Here and Sphere has watched, from its onset, the loopy-palooza of a five-way Primary contest to determine who will likely succeed three-term Mike Bloomberg as New York City’s Mayor. It’s been a campaign just like the City it’s taking place in : big, loud, full of tricks and trick bags, shady-ness, a cheeky openly lesbian City Council President, a re-run candidate, new names, and — as we all know so well — the joys of sex-texting as presented by one “Carlos Danger,” who day-lights as candidate Anthony Weiner.

In addition Weiner, the Democratic Primary candidates are City Council President Christine Quinn, from Manhattan;  Bill DeBlasio, New York City Public Advocate (an elected position);  John Liu, City Comptroller (also an elected position);  and Bill Thompson, past Comptroller and candidate for mayor in 2009. (there is also a Republican Primary, in which former MTA chairman Joseph Lhota faces John Castimatidis, who owns the Red apple Group and also is CEO of the Gristede’s Supermarket chain.)

Who heads the list in polls changes from day to day, maybe from hour to hour, as this city of multi-millions living in every sort of different surrounding, on every sort of income level, by every manner of lifestyle, language — oddity, pushcart, sandwich board, rollerina, shell game, shopping binge, hard hat,  limo and taxi — moves through its demolition derby of a campaign toward choosing a next “how’m I doing” kind of Mayor.

One with power over a budget huger than that of almost every State and many nations, a budget encompassing hundreds of parks, schools and shelters, courts and police precincts, as well as hundreds of thousands of city employees, and tons of targets for the world’s terroristas.

What a job. And what a riot circus it all is.

NYC Mayor ... 5

^ The Big Five : Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn, Joseph Liu, Bill DeBlasio and in the center ring — Anthony Weiner

We are lucky to have an ongoing report by Jim Fouratt, progressive activist, articulate and earnestly opinionated, a New York City resident in the Big Apple’s grand tradition of citizen advocates. In fact we are reprinting his posted status reports from his Facebook page — as near to an on the street / intelligent view of the election as any we have read or expect to read.


This morning I attended the hearing at the New York City Campaign Finance Board where they were to announce the granting of matching funds ($6 for every dollar under $175) for the Democratic Primary on Sept 10, Only John Liu, the City Controller and Mayoral was denied funds (over 3 million dollars) , The Board has 5 members, 2 appointed by Mayor Bloomberg (whose administration Liu exposed in a millions of dollars scam ) and two by the Speaker of the City Council Christine Quinn who also is running for Mayor and who will do anything to knock out her opposition for the nomination and the Mayor after consultation with the Speaker appoints the Chair. Liu’s lawyer argued for the granting of the matching funds They did mot. I thought each should have recused themselves . They did not. Listen to the Liu’s lawyer’s presentation…you will learn much more than from the mainstream media. Shocking.. or how Billionsberg and Boss Quinn get their revenge . Judge for your self :


Maybe some NYers will get their noise out of his crotch and smell the fresh ideas Weiner is putting forward… i think the way he has handled the media drubbing is a good sign how he will handle actual matters that matter to most New Yorkers. Have you read his platform and his ideas? As to the people dredging up his positions from 25 years ago as the deBlasio folk seem stuck on ..how about finding out how he stands on rent regulation issues now? I did and found his answer for what happened in 1992 convincing Or the fact that he rides his bike to campaign stops should , one would think , answer were he is on bike lanes today. Remember we are electing a Mayor not a Pope… and yes i think he is wrong on the West Bank .. and will continue to challenge him on it … Please if you don’t want to support him for any reason .. than I suggest you stop targeting him and take on Quinn and her deceits and Thompson’s business and friendship alliances and look at Lui and how he stood up to the Mayor and had both the Times and the Post attacking him … just like Weiner. in the end what is important is an informed vote …not just an emotional vote … and yes i love you all.

Weiner defends his campaign here : 


I wonder how many of you so outraged about Wiener’s personal life would speak truthfully about your own sex life if a phalanx of cameras and mics were thrust in your face . Both your actual sex life and your fantasy sex life? Not that i personally care unless you are sleeping with me!

Anthony Wiener talks about a single payer for New York City, supports home rule (city) on rent regulation legislature and ride a bike to rallies… and that is just the beginning of why I think we should be talking politics and not tabloid gossip. He broke no law. All participants were consenting adults and how he and the woman he loves deals with it is their, NOT my, business,

here is what he sent to voters today”

“Dear Jim:

So here is what I learned this weekend – a lot of people who don’t have a vote, want to decide who our next Mayor will be.

TV pundits, newspaper publishers and, of course, my opponents – they’ve all made up their minds that they want to stop our campaign right now.

Well, at least they are consistent. These same folks have been howling about me running from the moment I first got in.

