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Anthony Weiner Is the New Democratic Frontrunner for Mayor

In late April, the polling team at Marist released a survey titled “Weiner Candidacy for Mayor Could Scramble Democratic Primary Contest.” it projected major percentage points of approval for the former congressman, should he decide to step into the fray. A few weeks later, he did. And, nearly two months after that original sampling, its title has validated itself: according to the newest WSJ-NBC New York-Marist poll, Anthony Weiner is now the leading Democratic candidate for mayor in New York City.

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Last night, the results came in: leading at 25 percent is Weiner–a rating City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had for months. Quinn, the assumed frontrunner, clocks in at 20 percent of the vote, edging 7 percent ahead of bronze medalist (and UFT favorite) Bill Thompson at 13 percent. Behind them, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is at 10 percent and Comptroller John Liu remains stalled at 8 percent.

Mathematically, that leaves us with a quarter of Democrats who still have no idea who the hell they want in City Hall. And, as we know, never discount the undecided voter.

It didn’t take Weiner long to rise in the polls, nearing Quinn’s solidified spot on top. In the past few weeks, the speaker has fallen victim to criticisms of all sorts, be it her standing amongst the LGBT community, her campaign’s ties to the real estate community, or a view of Quinn as Bloomberg Lite.

Meanwhile, the politician who was caught cybersexting just two years ago has certainly gathered that following predicted by Marist in April; a rise without the help of any major union endorsement and a testament to just how split the labor vote could be in the primaries. But the newest poll adds flame to the fear of Democrats when Weiner first stirred speculation of a run with the New York Times Magazine profile on him and his wife, Huma Abedin: that his entry could lead to a runoff and, as a result, hand the election to the Republicans.

Then again, what’s an election without a little competition? Besides, September is still three months away.

Send your tips on the 2013 mayoral race to jsurico15@gmail.com. Follow his tweets here.

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The Mayoral Candidates Talked Tech in Queens Last Night and Didn’t Sound PC

“What type of cellphone do you have, what carrier is it and what’s your favorite app?” At 7:30pm, after media and tech folk scrambled into the Museum of the Moving Image off 35th Avenue in Astoria, the NYC Tech Forum began. Hosted by Coalition for Queens–a non-profit organization that promotes the tech community from Long Island City and elsewhere–Sal Albanese, John Liu, Adolfo Carrion Jr. and Anthony Weiner were subject to numerous questions about the realignment of New York City as the next Silicon Valley. Let’s just say the phrase “coaxial cable” was in abundance last night.

“Currently, over 900 tech companies in New York City are hiring right now,” Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens, said as he introduced the candidates. “Growth is happening all over the place.”

Moderators Nilay Patel of the Verge and Anjali Altavaley of the Wall Street Journal then took the floor and reminded audience members that this was a forum, not a debate. Surprisingly enough, the candidates remained civil throughout (reminder: Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio were not in attendance).

In their opening remarks, the Democratic and third-party contenders mixed campaign message with some shred of innovation. Sal Albanese, who seemingly knew the least about the topic area, reiterated that he wasn’t a “career politician” and railed against special interests; the indie Carrion Jr. declared that tech was “as important as air and water;” Liu summarized his Comptroller office’s transparency measures; Weiner–whose greatest foe was ironically once technology–advocated for a strengthened middle class to broaden the industry’s base.

The media circus gathers outside the NYC Tech Forum.
The media circus gathers outside the NYC Tech Forum.

The media circus gathers outside the NYC Tech Forum.

When asked about Bloomberg’s emphasis on tech, the candidates did not hesitate to honor the Hizzoner and Speaker Quinn’s efforts (of which are the focus of a profile here today). But, looking forward, Carrion called 2013 a “pivotal time for the city’s future” and focused on the lack of transparency in the franchise agreements that dominate New York’s broadband and telephone access, labeling Time Warner and Comcast as “monolithic.” Liu agreed: “Monopolies have gotten away with too much and need to be held to a much higher level of accountability. They’re not upholding their side of the deal.”

Soon enough, the conversation of competition would become a main talking point of the night.

