Mayoral Debate Recap

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily News reporter Adam Lisberg and Juan Manuel Benitez, reporter for NY1 Noticias and host of Pura Política, recap the Mayoral debate.


Juan Manuel Benitez and Adam Lisberg

Comments [35]

John from Manhattan

Apparently he thinks that Spanish-speakers are SUCH one-issue voters that they'll vote for a guy who speaks the same language no matter how much he abuses them.

Oct. 14 2009 10:28 PM
John from Manhattan

In the broadcast it is stated [truthfully] that black/hispanic residents of this city are the overwhelming targets of the [unaccountable] NYPD's stop/question/frisk policy...a bare repudiation of the protections of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Then Bloomberg has the gall to attempt to connect with Spanish-speakers in the city with an attempt at a spanish-language answer to a question posed.

How cynical...the pure insult of it all is staggering.

Oct. 14 2009 10:09 PM
CT from Hamilton Heights

LOVING MoNYC's hilariously spot-on comments about Bloomberg's "Spandering"! Those are pretty much the same thoughts I had when I saw his first Spandering ads earlier this year ( I'd like to see Bloomberg try that phony stuff here in my neighborhood. The laughter and groans would be deafening.

And I'm sorry to be the semantic cop here, but gowanda from nyc: How can a comment be succinct AND verbose at the same time? Just sayin'.

Oct. 14 2009 03:13 PM
Dan from Sunset Park, Brooklyn

I watched the debate and Thompson performed as expected: lame. Thompson is an uninspiring candidate. H didn't do enough to define or defend his agenda.

When Bloomberg challenged Thompson about his tenure at the Board of Education and as Comptroller, Thompson was evasive, answering how he wasn't in charge and how Bloomberg was also responsible. He should have given strong response providing flattering statistics.

Thompson's best point was people are moving to the Poconos because NYC is too expensive. Bloomberg definitely doesn't get it. It was laughable when Bloomberg said people aren't sleeping on benches anymore, that's just not true.

I'm disappointed that none of the questioners remembered/mentioned that when Bloomberg was running for Mayor the first time, he said he would only serve one term. I believe he said it was on the principle that he shouldn't pander while in office. In addition, it would have been good to hear a question about transportation issues.

Transportation is the one thing I really like about Bloomberg's tenure. He's improved the city by providing excellent facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. He's advocated tolling the bridges or congestion pricing. If Thompson comes out in support of these policies, I'll vote for him. Otherwise, I'm on the fence.

On a side note, I really hate Bloomberg's campaign tactics. He's running now just like he did against Mark Green: take some small fact about or quote from your opponent, remove all of the context, distort it to be negative, then spend millions blasting it to the masses.

Oct. 14 2009 11:16 AM
MoNYC from Sunnyside

gowanda from nyc: I'm sorry if my comment sounded like BT campaign shill but I'm definitely NOT affiliated with the Thompson campaign or any other campaign. I just wholeheartedly feel everything that I wrote. I'm just a New Yorker who's fed up with the mailings and the ads boasting accomplishments that aren't congruent with the realities that I see in my neighborhood. And as an attendee last night I wrote up my impressions.

Oct. 14 2009 11:05 AM
Elaine from Manhattan

It seems to me the Mayor along with Christain Quinn are focusing on bailing out the Developers. Why are they bailing out greed?

Quinn was purposing (not sure if it went through) to make up the difference when developers sale luxury condos at a discount? If they are underwater, so be it, they took the gamble and lost, this will teach them a valuable lesson, don't be blinded by greed!

Not long ago Bloomie justified the inflated real estate prices and now with halted developement sites they are passing legislation to benefit the Developers. Why let them sit on sites for FOUR YEARS, while people are loosing their homes?!?!

Our household income is down 50% we no longer can afford our rental, looking to move,maybe out of the City (Miami) could be a better option.

The LLs/Developers never give an inch, now they are being given a metal jacket by our City government.

