Backrooms of White Plains:

Ryan reported personally working phones to save Mayoral bid; CSEA Survey of "likely voters" has Ryan tying Delfino, Greer losing by 8%.

Greer says it is "a real horse race"

Pinchbeck of White Plains CSEA endorses Ryan over Greer, cites labor friendly stance.

Corcoran confident she now has District Leader votes to claim a Council seat on Democratic Ticket.

Showdown for the nominations takes place Thursday.
By John F. Bailey

CityLine: April 17, 2001--WPCNR NewsLine

According to a source close to the William Ryan Mayoral campaign, Legislator Ryan is personally contacting Democratic Party District Leaders asking them to support his candidacy Thursday night when the Democratic City Committee meets at 170 Post Road to vote on the Democratic slate. Ryan, the Democratic Nominating Committee choice for Mayor to run against incumbent Mayor Joseph Delfino, is being challenged by Councilman Robert Greer for the nomination.

Ryan is relying heavily on a survey showing him in dead-heat with Delfino, while Greer lags behind.

The challenge will be decided Thursday evening at 170 Post Road where some 80 Democratic District leaders will gather to vote by secret ballot on the choices. Candyce Corcoran is also challenging for a council seat in a bid to run in place of one of the three Nominating Committee choices for council. (The Nominating Committee has selected Rita Malmud, Glen Hockley and Tom Roach.)

WPCNR has learned Legislator Ryan and his supporters are using a survey of 494 likely White Plains voters, as strong evidence why District Leaders should support his candidacy over Robert Greer.

The survey according to our source, was conducted by the CSEA's Albany-based research team of some 20 full-time telephone surveyors, among "likely" voters cutting across Republican and Democratic lines. The survey is reported to reflect a true White Plains voter cross-section based on CSEA polling methods proven reflective of national polling organization results in the past. However, this survey was taken before the April 6 announcement of Louis Cappelli's anticipated purchase of the Town Center property from Tishman-Speyer.

The poll, according to the document we obtained, has Robert Greer losing to Mayor Delfino by 8%, while Ryan ties Delfino. The survey sampling indicates that 23% of those polled are affiliated with a labor union of some type.

This survey has long been rumored but until today, we were told no details about the survey when we asked the Ryan camp about it last month.

Our source who is familiar with the Ryan campaign effort at this time indicates that Ryan is relying heavily on the ability of some 6 Democratic District Leaders with a strong organized labor orientation to generate enough other District Leader votes to withstand the Greer challenge.

CSEA endorses Ryan... joins WPPBA

At the end of last week, Ryan picked up a strong endorsement from Howard Pinchbeck President of the White Plains CSEA unit. In his letter of endorsement obtained Pinchbeck strongly criticizes Robert Greer and the Democratic-controlled City Council. Citing the fact that the CSEA local was without a contract for 2-1/2 years, and alleging that Mayor Delfino only met once with the CSEA leadership during that time, Pinchbeck saved his worst criticism for Greer and the Council:

"We saw little or no effort on the part of any White Plains Common Council member -- including Councilman Robert Greer -- to improve relations between the administration and city employees," Pinchbeck states in his letter endorsing Ryan. "The Common Council refused to involve themselves in this matter. Further, they claimed the Mayor was not providing them any information about contract negotiations, yet never sought any information on the matter from CSEA. This lack of involvement makes Councilman Bob Greer unacceptable as a candidate for Mayor."

Pinchbeck, on the other hand, praises Ryan for "a long-standing history of communication with CSEA, as well as assistance where possible and appropriate. He has served as mediator between the County Executive and CSEA on various issues, and was frequently seen walking CSEA picket lines. Legislator Ryan has shown a real concern for the workforce of Westchester County..."

The Pinchbeck letter says "we don't expect to achieve all our contract
requests under a Ryan administration, we do expect a cooperative relationship
based on mutual respect, which will assist not only City employees, but the
residents of White Plains as well. For this reason, we wholeheartedly
recommend Bill Ryan receive CSEA's endorsement for Mayor."

Pinchbeck, in his endorsement, also makes a prediction: "Once he (Ryan) becomes better known throughout the entire city, his chance of victory will increase. Further residents place the development of downtown as the most important issue facing White Plains, and equally blame the Mayor and the Common Council for the current failure. This fact especially hurts Bob Greer, since he cannot credibly use this issue to close the gap between himself and Delfino."

Corcoran confident she has the votes.

Candyce Corcoran, meanwhile, told WPCNR she is confident she has enough District Leaders backing her so that she will obtain enough votes to secure a nomination to one of the three council slots.

Democratic candidates for council seats apparently not notified they were not nominated.

WPCNR has also learned that at least one of the candidates for a Democratic Common Council nomination was not notified that he was not selected. Peter Katz told WPCNR that he was not sent a letter by the Nominating Committee informing him he was not selected. Calls to Kelly MacMillan and Claire Eisenstadt, two other candidates who interviewed with the Nominating Committee were made, but have not been returned.

In another oddity, WPCNR has been advised that the Nominating Committee has not informed District Leaders who the actual nominees are by mail, a formality that they are expected to observe as part of the bylaws.

Nominating Committee vote was not unanimous as reported.

WPCNR has also learned that the Democratic Nominating Committee had a number of straw votes taken to gauge where the Committee members sympathies lay during the marathon nominating session the night of April 3.

Adam Bradley, Chairman of the Democratic Party, told WPNCR that there were "a number of straw votes" taken. After such votes, the Committee held discussions and eventually arrived at their decision, which was unanimous, according to Bradley.

However WPCNR has learned that the Mayoral decision was a 3-2 decision with Committee Chairman Howard Glassman, Diane Travers, and Irene Thompson deciding in favor of Legislator Ryan, while Robert Wall and Barbara Schwarz voted in favor of Mr. Greer.

Bradley also told WPCNR that WPCNR were mistaken in reporting that he had not announced council candidates to the media. Bradley said he was being interviewed on the Mayoral nomination only, and was not asked by the Journal News reporter who the Common Council candidates were, not that he was not announcing council candidates to the media.

Ryan reported reluctant to have Corcoran on ticket.

In another sidelight to the nominating process, WPCNR has also learned that each candidate for Mayor was asked if there were any persons they would rather not have on their ticket. It is reported by several sources that Mr. Ryan said he would prefer not to run with Candyce Corcoran, and this is reportedly the reason Corcoran was not awarded a council candidacy.

This, WPCNR has learned from two independent sources, apparently stems from the attempt last summer by Robert Hoch to wrest control of the City Democratic Party from Adam Bradley. Hoch was reportedly supported by Legislator Ryan. Corcoran, as District Coordinator supported Bradley against Hoch, thus perhaps creating friction with Mr. Ryan.

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