Morning Read: ‘Clumps of Elephant Dung’

(Photo: Flickr/nycmayorsoffice)

(Photo: Flickr/nycmayorsoffice)

Headline of the Day: “The amusing photos of New York’s mayor not being amused.”

Both of Brooklyn D.A. Joe Hynes‘ rivals are kvetching about his upcoming reality show, with Ken Thompson blasting it as “reckless” and Abe George writing a cease-and-desist letter to CBS News. The letter, which can be viewed here, argued the show “will violate New York State campaign finance laws by unlawfully contributing money and services (in the form of a de facto infomercial , for instance) … well in excess of the $5,000 contribution limit.”

Democratic Council candidate Austin Shafran secured his fourth union endorsement in his bid to unseat GOP incumbent Dan Halloran: the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. “Austin comes from a family of educators and understands the needs of our students, teachers and administrators,” Ernest Logan, President of CSA, said in a statement. “Just as great schools begin with great leaders, great government needs great leadership and Austin is that leader.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn‘s claimed yesterday that she doesn’t punish colleagues’ constituents over political transgressions, but Council Members Peter Vallone and Elizabeth Crowley went to The New York TimesCapital New York and CNN to publicly air their grievances. “It was so brazenly vindictive, I don’t know what else to call it,” Ms. Crowley told The Times. “She’s not hurting me. …. She’s hurting the people I represent, the people of the city of New York.”

GOP mayoral hopeful George McDonald is out on the attack against rival Joe Lhota, with a memo attacking Mr. Lhota for his positions on soda cup restrictions, marijuana legalization and the commuter tax, as well as his ties to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “The paradoxical challenge of Lhota’s campaign strategy is that to win the primary he must closely identify with Mayor Giuliani but in doing so he creates a political environment that is simply insurmountable in the general election,” it contended.

While The New York Times looked at Mr. Lhota’s efforts against a piece of art–a Virgin Mary with “clumps of elephant dung and cutouts of female genitalia from pornographic magazines”–he found offensive during Mr. Giuliani’s administration. Here’s one fun paragraph: “Mr. Lhota denied using the word ‘nuclear’ (but acknowledged saying ‘explosion’) and said he was looking for ‘leverage points’ to force the museum’s hand. ‘It was,’ he said, ‘as legitimate as any negotiation is.’”

Newspaper publisher Tom Allon, a former Democratic and Republican mayoral candidate, is still blogging away on The Huffington Post. In his latest, Mr. Allon makes the progressive case for paid sick days. “Speaker Quinn cannot keep this bill from a vote for much longer. Her political ambition has blinded her from a wise public policy that is actually good for business and good for New York City’s labor force,” he wrote. “Speaker Quinn, stop worrying about your electability in November and do the right thing.”