But this race isn’t about them. It’s about you. You should decide

I knew that revelations about my past private life might come back to embarrass me. I never hid from that possibility. But, I waged this campaign on a bet that the citizens of my city would be more interested in a vision for improving their lives rather than in old stories about mine.I am going to continue to lead the debate about ideas for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Soon, I will publish yet another book of ideas for New York. I will be giving more policy speeches and revamping our website to include even more ways that New Yorkers can become involved with our campaign. I’ll be showing up at community forums, televised debates, street fairs, worship services and just about everywhere that New Yorkers gather. In short, I’m going to keep doing what I’ve always done. I’m going to keep on fighting for my city. And then you get to decide who will be our next Mayor, not them.I hope to see you soon,Anthony”
To all New York City voters and out-of staters who think it quite wonderful that the next Mayor of New York may be a woman and a lesbian. And i am talking to people like those in Emily’s list. Here is an entry into why most progressive people of ALL sexual orientations are united in their opposition to Speaker Quinn, Her old-time political machine tactics of control and punishment are seeded throughout this piece. I personally have seen her make members of the City Council cry when she whips them for not bending to her will. Get rid of her and her terrible political machine, A predator on the quality of life in this city.
 am sick and tired of sleazy media jokes about sextexing .. (what is wrong with consenting adults doing it anyway … its safe sex and no one gets preggers) so please can we get back to what is important ? Or are we going to get stuck in ny post gossip inspired exchanged. What does the private, consensual sex activities of a politician have to do with how effective they can be as elected officials. Both Wiener and Spitzer stood up to wall street ..and they were right .. and they were brought down by wall street agents (see excellent documentary client 9 re spitzer) . So lets talk issues : Stringer vs Spitzer, Weiner vs Quinn or Liu …. and Weiner has put single payer health insurance for NYC on the table… and that is a huge reason to look at him…. and yes today he came out in favor of bike lanes .. and that flipped my helmet…. only Lui also remains in focus .. (uh as of today that is!)
— Jim Fouratt on Facebook
NOTE from Here and Sphere ; as long as Jim Fouratt permits us we will continue to post his reports on the New York City Mayor campaign. We also expect to supplement Jim’s observations with reports from our own newsies as the first voting day — the Primary — approaches — MF



^ The Washington Post ; The Graham Family sells

You already know the fact in the field : Amazon’s CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, has purchased the Washington Post for $ 250,000,000. It is big news, coming, as it does, less than a week after Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Boston Globe. Big news, too, because if Henry paid $ 70,000,000, Bezos is paying almost four times as much. It’s an elephant price for an item — print news — that the hired mouths say is headed for extinction. Is Bezos simply an ego with a large wallet ? (He is said to be worth $ 25 billion, a long suitcase even in today’s world of mega-purses.) Or has he a plan in mind that hasn’t occurred to the less visionary among us ? Maybe so. Maybe all the recent buyers of print-media marquee names have plans in mind. What can they be ? What MIGHT they be ?

One thought already piques us at Here and Sphere : look to the archives. The Washington Post, like the Boston Globe, has over a century of archives, a trove of history. As it publishes in America’s capitol city — DC — its archives record more than mere local knowledge. Yet even local knowledge has value untapped. We recall a neighbor who made a fortune acquiring the histories of just about every county in the USA that ever published one. Ancient all, their copyrights had expired; he revived them at scant cost and then published every one anew. Who, you ask, could possibly be a buyer of a county history ? Every public library in the county ponied up to buy a copy, at a hefty book price.

Why should something similar not be in Bezos’s mind for the post ? No, he won;t publish the post archives in book form; but he can surely image them and market subscriptions to them — because the Post archives continue to accumulate, every day — to every library, and to all education institutions, too; for this is America’s history we’re talking about. Maybe even overseas libraries and education institutions will subscribe.

Second, the Post continues to be the paper of record for America’s capitol city. It has fewer readers than formerly and less paid advertising, but it has seen of both, and surely a hard core of each that will not be diminished much, if at all. The Post broke the Watergate story in 1974 and published the Pentagon Papers in 1971. It was the first paper that Ed Snowden offered his revelations to. The post will continue to be the go-to medium for bombshell stories from our Federal government, the world’s most important. With importance comes continuity. Example : the Pope in Rome. Just as the Pope’s bibliothecarius has maintained a journal of Papal letters, bulls, and orders almost without break since Gregory the Great’s time (the 590s) at least, so the Post’s reports from Federal offices in Washington will likely continue to publish for many decades, or longer, no matter how digital the outside world becomes.


^ Jeff Bezos : master retailer and money visionary

Lastly, the Post and Globe are hardly the only papers being sold to private buyers with pendulous purses. Private buyers need not fear impatient trader-investors the way public traded firms do. They can wait. They can endure losses. They can re-position the enterprise and explain nothing of it to you or me. Perhaps the Post and Globe will become platforms for other businesses : advertorials, monthly magazines, subway giveaways, even digital technology research. No one has yet mentioned the digital research potential of print media power-house, with their expertise in information gathering and dissemination; yet that potential abounds, and it would be more surprising for entrepreneurs like Bezos to NOT pursue it than to go for it.

The Post will become something new. that you can count on. New and yet quite basic too. Expect it, and take note as it happens.

—– Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere