Previewing Tonight's Big Mayoral Debate

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Brian is a panelist for tonight's debate -- the first official CFB debate between the Democratic candidates for mayor. Errol Louis of NY1, moderator for the debate, and Brian's fellow panelists Juan Manuel Benitez of NY1Noticias and NY1 reporter Grace Rauh discuss what to expect.

WNYC will air the debate live tonight, have live video and a live chat, plus debate bingo! All the information you need is here.


Juan Manuel Benitez, Errol Louis and Grace Rauh

Comments [23]

paulb from Prospect Heights

That guy who called about leaving NYC when he retires, I wish he'd said where he lives. Does he mean he insists on being able to live in Manhattan, possibly even in his current neighborhood? There are less expensive neighborhoods in New York. Or does he mean it's Manhattan or I'm outta here?

Aug. 21 2013 11:28 AM
lin from NYC

Last week the Mayoral Debate was broadcast on either channel 7 or 9. I do not understand
why none of the original "major" station (2,4,7,9,11) will not be broadcasting the debate
this week. This seems really odd considering the importance of this election.

Aug. 21 2013 11:23 AM
lucy from Brooklyn

Can you ask the candidates what they think about developing on the peers on the Hudson River even if it violates the clean water act?

Aug. 21 2013 11:18 AM

Will any of the candidates stand-up to the triumphing of ideologically and politically driven agenda over public health? Or will they continue, as our current "Public Health Mayor" [sic] to capitulate to such demands of the "LGBTQ" lobby as:
- The whitewashing and effective promotion, in our schools and health agencies, of an inherently unygeinic, gruesome, anatomically and physiologically unsound, brutal (pseudo-)sex act
(For elaboration, including some citations, see previous posts of mine, accessible via
or by just clicking-on my user name )

- The "transgender" travesty, a far from harmless fiction that exploits and preys-upon the mentally ill. (For a brief elaboration see my posts at )

The choice is in the hands of each candidate.

Aug. 21 2013 10:56 AM
Keith from Brooklyn

Short version of my question: Do the candidates support reappointing the current Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan?

Longer version of my question: Do the candidates support the ways in which the city has become more friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists during Janette Sadik-Khan's time as Transportation Commissioner? Will they continue to expand efforts like more bike lanes, pedestrian plazas (like those along Broadway at 42nd, 23rd, 14th...), and clear eye-level signage with neighborhood maps? In other words, will they promote a vision of our city that becomes decreasingly dependent upon cars and trucks?

Aug. 21 2013 10:56 AM
Terry from Queens

pls ask the candidates their position on the proposed destruction of the research stacks beneath Bryant Park, and the proposed closings of the SIBL (science, industry and business library) and 40th street library. Every voter has their make or break issue; this is mine. Thanks.

Aug. 21 2013 10:55 AM
Nick Lento from NJ

All of the candidates claim to be against the current stop and frisk policies. The one element in the recent judicial ruling that cuts to the core of TRULY holding police accountable for their actions while on duty in the use of wearable cameras. Best if there is more than one in front and even one at the back!

The tech is there for these to weigh ounces and still be able to record and store video for 24 hours. The data should be stored for maybe three months and then discarded...unless an incident requires archiving particular bits.

Good cops who are diligent and competent and play by the rules would welcome such cameras (with audio tracks) as a way of achieving more convictions as more useful evidence would be gathered. Cops who know that they routinely do things they re ashamed of will cry out like stuck pigs at the idea of implementing such a technology.

We live in a time where virtually anything a member of the public subject to being recorded for use by businesses and government.....we are all susceptible to being on camera all the time.......why should a cop on duty chafe at the prospect of being held to the same standard that the rest of us are held to?

We live in a time where cops have a virtual right to shoot and kill whenever the feel, or claim to feel, subjectively that they are l in danger.........why not have an objective tool that can monitor these life and death situations?

I have been advocating for wearable cop cams for the past ten years...this is an old idea whose time has come long ago...and is past due now. Again, why should we all be susceptible to having everything we do in public be recorded and retroactively readable....but the cops themselves, the watchers, are immune for being held accountable for their actions? The status quo makes no good sense?

The privacy issues are real and can be dealt with.......I find it disingenuous that folks like Ray Kelly have suddenly become concerned with privacy......let us not be bamboozled.

The only reason to keep the status quo is to protect cops from ever truly being held accountable for their on duty actions...and that is morally, legally and ethically wrong.

Aug. 21 2013 10:50 AM
Karla Fisk from Inwood, Manhattan

Please ask the candidates where they stand on shale gas, fracking, and (very urgent) the Spectra Pipeline, the dangerous shale gas (natural gas) pipeline currently being built to run underneath the West Village.

For more information on the Spectra Pipeline, see:

For more information on shale gas and fracking, see and .

Aug. 21 2013 10:48 AM
RJ from prospect hts

When Weiner refers to "single-payer," ask him what he means? He wants smoking public sector workers to pay more for health care. "More" and inequitable payments are exactly contrary to the definition of single payer.

React to conditions put on public assistance of any kind; i.e., they can't buy certain products with food stamps, Bloomberg wants them to be finger-printed (personally, I can think of many such restrictions I'd like to put on other public help recipients, such as the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, etc.)

