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Politics Good News for NYC: A Better Mayor Is (Probably) Coming

14:06  11 june  2021
14:06  11 june  2021 Source:   nationalreview.com

Opinion: Why Democrats should be paying closer attention to NYC's mayoral race

  Opinion: Why Democrats should be paying closer attention to NYC's mayoral race Arick Wierson and Bradley Honan write that New York City's Democratic mayoral primary will offer the nation its first major opportunity to gauge how Democratic voters are thinking about their party and its policies -- an important bellwether for the 2022 midterm elections.

The bad news for New York City is that the next mayor will almost certainly be a Democrat. The good news is that said Democrat will almost certainly be an improvement over the Marxist Frankenstein’s monster who currently rules City Hall.

Eric Adams, Peter Koo holding a sign: Eric Adams, Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, at a campaign event in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 2, 2021. © Brendan McDermid/Reuters Eric Adams, Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, at a campaign event in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 2, 2021.

Early balloting gets under way Saturday for the only mayoral vote this year that is likely to matter in the city. Democratic primary election day is June 22 for the race to succeed Bill de Blasio, who must vacate his office at the end of the calendar year after two terms. (And apparently is thinking about running against Andrew Cuomo for governor next year, in a potential matchup that probably makes Cuomo burst into laughs every time he thinks about it. De Blasio is as popular as gum disease in New York City and as popular as malaria everyplace else in the state of New York.)

NYC mayoral candidates come out swinging in feisty TV debate ahead of Democratic primary

  NYC mayoral candidates come out swinging in feisty TV debate ahead of Democratic primary Eight Democratic mayoral candidates talked crime and blasted one another during Wednesday night’s debate.Wednesday night’s mayoral debate started off with a blast from the past, with leading candidates for the Democratic nomination fighting over stop-and-frisk and other aspects of policing as the city undergoes a big surge in violent crime.

There are no serious Republican candidates for mayor of New York City, and even a serious nominee (such as Joe Lhota, an honorable deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani who headed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority) would probably lose the general election by more than 40 points, as Lhota did in 2013. New York City’s blessed 20-year run of non–Democratic Party mayors (1994–2013) was a lucky break; Giuliani barely beat the disastrous mayor David Dinkins in 1993 by a 51–48 margin because there were still lots of working-class white voters in the outer boroughs. Now there are hardly any left, their places taken by immigrants and hipsters who would never dream of voting for any Republican. And Giuliani was succeeded for three terms by Mike Bloomberg because of the combination of 9/11, which made Giuliani’s endorsement critical, and Bloomberg’s unprecedented willingness to spend a fortune on campaign ads.

NYC Crime Wave Dominates Mayoral Debate Marked by Insults

  NYC Crime Wave Dominates Mayoral Debate Marked by Insults The eight top Democratic candidates for New York mayor sparred Wednesday night over how to reduce violent crime, fix schools and housing programs and revitalize a city still careening from pandemic-induced economic losses. During their first in-person televised debate, the candidates slung insults and accusations at one another for two hours as they tried to distinguish themselves in a crowded race with three weeks until the June 22 primary.

So New York City’s next mayor will effectively be decided in the Democratic primary, though the decision will take some time to be announced: The city’s famously incompetent Board of Elections has already warned that it will not be finished counting until mid July.

Three candidates have gotten out in front of the field, and all three appear to be far better options than de Blasio. The front-runner, Eric Adams, is a former NYPD captain who has positioned himself on both sides of the police debate and is currently Brooklyn Borough president. A recent survey puts him six points ahead of Andrew Yang, the celebrity debate contestant who had a huge lead in the spring until voters started to notice that his preparation was notably lacking. Yang, a middle-aged lawyer with no career accomplishments worthy of note, is known solely for having appeared in Democratic Party presidential debates, earning his place by trumpeting a single simple message about the necessity of a universal basic income. Most polls show Yang roughly tied for second with Kathryn Garcia, a former de Blasio administration sanitation commissioner who resigned her office last year out of principle, she says, when her budget was cut.

Andrew Yang, hoping to troll Mayor de Blasio at YMCA, is chased away by protesters

  Andrew Yang, hoping to troll Mayor de Blasio at YMCA, is chased away by protesters The gaggle of about eight demonstrators followed the mayoral candidate as they rained chants of “no more cops” and “hedge-fund mayor” on the hopeful. The protesters trailed Yang — who had tried to speak with them before giving up — until he ducked into the subway on 4th Ave. and headed to his next campaign stop.Yang, the former presidential candidate and a newcomer to the local political scene, had intended to use the setting outside the gym to call for fresh leadership. Instead, he delivered that message to reporters on a quiet street corner in Sunset Park.

