Rivals attack Bill de Blasio in final Democratic mayoral debate

Credit: Bill de Blasio for Mayor
Bill de Blasio has become the frontrunner in the Democratic race for New York mayor. Credit: Bill de Blasio for Mayor

Standing in the middle of his opponents on the debate stage, mayoral contender Bill de Blasio fended off attacks from all sides Tuesday night just hours after a new poll revealed that he could potentially have enough support to avoid a runoff election.

His rivals accused him of flip-flopping on issues such as extending term limits, and criticized his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to expand prekindergarten and after-school programs, saying it would never be approved in Albany.

“We’ll have support on the ground from the people, and that’s what matters,” de Blasio said.

“We can’t have pie-in-the-sky promises for New York parents when they’re desperate for real change,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Quinn, once a frontrunner in the race, also slammed the public advocate over reports that he accepted campaign donations from property owners who appeared on his “Worst Landlords Watch” list.

“It’s Bill talking out of both sides of his mouth, making a list that’s supposed to help tenants but really it ended up becoming a campaign fundraising list for the public advocate,” she said.

De Blasio defended his bad landlords list, saying it succeeded in getting the property owners to fix their buildings.

Even Anthony Weiner defended de Blasio — at least on the point about the landlords.

“No one fought harder to stand up to slumlords than Bill has, I mean, that’s not the good issue to hit him on,” he said. “Term limits, yes. He’s flip-flopped on that. His policies aren’t as good as mine. But accusing him of being a defender of slumlords is pretty ridiculous.”

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson accused de Blasio of being inconsistent on issues and doing what’s “politically expedient.”

“Why should the people of the city of New York believe you, Bill, given your history, given the fact that that history has been one of doing things that are in your self-interest?” Thompson said.

Still, de Blasio did not back down and promised that he could offer New Yorkers a change from the Bloomberg administration.

“This is a city that has always believed in big, bold ideas,” he said. “The notion that we can’t go to Albany and get what we deserve, that we can’t convince the Legislature that we need the right to tax people that make a half million or more, that’s old thinking. That’s not the thinking that’s going to move us forward.”

According to the polls, this mayoral race has seen three frontrunners, with de Blasio surging ahead in the most recent polls. In the Quinnipiac poll released on Tuesday, he had 43 percent of support, followed by Thompson with 20 percent, Quinn with 18 percent, Weiner with 7 percent and City Comptroller John Liu with 4 percent.

Yesterday’s mayoral debate was the final showdown for the Democratic candidates ahead of the primary election next Tuesday.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.