Tuesday, September 10, 2013

****UPDATE - Bill Thompson Concedes***Primary Day in New York City - Who Will Run the Big Apple for the Next Four Years?

Bill Thompson has conceded and dropped out of the primary race, making Bill deBlasio the Democtatic Nominee for Mayor of New York City. deBlasio and Lhota will face off on November 5th in the General Election.
Bill Thompson has conceded the Democratic primary and dropped out of the New York City Mayor's race.
"It would be a disservice to my supporters, a disservice to Democrats and, most of all, a disservice to the people of New York City who are desperate for a new direction," Thompson said in explaining why he was ending his campaign.
Even though he was dropping out of the race, Thompson called on the Board of Elections to count all the votes cast during the primary.
"If this were a general election with consequences about the fundamental direction of our city, you can bet I'd fight until the very last vote," he said, calling for reform to the election process.
He is also endorsed Bill de Blasio as the Democratic nominee at the event, which is believed to have been organized by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"The best way to return fairness and decency, justice and dignity, hope and equality to every neighborhood in New York is to return a progressive to City Hall," Thompson said.
The change of heart comes as Thompson's advisors saw some of the results of this weekend's recanvassing of voting machines.
Meanwhile, the counting of paper ballots almost a week after residents headed to the polls to vote in the primary has begun and will continue.
The Board of Elections spent the weekend double checking the counts on 5,059 voting machines. Now, they turn to 78,000 paper ballots, making up 11 percent of the vote.
Primary winner Bill de Blasio is currently slightly about the 40 percent mark that he needed to avoid a runoff with Thompson, who garnered 26 percent of the vote.

Last nights election results turned out quite interesting. Overall last night debunked the notion that "not every vote counts," and further proved why it is crucuial that we all remain engaged in the electoral process.
Here are the results:
Race for New York City Mayor
Party Candidate# of Votes Percentage of Vote
Republican McDonald3,8456.80%

Party Candidate# of Votes Percentage of Vote
Democratde Blasio257,034
Remember, 40% is required to secure the nomination. As you can see deBlasio clearly has over 40% with 97.6 % of the polls reporting. However, just as he did in 2009, when he clearly lost to Bloomberg, Thompson is refusing to concede.  These are the things that boil my blood about the Democratic Party. Refusing to concede pushes this race out an additional three weeks to October 1st, should a run-off election be necesary. This only gives the winner one month to focus their efforts against Lhota. Lhota is actually a strong candidate who will have a Bloomberg esque war chest. Also, Thompson (in my opinion) cannot beat Lhota. His campaign is not strong enough.
I heard an excellent analysis last evening of New York City voters. Essentially, there are many Democrats who voted for Bloomberg and didn't have a problem with him, because he had a mixture of policy that offended everyone. So those folks were okay. However, they are tired and do want to see change. They need to be enticed by an energized candidate. de Blasio offers this. Thompson doesn't.
Thompson may cost us all the change we so desperatly need, if he doesn't concede and let deBlasio move forward.
Feel free to drop your thoughts....
L-R; Anthony Weiner, Sal Albanese, John Liu, Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, Erick Salgado, Bill deBlasio
Primary Day in New York City
Today is primary day in New York City! Voters will head to the polls to decide who will represent the parties, in the general election on November 5th. With several seats up for grabs including City Council, Comptroller, Borough President, Public Advocate, District Attorney, and Mayor, today we will focus on the mayoral race.
Seeking the Democratic Nomination for Mayor of New York City, are nine candidates. In order for one candidate to prevail and march forward to the general election, with no distractions, they must secure at least 40% of the popular vote. Should he or she fail to secure that 40%, an automatic run-off election is triggered, staging the top two candidates against each other. Should no candidate reach the 40% mark this evening, the run-off is scheduled to take place on October 1st.
Listed on the ballot for the Democratic Party in the Mayoral Race are Christine Quinn, Bill deBlasio, Billy Thompson , John Liu, Anthony Weiner, Sal Albanese, Randy Credico, Neil Grimaldi, and Erick Salgado.
There are a lot of issues that the next mayor of New York City must address. However, I've selected my top three - Economy, Ending Stop & Frisk, and NYC Commuting.
Here is where the candidates fall on each issue........

Bill deBlasio
New York City's Economy

Bill deBlasio - Seeing the economy as a body part and each economic down turn that hits this city as a cut that begins to bleed, deBlasio doesn't want to just stop the bleeding with band aid fixes. He wants to figure out how to keep that body part from getting cut in the first place. deBlasio wants to tackle the economy with an early approach - education. My understanding of his plan is that tackling the economy from the education side will lead produce the right kind of trickledown effect. He wants to restore the City University of New York system. This system was revered back in the day as a meal ticket out, through higher education. I've heard stories from friends and family member who went to a CUNY school for free. Some even got refund checks to cover their expenditures. deBlasio also acknowledges that we can't have a one recipe mind frame when it comes to higher education. College is not the only avenue. He wants to focus on career training and technical education, job placement programs for existing workers, and bring back the apprenticeship programs that once produced highly skilled workers within this city. By tackling these avenues of higher education it will aid our current crisis, while working to prevent it in the future. deBlasio also wants to focus of our city's tax abatement construct, and end the tax giveaways that land in the palms of large corporations for projects. These giveaways are unnecessary, because these project will happen regardless of the tax giveaway, so why continue to waste. A perfect example of this giveaway is Goldman Sachs, whose newest headquarter location at 200 West Street in Lower Manhattan, was built with tax dollars. They didn't need it, and the building would have been built anyway. deBlasio also commits to focus on the usual suspects - small businesses, entrepreneurship and city contracts.

