Talk Of Bloomberg As Prez Or Gov. Candidate Revived
After putting any talk of future political plans on the back burner, including next year's presidential race, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now suddenly the subject of media speculation again, not only concerning his presidential prospects but also possible interest in taking on Governor Eliot Spitzer in a few years.
Not surprisingly, the billionaire mayor's latest thrusts into the political stratosphere revolve around his political guru, Kevin Sheekey.
As usual, the coy Bloomberg is quoted in a Newsweek cover story as still having no interest in a political office beyond his present job when it runs out at the end of 2009. The cover of the news magazine shows a smiling, carefree Bloomberg.
Inside, the story portrays the mayor as "the billion-dollar wild card" in the presidential race. Sheekey explains that, according to his campaign master plan, the key date is March 5, the day after the Texas primary will have shown that both parties have selected candidates with 40 percent negative ratings.
If this is the way it plays out, Sheekey says, it's an opportunity for the mayor to take the plunge and get into the race. He could then make it a billion-dollar campaign, which is not beyond the billionaire mayor's means.
The Newsweek story appeared in Monday's dailies. In yesterday's edition of the New York Post, a story out of Albany says that Sheekey talked with former state Republican Party Chairman William Powers within the past couple of weeks about possibly running for governor in 2010.
The story quotes a source as saying Bloomberg wasn't happy with Spitzer's "recent attack on him over driver's licenses". It also notes that a recent Siena College poll had Bloomberg easily defeating Spitzer, 59 to 37 percent.
Powers, now a lobbyist in Albany, is currently co-chairman of Rudy Giuliani's campaign in New York state. He's credited with having taken the GOP reins in the early 1990s to help elect Alfonse D'Amato, Giuliani and George Pataki.
HATE CRIMES, ACTS ROUSE POLS: After a City Hall rally denouncing the recent rise in hate crimes throughout New York City, and after hearing a high police official saying those hate crimes have spiked 20 percent this year, the City Council passed a resolution to support federal legislation increasing aid to local police departments' efforts to stop hate motivated crime.
City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., chair of the Public Safety Committee, declared: "We must give our police and prosecutors every ability and resource to pursue criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We must be particularly vigilant when our efforts thwart not only crime but vile hatemongering."
The hate crimes increase came amid a series of public acts, including nooses targeted at
Councilmembers from left to right, Kendall Stewart, Larry Seabrook and Peter Vallone Jr., at City Hall. The City Council passed a resolution to support federal legislation increasing aid to local police departments' efforts to stop hate motivated crime.
African Americans and swastikas painted on synagogues in Jewish neighborhoods. At the City Hall rally attended by, among others, Vallone and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Speaker Christine Quinn called for a "Day Against Hate" on November 29, which will involve events in every borough preaching tolerance and teaching children the horrors of hate.
Quinn stated: "Be it swastikas in Brooklyn, nooses in Manhattan or terrorizing someone because of their sexual orientation, New Yorkers will not stand idly by while threats are made against someone based on their identity."
Vallone added, "There [have] always been, and, sadly, will always be, people who hate. That is why there must always be good people standing up for what is right. Working together, the good and right will always be victorious over the evil of hate."
Meanwhile, addressing reports of racist graffiti and vandalism in Jackson Heights, Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D- Queens/The Bronx), whose district includes Jackson Heights, stated, "Racism and acts of bigotry and hate have no place in our community. The crimes that occurred in Jackson Heights were perpetrated by cowards, and I urge law enforcement to waste no time in catching those responsible for these offensive acts."
Adding his voice to the outcry, state Senator John Sabini (D- Jackson Heights) declared: "The residents of Jackson Heights have always been noted for their diversity and tolerance, and the crimes committed here recently are not just illegal but also highly offensive.
"I call on the cowards who committed these acts to turn themselves in to the police immediately, and I call on the police to conduct a full and thorough investigation."
GIANARIS CHOSEN AS CLINTON DELEGATE CANDIDATE: Assemblymember Michael Gianaris (D- Astoria) announced that he was recently chosen by Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to join a slate of delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. If Clinton receives enough votes in New York State's presidential primary election on February 5, Gianaris will be among the delegates representing Senator Clinton at the 2008 convention in Denver.
Gianaris said, "I am honored to be a part of this historic effort to change the direction of our country after eight years of George Bush as president. I look forward to representing New York state and the Democratic Party as we move towards a better future."
The Queens Democratic Party organization, under Chairman Joseph Crowley, is presently circulating petitions containing the names of delegate candidates pledged to support Clinton, who was endorsed by the party several weeks ago.
WEPRIN HONORED BY R. McD. HOUSE: Councilmember David Weprin was presented last week with a brass key to the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island for his many years of dedication, concern and support to the families that live there.
Councilmember Weprin is presented with a Key to the Ronald McDonald House by McDonald representative Patricia Donnelly.
The fast food giants' rep, Patricia Donnelly, in presenting the key at a Hollis Hills Jewish Center gathering, said the Democratic lawmaker "takes every opportunity to come to the House for our many fundraising functions. "He also responds with help for any problem they might have, she added.
The McDonald House, which is a home away from home for families of children who are undergoing medical treatment, is located on the campus of Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park.
COMRIE APPOINTS: Ronya Foy, a graduate of the Cornell University Institute for Public Affairs with a masters in Public Administration, has been tapped by Councilmember Leroy Comrie (D- St. Albans) as his executive assistant.
Comrie stated the Rosedale resident's educational background "will bring a fresh, new perspective to my office, which I am confident will greatly benefit the residents of Queens".
STAVISKY 'GUN' BILL SIGNED BY SPITZER: A bill sponsored by state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D- Flushing), designed to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, has been signed into law by Governor Eliot Spitzer.
The new law closes a loophole which ensures that violent felons will never obtain a license to own a firearm, Stavisky said. She explained that existing law provides that a person who has been convicted of a violent felony offense could legally possess a rifle or shotgun if given a "certificate of relief" or a certificate of good conduct from the court of conviction or parole board. This provision will no longer apply, Stavisky said.
PADAVAN INSTALLS NQJCC OFFICERS: State Senator Frank Padavan (R- C, Bellerose) recently installed the new officers of the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council. Included were Corey Bearak, chairman of the executive committee; Jeffery Gurdus, president; Helene Zaro, 1st executive vice president; Ethel Levine; second vice president; Corinne Steel, third vice president; Herb Friedman, treasurer, Marilyanne Vogel, secretary; Dr. Steven Goodman and Ron Shafran, trustees, and Gail Eisenberg, executive director.