Bill de Blasio is calling it quits. The former mayor abruptly dropped his bid for the 10th congressional district — and says he’s getting out of electoral politics altogether.
De Blasio’s decision will leave the still-crowded race for the incumbent-less district in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn without its biggest name. But his fame apparently did him more harm than good, with his unpopularity as mayor continuing to dog him as he tried for a House seat. De Blasio was candid about what drove him from the race: Voters just didn’t want him, as he polled in the single digits and well behind other contenders in a handful of public surveys apparently backed up by his internal polling.
“It’s clear to me that when it comes to this congressional district, people are looking for another option. And I respect that,” he said in a video shot outside his Park Slope home, conceding that “this is not going to work out.” He further declared in a tweet that it’s “time for me to leave electoral politics and focus on other ways to serve.”
So the long streak of New York City mayors failing to win other elected office continues (the last elected mayor to succeed was John T. Hoffman in 1869). It’s not as if de Blasio didn’t try, and try again – he ran for president in 2020, considered running for governor this year and flirted with entering the 11th district congressional race before launching his bid for NY10.
Left to fight it out in the 10th will be, in no particular order, Westchester transplant Rep. Mondaire Jones, City Council Member Carlina Rivera, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, impeachment lawyer Dan Goldman, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, ex-Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, moderate Democrat Maud Maron and others. They spent much of the day Tuesday fighting it out over abortion and gay rights, demonstrating that even without the former mayor, the race won’t lack for drama.
WHERE’S KATHY? Holding a Covid-19 briefing.
WHERE’S ERIC? Appearing on Good Morning America, holding a meeting of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, holding a media availability with group members and speaking at a Colombian Independence Day event.
Asian voter turnout surged in 2021 mayor’s race: report, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: Turnout among Asian American voters surged during last year’s mayoral election, with gains exceeding any other racial group, a new report has found. In the 2021 primary for mayor and other city offices, 27.1 percent of Asian voters cast ballots — an 11-point increase since 2013, the last time there was a competitive primary for an open citywide seat, according to the report by the Asian American Federation. Turnout by Asian voters surpassed Black voters, at 26.5 percent, and Hispanics, at 17.4 percent. It’s a dramatic shift since 2013, when Asian voters had the lowest turnout rate of any major racial group at 16.3 percent. White voters still had the highest turnout overall last year, with 36.4 percent of them casting primary ballots. Authors say the new stats dispel the myth that Asian New Yorkers are unlikely voters — and prompt politicians to spend more effort courting the emerging group.
“NYC Mayor Adams calls out Texas and Arizona for sending asylum seekers to city,” by New York Daily News’ Michael Gartland: “Mayor Adams called on the federal government Tuesday to send money to New York City to accommodate hundreds of foreign asylum seekers who’ve recently come here seeking refuge — many of them, according to Adams, at the direction of states like Texas and Arizona. The mayor’s demand comes as the city struggles to reign in homelessness and as its shelter system continues to buckle under that burden. As of Monday, 48,188 people were staying in city shelters, according to data from the Department of Homeless Services.”
— A new city program is seeking volunteers to do outreach to homeless people living on the street.
“Anthem pulls out of NYC’s controversial Medicare plan for retired city workers,” by New York Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt: “A major insurance company has pulled out of a deal to administer New York City’s new Medicare Advantage Plan — the latest setback in the city’s effort to shift roughly 250,000 retired municipal workers onto the controversial health coverage. Anthem, one of the country’s largest health insurance providers, notified Mayor Adams’ office that it’s not going to help roll out the Advantage plan after the city failed to provide a start date and benefit specifics as requested by July 15, the company said in a statement Tuesday.”
“NYC real estate firm touting value of crypto gave $21K to Mayor Adams after he requested Hochul veto mining bill,” by New York Daily News’ Chris Sommerfeldt and Denis Slattery: “Thirty executives at a real estate firm with a history of touting the value of cryptocurrencies donated more than $21,000 to Mayor Adams’ reelection bid shortly after he asked Gov. Hochul last month to veto a bill that would impose new crypto regulations in the state, according to a Daily News review of campaign finance records. But a spokeswoman for the firm, the Manhattan-based Newmark Group, claimed Monday that the flood of donations were unrelated to Adams’ veto push.”