While Albanese, Carrion and Liu called to revisit the years-old agreements, Weiner went a different route, seeing the agreements as a source of power instead of a solution. “There needs to be a tangible giveback for access to the marketplace,” Weiner energetically said. “We need to write in the agreements, ‘You need to provide X amount of service.” For context, think Google and AT&T’s free WiFi in subway stations; both gifts to New Yorkers in exchange for business.

Then, the conversation shifted to what the tech community calls “disruptors,” which are companies that opposing the government bodies standing in the way of innovation. “I like the disruptor title,” Weiner quickly quipped. “I’d like to think I did it to the mayoral race.” His rivals didn’t blink at the joke.

For example, a disrupter can be seen in Uber’s lawsuit with the City or the litigation against Air BnB. All four candidates announced that the legal codes would be dug up and changed for the modern times; Albanese went as far to say that he’d establish a Deputy Mayor of Innovation who would act as the “thought leader” of bureaucratic tech.

Naturally, with the high price of office space in DUMBO and SoHo, the intersection between tech companies and real estate came to the forefront of the discussion. The candidates, sticking to their ideological lines, all advocated for more affordable housing and a reversal of Bloomberg’s rezoning over the past 12 years. Albanese, who met a few “hipsters” in Williamsburg the other day, argued that the zoning in start-up locales like North Brooklyn is not up to par with effectiveness.

Patel of the Verge asked a more specific question relating to his personal career: how can city government handle the leases of rapidly fast-growing start-ups who need to move constantly? Weiner, Albanese and Liu agreed that city government really can’t do anything to help. But Carrion Jr. was the only one to positively respond, saying that it was time to “dial back, bring the stakeholders together and find out what’s right for everyone.”

On the topic of education, the candidates hoped to concentrate more money in the STEM schools and make computer science its own separate entity in schools. Weiner was the only one skeptical about this; he had a problem with “anticipating what kind of person we want our schools” and opted to focus more on the foundations of the public school system.

Projects like CityTime–the scandal that revealed millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent on exorbitant corporate kickbacks–were raised as well. If tech is to rise in relevance, how do we ensure some level of accountability? As Comptroller, John Liu was obviously the first to argue that more governmental oversight was necessary. Moving beyond that, Weiner and him stressed the need to crowd-source and digitize all city information so New Yorkers can participate in budget talks rather than simply download data as PDFs.

Of course, in the end, it was Weiner, as per usual, who remained consistent with his constructive metaphors and general interest. “As Mayors, we need to see landing strips where businesses hover around the City looking to land… we need to diversify our economy; right now, we have white rice and we need pad thai.”

All in all, the candidates brought a surprising amount of knowledge to the table last night. Carrion Jr. might’ve said “techies” by accident but the proposals resonated with the attendees. And that’s wholly important, given the day and age we live in. Carrion Jr. was right: 2013 is a pivotal moment for tech here in New York. So the more these candidates seem to know, the more economically suited the city will be in the coming years.

Oh, and if you were still wondering: Albanese (Blackberry Bold, Verizon, MLB app), Carrion Jr. (iPhone, AT&T, Pandora), Liu (iPhone, AT&T, favorite app N/A) and Weiner (“Two camelbacks strapped to my leg, or what’s known as a Blackberry,” AT&T, favorite app N/A).

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The Ghost of Anthony Weiner’s Rent-Stabilized Past (UPDATED)

Why No Tenant Should Vote for Anthony Weiner,” read the headline in May’s issue of Metropolitan Council on Housing. The op-ed, written by tenant advocate Michael McKee of the Tenants PAC, highlights a 1994 flip-flop by the then-councilman on rent stabilization–a term that has slowly evaporated from Big Apple real estate talk in the modern age. The vote cast by Weiner had angered the tenant community at the time and, now that he’s running for City Hall, has only fostered more backlash. And, in a display of how utterly dismal the New York City housing market truly is, it’s one of the first times the issue that should be a top priority has made an appearance in this election cycle.

In 1994, as the age of municipal and New Democrat deregulation trickled down from Washington to New York, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. was hard at work pulling together supporters and donations for a potential mayoral bid; of course, one of these hopeful bastions of immense wealth came from Big Development. He proposed (and would later pass) a bill that would enact vacancy deregulation (or Decontrol), which McKee pointed to as the beginning of the decline for rent-stabilized apartments in New York.

Under the law, when an apartment became vacant, a landlord could tack on an interest and add thousands of dollars in improvements to bump up what was a rent-stabilized apartment past the $2,000 threshold (now $2,500). Once over, that apartment falls victim to the market, allowing the landlord to charge whatever the hell he or she wants, and begins to absorb the worst of the worst Craigslist ad descriptions (“LUX,” “2BDR,” “LOTS OF ROOM,” etc.)–all of this without the oversight of a state housing agency. McKee provides formulaic demonstration here:

For example, a rent-stabilized apartment renting for $1,000 per month becomes vacant. The moment the unit turns over the legal rent rises to $1,200 because of the statutory vacancy bonus of 20 percent–a bonus, not requiring any work to be done. The landlord then spends $32,000 on improvements (new appliances, granite countertops, whatever) and the legal rent rises to $2,000 per month, as the landlord can impose a monthly rent increase equal to 1/40th of the amount spent on improvements ($32,000 รท 40 = $800). The legal stabilized rent is now $2,000 per month, the apartment is permanently deregulated, and there is no limit on how much the landlord can charge.

At the time of the bill’s passage, Anthony Weiner had just entered his second year as the youngest councilman in the city’s history, hailing from Park Slope, Brooklyn. He had won support from the tenant advocacy community–a usual ally of the Democratic base–by promising to vote against deregulation attempts. Hence McKee’s frustration: When the vote came in at 28-18, establishing vacancy deregulation as the rule of law, Weiner found himself on the opposite side of the aisle from a promise he had made only months before. It was reported later that Vallone had promised favors in return for the necessary votes.

Then, Weiner argued that the bill would ultimately help tenants because the rich would not have rent-stabilized apartments–a position that, according to the Post, he still holds now as a mayoral candidate. It’s a platform that came from another provision in the bill, allowing for deregulation based on income. So, instead of vacancy, a landlord could deregulate an apartment if the person’s income was over $175,000 two years in a row (now $200,000); such income-earners could totally afford an apartment at market rate.

However, this requires an order from the state housing agency. With deregulation pegged to vacancy for the less-well-off, the landlord is in control; with deregulation pegged to income for the more-well-off, you have government protection. That makes a whole lot of sense.

This would explain the following numbers. In between 1994 and 2012, approximately 400,000 apartments were deregulated due to vacancy; for income, that number was a little over 5,000. So Weiner’s “protect the tenants” defense looks great on paper, but, as reality shows, it hasn’t matched up too well. For housing advocates like McKee, that’s unforgivable:

“Unlike many council members who argued that the bill was not particularly harmful, Weiner told us emphatically that he would definitely vote against deregulation,” McKee tells the Voice. “He seemed to grasp what the bill really would mean, unlike many council members who were clueless, who only understood what Vallone and RSA lobbyists told them. That made his sellout even more galling.

“He might have been the only sellout who actually understood why the bill would be detrimental to the rental housing situation,” McKee continues. “That is why his continued justification for his vote, that ‘rich people do not deserve to live in a rent-regulated apartment,’ is so hypocritical.”

In a response to the Voice from his campaign, Weiner once again defended his 1994 vote for deregulation by income. “It undermines confidence in rent regulation when wealthier individuals live in residences that are intended to be for those in the middle class or struggling to make it,” he said.

He also gave us a preview of his platform on the issue: “I’m a strong supporter of rent control and I believe that rents are far outstripping the ability to pay for many in the middle class and those struggling to make it. We need a cooling off period on further rent increases for at least a year.”

BRent control’s utmost significance in the upcoming mayoral election should be noted. As we all know too well by now, New York City is becoming wildly unaffordable. Manhattan’s average rent for one person is now around $3,000, an all-time high for a borough at the top of the Most Expensive Places in the Country to Live list, with no-longer-cheap Brooklyn in second place. Homelessness is at Great Depression levels, half of the city is more or less living in poverty, and we’re only just now getting an election-related story that has to do with the unbelievably high living standards in New York.

Weiner, Quinn, and the rest of the Democratic roster continue to promise a return of the middle class in the city, with plans for more public housing and the like. Joe Lhota and his fellow Republicans have, too, just with a bit more of a return-to-Giuliani kick. But none of the candidates have yet to tell us how or when we can stop saying to our friends in other cities, “Yeah, we get it: Everywhere else besides New York is cheaper.” Or when we’ll stop seeing eyebrows raise when we tell family members that we’re paying four figures a month for a tiny one-bedroom.

McKee’s group is sending a questionnaire to each candidate in the race and should reach an endorsement sometime in July. As New Yorkers who all find ourselves in this financially sinking boat, we await their responses. And so does Jimmy McMillan.

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Weary at Israel Day Parade, Weiner Still Leads the Jewish Vote in Race

Since he launched his campaign two weeks ago, former Representative Anthony Weiner had yet to face in-person backlash against his mayoral aspirations. His inaugural subway trip from Harlem to the West Village was met with questions rather than taunts; his support for teachers in the Bronx was welcomed by the pro-teachers crowd; his debate presence at NYU last week became a media circus, not a media outcry. Until yesterday: At the Israel Day Parade, where Weiner appeared as the only Jewish mayoral candidate, the politician faced jeers. Except it’s another case in this race of small, blown-up events versus realities of the Big Picture.

“Tweet me a picture, Weiner! Tweet me a picture, Weiner!”

The line was one of several tossed at the candidate yesterday as he made his way down Fifth Avenue holding the Israeli flag and a bullhorn. It was a reference, of course, to the cybersexting scandal that forced his resignation two years ago. It was the main line of attack from the parade’s bystanders towards their former Congressman; one with the underlining theme of “If he can’t get his dick pics in order, how can he can run City Hall?” This included a confrontation by an older man who asked, “Are you Weiner?” and, after finding out it was Weiner, stormed off in frustration.

This marked the first test of Weiner’s public persona in this race and it came from a group of people that share his religious identification. Though it wasn’t at all jeers: Weiner was met with high-fives and other encouragement, too.

Last week, we covered a poll that displayed Weiner’s rise in this race: In a months’ time, the former Congressman had announced his campaign and gained on Christine Quinn’s frontrunner stronghold, falling behind only by several percentage points. However, that survey had another ring to it. Of Jewish voters, Weiner has about a quarter of their support on lock, placing him 8 points or so in front of Quinn. For a candidate who has made his pro-Israel platform, as well as his relationships with New York’s Jewish leaders, well known, the connection to that community still shows itself in the polls.

The question now is whether this backlash at the Israel Day Parade a general concern of the Jewish community, or just an isolated group who still hasn’t forgotten about Twitter?

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A Former Intern Gives Advice on How to Be the Perfect Weiner Intern

Like any strung-out millennial, I can admit to myself that I, at several points in my career, have held the title of “intern” (an unpaid intern in certain cases, to say the least). I’ve interned for the menswear magazine GQ, the blog-magazine hybrid Newsweek/DailyBeast and, of course, here at the Voice, providing content for our calendar section. With those three publications under my expanding post-grad belt, I, like many of those in certain skill areas that consider themselves “specialists” after experiencing a sample size of three, can safely call myself an “intern buff.” So when the news came that mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner’s campaign was seeking a social media intern, my buffness (real word? Who knows!) in a dismal field finally gained some sort of relevance.

Attention, Weiner intern prospects: It’s time to gloss that Twitter handle and portfolio to impress the adults. Here’s how.

1. Keep in mind the situation at all times.

We are all aware of what’s going on here: You’re applying to be an aide in social media for a politician whose arch-nemesis is the Internet. This is Anthony Weiner we’re talking about, a former representative who was brought down by the same devices you’re putting on a pedestal. You know the story. Everyone knows the story.

To stress this point, never forget that the main message of your portfolio/resume should always be “Mr. Weiner, I’m here to help.” Be the savior you want to be. Like, “I’ll make sure your Twitter’s running smoothly again; I’ll keep the dick pics away from Instagram (FYI: Kelvin filter for the win!); I’ll maintain a Facebook presence that breathes, not exhumes, Anthony Weiner; and, hey, maybe I’ll even provide some treats for voters on Pinterest.

2. Leave the puns aside. But don’t totally rule out the puns.

This can be tricky. By now, we’ve heard them all: “Weiner Rising,” “Weiner’s in Your Face,” “City Hall Needs Its Weiner,” etc. Yeah, they’re funny–we can all admit that to our inner children–but you aspire to work for the man who was cursed/blessed with this surname.

As we all know, there’s an enormous line between seriousness and humor. Tread wisely. But there’s also a heavy risk of coming off as a dull robot who thinks the Big Bang Theory is the best comedy on television since Frasier. Don’t commit that horror to yourself. In your cover letter, you can have a little fun with your wordplay. For example, maybe replace “I’m the best candidate for this position” to “I think I have skills necessary to be underneath Weiner at all times.”

When else are you going to have this opportunity for innuendo? Probably never.

3. Make sure your life is all-Weiner-everything.

According to the original New York Post story on the internship, the listing states that applicants must be “enthusiastic about electing Anthony Weiner as the new Mayor of NYC.” Luckily, in real life, that’s easy: if you manage to score an interview, write down a few one-liners about Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, Joe Lhota and the rest of the pack on your hand so you’re ready to sling ’em as they come up in conversation. Also, make it clear that you were by his side since the beginning, not skipping a beat when the sexting scandal was uncovered (or when he admitted to a few more girls being involved). You always believed in Weiner and him becoming mayor is basically a Disney princess story coming true.

However, on the Web, that’s a little harder. If necessary, rummage through your tweets or Facebook statuses and delete anything you might’ve posted about Weiner that cast him in a bad light. One would think that an applicant for this job wouldn’t have to do that but, hey, who knows how you were acting two years ago. And, almost immediately after sending in your application, start tweeting your ass off with Weiner praise. A little hashtag (#weinerwins, #iwantweiner, #weiner4mayor) never hurt anyone. Neither has an Instagram selfie of you wearing a shirt with Weiner’s face on it. If you’re gonna commit 15+ hours to this man every week, as the listing demands, you better act like you want to possibly give up your Saturdays at the beach.

4. Oh, and I guess know the facts.

You can be his social media savior. You can drop a pun here or there. You can worship Weiner like a God (but please, don’t be too kiss-ass). But all of this will fall flat on its face if you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about with regards to actual policy.

Argue that Weiner’s negotiable approach to the teachers’ union is better than neglecting them entirely. Call Quinn ‘not progressive enough’ or whatever criticism she’s hearing that day. Like your prospective boss, say ‘save the middle class’ twenty times a minute. Defend stop-and-frisk but don’t come off as Ray Kelly Lite. And if you want to memorize “Keys to the City” – Weiner’s policy booklet and campaign slogan – go for it. If you’re gonna have to tweet for this guy, make sure you know what you’re talking about.

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Pun or No Pun, Weiner Rises in the Polls a Week Into Campaign

A few weeks ago, we had a post entitled “Polls Confirm That a Weiner Campaign Would Shake Up Mayoral Race.” This was some time before Weiner announced his entry into the race, as speculation swirled that the former Congressman with a social networking issue would even dare ask for a second chance in politics, especially by seeking the highest New York honor of them all: the mayoral0 throne. He had name recognition; he certainly had character and opinions; he was deemed the perfect splinter between Quinn and de Blasio. And yesterday, that speculation was met with statistics.

Last month, the Marist poll numbers for the Queens politician were low. With Quinn maintaining a 26 percent lead among registered Democrats, Weiner was left sharing second place with de Blasio at 15 percent. Yes, there was space for those rankings to shift–that was clear. But the frontrunner’s territory was marked up and Weiner’s position tied in a hypothetical second was solidified. Keep in mind he wasn’t even running yet.

Fast forward six weeks. By now, Weiner has released his emotional entry video, the New York Post and the New York Daily News have already played out the Weiner pun in front page headlines and we’re currently a week into his campaign. The results, as of the Marist poll yesterday: Weiner has garnered a 19 percent spot to Quinn’s now 24 percent spot; de Blasio has slipped back to 12 percent.

But what’s most important to look at here is where Weiner’s rise has come from. In April, the undecided vote was 22 percent; now, it’s 23 percent–the undecided factor in this race has yet to show its powers in the polls. The explanation for this shift could only come from one place: voters have shifted away from Quinn and de Blasio to push Weiner forward.

In other words, we’re watching a shakeup. It’s going to be a long way until November.

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Criticizing Bloomberg, Weiner Positions Himself as Teachers’ Favorite Mayor

The rocky relationship between Mayor Bloomberg and the city’s teachers has been the defining narrative of New York’s educational politics for the past decade. Troubled by layoffs and recession-based attrition by the Department of Education, the United Federation of Teachers has basically cut all ties to Hizzoner, leaving the teachers without a full-fledged contract for almost seven years now. This, of course, came to a boiling point in January’s teacher evaluations deal meltdown; one that sacrificed millions of dollars for our children. As the next mayor, Anthony Weiner wants to change all of that–the politics, the tensions, the drama–fast.

On a campaign stop in Bronx’s Co-op City last Sunday, the former Congressman took on the issue of education with hope and difference. “The fact is that being this long without a contract is an opportunity for the next mayor. It really is,” he said. “I mean, to be honest with you, I like the idea that if I’m fortunate enough to get elected, I’m going to have a chance to engage in these conversations fresh.”

Weiner continued with a criticism of Bloomberg’s approach as well as a major shout-out to the unions – a bastion of support that, should he advance further in this race, he’s desperately going to need. “Would any business treat its employees–meaning teachers–as badly as their boss is treating them? […] It’s frankly just not a productive way to be a boss. I’m not going to do that. I honor the teachers and contributions they make.”

The poll numbers show that Weiner’s main objective right now is to take down Christine Quinn’s frontrunner momentum. His entry into the race has forced the Democratic roster into a three-person split: one where it’s Quinn’s to lose, Weiner’s to advance, and de Blasio’s to salvage. With these statements in mind, the move made by Weiner on education is particularly strategic for two reasons.

First, as previously mentioned, he wants to preview himself as the union defender. The Democrats’ labor foundation is still struggling with Quinn; most recently, the paid sick leave bill was definitely a legislative victory for her with the unions, but the workers’ big chiefs aren’t forgetting that it took her two years and an impending election to switch sides on the matter. Also, she’s been characterized as Bloomberg 2.0 for her help in handing the mayor a third term and, if the unions despise anything in city government, it’s Bloomberg.

That brings us to the next point. Read Weiner’s statements about the current mayor as “Hey, I’m not gonna act like Bloomberg and, by saying that, I’m not gonna act like Quinn either.” His willingness to criticize Bloomberg’s treatment of teachers posits him as the anti-Quinn–a persona he needs to emphasize in coming months if he wants to stay alive in this race. Of course, we cannot forget that, at its core, this election is all about Bloomberg and his legacy.

The campaign stop on Sunday is the beginning of Weiner’s never-too-late entry into this race, one where he’ll have to characterize himself again and again. If this is what he’s bringing to the table, he’s off to a good start.

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We May Have a Weiner in the Mayoral Race by Next Week

“I’m trying to gauge not only what’s right and what feels comfortable right this second, but I’m also thinking, How will I feel in a year or two years or five years? Is this the time that I should be doing it? And then there’s the other side of the coin, which is, am I still the same person who I thought would make a good mayor?”

These were the questions Anthony Weiner asked himself in a New York Times Magazine profile published last month that sparked widespread interest in the former Congressman’s future political aspirations. The hints came two years after the sexting scandal that brought down Weiner’s congressional career. And, since then, the politician from Queens has played his cards strategically.

His admissions on television interviews have painted him as a man begging to look past the scandal that rocked him and his family a year ago. He reactivated his Twitter. His hypothetical polling in the race has given him good reason to take himself seriously. So who cares about the Clintons? This is a candidate with the potential to change everything.

And, if indications are what we’re going on here, that shift might come as soon as next week.

Last night, Politico reported that Weiner has hired Danny Kadeem as his campaign manager. Kadeem, an operative from Mark Murphy’s failed congressional campaign in Staten Island and a former volunteer for Clinton 2008, is the latest in a string of hires made by Weiner. He’s also picked up a press secretary and is reportedly looking to interview others.

You wouldn’t hire a campaign manager just for the hell of it, right? (Well, Weiner does have a lot of money, but still …)

This morning, two sources from Weiner’s team told the Daily News that an announcement to run could come as soon as next week. Right now, the sources are apparently eyeing out the political powers that be to ask them whether or not a Weiner campaign would be welcomed. Given his popularity, some might not want a Democratic shake-up at this point in the race.

One must keep in mind that his entry would be very late, with only four months between now and September’s primaries. If Weiner came in now, he’d have work hard to catch up with Quinn and de Blasio. It’d have to be an extremely organized effort and fast.

Then again, Quinn and de Blasio do not have Weiner’s name recognition, which carries plenty of political power.

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Poll Confirms That a Weiner Campaign Would Shake Up Mayoral Race

When word spread last week that former Representative Anthony Weiner was contemplating a mayoral run, the questions of what it meant for the electoral future immediately arose. How would his candidacy affect the race? Would the Democratic primary become a showdown between Weiner and Christine Quinn? Could people forgive the disgraced politician enough to elect him?

Well, as this was all happening, NBC and Marist University took to the streets (figuratively speaking, of course) to find out what Weiner’s chances of success were. And, yesterday, those numbers came in with a report titled “Weiner Candidacy for Mayor Could
Scramble Democratic Primary Contest.”

If Anthony Weiner joined the race today, he would tie Bill de Blasio for second place, with 15 percent of New York Democrats saying they would vote for him in the primaries. Quinn still dominates the lead with 26 percent of the vote, John Liu struggles behind with 12 percent, and Bill Thompson is in last place with 11 percent. But, if you consider the margin of error, all the contestants below Quinn are in a dead heat, making their candidacies Quinn’s to mess up real bad.

In his NY1 interview the other night, Weiner made it clear that his first goal was to get New Yorkers back on his side. And that seems to be working: in October, only 28 percent of voters said they wouldn’t mind if he ran; now, that number is around 40 percent.

Honesty and forgiveness are powerful emotions to have in your arsenal. But can they keep up a mayoral campaign until November? That remains to be seen.

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Anthony Weiner Gives Television Interview to Foster Mayoral Campaign

Looks like the prospects of Weiner on the campaign trail are getting a bit more serious.

In an interview with NY1 last night, the former congressman sat down with Inside City Hall host Errol Louis to discuss the news he spurred last week with his New York Times Magazine profile, in which he mentioned that he’s considering a run for City Hall.

Louis asked several questions about the scandal that happened almost two years ago. And, right off the bat, Weiner made it clear that he wanted to put the situation behind him so he could take this race seriously. “I think I’ll be spending a lot of time, here on out, saying I’m sorry,” he said.

Stating that he wanted to be “part of the ideas primary,” Weiner called the mayoral race “a little bit disheartening” so far, and then dove a bit into his policy views. He demanded more transparency if stop-and-frisk was to continue–a stance that sets him apart from his Democratic rivals. Also, he said he would oppose an inspector general for the NYPD, a proposal at the center of the Community Safe Act that has become a talking point of the race. This can all be found in a policy booklet he released earlier in the day.

You can watch the entire interview on NY1’s website. We’ll be busy getting our lives ready for the impending pun explosion should Weiner step into the mayoral foray.

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JohnSurico]