With less than six months to go until the primaries, the New York Observer and the 92nd Street Y have teamed up to host an evening of discussion with all of the major mayoral candidates. The event starts in one hour and, if you can’t make it to the 92nd Street Y to see it in person, you can watch live online right here. Read More
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died earlier this morning at the age of 88 after being hospitalized for congestive heart disease. Mr. Koch served as the 105th Mayor of New York City for three terms from 1978 until 1989. With a larger-than-life personality, Mr. Koch relished a position that allowed him to become something of a national ambassador for New York City.
Though critics accused Mr. Koch of worsening racial tensions in the city and not doing enough to fight the AIDS crisis that was particularly devastating to the gay community, Mr. Koch was fiercely proud of his legacy, specifically, what he saw as his efforts to save New York from the financial crisis of the late 1970′s, his vast expansion of public housing and programs that brought a more meritocratic approach to local government. Politicker conducted one of the final interviews with Mr. Koch on January 17, just two weeks before his death, and he characterized his administration as paving the way for his successors.
“I’m proud of what I did,” he said. “I also believe that both Giuliani and, particularly, Mike Bloomberg have made tremendous contributions to this city. … And I look upon what I did as laying the groundwork and the foundation on which they could build, and without what I did, they couldn’t have done what they did. So, I’m proud of my contributions.”
It snowed, hailed and rained on Bill de Blasio’s parade. The public advocate spent Monday, his first official day as a mayoral candidate, on a journey that spanned over sixty miles and all five boroughs, a dramatic, physical manifestation of his plan to propel himself to Gracie Mansion by reaching out to disenfranchised residents in the far flung corners of the city and channeling populist backlash against the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg along the way.
Editor’s Note: Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, has died. The New York Observer’s interview last week with the three-term mayor was among the last granted by Koch. It’s accompanied by photography that captured the over-sized spirit of a mayor who is credited with delivering New York from some of its darkest days.
Edward Koch, the outspoken 88-year-old ex-mayor, is in the hospital for the third time in the past five months, but he’s also in the place where he’s happiest—back in the spotlight. A new documentary, Koch, which tells the tale of his three terms in City Hall and his life after politics, arrives in theaters on Feb. 1.
Late last week, before swelling flared up in his ankles and fluid was found in his lungs again, Mr. Koch could be found in his Midtown office, surrounded by pictures from his days in city government, photos of his sister’s grandchildren—the closest thing the longtime bachelor has to a brood of his own—and other memorabilia. Though he has spent the past decade staying engaged in the political conversation by penning the occasional editorial, offering up endorsements and making regular appearances on NY1, Mr. Koch seemed well aware that health might soon force him to step back from the main stage. But on this day, he was as voluble as ever. Read More
Earlier today, President Barack Obama took the oath of office in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands of individuals and the full attention of the country’s media. And, while touting the importance of the American democracy, Mr. Obama also used the occasion to promote some of his policy goals for next four years.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Mr. Obama said, for example, according to his prepared remarks. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.” Read More
Gawker editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio is leaving the site. He sent out a memo to Gawker staff this afternoon shortly after the news broke on NY Mag’s Daily Intelligencer blog. In his email announcing his departure, Mr. Daulerio was vague about his future plans.
“This is the right move for the site in 2013,” he wrote. “As for 2014, who the fuck knows?” Read More
In his interview on the Brooklyn GOP Radio podcast this evening, NRA President David Keene was asked about the controversial articles on Gawker and in the Journal News that contained lists of gun owners. Mr. Keene blamed the stories on cultural differences that he said exist between “elite media” and the rest of American society.
“The whole battle over the Second Amendment has little to do with crime or any of these things” Mr. Keene said. “It has to do with culture and the view that different people have about what kind of a country this ought to be.”
Mr. Keene explained that he believes the media has adopted an anti-gun perspective because liberal reporters see gun ownership as antithetical to their values.
National Rifle Association President David Keene gave a rare post-Newtown interview on the Brooklyn GOP Radio podcast this evening in which he responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vow to bring New York some of the “toughest” gun control laws in the country. Mr. Keene began by taking issue with Governor Cuomo’s prediction that other state’s would follow New York’s example and pass similar laws.
“I was amazed that he said other states will follow New York,” Mr. Keene said. “They haven’t done that in the past, there’s no reason to believe that they will in the future.”
Mr. Keene continued by noting “New York already has very tough gun laws” and predicting Governor Cuomo’s gun control plan would not “make any difference one way or the other in terms of violence of any kind in the state.” Read More
Al Jazeera, the Arab news network, is reportedly nearing a deal to take over Current TV, the struggling cable network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2005. According to the New York Times’ Brian Stelter, who was first to report on the potential deal, acquiring Current would give the Middle Eastern news channel access to 60 million of the 100 million American homes that get cable or satellite TV.
In 1995, President George H.W. Bush gave up his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association via an angry open letter in which he expressed his outrage over a fundraising pitch made by current NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre that described federal agents as “jack-booted government thugs” wearing “Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms.” Though President Bush said he was “deeply” offended and asked the organization to “remove my name from your membership list,” seventeen years later, the NRA is still promoting his past association with the group in its online gift shop. Read More