It is time for a change. I acutally think Bloomberg is out of touch with real people and is over confident,I think if Thompson can find his voice (I actually am a little disapointed he hasn't yet, he has the wrong mantra in the term issure)

Oct. 14 2009 10:58 AM
Joseph Benitez from Manhattan

The "softball" questions posed by the panel of "journalists" to the mayoral candidates was embarrassing. As life-long latino resident of NYC, i was especially perplexed by Mr. Benitez' dumb question about latinos on the staffs of the two candidates. He wasted an oppotunity to learn more about what policies these two men have established through their powerful offices that have impacted the quality of life for latinos and people of colour in NYC. Some latinos may care about appointments, but the vast majority of us care more about the same things everyone else in NYC cares about: Health care, saftey, schools,sanitation, transportation etc. Mr. Benitez' comment this morning about latinos laughing at Mr. Bloomberg's accent in spanish was horribly insulting. I applaud the mayor's effort to learn my language and reach out to us kin our language.....who cares about the accent. It's a wonderful gesture and a recognition of latino citizens of NYC.

Oct. 14 2009 10:55 AM
Josh Holbreich from Manhattan

23 states pay out a higher maximum weekly unemployment benefit than New York State's famous $405. Of those 23, only 3 have a higher cost of living (COL) than the Empire State (44th Highest COL). MA ranks one lower at 43, but pays out $900. OK, with the lowest COL pays 392. How is this fair? Is it supposed to balance out because my rent in manhattan is higher than that of someone in Oklahoma, but I don't have to pay fo car insurance as a user of mass transit? Disclosure -- I am laid of journalist. Sources for the above: US Dept of Labor, Reported by Associated Press, 11/20/08, Council for Community and Economic Research (Formerly ACCRA)

Oct. 14 2009 10:46 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I couldn't catch the 2nd category that Bloomberg mentioned in Spanish. It sounded like "nombrados," which would mean people named, possibly "nominees." Maybe he meant "appointees," people he named to their positions? Between his bad pronunciation & bad vocabulary, not to mention his really bad grammar, I really couldn't tell what he meant. I'd like to see the numbers he supplies to Juan Manuel Benitez.

And MoNYC [4]--"Spandering" is a great term! Y ess-toy day akooayrdoe. (For those who can't read bad Spanish, it means I agree.)

Oct. 14 2009 10:41 AM
hjs from 11211

is there a green party candidate?

Oct. 14 2009 10:37 AM
Daniel from LES

I am leaning away from voting for Bloomburg in light of his statement that Giuliani would make a good governor.
He didn't say he would support him, but without his firm commitment that he would be opposed to Giuliani I find it impossible to vote for Bloomburg

Oct. 14 2009 10:33 AM
mk from rockaway

I felt *exactly* the same way as the caller who said Thompson's flippant response to the gay rights question turned her right off.

Altho gay rights is not a crucial issue for me, my feeling is that this marks Thompson as a wishy washy personality who just panders automatically (a Pavlovian panderer!) -- the *absolute most pathetic* kind of politician.

Oct. 14 2009 10:30 AM
RLewis from bowery

I'm less concerned about the Mayor, but we really need to get real about Term Limits.

2 terms is just not long enough to be the Maximum allowed.

Things move soooo slow in nyc, and it takes time to get good things done. So, vote for whomever you'd like, but still 2 Terms - just not a good maximum.

Oct. 14 2009 10:27 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Does the caller really think that raising water rates is a policy "just for the rich"? Water and sewage costs money. In my opinion it's better to pay for it than neglect the infrastructure or borrow the money.

Oct. 14 2009 10:27 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

I'm in my fifties and learning Italian. Can I be President of Italy now?

Oct. 14 2009 10:26 AM

Oh, c'mon, now you are showing your bias toward your admittedly wonderful audience and class.

Black churches preach vociferously against so called gay rights -- I assume that Thompson simply calculated that alienating gay people is the price of getting black and hispanic people to head to the polls and vote for him.

