A debate about the people’s issues, and Weiner’s

Weiner. (Azi Paybarah.)
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At yesterday's debate in the Bronx, the Democratic mayoral candidates fielded a wide array of questions, just as they have at countless debates before. But they knew what the story would be.

On their way into the debate, former comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio made it clear they thought Anthony Weiner should drop out of the race. Separately, they said the public and the media wouldn't be able to focus on issues if Weiner, and his sexting scandal, kept distracting everyone.

Related: The New York Post sent a reporter to the event in a mask and hat, calling himself "Carlos Danger."

De Blasio said if it hadn't been for Weiner, the mayor's veto of two police oversight bills would have been on the front page of the papers and the story that everyone was talking about.

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The police-oversight issue has actually actually gotten plenty of coverage, and Bloomberg's veto of the bills were expected for months.  But de Blasio's point about Weiner isn't hard to understand, and neither is his motivation in making it: to garner attention while blaming his rival for costing New Yorkers valuable opportunities to talk about issues.

Inside Bronx Community College, the candidates tried to do just that. Most of them, anyway.

The questions to candidates including ones dealing with whether job applicants should be subjected to credit checks, availability of affordable education programs and access to affordable housing. 

On stage, Weiner's latest scandal issue was raised twice. First, by former councilman Sal Albanese, and later by Comptroller John Liu.

Weiner said he was there to talk about issues, and proceeded to do so. The crowd reacted favorably to Weiner's defense of himself. Afterward, Weiner addressed reporters briefly.

"It's not about me. It's not about the candidates on the stage," Weiner said. "it's about the citizens of New York. I'm going to leave it up to them to decide."

Later, Ross Barkan of the Observer asked Weiner why should people trust him, since his accounts of post-resignation self-improvement turned out to be so incredibly misleading.

"I answered every single question that The New York Times asked me, and then I did a series of interviews," he said.

Weiner then defended his decision not to elaborate on what was and wasn't true in this latest scandal, saying he didn't want to "get into a back-and-forth with an anonymous person who obviously doesn't want to become public."

He also said, "What's true is true. The facts have not changed, that what I did was wrong, it dishonored my wife. I compounded it by being dishonest with the media."

He said, "There is also another fact, that this is behind me."

During the debate, there were questions about personal technology. Weiner said he had both an iPhone and a BlackBerry. The crowd roared with laughter when it came time for Weiner to answer whether he preferred Facebook or Twitter. Weiner laughed, too. He joked about not offering any advice to rival candidate Erick Salgado, who admitted he was still learning about social media. Then, Weiner added, "Our campaign is on Twitter."

Quote

"The front pages are always about Anthony Weiner…" — Bill de Blasio

Recommended

An amendment to cut funding for the National Security Agency's phone-collecting operation was defeated in the House. [Siobhan Hughes and Siobhan Gorman]

In an op-ed, Eliot Spitzer reacts to President Obama's speech about the economy. [Daily News]

"[Huma Abedin] knew when she was pushing him to run that he’d kept up the sexting for months and months after he left Congress." [Karol Markowicz]

Abedin almost left Weiner once she learned of the new sext messages. [Annie Karni]

"I have nothing to say except God help New York if he gets to be mayor. You can print that," said the women with whom Weiner exchanged post-resignation sext messages. [Rich Schapiro, Annie Karni and Jennifer Fermino]

From Capital

Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson scold Anthony Weiner, but don't tell him to drop out of the race. [Dana Rubinstein]

A pre-scandal poll shows Weiner is run-off bound, and Thompson winning. But wait for Marist's poll. [Azi Paybarah]

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin withdrew her endorsement of Assemblyman Micah Kellner, following the Times' story about inappropriate messages Kellner sent to two former staffers years ago. [Azi Paybarah]

The third HuffPost Live host has departed in as many months. [Joe Pompeo]

"Tina Brown and Nate Silver want Huma Abedin to run; Rupert Murdoch wants Anthony Weiner to not" [Joe Pompeo]

Rep. Charlie Rangel: "I don't ever recall seeing a wife looking and feeling so sad and embarrassed." [Azi Paybarah]

Cover imagery of Huma and Anthony, then and now. [Azi Paybarah]

What the tabloids did with the Weiner story. [Tom McGeveran]

