Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aggressive position on stop-and-frisk continued to make waves on the campaign trail Monday, as Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio seized on the issue and used it as an attack line against his rival, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
First came Mayor Michael Bloomberg's provocative comments Friday that the NYPD stops whites too much and minorities too little. Then came news that the mayor is willing to spend some of his vast fortune to oppose City Council members who disagree with him on stop-and-frisk.
"They are going to put our police officers at risk and they are going to put the public at risk. And I've got an obligation to tell people that," Bloomberg said.
On Monday, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio teed off on the mayor.
"He's going to use his wealth and his power to once again try and undermine the democratic process," said de Blasio.
Specifically at issue are two City Council bills passed last week. One creates an NYPD Inspector General, the other makes it easier to sue for bias-based profiling.
The mayor hopes to change enough council members' minds so they cannot override his vetoes. Like the mayor, City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn opposes the racial profiling bill but says she would not help him lobby against it.
"I am not working with him on that," Quinn said.
"That's one of the greatest contradictions I've heard in a long time. She says she won't help him to pull more votes his way. But she’ll keep voting against it," de Blasio answered. "Speaker Quinn, once again, is the mayor's best friend and ally in this process."
Quinn, for her part, said money should not be involved in lobbying members, and is confident the council will override both mayoral vetoes.
But de Blasio, who has lagged in the polls, appears to see an opening. Monday, he also slammed opponents Anthony Weiner and William Thompson for not supporting both bills.
Thompson, in picking up endorsements from Latino lawmakers Monday, was also asked about a report that as city comptroller, he did not do enough to spot fraud in the CityTime automated payroll project.
"In retrospect, whether it was an audit or even additional attention being paid, I wish I had done more," Thompson said.
On Tuesday, Thompson will pick up yet another endorsement, from Transport Workers Union Local 100.