Archive for May, 2005

10th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 10, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

Last week brought both good news and bad news for Fernando Ferrer. The good news: For the first time since mid-March, another candidate for mayor had a worse week than he did. The bad news: The unlucky candidate is Mayor Bloomberg, and not one of Mr. Ferrer’s Democratic rivals.

The mayor’s problem is the inertia surrounding the renewal of ground zero, the still-empty pit in which Governor Pataki’s political career may already have been buried. Mr. Bloomberg seeks to avoid the same fate. It is certainly lucky for him that the governor selfishly seized so much of the power to redevelop the World Trade Center site for himself during a time when the city administration was changing hands. (more…)

6th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 06, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

There has been a great deal of excitement this week about charter schools. The concept of schools invented from the ground up, run with minimal constraints of centralized control, is certainly attractive. But before we get caught up in irrational exuberance, we ought to look at the hard lessons unfolding in another reform effort, the smallschool movement, right here in New York City.

For the small-school movement, centered at the high school level, is imploding. Despite overcrowding in all high schools, the supply of seats in the small schools, most of which are organized around specific themes, exceeds demand. That is why last year a third of the seats in the scores of these schools already established in the city were filled by students who hadn’t requested them. (more…)

5th May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 05, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

There will be a number of interesting political developments to watch for in coming weeks. One will be the mayoral endorsement of the Working Families Party. All of the Democrats want it, but some suggest that the speaker of the City Council, Gifford Miller, has the inside track.

This is significant, not as much for the votes it may bring to a candidate, but for the potential votes a Democrat not on the ballot line could lose. For example, should Mr. Miller win the Working Families line and Virginia Fields win the Democratic nomination, whatever votes he draws would presumably be at Ms. Fields’s expense. (more…)

2nd May
2005

First Published in The New York Sun, May 2, 2005

By Andrew Wolf

The departure of two of Fernando Ferrer’s top campaign aides could open a new chapter in the Democrat’s sagging campaign for mayor but is more likely the exclamation point marking the end of the former Bronx president’s mayoral hopes.

How much new money in campaign contributions is likely to be “invested” in Mr. Ferrer’s prospects now? How many fence-sitting politicos will be offering up endorsements now? His campaign knows full well how damaging this all is.That’s why the announcement of the departure of his $35,000-amonth message guru, David Axelrod, and his $15,000-a-month press spokesman, Chad Clanton, was held back until after 5 p.m. Friday, just in time to disappear into the obscurity of Saturday news reports. (more…)

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