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Did Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s awkward Spanish help him swing the borough’s Latino vote? Unlikely, says a usually tuned-in politico. Bloomberg improved his performance in neighborhoods like Red Hook and Sunset Park likely because his challenger in 2005 was Fernando Ferrer — whose Spanish is far more credible than hizzoner’s.
“To a lot of Latinos, we are all just Anglos of different shade — some even prefer blanquitos,” the source quipped. “But most important — there is no pride of identity to boost the vote, just arguable common interest.”
In some sections of Sunset Park, according to preliminary election data, the mayor improved by up to a staggering 59 percentage points over his performance in 2005. In Red Hook, Bloomberg improved by about 2 percentage points, the data shows.
Bill Thompson may have lost the mayoral election, but he won parents’ votes.
According to an exit poll by The New York Times, 55 percent of public school parents who voted for mayor selected Thompson. Mayor Michael Bloomberg received 43 percent of those votes.
NYC Kids PAC, a parents’ organization, weighed in on the results, stating, “Mayor Bloomberg assumed complete control of the schools in 2002 and declared that New Yorkers should hold him accountable with their vote. The election reveals that public school parents have done just that.”
Is there a drawback to having too many friends?
Borough President Marty Markowitz maxed out on the number of friends allowable by Facebook, the popular social networking site.
After registering Facebook’s maximum restriction of 5,000 “friends” earlier this month, Markowitz is now encouraging acquaintances and admirers to sign up to his newly-launched “Fan” site, http://bk.ly/Ta.
“There are nearly 2.6 million Brooklynites spread out over 71 square miles, and Facebook is an effective way of connecting our diverse communities and making what my office does more relevant to a larger number of people — particularly younger Brooklynites,” said BP Markowitz. “I sincerely thank the 5,000 Facebookers from our borough and beyond who ‘friended’ me, and look forward to plenty of posts from supporters on my new fan page celebrating all things Brooklyn!”
Of course, Markowitz’s popularity cannot be contained just within one Facebook page or fan site.The Borough President’s office has its own Brooklyn Facebook page, http://bk.ly/Sw, which has nearly 36,000 fans and administers another Brooklyn-themed site, http://bk.ly/Sv, which has registered more than 49,000 fans.
For City Councilman Lew Fidler, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s razor-thin reelection victory over William Thompson had less to do with the overturning of term limits and more to do with the struggling middle class.
Fidler, who voted with Bloomberg to extend term limits, said the reason Thompson carried his assembly district covering Mill Island, Bergen Beach and Marine Park had everything to do with higher taxes and more tickets.
“When you walk out to your car and get a $120 ticket for double parking for a minute and half. When people saw a rash of tickets building up on their businesses and they weren’t doing so well. When the water rates go up every year for a total of 80 percent in the last few years, it hurt people and that’s the message the (Bloomberg administration) needs to be sensitive to,” said Fidler.
Election Day wasn’t 24 hours old before some political hopefuls began looking to the 2010 state races.
Lucretia Regina-Potter, Republican District Leader for the 49th AD in Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, announced Wednesday that she was throwing her hat in the race for New York State Assembly.
If there are no surprises or shake-ups, Regina-Potter is expected to stand toe to toe against incumbent Assemblyman Peter Abbate, who has represented the 49th District for the last two decades.
“I am pursuing my personal aspiration to become the first Republican Assemblywoman to be elected, not only in the 49th AD, or in Brooklyn, but also in the entire city of New York,” she said in her announcement.
“We are tired to see the same person be re-elected every two years without actually taking interest in the real needs of our community,” she said, adding that her election would “be a catalyst for the revival of our beleaguered but beloved Republican Party.”
There will also be a fair share of payback involved.
Regina-Potter ran against Abbate in 2008 and lost, even when the 49th AD chose John McCain over Barack Obama at the polls, political insiders said. She also has close ties to Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Organization Executive Chairman Arnaldo A. Ferraro, a former Assemblyman who lost to Abbate after only one term in office back in 1986.
The City Council election in the 45th District provided plenty of fodder for kibitzers, as incumbent Kendall Stewart was handily defeated by insurgent candidate Jumaane Williams, whose recipe for success included amassing the institutional support that usually goes to incumbents.
But, Stewart had entered his reelection campaign with two major issues: His vote in favor of extending term limits and, even more damaging, the guilty pleas entered by two of his former staffers, including former chief of staff Asquith Reid, on charges of embezzling councilmanic funds that had been allocated by Stewart to not-for-profit groups.
“I’m surprised Kendall got so many votes,” remarked Rock Hackshaw, a blogger and political pundit, of the 3,000-plus votes that Stewart received, a fraction of the more than 14,000 votes Williams amassed.
So many? “Kendall’s big problem, that he didn‘t want to admit to,” Hackshaw offered “is that people didn’t believe Asquith did all those things without his knowledge.”
“I see him losing the district leadership to a good challenge,” he added.
Political insider Terry Hinds concurred. “I think his political career is basically over,” he told this paper. With respect to the leadership position, Hinds said, “The question really becomes what he’s going to do with it, and who goes after him. Before, no one wanted to support anyone running against him for leader because he had the council seat.”
But, tides shifted. “At the end of the day, he didn’t have any support,” Hinds remarked, opining that Stewart was, “A victim of his own actions. I think people put up with him because they had to, but when a viable alternative was presented, they were more than happy to get rid of him.”
What made the situation even more dramatic, Hinds added, is that, “He didn’t go gracefully. He had every right to run on the Independence line. It was the way he did it, as if something was his and they stole it. To the very end, he didn’t get it.”
Don’t tell freshly re-elected Sheepshead Bay City Councilmember Mike Nelson that the new artificial turf he’s helping to fund at Kingsborough Community College might somehow be toxic - he’s not hearing it.
“We’re going to get gas masks for everybody in the beach,” a dismissive Nelson told members of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association recently.
Cakewalking into a third term thanks to the dismantling of term limits, the incumbent also prophesied that the City Council’s current power structure with Speaker Christine Quinn at the head, would also remain unchanged.
“There’s no active movement against Quinn,” Nelson said. “I think we’re going to see pretty much the same thing.”
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©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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