Archive for the tag 'anthony weiner'

Online photos may have tripped up his career, but online video may spur his return.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner released a video on his website this morning announcing his bid for mayor, bringing months of speculation to a close.

The two-minute video weaves together imagery of his family, his parents and childhood, parts of his former district and some of his accomplishments as congressman, but the shadow of the scandal that forced his resignation hangs over the video’s climax. At the 1:38 mark, when Weiner talks into the camera and asks for voter support, he acknowledges his past.

“Look, I made some big mistakes. And I know I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons,” he says. “I’m running for mayor ’cause I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you.”

The video also acknowledges a slew of middle-class woes that will set his agenda, including unburdening small and medium-sized business, lowering the cost of living and promoting mass transit – ideas that also form the core of his “Keys to the City” policy pamphlet, where he proposes 64 ideas to “Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class.”

Still, Weiner has an uphill battle to fight against the lead Democratic candidate, Christine Quinn. A new Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows that he immediately pops into the race for the Democratic nod in second place, with 15 percent of the vote (we’ve noted before that pollster Nate Silver has some strong doubts about his viability, despite those numbers). But Quinn is pulling 25 percent, while William Thompson and Bill de Blasio are at 10 percent each, and Comptroller John Liu is trailing with 6 percent. But 27 percent of Democratic voters remain undecided – enough for any of the candidates to steal the show.

Anthony Weiner. Source: Facebook

As the hype grows over Anthony Weiner’s possible return to New York politics, analysts far and wide are weighing in on the question of what the chances really are for the former congressman. While early polling has Weiner running in second place behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and some analysts speculate that Weiner’s entry will damage other contenders’ campaigns, polling Svengali Nate Silver is predicting that Weiner’s chances to actually win are remote, according to a New York Times report.

In tracking Weiner’s first steps in his attempt to recover politically from the texting scandal, the outward signs look good. He has currently leapfrogged the other contenders in the Democratic field, polling in second place with 15 percent. He only trails Quinn, who is leading the field with 26 percent. And, let’s keep in mind, he’s not even in the race yet. (Veteran political reporter Errol Louis, who recently conducted the first television interview with Weiner since his resignation, said a Weiner run is “all-but-certain.”

Looking beyond the numbers, the New York Daily News speculates that Weiner’s long history in representing moderate to conservative Democrats in Southern Brooklyn could undermine Quinn’s strong attempts at making inroads in this area. The Daily News also threw cold water on Republicans who think that Weiner’s entry will only weaken Democrats and bring embarrassment to the party. The Daily News highlighted Weiner’s undeniably detailed and comprehensive list of policy plans that indicate a lead in the race for new ideas:

None of them has developed the kind of policy proposals — some quixotic, others intriguing — that Weiner released in his 64-point “Keys to the City” paper this week.

Weiner’s call for stepped-up ferry service to Rockaway, Sheepshead Bay, Riverdale and Harlem is an idea that should have been tried long ago in our city of islands. His call to build new federally subsidized senior housing on hospital parking lots seems sensible. And his idea of making food stamps carry double the value when spent on fresh fruits and vegetables takes New York toward better health using an incentive rather than a punitive tax.

If Republicans don’t start promoting their own, distinct policies, they could easily end up playing catchup in the battle of ideas. And I doubt that anything in the lives of first-time candidates Joe Lhota, John Catsimatidis and George McDonald has prepared them for the kind of withering verbal tirades Weiner used to launch, night after night, on TV and in the well of the House of Representatives.