“A family donated $300K to Hochul. New York has paid the family business $637M.” by Times Union’s Chris Bragg: “One New York City family, led by entrepreneur Charlie Tebele, has donated nearly $300,000 to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s campaign. Records also show that since December, Tebele’s company was paid $637 million in taxpayer funds to provide the state Department of Health — an agency controlled by Hochul — with at-home COVID-19 test kits. The huge expenditure was made without the agency conducting competitive bidding. Tebele is the longtime owner of Digital Gadgets LLC, a New Jersey-based wholesaler of hoverboards and other electronic devices that sells its wares to companies like the home shopping network QVC. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the company pivoted to supplying medical equipment, and began landing major government contracts in New York. Though Digital Gadgets has not always delivered as promised, it has continued to reap major government payments, while the family has kept donating heavily to select politicians.”
“Health messaging or power grab? Hochul’s extension of state of emergency prompts response,” by Buffalo News’ Ben Tsujimoto: “Gov. Kathy Hochul last Thursday quietly extended New York’s state of disaster emergency through Aug. 13, continuing an executive order that grants her emergency powers to pass pandemic-related measures without legislature approval. Local officials echoed the governor’s emphasis on Covid-19 vigilance and the importance of public health messaging, while Hochul’s critics say they do not believe state Covid-19 rates warrant the continuation of these powers. Executive order No. 11.8, issued July 14 and signed by Hochul, cited statewide hospital admissions increasing by more than 100 each day, the transmissibility of the omicron variant, the need to expand access to testing, and the coordination of hospital capacity as reasons to continue the state of disaster emergency. Matt Janiszewski, Hochul’s upstate spokesman, said Tuesday the order ‘allows New York the flexibility to modify and suspend laws to effectively address the pandemic.’ But Hochul’s political foes have called the extension of the executive order a power grab.”
“Schools in New York are trying to tackle inflation,” by Spectrum’s Nick Reisman: “High prices brought on by inflation have affected everyone’s wallet at the grocery store and at the gas pump. School districts aren’t immune to those problems, and in many cases, are facing even more headwinds from the current economic climate. They operate transit fleets, administer breakfast and lunch programs and employ workers who are also feeling the pinch of high prices. The problem could make it even more expensive to pay support staff as a result as they push for higher wages to contend with the extra costs they’re paying too, Cornell said. ‘We had a tight labor market, which obviously has caused us to have some difficulty attracting some bus drivers, maintenance folks, clerical folks,’ he said. ‘You can do those jobs anywhere and there are a lot of parts of the economy where people are paying a premium.’”
#UpstateAmerica: Look out, aficionados of Albany’s Washington Park and Center Square: ‘The Gilded Age’ is filming around the first week in August.
“Trump Impeachment Lawyer’s Abortion Answer Prompts Pile-On In New York Primary,” by Huffington Post’s Daniel Marans: “In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade, protecting abortion rights has become a central ― and often emotional ― theme of Democratic primary elections. And Dan Goldman, a former federal prosecutor and candidate in New York’s new 10th Congressional District, just learned that the hard way. Goldman, who led congressional Democrats’ 2019 impeachment of then-President Donald Trump, provoked outrage on Tuesday for an exchange he had about abortion rights with the Orthodox Jewish news outlet Hamodia. (Hamodia’s readership overlaps with the portion of voters in New York’s 10th who live in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclave of Borough Park.) Asked whether he supports restrictions on abortion rights of any kind, Goldman said he ‘would not object’ to a state barring the procedure after the point of fetal viability.”
— City Council Member Carlina Rivera also walked back some comments she made in a Hamodia interview, after suggesting she’d be open to allowing religious exemptions to laws barring discrimination against LGBT people.
“De Blasio Gave Up on Running for Congress — But He Can Use Money He Raised to Pay Off His Old Debts,” by The City’s Greg B. Smith and Yoav Gonen: “Some might see that as a political debacle, but between those two failed candidacies, de Blasio has succeeded in raising a bundle of cash with nearly $700,000 that he gets to keep. What he will do with all that money depends on a complicated and murky set of campaign finance rules and regulations. As THE CITY has documented, the former mayor — whose fundraising tactics have attracted the attention of prosecutors and ethics watchdogs for years — could certainly use that cash to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts. At last count, de Blasio still owes $425,000 to a lobbyist law firm that represented him when he was the mayor and the Manhattan U.S. attorney and Manhattan district attorney investigated allegations of pay-to-play.”
