New York City’s mayoral candidates’ worst Twitter fails
nyc mayoral election
Letters to the Editor — June 5, 2021
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It’s a social media minefield for the New York City mayoral candidates, whose tweets are filled with missteps, hypocrisy, pure ego and political about-faces.
Black Lives Matter supporter Maya Wiley probably doesn’t want people to remember the time in 2014 she tweeted “#AllLivesMatter.”
And Andrew Yang has stepped in it numerous times, tweeting in January about his favorite “bodega,” which looked more like a gourmet deli, and urging people to vote in 2018, despite his own spotty record of casting ballots including avoiding every mayoral contest. His tweet for National Pets Day celebrated a dog he said he had to give away.
The questionable post led one Twitter user to muse, “When people ask me why any candidate needs messaging experts, I’m just gonna point them to this tweet.”
Yang is also an exuberant self-promoter, urging the Twitterverse to buy his book and, in a Facebook campaign ad for his presidential run quoting a political reporter he claims told him, “‘I’ve never heard someone like you in all of my years. No one in Iowa has. You are going to go so far. I feel like I just met Obama in 2006.’ “
City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s tweets are all about policy and not personality, but an April 26 dispatch was telling.
Stringer posted a photo of himself holding a bouquet of red roses, saying they were for his wife “just because.”
Maybe it was because accusations would emerge publicly a day later from a former campaign volunteer who claimed Stringer groped her during his 2001 run for public advocate. Stringer says he had a “consensual” relationship with Jean Kim.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also used the All Lives Matter hashtag in 2014. Like Wiley, it came in response to the killing of two NYPD officers.
Adams’ tweets also show both his support and opposition to mayoral control of New York City schools. And he’s used the platform to support a wide array of causes from having young people pull up their pants, to the plight of pachyderms, tweeting he had contacted the circus to “dialogue about elephant welfare.”
He also seemingly supported Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who posed for years as black. In 2015, he tweeted “For years, some blacks lived as whites due to persecution. Might we have a white woman, #RachelDolezal, living black to fight persecution?”
Wiley is the most prolific tweeter among the mayoral front runners, with 41,000 tweets since 2009 — some she may regret.
In January, she gushed over a tweet from a “Nicole Kidman,” thinking the actress had endorsed her.
“WAIT!!! OMG!!! My team didn’t TELL me!” Wiley wrote in the post which was deleted after it became clear the support was not, in fact, from the Oscar winner.
In 2013, she wrote “If more Black ppl skied, the music wld be sooo much better in the lodges!”
Her tweets during her tenure as a counsel to Mayor de Blasio show strong support for the NYPD, the budget for which she now wants to cut by $1 billion. She tweeted from a 2014 New York Police Foundation gala dinner, noting that then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was “showing map of [declining] murder rates in NYC from ’90-‘2013. Amazing! #wordscan’t describe.”
She also seemed to give qualified support to the NYPD’s controversial stop and frisk program, tweeting in 2013 that the stops were down 22 percent. When a Twitter user asked why they weren’t down 100 percent, she responded, “Progress matters. But 100%? Some folks are out there committing crimes. But the walking-while-Black stops are wrong.”
Former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia has treaded gingerly on Twitter — starting her account only in September 2020 — and sometimes coming across as smug.
She tweeted on April 1 that “Some folks say I’m sometimes TOO honest” with an emoji of a laughing crying/laughing face. She added “Truth is, I just don’t know any other way to be.”
Garcia revealed on April 1 that she did her own stunts for a campaign ad that showed her breaking out of a glass box and said, “Similar to how I’ll run City Hall as mayor: I’ll do the fun stuff, the ‘boring’ stuff, and all the acrobatics should New Yorkers need that.”
Garcia acknowledged her trepidation with the 15-year-old Twitter in a December 2020 interview, saying “I avoided getting a Twitter account for like my entire life because I thought it was a not nice place. And I was told I must have one. I still think it’s not a very nice place.”
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