NY Times: Mayoral race could be decided on issue of police reform

The New York City race for mayor (it’s the Democratic primary but in New York that’s the real race) may come down to a battle between two candidates. Maya Wiley has endorsed defunding the police by another billion dollars while Eric Adams is a former cop who has defended stop-and-frisk. Right now, with violent crime up sharply in the city, the former cop is leading in the polls:

Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, would win with 56 percent by the 12th round of ranked-choice voting…

Maya Wiley, an attorney who worked for Mayor Bill de Blasio before becoming an MSNBC legal analyst, begins the race with 17 percent in the first round and loses with 27 percent in the 11th ranking, the poll found.

The NY Times has some reactions from voters and notes Adams appears to be running away with the race, especially among black voters:

At an early polling site at the Bronx County Courthouse, Zuri Washington, 30, said she ranked Ms. Wiley first and left Mr. Adams off her ballot because of their stances on policing and public safety.

“I know that crime is up in the city, I understand that. But that doesn’t mean we need more police,” Ms. Washington, an actress, said after casting her ballot on Saturday. “There needs to be different strategies for moving forward, and Eric Adams is not that person.”

But other early voters cited the rising crime numbers: As of June 6, shootings in New York City had risen by 68 percent from last year; homicides had risen by 12 percent over the same period…

“I would like to feel safe walking down the street,” said Barbara Mack, a retired guidance counselor who voted for Mr. Adams on Saturday in South Jamaica, Queens.

“He’s been a police officer,” Ms. Mack said. “He’s supervised police. He’s tough. I don’t think he’ll accept garbage.”…

In a poll released on Monday by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, 43 percent of likely Black primary voters said they planned to rank Mr. Adams first; Ms. Wiley was a distant second with 11 percent.

Adams appears to be running the left-wing equivalent of a tough-on-crime race. He has promised to increase the number of officers riding the subways and talked about bringing back an anti-crime unit. He has also “denounced graffiti, ATVs and dirt bikes as signs of lawlessness.” He’s practically promising a return to law and order.

Adams and Wiley both released campaign ads a few weeks ago and you can pretty clearly see the differences in the approach to policing at the center of these campaigns. First, here’s Wiley’s ad called “Breathe” which leans heavily on Black Lives Matter themes.

By contrast, here’s Adams’ ad titled “Safer.”

Sunday, the Atlantic ran a piece warning that progressives across the country should be worried about how the NYC race is shaping up:

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent progressive politicians in the country, warned last week that her hometown is at high risk of having a decidedly moderate mayor. Standing in New York’s City Hall Park to deliver a last-minute endorsement of Maya Wiley, a civil-rights lawyer who’d previously struggled to crack the top tier, Ocasio-Cortez urged the left to come together. “We have the candidates in the field, and it’s time for us to make a choice,” she said. “We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. We can’t afford to not engage because of what could have been. We engage in the world that we have.”

The forces driving a likely moderate outcome in the June 22 Democratic primary are varied; many are specific to New York and to this election. But the race also contains major warning signs for progressives across the country. If the left loses out in the city arguably leading the socialist revival in the United States, it will be, at least in part, because of dramatic infighting fueled by rigid positions on sexual and social-justice politics, as well as the generalized failure to unify behind one candidate alluded to by Ocasio-Cortez.

The rest of that story is a sad but amusing tale of far left candidates being eaten by their own. Scott Stringer was AOC’s initial pick for endorsement but his campaign was brought down by an allegation of sexual misconduct. Then another far left candidate, Dianne Morales, seemed to be gaining steam only to have her own staff try to unionize, casting her as a mean boss:

After the first Stringer accuser came forward, Morales responded with lefty buzzwords.

“It’s a really unfortunate moment in this race,” Morales said in an interview. “As a survivor myself, who’s got a femme-led team, many of whom are also survivors, we’ve all been triggered.”

Although progressive language helped Morales at first, she found that same sort of language used against her when her staffers attempted to unionize, following allegations of abusive behavior, long hours, and low pay. Morales, who would be the city’s first Afro-Latina mayor, responded in part by firing four staffers involved with the effort. A Twitter account run by the organizers focused on the race and gender of the people who were ousted.

“Black women were harmed, pass it on,” they wrote.

The nature of the left these days is to incessantly criticize everything and everyone as falling shy of their ever-changing standards. And that applies to candidates looking for their votes. In New York City, it looks like the social-justice left is going to fall short. Thanks partly to the spike in violent crime, which is happening all across the country, the next mayor may be the most conservative Democrat in the bunch. It’s not hard to see how this could give far-left candidates everywhere in the country the chills.