So this happened:


A U.S. appeals court froze court-ordered reforms to the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk program and removed the judge who found the police tactic unconstitutional because she "ran afoul" of the judicial code of conduct.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was at least a temporary victory for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD, who have argued that stopping, questioning and frisking suspicious people has led to a steep decline in crime rates.

The three-judge panel said its ruling should have no impact on the merits of the case, but was a rebuke of Scheindlin, who became a hero of civil rights and civil liberties groups when, in August, she struck down parts of stop-and-frisk.

The court's removal of U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin from the case was an exceedingly rare action and an indication of how displeased the judges were with her.

The judges faulted Scheindlin for failing to appear impartial by making public statements about the case and by granting media interviews in which she answered critics of her ruling.

"We could not be more pleased with the Court's findings," said Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, the city's chief attorney, who called Scheindlin's ruling "unjustified and deeply problematic." - Reuters, 10/31/13

And Bill de Blasio (D) ain't happy:


Bill de Blasio said he was "extremely disappointed" in Thursday's appeals court ruling that puts a halt on reforms to the NYPD's stop and frisk policy.

"We shouldn't have to wait for reforms that both keep our communities safe and obey the Constitution," De Blasio said in a statement released through his campaign.

"We have to end the overuse of stop and frisk -- and any delay only means a continued and unnecessary rift between our police and the people they protect." - New York Daily News, 10/31/13

More below the fold.

Well said.  Of course de Blasio's opponent, Joe Lhota (R), was all smiles about this recent decision:


"Bravo! As I have said all along, Judge Scheindlin's biased conduct corrupted the case and her decision was not based on the facts," the GOP underdog said in a campaign statement following news that the Second Circuit Court Of Appeals had booted the jurist from the case and put her orders on hold.

"From Day One, I have stood with Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly in support of these proactive policies that have saved countless lives. The court has vindicated our positions," Lhota said before going after de Blasio, who polls say is set to win next Tuesday's election by a mile.

"The only thing more dangerous than Judge Scheindlin's behavior is Bill de Blasio's naïve public safety approach. He has embraced the judge's actions and has been the public face of unwarranted attacks on our police and the policies that have had a chilling effect on the NYPD," said Lhota, who supports the department's use of the controversial tactic. - New York Daily News, 10/31/13

Stop And Frisk has become quite a campaign topic in the New York City Mayor's race.  Lhota has been trying to paint de Blasio as weak on crime because of his staunch criticism of the NYPD racial profiling technique.  But in the most recent debate, de Blasio really shot back at Lhota's attacks:


When Lhota repeated his warning that crime would rise under de Blasio, the Democrat accused Lhota of lacking faith in the NYPD.

Lhota said that wasn't true, but added: "Crime will go up." - NBC New York, 10/31/13

de Blasio also argued that Lhota would only continue the Giuliani type divisiveness in the Big Apple:


De Blasio accused his Republican rival of being blind to the divisions in the city during the administration of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, for whom Lhota worked as budget director and as a deputy mayor.

“He obviously doesn’t understand what millions of New Yorkers felt during the Giuliani years, where they felt overt divisiveness from their own mayor, where they felt communities were pitted against each other,” de Blasio said, citing the case of Patrick Dorismond, a black security guard who was killed by police.

Lhota denied Giuliani’s response to that case was divisive, prompting de Blasio to charge, “It’s another example that despite your much ballyhooed résumé you don’t understand what life in this city is about.” - New York Daily News, 10/30/13

de Blasio's stance on stop and frisk have helped him lock up his party's nominee and how he plans to reform the policy will depend on his brand of leadership:


In his favor, Mr. de Blasio has already shown a knack for getting in front of issues that resonate with New Yorkers. He positioned himself as the mayoral race’s most vocal opponent of stop-and-frisk before a federal judge ruled the city’s implementation was unconstitutional and was among the first in the field pushing for mandatory paid sick leave. On the City Council, he showed a willingness to fight for causes that weren’t necessarily headline-grabbers, including pushing for reforms at the Administration for Children’s Service after the death of Nixzmary Brown and, as public advocate, successfully used his bully pulpit to pressure bad landlords to make repairs.

