Haven't seen last Friday's NY1 debate yet? I'll be keeping it in the upper right hand corner of the blog through Election Day on June 3rd so you may view at your leisure.
Keep these highlights from it in mind as you watch:
The 3 candidates were introduced by host Dominic Carter the following ways:
"Former Queens assistant district attorney Anthony Como"
"Former Council Minority Leader Tom Ognibene"
"Civic leader Charles Ober"
Elizabeth Crowley is introduced as “Glendale resident” because she hasn’t accomplished anything.
1st round – questions posed to each candidate by moderator
1:15 - Como uses annoying hand gestures for emphasis which look awkward.
1:30 - Crowley says she is not divisive in any way, yet she and her adviser, Evan Stavisky, reportedly refused to sit in the green room with the other candidates and their guests before the taping. (Apparently they felt uncomfortable being in the presence of the secretary of a local civic association.)
1:55 - Liz' voice trails off and her mumbling is barely audible.
4:13 - Como embarrasses himself by saying you elect someone for their “personal morale”, when he obviously means to say morality.
5:03 - Crowley says she doesn’t come out of a political club, although her cousin, Joe Crowley, is the leader of the Queens Machine, handpicked by Tom Manton. At 5:15 she says her parents served on the city council and she was involved in their campaigns. However, she was 7 years old in 1985 when her parents were appointed, not elected to the council, by Donald Manes. She mentions her civic experience and her educator experience, however, she has been out of the public eye since she last ran in 2001, and her only civic leadership is as chair of a green committee for the Glendale Civic Association, which is a group that Pinky created as a platform for himself. Her educational position is a no-show job that her former paramour, convicted felon Brian McLaughlin, got for her.
6:08 - Charles Ober says he is clearly the most qualified Democrat in the race, noted his resume, experience, passion and commitment and that he needed to stand against the Queens Machine and refused to step aside for Dizzy Lizzy.
7:50 - Tom Ognibene says there is a learning curve to becoming a city council member, noted the tight deadlines for the new budget, and stated that his experience would make him the best candidate.
8:05 - Anthony Como says he feels he is much more experienced than Tom Ognibene (We'll pause while you pick yourself up from the floor and try to stop laughing).
Okay - At 8:45 he says he’s “not going to run for one or two terms and then leave” and that he would “carry the seat into the next 10 years”. (Apparently, no one informed Anthony that 8 years is all you can serve under term limits.)
2nd round – Candidates given the opportunity to ask one other candidate a question
9:34 - Crowley, with a stutter, asks Como a softball question about how he would handle budget cuts as a councilman. For many, this proved that these two are actually working together. Como's stupidity was vastly underestimated by Crowley. He answers with a bunch of gibberish and uses the phrase “you can’t hold their hands tied behind their backs” to describe the police department at 10:25.
11:40 - The tape jumps here, but this is where Como says he is involved with a volunteer ambulance corpse. Not "corps", but corpse. It’s a shame that precious moment was not captured on this recording.
12:00 - Ober asks Crowley how, in light of the fact that she has been found guilty of fraud by the campaign finance board, she can be a leader in the council on the issue of reform. Crowley evades the question. She is asked the question again and says over 250 people from the community contributed to her campaign. (A glance at her filings shows that most of her contributors are unions or people who live outside NYC.) She then says that if council members are steering money toward their relatives then they need to be “investigated to see whether this is right or if there’s a conflict of interest”. Hey Liz - elected officials steering money toward their relatives is actually the definition of conflict of interest…
14:40 - Como asks Ognibene if it’s true that he said he would not run in 2009, and Ognibene says it is true only if he fails to win in June and in November.
16:00 - Ognibene asks Como what he thinks of the size of the capital budget and the allocation of it. Como doesn’t know how much the capital budget is.
17:04 – Ognibene explains how much the capital budget is and how it’s allocated. He then asks Como the question again. Como answers that he doesn’t think the budget is adequate for District 30’s needs, like senior programs and education.
17:40 - Carter asks all the candidates if they feel that knowing the dollar amount of the capital budget is a fair question for someone running for office. All agree. But then at 18:00 after Tom Ognibene is acknowledged and starts explaining further, Elizabeth Crowley interjects by stating that the question was only for Anthony, apparently fearing that she would be asked to answer it herself.
18:07 - Carter asks if there is one thing you can change about the budget process, what would it be?
Crowley – cuts in education
Ober – across the board cuts
Como – “seniors is a major priority we need to look at”
Ognibene – openness with regard to the oversight that the city council has for city agencies
End of debate
Winner - Ognibene
Runner up - Ober
At the bottom - a tie between Crowley and Como