Ray Kelly will have to decide by this fall if he is going to run for mayor, according to the chairmen of New York City's five Republican county organizations, who released a statement this afternoon describing their interest in speaking with the popular police commissioner.
The Ray Kelly drumbeat continues in the New York Post, as Fred Dicker, a columnist familiar with Andrew Cuomo's thinking, suggests the governor would back the police commissioner for mayor if he runs.
The Post editorial board strongly supports Kelly, taking criticism of the city's law-enforcement policies as an opportunity to do so all the more stridently.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, an establishment-backed Democrat, thinks the Ray Kelly talk is "silly."
"Commissioner Kelly should focus on doing his job, and not be distracted by silly talk of a mayoral candidacy that has no meaningful chance at success," Jeffries told me yesterday when I asked about the recent efforts to recruit Kelly as the Republican nominee.
There are reports that a lot of unnamed people are putting together papers and legal documents and fund-raising teams in order to help get New York Police Comissioner Ray Kelly into the New York City mayor's race.
But the Internet is another matter.
Several obvious web site names that could be used for a potential Kelly campaign have long ago been snatched up.
RayKellyforNewYork.com and RayKellyforMayor.com was registered February 12, 2007, possibly by someone in Ohio.
RayKelly2013.com was registered by a Manhattan resident on July 29, 2011.
RayKellyforNYC.com. It's available for $11.99 Two names of sites that critics of the commissioner could use, should he enter the race, are also available:TruthAboutRayKelly.com and StopAndFriskRayKelly.com.
As for social media, that's getting crowed too.
Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader, joined Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and several City Council members at a press conference outside City Hall denouncing the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactic, which they say unfairly targets minorities.
Faced with this contention in the past, police commissioner Ray Kelly has challenged critics to come up with an alternative means of keeping rates of violent crime in the city as low as they have been.
Christine Quinn is the 2013 front-runner, for whatever that's worth at this early date.
Talk about meta.
Fred Dicker's column today about Republican efforts to draft Ray Kelly into the mayor's race notes that his previous column about Kelly led to the police commissioner being "pressed virtually every day" about whether he was running. It quotes a source talking about the need "to get the drum beat going."
You may think Bill Thompson's 2013 mayoral campaign is low-key. But if you ask Thompson, he'll tell you you're just not looking hard enough.
"If anybody looks at my schedule and sees what I'm doing, it's not under the radar by any stretch of the imagination," said Thompson on Friday night, at a party that its host, a political consultant named Steve Kramer, advertised as "the greatest party you will go to in Williamsburg in April this year."
When city lawmakers complained about the high number of black and Latino men being stopped and frisked by the NYPD, Commissioner Ray Kelly said he hadn't heard anyone come up with an alternative strategy for how to keep people safe.
This morning, he got one.
A professor and a third-year law school student described a technique called "focused deterrence" which, when applied in Boston and a city in North Carolina, worked to dramatic effect. Instead of doing widespread stops, "police built strong relationships with residents" identified the small number of lawbreakers, and focused on them.
"The city’s most significant drug market vanished overnight, and it has not come back," professor James Forman Jr. and Trevor Stutz wrote, referring to the city of HIgh Point. "Violent crime has fallen by half."
Why are Republicans talking about Ray Kelly? Because he's 'the only one that stands a chance of winning'
"Oh yeah, I'd love him to, yes."
That was Republican congressman Bob Turner, when asked last night if he would like to see the New York City police commissioner run for mayor next year. "And I'm saying that as a citizen of New York City, not as a politician. I don't even know what party he is going to run for."
There are certainly reasons to be skeptical about the Republican-driven Ray Kelly for Mayor boomlet, and the Observer's David Freedlander lists five of them. What it boils down to is that making the transition from appointed office to elected office is tricky, unforgiving and requires money. Also, Kelly, who is now 70, just might not feel like it.
Ray Kelly, and the prospect that he might run for mayor in 2013, has been the subject of lots of speculation this week.
Nothing has changed, as far as anyone can tell: Kelly has long been one of the most popular public officials in New York; it has long been a fantasy of city Republicans and many non-Republican members of the political and business establishments that he run; Kelly never acknowledged that he was interested, and still hasn't.
Al D'Amato, on NY1, addressing himself to Ray Kelly about a prospective candidacy for mayor:
"Why the hell would you want this? You are a great police commissioner. People love ya. Don't let the son of a guns get you in there. Don't do it. And I love him. And I support him if he's running, but please don't."
Former atate Republican chairman Bill Powers isn't the first Republican to try to get New York Police Department commissioner Ray Kelly to enter the mayor's race.
Manhattan chairman Daniel Isaacs said he approached Kelly on March 31 during the Inner Circle Show, the roast of politicians by New York political reporters held annually at at the Hilton Hotel.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined the Irish and British consuls general to New York at Titanic Park on Thursday morning to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the ship's collision with an iceberg (which her grandmother survived).
She laid a wreath next to the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse anchoring the southern corner of the park, accompanied by Sanitation Department bagpipers in emerald-green kilts, and then repaired to a spot under a newly leafed tree to take off-topic questions.(3)