City Council Speaker Race Heating Up For Possible Noon Floor Showdown


fjcc mmv 5It is Cold in New York City, very cold, but extremely hot in City Hall. Last than 24 hours before the City Council convenes to choose a new speaker, Queens Democratic officials who support the candidacy of Manhattan’s Daniel Garodnick were said to be meeting Tuesday afternoon to plot strategy for what is shaping up to be an unusual floor battle Wednesday, Chris Bragg reported.

At this point, three sources told The Insider, there’s a strong likelihood that the battle between Mr. Garodnick and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito will come down to a public floor vote. That would differ from the two previous speaker races, where winning candidates had formed broad winning coalitions by the time a vote was taken.

One possibility being discussed by the 20 members of the Bronx and Queens Democratic council delegations who are sticking to their unconventional support of Mr. Garodnick is the idea of forming an opposition caucus that would serve as its own bloc of power over the next four years, according to The Insider blog. “It would sort of be like the [Independent Democratic Conference] in Albany,” the source said, referring to a group of four senators who broke off from the Democratic conference to join in a coalition government with the Republicans in the Senate.

The long shot candidate for speaker himself, Dan Garodnick, is emailing and texting news stories and endorsements to backers of rival Melissa Mark-Viverito in a last ditch effort to win their support before tomorrow’s vote, Politicker reported Tuesday evening.

Multiple council sources, including members contacted by Mr. Garodnick, told Politicker Mr. Garodnick has been targeting the freshmen votes in Ms. Mark-Viverito’s 30-member bloc by pointing to a series of negative Mark-Viverito stories in the city’s tabloids and glowing pieces hailing Mr. Garodnick, including a New York Times endorsement.

“Dan is pushing tabloid stories and hit pieces about Melissa to freshman members, as if they don’t read the news every day,” said one skeptical council insider. “It’s more than a little desperate at this point.”

The NY Times endorsed Mr. Garodnick for Speaker, in an editorial Monday evening.

“It’s troubling enough having a speaker who is handpicked by the mayor, as Mr. de Blasio liked to point out when he used to ridicule Christine Quinn as a tool of Michael Bloomberg. But there are also the questions raised in recent news reports about Ms. Mark-Viverito,” The Times wrote. “Ms. Mark-Viverito’s supporters insist that she will stand up to Mr. de Blasio. They accuse her main rival for the post, Daniel Garodnick, of representing the old system, in which Democratic leaders picked the speaker and doled out committee chairmanships, patronage jobs and member pork. It’s true that party bosses in Queens and the Bronx, outmaneuvered by Mr. de Blasio, want Mr. Garodnick to win. But Mr. Garodnick has an independent streak of his own and has distinguished himself in the fight to preserve middle-class housing and other issues.”

The bad press Ms. Mark-Viverito is getting, may help public opinion sway against the presumptive city council speaker, but it would hardly have little effect, since the public won’t be weighing in. Mark-Viverito is hoping to keep her 30-member coalition, but would only need to rely on 26 votes of the body’s 51 members to win the Speakership in Wednesday noon’s floor vote.

“Little known fact: There are four Council Members who keep kosher in the NYC Council and all of us support Melissa Mark-Viverito for Speaker,” Councilman David Greenfield tweeted Wednesday.

(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)


  1. David Greenfield shivers from De Blasio and c”v to vote against him! Tell these frum council members to vote they’re mind for a change and tell Mr Liberal Mayor to have a nice one!

    Btw has Mr Liberal mentioned one word about the horrific murder… in the Community that gave him full support R”L for his recent run for Mayor?? Is this real! How about a mention about that horrible article in the NYP did he condemn that???
    Mr Greenfield & Deutch etc. just follow him blindly the day will come when you realize where you are, hopefully you will no longer be a councilman anymore! Please don’t say that you represent your constituents interests because most of BP voted for Joe Lhota for Mayor!