Big Apple Politics

GOP Candidate Suggests Mass Jailing of Blacks Would Make City Safer

Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald on Wednesday meant to make a point about income inequality but it came out very wrong, Capital New York reported.

“The mass incarceration of African American men may have made us safer,” McDonald, founder of the Doe Fund and a homeless advocate, said, “but it leaves us with generation after generation of broken families that are uneducated that have multiple barriers to employment.”

The first Republican mayoral forum featured uniform agreement that the city will be in trouble if City Hall falls to a Democrat for the first time since 1993, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Don’t ever be lulled into thinking that that transformation is permanent and there forever. It requires an enormous amount of care,” Joseph Lhota, a former MTA chief, said. “It could easily slide back to where it was.”

Billionaire John Catisimatidis had a sprawling set of ideas, from banning all bike lanes to enlarging city taxicabs. Part of his education plan involves getting students “outside New York City to see what the woods look like, what the country looks like.”

Publisher Tom Allon, saying the crisis of the moment is education, suggested selling roof rights of schools to overhaul them.

De Blasio Unveils ‘Sick Day’ Clock to Shame Quinn

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is hammering Council Speaker Christine Quinn over her refusal to allow a vote on making paid sick days a right by introducing a “sick day clock,” Politicker reported.

“Just want to give you an up-to-the-moment report that, as of 7 o’clock as this forum began, it has been 2 years, 11 months, 11 days, 5 hours and 30 minutes since the paid sick day legislation was introduced in the New York City Council,” de Blasio intoned.

Quinn, the mayoral frontrunner, and Bloomberg oppose the bill since it hurts employers.

Lhota said on Wednesday at a GOP mayoral forum that it was not the role of city government to address income inequality by imposing a paid sick day policy.

“There’s nothing you can do instantaneously about that,” Lhota. “It requires a long-term solution, not a short-term action.”

Catsimatidis said that inequality is “a very important issue,” but he then got lost in the finer points.

“What we have to do is look at all the situations on what’s going on — sorry, I lost my train of thought,” he said.

Final Council Redistricting Map Sent for Justice Dept. Approval

The New York City Districting Commission on Tuesday submitted the final redistricting map, which will now be sent to the U.S. Justice Department to confirm it adheres to the Voting Rights Act by having enough black districts.

Orthodox Jewish activists have complained that some of the minority districts come at the expense of Jewish districts, which are diluted among nine different council seats.

Adams Launches Brooklyn Beep Campaign

State Sen. Eric Adams on Sunday launched his campaign for the Brooklyn borough presidency with the Democratic establishment almost totally behind him, Politicker reported.

“Brooklyn is the greatest place on earth because of the strength and love that its people are willing to pour into it,” said Adams as he stood on the steps of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall. “It’s no wonder, when you ask a person that is from Brooklyn and you say, ‘Where you from?’ They don’t say New York City, they say, ‘We’re from Brooklyn, baby.’”

Adams first announced the official kickoff on Motzoei Shabbos during an interview on Zev Brenner’s show.

Adams, a former police officer, faces little opposition after his one-time foe, Councilman Domenic Recchia, backed him. Leaders from the black, Jewish, Russian and Hispanic communities attended the event to elect the first black borough president.

Could Adams’s Controversial Past Hurt Him?

Sen. Eric Adams was backed by the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam during a 1994 congressional run and was once a Republican, claimed Gatemouth, a blog which focuses on New York politics.

New York Magazine described Adams in 1994 as “always on the brink of inciting controversy” and quoted him as saying “I’m not a mainstream leader. … If I have to say things to make people uncomfortable to get their attention and to say that I’m angry, then I’ll say them.”

In 1993, Adams, then president of the city’s black police officers association, was reluctant to endorse the re-election of Mayor David Dinkins because the mayor refused to meet members of the Nation of Islam. And in 1994, he received Nation founder Louis Farrakhan’s backing when he ran against Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.), “because they believe he will stand up to the Jews.”

A year later, at the height of the Newt Gingrich revolt against Bill Clinton, the Daily News reported that Adams had become a Republican. In a 1999 New York Times profile, he was referred to as “Lt. Adams, who calls himself a conservative Republican…”

By 2006, Adams was firmly back in the left wing of the Democratic party.

Staffer Gets Shivah Call From Sen. Squadron Firing Her

Cynthia Darrison, a veteran political consultant, was sitting shivah for her father two weeks ago when State Sen. Daniel Squadron, a client of hers who is running for public advocate, called to say that he was firing her.

“It was one of the most shocking conversations I’ve ever had,” Darrison said. She is registering her objections by donating $175 to each of his two opponents.

“I am very, very disappointed with the lack of character and ethics that you have shown,” she wrote in an email to Squadron. “…You have no sensitivity for religious mourning observance.”

An aide said that Squadron did not know Darrison was still sitting shivah when he called.

Bagful of 2012 Ballots Turn up — Uncounted

It is not enough to change the presidential election results, but the New York City Board of Elections recently unearthed more than 400 votes that were never counted from the 2012 election, the board said on Tuesday.

The 401 votes were discovered by workers in the Manhattan office as they cleaned up paperwork from the general election.

“It’s not enough to unseat President Obama,” the Board’s Frederic Umane said. “So we’re trying to look to see how it happened, why it happened, but as I say, all the votes will be counted.”

First Mayoral Ad Focuses on How to Pronounce a Name

Billionaire John Catsimatidis released the first ad in the mayoral race, primarily to teach voters how to pronounce his name.

“It’s Cats-i-ma-TEE-dees,” the announcer stresses.

The 30-second, $100,000 spot features a couple chatting about the Greek immigrant who rose from poor beginnings to success. A poll last month has Catsimatidis at 5 percent support, with 56 percent of respondents saying that they never heard of him or do not know enough to form an opinion.