Let’s look at the pluses and minuses of each candidate.

As a registered Democrat (don’t laugh; there’s hardly any point to being a Republican in this town), I plan to check Adams’s name first. Voters will, for the first time, be presented with a complicated ballot that allows us to select up to five candidates in order of preference. Early modeling has suggested that whoever gets the most first-choice selections is likely to win the Democratic Party nomination, but there could be an upset. The ranked-choice system is meant to boil down a large field and prevent the necessity of holding a runoff election, which until recently would have been triggered if no candidate received 40 percent of the vote. (Nobody is near that figure in any recent poll.)

On the plus side, Adams has a charming personal story; battling obesity-related type II diabetes, and losing his eyesight, he turned his life around, became a vegan, and slimmed down to his present athletic build. He is also strong on New York City’s most essential new institution, charter schools. Despite de Blasio’s vehement opposition, the charter movement has continued to grow during his tenure and now boasts a student body of 139,000 out of the 1.1 million students in city public schools. A few more years of growth, and charters will be unstoppable. They are providing the human infrastructure that New York will need to rebuild its shattered psyche.

Rays Stadium Saga: A timeline of this year’s drama

  Rays Stadium Saga: A timeline of this year’s drama Here’s a refresher on a wild 2021.Gone are the days when the Rays leadership refused to attend City Council meetings and only negotiate with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. Now it is the City Council that is advocating for the Rays, while Kriseman refuses to meet with the team, all while the front office continues to champion a Sister City concept between Montreal and Tampa.

Adams’s No. 1 issue is the one that New York voters are fixated on: crime. Left-wing commentators who live in safe neighborhoods and gratify themselves writing “defund the police” op-eds seem baffled as to why voters not only don’t want to cut police budgets but would elect a cop to its highest office, but polls consistently show that crime is the No. 1 issue in the election. (Related issues such as disorder and homelessness also have outsized importance.)

Adams is a peculiar kind of cop, though; he says he was beaten by police at age 15 but then resolved to join the NYPD and reform it from within. He then spent 22 years on the force, rising to captain. As a black man, he carries what to most voters looks like added moral authority to speak out on crime and policing. For years, he has been an outspoken proponent of more sensitive policing, though he also swears by the Giuliani-championed CompStat approach to restoring public safety on a block-by-block basis. Adams has been endorsed by the only city newspaper that pays attention to the city, the New York Post.

But as Heather Mac Donald points out in City Journal, Adams has taken some positions that make other cops suspicious. And he does have other minuses: He has been endorsed by the city’s notorious DC 37 union of bureaucrats, suggesting they see in him a kindred spirit and that Adams would be disinclined to get the city’s fantastically obese budget under control. This week, he suggested he would reinstate the crime-fighting strategies of the disastrous mayor David Dinkins, during whose tenure the city suffered murder tolls that rank first, second, third, and fourth in recorded history. And last summer, during the height of a social-media-driven hysteria about “Karens” who call the police when they perceive a situation to be dicey, Adams announced that citizens should instead attempt to resolve minor disputes among themselves. A Brooklyn woman who did so, confronting neighbors about their use of illegal fireworks, was shot to death.

New York City's mayoral race is all about police, crime. Will Ocasio-Cortez endorsement give progressives a boost?

  New York City's mayoral race is all about police, crime. Will Ocasio-Cortez endorsement give progressives a boost? Maya Wiley has won the backing of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the New York City mayoral race. Will it be enough for a liberal to win?Wiley received her highest profile endorsement over the weekend from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a stalwart of self-described "progressive" politics.

Garcia may have a resume that is built for laughs — she not only ruled the Sanitation Department but also New York City’s third-world housing projects — but is nevertheless much more sensible than de Blasio. She has promised to tackle quality-of-life issues and to make it easier to build in the city. Daringly for a Democrat, she has called for raising the state-imposed cap on charter schools. She does not support cutting the police budget, and she has pushed back against de Blasio’s idiotic moves in several ways. Josh Barro of Insider calls her “the opposite of de Blasio,” which is the highest praise any candidate is likely to receive.

