Entries in New York City (25)


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


Anthony Weiner’s Campaign Manager Drops Out

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Anthony Weiner isn’t dropping out of the New York mayoral race, but his campaign manager is.

As the fallout from a sexting scandal intensifies, a person close to the campaign tells ABC News that Danny Kedem, the campaign manager, has stepped aside.

It is the latest sign of discord inside the Weiner campaign, where the candidate is calling his own shots and becoming alienated from many of his former allies, advisers and supporters.

But Weiner is forging ahead with his candidacy, saying voters should determine his fate. He taped a new campaign commercial on Saturday and attended a church service on Sunday.

The resignation of Kedem, first reported by The New York Times, is only the latest jolt to Weiner’s candidacy.

Kedem told Weiner of his decision to leave over the weekend, a person close to the campaign said, after Weiner insisted he was staying in the race.

Kedem, 31, took the reins of Weiner’s improbable candidacy earlier this spring and helped lead him to the front of the pack of candidates seeking to follow Michael Bloomberg as the next mayor of New York.

He was a junior aide on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, where he worked as a field organizer in several primary states. His abrupt departure suggests the inner circle is tightening even more around Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Spitzer Says Lead in Poll Shows Voters Wants ‘Independent Voice’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned from office due to a sex scandal, said Sunday that his early lead in New York City’s comptroller race shows that voters are beginning to warm to his candidacy.

“I don’t take polls and rely upon them, but the poll numbers reflect that the public is interested in having an independent voice in that position,” Spitzer told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “That is what I promise I will be.”

Spitzer resigned in 2008 after he was caught patronizing a high dollar prostitution ring. He announced his candidacy for New York City Comptroller last week, which gave him only four days to collect 3,750 signatures in order to get on the ballot.

A Wall Street Journal poll this week showed Spitzer holding a 42 percent to 33 percent lead over his opponent Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer after only a few days in the race.

Yet Spitzer has been dogged by attacks from his political foes who say breaking the law by paying thousands of dollars for prostitutes disqualifies him from public office.

He dismissed the criticism Sunday.

“Opponents will say all sorts of things, the voters will make that determination,” Spitzer said. “When I talk to citizens and they’re saying: ‘Look, you’ve erred, you looked the public in the eye five years ago, and you said you believe in accountability. You stepped forward and accepted responsibility.’”

“And that is what I did and that is a fundamental point that I think the public should look at,” he added.
Citing his push for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, advocacy for low wage workers, and outspokenness on corruption in Wall Street, Spitzer said voters should look at his record and not the scandal that forced his resignation five years ago.

“I have done a fair bit. It’s been five years. I’ve taught, I have written, I have hosted a few TV shows,” Spitzer said. “But I’ve asked the voters of the city for forgiveness, but I’ve also said, look at the totality of my record—the independence of my voice when it came to Wall Street, when it came to standing up for the environment, low wage workers, immigrants.”

Spitzer also called the “not guilty” verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, “a failure of justice.”

“The judicial system is not perfect, and in this case it has failed,” said Spitzer, who formerly served as New York’s attorney general. “And before we get into a conversation of whether the prosecution was flawed that it should have handled it in a different way there is a simple reality here, an innocent young man is walking down the street, was confronted by a stranger with a gun and that innocent young man was shot.”

“The criminal justice system should be able to deal with situations like that,” he added.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


President Obama: Todd Akin ‘Somehow Missed Science Class’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- President Obama Wednesday night laid into embattled Republican Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri for his recent comments on rape and abortion, telling a crowd of campaign donors that the congressman must have “somehow missed science class.”

“Recently some of you have been paying attention to the commentary about the senator [sic] from Missouri, Mr. Akin, who … the interesting thing here is that this is an individual who sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology but somehow missed science class,” Obama said, drawing laughter and applause.

“And it’s representative of the desire to go backwards instead of forwards and fight fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago,” he added.

The president was addressing a group of 120 current and former NBA stars and other wealthy supporters attending the $20,000 per plate “Obama Classic” fundraiser in New York City. Spotted in the crowd were co-host Michael Jordan and his fiancee, Yvette Prieto, Bill Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

“This is my dream team,” Obama told the group at the top of his remarks.

“It’s very rare I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person. Usually, people want to take a picture with me, sit next to me, talk to me. … That has not been the case at this event,” he joked.

The event -- a trio of fundraisers -- included an earlier autograph session and skills camp with many of the stars. Tickets for those were $250 and $5,000 per person, respectively.

“I can’t resist a basketball analogy,” said Obama, turning to discuss the 2012 presidential race. “We are in the fourth quarter. We’re up by a few points but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty. We’ve got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We’ve got a couple of injuries and I believe that they’ve got one last run in them.

