Morning Read: ‘Little-Known Example of the Mayor’s Playing Matchmaker’

Today's Daily News. (Photo: Newseum)

Today’s Daily News. (Photo: Newseum)

Headline of the Day: “Trail of Fractured Political Friendships on Way to Advancement in City Council.”

Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca allegedly “received several mysterious letters calling for him to drop out of the hotly contested City Council speaker’s race—or be murdered,” police sources reportedly told the New York Post. Confronted by the paper yesterday, Mr. Vacca “was so spooked that he scurried away from a Post reporter in City Hall.”

2013′s final City Council meeting was filled with plenty of goodbye tears; but Charles Barron ended his run in typical bombastic fashion. “I just wanted to come before you to say that I will always be black, radical, revolutionary,” declared Mr. Barron, making one final plea to returning members to remove the statue of Founding Father (and slave owner) Thomas Jefferson from the Council chambers: “You gotta get rid of homeboy back here. Jefferson’s gotta go.”

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal profiled Melissa Mark-Viverito, who appears poised to become the next City Council speaker. Among the tidbits? “In 2008, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg set her up on a date with his Spanish tutor … the two went on a couple of dates. Asked about this little-known example of the mayor’s playing matchmaker, Ms. Mark-Viverito all but groaned in distress. ‘My private life is very private,’” she told the Times.

And the paper’s Jim Dwyer took a critical look at Ms. Mark-Viverito’s “Trail of Fractured Political Friendships,” including a nasty fallout with East Harlem activist Yolanda Sanchez and another with outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn. “I live in Williamsburg. It’s like watching North Korea from my angle,” remarked one observer. “Now,” Mr. Dwyer notes, “she’s friends with Mr. de Blasio.”

And Queens County Chair Joe Crowley, who is backing Ms. Mark-Viverito’s rival, Dan Garodnick, isn’t ready to concede just yet. “It reminds me a little bit of George Bush on the aircraft carrier,” he said of her declared victory, referring to the famous “Mission Accomplished” blunder about the war in Iraq. With nearly three weeks to go before members vote, he cautioned, “This has a ways to go still.”

And Mr. Bloomberg, who will be sitting down for his final radio show with WOR’s John Gambling shortly, apparently still has a grudge against Staten Island Chuck, the groundhog who chomped his finger four years ago on Groundhog Day. “The groundhog, I haven’t quite come to terms in forgiving him,” he told reporters yesterday on Staten Island. “But he really did me a favor because we’ve gotten more publicity out of that one than anything.”