There was a very tall target in tonight’s mayoral debate in the form of Bill de Blasio.
The latest front-runner in the topsy-turvey race took repeated hits from his rivals at a heated debate where the candidates faced off on issues ranging from income inequality to driving while texting, with less than three weeks to go until primary day.
As the clock ticks down to the September 10 primary, it’s become high time the mayoral candidates address the topic of marijuana.
Yesterday, City Comptroller John Liu rolled out a proposal to legalize and regulate cannabis in the five boroughs. Mr. Liu insists, however, he has never smoked the drug and never intends to do so even if it’s legalized.
But that’s not the case for all of the Gracie Mansion hopefuls. Politicker asked the various mayoral campaigns what their respective candidates’ stances were on marijuana legalization and whether they’d ever taken a toke.
In the middle of a mayoral forum in the Bronx last night, Anthony Weiner announced, for unexplained reasons, that he would be leaving early.
The murmurs in the crowd erupted into outright disgust as a phalanx of cameramen and reporters stampeded from the second floor church room to grill Mr. Weiner on his way out, leaving the forum, once packed with media, virtually uncovered.
Playing the Field
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.
New York City’s last two mayors each left an indelible mark on the city. Rudy Giuliani’s eight years are remembered for his crime crackdown, the Disneyfication of Times Square and millions weeping as one after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. Mike Bloomberg’s town is an emerging tech hub, dotted with modern public spaces and glass towers, and packed with tourists and ex-smokers riding their bikes to Whole Foods. All that, plus a yogurt store on every block, $4,500 one-bedroom apartments in once-forsaken Brooklyn neighborhoods and a growing class divide that makes Downton Abbey look like a socialist commune. On the positive side: there’s still no Walmart here.
Among all public officials, the mayor is the one who shapes our day-to-day lives the most: not just our subways, schools and streets, but our ethos and identity as a city. This mayoral election, New York City’s first with no incumbent in more than a decade, has attracted a slew of hopefuls eager to remake the city in their own images. And what images they are. Assembled at the starting line are a quartet of formidable Democrats, alongside a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, a man with his own catchphrase and action figure, and a vibrator-wielding, marijuana smoking, alligator-hugging YouTube ranter.