Monday, September 18, 2006


Back to Normal

I'm under the impression that the main site for The Daily Politics is fixed.

So I'll resume blogging there. Please let me know if you have any problems by emailing me at bensmith at nydailynews dot com.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Spitzer's Own Words

I'm weighing in a bit late on this, because I've been distracted, but what are we supposed to make of this NY1 story, and the Spitzer campaign's non-response?

It seemed kind of trivial at first, but it is actually very strange: Spitzer, in his own voice, says in a television ad: "Recently my running mate, David Paterson, and I toured the school he attended as a child, walking past the very same hall signs he did forty years ago. "

The truth is that only Paterson walked the halls.

Now, it's in some basic way trivial, a classic tiny mistake by a staffer or consultant -- except that Spitzer says the words himself.

Think Yvette Clarke would have gotten a pass on that one?


Remainders: The General

(Iconic campaign volunteer photo by Craig Warga.)

Mark Winston Griffith is kind of sad that two of the candidates in the 11th were elected officials' kids.

Jeanine goes negative...on Al.

Sharpton denies that he had a bad election cycle.

On Room Eight, thoughtful plans and ... less thoughtful plans for Governor's Island, and various roiling Brooklyn battles.

Radar, ever playing to type, pans Hillary's "Saturday Night Fever" do.

Errol Louis will be on an interesting-looking panel about transparency in economic development Monday.

And many, many thanks to Liz, Gerry, Azi, Gur, Glenn, Liza, and Dan (sorta) for helping to drag this blog out of its tech mess.


Which Side He's On

There's been some debate about whether Hakeem Jeffries' Assembly win was really a victory for Atlantic Yards. The News editorial page and, mostly, I thought it was. Dan Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn puts the most hopeful anti-Yards spin on the vote here. And it's certainly true that Jeffries was a good candidate for reasons that had nothing to do with the project, and that his stance toward the project was at times critical.

But it is probably also worth contrasting the post-vote spin from project opponents with what they were saying in the run-up to the vote, as in this email from DDDB's leaders:


Dear Friends,

I am writing to you because, you - like me - oppose the proposed Ratner arena/highrise project.

In our opposition to that project, there is something very key and timely we can do.


This assembly race has greater impact on the Atlantic Yards fight than any other race this year. Other politicians and most importantly Sheldon Silver will have to listen to Bill as the District's rep, when he is making his decisions about the project.


Hillary's Good Year

Karol Sheinin, who writes the blog Alarming News, and who worked for KT McFarland, has this fairly alarming note, if you're looking to put a dent in the Hillary machine:

This man gives me a serious case of the icks. I literally feel embarrassment that he and I are in the same party. K.T. McFarland lost the election to him, it's done. This isn't about that, it isn’t about her. It's about him and how I will never support him, ever, and how I've never felt about another Republican candidate the way I feel about him.

And more.


Crowley in at County

Azi has the news that Joe Crowley was just elected Queens County leader.

There are some fundraising implications for the formal party structure, but they must have decided that the lucrative judge-making business that's their main product line can continue unabated.


Blogger Fratricide

Daily Gotham's Liza Sabater isn't a fan of the demographic breakdown of the Bill Clinton blog lovefest, which, as she notes, was held in Harlem.


Pirro's Air War

Jeanine Pirro's out of the box first with this attack spot that already ran upstate.

A campaign source says she's up with a "saturation" buy in the New York City media market.


Best Name Ever

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak.

Apparently a Smolenyak who married an unrelatd Smolenyak.

(via Sam Roberts)


About That Law

"Parents should not have to fear for their children's safety as they travel to and from school each day," the Governor said. "The enhanced penalty for speeding in school zones will ensure, in areas where innocent children congregate and are constantly entering and exiting, drivers use extreme caution."

Yep, that's Governor Pataki, from a 1999 press release.

But actually, nevermind.


Tech Note

This is the temporary home of The Daily Politics. Most people can reach The Daily Politics at its usual address,, but three days in to our tech mess, I'm still getting lots of reports that the site is inaccessible or loading so slowly it's useless.

So I'll be cross-posting everything here until we figure it out. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Friday Morning Open Thread

Hello? Is this thing on?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Remainders: If You Can Read This...

Maurice Gumbs comes to praise Yvette Clarke, and has an interesting tidbit: Charles Barron refused to carry indicted Assemblywoman Diane Gordon on his palm cards, while Rep. Ed Towns had no such scruple.

Barron, meanwhile, goes after his old ally Al Sharpton, whose influence he says is either "waning" or "non-existent."

This guy hopes Sean Patrick Maloney's supporters stick around -- and not (only) because they're cute.

Here's the big pork list
that Adam Green finds so amusing.

Markos Moulitsas has no love for Kevin Sheekey and thinks (why?) that the location of a political convention matters.

Liza Sabater has no love for the News's tech problems.

And Rahm Emanuel's jawboning seems to be producing the desired effect.

ALSO: The Voice lists the top 10 NYC recipients of state pork.

AND: Common Cause has the list in a usable format.


Ball and Chain

Oh dear.

Al was going 51 in a 25-mile-per-hour school zone.


More Losers: Sharpton, Brooklyn Post Office

Keeping the running tally of election-day winners and losers going, Yoda on Room Eight notes that Al Sharpton's candidates got killed in the Brooklyn neighborhoods where he's said to have influence.

Also, Brooklyn's election-time postal delivery was really pretty bad. Mail arrived in giant piles on Saturday. And it's still trickling in -- I got a Clarke piece yesterday.


Wall Street Loves Him?

With Suozzi out of the race and Faso trying to label Spitzer anti-business, it made sense today to roll out "corporate leaders for Spitzer," even if it was an sparsely attended event in a dim hotel conference room.

But the relationship between Spitzer and business, particularly Wall Street, remains a really open question. The business leaders on his list were a mix of Democratic stalwarts (Patricof, Rattner, Spielvogel, etc) and mostly lower-profile New York State figures.

One of the real heavy-hitters at today's event, Don Marron, pointed out that most Wall Street executives are barred by industry rules from getting involved in politics. "I know a lot of people on Wall Street who will support him," he said. But he said he wasn't sure whether any of Spitzer's old enemies had changed their minds.

Nobody with a business to run is going to pick a fight with the likely next Governor. Spitzer seems to be trying, in his unbending way, to make amends. And he's said before that he has quiet, improved relationships with many executives.

But one of next year's most interesting stories will likely be his relationship with the state's most important industry.

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