On Sunday afternoon, Brooklyn Councilmember Crystal Hudson and NYC Comptroller Brad Lander marshaled volunteers at a busy intersection in Fort Greene to get out the vote for Governor Kathy Hochul's election campaign. This was one of the many events that the Dems and their allies are mounting across the city in a frantic, last-minute push amidst a tightening race. Former mayoral candidate Maya Wiley was there to doorknock, as was 64-year-old Jim Hyde, an artist who lives in Carroll Gardens.
Hyde can be described as a superstar volunteer for the Dems—he told me he canvasses every two years. For the past four weeks, he's been pounding the pavement in Bay Ridge, trying to drum up support for the congressional candidate Max Rose.
"I generally support Democratic moderates, not because that's my actual ideal, but it's the way to move things in the right direction," Hyde told me. (He was a fan of Yuh-Line Niou, arguably the most leftist candidate in her race for Congress.) "I like the moderate Dems, because they're the ones that can give legislatures majorities. And then majorities, you can move things along."
To Hyde, Hochul was "solid," especially when compared to Republican Lee Zeldin, whom Hyde described as a "lunatic." But he had his criticisms. "Hochul's run a terrible campaign," he said. He waved the flyers he had been given. "There's no talking points here, all the talking points are vague." Hyde added, "She figured it was safe, and that she was gonna get another shot."
At the end of his canvassing shift, Hyde returned to the corner of Fort Greene Park where people had gathered, where we spoke with Comptroller Lander. "I think the wake-up call of the last 10 days or so is being heard," Lander said, putting an optimistic spin on the fact that even Joe Biden has felt the need to campaign in New York for Hochul, in a state that national Dems tend to not worry about once primary season is over. Lander added, a bit wryly, "I'm glad we started doing it at least a week ago and didn't wait til now. So fingers crossed on Tuesday."
Here are some optimistic links for your Monday:
—If Hochul and other Democrats in the state go down on Tuesday (goodbye, Dem supermajority?), some Dems are already pointing fingers at Mayor Eric Adams and his endless squawking about crime. As Mondaire Jones told CNN, "Once this election is over, I hope people have an honest conversation about how Democrats like Eric Adams have validated a hysteria over crime that is uninformed and that has been debunked."
—Other people to blame: billionaires like Ronald Lauder, who has personally poured more than $11 million into supporting Lee Zeldin.
—But don't blame Cher!
—Why does the NYPD have an $11 billion budget again?
—A former NYPD officer was convicted on Friday of killing his son, who had autism. From the Daily News: "He's accused of forcing young Thomas to sleep in an unheated garage at his Center Moriches home as temperatures dipped below 20 degrees. Then Valva hosed the child down with freezing water before the boy died from hypothermia on Jan. 17, 2020 prosecutors said."
—Former Department of Buildings head Eric Ulrich, who resigned last week amidst an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into his possible mob connections, was reportedly "hatching a plan to assume a host of inspection responsibilities from the FDNY that developers had long complained took so long they slowed down business growth," according to Politico, and firefighter unions are not happy about the idea. "Self-certification often in the past has been proven to be faulty. It led to the death of firefighters and led to the death of civilians. The fire commissioner, Laura Kavanaugh, has done a great job, and to pull this out from her within the first month of her officially being commissioner is a disgrace," union head Andy Ansbro told the Post.
—Diddy, cannabis entrepreneur.
—A fire in a Midtown Manhattan building that injured dozens of people was reportedly caused by a battery in an e-bike.
—Increased policing in the subways hasn't led to safer subways, but to more harassment of people of color. So what's actually the end goal here?