5:49 pm Feb. 27, 20121
It's not every day that a mayoral appointee engages on an equal level with mayoral candidates. But NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has always operated as something more than a Bloomberg appointee.
Today, he demonstrated his political authority in a radio interview in which he defended two of the police department's controversial practices: the frequent stop-and-frisks of black and Latino men and the targeted surveillance of Muslims in and around New York.
Kelly said the critics of those policies are "pandering" because of the upcoming mayor's race.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is running for mayor, responded by saying that raising questions about police tactics "isn't pandering. That's standing up for the principles upon which our nation was founded."
One notable thing here is that while both policies have come under criticism, and Kelly has duly defended both policies as integral to keeping New York City safe from street crime and terrorism, Stringer, and the candidates in general, have been decidedly more aggressive in their criticism of stop-and-frisk than they have been of the surveillance program.
"He is a scary person," Spitzer said of Santorum. "That is so beneath you, Eliot," Mary Matalin replied. [HuffPost Radio]
Rep. Lowey dropped $10,000 supporting Assembly Democrats, the conference that was supposed to help determine congressional lines. [Joseph Spector]
In a move that may help bring more attention to the race, the National Organization for Marriage is running ads supporting Republican David Storobin and attacking Democrat Lew Fidler. [Colin Campbell]
The National Organization for Marriage is backing the Conservative-Democratic challenger against incumbent Republican Mark Grisanti. [Nick Reisman]
"The Democratic Party’s tax-fairness campaign theme pits Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, among the chief architects of that message, against some of his most influential constituents and top campaign donors." [Heidi Przybla]
Cuomo's decision to skip the National Governor's Association meeting is conspicuous. [Capital Tonight]
Cuomo's mother says a Hail Mary prayer, in Spanish, for him every night. [Diana Williams]
A Latino group is calling on Cuomo to veto the proposed redistricting lines unless a Latino congressional seat is made. [Colby Hamilton]
The White House isn't embracing or denouncing the NYPD's surveillance program, which the federal government is partly paying for. [Associated Press]
CAIR wants the funding investigated. [PR Newswire]
My question to Wolfson: "Is it possible to reduce the number of stop-and-frisks AND reduce crime in NYC?" Answer: "bottom line is that strategies over the last decade have worked." [Christopher Robbins]
Officers assigned to public housing we pulled from that duty to handle Occupy Wall Street, and the city Housing Authority should be compensated, said Squadron. [nysenate.gov]
NYPD Commissioner said the 2013 mayoral candidates don't remember the lesson of 9/11. [Jill Colvin]
Queens Democrats are hosting "The Real Deal Education Town Hall" with the teacher's union on February 29. [Twitter]
Nadler, Engel, Maloney, Crowley and Serrano make an It Gets Better video. [CongressmanNadler]
Announcing federal funds to help economic growth in counties hit by natural disasters. [Senator Chuck Schumer]