Morning Politics: ‘Democratic Conspiracies and Curious Journalists’

Today's amNewYork.

Today’s amNewYork.

Headline of the Day: “Petitioning season around the bend, with hoopla and hijinks already under way.”

Bill de Blasio, appearing 90 minutes late to an event last night after delaying today’s big affordable housing speech, nevertheless touted the initiative. “We’re about to announce in the coming days something I’m incredibly excited about, … a plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing,” the mayor said, according to Capital New York.

At the Staten Island event, Mr. de Blasio further promised that his administration would never forget the small borough. “I wanted to make sure that people would know that this is an administration committed to Staten Island,” said Mr. de Blasio as he touted local economic development projects, according to the Staten Island Advance.

“The city is looking to spend $1.5 million to develop and implement a mandatory diversity program for the city’s 300,000 employees, including … cops and firefighters,” the Daily News reports, adding that the administration will award “contracts to provide courses in how to approach people with disabilities, avoid sexual harassment and race and gender discrimination.”

Minimum wage rallies are expected at various parts of Manhattan today, amNewYork reports: “[W]ith little definitive movement in City Hall to raise pay, protesters, politicians and unions are taking to the streets in May Day events throughout Manhattan today. The various assemblies will culminate in a 5 p.m. rally near City Hall to demand an increase in pay.”

Congressman Michael Grimm “got a chance to plead his case Wednesday” to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Daily News reports: “A source said Cantor (R-Va.) did not demand Grimm’s resignation, despite GOP leaders’ decision to cut ties with Grimm. ‘We have a system that affords the congressman the presumption of innocence, Cantor said.”

While Daily News columnist and NY1 host Errol Louis writes that Mr Grimm “should be less concerned about Democratic conspiracies and curious journalists and worry instead about the friendly fire he faces from his fellow Republicans in Congress, who remember all too well how ethics scandals contributed to the battering their party took in the 2006 elections.”

Regardless, as NY1 notes, “All eyes are now on little-known Domenic Recchia,” Mr. Grimm’s Democratic challenger. “As a former FBI agent, he should have known better than anyone what the law was,” Mr. Recchia said of Mr. Grimm, declining to call for his resignation: “That is something that Michael Grimm has to decide for himself.”

And talk show host Geraldo Rivera gave another pro-Grimm speech yesterday on his radio show: