With attention magnet Anthony Weiner leading the New York City mayoral race aboard at least two Citi Bikes, some of his Democratic opponents used a Thursday forum organized by the Council of Senior Centers and Services to remind voters of some of the more negative origins of his name recognition. The sniping began when former City Councilman Sal Albanese criticized Weiner for his 1994 City Council vote to free landlords from rent regulations on newly vacated apartments. “My good friend Tony Weiner … promised [advocacy group] Tenants and Neighbors that he was going to vote against vacancy decontrol…He lied,” said Albanese, who then brought up another, more infamous instance of Weiner dishonesty by adding, “As he lied about his texting scandal on CNN after that as well.” The mostly elderly crowd didn’t appreciate the reminder of that nasty business and began booing Albanese, who was forced to abandon the issue when the moderator told him to “leave that there.”
Weiner later tried to defend the rent control vote by comparing it to the decisions he made as a Congressman during the debate over President Obama’s health-care law. “I believed in a single payer system for our national health care. I didn’t get it. But I got Obamacare,” Weiner said. “And the demagogues of the world were saying, you should have just taken your ball and went home. I don’t roll like that.”
Public advocate Bill de Blasio took that as an opportunity to suggest Weiner slow his aforementioned roll with another personal (though less salacious) jab. “First of all, Anthony, you didn’t get Obamacare,” responded de Blasio. “President Obama got Obamacare. I know you have a tendency to think the world revolves around you, but it was President Obama. Second, Anthony, you can’t defend a vote for vacancy decontrol by saying you had no choice. It’s absolutely bull to say you had no other choice.” Apparently there’s nothing like getting arrested at a protest to put a fire in an otherwise mild-mannered liberal’s belly.