Headline of the Day: “Mayor’s Message Sidelined by ‘Sideshows.’”
Runner-Up: “Stop And Frisk Much More Likely In Newark Than New York City.”
The Daily News reports that Queens State Senator Tony Avella will announce plans today to joins what the paper dubs the “Albany rebel Democrats”: the Independent Democratic Conference of breakaway Dems who control the chamber with Senate Republicans. As the paper notes, the move could have “major implications for the battle to control New York’s Senate.”
Democrats, who are trying to reclaim control of the Senate in this year’s elections, were quick to criticize the move: “It’s unfortunate that progressive policies continue to be stymied because of divisions created by Senators who choose to empower Republicans,” said Senate Democratic Communications Director Mike Murphy in a statement early this morning.
Meanwhile, Bronx Councilwoman Annabel Palma, who failed to win her bid at City Council Speaker, has now “laid the groundwork to become the first person in 24 years to mount a primary challenge against Congressman Jose Serrano.” Ms. Palma registered her candidacy with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month, according to the News. She told the paper she was simply “exploring her options,” but was “open to serving the Bronx in any way that I can.”
The Associated Press reports on how Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s “ambitious agenda to fight income inequality … has taken a backseat in recent weeks to a series of political stumbles that have become tabloid fodder and shaken his everyman image.” The wire argued that, “ironically, the strength behind de Blasio’s mayoral campaign”–his remarkable message discipline–”may have produced some weakness in his first two months in office.”
Bill Cunningham, a former communications director for ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued in the story that Mr. de Blasio’s young staff have had particular “trouble taking a story and keeping it a one-day story.” De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak acknowledged the bumps, but dismissed their impact: “We live in a town and a culture where things can become distractions,” he told the outlet. “But I will say I do not think these hiccups have distracted from our larger policy agenda.”
While there is “no hint that he will do anything but run hard through November,” the Staten Island Advance wonders in “some hot stove-style political prognosticating” who would be running in Republican Congressman Michael Grimm‘s place if the embattled lawmaker were to sit out the race. The candidates? Former Rep. Vito Fossella (“WE THINK: No chance.”), State Sen. Andrew Lanza (WE THINK: Good chance.) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (WE THINK: Sure thing.).
Republican City Councilman Vincent Ignizio is taking a subtle legislative step against the de Blasio administration with plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would require the city to post signs alerting drivers to red-light cameras installed at specific intersections. “We owe it to the motorists to let them know this is a camera-enforced intersection,” he told the News. “It’s not about revenue-generating, it’s about slowing people down and getting them to stop.”
The Daily Show’s” Jessica Williams has been chosen as the “Purimspieler” at this year’s Jewish Museum Purim Party gala. The Wall Street Journal reports that she was tapped for the gig after doing a segment on Assemblyman Dov Hikind‘s infamous blackface incident.
And apparently, this is still a story: “Eliot Spitzer caught smooching girlfriend at Knicks game,” reported the Post’s Page Six.