3:33 pm Dec. 6, 2012
On December 17, Bill Thompson will host a holiday fund-raiser, featuring some key figures in the Democratic political scene, including Norman Seabrook, head of the corrections officers union; Michael Mulgrew, head of the teachers union; and Peter Ward, president of the hotel workers union.
Thompson, the former city comptroller and 2009 Democratic mayoral nominee, has been criticized in the past for not being an aggressive enough campaigner, fund-raiser or spokesman for his cause. (At the Independence Party's event last Sunday, which Thompson did not attend, Michel Hardy, a key figure in the National Action Network, grumbled to me about Thompson's visibility since the 2009 campaign.)
But a fund-raising invitation like this could be a first step toward quelling those complaints.
Mulgrew's union has said they'll break their streak of sitting out the mayoral election, and will put their significant resources and field operation to use in 2013. Ward's union is among the most coveted in the city, garnering a reputation as a union that can turn the tide of a local election. And Seabrook, who endorsed Bloomberg's earlier campaigns but opposed him in 2009, is a walking soundbite and headlinegenerator for whichever campaign lands him.
But, to be clear, their attendance doesn't exactly equal an endorsement. Spokespeople for Ward and Mulgrew told me they donated money and leant their names to other mayoral candidates as well.
Also scheduled to appear at the Park Avenue event are Reps. Greg Meeks of Queens and Jose Serrano of the Bronx. There's also Betsy Gotbaum, the former public advocate who supported Thompson in 2009, and David Dinkins, the fomer mayor who endorsed Thompson in 2009 and supports him in next year's race.