Ending Stop & Frisk

Bill deBlasio has strong ties to ending "Stop & Frisk." He actually commissioned the studies on the disparities of the "Stop & Frisk" procedure, which led to the recent court decision in Floyd v. New York. deBlasio even testified at the federal trial. He would also like to appoint an inspector general. Quinn wants to do this as well. deBlasio has committed to signing legislation that end racial profiling and "Stop & Frisk," all together.
Commuting in New York City
Bill deBlasio wants to see more federal involvement in mass transit funding. Wants more select bus service and more Metro North service in the Bronx. deBlasio also wants to see and expansion of the CitiBike bike share program and more bike lanes.

Christine Quinn
New York City's Economy
Christine Quinn has a mixture of ideas for job creation that can actually be executed on right away. Manufacturing and Tech are her star industries to develop. She acknowledges that we are behind in exporting and sees this as a priority for the city's growth. She is also committed to focusing on two areas of the city, the South Bronx and East Harlem, which are in need of an economic boost that will lead to a boost in other areas. She is also the only candidate to give Staten Island some love and is looking to help them become a tourist attraction. She is also trying to make NYC attractive to companies who outsourced to other countries, and now want to come back home.
Ending Stop & Frisk
Christine Quinn makes no mention of "Stop & Frisk" in her "as Mayor" policy proposal. All that is mentioned are things that she's done in the city council regarding "Stop & Frisk." Most of it was oversight of the program (meaning to keep it in place and just cover it up better) and protocols for complaints regarding "Stop & Frisk." Don't expect her to do anything about this policy if elected Mayor.
Commuting in New York City
Christine Quinn screams Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy on this issue! She wants the Mayor to have the power to pick the members of the MTA board and who runs NYC Transit. She supports the addition of increasing ferry service and select bus routes. She is also in favor of more bike lanes and expanding the CitiBike bike share program.

Bill Thompson
New York City's Economy
• Expand Quality Job Training for Vulnerable Populations
• Attract Companies and Jobs to Every Community
• Increase access to affordable housing, health care and child care that parents must have in order to meet their responsibilities at home and on the job
• Eliminate childhood hunger
Ending Stop & Frisk
Bill Thompson has a "Stop & Frisk" reform plan which requires that each stop be documented with a ticket, to create a record and increase transparency. Officers will provide people with written information on why he or she was stopped: why it's happening, what led to the stop and why the police officer chose to stop the individual. Thompson says he would "state clear criteria" for when cops can "Stop & Frisk." In a speech he offered a scenario of a person leaving a "known drug hangout" with "a bulge in their pocket." Apparently, Mr. Thompson didn't get the memo -- in Floyd v. City of New York, a federal judge ruled that the "Stop & Frisk" practice is unconstitutional.
Commuting in New York City

Thompson wants to restore the "Commuter Tax," raise registration fees based on weight of vehicles. He also proposes to allow commuters to use the metro north and LIRR within the city limits that encompass the subways, for the same fare as the subways. Thompson wants to see CitiBike bike share program expanded, but thinks bike lanes are disruptive.
New York City's Economy

John Liu's economic plan highlights an approach that could either be genius and true out of the box thinking or an accurate reflection of his lack of experience in executing policy. Liu is a numbers guy and has chosen to tackle the economy from a purely numbers perspective. It's actually somewhat interesting. His plan is solely based on tax reduction, program funding, and partnerships. He mentions a little about infrastructure and job creation, but he lacks the gravitas to really understand how to put everything together and actually execute on it. This can be attributed to his lack of policy experience.
Ending Stop & Frisk
John Liu makes no mention of "Stop & Frisk." This is very alarming because it singles that he doesn't understand the severity of the issue or even worse, doesn't see it as an issue.
Commuting in New York City
John Liu wants to remove bike lanes and put a tolls on all bridges that lead into Manhattan. This would include the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Williamsburg Bridge, and the 59th Street Bridge.

Ladies and Gentleman - the Road to City Hall begins now.
These are the candidates and their plans for New York City. Tonights results should be quite interesting. Stay tunned for updates this evening.
In the meantime, share your thoughts on this race.
1. Which candidate would best serve New York City as Mayor?
2. Will we see a run-off election?
3. Who are the top two candidates for a run-off election?
4. What are the top three issues that the next Mayor must address?

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