Rich People Can Solve All Your Problems,The Jack Hidary Story

Jack Hidary is a very nice man who speaks in complete sentences and seems bright enough. He also has absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to be Mayor of New York City . Well, no qualifications other than the fact that he himself is very rich and also has lots of very rich friends.

His resume starts with tech companies that went bust after he left them, and continues with a list of virtually every nonprofit whose mission statement is something like let’s solve the world’s problems by deploying rich people: the X-prize, Google Labs, The Clinton Global Initiative. He represents Bloombergism taken to a level of logical absurdity, presenting a vision of politics so blinding and beautiful that it seems almost cruel to reveal it as bullshit. But it pretty much is. Read more…


Adolfo Carrion Teaches Us That When The Going Gets Tough, Just Change Parties

Elections are hard, especially primaries. You have to run, raise money, build a profile, meet with every ward’s party committee, go to a million forums, and sometimes even appear on stage with Anthony Weiner. You have to say things and do things and comment on things and then there’s a chance you won’t even make it through to the final two. It’s an understatement to say there’s a lot of work involved.

Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could skip that whole process and just appear on the general election ballot, to jump ahead to the phase where there are only five or six instead of twenty-odd candidates screaming for public attention? Whoever did that would be some kind of genius. Well, welcome to New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, and meet Adolfo Carrion, Jr. Read more…


Joe Lhota Presents Fear and Loathing at the Waldorf-Astoria

Everything about Joe Lhota’s campaign for mayor – positive and negative, full of possibility, humor, and full-tilt ridiculous – is contained within the following two quotes. Observe:

“This election will be about moving New York City forward with the right kind of change. Dividing our city, increasing job-killing taxes and handcuffing our police is not the direction we need to take our city.” – Joe Lhota’s statement on De Blasio’s nomination, 9/16/13.

And:

That fear was palpable last Tuesday evening in the soaring Art Deco ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria, where wealthy patrons gathered at [...] the season’s first big charity gala were agape at Mr. de Blasio’s ascent. – The New York Times

There you have it.

Still curious about our friendly neighborhood Republican candidate? Allow us to explain. Read more…


Bills, Bills, Bills (and A Weiner): Breaking Down Tuesday’s Election And Why It Matters

Tuesday was kind of an insane day. This week has been an insane week. It was the anniversary of 9/11 yesterday! We may or may not bomb Syria, and for answers on that, don’t ask the White House! The House Republicans balked on delaying Obamacare! Drake is coming to the NYU Skirball Center!

During any other week, Tuesday night’s Democratic and Republican primaries for virtually every elected office in the City might have registered more, but this week they just kind of slipped by. I want to make the case to you, though, that these elections were particularly important to everyone who lives in New York City – in a way that matters beyond which specific people won or lost.

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The 7 Craziest Things Michael Bloomberg Told New York Magazine

Over the weekend, New York Magazine published a several-thousand-word interview with outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It’s incredible. Click here to read the whole thing. Seriously. Do it. It’s an incredible piece of journalism, an in-depth portrait of a man whose psychological state seems to be that of a feudal lord sitting in his castle counting his money while alternately scolding and weeping at the peasants for not bowing deeply enough.

But I know you’re not actually going to read the whole thing – at least not now – because that would interfere with looking like you’re paying attention in Texts and Ideas. So here are the ten craziest things your still-Mayor said. Read more…


Know Your Candidates: New York City Mayor

We’re not sure if you’ve heard, but New York City has some elections coming up – and word on the street is that they’re a pretty big deal. This election marks the end of the Bloomberg Era, an unprecedented 12-year reign that saw rents skyrocket and soda sizes come under fire. In the first mayoral election AB (after Bloomberg), these are your major-party candidates:

Bill de Blasio (Democrat): The current Democratic front-runner, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’ s campaign reads like a reversal of Bloomberg policies. De Blasio advocates for affordable housing, greater income equality, and affordable healthcare. He promises to enact higher taxes on the wealthy, while redirecting tax breaks from luxury apartment developments to affordable housing projects. During his tenure as Public Advocate, de Blasio has also spurred the movement against stop-and-frisk. His proposed solution for this racially driven police tactic is a complete overhaul of the Ray Kelly-dominated NYPD, as well as a racial profiling bill. De Blasio also seeks to reduce low-level crime by legalizing the possession of marijuana under fifteen grams. Read more…


What Happened While I Was Face-Down On A Beach: New York Mayoral Edition

While the corridors of power would really prefer a fourth term of Michael Bloomberg, by last year they’d grudgingly accepted the idea that the Pax Bloombergiana was coming to its end. No Republican would take his place; a Democrat would become Mayor of New York. And they knew just who she’d be: Christine Quinn, speaker of the City Council, a reliable Bloomberg ally when it counted, who changed the law so he could serve his previously-illegal third term.

She’s gay and has an activist history that would appeal to Democratic primary voters, but would maintain the fundamental policy building-blocks of the Bloomberg era: minority-frisker and anti-Muslim espionage artist Ray Kelly as police chief, a comfortable set of relationships between the major real estate developers and city hall, no living wage, corporatist charter-focused education reform. One by one, they lined up to support her: the editorial board of the New York Times, Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, the Related companies (massive developers behind Hudson Yards), and so on. Here’s how that worked: last June, Quinn exempted Related from living wage requirements in exchange for a cool $48,000 in campaign cash. Read more…


What To Do When Cynthia Nixon Knocks On Your Door: Celebrities & The NYC Mayoral Race

With the New York City mayoral race in full swing, it’s interesting to watch which candidates have lined up what celebrity endorsers. With her estimated million-vote swing to President Obama through her 2008 endorsement, Oprah reminded us about how powerful the right luminary – and the platform they can bring – can be to any candidate’s cause.

It’s been interesting to watch 30 Rock debonair and obstinate Words-With-Friends-er Alec Baldwin buff his usually bombastic political image with his attacks on presumed Democratic frontrunner Christine Quinn. Writing for the Huffington Post, Baldwin renamed her “Quinnberg” and accused her of being unqualified to lead New York.

Because the only thing New York City politics is truly missing is Hollywood drama.

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Meet The City Hall Contenders: NYU Local’s Q&A With Mayoral Candidate Sal Albanese

After NYULocal introduced the mayoral candidates last week, longshot Democratic contender Sal Albanese volunteered to speak with us about his candidacy for City Hall and the current state of governance in New York City. Sal Albanese was a City Councilman from 1982-1997 and an NYU grad, having received his Masters’ in Health Science in 1976.

This kicks off our series of interviews with every mayoral vier we can get our hands on. He spoke freely and openly about a wide range of topics concerning Mayor Bloomberg’s time in office and his own experience as a public sector servant. Enjoy.

NYULocal: Why are you running for Mayor? Why now?  Read more…


Getting To Know The People Who Want To Be The Next Mayor Of New York

Because there must never be an end to election season (ever), this week marks the kickoff of the campaign to be Mayor of New York City starting in 2014. Democratic and Republican primaries will be held in late summer with the general election face-off in November. Municipal elections tend to be dreary low-turnout affairs, but after 12 years of Michael Bloomberg – and 20 of a Republican or independent mayor in this deep-blue city – this election will set the tone for the future of New York City in a critical way.

Here’s a rundown of the candidates – from the left to the right, the accomplished to the utterly ridiculous. Polls show closely-matched races between the top-tier primary candidates, and all Democratic comers posting 40-50 point leads over their Republican competition. Let the games begin.

Read more…