“I’d say there’s about seven minutes to go in the game,” he added. “And Michael’s competitiveness is legendary. And nobody knows better than Michael that if you’ve got a little bit of a lead and there’s about seven minutes ago, that’s when you put them away.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Hoops-Themed Fundraisers to Net Millions

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The campaign money trail for President Obama will cut through a basketball court in Manhattan Wednesday night.

A trio of hoops-themed fundraisers, hosted by Michael Jordan and other current and former NBA stars, is expected to net at least $3 million for Obama and the Democrats, according to figures provided by his campaign.

The “Obama Classic” includes a $250 per-person autograph signing event, a $5,000 skills camp and shoot-around, and a $20,000 per-plate dinner co-hosted by Jordan and 120 guests.  The events are slated to take place in various venues at Lincoln Center.

Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Mourning -- among other players -- are expected to attend, the campaign said in an email to supporters last month.

Obama is expected to join the stars on the court for part of the event, although campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki was coy when asked for details.

“The president does love basketball, but I don’t have anything to report yet,” she told reporters on Tuesday.

“I’ll just say I feel pretty good about … how the president is going to play tomorrow [Wednesday],” she said.  “He is playing with some NBA heroes.  So I don’t want to overbuild it.”

While Obama largely holds the support of NBA players, including Vince Carter, who hosted the president at his Florida home in February, Mitt Romney has the majority support of team owners, according to the basketball blog HoopsHype.

The site also found that Romney holds an overall edge in fundraising within the pro-basketball community, collecting $71,000 from 16 donors compared with $67,950 from 23 donors for Obama.  The data was compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics and Federal Election Commission.

With Wednesday evening's events, Obama will eclipse 204 re-election fundraisers since launching his campaign in April 2011 -- a record-smashing amount of time spent fundraising by an incumbent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Charlie Rangel Survive Primary Challenges

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two Capitol Hill stalwarts -- a conservative senator and a liberal congressman -- easily won their respective primaries on Tuesday, fending off what were viewed as the toughest challenges of their careers.

In Utah, Republican Orrin Hatch, a U.S. senator for six terms, defeated the Tea Party-supported Dan Liljenquist by a two-to-one margin.

There were questions earlier this year about whether Hatch would win the GOP nomination, as the Tea Party seemed intent on replacing him with a candidate to the far right even though Hatch's conservative credentials were impeccable.

However, Hatch's base rallied for him and the senator's war chest of $7 million was no match for Liljenquist, who had less than $1 million to spend.  Hatch is expected to cruise to re-election in November.

Meanwhile in New York City, Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel had no problem beating state Sen. Adriano Espaillat even as his 15th District in Harlem was melded into the mostly Latino 13th District.

Rangel, seeking his 22nd term in the House, is normally considered a lock to win the Democratic primary but this redistricting, along with ethics issues, posed a threat to his long tenure.

In December 2010, Rangel became the first congressman in nearly three decades to be censured after an ethics committee found him guilty of 11 charges, including improperly raising money for a college, failing to disclose investments and failing to pay taxes on his villa in the Dominican Republic, among other things.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oops! Obama Decries Economic Policies of ‘George Romney’

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Criticizing his opponents’ economic policies at a New York fundraiser, President Obama made an interesting slip of the tongue Monday night, identifying the GOP nominee as “George Romney.”

The enthusiastic crowd at the Broadway fundraiser reacted with giggles, and a few cheers, as the president regained his composure.

“Governor Romney … has had great success in his life and he’s raised a beautiful family,” Obama ultimately said, correcting himself.  “But he has a theory about the economy that basically says, if I’m maximizing returns for my investors, for wealthy individuals like myself, then everybody’s going to be better off.”

The president often argues Mitt Romney would lead the country back to the “failed policies” of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and Monday night was no different.

“After all that work that we’ve done, the last thing we’re going to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place,” Obama told the packed house at the New Amsterdam Theater.  ”We’re not going backwards.  We’re not going backwards, New York!  We intend to go forwards!”

When it comes to the struggling economy, the president admitted “folks are still hurting, and this has been a long slog for people,” but argued his policies are beginning to “right the ship.”

Whether voters get that message, however, is another story.

“It is hard sometimes to get the facts out.  There’s lots of bugs on the windshield, sometimes,” Obama lamented to laughter from the crowd.

The president said the frustration people still feel will be “compounded by $500 million in Super-PAC negative ads [that will run] over the course of the next five months, that will try to feed all those fears, those anxieties and that frustration.  That’s basically the argument that the other side is making.  They’re not offering anything new, they’re just saying, things are tough, it’s Obama’s fault!”