Despite the positive press Weiner is currently basking in, according to the country’s most famed statistician, Nate Silver, Weiner’s chances to actually win the race for mayor are remote. If you don’t remember, Silver was the guy who was practically flawless in calling the 2012 Presidential election, humiliating naysayers who doubted him with accurate predictions of all 50 states in the weeks leading up to the election. According to Silver, while it’s true that Weiner is currently polling in second place, he also has a big lead among Democratic voters who view him unfavorably, coming in at 41 percent. By contrast, Quinn is polling at 23 percent when it comes to voters who view her unfavorably. This is bad news for Weiner:

This is the most problematic category for Mr. Weiner, because 41 percent of Democrats view him unfavorably, far more than for any of the other candidates. In general, it is extremely difficult for a candidate to flip voters into being supporters once they have already established a negative view of him — especially in the midst of what is likely to be a nasty and contentious primary. Thus, the more Democrats fall into this category, the harder it will be for a candidate to add support.

Silver’s analysis predicts that Weiner, who is the most familiar to all voters, is also a big detriment as well. Unfamiliarity can be a strength for a candidate looking to make an impression on undecided voters in coming debates and media blitzes. With the slim margin of only 15 percent of likely voters not recognizing Weiner, he has the smallest potential for growth, especially considering the amount of voters who view him unfavorably.

In summation, Silver sees the latest polling as bad news for Weiner, attributing his second place status to name recognition alone. Still, he predicts that Weiner will receive a disproportionate amount of press attention. If Weiner is clever enough to turn all the publicity to his advantage, it’s possible he can improve his standing with the demographic that currently has no desire to vote for him. Silver also notes that he is currently building a database of polling from every previous New York mayoral election. His current analysis is based on trends from presidential and congressional races, different animals than New York mayoral elections. This database should allow Silver to more accurately compare and contextualize Weiner’s chances once it is completed.

Photo By Ned Berke

Former Congressman Anthony D. Weiner is considering a comeback in the form of a bold run for mayor, according to a report by the New York Times.

The Times report includes a link to a 10-page profile of Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, where the former congressman discusses the infamous Twitter scandal that led him to resign in 2011.

In the profile, Weiner offered a series of apologies, discussed his private life and potential political future going forward. Before Weiner’s Twitter incident derailed his career, he was considered a front-runner to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the 2013 election.

In January, we reported on a “mysterious pollster” who was asking voters on whether they could support Weiner in a potential return to New York politics either as mayor or city comptroller. The Times now confirmed that Weiner has already spent $100,000 on such polling but he still hasn’t decided whether or not to jump in the race.

“It’s now or maybe never for me,” Weiner told the Times.

Weiner’s cautiousness about returning to politics not only stems from a potential reluctance of voters willing to forgive his misgivings but also because he has embraced a new commitment to fixing his marriage and raising his son.

“I live with a lot of guilt about what I put her through. She’s this amazing woman who did nothing wrong, who, to some degree, has people staring at her now on the subway because of what an idiot her husband was. And I feel bad about that. A lot.

“But in the confines of our home and our relationship and our parenting this child and our love for each other — she said she wanted to get through it, she wanted not to conflate the giant international news story with the two people who were involved in it. And a lot of women couldn’t do that. And Jordan has given us a lot of perspective. We have to deal with this a lot. It’s not behind us. It kind of bubbles around and comes up in different ways. But she’s, um. . . .” Here, he paused and took a deep breath and started to cry. “She’s given. . . .” He stopped again, could barely get the words out. “She’s given me another chance. And I am very grateful for that. And I’m trying to make sure I get it right.”

Weiner already has $4.3 million saved from his brief campaign for mayor in 2009 and if he decides to run, he must declare his candidacy by June 10 in order to qualify for public funding which would amount to an additional $1.5 million.

We were wondering what our readers think about Weiner’s potential run for mayor. Do you think he deserves a comeback? Could he win in spite of his scandal? Let us know.


Newly elected Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents the majority of Anthony Weiner’s old stomping grounds in the recently redrawn 8th Congressional District, had a warm welcome by a slew of New York political heavyweights before his inaugural remarks, according to a report in the New York Times.

Jeffries, who represents a large part of the Brooklyn southern coastline including of Coney Island, received a sterling introduction to the Congressional stage as Democratic political bigwigs like Senator Charles Schumer and Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Yvette Clarke were in attendance at Pratt Institute Memorial Hall.

