The NYC mayoral race 2013

This thread being mostly about Anthony Weiner’s sexting-antics, etc., I think we need one to look at that election from a less Weiner-focused perspective.

Christine Quinn is a frontrunner, apparently, but comments in the other thread indicate many New Yorkers view her as Bloomberg’s lackey and hopelessly tainted by the association. (Married lesbian, too, but apparently that is not an electoral drawback in NYC.)

I guess if I lived in NYC I’d back Bill de Blasio, just because The Nation likes him. Does he have a chance at the Dem nomination?

On the Pub side there’s nobody I’ve heard of, but no doubt some NYDopers can fill us in.

Primaries are September 10.

That’s the way I’m leaning right now. Here’s a rundown on the current polling. Quinn appears to have a significant lead, but about a quarter of voters are undecided and I don’t know how a runoff would shake out.

Does NY law allow for primary-runoffs?

New York State Election Law 6-162 provides:

But only in NYC elections, apparently. Hm. I wonder why.

Is there any particular reason why after 20 years of good governance and the most miraculous municipal turnaround in the country, that voters would want to return the party that made New York ungovernable to power?

And it’s not like they’ve learned, they’re already talking about dismantling all the policies that made New York great again.

Comedy gold.

Yes. It’s been clear for a while now that we’re headed to a runoff, with Quinn pretty much guaranteed to be one of the candidates. DiBlasio, Thompson and Weiner (though not him so much anymore) are slugging it out for the other slot in the runoff. My personal favorite, John Liu, faded badly after his campaign got hit with dirty money scandals.

Stop and frisk was a major campaign issue to begin with, and this will only put more attention on it: a judge has ruled the policy needs to be reformed because people’s rights are being systematically violated.

Rising income inequality, social programs being ignored, the schools continuing to struggle, the policing issues I just mentioned…

…and the fact that the major issues in NYC are not just Republican v. Democrat politics writ small. Marley certainly knows this, but it bears repeating for those outside NYC.

Bloomberg ran on the Republican ticket so he wouldn’t lose a chancy primary contest, and his chief lackey in the legislature, Quinn, is a Democrat. From a national party perspective, there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats in NYC. But locally, the difference between Upper West Side Democrats and Staten Island Democrats is substantial and more important than any differences between Republicans and Democrats.

Labor would love to support de Blasio, but he has courted unions only weakly (probably assuming that they would have to line up behind him anyway) so some have backed Thompson. Rival unions have in turn backed de Blasio just to position themselves vis a vis their competitors. Quinn, in turn, represents a somewhat unholy alliance of gay-friendly social progressives and real estate development interests. Wiener likes to talk like a progressive, but he played a key role in dismantling rent stabilization back in the 90s and we have not forgiven him for that.

The big questions here do not map well to typical party politics. Republicans have tended to come down harder on law & order issues since Giuliani, but so do the aforementioned Staten Island democrats. Quinn has tried very unsuccessfully to hew a middle way, but she just comes off as insincere. Stop & frisk supports, among other things, the Brooklyn bubble, so people who you might think would be natural opponents support the measures in private and vote accordingly. Likewise, as Marley mentioned, NYC has about the same distribution of wealth as Bolivia. Since the collapse of of the rent stabilization scheme, large parts of Manhattan are simply uninhabitable to all but the most upper income people. Many of them may identify with traditional socially progressive ideas, but their interests are simply not the same as the interests of labor or the working poor.

So the situation here is rather more complicated. Coalitions cut across traditional party boundaries and people who are allies in national politics are at each others’ throats locally. The nanny-statists are typically Republicans.

Well, income inequality was better when the rich people moved out and rent control tied poor people to their apartments for generations. The recent resurgence in the big cities has resulted in rising income inequality. That’s just the nature of the beast. Democratic plans to deal with it just amount to turning the clock back. And those policing issues helped New York lead the nation in dropping crime. It’s now one of the safest big cities in the country.

Guess that’ll have to be reversed. That’s okay though, if crime goes up under a Democrat, they won’t get another shot for awhile.

