Sing It, Scott Stringer! Manhattan's Wild Card

It’s one of the three [citywide elected] positions in city government.

How about a role for yourself?

It’s enticing. It’s something that, could we take this and transform an office citywide? I mean, how could you not be enticed by it? But right now, in the beginning of 2008, we’ve got a lot we have to do here before we think about ’09. And, maybe it’s the point I am in my life, I am just not going to spend years and years thinking about a job I may want when I have a real job I have to do here.

With fund-raising, you, like a lot of other candidates, have raised a lot from the real estate industry. Did they come to you or is it visa versa?

I don’t even know how much we’ve raised from anybody. You know, you have a fund-raising event, people contribute. If they don’t, they don’t. I know that we have a lot of low donor contributors, and we’ve always had a balanced group of people who fund-raise.

You started in Albany before the city. Is Albany as dysfunctional as it’s perceived?

The thing I’ve loved about Albany is that when the legislative process works, it is the most exhilarating process in the world. I was able to take part in great debates on the death penalty, on child health, plus these major civil rights issues over my 13 years. … In Albany, when you have a debate, you’re debating in front of state senators—it’s a back and forth, it’s a real discussion. When that works, it’s pretty. So I think we’ve got to get it to a point where it’s like that all the time.

Do you think Spitzer is going to have a second act? Will he rebound?

This whole notion of looking at him as a snapshot—you can’t do it that way. You’ve got to look at the complete picture. The Bill Clinton of 1994 was certainly a different Bill Clinton four years later, if you go back and see the Gingrich revolution shatter the Clinton presidency, and look what happened to the economy. … He hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface.

On Pier 40, what do you think is going to happen there? You have two votes on the Hudson River Park Trust board. Do you think the love of the parking and open space that’s there now will defeat the Related Companies’ entertainment-complex proposal?

What I think we’re moving toward is, we need some combination of a proposal that will recognize a need to create revenue for the park, but a proposal that in no way will overwhelm the neighborhood and the surrounding community, and to make sure that we don’t have something that’s so overwhelming.

If the governor and the mayor split, you could turn the scales.

And that’s why when you said we had no power, I tried to tell you that we try to use every ounce of our leverage.