“NYC real estate industry exerts influence in high-profile congressional race,” by Gothamist’s Elizabeth Kim and David Cruz: “New York City’s deep-pocketed real estate interests are opening up their wallets in the highly competitive race for an open congressional seat covering Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, according to a Gothamist analysis of federal campaign data. Donations from the industry were mostly spread among several of the top candidates in the newly drawn 10th Congressional District: ex-prosecutor Dan Goldman, Westchester Congressman Mondaire Jones and Manhattan City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio had been among the high-profile candidates in the race, but announced on Tuesday he would drop his bid. The outpouring of cash comes after years of progressive Democrats making a point of refusing to take money from the real estate sector, as part of a wave of efforts to push back against industry-friendly policies they argue contribute to the city’s affordable housing crisis.”
“N.Y. House Democrats including AOC, Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez arrested in abortion protest outside Supreme Court,” by New York Daily News’ Michael McAuliff and Dave Goldiner: “New York Democrats Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were arrested Tuesday in a pro-choice protest outside the Supreme Court, which is not in session. The three New York City lawmakers were among a group of sixteen members of Congress who were bundled away by police in the civil disobedience action against the top court’s recent decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.”
“Trump urges PGA golf players to ‘take the money’ amid criticism from 9/11 families for hosting Saudi-backed league,” by New York Daily News’ Graham Rayman: “Donald Trump is urging PGA players to ‘take the money’ and join a Saudi-backed golf tour despite 9/11 families’ criticism of the former president for hosting the upstart league. Trump’s post on his social media startup, Truth Social, followed a Daily News report that families of 9/11 victims were outraged the former president was welcoming the league to his golf club at Bedminster, N.J. The families have waged a years-long legal battle to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable for its alleged role in the terrorist attacks.”
— Charges were dropped against a bodega worker who fatally stabbed a man who assaulted him.
— All Rockaway beaches were closed for swimming due to shark sightings.
— The city is extending pool hours as a heat wave hits.
— The state is expanding its wage theft task force.
— A man guarding a Law & Order set was shot to death in Greenpoint.
— The stateis searching for retail space where its social-equity cannabis licensees can set up shop.
— Richard Simons, who sat on the Court of Appeals for 14 years, has died.
— New York launched a hotline to help workers who have faced sexual harassment connect with pro-bono lawyers and advice.
— Environmentalists are uncertain and also uneasy about bubbling segments of the Hudson River.
— “Chris Cuomo applied to be Hamptons firefighter after CNN booted him.”
— Albany city officials are considering banning skateboards from sidewalks.
— Rep. Nicole Malliotakis was added to a list of targets of sanctions by Iran.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Tom Friedman … CNN’s David Chalian … Franklin Foer of The Atlantic … Insider’s Steven Perlberg … ABC’s Kirit Radia … NBC News PR’s Joya Manasseh … Stuart Elliott … WNYC’s David Giambusso … B.J. Jones, president and CEO of Battery Park City Authority
MAKING MOVES — Ben Jacobs is the new chief of staff to City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. He was previously legislative and budget director in the office. Hayley Brundige will be the new legislative and budget director. She was previously a communications and campaigns associate at Red Horse Strategies. Cat Rakowski will be joining FGS Global as a managing director in August. She was previously a booking producer for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and “Way Too Early”; before that she was at ABC News.
“State OKs Zoning Override for WTC Megatower — and Warns of Mega Price Tag for 100% Affordable Housing Demand,” by The City’s Gabriel Poblete: “The state-controlled board in charge of the World Trade Center site on Tuesday approved an override of city zoning rules in order to build a tower bigger than local regulations allow, including a proposed 1,200 apartments. But as it formally embarks on a public review process for 5WTC, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s board of directors is sticking with an earlier commitment it made to set aside 25% of apartments as affordable — despite demands from local activists and candidates for Congress to make the project 100% affordable.”
“NYC real estate developer allegedly vanished with $4M of clients’ money,” by New York Post’s Priscilla DeGregory: “A Brooklyn real estate developer allegedly vanished with over $4 million of his clients’ money — putting the group of 20 Asian immigrant families at risk of being booted from their homes, The Post has learned. The families had entrusted developer Xi Hui ‘Steven’ Wu with tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars each in deposits to buy condos at their Bay Ridge residential building, located at 345 Ovington Ave., according to court papers and their lawyer. But Wu allegedly disappeared without giving the residents ownership titles to their units — because as it turns out, he didn’t actually have permission from New York state to sell condos in the building, lawsuits brought by the families allege.”