Race to City Hall 2013

Spitzer Unveils Plans to Revamp Public Housing

Unveiling the first policy proposals of his comeback campaign, New York City comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer called Wednesday for sweeping reforms to the public housing system.

“If there’s property that’s underutilized, use it, but use it for the folks who live here right now,” Spitzer said during a tour of Manhattan’s Frederick Douglass Houses. “Selling off parkland in the middle of housing to the highest bidder, that’s wrong.”

Spitzer has made it central to his campaign that he would expand the reach of the office of comptroller, the city’s financial officer. His initial policy plan clearly wades beyond the normal boundaries of the office, in particular in his condemnation of Bloomberg’s idea to have residents’ fingerprints be used as the only way to open building doors at housing developments.

At one point, Spitzer stood with Thomas Lopez-Pierre, an activist who abandoned a City Council bid after sending a series of anti-Semitic emails to his Jewish opponent. A spokeswoman said Spitzer, who is Jewish, did not know who he was.

More Fireworks Expected at Mayoral Debate

The Democratic mayoral candidates were scheduled to square off in another debate Wednesday night as the campaign moves into its final three weeks with three of them in a near dead-heat: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former comptroller Bill Thompson. A final debate is scheduled for Sept. 3.

Candidates Appeal to Hispanic Voters in Many Languages

Christine Quinn managed to sprinkle a few Spanish words — “gracias” or “de nada” — into conversations with voters Tuesday at a subway stop in Washington Heights as she sought to shore up support in the Latino community, a crucial demographic a recent poll suggests is in her corner, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination are doing their share as well. Quinn pledged that if she becomes mayor she will do a weekly radio show on a Spanish-language station, while Bill Thompson planned Wednesday to air his first Spanish-language ad.

History suggests turnout in the Democratic primary will be 400,000 to 600,000, with the Latino vote expected to comprise 15 to 22 percent.

According to the WSJ/NBC/Marist poll, Quinn has support of 27 percent of Latinos, with Thompson and Bill de Blasio at about 11 percent. The main Hispanic endorsements went for Thompson.


 

“Race to City Hall 2013” is a daily Hamodia column focusing on the New York City mayoral race, ahead of the Democratic and Republican primaries on Sept. 10, a likely runoff on Oct. 1, and the general election on Nov. 5. It is culled from reports from The Associated Press, Politicker, the Daily News, City & State and others.