Thursday, May 23, 2013

Anthony Weiner's rise

By Carl 

(I promise, that's the only dick joke in the post.)

Anthony Weiner has officially announced his candidacy for mayor of the city of New York, to replace three term gadabout-with-nothing-better-to-do-than-trash-my-city Michael Bloomberg.

I'll probably end up voting for him in the primary.

That speaks less of Weiner, who has always come off in my book as a bit of a dick (ok, sorry, my bad), than it does about the other candidates running in the Democratic primary, which is essentially the coronation of the next mayor. Weiner is currently polling second at 15%, and that poll was taken before he formally announced. Christine Quinn, the "frontrunner," is polling at 25%, which speaks volumes about a woman who has been Council Speaker for twelve years.

Quinn should be the presumptive nominee, but at 25% she's polling very weakly for someone with as much visibility as she's forced upon New Yorkers, and with good reason: she's really pretty shitty, unless you live in the West Village or happen to be gay. For those constituents, she's about as progressive as they come.

For working and middle class New Yorkers, not so much.


We can start with the fact that she flipped on term limits, likely to get access to Bloomberg's Rolodex of campaign contributors. She was against them before she was for them, and the cynical calculation that went on in her head must have made her dizzy. We can move onto the fact that she aided Bloomberg in defunding program after program designed to help the poor and middle class families of New York, all to help her get some tax breaks for close friends who dabbles in real estate, most notably the closing of St. Vincent's Hospital in the Village which was rezoned to a residential property and is being developed by Rudin Management.

I wonder how much money and through what trust Rudin has contributed to Quinn, her campaign, and to political organizations that assist Quinn? He's not clumsy enough to have given money in his own name to her campaign directly. One way to get around this is to have an entity controlled by Rudin but not directly owned by him contribute money, possibly to the city or state Democratic party, which will then spend it on Quinn. Happens all the time in New York, which purportedly has the cleanest campaign finance laws in the country.

It's been sad watching Quinn come down from her moral high ground, where she protested the St. Patrick's Day Parade at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, over the exclusion of gays and lesbians from the march.

And now, she's just another politico. Very, very sad.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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