Recapping the Raucous Mayoral Debate

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seven candidates for the Democratic nomination took the stage at Town Hall in the first official 2013 mayoral primary debate. (NY1 Video)

Seven mayoral candidates stood on stage last night at the first official Democratic primary debate, but most of the focus was on criticizing front-runner Bill de Blasio. David Chen of the New York Times helps play highlights from the often heated 90-minute exchange, and discusses what we learned about the candidates less than a month before primary day. Listeners: What'd you make of the debate? Did it help you make up your mind, or change your mind? Call 212-433-9692 or post below.


David Chen

Comments [19]


I was really insulted by the caller who suggested that the rich have the "freedom" to leave New York City, but somehow the poor and middle class don't have that "freedom."

My family left New York City when both my parents were laid off. People leave New York all the time because they can't afford it any more; but it's still a choice, it's still a freedom.

Poor and middle class New Yorkers have the same rights anybody else does.

Aug. 22 2013 02:25 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

How about Mayor Carlos Danger?

Aug. 22 2013 11:47 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here."


Aug. 22 2013 10:52 AM
linda baumgarten from NYC

Would like to know more about the candidates' position on how they would handle emergencies. Your caller pointed out a very important point regarding seurity and coorperatiion. Given 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy I think that this should be a primary
issue. Also, thanks for announcing on which station the next debate will be. I believe
last night's debat was on NY1 which info took me a while to find and in the end I could not access.

Aug. 22 2013 10:47 AM
Jacob from Harlem

I was at the debate yesterday. The conduct of the audience was a complete disgrace and turned it into even more of a circus than these things normally are. Quinn supporters were screaming every time their candidate said anything, and other supporters weren't much better. The candidates knew this and kept playing to the audience, dropping in applause lines with every sound bite. Errol reminded people to be quiet but to no avail.

At future debates, the staff needs to either forefully impress upon the audience the need to shut up for 90 minutes or just hold the debate in a studio without an audience. This isn't a comedy act or a sports event, and it shouldn't be treated like one.

Aug. 22 2013 10:42 AM

I can't believe this is the best group we can put forward for mayor. Pathetic.

Aug. 22 2013 10:39 AM
db from east village

Does raising property tax just get passed to tenants and small business owners? In my office space, the tenants have to pay the building tax as an extra fee. So in effect, depending on the tenants: the increase may just get passed down from the wealthy to whoever is renting. I might understand the tax incorrectly.

Aug. 22 2013 10:31 AM

Look at all the comments here that are leaning away from Quinn, yet bryan keeps talking about Quinn, Quinn. Ugh, so annoying.

Oh, and here he goes with his anti-wiener campaign. Bryan always tries to bash him every opportunities he gets.

Aug. 22 2013 10:29 AM
Bill de Blasio Supporter from NYC

i'm sensing a lot of bias against de Blasio on this radio show - today and in the past.
Agree with the caller who said 'splitting hairs' with BDB.

I understand you cater to the 1% - but seriously, this is supposed to be an unbiased, objective journalism.

Aug. 22 2013 10:28 AM
Bob from NY

If the ultra-wealthy pay a little more in taxes (believe me, they won't even feel it) so poor kids can be guaranteed early childhood education, we'll ALL be better off.

If young (poor) kids are supported, they'll have a MUCH better shot at succeeding in school and in life, while the opposite (not supporting them, educationally and nutritionally) will result in more crime, law enforcement, jail/prison costs, etc, (which is very expensive for taxpayers) not to mention the misery and suffering of these kids.

Aug. 22 2013 10:25 AM
carolita from NYC

I want to vote for De Blasio, but he's got to learn to talk. Hearing him last night made me understand why he has his son talking in his ads. But I think rich people need to feel like the privilege of living in New York City comes with a responsibility towards the less rich people they're dislocating and even underpaying to maintain their comfort.

Aug. 22 2013 10:23 AM
joan from Brooklyn

Stop, stop, stop with these "debates". They are superficial and embarrassing. I can't stand listening to them in real time and then I have to hear excerpts on radio and TV for days after. Those who run NY aren't at the debates. None of the candidates can do much except around the edges of where the real power lies. Bloomberg out of office will be more powerful than the next mayor. Think about Quinn's reluctance to deal with minimum wage issues to understand where the concerns of the "people" fit in the scheme of things. If any of the rest of the candidates pouring out of the clown car were in her position they would have done the same.

Aug. 22 2013 10:19 AM
barbara from queens

It goes beyond the debate. Both Lui and Weiner may sound good in debates, but Liu brings his baggage of questionable campaign financing and Weiner brings his garbage of, well, we all know about that.

Aug. 22 2013 10:18 AM
don'tletwnycsway you

The media (esp wnyc) seems to be promoting quinn and New yorkers are buying it. Even now, everything about her is a bit funny or cute. It doesn't matter if she talks about a few things like texting, bikes, stop and frisk, because the main underlying issue that will trump everything else is that she supports extending term limits (bloomberg). That may seem harmless, but that's how you get corruption. That's how Bloomberg was able to harm so many middle class people. Yes, the city seems "prettier" and I love the bike lanes, but Bloomberg made it a big mall that none of the cool/artist/east villagers can live in. Instead, he wanted "the best" here, ibankers. That's just a few people. No matter how bad someone in office is, it's only for 2 terms, for 8 years or 6 years, or whatever, and then you switch and give another person a chance for changes. Bloomberg developed the city for his benefit. His billionaire ranking jumped while he was mayor from 142nd richest to number 13. Get it? Let's have a change so we don't give Bloomberg a fourth term.

Also, if everyone thinks they will waste a vote by voting for someone that may not win, then you are not letting the people decide; you're letting media decide.

Aug. 22 2013 10:17 AM
Bob from NY

Forget Quinn -- she's Bloomberg lite, and (despite my personal disdain for term limits) flouted the will of the people who voted in term limits by going around them to get Mayor Mike a 3d term.

DeBlasio is the most progressive. None of the others measure up to that. Thus, DeBlasio's getting my vote.

Aug. 22 2013 10:15 AM

DeBlasio is not being deceptive. You, yourself, said that "politics" was the reason Quinn and Thompson didn't sign up for the 3 aspects of getting rid of stop and frisk. Right, they are walking the line and Bill DeBlasio isn't. When you walk the line, you don't get change. DeBlasio is right.

Plus, his ad and the reaction it received brought this difference to the fore.

Aug. 22 2013 10:14 AM

No one asks DeBlasio how he would pay to keep hospitals open. He just says that he will form a commission. But someone needs to come up with money. The media seems to cover argument, but less on issue details.

Aug. 22 2013 10:11 AM
Steve from Midtown

DeBlasio stated his position on Stop and Frisk clearly, and differentiated himself from both Quinn and Thompson.

Neither Quinn nor Thompson come off as credible reformers of racist police tactics.

Aug. 22 2013 10:10 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Weiner had vigor and energy, but he ain't gonna make it.

Thompson seemed to me a little angry, but I was surprised and heartened to learn that he's a 1%er.

Lui's presentation was strong, but his, not totally authentic, populist progressivism ain't cutting it for the whole city.

Quinn seemed forceful and kinda down the middle of the road in this group. She's the only one to say anything about investing in sewer system infrastructure.

DeBlasio came off as formidable.

This debate only scratched the surface. What about union contracts and pensions? Who can be strong enough to stand up to demands from all directions and put through responsible City budgets?

I guess I'm leaning toward Quinn.

Aug. 22 2013 09:50 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.