Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D) released his second TV ad, which focuses on his opposition to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy. The spot calls de Blasio “the only candidate to end a stop and frisk era that targets minorities.” (New York Times)
WEINER THE UNDERDOG: During a campaign stop in the Bronx on Monday, Weiner “had more campaign staffers with him than reporters. Just three stood by as the onetime frontrunner” shook hands with commuters. “Three months ago, at his first campaign event outside a subway entrance in Harlem, the crowd of reporters grew so thick that two police officers were forced to step in.”
But Weiner “says he prefers the dearth of reporters to a surfeit.” Weiner: “You might be surprised to hear this, but I actually like it better this way. … Just get me to a place where I can talk about issues and give citizens an opportunity to come up and say hello.”
Despite his flagging poll numbers, Weiner remains confident: “It’s inconceivable to me that this won’t be successful.” (BuzzFeed)
QUINN CAMP REMINDS VOTERS OF POTENTIAL TO MAKE HISTORY: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s wife, Kim Catullo, is beginning her public role with the campaign this week, “appearing at subway stops, senior centers and campaign events. It is the 15 minutes of fame the corporate lawyer would have preferred to skip, but with Quinn in a tight race for the mayoral nomination, she is ready to do what’s needed.” (New York Daily News)
Meanwhile, New York Times‘ Frank Bruni’s Tuesday writes that Quinn’s candidacy has extra significance for strategist Josh Isay, whose late father was gay and became a “prominent gay-rights advocate” late in life.
Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah explains: “The stories help remind voters about the barrier-breaking nature of her candidacy, which has gotten lost at times in this season, in no small part because the Quinn campaign hasn’t sought to emphasize it, choosing instead to create a competence gap between her and the other candidates by running on her record as speaker. That strategy survived the rise and fall of Carlos Danger, but appears to be giving way a bit to accommodate the strength of the two Bills, who now threaten to block the only woman in the field from even making a runoff.”
DE BLASIO FAN ATTACKS QUINN BACKERS: During a Quinn rally Monday, de Blasio supporter George Capsis, “the publisher of a community newspaper called The WestView New,” slapped a Quinn supporter, state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D), in the face. “When Ms. Quinn’s aides tried to escort Mr. Capsis away, he hit one of her interns, a young man, who began crying.” (New York Times)
— Kevin Brennan
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The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.