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Saturday
Aug032013

Anthony Weiner Appoints New Campaign Manager, Blitzes Local Media

Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign has confirmed the appointment of Camille Joseph as campaign manager, thus filling the spot vacated when Danny Kedem quit as campaign manager a week ago.

Joseph, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was formerly the campaign’s political director.

The move comes as Weiner seeks to put to rest questions about the sexting scandal that continues to dog him on the campaign trail. To that end, the embattled former congressman fielded questions from several New York media outlets at his campaign headquarters early Friday afternoon.

“I guess what I can’t dispute for a minute is that days and days and days of headlines about my personal life isn’t helpful,” he told ABC News affiliate WABC, admitting that questions about his past conduct were hurting his ability to connect with voters.

Weiner, 48, said he was staying in the race, but could not rule out additional embarrassing communications or pictures from his past resurfacing.

“These things are behind me 100 percent,” he told WABC.  “I still can’t say that someone else might not have something from two years ago or last year.”

The latest disclosures have cost him his front-runner status in the Democratic primary race.

He also added in a separate interview with WNBC that he had deleted all the records associated with his past lewd conduct. “I don’t have any of the records,” he said. “I deleted everything.”

Weiner also denied reports that the Clinton family is upset about his remaining in the race and said he had not spoken recently with the Clintons.

“I have no reason to believe that she [Hillary Clinton] is annoyed,” Weiner told WNBC.

The New York City primary election is Sept. 10.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun082013

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Formally Announces Senate Bid

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced on Saturday that he will seek the Senate seat made vacant when Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died earlier this week.

“I’m here today to officially announce my candidacy to be New Jersey’s next United States senator,” Booker said in a news conference. “Democracy is not a spectator sport, but now as much as in any time, we must bring people together. We must actually get into the complicated difficult messy arena and take on the difficult challenges, work in uncommon ways with conviction and courage.”

Booker, who has served as mayor of Newark for seven years, praised Lautenberg for his service and leadership in New Jersey and the Senate.

“As a senator and as a citizen, he has been one of the most impactful New Jerseyans. He was truly a giant in the United States Senate. He was a giant for our state and a giant for our nation from his service in World War II to his assiduous work and advocacy in the U.S. Senate,” he said. “Generations yet unborn will feel the impact of his leadership and contributions.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set the date for the special election to fill Lautenberg’s seat for Oct. 16, three weeks before Christie faces re-election himself. On Thursday, Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa, a Republican, as interim senator, but Chiesa does not plan on running in the special election this year. The Democratic primary for the seat will be held in August.

Booker, 44, is well known for his heroic acts as well as for his active Twitter account. He said on Saturday he’s often been criticized for his tweeting, but that will not deter him.

“Too much Twitter from the mayor, too much exposure — there is not a criticism I haven’t heard over the years. I’ve heard it all but, there’s one thing that everyone has to admit about my life as a professional,” he said. “I do not run from challenges. I run towards them.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr162013

Mayors Menino, Giuliani Praise First Responders in Boston Bombing

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Boston Mayor Thomas Menino Tuesday evening received condolences for the Boston Marathon bombing from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who compared it to the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack.

“One of the images that I take away from yesterday, having watched it all day, were your firefighters, your police officers and some of your citizens running right into the fire, and that reminded me of my firefighters and my police officers who ran into the building,” Giuliani told Menino, speaking mayor-to-mayor in a joint interview with World News’ Diane Sawyer.

Mayor Menino agreed, adding firefighters and EMS to the list of American heroes in Boston Monday.

“They reacted instantly and helped save lives,” Menino said. “When it blew up, they moved quickly, and I’m very proud of what the first responders did yesterday afternoon.”

“People of Boston should be, too,” Giuliani said. “They should be very proud of their citizens, all of whom reacted in a very, very brave way, and I was very heartened by that.”

The brief meeting between the two mayors of major American cities was a surprise for Menino, who did not know Giuliani was listening in on his interview with Sawyer.

Before being joined by Menino, Giuliani recalled being in London for the 2005 bombing that killed 52 civilians in the train system.

“They caught those people in less than a day,” Giuliani said. “They caught them on tape."

“Now hopefully, they have tapes like that [in Boston],” Giuliani said. “They’ve got a lot of surveillance cameras in Boston – more than New York, less than London.”

He suggested it was possible, too, that a spectator might have incidentally caught the moment on camera.

His advice to the people of Boston was to “go about their lives.”

“They should not let whatever form of terrorist this is, they shouldn’t let them win, because this is what they’re trying to do. They can’t capture us. They can’t overwhelm us. They can’t destroy us. All they can do is frighten us and try to stop us from doing the things that make us a great country. We shouldn’t let them do that,” the former New York City mayor said. “My heart goes out to them.”

Menino told Sawyer that authorities continue to investigate the attack that left three dead and more than 170 wounded, going over the area with a “fine-toothed comb,” and that a pressure cooker might have been involved.

“We don’t have any other information that we can give to the public at this time, but I know the FBI, the Boston police [and] the state police are all working very closely on this investigation,” Menino said.

He echoed Giuliani by saying he was optimistic that footage from surveillance and private citizens’ cameras would allow officials to find the attacker.

“We have a lot of video on this, and we’re looking at all that video and asking the public who might have cameras to give them to the Boston police so they can look at the information,” the five-time Boston mayor said. “That’s the most camera-ed area in the city of Boston.”

Putting aside the deep-rooted baseball rivalry between the two cities, New York’s Yankee Stadium played the song “Sweet Caroline” during the Yankee game Tuesday night as a tribute to Boston, where the song is a Fenway Park tradition for the Red Sox.

“That’s a historic moment when that song goes off at the ballgame,” Menino said.

“We are all together tonight,” Giuliani assured him.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov012012

Biden Says Bloomberg’s Endorsement Resonates as Call for Unity

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(FT. DODGE, Iowa) – Hours after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his support of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden cited Bloomberg’s endorsement as a call for the country to unite together, regardless of political affiliation.

“When Mayor Bloomberg did his announcement today in support of our ticket, the essence of what he said, the essence of what he said was, 'We’ve got to work together. We’ve all got to be in this together. We’ve got to stop this … blue and red. We’re a purple nation, man. We’re made of Democrats, and, we really are,'” Biden said at the Fort Dodge Museum Opera House in Iowa.

Bloomberg, who identifies as an independent, made his endorsement Thursday afternoon via an op-ed on his personal website, citing climate change as the reason for his support.

“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action,” Bloomberg said.

Biden has had kind words to say about Bloomberg in recent days as the New York mayor leads relief efforts in his city in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. In Ocala, Fla. Wednesday, Biden noted that Bloomberg “is one hell of a guy.”

The vice president said he spoke to President Obama Thursday about Bloomberg’s endorsement, saying, “a good friend of mine and ours was going to endorse us today, and he did.” Biden told the crowd President Obama was campaigning in Nevada Thursday but always kept his mind on Iowa, the place which launched his presidential career.

“We’re criss-crossing the country, but he sent his love and affection. He knows he’s president of the United States because of the state of Iowa,” Biden said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr062012

Former DC Mayor Apologizes for Comments on Asians’ ‘Dirty Shops'

Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry apologized Thursday evening for comments he made earlier this week regarding Asian business owners, saying in a statement that he was “deeply apologetic for any harm I have caused.”

“I am sorry that my choice of words in expressing my discontent with some of the Asian business owners in my Ward offended the Asian American Community,” he said, emphasizing the word “some” in his statement.

Tuesday night, after winning the Democratic primary election for the District of Colombia city council, on which he has served for the past seven years, Barry seemed to berate the Asian-American business community in his Southeast D.C. district.

“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” he said after winning the Democratic Primary for his Ward 8 City Council seat, according to a video posted by NBC 4 in Washington.  “They ought to go.  I’m going to say that right now.  But we need African-American business people to be able to take their places, too.”

The comment evoked a response from current D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray on Thursday, who said he was “deeply disappointed” by Barry’s remarks.

“There is no room in this wonderfully diverse city for comments that disparage anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation,” Gray said in a statement.  “Our energies are better spent focused on building everyone up rather than tearing anyone down.  That is how we achieve the vision of One City.”

Barry intially took to Twitter on Thursday to clarify his remarks.

“My comments were taken out of context & construed as disparaging 2 entire Asian biz community. We DO deserve our bizs t/b nice places in W8!” read a tweet from his @marionbarryjr Twitter account Thursday afternoon.

The city councilman then tweeted photos of three businesses, two of which seemed to be run by Asians, saying “WE can do a better job.”

“I do NOT disparage the Asian community, but the fact is there r some bizs that can do better!” Barry wrote.

In his statement Thursday evening, Barry continued his scorn of the Asian-owned businesses in Ward 8 that, he said, “don’t reach-out to neighborhood groups, make financial contributions to the neighborhood or, help young people in the neighborhood improve their quality of life.”

“It is to these less than stellar Asian American businessmen in Ward 8 that my remarks were directed, not the whole of Asian businessmen in Ward 8 or, the Asian American population,” Barry said in the statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

NJ Mayor Resigns Amid Male Prostitution Scandal

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MEDFORD, N.J.) -- The mayor of Medford, N.J., Chris Myers, has resigned following months of allegations that the married father had hired a male prostitute while on a trip to California in October 2010.

The scandal began when the apparently disgruntled prostitute posted a picture of a man that looked like Republican Mayor Chris Myers lying on a bed, wearing only blue Calvin Klein briefs.  The man who claimed to be the male escort alleged that Myers, 46, had paid him $500 for the encounter, but did not fulfill promises he made to give the man gifts and a car.

The website created by the alleged male prostitute was taken down at the end of October, but a screen shot of the site shows the original post titled, “NJ Medford Mayor Christopher Myers Hired Me From Rentboy.com…All I Got Were Lies & Broken Promises!!!”

In an interview with New Jersey’s Courier-Post in October, Myers refused to comment on the claims but did not deny them. But at a council meeting in November, he denied the allegations and called the Internet “a murky, anonymous place.”

Neither Myers nor other members of the Medford Township Council responded to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Myers resigned Monday through a letter to the town’s clerk and manager, posted in full on ABC News’ Philadelphia affiliate WPVI. Medford Township is about 20 miles east of Philadelphia.

“At this time, I feel it’s time to pass the baton, and allow others to take the reins and lead our town forward,” he wrote. “My work commitments will not allow me to devote the time that is needed in the months ahead. That is why, today, I am resigning from the Medford Township Council, effective immediately.”

Medford Councilman Bob Martin was selected to assume the vacant mayor’s seat.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun092011

Alec Baldwin Mulling Mayoral Run in NYC?

Dario Cantatore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mayor Alec Baldwin? That title may not be so far-fetched, according to friends of the outspoken liberal actor/activist.  The iPad news publication The Daily reports that, with Rep. Anthony Weiner's online sex scandal seemingly dashing the New York Congressman's ambition to be New York City's next mayor, friends of the 30 Rock star say Baldwin's got a shot at filling the seat now occupied by three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

After news of Weiner's scandal broke, The Daily quoted a Baldwin pal as saying, "Alec said, 'Hey, maybe this changes the race. The dynamics have shifted." The source continued, "The Democrats need a high-profile candidate, and Alec can fill that bill."

The actor has made known his desire to run for political office in the past, but admitted considering his acting career, the time was never right. But with the end of his stint on 30 Rock coming up next year, he could choose to finally bring his political ambitions into focus.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
May162011

Rahm Emanuel Sworn In as Chicago Mayor

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- On a crisp, cool morning at Chicago's Millennium park -- among outgoing mayor Richard M. Daley’s signature achievements -- Rahm Emanuel officially took the helm of America's third largest city.

At his swearing-in ceremony Monday, the former White House chief of staff praised his retiring predecessor: "Nobody ever loved Chicago more or served it better than Richard Daley."

But Emanuel also pledged to "leave behind old ways and old divisions" in the racially divided and financially troubled city.  Emanuel acknowledged the difficulty he faces tackling Chicago's enormous budget deficit. "We simply can’t afford the size of city government that we had in the past."

Emanuel's deep Washington connections were reflected in a guest list that included Vice President Joe Biden and other top Obama administration officials.  Striking a note of unity, Emanuel -- the city's first Jewish mayor -- invited Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Jewish clergy to offer prayers at the ceremony.

As Chicago's 46th mayor, Emanuel follows a famously powerful family dynasty.  Richard M. Daley served for 22 years, longer than any other mayor including his famous father, the last of the big-city bosses whose vast patronage army provided such political strength that it could influence presidential elections -- including John F. Kennedy's narrow win over Richard Nixon in 1960.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May122011

VP Biden to Attend Rahm Emanuel's Swearing-In as Chicago Mayor

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Biden will attend Rahm Emanuel’s swearing-in as mayor of Chicago on Monday, a White House official says.
 
The former White House chief of staff to President Obama will take the oath of office Monday at 10:30 a.m. CT at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
 
President Obama could not attend, as he is scheduled to host the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team to the White House and will also travel to Memphis, Tenn. to deliver the graduation address for the “Commencement Challenge” winners at Booker T. Washington High School.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar162011

Miami Mayor Gets the Boot

Miamidade[dot]gov/Mayor(MIAMI) -- Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez was booted from office in the largest recall of a local politician in US history. The result was never in question: in results out Wednesday morning, 88% of those who turned out voted for his ouster.

Voters gave the once-popular mayor increased authority four to clean up the graft-infested county government. But pay hikes to staffers, property tax hikes during a real estate bust, and the controversial stadium for the Florida Marlins outraged his constituents.

"The voters have spoken and a time of healing and reconciliation must now begin," Alvarez said in a statement Tuesday night.

More than 200,000 voted. Noel Sanz, of Kendall, echoed what many others  told reporters Tuesday: he wants new blood at County Hall.

"I think it's time to get some of these guys out of power and get someone else to do the job," Sanz said.

Over the past couple of years Alvarez, first elected in 2004, and reelected in 2008, has been skewered for showering favors and pay hikes to his staff, including an 11 percent pay raise to his chief of staff, who moonlit in Panama as a private consultant on taxpayer time. Another controversy involved one of his county police division chiefs who allegedly used a $5 million fund meant to crack down on polluters to buy flat screen TVs, SUVs, and assault rifles. The police official stepped down last year.

The largest recall of any politician in US history occurred in 2003, when Governor Gray Davis of California was ousted. The "Dump Davis" campaign was spearheaded by Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) who even used part of his personal fortune to topple the governor. In this case, Alvarez’ bête noir was billionaire Norman Braman, who began targeting Alvarez after the latter successfully pushed for a property tax-rate increase to balance the county budget.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio