It’s been too long since my conservative cousin from New York opined on Power Line. So I asked him to review the field of Democrats in the New York mayoral race.
Here is his report (and, no, he’s not making this stuff up):
The Democratic primary underway for Mayor of New York underscores the truth of H.L. Mencken’s cynical observation that we would be better off picking our leaders the same way we select juries. Each candidate’s campaign is focused on getting the support of the public employee unions. Mayor Bloomberg, for all his many faults, was no pushover in labor negotiations. Most unionized civil servants are working without a collective bargaining agreement while looking forward to a Democratic Administration that will unlock the key to the municipal treasury.
The notorious Anthony Weiner is the frontrunner. Recently, he spoke at a High School graduation ceremony. His theme “the art of the hero.” Never one to be modest about his accomplishments, Weiner likened his ability to overcome adversity to the resilience shown by FDR and Nelson Mandela.
The son of a public school educator, Weiner assures teachers that he will be their voice at the bargaining table. So in a Weiner administration just who will advocate for the taxpayers? Certainly not the Mayor.
City Council President Christine Quinn says she will bring the sensibilities of a union shop steward to the Mayor’s office. A long-time crusader for gays and lesbians, she recently married her partner Kim Catullo.
On the City Council she bullied members to pass legislation enabling Mayor Bloomberg to run for a third time despite the term limits approved by voters in a referendum. Likely Democratic primary voters don’t have a favorable view of the current Mayor so she is feverishly trying to distance herself from the Administration whose agenda she helped ram through the Council.
Never the shrinking violet, Quinn, while campaigning on a Queens thoroughfare, grabbed the hand of an elderly gentleman. As the cameras rolled, Quinn, whose strong grip is legendary, wouldn’t let go. She shook this septuagenarian’s paw so hard, he required medical attention for broken bones.
Former Comptroller and Board of Education President Bill Thompson gave Mayor Bloomberg a surprisingly close race in 2009. A product of the Brooklyn Democratic machine, he’s gotten the endorsement of former GOP Senator Al D’Amato who has a retirement gig as a partner in a lobbying firm.
More importantly, the campaign gained the support of the United Federation of Teachers. Thompson told union leaders he would “fight day and night to help the teachers of New York City” and would end the practice of closing low performing schools.
After all what’s more important the education of students trapped in failing schools or the jobs of low-performing teachers and administrators?
Current Comptroller John Liu seeks to become the first Chinese-American Mayor. Recently his campaign treasurer, Jia Hou was convicted of wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and lying to the FBI in a criminal case involving straw campaign donors. Prosecutors told the jury that Liu had to know of her criminal activities. Hou’s lawyer declined to comment when asked if she would cooperate in the government’s case against Liu in exchange for leniency.
Public Advocate Bill Di Blasio is running because he doesn’t think there’s anyone sufficiently Progressive in the field. He rides his bicycle through the hip Brooklyn brownstone belt trolling for voters and needs no prompting to tell you that he’s Italian and his wife is African-American.
Former City Councilman Sal Albanese isn’t expected to be a factor in the race. But he did come up with the campaign’s most memorable quip when he observed that Weiner joined the race because “he loves the camera.”
Primary Day is September 1st; if no candidate gets 40% of that vote there will be a runoff on October 1st. The forecast is for a runoff between Weiner and either Quinn or Thompson.
The Democrats seem to be well on their way to another self-destructive primary battle and there’s a chance the voters will once again elect the GOP candidate in a town that’s overwhelmingly Democratic.
Here’s to hoping.