Kenneth Sherrill, a professor emeritus at Hunter College, said that for a mayor, political leadership is at least as important as executive experience. Many of Mr. Bloomberg’s third-term challenges—the overuse of stop-and-frisk, challenges to his efforts to limit soda sizes and introduce a new taxi fleet—were the product of failed politics, Mr. Sherrill notes, not mismanagement.

“Honestly, leadership skills often matter more than managerial skills. If you’re able to do the kind of talent search that enables you to hire the first-rate managers—that is, Lhota types—then you don’t have to be that much of a manager yourself,” he said, arguing that being responsive to a population of 8 million people is more important to being a mayor than knowing every cranny in the budget.

“Very often, people who have very strong managerial skills often have what is, politically, a tin ear,” he noted. “Do you really want a mayor who’s more of a manager than a political leader? I don’t think so.”

Mr. de Blasio’s success over the next four years will depend on both. - Politicker, 10/29/13

And who he'll pick as his next Police Commissioner will certainly have an impact on how stop and frisk is used:


De Blasio is far from selecting a City Hall lineup, at least publicly. His campaign aides quickly bat down the names of potential commissioners that have been floated in the media, leery of looking overconfident, even with a 44-point lead. “I’ve been talking to people for advice for the last year or two while simultaneously assessing them,” De Blasio tells me. “You can do a lot of deep thinking, a lot of playing things out in your mind. If I’m the one [elected], I’m certainly not going to be caught flat-footed.”

The exception to this wariness, however, has been instructive. De Blasio himself has talked up two people he’d consider selecting for police commissioner. The first, Bill Bratton, is associated with dramatic turnarounds in both Los Angeles and New York—and, usefully for De Blasio, Bratton is also remembered positively by many in the city for clashing with Rudy Giuliani. The second, Philip Banks III, is currently chief of department in the NYPD—and, usefully for De Blasio, Banks is ­African-American. Both are law-enforcement lifers and very much in the mainstream of policing theory and practice, which allows De Blasio to tamp down worries that he’d make radical changes in a department that’s reduced crime to record lows. But, again, the floating of these names is more political than executive. De Blasio is savvy enough to understand the downsides: Bratton is a media magnet, and some police insiders consider Banks too nice a guy to run the department forcefully.

De Blasio’s ultimate choice for NYPD commissioner will be judged against the clarity of his campaign rhetoric. Given his belief that stop-and-frisk tactics have antagonized innocent residents of minority neighborhoods, wouldn’t hiring a nonwhite police chief to succeed Ray Kelly be a step toward healing what De Blasio claims is a dangerous rift? “I think the philosophy is the most important thing and the capacity to implement that philosophy,” he says. “So, I want a community-policing worldview, I obviously want to bring policing and the community back together, I want to fundamentally reform our current approach, and whoever can do that most effectively, that’s my priority. It’s less about demographics.” The other high-profile pick a Mayor De Blasio will need to make is for schools chancellor. As a candidate, he’s talked about greatly increasing parental participation in the school system and about reducing the Bloomberg-era breaks given to charter schools. Beyond that, however, De Blasio has been vague about what he considers the best ways to improve the city’s public schools. - New York Magazine, 10/27/13

He's talked the talk but once he's elected, he's going to have to walk the walk.  I have faith though because de Blasio's family could play a big role in how he governs as Mayor:


NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15:  New York City Democratic Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio (L) stands with his wife Chirlane McCray before a press conference outside the East Side Community High School on August 15, 2013 in New York City. De Blasio spoke about his plan to tax the wealthy in order to expand city's after-school programs.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The de Blasios are a close-knit family. Both Chiara, 18, and son Dante, 16, have campaigned for their dad.

