For New York mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio, it appears his heavy pitch to the middle-class, women and blacks worked. But did his vote count exceed the 40% required to avoid an October 1 runoff? New Yorkers will have to wait for the paper ballot count for the answer.
Only three names really counted in the New York Democratic mayoral primary. Anthony Weiner wasn’t one of them. He commanded a piddling 4.9% of the votes cast. Yes, even politician’s private sex lives are their own business, but when you’re as careless and arrogantly repetitious with your social media infidelities as Weiner and as hurtful to your wife, family and party, you forfeit any right to be politically influential at the levels Weiner had occupied. For pure entertainment, you might want to go here for a ridiculous confrontation between Weiner and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. Conversely, fellow horndog Eliot Spitzer seemed genuinely contrite in running for City Comptroller against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer though it did him no good as he lost to Stringer by 4 percentage points.
Bill Thompson and Christine Quinn are the other two names that counted. Pre-primary polls put Thompson’s anticipated average chunk of the vote at a bit over 20%. He overachieved at 26% thereby positioning himself for the runoff (the top two move on) if there is one. Quinn pulled a disappointing 16% of the vote after the polls had averaged her in the high teens. Thompson is a former New York City Comptroller where he was considered pretty effective investment-wise. He was the Democratic candidate for mayor in the last election and lost by less than 5 percentage points to incumbent Michael Bloomberg. It’s not particularly helpful that his personal CV includes 2 divorces. Though African-American, polls showed Thompson’s lagging behind de Blasio by a 2 to 1 count in that vital voting bloc.
For what it was worth, Thompson counted the American Federation of Teachers among his endorsements. It wasn’t worth a whole lot insofar as other powerful unions endorsed the other two main candidates. In the end, it pretty much evened out. And union members can have a mind of their own as big shot union leadership endorsements have been known to have little influence.
Christine Quinn was an interesting candidate. The day will eventually come when “openly gay” will not be part of one’s title when running for office, but it’s not here yet. I’ll say this for Quinn, she’s openly tough. I watched a streamed debate among the leading candidates and she didn’t budge an inch from any of her competitors or the moderators. I don’t think she’d be a bad mayor, I just think she’s been traveling in circles in both parties and with Bloomberg that are so much more powerful than the average citizen can access, that the poor and disadvantaged might get lost in the shuffle. Not to worry, she’ll be back.
Which brings us to the next mayor of New York (runoff notwithstanding, the Republican has no chance) Bill de (or De) Blasio; all 6’5″ of him. He’s got about a foot on the current mayor. De Blasio is married to a black woman. He has an attractive and interesting family. His 15-year-old son, Dante, tall like his dad, sports the type of Afro in vogue with young black men when I was in my 20′s and 30′s. I think they’re still cool and making a bit of a comeback along with dreads. Dante’s older sister, Chaiara, 18, is a quiet, attractive college student who has learned to roll with such punches as the revelation that mom had some lesbian experiences in her past. In response, Chaiara marched in the most recent Gay Pride Parade.
So you know mom’s going to be interesting. She has retained her maiden name Chirlane McCray. A graduate of Wellesley (sound familiar?) McCray became a writer for Redbook as a progressive feminist through and through. She also authored a piece, “I am a lesbian” for Essence Magazine more than 30 years ago with the intention of dispelling the notion that there were no black homosexuals. She met de Blasio while working for Mayor David Dinkins. That they should subsequently wed despite her sexual orientation should surprise no one. Sex researchers agree that roughly 40% of lesbians are married to male partners. And, for good measure, she’s at least 7 years his senior.
In a gigantic stretch, current Mayor Bloomberg recently called de Blasio a racist who used his family to gain support. Michael, Michael! I’ve been around politics for a long time and rarely have I seen a piece of candidate literature or TV commercial from either party that didn’t include at least the spouse and usually the spouse and kids.
There is one other name that was on the ballot that I’d like to add to the mix. The most recent issue of “The Nation” magazine, even while endorsing de Blasio, ran a full-page ad entitled “New Yorkers Want Their City Back.” The ad was purchased by Randy Credico “with the last few dollars in my laughably minuscule campaign chest.” He polled about 1% of the vote, but I think he’d be a hell of a mayor. He’s a professional comic and activist. I’d never heard of the guy so I put his name in my search engine and found a late July profile in Anthony Papa’s Huffpost New York blog.
Here’s what “no chance of ever becoming mayor of New York” Credico thinks is important according to his ad. He mentions all the members of the mainstream media who have refused to cover his campaign or even mention his name in mayoral campaign coverage even though he was an official candidate. He accuses successful candidates of the last 60 years of being little more than corporate establishment “errand boys or girls.”
He claims to be ignored because he wants to end ‘sweetheart’ giveaways to real estate moguls and he has proposed a half-percent Wall Street Sales Tax on stock transactions, claiming such a tax “a mere flea bite” that would raise $60 billion a year, doubling city revenues. With that money, Credico would fund an FDR-style Jobs Program, put the unemployed back to work, raise the minimum wage to $12.50, end stop and frisk, provide a free college education to New Yorkers (as was once the case) and jail what he terms are the crooked bankers from some of the top financial houses who have, according to Credico, laundered drug money, funded terrorists, stole billions from New Yorkers and wrecked the US economy.
He also has some other planks that nobody in a position of power will pay any heed. So, let’s just use this comedians ideas as templates for New York mayoral governance and see how many of his suggestions are put into practice. He ended up with double the pollster’s estimates at 2% of the vote.
This much we know. Democratic primary winner de Blasio will massacre Republican Joseph Lhota, a Giuliani-lite former Chairman of the NY Metropolitan Transit Authority who took out oil and supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis by a 12 percent margin.
At least it’s a start!