Out of Comptrol
Veni vidi vito
In the clearest sign yet that the race to become the next city’s comptroller is neck-and-neck, the two candidate launched attack ads tearing into each other today.
They were tough.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer took direct aim at the prostitution scandal that felled ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s political career five years ago.
As Seen on TV
After being forced to resigned after a lurid sexual harassment scandal that tarnished powerful Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, now-City Council candidate Vito Lopez has become the leper of the Democratic establishment, shunned by formerly loyal supporters and castigated in the harshest terms.
But ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who is locked in an increasingly negative race for comptroller, stands out as the rare candidate willing to offer a few kind words.
A Schmoozing Spitzer
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who has suddenly found himself locked in a neck-and-neck battle in the city comptroller’s race, is pushing back against rival Scott Stringer when it comes to women.
Less than two hours after the release of the latest polls showing his once-commanding lead had vanished, Mr Spitzer unveiled a new 30-second spot meant to highlight his “long record of standing up for women’s health and economic security,” according to the campaign.
On the same day that a leading mayoral candidate hit the campaign trail for the Orthodox Jewish vote at a pizzeria in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer took his own front-running comptroller campaign to Basil, a kosher pizza restaurant in Crown Heights.
Sporting a yarmulke and a particularly festive tie, Mr. Spitzer deftly juggled social niceties with hardball policy issue talk, all the while expressing confidence in his chances of winning the Democratic primary–just two weeks away.
Comptroller rivals Eliot Spitzer and Scott Stringer, who have been hurling insults and waging one of the nastiest battles of the election season, today claimed in a televised CBS debate that they’re actually pretty good friends.
Asked by co-moderator Rich Lamb to say something nice about one another, the opponents kicked off a veritable lovefest after weeks of hits.
Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer’s supporters gathered in front of a public housing complex this afternoon, railing against his opponent, Eliot Spitzer, for appearing at an event alongside a race-baiting candidate. They did this as the same controversial pol, Thomas Lopez-Pierre, stood beside them.
The end result was one of the wilder press conferences of this year’s election cycle.
“We are gathered here at the Douglass Houses as a community to repudiate one of the things that Eliot Spitzer has done, which is he has embraced individuals who are hate mongers,” said community activist Brian Benjamin at the event, which was crashed by Mr. Lopez-Pierre.
Newspaper editorial boards have not been especially kind to ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer or his return to politics.
The New York Times, New York Post and Daily News all endorsed rival Scott Stringer for comptroller last week, with the two tabloids using extensive editorial space–including their covers- to excoriate Mr. Spitzer over his gubernatorial record and infamous prostitution scandal.
But one Queens weekly, at least, is reversing the trend.
Baby on Board
Wearing a yarmulke and a wide grin, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer stopped by Brooklyn’s Boro Park neighborhood Friday, visiting two businesses and even purchasing prayer books for the Jewish New Year.
Mr. Spitzer met with local leaders for several hours, attempting to peel away coveted Orthodox Jewish votes from his opponent, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who, like Mr. Spitzer, is Jewish. Though raised in a secular household, Mr. Spitzer made every effort to convey to Jewish voters and the press that he was still in touch with his roots.
It was time for Scott Stringer’s wife and baby to shine.
Elyse Buxbaum–a.k.a. Mrs. Stringer–officially hit the trail for the first time this morning on behalf of her husband’s city comptroller campaign, with the pair’s 11-week-old son, Miles, in tow. Accompanied by public advocate hopeful Reshma Saujani, Ms. Buxbaum visited two senior living centers in Queens, showing off her bundle of joy to the elderly residents milling about before lunch.
“This is his wife,” Stringer spokeswoman Audrey Gelman said to a resident who was familiar with the borough president. “Do you like babies?”
On the day Scott Stringer debuted his first television ad of the comptroller’s race, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer opened up a 19-point lead over the Manhattan borough president, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.
The ex-governor, who resigned in the wake of prostitution scandal five years ago and now faces strong opposition from the Democratic establishment, now leads Mr. Stringer 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the poll. Previously, the firm found a surprisingly close, 4–point race between the two.