Sunday, July 26, 2009


The Grassroots Education Movement to Defend Public Education or GEM indicates on their blog that they are a newly formed coalition of NYC Group that "seek to educate, mobilize and organize educators, parents, students and our communities against the corporate and government policies which serve to underfund, undermine and privatize our public school system. GEM advocates, both within and outside the UFT, around issues dealing with the equality & quality of public educational services as well as the rights of school workers."

A recent entry on the site discusses Tony Avella as the “leading man” in the education movement.

Posted by JW, it reads:

"After Tony Avella's statements at the Working Families Party forum a couple of weeks ago, progressive educators seem to be backing his run for mayor.


You can't get much clearer than that.

Avella will first have to topple Bill Thompson in the Democratic primary, and that will take some doing. In the meantime, Thompson's been putting on some new coats. He certainly wasn't asking to fire Joel Klein before Avella said it at the WFP forum.

The Avella campaign is letting people know that their man was on NY1 bashing the rubber rooms, no-bid contracts, and the atmosphere of intimidation at the DoE. Video will be available online tomorrow.

They've also put a new page on Facebook: Educators for Avella.

Tony Avella is forging the correct agenda on education.

Bill Thompson is real "Old School" when it comes to teaching kids, and he's now just playing catch up."

— JW

Sunday, July 12, 2009


from New Yorkers for Avella - blog by Milan - 7/12/09

Or maybe that should be, "spend, baby, spend!" Michael Bloomberg's desperate attempt to become mayor-for-life has his staff on the defensive, defending his record-breaking campaign spending. He's burned through nearly $37 million to date this year, breaking all records for a city campaign and unprecedented even for Bloomberg. This is the guy who told us recently that an election can't be bought. He would do well to remember this in the race against Tony Avella and William Thompson.

Aides to Bloomberg are said to be worried that the sour economy could turn voters against him. A New York Times story on Bloomberg's campaign spending quotes Bloomberg aide Jill Hazelbaker as saying polls consistently have shown that voters are not concerned about his campaign spending, which already is four times more than he had spent at this point in 2001. Another Times story characterized as "a chink in the armor" Bloomberg's failure to win a recent sought-after endorsement. (We hear the mayor is stressed-out about this, but doesn't he know that money can't buy you love?) Ms. Hazelbaker also noted that Thompson had taken more than $100,000 in what she called “special interest money.”

Good news is that candidate Tony Avella is beholden to no special interest groups. This is a tenet of his campaign, and it is the way he has always served in his role as a City Councilman. He's a fighter for the people, our schools, our neighborhoods, and small businesses. It's about people, not money.

The AP's Sara Kugler reminds us of Bloomberg's own recent remark that "you can't buy an election" because the public is "much too smart for that." And word is that behind the scenes in the Bloomberg campaign, there is some hand-wringing about the way things are going (although the damage control experts spin things a little differently.) Not only is Bloomberg's spending obscene, but his advertising is exposed by blogger JD2718 as shameful--don't miss this one!

Friday, July 3, 2009

WFP MAYORAL FORUM - "I made every dime I have."

The WFP Mayoral forum was held Thursday night, July 3rd. I don't know how it was perceived on the webcast - whether you could hear the audience or not -- but there is no doubt that Tony Avella won.

However, I have unanswered questions about the Working Families Party. They injected themselves big time into the term limits debate last fall and were very opposed to the overturn of term limits, including getting involved in a lawsuit.

But then they endorsed Christine Quinn for another term. Quinn led the fight with Bloomberg to overturn the will of the people. Some people even think that the term limits question was not raised at the event because they made a deal with Bloomberg. Remember when Bloomberg said to a reporter "you are a disgrace" for bringing up the issue?

The WFP will make an endorsement vote on July 9th.

Bill Thompson had the nerve to call himself the "presumptive" nominee. And he will be if every registered Democrat goes to the polls in September for the primary and does the "politics as usual" thing and votes the way the Democratic political establishment is telling you to do.

These are some of the Twitter comments on the WFP site.

"So I think that Avela won the debate/forum - the reason being that any time you quote #the wire you win! "

" Cool forum WFP. Thanks for the opportunity. But if you endorse Bloomberg, then this city has gone to the dark age"

"Bloomberg is out of touch. Thompson seems a bit rehearsed. Avella rocked."

"Thompson was SO boring - he should run for senate."

"No Thompson, NYers aren't energized by you. Nice try though..."

"Did Thompson just call himself the presumptive nominee? That is some questionable messaging. "

"Thompson gives the same stump speech every time. "nuanced" is a bit of a stretch"

"thompson is going off the cuff, up is down"

Some articles: read comments after the article:

NY Daily News:
Mayor Bloomberg defends massive campaign spending: "i made every dime I have."

NY Times: At Working Families Party Forum, Bloomberg Declines to Toe the Liberal Line

Live Blogging at Mayoral Forum in NYC

NYC Mayoral Forum live blog (start at the bottom)