Oct. 14 2009 10:25 AM
EAA from NYC

I am not happy with Bloomberg's unilateral change of the term limits, however, crime, safety and anti-terrorism efforts are high on my list of issues.

Before last night, I was leaning towards voting for Bloomberg partly b/c I was guessing that the city would lose police commissioner Ray Kelly as well (e.g. he'd leave). In the debate, Thompson confirmed my hypothesis by announcing he'd get rid of the chiefs in the administration.

This confirmation was a 'game changer' for me and 'sealed the deal' for me. I also didn't feel Thompson conveyed what he'd do in office to move the city forward.

Oct. 14 2009 10:21 AM

Technically, if voting against Bloomberg is considered a public referendum on his right to run, and he loses, then shouldn't there be *another* vote if he isn't re-re-elected, i.e. Thompson vs. another candidate whose legitimacy isn't contested? Of course, by setting it up this way of course Bloomberg of course squeezed that candidate out of the picture.

Oct. 14 2009 10:20 AM
Pedrito from Bronx, NY

I watched the debate last night and have to say they both are winners and we the voters are the losers. I'm so disappointed with some of the "waste of time" questions such as have you ever had a manicure or a pedicure! I can't believe we have to pick from these two. Bloomberg Yes Rudy Giuliani for NY Gov and Thompson Yes Pedro (crook) Espada is a better majority leader? God Help Us!

Oct. 14 2009 10:14 AM
Rob from The Bronx

The lighting round, yes or no questions is not informative and should be scrapped. Can someone/anyone point out what substantive information that they gained during this round that would sway them?

Oct. 14 2009 10:13 AM
Rob from The Bronx

The lighting round, yes or no questions is not informative and should be scrapped. Can someone/anyone point out what substantive information that they gained during this round that would sway them?

Oct. 14 2009 10:13 AM
stanley dorn from g village

Bloomberg's allegation that the term limits issue is moot because the voters can choose ignores the point that his mere ability to run as an incumbent (not to mention a billionaire) limited the field of candidates in the first place and therefore limited choice. Of course, Thompson will not make this point.

Oct. 14 2009 10:13 AM
mbk from nyc

Bloomberg is not admitting that the term limit change was wrong-He is acknowledging that some people may be against him for that. He is acknowledging that people are FREE TO VOTE for who they want to. If you are a one issue voter, if this is the most important thing to you-you will have to vote for Thompson. he is a realist and he is not ignoring the realities of the past.

Oct. 14 2009 10:12 AM
antonio from park slope

This is from NY Liberal Examiner; Matt Arnold...

"Mike Bloomberg could never be mistaken as an advocate for the LGBT community. When Gavin Newsom was marring gay couples in San Francisco in 2005, Bloomberg instead appealed against a court ruling that would have allowed gay marriage in New York City, and he won, which is why gay people are now forced to look to the State Legislature to make marriage equality happen. And when the city council passed the Equal Benefits Law, requiring that contractors who do work with the city avoid discrimination and offer gay employees the same work benefits offered to straight couples, Bloomberg again sued to prevent that from being enforced, and again he won."

Oct. 14 2009 10:12 AM
Steven Mark from Manhattan UES

I like the way Bloomberg has run the City but Democracy trumps tyranny. The Mayor should have let the people decide on term limits. I'm writing in George Washington.

Oct. 14 2009 10:10 AM
Chris B from UWS

I was very much against Bloomberg's candidacy, but honestly, as of last night, I can see myself voting for the Mayor.

Although I would prefer if he wouldn't have promised to not run again. I need to know he has enough skin in the game to need continued support for many years to come.

Bill Thompson did not impress me at all.

Oct. 14 2009 10:09 AM
Alistair Wallace from midtown

Like everyone else, I was most surprised that Bloomberg has never paid for a mani/pedi.

Oct. 14 2009 10:08 AM
Robert from NYC

Ouch! on Obama's gay rights do nothing policy. I want Bloomberg out but gay rights is VERY important Mr Thompson. Ouch!