The City Council is expected to give Madison Square Garden only a ten-year renewal on their site. [Dana Rubinstein]

There's a new plan to improve city buses. [Dana Rubinstein]

Thanks to some pressure, the USTA will support Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. [Dana Rubinstein]

Asked about Eliot Spitzer, Scott Stringer talks about Spitzer and Weiner. [Azi Paybarah]

Video briefing: Anthony Weiner's timetable, revised. [Azi Paybarah]

Events

10 a.m. On Brian Lehrer's show: MTA chairman Tom Prendergast. [WNYC] @BrianLehrer @MTA

10:30 a.m. Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner prepares meals at the Masbia of Flatbush, 1372 Coney Island Avenue (between Avenue J and Avenue K) Brooklyn. @AnthonyWeiner

11 a.m. Weiner announces a proposal to create a "Commission on Public-Private Engagement" at the Masbia of Flatbush, 1372 Coney Island Avenue (between Avenue J and Avenue K) Brooklyn. @AnthonyWeiner #NYC2013

11 a.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a Q&A after making an announcement, at Governor's Island. @MikeBloomberg

1:30 p.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo signs legislation about utility operations, at the Mitchell Field Athletic Complex's field house, 1 Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Uniondale. @nygovCuomo

3 p.m. Democratic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese "embarks on the third leg of his five-mile Roosevelt Avenue merchant walk, starting with lunch at Taqueria Coatzingo, 76-05 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens. @SalAlbanese2013 #NYC2013

6 p.m. Candidates participate in a mayoral forum hosted by Latin Women in Action and Voces Latinas, at 37-63 83rd Street, Queens. @SalAlbanese2013 @AnthonyWeiner #QueensDebate

7 p.m. On "The Road to City Hall": A discussion of the Affordable Healthcare Act, with NY1 health reporter Erin Billups, Greater Hospital of New York's Kathleen Shure and Community Healthcare Network's Dr. Matthew Weissman. [NY1] @RoadToCityHall @ErinEBillups @CHNNYC #Obamacare

8:15 p.m. Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio greets attendees at the Celebrate Brooklyn! Summer Concert Series, by the North entrance to the Prospect Park Bandshell (by 9th St. and Prospect Park West), Brooklyn. @DeBlasioNYC

Mayor's Race

"If the purpose of the race for Weiner was a return to political viability, with the potential perk of becoming mayor, he suddenly found himself back where he started." [Jason Horowitz]

Huma Abedin's role in supporting her husband, Anthony Weiner, is coming under scrutiny. [Edith Honan]

"Huma Abedin faces backlash for standing by her man" [Hayley Peterson]

More reactions to Abedin. [Michael Grynbaum and Kate Taylor]

"[I]t appears that Weiner’s long speeches in Congress about the single-payer plan might also have been a kind of mating call." [Gail Collins]

Medical experts weigh in on Weiner's behavior. [Jennifer Fermino]

There are at least two people with the name Carlos Danger. [Adam Edelman]

Steven Rattner, a self-described friend of Abedin (and a Quinn supporter), says he doesn't think Weiner will be in the race at the end. [Morning Joe]

Comptroller's Race

Eliot Spitzer said he hasn't slept with a prostitute since resigning from office and said he's done answering that question. [Nathan Place]

Flashback: Spitzer answered that question on July 18. [CNN]

Down Ballot

A former staffer said Assemblyman Micah Kellner — who is now running for City Council — reacted strongly after another employee rebuffed his advances. Kellner strongly denied the accusation. [Ken Lovett]

City Hall / City Council

Neither the NYPD nor its detractors can say with certainty why crime in New York City dropped so precipitously. [Errol Louis]

A former NYPD commissioner said the recently passed NYPD oversight bills will invite more crime to the city. [Howard Safir]

The City Council voted 47-1 to give Madison Square Garden only a ten-year lease. [Erin Durkin]

Colleagues paused to remember the 10th anniversary of the day James Davis was shot and killed inside City Hall. [Erin Durkin]

Michael Bloomberg is renovating his home. [Michael Barbaro and Michael Grynbaum]

Washington

A Republican group sends trackers into the Capitol, and Democrats aren't happy. [Evan McMoriss-Santoro and Kate Nocera]

Some Democrats are pushing the party to take a more progressive, populist approach to economic issues. [Jonathan Martin]

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