Headline of the Day: “Will Malcolm Smith accept Bitcoins?”
The New York Times followed Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in the wake of the East Harlem explosion: “‘It’s hard, it’s hard,’ she said, in a quiet voice. ‘It’s not like you want to blame anybody, but you have to say, ‘Look, if you smell something, you’ve got to report it.’’ ‘It’s a big city,’ she went on. ‘We can’t —’ She drove off, the sentence incomplete.”
The Nation took a critical eye towards Eva Moskowitz and the charter school movement. “Since the Brooklyn Bridge rally I find myself in fundamental opposition to what they’re doing,” said one Success Academy teacher. “It’s never been as political as it been now. If this continues going this way it will be very hard for me to stay,” said another.
The New York Post editorial board “thanked” Mayor Bill de Blasio for working against charter schools, which the paper says only emboldened Albany charter advocates to save them: “New York owes Bill de Blasio a thank you. In trying to squash charter schools, he might just have made them stronger.”
Of course, things can still shift around substantially as the two chambers of the legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo negotiate the actual budget over the next two weeks. Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver has already panned the charter proposal. “Things in Albany have a way of looking settled,” a senior state official told New York magazine recently, “until they’re not.”
Later today, education advocates are set to rally against Mr. Cuomo and the State Senate for wanting to take co-location decisions away from the mayor. “This is a clear Quid Pro Cuomo with charter school lobbyists who are bankrolling the Governor’s re-election campaign,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director of the Alliance for Quality Education.
In the Post, former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin railed against Ms. Ansari, arguing Mr. de Blasio “should close the rhetoric gap and focus on cooperative ways to improve educational outcomes for all New York City students. Students and parents are ill-served by an education debate beset by adult gamesmanship, hidden relationships and misinformation.”
While in The Huffington Post, United NY’s Camille Rivera railed against Ms. Moskowitz, who “decided to invade Albany and turn it all into a gigantic sideshow. Eighteen other charter school operators wanted nothing to do with her circus-like rally and have been distancing themselves from her.”
And Assemblyman Bill Colton reached out to the Observer late last night to explain why he isn’t getting behind Domenic Recchia‘s congressional campaign just yet:
“As a local Assemblyman and voter in the 11th Congressional District of New York, I am still waiting for a substantive discussion between the announced candidates on the needs and the future of the district. Thus far, voters, including me, have had to deal with distractions ranging from bar activities, reporter intimidation, the Brooklyn residence of the former Councilman, talk of packing punches and sizing up opponents, the neutrality of a local Assemblyman, and a back and forth on who did more during Sandy. What I, and many other voters, am waiting for is a substantive plan, with a track record to support it, to involve federal agencies to help stop the building of a dangerous garbage station in Southwest Brooklyn, cut bureaucratic red tape to get Sandy recovery dollars to reach impacted families and communities, to see federal dollars be used to address our antiquated infrastructure, to use federal aid to expand healthcare services in the outer-boroughs, and to see federal officials take aggressive stands against senseless school co-locations that will harm our children. Those are the issues I am closely following and care about. My endorsement is something I take serious because it bears my name on a person or an idea I strongly believe in and am informed about. I refuse to be influenced by party affiliation alone or the power of incumbency when making such an important decision. The voters expect and deserve more. The voters of the district have not been given a fair opportunity to be informed on the platforms of these candidates to help address the pressing issues of our day. Ultimately, voters who may have lost their homes due to Sandy could care less about the neutrality of an Assemblyman, but rather care more about a plan to help them rebuild their homes, communities, and lives. This race is not about the candidates running and not about my position on them. Public service is about serving families, addressing their needs, and caring for their future. Until we hear more about that and less about pettiness, I will continue to reserve my endorsement in this race.”