Did you know that the first debate of the mayoral campaign, a Democratic primary duel between Councilman Tony Avella and Comptroller Bill Thompson, took place last night? Were you even aware that Bill Thompson has a challenger for the Democratic nomination? (Or that Mayor Bloomberg has a challenger in Bill Thompson?) Anyway, the point is all these things are true technically. Avella has no shot against Thompson, which made this debate something of a farce. Both candidates spent the bulk of their time taking shots at Mayor Bloomberg Thompson to weaken him for the general election, Avella just for kicks specifically focusing on his vast wealth.
Avella accused Hizzoner of using his power as mayor to increase his personal fortune, while Thompson said that “Billionaire Mike Bloomberg” is to trying to “influence and taint” the electoral process with his stratospheric campaign spending. Even when Thompson had the opportunity to ask a question to Avella, his supposed opponent, he kept his eyes on the real target: “When it comes to Mike Bloomberg, what’s the worst thing that you think he’s done with regard to the city?” Avella laughed and replied, “Thanks for the softball.” What a bloodbath.
In Face-Off, Rivals Take On Bloomberg [NYT]
Democratic Mayoral Candidates Face-Off In First Debate [NY1]
Debate post-mortem 2: Avella’s greatest hits [Brawl for the Hall/NYDN]