This is some very encouraging news. More below the fold.On the eve of Tuesday’s mayoral election, Democratic front-runner Bill de Blasio’s push to tax the wealthy to pay for universal prekindergarten has received crucial support in the Legislature.
Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein, who had backed former city Controller Bill Thompson in the Democratic mayoral primary, says he will aggressively push for passage of the city tax hike plan during next year’s state budget talks.
“I think his proposal has a lot of merit,” Klein (D-Bronx) said. “I want to become the major advocate on behalf of it.”
Klein — head of a group of four breakaway Democrats who run the chamber with the GOP — said de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes on those making more than $500,000 a year “is not taxing for the sake of just taxing. This is for a really important purpose.”
Klein’s position could put him at odds with Senate Republicans and Gov. Cuomo, who have said they want to cut, not raise, taxes next year. Cuomo and the Republicans also have said they agree with the idea of expanding prekindergarten, leading insiders to believe they will seek a way to fund de Blasio’s plan without raising taxes.
With Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) also in favor of de Blasio’s plan, insiders say Klein’s position could up pressure on Cuomo to jump onboard to try to improve an uneasy relationship with the liberal wing of his party heading into an election year. - New York Daily News, 11/4/13
de Blasio attended the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club’s annual dinner and dance last night where he told New York Democrats to be sure to come out and vote on Tuesday:
Joe Lhota's (R) biggest cheerleader, the New York Post, also released a new hit piece on de Blasio with a not-so-subtle cover:Despite his dominating lead in the polls, Mr. de Blasio urged those present to deploy their organizing powers on his behalf.
“The poll numbers are encouraging. They’re lovely to look at, my dear friends. But we’re Democrats. We’re born with a little bit of an edge,” he continued. “We’ve learned the hard way a few too many times, haven’t we?”
Mr. de Blasio also reserved kind words for Councilman Lew Fidler, a former colleague and bitter rival. A decade ago, Mr. de Blasio organized a coup to oust Mr. Fidler from his position leading the City Council’s Brooklyn delegation and throughout the primary season, Mr. Fidler, a Thompson supporter, was one of Mr. de Blasio’s more vociferous critics–seemingly never forgetting the past slight.
“Lew has served with extraordinary distinction in the City Council,” the Gracie Mansion hopeful said of Mr. Fidler, who was not present because he was recovering from coronary bypass surgery. - Politicker, 11/4/13
Here's a little background info:The less-than-subtle front page is tied to a story about a trip de Blasio took to the Soviet Union in 1983.
Considering that de Blasio is leading in the polls by roughly 40 points, it's not surprising that the Post is throwing everything at the wall in the final days of the mayoral race. - Huffington Post, 11/4/13
But that isn't going to hurt and de Blasio isn't worried about it:While the news that Bill de Blasio supported the Sandinista government of Nicaragua in the eighties and nineties and honeymooned in Cuba incensed lifelong communism-hater Joe Lhota, it did not prevent de Blasio from holding on to a 40-point lead in the mayoral race. But will New Yorkers be able to ignore the candidate's commie-loving past in light of Sunday's revelation that he visited the USSR while he was a college student? Probably, but the Post is still trying to make the most of the story, reminding readers that the United States wasn't on great terms with the Soviets during de Blasio's 1983 trip. "That’s the same year that then-President Ronald Reagan referred to the country’s regime as 'The Evil Empire,'" writes the paper.
De Blasio hasn't mentioned his jaunt to Russia recently, but his resume from the nineties listed the following under "travel": "West Africa, Europe, Israel, Puerto Rico, USSR." A spokeswoman for the de Blasio campaign confirmed the report. "When he was a presidential scholar at NYU, Bill attended an annual trip that took him to Lithuania and Russia. In other years, he traveled – along with other presidential scholars — to Spain, Israel and Senegal," said Lis Smith. "He went in 1983 when they were still a part of the USSR." - New York Magazine, 11/3/13
By the way, Lhota is blaming his campaign's failure to gain traction on Bloomberg:As a new poll showed his mayoral dreams slipping away, Joe Lhota launched a novel attack, charging that Bill de Blasio’s inability to get up in the morning shows he’s unfit to lead the city that never sleeps.
Stumping across the city on the final Sunday of the race, Lhota seized on de Blasio’s admission that he was an hour late for an 11:30 a.m. rally Saturday because a 5 a.m. phone call interrupted his sleep.
“I’ve been saying over and over again that Bill de Blasio’s not prepared to be mayor,” Lhota said. “You can’t get up in the morning? Mayors get phone calls at 5 o’clock in the morning, mayors get phone calls at 3 o’clock,” he said.
“God forbid a police officer was hurt or a firefighter was hurt. You’ve got to go out and you’ve got to deal with it. ... Being mayor is a 24-hour-a-day job.”
De Blasio, who on Saturday admitted, “I am not a morning person,” brushed aside Lhota’s attack.
“I think that’s laughable,” he said. - New York Daily News, 11/3/13
Yeah, ok Joe. Now Latino voters overwhelmingly support de Blasio but they are going to be pushing him on a certain issue when he gets into office:Lhota, who is trailing massively in the polls, attributed de Blasio's success to voters' frustration with Mayor Bloomberg.
"The Democratic primary was a campaign against Mike Bloomberg. And that continues to this day," he said. "I'm not Mike Bloomberg. I'm a very different person than him."
Lhota suggested any Democrat could have thrived off the same strategy.
"So many people like what Mike Bloomberg's done, so many people don't like what he's done," he said.
"There's a level of fatigue for all elected officials after two terms. And third terms put people into a tailspin."
But Lhota said he wouldn't change anything about his campaign -- except that he would have liked to have "a little bit more change in the pocket" coming out of the primary and was still optimistic.
"I think you'll be surprised on Tuesday," he said. - New York Daily News, 11/3/13
The election is tomorrow. If you need to find your polling place, please click here:At a "Latinos for de Blasio" rally on Sunday afternoon, Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio called on the state to provide drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants, and he reiterated his support for municipal ID cards for non-citizens.
But de Blasio opposes another progressive idea for the city's immigrant population that wasn't mentioned on Sunday: allowing undocumented immigrants to vote.
At the rally, de Blasio spoke enthusiastically about the merits of issuing identification cards that undocumented residents could use to open bank accounts, lease apartments and receive library cards (an idea that was a non-starter in the Council in 2007).
"They may not be documented, but they are a half-million of our brothers and sisters, of our neighbors, of our family and friends," de Blasio said before a cheering crowd of mainly Hispanic lawmakers and supporters.
And he called on New York State to issue driver's licenses to the same population, an idea that former governor Eliot Spitzer could not push past considerable opposition in 2007.
"It's time that we call upon the State of New York to catch up with that progressive beacon, the State of Colorado," de Blasio said, in a reference to Colorado's decision earlier this year to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. - Capital New York, 11/3/13
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