Big Apple Politics

Thompson’s Moderate Frisk Stance Earns Cop Backing

The only black candidate in the mayoral race is bucking the stance of most other African Americans in the city by cautioning that the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk tactic must be reined in but not ended.

On Wednesday, that restrained approach earned Bill Thompson, a former city comptroller, the endorsement of a coalition of unions representing about 100,000 law enforcement officials, and praise from mayors Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, The New York Times reported.

But that may prevent him from gaining the endorsement of Al Sharpton, considered influential among blacks. He compares opposition to stop-and-frisk tactics to a social movement, and he has let Thompson know that he is displeased with his position.

“This is not a marginal issue,” Sharpton said.

But by being the sole black in the race, Thompson has to an extent insulated himself from criticism from the left.

When a rival called on him to demand the abolition of stop-and-frisk during a candidates’ forum a few weeks ago, Thompson retorted, “I’m the one who has to worry about my son getting shot on the street.”

Mystery Poll Puts Kelly Near Top

A poll released this week has NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly tied for top place if he chooses to seek the mayoralty of New York City, as Republicans have been begging him to do for months.

“Simply put, it’s Ray’s if he wants it,” Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster in Washington, said.

Kelly refused to rule out a run but told reporters, “I’m not aware of who’s behind the polling.”

The survey found Kelly running neck and neck with Council Speaker Christine Quinn (41-38) and Bill Thompson (40-39). He leads all other candidates, including the Republican ones.

Big Union Backing Keeps
Liu Relevant

New York City’s biggest government workers’ union announced Wednesday it is backing John Liu for mayor, underscoring how the embattled city comptroller is remaining relevant in a crowded race by espousing a populist campaign.

Lillian Roberts, executive director of District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said at a rally on City Hall steps that they chose Liu for the Democratic primary since he will “restore government for the people.”

The union, dubbed DC 37 for short, represents 121,000 workers in city government and state agencies.

Liu has sounded themes of economic disparity on the campaign trail, but has had to contend with the recent convictions of a former campaign worker and fundraiser.

Weiner Halves Gap Between Him and Quinn

Anthony Weiner has cut in half the gap between him and front runner Chris Quinn in the Democratic primary for mayor, according to a Marist poll released Tuesday.

Weiner entered the race just last week but already draws 19 percent of respondents, compared to Quinn’s 24 percent. The City Council speaker held an 11-point lead over Weiner, 26 to 15 percent, in April.

Weiner’s favorability also went up dramatically. In April, only 46 percent of Democrats said they would consider voting for the former congressman. Today, 59 percent say he deserves a second chance. Only 39 percent of voters said he does not have the character to be mayor.

Hayon to Take on Greenfield
In Council Race

Joseph Hayon, a Sephardic Jewish activist who has run for elected office several times before, announced Tuesday night that he will be a Republican challenger to Councilman David Greenfield.

“We need someone who is going to represent the people of the district first,” Hayon said.

He accused Greenfield, a Brooklyn Democrat, of allowing cuts to child-care vouchers during his three years in the council. While the cuts did take place, Greenfield has advocated restoring them and has had successes.

Hayon narrowly lost a bid against Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz in 2010, and after redistricting, lost by a wide margin another bid against Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein.