Democrat Chris Quinn hit the stump Thursday with sign-waving supporters from the Hotel Trades Council -- a politically savvy union whose endorsement of her mayoral bid could spell trouble for rival Bill de Blasio.
HTC -- among the last major labor players to pick a side in the primary -- joins 32BJ/SEIU, the city's biggest property workers union, in endorsing Quinn.
While smaller than other top unions -- its membership includes 50,000 workers and retirees -- HTC has won acclaim for running smart ground games, particularly in Queens, and vows to spend as much as $2 million to help get Quinn the win.
The HTC nod to Manhattanite Quinn is a clear blow to de Blasio, who's been one of her loudest critics and from the early days of his campaign has framed himself as the champion of outer-borough middle- and working-class voters.
De Blasio does have the support of 200,000-member 1199/SEIU, the largest healthcare workers' union in the country. Its president, George Gresham, has said 1199 will spend what it takes to get de Blasio to the November general.
But Baruch College’s Doug Muzzio said de Blasio’s victory plan was heavily predicated on selling a populist message that would let him lock up the kind of broad labor support that helped propel him to the public advocate’s office in 2009.
Aside from 1199's backing, that union coalition “just didn’t materialize for him,” Muzzio said. "No matter how [they] want to play it, it’s got to be a disappointment to the campaign... [HTC was] making a judgment about winnability here."
HTC backed Bloomberg's third term, so the Quinn endorsement isn't a total surprise.
But I would agree that the broad-based labor coalition de Blasio was hoping for hasn't materialized, his support is stagnating, and he looks to be, barring a miracle, an also-ran.
I have yet to see him get above 10% in any recent poll.
Maybe he ought to go after Weiner, calling him on his hypocrisy, his corporate ties, his racist mailer from the 90's and the sexting thing with the seventeen year old.
I know that the de Blasio campaign was testing some negative ads against Weiner, including one with the sexting/17 year old line of attack.
Now might be the time to start unleashing those.
De Blasio could accomplish two things with that line of attack:
1. He could cut through the muddle and finally get some headlines and media attention for his campaign.
2. He might be able to take some support from Weiner, or at least damage Weiner's support.
He's going to have to do something soon to make a move or he's basically finished.