It seems that Jeffries’ inauguration was the place to be seen, politically speaking, as according to the Times, every Democratic hopeful for the upcoming Mayoral race was in attendance including Public Advocate Bill di Blasio, Comptroller John C. Liu, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller William Thompson.

In his remarks, Jeffries paid tribute to retiring Representative Edolphus Towns and former Representative Shirley Chisholm who had previously represented large parts of the constituencies Jeffries now presides over. He also put forward a progressive message.

“We’re going to give you the government that you deserve,” Congressman Jeffries said. “That’s my mission. We’re not going backward. We’re going to keep moving forward.”

It was just a matter of time before former Congressman Anthony Weiner reappeared in politics. It was clear from the day of his resignation in 2011 that the man who could have easily been the textbook definition of “career politician” – knowing nothing else in his adult life but the political arena – would make a return to service. If not as an elected official, then as an appointed one. If not as an appointed one, then perhaps a consultant, or cable channel talking head, a la Eliot Spitzer.

Weiner is not back, at least not publicly, but one “mysterious pollster” is calling around to gauge Weiner’s chances at citywide elected office.

According to Capital Tonight, which broke the story, the pollster is sizing Weiner up against the other Democratic mayoral candidates:

This poll respondent said the call came from Mountain West Research (which I believe is an Idaho-based call center), but with a 212 area code.

The questions included favorable/unfavorable feelings for Weiner as well as for the five Democrats already running or assumed to be running for mayor – NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC Comptroller John Liu and former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Also, the pollster read a series of negative statements on each candidate, and then asked the “horserace” question. According to the UWS Dem, who took notes during the call, the negatives on each were as follows:

- Quinn: Rubber stamp for Mayor Bloomberg, voted to extend term limits, involved in a slugh fund scandal, known for “backroom” deals.

- de Blasio: Will say anything at any time, flip flops on key issues like term limits.

- Liu: Subject of a federal investigation, his campaign treasurer was arrested, he was subpoenaed to testify.

- Thompson: The NYC schools failed when he was in charge, ran a lackluster campaign for mayor in 2009, failed to pay his taxes for five years.

- Weiner: Was disgraced for sending lewd pictures and then lying about it, is a career politician who some say doesn’t have the temperament to be mayor.

Capital Tonight also notes that another call from a pollster – perhaps the same one – pits Weiner against Scott Stringer for the city Comptroller seat. If the mayoral race is out of the question, the comptroller’s position is often seen as a stepping stone for a future mayoral run.

Weiner resigned in 2011 after it was revealed that he was “sexting” with women other than his wife. Before his resignation, the pol was widely considered to be a front runner to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg and put together a warchest of $4 million – which he still maintains today and exceeds many of the current mayoral contenders’ campaign cash. When asked in July about his future plans, he refused to rule out a run for public office.

Weiner’s ambitions before he resigned were hardly a secret, and he famously told Mayor Bloomberg, “When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing? I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your fucking bike lanes.”

The 9th District (in red). Source:

Rep. Yvette Clarke. Click to enlarge. Source: Wikipedia

Yvette Clarke, Sheepshead Bay’s newest representative in the House of Representatives, is getting unofficially sworn in at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Brooklyn today in a community-based ceremony with other public officials.

Clarke represents the 9th Congressional District (formerly the 11th District), which, because of redistricting, is swallowing up a portion of the former 9th District, most recently occupied by Bob Turner, and Anthony Weiner before him.

Clarke’s district is incredibly diverse, both culturally and economically. The 9th District encompasses neighborhoods from Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach and Midwood all the way up to Park Slope, Crown Heights and Brownsville.

A graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School, Clarke got her political start on Brooklyn’s 40th Council District, taking over her mother Una’s seat in 2001.

Clarke is a vocal advocate for women’s rights and environmental initiatives.

