Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Oct. 13, 2016

‘Trump thumped Clinton’: While many were trying to spin last Sunday’s debate as a victory for Hillary Clinton, we hear that a viewing party of Village Independent Democrats members called it clearly for Donald Trump, who was on the warpath. “That’s what our consensus was. There were about a dozen of us there,” our source told us. “We thought Trump did great — minus, of course, the lies and being a pig, period.” Hey, they call ’em like they see ’em at V.I.D. … Clinton obviously romped in the first debate. The possibly pivotal round three is coming up Wed., Oct. 19.

S.B.J.S.A. probe: So that’s what happened! A Web site called Progress Queens recently announced the initial findings of its Freedom of Information Law request to the City Council on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. One of the first documents the City Council released in response is a March 14, 2016, e-mail from The Villager to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Office, inquiring if the speaker planned to hold a hearing on the S.B.J.S.A. — as she had promised the newspaper back in June 2015 that she would do. “We want to do an issues-based hearing and would look at all legislation,” Viverito had said back then. As Progress Queens reports: “Lincoln Anderson, the Editor-in-Chief of The Villager, sent an e-mail…asking whether Council Speaker Mark-Viverito would be scheduling a hearing for the S.B.J.S.A. The FOIL response showed that that e-mail request was circulated internally without an apparent response to Mr. Anderson. The internal communication exchanged by public officials was entirely redacted from the FOIL response.” This sort of silence on the long-stalled bill is exactly what advocates have been decrying. Is it time to call in WikiLeaks — or maybe the alleged “Russian hackers” to get the full record of the Council’s “internal communication”?

Council climbing: Speaking of the Council speaker, a source tells us that should Hillary Clinton become president, Mark-Viverito might be in line for a position with the administration. That, in turn, would accelerate the race to elect a new speaker. There are nine or 10 names out there now, but Corey Johnson of the Village and Chelsea is definitely one of them, along with Julissa Ferreras of Queens. Over the summer, the New York Post reported that Johnson had met with state Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., courting his vote, since Diaz wants to return to the City Council to finish his career there. Of course, the religiously conservative Diaz is reviled in gay circles for his homophobic positions. However, a source explained that Johnson had, oh, just merely tagged along with former state Senator Tom Duane — who was a Democratic colleague of Diaz’s in the state Legislature — to visit Diaz in the hospital when he was recovering from back surgery, so Johnson just sort of, well…happened to be there. Umm…yeah, right! Duane and Johnson are both openly gay, but politics make for strange (hospital) bedfellows! As for Mark-Viverito, who would not run for mayor against her ally Bill de Blasio, we hear she might also want to be governor of Puerto Rico.

Christopher Marte is considering challenging Margaret Chin for City Council in 2017.

Christopher Marte is considering challenging Margaret Chin for City Council in 2017.

Challenging Chin? We’re hearing some rumblings that Margaret Chin may face one or more challengers next year when she runs for re-election to a third term. (Yes, remember…thanks to former Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, councilmembers from that period got three terms when term limits were extended.) Anyway, Chin’s approval rating continues to nosedive in the northern end of her district, where she is bent on ramming a housing project down the community’s throat at the beloved Elizabeth St. Garden. Christopher Marte — a young, up-and-coming politico who recently ran a strong campaign for state committee on the Lower East Side — confirmed to us that he is interested. “I am exploring the option to run for City Council next year,” he said. Marte is a big supporter of the Elizabeth St. Garden, and even recently started a garden at the Lower East Side I Infill housing, at Forsyth and Rivington Sts., on the site of Adam Purple’s former Garden of Eden. Marte grew up right next door and his dad ran a bodega on Rivington St. that Marte worked in as a kid, getting to know everyone in the neighborhood. Another name we’re hearing is Chinatown businessman / activist Don Lee, but he did not respond to our request for comment by press time. Whether District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar, who like Lee ran in the recent Assembly primary, would want to run again also isn’t ye clear. Rajkumar challenged Chin in 2013 and got about 40 percent of the vote. According to one source, though, after losing that race, Rajkumar said she wouldn’t run for City Council again in 2017. We did not hear back from Rajkumar. The source said the district leader is “playing it coy” right now as to whether she’ll launch a campaign for Council. No one has formed a campaign fundraising committee with the Board of Elections yet, so it’s hard to know for sure who will run — but the committees could be formed in a few weeks from now. As for Gigi Li, Chin’s protégé who came in sixth in the Assembly primary, we hear she is currently in China, taking a break and regrouping. Some speculate that if Li does aspire to seek office again, it would be for district leader in two years — perhaps trying to challenge Rajkumar again? Li’s last attempt at that went down in flames in a ballot petition signature-gathering mess that Rajkumar allies charged was riddled with fraud. Another former Assembly primary candidate is also chilling abroad for a bit. We hear Paul Newell is in Colombia visiting with his girlfriend’s family down there. Newell, who was always laser-focused on winning former Speaker Sheldon Silver’s seat, has never expressed interest in running for City Council. Meanwhile, Yuh-Line Niou, the Democratic nominee for Assembly in the Nov. 8 general election, joined the recent protest outside Fox News’s Midtown headquarters over Jesse Watters’s “O’Reilly Factor” bit in Chinatown that infuriated Asian-Americans. Niou and others said the snarky segment perpetrated negative stereotypes — and in Niou’s case, it brought back bad early memories. The anticipated new assemblymember, who grew up in places like Texas, recalled when classmates once locked her in a closet and took turns spitting on her because she was Asian, and on other occasions tried to suffocate her or set her on fire. Niou said she is so thankful today to be living in a tolerant, diverse city like New York. Meanwhile, blowhard Bill O’Reilly defended the dopey clip, saying his show is “not politically correct.” It’s not very accurate, either. Watters asked people about karate, when that’s a Japanese martial art!

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