Milking the System
A Department of Education contract with milk providers has gone sour, the city’s new comptroller charged today.
Scott Stringer’s first major audit of city schools has revealed evidence of collusion among the dairy companies that provide milk to school children, Mr. Stringer told reporters at a press conference this morning.
The days after the mayor releases his preliminary budget are usually filled with protests by advocates stomping their feet, decrying cuts to favored programs on the steps of City Hall.
But today, the labor groups, workers, and council members rallying outside City Hall were there to hail Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call during his State of the City speech for an increase in the minimum wage.
Best Friends Forevah
Top Democrats and organized labor celebrated Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City address this afternoon, hailing the new mayor’s repeated calls for more affordable housing, expanded science education and a tax hike to fund universal prekindergarten.
Little of Mr. de Blasio’s speech actually broke new ground–the new mayor stuck mainly to the campaign themes that he repeated in his victory and inaugural addresses–but Democrats were more than happy to offer praise.
The next public advocate, the city charter-designated thorn in the side of the imperial mayoralty, was singing.
“De Blasio-ooo,” crooned Tish James at Bill de Blasio’s last campaign stop before he throttled his Republican rival in November. “De Blasio-ooo. C’mon choir! De Blasio-ooo.”
Ms. James, swaying and giggling in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, was singing a snippet of a campaign anthem crafted by a labor union that fell behind Mayor de Blasio early and loudly, setting the stage for a political year only foreseen by liberal Pollyannas—a changing of the guard that would have been a grand joke in the Bloomberg bullpen a year ago.
Scott Stringer, the city’s next comptroller, slayed one scandal-scarred pol on his road to victory. Now he’s bringing on board the ex-staffer of another randy Democrat.
Camille Joseph, who served as the second campaign manager of former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s failed mayoral bid, will join the comptroller’s office as deputy comptroller for public affairs. Ms. Joseph will be tasked with handling all communications and outreach while also serving as a liaison to various governmental agencies.
Brian Ellner has been named the executive vice president and group head of public affairs for Edelman, the public relations firm. Mr. Ellner, who is known for his role in marriage equality, was the senior strategist for the Human Rights Campaign in 2011 and worked on the successful push to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.
Election Day: 2013apalooza
New York’s pretty political publicists are having a moment, as women who have previously been relegated to mouthpieces are now being toted as veritable lifestyle brands. The most obvious example is Audrey Gelman, Scott Stringer’s press secretary, who also happens to be Terry Richardson’s girlfriend, Lena Dunham’s bestie and the subject of a recent New York Times Sunday Styles profile. Also consider Lis Smith, the former director of the President Rapid Response team whose social media prowess and savagely snarky reputation in D.C. earned her a prime spot on Eliot Spitzer’s campaign.
Election Day: 2013apalooza
After what may have been the nastiest–and most high-profile–race for comptroller in New York City history, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer eked out a four-point win tonight over his better-known rival, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Mr. Stringer and his wife took the stage at the campaign’s victory party to great applause, cheers and even the throwing of a hat.
Thanking family, friends and his campaign staff, the victorious candidate energized the crowed and made a “promise to bring integrity, experience and leadership” to the office–a less-than-subtle final dig at Mr. Spritzer, who was forced to resign five years ago in the wake of a prostitution scandal.
Out of Comptrol
He gave Scott Stringer reason to sweat it out, but Eliot Spitzer will not be New York City’s next comptroller.
The former governor, who had attempted to revive his political career with a run for a little-known office, conceded tonight in a hastily-delivered speech in Harlem.
“I’ve called Scott Stringer and congratulated him on a victory tonight, and wish him well as we go forward in his position as comptroller, I presume, and expect him to win this November,” he said in a speech that lasted less than four minutes from start to finish–including a pause in the middle for cheers and chants of “Spitzer, Spitzer, Spitzer!”
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.