Oct. 14 2009 10:07 AM
gowanda from nyc

Last comment, I promise...
BT gave me no reason to vote for him other than term limits and if this is how he's running his campaign, what will he do as mayor - complain that the city is broke and therefore in hurting and hurting more?
I hope the BT campaign people read these critical comments and come out swinging with actual agendas and ideas.
At this point, between the two of them, Bloomberg is looking like the better candidate - in all fairness, he hasn't been such a terrible mayor.

Oct. 14 2009 09:54 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Could Adam Lisberg please give us the facts on Mayor Bloomberg's charge that Comptroller Thompson takes campaign contributions from those doing business with his office and receiving huge fees for investing the NYC Pension Funds. Is this an ethics question or not?

Also, what has been the performance of the Pension Funds during Mr. Thompson's tenure, and how much control over investment decisions does the comptroller really have?

Oct. 14 2009 09:49 AM
gowanda from nyc

MoNYC from Sunnyside: your very succinct and verbose comment is raising serious questions as to your 'neutrality", are you on the BT campaign by any chance?
I am pro-BT but last night was the pits of his performance - let's call a spade a spade.

Oct. 14 2009 09:48 AM
MoNYC from Sunnyside

I was in the audience last night and in view of Bloomberg being booed during the introductions, I'd say the audience was definitely more pro-Thompson from the get-go. And that proved to be the case when I'd hear groans at times when Bloomberg spoke and applause when Thompson.

As a Latina, I was unimpressed by Bloomberg's espanyol. I call that "Spandering" (the disingenious fawning of Spanish-speaking voters and consumers) and I cannot stand it. It's like "Bloomberg, give me liveable, progressive policies for me and my people and I'll take it in friggin' Klingon! No need to ablar mal pahrah meee." And related, quit the salsa background music in your Spanish-language ads--not all Latinos like Salsa!

Overall, I thought Bloomberg's answers increasingly revealed how out of touch he is. For instance, I thought his claims on the success of his mayoral control of the dept of ed are ridiculous. High test scores do not equal progress. If you cram for a test for over 100 days rather than actually the learn stuff, you'll get a high score too but it doesn't mean you've actually learned anything. It's common occurence among teacher-friends to have to pay for ALL of their school supplies. And no ones mentioned the hiring freeze or the rubber room. Mayoral control has NOT improved the schools.

And his claim that there aren't any people sleeping on benches because of his housing policies is WAY out of touch. I can't tell you how many more homeless people and improverished families I'm seeing. (Mothers getting hand outs and ripping garbage bags to collect bottles for recycling).

Thompson gets it: average NYers have been squeezed and displaced in the past eight years. Bloomberg can't see beyond his billions.

I think I was anti-Bloomberg going into the debate but by the end of the debate I was definitely pro-Thompson.

Oct. 14 2009 09:15 AM
stephen from prospect heights

I was embarrassed by Bloomberg's Spanish soliloquy; this seemed cheap. However, with that said, I have to attempt to transcend my knee-jerk liberal tendencies and admit that, although, not all things for all people, the Bloomberg administration has been the best mayoral administration in my life time of 45 years. I cannot remember a time when there was so much transparency and lack of corruption. Bloomberg has definitely inherited the Rockefeller Republican scepter with his support of education and the arts. Because he is so filthy rich, I do not see any real motivation for Bloomberg to run other than philanthropy. And now that Doctoroff is not the deputy any longer, maybe we can be a little more secure about the administration handing the city over tot developers. Again, although lacking some of the grays in pitching it as an either or, I feel that Bloomberg stated his case cogently, let the people's vote act as a vote of confidence on his record or a vote of dissension disapproving of his record.

Oct. 14 2009 08:46 AM
Chuck Renaud from Brooklyn

Unfortunately, Thompson is absolutely dreadful.

New Yorkers voted twice for term limits for elected officials.

Oct. 14 2009 06:41 AM
K from Brooklyn

I'm upset that I missed this debate. Do you know where I can watch or listen to the full version online?

Oct. 14 2009 01:16 AM

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