City newspapers pick their horses
A round-up of what NYC’s editorial boards are saying about the candidates in the upcoming elections
The real estate industry — and business world in general — have a lot riding on this month’s mayoral primary, not to mention the other citywide political races that will be decided when voters go to the polls. But they’re not the only ones weighing in on the candidates. Endorsements from the city’s big newspapers are now rolling in, too. And they, too, are stressing that the stakes are high.
As the New York Post put it: “Under Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg, this city was transformed from a grimy, crime-ravaged urban wasteland into a safe, vibrant metropolis that continues to attract new residents and businesses. … But the voters must not be fooled — we can end up like Detroit faster than you can say David Dinkins.”
So far, the city’s three main dailies — the New York Times, the New York Post and the Daily News — have all endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the Democratic mayoral primary. And the Post and the Times have endorsed former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota in the Republican primary. All three papers have also picked the not-so-flashy Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer over real estate scion Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as governor in the wake of a prostitution scandal, in the surprisingly contentious race for city comptroller.
Here’s what the boards had to say about the roster of candidates on the ballot.
The New York Times
“Ms. Quinn has no specific plan to require the richest New Yorkers to pay more in taxes in service of important civic goals (she says she will raise taxes as a last resort), but neither has [Quinn] made a long list of unrealistic promises.”
“Mr. Lhota is more than the sum of his years as Mr. Giuliani’s top deputy, and he is the best qualified of the three men seeking the Republican nomination for mayor.”
“Mr. Catsimatidis, an affable man, … likes to call his fund-raisers “friend-raisers,” and it doesn’t sound ludicrous. He also promises to make this city of eight million people a cleaner, well-run, thriving place, but we won’t take [Catsimatidis] seriously until he can [clean up] Gristedes.”
“Scott Stringer has done an outstanding job as Manhattan borough president and would make a fine New York City comptroller. He is not a flashy candidate and he has no measurable notoriety. But in this turbulent election season, we don’t need another celebrity office seeker.”
“Eliot Spitzer has intellect and cunning, but he lacks the qualities critical for this job. Mr. Spitzer entered the race at the last minute, seemingly for no reason except to thrust himself back into the limelight and to offer his services again as sheriff of Wall Street. But that is a problem: it’s the same character, in a different play, on the wrong stage.”
New York Post
“Lhota stands head and shoulders above the field. He has valuable know-how and experience, in both the public and private sectors.”
“[S]elf-made billionaire John Catsimatidis … [has] focused attention on the plight of city businesses. … But there is a difference between running a business and running a government, and all of Catsimatidis’ policy proposals have fallen flat, or just been downright goofy.”
“After very nearly toppling Bloomberg four years ago, Thompson brought to this year’s race seasoning, a capacity to make considered judgments, a steady temperament and a proven talent for connecting with New Yorkers of all stripes. Yet [Thompson’s] case has been less compelling than Quinn’s more specific agenda of do-able plans.”
“De Blasio’s oratory is far more powerful than the small-bore economic inequality fixes that he has advanced.”