Monday, July 30, 2007

Mayor Carrion, or Simply Carrion?

In today's NY Sun, Jill Gardiner takes a look at the mayoral prospects of Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion. While the article is mostly positive, and cites the construction boom in the Bronx, it does raise some questions about Carrion's viability in a city wide race; and quotes Richard Lipsky that, "Mr. Carion could have a hard time taking credit for the new construction, as City Hall initiated most of it."

The greater difficulty for Adolfo, however, will devolve from an inability to appeal to a larger city wide constituency, while simultaneously maintaining his Latino base. His decision in 2006 to support State Senator Sabini against Hiram Monseratte, his Hispanic challenger, could come back to haunt him in two years.

Carrion's enthusiasm for the removal of mainly Latino businesses from the Bronx Terminal Market to make way for the Gateway Mall won't win him points with Latinos, something that Monseratte is sure to bring back up in 2009. It should be pointed out here that the Sun is incorrect in saying that the Gateway Mall will rise on "formerly vacant, city-owned land." The vacancy was a product of the eviction of the existing businesses in a sweetheart deal between the city and the Related Companies (with Deputy Dan as the midwife).

In addition, Carrion has a rather rocky relationship with labor; his support for BJ's in the Bronx and his flirtation with Wal-Mart has raised questions about what he would do as mayor. His willingness to support the mayor on congestion pricing, an idea that has little support in the outer borough constituency that he needs to cultivate, will also make it hard for Adolfo to project himself out of the Bronx stereotype.

One last point. What's up with the headline in the Sun?- "Gracie Mansion is ready for family life again." Gardiner doesn't comment, but since one of Carrion's main rivals may well be a gay woman we're interested to see if this was some sort of implied shot against Chris Quinn. If it is, then 2009 could become quite a nasty fight for the top slot in city government.