with House Republicans on a responsible policy deal and start changing the broken culture of Washington doesn’t help him in the polls, so he flip-flopped. The true story of what’s happened in the payroll tax debate simply comes down to presidential politics. Regardless of who wins this battle, there is sure to be one clear loser: our country.”
Possible Republican contender for Kruger’s seat, David Storobin, campaigned in the district with State Senator Marty Golden and the head of the Republican Senate caucus, Dean Skelos. You can see video of Skelos commending Storobin below:
During his special election campaign earlier this year, Congressman Bob Turner said that he found all of the presidential candidates acceptable. I wondered at the time if that would include Ron Paul.
Yossi Gestetner recently interviewed Turner and found out that, in fact, the Congressman is not such a fan of the isolationist presidential candidate, saying “Everyone in GOP field besides Ron Paul is acceptable.” Considering that Paul’s campaign now looks much less quixotic than it did this summer, I wouldn’t consider this much of a turnaround.
And considering that Turner ran his campaign constantly repeating his strong support for Israel, this preference against Paul could probably be expected.