“There’s no vision for the future there, no imagination,” Obama concluded.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Courts Private Equity Cash at New York Fundraiser

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the same day his campaign launched an attack on Mitt Romney‘s record in private equity, President Obama is attending a big-dollar fundraiser at the Manhattan home of one of the industry’s top figures.

Hamilton “Tony” James — the president of the Blackstone Group, the nation’s largest private equity firm — is hosting a $35,800-a-head dinner for Obama, with 60 Democratic allies expected to attend, according to a campaign official. Many in attendance are expected to have ties to the private equity sector.

James donated $35,800 — the legal maximum to Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee — in November 2011, according to Federal Election Commission filings. He was also a guest of the Obamas’ at the most recent White House state dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron, joining more than three dozen of Obama’s campaign bundlers who also attended.

The Obama campaign has been critical of other Blackstone executives — those who have donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign — accusing them of “betting against America” and doing “less-than-reputable” deals that resulted in outsourcing and layoffs. It has not singled out James for criticism, though the company profited from many of those practices under his leadership.

“No one is questioning the private equity industry as a whole,” deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told reporters Monday. “This is about values Romney lived by as a businessman and the values he promises to live by as president,” she said.

Before attending the James event, Obama will headline a fundraiser at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea with supporters from the LGBT and Latino communities, co-hosted by singer Ricky Martin.

The roughly 200 guests for the event each paid $5,000 to attend, according to a campaign official. All proceeds from both fundraisers benefit the Obama Victory Fund — a joint account of the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and several state Democratic parties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Calls GOP Debates Fodder for Campaign Ads

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama said Thursday night that his campaign might run excerpts of the GOP primary debates as political ads “without commentary” during the general election.

“I recommend you watch the recent debates,” Obama told a star-studded group of 90 donors at the Upper East Side home of HBO executive James Costos.

“I’m thinking about just running those as advertisements,” he said with a smile and slightly joking tone.  “Without commentary; here you go.”

White House officials have said the president hasn’t actually watched any of the debates, but that he has only read reports about them.

Obama suggested that the ads would simply point out “this is what they said awhile back.”

“I think what you’re seeing now in the Republican primary underscores what’s at stake in this election,” he added.

Obama made the comments during his fourth and final campaign fundraiser in New York City Thursday night, where tickets were $10,000 apiece.  Spotted in the crowd were singer John Legend, designer Tory Burch, actress Mariska Hargitay and designer Michael Kors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Hit $5M with 100th Fundraiser in New York

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama will attend his 100th re-election fundraiser Thursday night during a visit to New York City that’s expected to raise at least $5.1 million for the 2012 campaign.

Obama will mingle with some of his wealthiest benefactors at four separate Manhattan events, including two intimate receptions at private homes, a swanky dinner at ABC Kitchen and a star-studded gala, featuring musical performances by The Roots, Ben Folds and Ingrid Michaelson.

The fundraising trip -- the president’s second to the Big Apple this year -- comes as the Obama campaign makes an aggressive push for cash to counteract what they see as the looming influence of pro-Republican super PACs.

It also marks an effort by Obama to rekindle his relationship with donors in the financial sector who were among his most generous backers in 2008, but have not yet matched that level of support.  He raised nearly $16 million from contributors in the securities and investment business in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, but only $2.3 million so far this cycle.

Among the hosts of Obama’s New York events are seven of his top campaign financiers, or bundlers, who have maxed out contributions to the president and Democratic National Committee and amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars from their friends and colleagues who have done the same.

They include UBS Americas chairman and Obama golfing partner Robert Wolf; Observatory Group co-founder Jane Hartley; Pfizer executive Sally Susman; Chelsea Piers president Tom Bernstein; and Centerview Partners co-founder Blair Effron.  Each has bundled more than $500,000 for Obama this election cycle, according to the president’s campaign.

One hundred guests are expected at the first event -- a private reception -- where tickets started at $5,000 apiece, a campaign official said.

Obama then joins 80 supporters at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen where dinner costs $35,800 a plate.  He then speaks to a larger gala of 900 guests at the adjoining ABC Carpet & Home department store hosted by author Deepak Chopra, music executive Russell Simmons and others.  Tickets for the gala started at $1,000.

Obama wraps up his evening with another reception at a private residence with 90 guests, each paying $10,000 to attend, according to a campaign official.

The proceeds from all the fundraisers benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account that funnels the first $5,000 of an individual’s contribution to the Obama campaign and the remainder, up to $30,800, to the DNC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio