LookBack: Dispatches from New York City Campaign History

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Photograph made on Sep 10 2013 evening. New York City Elections Primary Night. Christine Quinn’s Primary Night Party at The Dream Hotel – 355 West 16th Street in Manhattan

Tuesday, November 2, 1969
Lindsay is Backed by Many in UFT in Switch from ’68

“A year ago, with most city schools shut by a lengthy strike, Mayor Lindsay was being bitterly denounced by officers and members of the United Federation of Teachers. Now although the leaders of the 56,000-member teachers’ union have maintain neutrality in the mayoral campaign, many members are actively supporting Mayor Lindsay’s bid for reelection. Other members are just as vigorously supporting his opponents — Controller Mario A Procaccino, Democratic-Non-Partisan, and State Senator John J. Marchi, Republican-Conservative. But the fact that an active Lindsay faction has emerged with the union has heartened the mayor’s forces.”
-The New York Times

Tuesday, October 24, 1933
La Guardia Says McKee and Flynn Connive in Graft

“F.H. LaGuardia, Fusion candidate for mayor, attacked Joseph V. McKee, his Recovery Party opponent, and Edward J. Flynn, Democratic leader of the Bronx, last night as protectors of graft, racketeering and exploitation. He accused them of conniving with unscrupulous contractors to cheat labor on city jobs if its just wages he changed them with responsibility for the suicide of Louis H. Willard, a Hofstadter Committee witness, and he said that the former Aldermanic President was a candidate in this campaign ‘because Ed Flynn has the good on him.'”
-The New York Times

Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Ferrer Refuses to Concede to Green

“As the Board of Election tabulates votes from Thursday’s runoff, Ferrer’s backers cling to hopes that their man will emerge as the winner – despite an unofficial audit yesterday that showed Green carrying a 19,000-vote lead. And Ferrer’s concession to Green is, at this point, a distant memory. “Concession to whom?” Roberto Ramirez, Ferrer’s chief adviser, asked yesterday. “Concession to what – the Board of Elections?””

-The Daily News

Wednesday, October 11, 1961
Wagner and Lefkowitz Clash on TV Over Ethics, ‘Bossism’ and State Aid

“Mayor Wager and Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz lashed sharply last night over political ethics, fundraising, bossism and state aid for New York City in a televised discussion of city campaign issues. In answers to question put to him by a panel of newspaper reporters, Mr, Wagner described the Attorney General as boss-controlled, as lacking in understanding of city problems as acquiescing in state decisions adversely affecting the city and as being responsible for flaws in state rent-control laws.

-The New York Times

Tuesday, October 2, 1973
Badillo Will Back Beame for Mayor at Meeting Today

“Representative Herman Badillo, whose anger at losing the Democratic mayoral primary persisted long pas election night, has agreed to endorse the man who beat him, Controller Abraham D. Beame. The two men have scheduled a joint news conference this morning at Beame for Mayor headquarters for the announcement, the latest in a series of endorsements obtained by Mr Beam to split the city’s local Democratic community from Assemblyman Albert H. Blumenthal, the Liberal Party candidate. Mr Badillo was furious at what he felt to be scurrilous literature and other unfair tactics used by some Beame supporters in the June 26 two-candidate mayoral runoff.”

-The New York Times

September 27, 1945
Goldstein Slams Tammany, Urges New Departments

“Judge Jonah J. Goldstein, Republican-Liberal-Fusion candidate for mayor,who spoke at a Liberal Party rally in Madison Square Garden, listed as other parts of his program specials aids to returning veterans, cooperation with the State and Federal governments in efforts to assure full employment, high wages and expanded social security, a public works program to supplement general business activity with emphasis on slum clearance, and a vigorous fight against discrimination in employment… Attacking Tammany and asserting that the major issue of the campaign was good municipal government, he declared: ‘One of our city’s greatest assets is its good name. We must keep that good name. We will not let it be tarnished by the Tammany taint.'”

-The New York Times

September 19, 1989
“Giuliani Slashes Dinkins”

“In a harshly worded attack, Rudolph Giuliani yesterday portrayed David Dinkins as a ‘weak and indecisive’ manager who would squander the city’s money to municipal labor unions and ‘special interests.’ Speaking to an audience of computer salespeople at the Penta Hotel, Giuliani charged that his Democratic opponent was ‘ill prepared’ to become mayor and incapable of running the city because his ‘management experience is minimal and marred by his failure of action.'”


September 12, 1981
“Ethnic Split Amid Tense Runoff Campaign”

On this day 36 years ago, a week after a close and indecisive primary vote, a group of Black politicians endorsed Secretary of State Mario Cuomo as Herman Badillo announced his backing for Rep. Ed Koch. The Times wrote that “Badillo’s sudden endorsement of Koch’s mayoral candidacy while many black officials moved toward Cuomo [was] seen [as] underlining continuing divisions and conflicting ambitions that have prevented black and Puerto Rican communities from forming united political front in New York City.”