Minuses: Although Garcia may have a track record of running city agencies, no one who set foot on city streets in 2014–2020 can possibly think Garcia’s sanitation department improved matters. She says hippy-dippy things about policing, she wants to build many more miles of those infernal bike lanes that put the squeeze on traffic to provide space for the handful of eccentrics who think everyone should get out of their way so they can indulge their hobby, and worst of all, she’s been endorsed by the New York Times.

Yang may be a lightweight, as I’ve written before, but he has a couple of big pluses. One is that he is a neophyte, meaning he owes nothing to the activist Left, the Democratic Party, the unions, or any of the other pernicious institutions in the city. Also, de Blasio despises him, apparently on grounds that he is a corporate stooge. Yang has talked tough on crime and didn’t support the Defund the Police movement that seized the imagination of the city’s activist youth last year. He has also offered support for charter schools.

A woman has never been elected mayor of New York City. Will one of these women change that?

  A woman has never been elected mayor of New York City. Will one of these women change that? New York City has never elected a woman as mayor. Three candidates, Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales, could change that.In a mayoral race centering on policing, public safety and New York's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the possibility of the first female mayor has only grown as the race narrows.

The minuses are obvious for Yang, too, though: He has very little on his resume to suggest managerial mastery or toughness — his only leadership experience was as the head of a small test-prep company — and as a candidate, he has placed himself solidly in the category of politicians who will say whatever is necessary to placate this or that group. He looks like an easy mark for the deeply entrenched bureaucracies and interest groups that have effortlessly yanked the strings of far more experienced leaders. Still, he seems pro-business and non-crazy, and for a New York Democrat that’s saying something.

Maybe the strongest and most pro-business candidate in the primary is Wall Street’s man, Ray McGuire, the former Citigroup executive who has never held a government office before, but his campaign seems never to have gotten off the ground. Polls put him in the single digits. Still, in the ranked-choice system, thoughtful New Yorkers would be wise to give him a mention so as to block the extreme left-wingers from accumulating points.

There are three such extremists attracting attention, and they are all at least as terrible as de Blasio. City comptroller Scott Stringer, a grubby career functionary who has spent 30 years sweatily angling for one unglamorous bureaucratic post after another while saying whatever he thought progressives wanted to hear at any given moment, beclowned himself last summer when he declared, “It’s time to defund the N.Y.P.D. now!” Stringer has also earned the endorsement of the evil United Federation of Teachers. But his argument that he is the voice of progressives was not catching on even before two women accused him of sexual harassment. Bye-bye, Scott!

Another ardent leftist, former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, is cratering too. Her own staff has been in open rebellion against her, calling a work stoppage and unionizing in protest of her management. She is doing even worse than Stringer.

The inside story of how Bill de Blasio promised, then thwarted NYPD accountability

  The inside story of how Bill de Blasio promised, then thwarted NYPD accountability De Blasio once pledged powerful oversight of the police. Then he became mayor. Insiders reveal what happened next Mayor Bill De Blasio Getty/Yana Paskova

City lawyer and civil-rights activist Maya Wiley got a boost with an endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (and another from Elizabeth Warren) that made news all weekend and positioned her as the hard-Left favorite. She hit a surprise second place in a poll this week, behind Adams. But all spring, she has been so low in the polls that no one has really bothered to tie her to the failures of de Blasio, which will be easy, or to her anti-cop stance, which she boasts about in campaign ads. She has called for a $1 billion cut in the police budget while being the beneficiary of a private-security firm whose officers circle the block where she lives in a $2.7 million home. She says nonsensical things such as, “Rikers has to close. It’s a human-rights violation. But I am not going to open new jails. I’m going to focus on alternatives to incarceration.” Yet she appears to be picking up voters who are bailing on Garcia, who led one poll (albeit by only one point over Adams) just two weeks ago.

Given New York’s well-justified worries about crime, Wiley would appear to be a long shot to beat Adams, despite a Politico story this week that suggested without evidence that Adams lives in a condo he owns in New Jersey, but served only to prove that he sometimes sleeps at his office in Brooklyn Borough Hall. (Adams ridiculed the reports while showing journalists around his primary residence, a townhouse in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.) New York City not only needs our cops, we need a cop in City Hall. Eric Adams is not a miracle cure for what ails the city, but his rise is auspicious.

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The inside story of how Bill de Blasio promised, then thwarted NYPD accountability .
De Blasio once pledged powerful oversight of the police. Then he became mayor. Insiders reveal what happened next Mayor Bill De Blasio Getty/Yana Paskova

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