More recently, she made waves after an interview she participated in on The Colbert Report. During her sit-down with Stephen Colbert, Clarke inaccurately suggested that, in 1898, the Dutch were still in control of Brooklyn and that they enforced slavery a good 33 years after the practice was outlawed in the United States.

It seems like a million years ago when Anthony Weiner’s scandalous Twitter post forced him out of Congress, creating circumstances for a special election, which found Republican Bob Turner replacing the disgraced lawmaker.

The reality is, with only a little more than a year on the job, Turner has been one of the shortest serving Congressmen in recent memory. Turner’s district, the 9th C.D., has been redistricted and Turner has decided not to run again.

Turner looked back on his year of service during an interview with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

“There are two parts to [being a congressman],” he said. “One is constituent services. You have to have a good responsive staff to solve numerous problems, including Social Security and veterans’ affairs. Servicing the community is a big part of the job.” In this area, he said, Weiner did a good job.

“The other part is legislative,” he said, “and there’s a pretty large philosophical divide between Republicans and Democrats about how we respond to issues like the national debt.”

Turner also reflected on his life before politics, recalling his cab driving father and his career in television advertising  promoting shows like “The Price is Right,” “Baywatch,” “Fame” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”

Turner’s special duties in Congress included serving on committees from Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security to Veterans Affairs. He recalled his proudest accomplishment as being the co-sponsor of legislation that seized $1.8 billion in laundered Iranian assets, which was then rewarded to families of American personal killed in the 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing. Two-hundred and forty-one American servicemen and 60 American civilians perished in the double suicide bombing.

Turner, whose Breezy Point home burned down during Superstorm Sandy, was also very active in securing as much funds as possible for fellow Sandy victims.

Once Turner’s term ends on January 2, 2013, he plans to return to civilian life.


As we reported last week, the Army Corp of Engineers began the process of restoring Plumb Beach by pumping more than 127,000 cubic yards of sand into the eroded stretch.

The video above shows you exactly what you’d expect sand pumping to look like, with a motorized plume of sand exploding onto the coastline in a near continuous stream. The sand itself is coming from Ambrose Channel, one of the city’s navigational waterways that serves commercial vessels coming and going from New York Harbor.

The process of pumping sand onto the beach is part of effort’s first phase, which should be completed in November.

The restoration of Plumb Beach, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Ida in 2009, is expected to be completed in 2013 at a cost of $6.5 million dollars.

The parking lot is temporarily closed to visitors.

Plumb Beach Bike Path Destroyed By Hurricane Ida

The Plumb Beach bike path after Hurricane Ida swept through in 2009.

The Army Corps of Engineers will begin hotly-anticipated long-term repairs to Plumb Beach today, dumping the first of 127,000 cubic yards of sand on an eroded stretch of the coastline.

The first phase of the project will see sand pumped onto Plumb Beach, brought here from Ambrose Channel – a navigational waterway that serves many of the commercial vessels entering and exiting New York Harbor. The Staten Island-based Great Lakes Dredge and Dock won the $3.5 million contract, and they will also place temporary geotube groins to prevent against any further erosion during the construction.

“Plumb Beach is being saved. The Belt Parkway is being saved. It is a good day for our community,” said Councilman Fidler.

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Former Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman and current Assemblyman Vito Lopez, in happier times. Photo by Aaron Short

“Politics are a labyrinth without a clue.” – John Adams

BETWEEN THE LINES: More than a year ago, Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned after he admitted taking part in virtual trysts with other women over the course of several years. The stupidity of that incident — and numerous others that preceded it — has apparently not penetrated the minds of shameless politicians as to what constitutes inappropriate conduct.

For decades, from casting to corporate couches, men in positions of power have taken advantage of women in the workplace. Decades after feminism inspired equal rights for women and brought such matters to light, you’d think the sleazy, obnoxious “boys will be boys” mindset would have fizzled out, but the creepy practice still permeates our culture.

For what it’s worth, let’s call groping, womanizing and related acts the “Dirty Old Man Syndrome,” though age, clearly, has no bearing on the matter.

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