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The Outer-Borough Crusader

Stop ticketing all those businesses in Queens! Anthony Weiner gets ready to take on Mike Bloomberg (whom he compares to Ricardo Montalban) for mayor.

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Congressman Anthony Weiner has been hammering Bloomberg for supporting Bush and the West Side stadium. And now it looks like he’s (officially) going to run for mayor. Greg Sargent spoke to the 40-year-old Democrat, whose district straddles Brooklyn and Queens.

When are you announcing your candidacy?
We’ll have an announcement around the first of the year.

Who do you think will be in the primary?
I anticipate Gifford Miller, Fernando Ferrer, Virginia Fields, and myself.

That’s a chaotic contest. How can you prevail?
Alan Hevesi and Peter Vallone in 2001 had enough votes combined to just about make the runoff. There’s no one else from Queens or Brooklyn. You’re not splitting that outer-borough moderate vote anymore. The math works.

Your chief competitor for those votes is Gifford Miller?
Of all the things that keep me up at night about the mayor’s race, Gifford Miller isn’t one of them. Someone who passed the property-tax increase and passed the bill to close firehouses can’t possibly argue that he’s an agent of change.

Some think you’re just running to take white votes from Miller, making it easier for Ferrer, who will return the favor by supporting you next time.
I see. So I’m a stalking horse for Ferrer?
When I win, I don’t think either Miller or Ferrer will subscribe to that theory.

What’s the case against Bloomberg?
He hasn’t fought for the city. He’s going to wave at a big chunk of his next budget and say, “This is outside our control.” That’s because it’s controlled by a Republican governor and a president whom Bloomberg threw a convention for that was akin to Ricardo Montalban welcoming people to Fantasy Island. Also, we have to stop deluging outer-borough businesses with tickets. And there’s no reason to exclude the outer boroughs from the discussion about new stadia.

He’s got $100 million to make his case.
I’d rather have his $100 million and 95 percent name recognition than my $3 million and 40 percent name recognition. Except that I’m Anthony Weiner and he’s Mike Bloomberg. And he’s going down.


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