NEW YORK – Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang accused frontrunner Eric Adams of living secretly in New Jersey, and candidate Maya Wiley refused to pledge to keep armed police in a televised debate on CBS Thursday, 12 days before voters go to the polls.
The confrontation opened with questions about Adams’ residence, following a report in POLITICO this week detailing inconsistencies in official documents regarding the Brooklyn Borough President’s permanent address and hours unusual items that he keeps in his government office at Borough Hall.
“Eric is literally trying to convince New Yorkers where he lives and that he lives in his basement,” Yang said in his opening speech, calling Adams a “hypocrite” for attacking Yang’s decision to leave Manhattan for his second home in New Paltz during the height. of last year’s pandemic.
Wiley continued, saying Adams should say how much money he collects from his tenants. POLITICO previously reported that three years of its tax returns omitted any mention of rental income; Adams said he has updated the feedback, but his team has yet to release it.
Adams said he lived in the basement of his Bedford-Stuyvesant townhouse and allowed reporters on Wednesday to inspect his windowless room and cluttered premises to prove his residency. During the debate, he took the opportunity to praise his humble roots and his workaholic approach.
Five of the top eight Democrats were invited to the CBS debate. Shaun Donovan, Ray McGuire and Dianne Morales were not included due to their rankings in the polls.
As the hour-long swap turned to public safety – which polls are a major concern of New Yorkers amid rising gun violence – one candidate stood out .
Wiley, a lawyer who worked as an attorney for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s government for two years before leading his police accountability panel, would not commit to allowing police officers to keep guns.
She began to answer the question of whether she would take the officers’ guns by saying that security is “the first job”. Pressed by moderator Marcia Kramer, Wiley said, “I’m not ready to make this decision in a debate.”
After the debate, his campaign attempted to clarify his response: “This is a ridiculous question; no one is even discussing taking guns away from the cops – it’s clear Maya wouldn’t, ”spokeswoman Julia Savel said.
The other four candidates – Adams, Yang, former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and City Comptroller Scott Stringer – agreed that cops should be allowed to carry guns.
“My first act as mayor will be to go to the police and say we need you,” Yang added.
The candidates agreed on issues regarding the regulation of second-hand marijuana smoke, the named street change for slave owners, and not requiring bicycles to have license plates.
All but Yang agreed that the congestion pricing should be passed immediately – he said he would be open to flexibility on the timing.
In a tense exchange, Wiley referred to an audit Stringer recently conducted of Garcia’s time running the city’s sanitation agency under the guise of camaraderie with the former commissioner and presumably to attack the comptroller for what ‘she considered it a purely political act. This exchange opened the door to criticism of Garcia’s effectiveness as head of the uniformed department, which she disputed.
And in a little lightness, we asked the five candidates what they could not do without.
Stringer said coffee; Wiley expressed his devotion to his children and cats; Garcia expressed his desire for a manicure; and Yang replied to his wife, Evelyn. Perhaps the most interesting answer came from Adams – a bubble bath with rose petals.