September 6, 1985
Candidates Trade Barbs At Last Mayoral Debate

As the mayor’s opponents – City Council President Carol Bellamy and Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell Jr. – made Mayor Koch the issue, he responded with a series of brash assertions and humorous asides that outraged and delighted members of the audience. … Rather than failing with black voters, Mr. Koch asserted, he has more support among blacks than his opponents combined. ”What does that mean, that my opponents are unpopular?” he asked, and then answered, ”Yes!” The audience laughed.

-The New York Times

August 31, 2005
Ferrer and Bloomberg Increase Campaign Attacks on Each Other

Mr. Ferrer is seeking to build his momentum … by revving up his activities and attacks. But the Bloomberg campaign is responding in kind … Yesterday, those tactics reached some kind of extreme when Bloomberg campaign aides sent Herman Badillo … to a Ferrer event outside the Borough of Manhattan Community College to respond to comments Mr. Ferrer did not even make.
-The New York Times

August 23, 2009
CANDIDATE CLAWS BARED: Some refuse to dis, but many skewer their elex opponents

Controller hopeful John Liu lashed out at opponent David Yassky, writing ‘he lacks conviction and trades on personal and political opportunities.’ … In the race for the Democratic mayoral nomination, long-shot candidate Tony Avella starts off calling rival William Thompson a ‘nice guy.’ ‘But,’ he points out, ‘he represents politics as usual and it’s not encouraging when you look at where his money comes from. It is hard to institute substantial change when you consistently accept large donations from people involved in the real estate industry.’ … Thompson suggested Avella doesn’t play nice with other elected officials. ‘Tony has had trouble harnessing his zeal when working with others,’ he wrote..
-Michael Saul, Daily News

August 16, 1993
“Giuliani Calls For Replacing School Board”

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the Republican-Liberal candidate for mayor, said yesterday that the New York City public school system was performing so poorly that the city’s Board of Education should be abolished … Mr. Giuliani joined a growing number of politicians who say the city’s school system has become an unmanageable behemoth. … Five smaller boards, Mr. Giuliani said, would be more efficient, accountable and accessible. “It would help to get parents closer in touch with the school system,” he said on a morning call-in show on WRKS-FM.
-Clifford J. Levy, The New York Times

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August 8, 2013
“Weiner Gramps Up Spat”

Anthony Weiner says it’s no big deal that he called 69-year-old rival George McDonald “grandpa” – because he’s been called a lot worse. “I’ve got a thick skin. I know if you want to be mayor you’ve got to be able to deal with these types of things. I deal with it just about every single day,” said the embattled mayoral candidate, who has been berated by voters for his sexting scandal.
-Erin Durkin, Daily News

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August 1, 1989
“Dems’ Debate: Fast and Furious; Mayoral hopefuls take to TV”

Precisely six weeks before the Sept. 12 primary, the four Democrats will make their only prime-time appearance together at 8 p.m. on WCBS, Ch. 2. They appear two days after The New York Poll, taken for New York Newsday by The Gallup Organization, showed Mayor Edward I. Koch moving up but still trailing Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins – in a four-way primary or a two-candidate runoff. The poll also said that either Dinkins or Koch would beat Republican Rudolph Giuliani, the former U.S. attorney, in November but that Dinkins would beat him by a wider margin.
-Maurice Carroll, Newsday

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July 25, 2001
“Bloomberg Narrows Gap, But Trails All Four Dems”

In a June 7 poll … [Michael] Bloomberg trailed any of the four Democrats by margins of 2 -1 or more. In this latest poll, possible general election matchups show: … Public Advocate Mark Green over Bloomberg 54 – 28 percent, with 15 percent undecided, down from 62 – 20 percent. … Little has changed in the Democratic primary line-up, where Green leads with 30 percent, followed by [Bronx Borough President ] Fernando Ferrer with 18 percent, [City Comptroller Alan] Hevesi with 17 percent, and 16 percent for [Council Speaker Peter] Vallone, with 18 percent undecided.Quinnipiac Poll

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July 19, 1997
“Big Donors to Giuliani Campaign Asked to Assist ‘Running Mate'”

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s campaign has a helpful suggestion for supporters who have given the maximum contribution to his campaign and are seeking ways to impress him further with their generosity. They can raise tens of thousands of dollars for his “running mate,” Assemblyman Jules Polonetsky of Brooklyn, who wants to be public advocate. -David Firestone, New York Times, July 19, 1997

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