Months after joining her staff as press secretary, John Collins has abruptly departed from Betsy Gotbuam’s office only days after she said in an interview that she won’t run for citywide office in 2009 (unless, of course, she inadvertanly winds up mayor if a certain mayor runs for President).
The two have always had different styles. Collins is a young campaign junkie and Gotbaum tends towards a more traditional, less flashy approach.
After receiving an automated response from Collins’ legislative email account saying he is “no longer employed by this office,” I reached him by cell phone. He declined to discuss the matter publicly, other than to say that he left for personal reasons. He spoke positively of his former boss.
In a recent interview, Gotbaum told the City Hall News, “At this point in my life, it’s just hard for me to raise money for myself, for personal reasons, for a political campaign.” (In the latest campaign finance filing, Gotbaum raised $163,915, but spent $105,852).
Tension between Collins and Gotbaum was evident during that same interview. She is explaining that she was right to call for the removal of a subcontractor working for the Department of Education, but hadn’t rushed to grab credit for it, when this exchange takes place:
“Yes,” her press secretary answers quickly.
Gotbaum considers this.
“It’s not who I am. It’s definitely not who I am. I’m not going to have more press conferences. I can’t. I just can’t do it,” she says.