In the same breath you are saying that income inequality is a natural result of economic and demographic change but crime reduction is not? Crime in NYC was already declining rapidly before the establishment of draconian policing. So if rising inequality and economic balkanization are just the nature of the beast, then so is declining lawlessness.

Most people in NYC would give their right arms to be tied to a rent control apartment for generations. Democrats aren’t trying to turn back the clock; for the most part, they are so heavily indentured to real estate interests that they are doing the reverse, much to the anger of their constituents. Does your city have a Rent Is Too Damned High party? Do you know anything about local conditions here?

I’m well aware that rents are too damn high, but that’s due to lack of available land, building restrictions and the fact that lots of people want to live in New York. Rent control is a discredited policy which thankfully Democrats aren’t trying to bring back. However, their opposition to proven crime control methods is disturbing and jeopardizes the gains New York has made over the last 20 years.

This is mistaken on two fronts. First, the efficacy of NYPD crime control methods is anything but proven. Some are undoubtedly more useful than others. Data-driven policing (COMSTAT, etc) have a lot of appeal even though COMSTAT itself might have been a real boondoggle. Giuliani-era methods like getting rid of the squeegee guys in an effort to stop crime before it starts were not successful. More successful was the Disneyfication of Manhattan, though as you say, that is more an issue of the “nature of the beast” than any positive policing efforts. It’s easy to reduce visible, violent crime when you make Manhattan and increasing quantities of the boroughs uninhabitable by people to do not meet wealth qualifications. We don’t stop & frisk for that; we can just let nature run its course.

Arguments in support of draconian policing are just post post hoc. Crime seemed to fall after Giuliani made some changes, therefore crime fell because of these changes. But of course crime fell just about everywhere. And other cities that have imported NYPD-style policing have not met with similar success.

The second problem is that law & order issues do not break down on party lines. Democrats around the city have profoundly different views on law enforcement. The candidates’ frequently incoherent positions reflect the differences among their constituencies. Quinn would keep Kelly as police commissioner and she does not really oppose stop & frisk. Weiner does not believe there should be any independent oversight of the NYPD, either. Liu, de Blasio, and Thompson oppose it more stridently.

On the Republican side, Catsimidatidis wants to give police “magic wands” so they don’t actually have to frisk anyone.

This race has very little to do with conventionally understood party politics.

I hope that’s the case because I want to live in New York someday. I want to live in New York as it is now, not as it was in the 1970s and 1980s.

You’re right about the crime control methods not really being proven, but that’s also the nature of the beast. Things get done, and sometimes results occur because they got done, or because of factors unrelated to them. The reason I think Giuliani’s tactics worked is because New York crime dropped much faster than in the rest of the country.

I wouldn’t have wanted to live in NYC right after the de-institutionalization of vast numbers of mentally ill people, either. But that’s not our only alternative to shifting violent crime from civilians to police officers. At least there is a lot of public debate among candidates about these issues. This election is a referendum on Bloomberg’s legacy in a lot of ways.

I am probably more Bloomberg-tolerant than a lot of other typical NYC lefties. But I do not accept crime control techniques. The police are far too busy keeping nonwhites out of tony neighborhoods in Brooklyn instead of responding to actual crimes. I live in Manhattan ferchrissake, and my police precinct is just terrible.

At least our local NYC’s Finest who raped a woman in someone’s driveway in broad daylight is going to jail. I guess it can always be worse.

The what?

The latter you might could afford.

Brooklyn itself is very diverse, but it is full of neighborhoods that are comically segregated. You can live three blocks from the ghetto in Brooklyn and never see a poor person, hence the “Brooklyn bubble.” Under stop & frisk, people who don’t look like they belong in a particular neighborhood are by definition suspicious and are frequently harassed by police. Fear of such harassment keeps working class and poor people out of neighborhoods where they might get hassled. There are a lot of people in this city who are, for instance more comfortable with gay people than they are with poor people. They support programs like stop & frisk because it maintains the integrity of their bubbles.

“Are you sure you’re finished, officer? Frisk me some more! Please!” :wink: