Schubin Chronicles

A new kind of politics?

Ever since the attack, Mayor Giuliani has given the impression of being willing to answer all reporters’ questions truthfully and fully, with certain exceptions. He didn’t want to dwell on figures of the dead or missing. He held back certain information he thought might be a security risk or jeopardize the rescue work. He avoided some subjects he thought might be too painful for the survivors.

Tonight he added another category, his secret plan for the future government of New York City. He said he didn’t want to reveal it until he had discussed it with all three of the men whom yesterday’s primary election put in position to become the next mayor. He said he’d discussed it with two but not yet with the third. He said he hoped they’d go along with his plan for a new kind of politics instead of the old. What a cliffhanger!

Incidentally, one of the three said (before the election) that he would go to court if Giuliani tried to run again. A second, when pressed (also before the election), said he would, too, if it became necessary.

The official election results will not be released until Sunday, but the Associated Press has released the following figures as of 3:30 pm today, with 95% of precincts counted:

In Mayor Giuliani’s party, media mogul Michael Bloomberg had a decisive victory over long-time New York politician Herman Badillo, 72% to 28%. Badillo said there was a large write-in vote for Giuliani, but that didn’t show up in these figures. Badillo had offered, before the election, to step aside and let Giuliani have his spot, if the legal issues could be worked out.

In the other party, given that there was a field of five candidates running, none got the requisite 40% to avoid a runoff election. The closest was Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who was supported by the Reverend Al Sharpton. He got 35%. In second place was current Public Advocate (the number two executive position in city government) Mark Green. He got 31%.

That seems closer to Badillo’s 28% than to Bloomberg’s 72%, but the raw figures tell a different story. Bloomberg got 44,761 votes in the counted precincts; Green got 219,555 and Ferrer got 251,333. Ferrer and Green were generally considered to be the most left wing of the candidates of their party; Bloomberg was also considered to be to the left of Badillo. All three are considered to be left of Giuliani.

There were so many candidates in one party’s primary for the public advocate office that we don’t even know who will be in the runoff. One likely candidate is Betsy Gotbaum, a former parks commissioner and the one who raised the most campaign funds. The latest figures I’ve seen have second place (and, therefore, a spot in the runoff) held by Norman Siegel, a civil liberties lawyer who was pretty low in campaign funding. His support reportedly increased considerably after the attacks.

I can’t wait to hear the mayor’s secret plan for our government.

Today, for what I think is the first time since the attack, the New York Times had a Metro section. Today, for what I think is the first time since the attack, our local public radio stations carried the Marketplace financial program.

At sundown this evening, the Jewish Day of Atonement began. That means that traffic will be lighter tomorrow. Starting at 6 am tomorrow, all river crossings into Manhattan below 62nd Street will ban single-occupancy cars. A friend suggested this evening that this will create a new business — people standing near the river crossings offering to ride in cars for a small fee. The restriction is to continue at least through Friday.

I started firing up the Texaco/Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network today in preparation for the coming season. Our primary transmission path, involving a fiber circuit to Staten Island, is fine. We have no working backups at the moment, however. One path, through ABC, is down along with ABC’s other circuits to Staten Island. They hope to have it back by Friday. And none of our ISDN circuits has long-distance access. We have a little over two months to work things out. I’m sure we will.

The saga continues.

TTFN, Mark