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Alongside Stop and Frisk Live from NY 5, Candidate From Twitter Is Called Sal

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, NY August 13 -- While four of the five candidates for New York City mayor who debated on Tuesday said they'd had minimum wage jobs (Christine Quinn said her camp counselor job had paid a bit more), in the spirit of social media this will focus on a candidate not allowed in the debate.

  Between 7 and 8 pm, Sal Albanese put out a series of 19 tweets, a sort of parallel debate, fact-checking from the margins. He began by urging New Yorker, or at least those 1300 who follow him, to "turn off your TVs and go outside to enjoy our beautiful city."

  For those who remained, or stayed glued to him by smart phone even while out in the city, Albanese opined that "my opponents can't grade city govt because they've been a part of it for 12 years! A reminder: these folks aren't John Q Public."

  On the ABC Channel 7 debate, after Anthony Weiner noted that his opponents were all part of the city government system, Chistine Quinn emphasized why he had had to leave Congress.

  Out in Queens, Albanese snarked, "Gimme a break. My opponents are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best friends of big developers." Switching back to his borough, he diagnosed: "DeBlasio / Weiner / Liu tax fantasy: If they think a Repub. state senate will raise income taxes, I'll sell em the Brooklyn Bridge!"

  Bill De Blasio was asked about taxing the rich, and he embraced it. (A question from the Free UN Coalition for Access remains outstanding - perhaps if Inner City Press' @InnerCityPress had asked it?)  Bill Thompson and Christine Queens called new taxes a last resort.

  Weiner was specific, saying his "second book" of ideas provides for increasing taxes on those earning about $1 million, cutting taxes on those under $150,000. Brooklyn Bridge not included.

  When talk turned to minimum wage jobs, and John Liu brought up sweatshops (and pizza delivery), Albanese crowed "I worked for BELOW minimum wage as a stock boy at Johnny Bananas in the Slope." If District Attorney Charles Hynes wasn't engaged in a more vicious debate with Ken Thompson of DSK and Sofitel fame, maybe he'd look back into Johnny Bananas.

  On stage, John Liu's final statement stood out, citing Bill Lynch then focusing on "Mrs. Brown" who was his host in the NYCHA project in (East) Harlem. Lui said he alone among the candidates pledged to END stop-and-frisk.

   Inner City Press wondered, as it asked online on Monday, if new US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power brought up stop and frisk to outgoing Mayor Bloomberg when she met him at 4:30 pm. #WhatMatters?

  Albanese closed out: "I'll be in the next debate offering NYers a clean break from these career pols." We'll see.


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