Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Weiner called Quinn to clarify talk with voter who used gay slur

    Christine Quinn said she received a message from Anthony Weiner on Thursday. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)Former Rep. Anthony Weiner called his New York City mayoral rival Christine Quinn on Thursday to clarify a recent discussion he had with a voter who reportedly used a homophobic slur to describe Quinn.

    Quinn, who is gay, told reporters on Friday she received a phone message from Weiner on Thursday after he came under fire for not strongly admonishing a voter he met during a campaign event who reportedly referred to Quinn as a “dyke.”

    The interaction, detailed in a Washington Post story, said Weiner did not scold the woman until after he noticed a reporter’s “incredulous reaction." Weiner then reportedly told the voter, who apologized, “It’s OK. It’s not your fault.”

    On Thursday, Weiner told reporters that he recalled admonishing the woman but insisted he did not recall any further interaction. He reaffirmed his support for gay rights and said he would not tolerate “any utterance of any type of slur against any community.”

    On Friday, Quinn said she was “grateful” that Weiner clarified

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  • Weiner defends his reaction to voter who used gay slur

    Former Rep. Anthony Weiner says he condemned a voter who used a slur against Christine Quinn. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK—Armed with a laser pointer and several PowerPoint slides, former Rep. Anthony Weiner sought to distinguish himself on Thursday as the only Democratic mayoral hopeful willing to embrace what he called the "big" and "bold" ideas with a speech calling for a dramatic transformation of the way New Yorkers receive their health care.

    But all it took was an apparent throw-away comment on a street corner several weeks ago to overshadow Weiner's latest attempt to turn the page from being the candidate who was forced out of Congress in a sexting scandal.

    Instead of talking about health care, Weiner was forced to respond to questions about a published report that suggested he failed to strongly condemn a voter who used a homophobic slur to describe his mayoral rival Christine Quinn.

    The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Weiner, at a recent campaign stop, spoke to an elderly voter who described Quinn, who is gay, as a “dyke.”

    Weiner, according to the paper, did not initially offer

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  • NYC mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn’s memoir so far sells just 100 copies

    Christine Quinn's memoir sold just 100 copies during its first week on sale. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

    Christine Quinn is vying to be New York City’s first female and first openly gay mayor, but even as polls suggest she still remains the candidate to beat, it appears Quinn will not add the title of “best-selling author” to her resume.

    The New York Times reports that Quinn’s memoir, “With Patience and Fortitude,” sold just 100 print copies during its week of release, according to Nielsen BookScan. That’s an embarrassing stat for Quinn’s campaign, which had hoped to use the book to boost her bid to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he leaves City Hall later this year.

    The number is somewhat surprising when you consider that Quinn is among the best-known candidates in the race. But while she remains atop the polls, a recent Marist College poll suggested she’s lost some ground to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who jumped into the Democratic primary last month.

    Spokesmen for Quinn and for her book publisher, HarperCollins, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Even though

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  • George Lucas pitches a San Francisco art museum

    George Lucas wants to open a museum dedicated to the art of storytelling in San Francisco. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    SAN FRANCISCO—George Lucas is best known for creating some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters in history, including the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” series.

    Now, several months after he sold his groundbreaking movie studio, Lucasfilm, to Disney for $4 billion and announced he was entering semiretirement, the legendary filmmaker is looking to shift into a second career: museum curator.

    On Monday, Lucas will appear before the Presidio Trust in San Francisco to present his proposal for a museum dedicated to “visual storytelling,” to be built in the former military base turned national park. To be called the Lucas Cultural Art Museum, its exact site would be Crissy Field, a former U.S. Army airfield located in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. It would be filled with Lucas’ vast collection of illustrations and pop art dating back 150 years and having an estimated worth of more than $1 billion.

    Lucas is one of three finalists vying for the Crissy Field spot. The other two

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  • Italian photographers discover Brooklyn's soul

    When photographers Alessandro Cosmelli and Gaia Light moved to Brooklyn from Italy in 2007, they quickly learned the best way to get to know their newly adopted city was to explore it by the Metro Transit bus.

    For hours, they explored neighborhoods around Brooklyn—peering through the bus windows into a world that often goes unseen by visitors and even some longtime residents of New York, who have come to think of the borough as nothing more than a haven for hipsters. What they found were neighborhoods filled with diversity and vibrancy, streets that told the success of and struggle toward the American dream.

    “What we saw was the soul of the city,” Cosmelli said.

    Their explorations soon turned into a project called “Brooklyn Buzz,” where the two spent several hours a day riding buses through Brooklyn and photographing through the windows what they saw.

    Cosmelli said he and Light had no game plan for where they went. Each photographer just picked a bus “randomly” and rode it for hours,

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  • Cory Booker to make New Jersey Senate run official

    Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (John Moore/Getty Images)

    Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is set to make official what the political world has long expected: He’ll run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Frank Lautenberg, who died Monday.

    A source close to the Democratic mayor told Yahoo News Booker was expected to announce Saturday that he’ll enter the special election primary set for Aug. 13. But the source cautioned that the event could be postponed because of heavy rains and flooding from remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea that were forecast for the region over the next 24 hours. The campaign was expected to make a final call on the event later Friday.

    Booker announced in December he was exploring a run for Lautenberg’s seat in 2014, and had long been considered the front-runner in that race. But the special election could complicate his plans—in part because several well-funded lawmakers have announced or expressed their interest in running in what looks to be an increasingly crowded Democratic primary. Booker would have to make up

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  • Christie appoints N.J. attorney general to replace Lautenberg

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced on Thursday he is appointing state Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to replace Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died on Monday.

    Chiesa, a longtime friend and colleague of Christie's dating to their early days as lawyers, served as chief counsel to the governor from January 2010 through December 2011, when he was nominated to be New Jersey attorney general. Christie said Chiesa, a Republican, will not run for Senate when his temporary term is over.

    At a press conference on Thursday, Christie said he had been considering options for Lautenberg's seat long before Monday, given the late senator's delicate health. He met with Chiesa on Monday night and asked him to consider the position. Chiesa, he said, sent him a text on Tuesday confirming he would take the appointment.

    Christie called Chiesa "the best person" for the job and praised him as a public official who has maintained friendly relationships with both Democrats and Republicans.

    "There's very few

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  • Dignitaries recall Lautenberg as a ‘tenacious’ and passionate man at his funeral

    Sen. Frank Lautenberg's casket arrives at his New York City funeral. (Seth Wenig/AP)

    New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg was remembered during his funeral at a New York synagogue on Wednesday as a “most tenacious” man and “scrappy fighter” willing to do anything to better the lives of all Americans.

    "You don't have to wait for the history books" to know the impact of Lautenberg's career, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the Democratic lawmaker, with whom she served in the Senate. She praised her former colleague as a tireless advocate of gun control and women's rights—and recalled sitting next to Lautenberg near the back of the Senate floor in seating reserved for lawmakers with less seniority.

    "As Frank said, 'It’s not where you sit that counts, it’s where you stand,'" Clinton said. "And there was no doubt where he stood."

    Clinton was one of more than 40 current and former lawmakers who turned out to honor Lautenberg at a service held at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City. Among the others who attended were Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey

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  • Christie enjoys broad political appeal, according to poll

    New Jersey Gov. Chris A poll found Christie has broad political appeal (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Christie has cast himself as a lawmaker willing to buck political parties for the good of his state in his bid for a second term, and it’s a strategy that appears to be working.

    A new, nationwide NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that Christie enjoys “nearly equal appeal” among Democrats, Republicans and independents—a unique position in the highly polarized world of politics.

    According to the poll, 43 percent of Democrats, 41 percent of independents and 40 percent of Republicans view Christie in a “positive light.” All told, 41 percent of those polled view him positively and 12 percent negatively—while 29 percent said they were “not sure.”

    The survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,000 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

    The poll found that Christie is far less polarizing than several other national officials, including President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—who, like Christie, is

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  • ‘Let him be overconfident’: Christie’s challenger tries to gain traction

    Barbara Buono votes in New Jersey's primary election Tuesday (Mel Evans/AP)

    MONTCLAIR, N.J.—Gov. Chris Christie leads Barbara Buono in the polls by more than 30 points, sports a nearly 70 percent approval rating and has raised nearly three times as much political cash for his re-election bid than his opponent—leading many to believe he is virtually unbeatable this November.

    But Buono, a Democratic state senator who officially won the nomination of her party Tuesday to face Christie on Election Day, insists none of this bothers her. She is unfazed by the declarations—even by members of her own party—that she is waging an unwinnable campaign.

    “Let him be overconfident,” Buono said of Christie as she spoke to a group of young Democratic supporters at a phone bank in this tony suburb of New York City on Tuesday. “We’re coming up behind him, and he doesn’t even see us.”

    But not everybody shares Buono’s optimism. The race has exposed a division among Democrats in the state—many of whom have privately questioned how the party could not have attracted a stronger,

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