Fernando Ferrer, the former Bronx Borough President and Democratic frontrunner for the mayoral race, has raised $3.1 million so far, which prompted his aides to tell the media that Ferrer is a "force." While City Council Speaker Gifford Miller has already raised the $5.7 million allowed by campaign finance law (candidates get $4 for every $1 they raise) for the primary, it seems like Ferrer will definitely be able to raise that much. Of course, this is nothing compared to Mayor Bloomberg, who is not complying by campaign finance laws since he's self-financing his campaign, who has already spent $5 million, and defended his free-spending ways, saying "I'm getting the best people is the message I think that sends."
Newsday has an interesting look at the parking-meters-during-church issue, aka "pay to pray," and how it's affecting Mayor Bloomberg. To remind everyone, Ferrer said that churchgoers should not be expected to pay parking meters on Sundays, because it's a day of worship, while the Mayor pointed out that Sunday revenue has been critical...needless to say, this has galvanized churchgoers. Mayor Bloomberg has conceded that they'll look into 2-hour meters in some areas, but, of course, opponents are pulling for more. Democratic political consultant Howard Wolfson says, "Look, it does not rise to the level of citywide importance as education or the stadium. That being said, it is clearly important to many churchgoing New Yorkers...It becomes just another proof point that he's an out-of-touch billionaire." Mayor Koch says the Mayor needs to drive home the issue more (it's true, the Mayor does seem to have danced around it, while Ferrer and church leaders are sounding off to the press), and even some other politicians agree that the parking meter revenue has helped.
And another political consultant told the NY Post that Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields "is the roadside bomb waiting to go off." Why? Because as an African-American and a woman, she could siphon voters from Ferrer. Fields isn't considered a strong candidate to face off with the Mayor in November for a number of reasons (her record isn't particularly strong, she appears at many photo ops with the Mayor, and hasn't raised as much money).
If you're not registered to vote in NYC and want to vote in this fall's election, visit the Board of Elections website. And if you're a registered Democrat, you'll be able to vote in the primary.