Aug. 21 2013 10:44 AM

300 sq. feet is "micro???" I'm in a plain ordinary tenement 200-sq. footer. 300 feet would be HEAVEN for me.


Our leaders acquiesced to NYU totally against the wishes of the people who actually live here. Do a map, coloring all NYU's properties in purple--you'll be astonished. How much MORE do they need?? There is no end to it.

Aug. 21 2013 10:41 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

Brian, your suggestion that the elderly live out their final years in a 300 square foot cubicle is offensive. Would this be acceptable to you? This is NYC's idea of affordable housing? It's an embarrassment.

Aug. 21 2013 10:40 AM
dan k from park slope

Please ask how they will fix the long waits and general lack of accountability at the DOB. It takes so long to get projects through, and the capricious and power happy nature of the examiners, make it so difficult for architects to get approvals that clients get scared away from renovations and new construction. Thus we architects and contractors lose work, and the city loses money.

Aug. 21 2013 10:40 AM
Ben from Washington Heights

What will the candidates do to ensure that police hold drivers accountable to damage that they cause on our streets? As we saw yesterday near Rockefeller Center, vehicles maim and kill pedestrians and bicyclists and the police rarely if ever press charges.

Aug. 21 2013 10:39 AM

My concern about Stringer and his commitment to the middle class is the fact he was borough president of Manhattan during a time the island continued to become even more unaffordable for the middle class, forcing many to leave. I do not recall him standing up to Bloomberg to try to fight these expensive high rises from going up.

Aug. 21 2013 10:38 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Fracking, yes or no? NYC gets water and energy from upstate and the mayoralty is a bully pulpit.

Aug. 21 2013 10:38 AM


A suggestion for your question:

"For those of you who are committed to keeping LICH open, how can this be achieved, and are you concerned about the current dangerous conditions for patients still there or being taken in?"

I've heard from doctor friends who are aghast at the hazards to patients of keeping LICH open day-to-day. I would love to see the hospital gain solvency and return to serving the community at full capacity, but do not understand how this is possible or how a mayor can make it happen.

Aug. 21 2013 10:37 AM

Questions for the debate - Do you support keeping LI College and Interfaith hospitals open? If so, how do you propose making them solvent? What would you propose to secure their long term financial health? Is it feasible or wise to incorporate them into the City's public hospital network?

Aug. 21 2013 10:34 AM
Seth from Manhattan

For all candidates, how about a specific affordable housing question? Current NYC definition of "affordable" housing for "mixed income" programs includes families with incomes up to 175% of "Area Median Income," which is $85,000, vs. $46,000 for New York City proper. So tax breaks go to developers for supplying housing to families earning up to $150,325 for a family of four - that's less than 8% of the city population. Would you maintain or change these definitions and how, and do you think this represents a good allocation of city resources to meet housing needs?

Aug. 21 2013 10:31 AM
Al from Marine Park from Brooklyn, NY

Brian, your first question tonight should be, "Who among you is willing to rise above criticizing any one else's policies or history, and only talk about what your record is and what your policies would be?"

Aug. 21 2013 10:24 AM
Joyce from NYC

Wow --


1) We have the lowest crime-rate, murder rate in the country -- 90% lower than some other big cities, 80% lower than it was under Democratic mayors.

2) We have 1/2 the police shootings of any other big city

How high a murder rate does each candidate want to go back to.

BTW -- I am 100% in favor of the lapel cameras.

Aug. 21 2013 10:23 AM
gary from queens

Here's an analogy concerning stop and frisk that pro vaccine Brian Lehrer can understand.

Public health officials, seeking to vaccinate everyone under the sun (and in the shade!), claim that they are a victim of their own success. They allege (incorrectly) that vaccines eradicated infectious diseases, and therefore parents who refuse vaccination do so because they have no memory of the supposed horrors of infectious disease epidemics.

Similarly, the mayo could rightly claim that the police are a victim of their own success. stop and frisk has succeeded in discouraging gang bangers from carrying firearms. That has resulted in the greated reduction in firearm injuries and deaths in history. And now, as a result, residents of NY have no memory of the violence that plagued NYC in the 70s and 80s

Aug. 21 2013 10:21 AM

Regardless of who ultimately wins the respective primaries, voters will still have other choices. In addition to whatever third-party candidates will be on the ballot, one always has the option of /writing-in/ whomever one wishes.

Many people who have become disgusted, whether merely with the candidates in a given election or, more generally and fundamentally, with our electoral system and/or political process itself, choose to simply not vote. But not voting at all is at least as likely to be interpreted as a sign of apathy, indifference or laziness than one of principled protest.

When, however, one votes for /third-party/ or /write-in/ candidates, one makes a statement that he (or she) takes voting seriously but rejects the choices being offered.

I appreciated Errol Louis's expose` and critique of the cult-leader, racketeer and hate-monger duo that are Lenora Fulani and Fred Neuman. (Heard a number of years ago, here on WNYC).

Aug. 21 2013 10:16 AM

When Christine Quinn set up those phony groups for earmarks to the council members Bill Thompson was Comptroller and he did not find these irregularities when auditing the council books.

Aug. 21 2013 10:16 AM

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