Scoopy’s, Week of Oct.10, 2013
- From left, Brad Hoylman, Bill de Blasio, Deborah Glick and Corey Johnson in Sheridan Square on Oct. 2.
De Blasio does it up at Sheridan Square: Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio was in Sheridan Square in the Village on the afternoon of Wed., Oct. 2, and the local Democratic team was right there by his side in a strong show of support. As de Blasio shook hands and spoke one on one with voters, state Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick — who both supported Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the primary election — and Councilmember-elect Corey Johnson distributed de Blasio campaign literature and urged passersby to come and “meet the next mayor.” Asked his thoughts after watching de Blasio in action on the campaign trail, and his feelings about the candidate in general, Hoylman was very encouraged. “What I learned campaigning with the public advocate is that Bill is an amazing retail politician,” Hoylman told us. “Bill was deluged by Villagers on his visit to Sheridan Square last week, but very patiently and thoroughly addressed everyone who had lined up with a question. Bill clearly connects with voters on the economic issues they care about, whether it be childcare, development or the cost of living. I think New Yorkers are going to love his refreshing candor and accessibility when he’s mayor.” Similarly, Glick was pumped about the public advocate and his campaign. “What I think was really interesting,” she said, “was that, when he arrived, his advance people sort of gave people an opportunity to line up so they could actually ask a question, raise an issue. It wasn’t just ‘line up, glad-hand and go in the subway.’ There were around 20 people on line at any given moment. He was there quite some time — whether they were local residents or just passing through. One guy from City Island told him he was upset about a new, glitzy, expensive bridge they were planning for City Island. De Blasio could have interacted with more people by just saying hi than having people step up and have a substantive conversation. It was interesting, and very positive. I think what people would take away from this is that he is actually interested in what people think.” When she got off the phone, Glick was heading over to the East Side to campaign for de Blasio at Second Ave. and 10th St. near St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, where there’s a lot of foot traffic. She said there’s always a risk of “election fatigue” and people not coming out to the polls on Election Day. “You don’t want to jinx the outcome, but I’m very positive about Bill being the next mayor,” she told us. As for her quick switch from Quinn to de Blasio, she said, “In the primary, Democrats choose between different Democrats. And then after the primary, you coalesce behind the nominee.” Glick added that she has recently been giving some serious thought to the idea of so-called “instant runoffs,” in which voters would rank the candidates by their preference. “He was my No. 2,” she said of De Blasio. Also, if there were instant runoffs, candidates might be “more civil” to each other, she added, since they wouldn’t want to alienate their rivals’ supporters and hurt their chances of winning the instant runoff. Johnson was also impressed with de Blasio. “The line to meet Bill wrapped around the corner,” he said. “I think that’s a testament to the appeal of his candidacy and the popularity of his progressive vision for a city government that has too often aligned itself with the wealthy and connected and not with the vast majority of its people who are struggling to make ends meet.”
For Pete’s sake — wants to be D.A.: We seem to recall Pete Gleason recently telling us he was done running for public office. Four years ago, the Tribeca attorney and former firefighter ran for City Council in the First District Democratic primary election that was won by Margaret Chin. Now, however, Gleason is challenging Cy Vance for Manhattan district attorney. “It was quietly done on July 19,” he said of launching his bid to be the borough’s top prosecutor. “I am a Democrat running on the Republican line — and I think there is a lot of conventional wisdom about the cesspool of corruption in our own backyard, i.e. William Rapfogel,” he said. In short, Gleason stated, he believes Rapfogel’s wife, Judy, and her boss, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, should both also be investigated in connection with the purported $5 million Met Council insurance fraud scheme, for which William Rapfogel was arrested in August. William Rapfogel is accused of embezzling $1 million of that sum for himself. “That money that was found in Judy Rapogel’s closet, there’s a good chance that money came from the public trough,” Gleason said. “If I were the sitting Manhattan district attorney right now, I’d have a full-blown investigation against Sheldon Silver and Judy Rapfogel. … It’s time for a change,” he declared. “And if anybody is going to cast aspersions that I’m a Democrat running as a Republican, look across the Brooklyn Bridge at what Charles Hynes is doing.” However, the State Attorney General’s Office is already conducting an investigation into the William Rapfogel case — so, typically, the D.A. would support that investigation, rather than open a new one of its own. Also, the A.G. has oversight of nonprofits in a way the D.A. does not. “The investigation is ongoing,” an A.G. spokesperson told us Tuesday. In addition to William Rapfogel, two unnamed co-conspirators are named in the felony complaint. More will be coming out about the case in coming weeks, we’re told. Silver did not respond for this Scoopy item. As for Vance, his campaign responded, “While the Manhattan D.A.’s Office has vigorously pursued corruption cases, this one is being investigated by the New York attorney general and Mr. Rapfogel has been arrested. Where appropriate, the D.A.’s Office has and will coordinate with the A.G. and other prosecutors.”
City going after news vendor again: Two days after the primary election, Jerry Delakas, the embattled Astor Place newsstand operator, received a summons from the Department of Consumer Affairs telling him that he doesn’t legally have the right to operate the stand. The newsstand’s former owner, in her will, said she wanted Delakas to gain official control of the kiosk, but two years ago the city denied this, arguing that Delakas wasn’t a family member, so didn’t have succession rights. We had previously heard the issue would be put over until after Mayor Blooomberg left office, leaving it for the next administration to deal with, but now Delakas’s stay on the corner outside Starbucks is in jeopardy. Councilmember Rosie Mendez told us she’ll reach out again to her colleague Dan Garodnick, who chairs the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs, and try to restart the process to help Delakas. One local activist actually suspected Mendez of being behind the new summons. He told us he refused to sign a “Dear Neighbor” letter for Mendez — soliciting support for her in the recent primary election — to be circulated in his housing complex, because he couldn’t do it in good conscience after she supported N.Y.U.’s 2031 mega-development plan. The activist, who has been one of Delakas’s biggest supporters, fears the summons may have been a backlash for withholding his signature. But Mendez said she would never do that. “Why? Because I’m not a vicious bitch,” she told us.
Begging to stop the lynne-sanity: Supporters of radical attorney Lynne Stewart gathered at Theatre 80 St. Mark’s on Tuesday evening, her 74th birthday, to call for her compassionate release from federal prison in Texas. Reportedly terminally ill, Stewart has applied for release but the application is moving “glacially” while she is getting “weaker,” she told supporters in a message. The letter included photos of a bald Stewart, apparently the result of heavy doses of chemotherapy. She urged her backers to demonstrate on Tuesday for her release. “YOU AND YOUR COMRADES, FRIENDS, ACQUAINTANCES CAN GATHER AT YOUR LOCAL FEDERAL (U.S.) COURTHOUSE OR POST OFFICE TO REMIND THEM THAT WE WILL NOT LET ME DIE IN A JAIL CELL!!!,” she wrote, adding of her efforts, “I may be the ‘poster child,’ but this is done on behalf of all the prisoners who are languishing, in pain or worse, trying to go home.”