Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thank goodness, no more campaign messages on the answering machine -- at least until the NYC primary runoff


I don't know what Daniel Squadron can do as NYC public advocate, but he's the person I want to see doing it, en route to whatever higher office he's going to be seeking.

by Ken

If I had it to do over, maybe instead of deleting all those political-campaign phone messages as quick as I could punch them out, I might have kept a log of calls received, with a view to picking as te "winner" in each contested race the candidate who had inflicted the fewest nuisance calls on me. True, it would have been a lot of work, but what was all that daily toil screening the accumulated messages to make sure I wasn't preemptively dismissing any important ones. I don't actually get a lot of important messages, and usually when I do, they're bad news and so might be worth preemptively dismissing.

Amid the clutter there was one name and one voice that kept cropping up, and as soon as it was identified, I knew I could safely hit the "delete" button. These messages began either "Weiner" or "Anthony Weiner," which struck me as odd each time. What kind of message begins with the candidate speaking his name? ( I can't really tell you, because I didn't listen any further to any of those messages.) Surely what was meant was "This is Anthony Weiner" or something like that? Certainly the oddity of having some versions being with "Weiner" and some with "Anthony Weiner" suggested some possible cutting off somewhere along the technological chain. Of course mayoral candidate Weiner is known for his technological prowess. Do you suppose he recorded his own message(s)?

(One message I would have listened to was one that began "Danger. Carlos Danger.l")

It's been a strange election. We know big change is coming with Mayor Mike finally being ushered out of City Hall, but it's hard to guess what the city will be like with someone else -- anyone else, really -- in the job. And about the only way we seem to have had for evaluating the many candidates in today's Democratic primary was their "degree of Bloombergness." After 12 years of imperial rule, we need to know not just what each candidate might do but how he/she might intend to get it done. Absent Mayor Mike's personal muscle, it is not, I think, going to be a good environment for getting things done.

I voted for Bill de Blasio, who Howie had told me months ago from the opposite coast was the progressive candidate, which I eventually discovered was true. Now that I know more about him, I think he's a good guy, and maybe the fact that Mayor Mike reviles him should be entered in the "plus" column for him. (Mayor Mike, as you may have heard, thinks it's "racist" for de Blasio to want voters to know that his wife is African-American and his kids consequently biracial. I don't think so. I do wonder, though, if it's racist to label this as racist, especially since His Mikeness, who used as an analogy how it would be if he had tried to trade on his Jewishness for votes, apparently forgetting that he showed little hesitation in doing just that.

I also voted for Eliot Spitzer for city comptroller, also rejecting the New York Times's endorsement, which went to current Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. I feel bad for Scott. He is, as far as I can tell, a highly competent public servant, and he's paid his dues in the old-fashioned NYC Democratic way, putting in his time as borough president, which should entitle him to an available job upgrade. And he didn't even have a Democratic opponent until Spitzer jumped into the race. Still, there's not much question in my mind that Spitzer will do, or at least try to do, more with the job.

I went against the Times in voting for my current city councilmember, Robert Jackson, to succeed Stringer as Manhattan BP.

The easiest choice was Daniel Squadron for the nearly do-nothing job of public advocate. Squadron, currently a state senator, has in recent years been the most impressive rising figure on the local political scene.

Now we wait to see who's going to be in the primary runoff.

Best part of the day: using the old mechanical voting machines, for reasons relating to time requirements with the runoff coming up on October 1.


For a "Sunday Classics" fix anytime, visit the stand-alone "Sunday Classics with Ken."


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