De Blasio says his wife, who has worked as a speech writer for Dinkins, former state Comptroller Carl McCall and former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, is a full partner in his life and career.

“We like to be together,” McCray said. “We like to think together. You know, it’s New York, so there’s a lot of information that you have to process on a daily basis. And it’s nice to know that there’s someone else who has your values.”

McCray has yet to disclose what role she’ll play in a de Blasio administration, whether it will be publicly or privately. - CBS New York, 10/31/13

The de Blasio's will be making history next year as the first biracial family to be running City Hall.  de Blasio's family were instrumental in helping make stop and frisk and serious issue and I have a feeling they're going to be influential in how de Blasio will govern.  Of course Lhota has accused de Blasio of using his family to hide his lack of policies:


The two family portraits come at a time when Bill de Blasio’s family has been front and center—the kids doing TV ads for him and Chirlane usually with him campaigning—while Lhota’s family is rarely seen. As Kathryn Lhota told the Post, “We’re such a private family to begin with and I’m grateful that we’ve been able to maintain it.”

But forty or more points behind, Lhota needed them to step out. And perhaps the New York Post needed it even more, to combat the liberal media. You can almost see Rupert Murdoch’s Post, sibling to the Roger Ailes–run Fox News, saying, “The liberal media’s not going to give Joe a fair shake, we gotta do it ourselves, we’re going to go glow for glow, candidate’s child for candidate’s child. That’s fair and balanced.”

10.24.13 New York, NY. At home with Joe Lhota and family, wife Tamra and daughter Kathryn. Family in the kitchen before the meal. (photo by Tamara Beckwith/NY POST)
This must not have been easy for Lhota, not only because his family prefers privacy, but because Lhota has been insisting that Bill de Blasio “is using his family because he has no policies.” “Heck, if you didn’t have any policies and plans you’d put your lovely family out there. It’s as simple as that.”

That’s ridiculous: it’s de Blasio’s policies—on housing, taxes, policing—that Lhota has been railing against all along. It is true, though, that de Blasio’s family helped catapult him above better-known rivals in the Democratic primary—particularly helpful was that now-famous TV ad in which Dante vouches for his dad as someone who’ll end “a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color.” It’s also true that “diversity” can be used merely symbolically. But in de Blasio’s case, it’s part and parcel of all those policies that Lhota claims de Blasio lacks. - The Nation, 10/29/13

Then again, maybe Lhota would've had a better shot if this guy was running his campaign:


So what gives? Could a different campaign strategy have given de Blasio more of a run for his money?

The Daily News reached out to a very different kind of candidate -- one with years of experience as a politician but whose personal issues undermined his own mayoral dream: Democrat Anthony Weiner.

Weiner’s first piece of advice: Lhota should have embraced Mayor Michael Bloomberg, rather than compete with de Blasio in distancing himself from the billionaire mayor.

“There are a lot of independents and Democrats who helped elect Republicans -- the Bloomberg Democrats,” Weiner said in a phone interview. “[Lhota] didn’t seem to have a plan to inherit those people. There was too much sprinting away from Bloomberg. There were a lot of votes to be gained there, plus a grateful billionaire to be gained by saying, ‘I’m going to be kind of like that guy.’”

Instead, Lhota was left with the worst of all worlds, Weiner said. He failed to appeal to Bloomberg’s centrist voters. And Lhota killed any shot he had of a last minute cash gift to a PAC from a mayor who perhaps got fed up with de Blasio trashing his legacy.

“In the end, he left a lot of those people who are saying, ‘I want more of the same’ without a candidate,” Weiner said. “He started out without that 35% or so base vote that would have been nice to have.” - New York Daily News, 10/31/13

Or maybe not.  The election is November 5th.  If you would like to get involved or donate with de Blasio's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 09:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by New York City, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Black Kos community.

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