Massey Money?



Plenty.  That sums up Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey’s response when asked how much of his own money he’ll put into his campaign.  He’s already put a substantial amount of his own money in, but wouldn’t give any commitment or specificity on how much he’ll put in when I asked.

In his first campaign finance report, filed in mid-January, Massey reported significant fundraising of $1.6 million.  He also reported spending $1.9 million, producing a net deficit of $300,000 before accounting for his personal loans to his campaign of $1.27 million.   Absent a dramatic change in his already strong fundraising or in spending, Massey will need to continue providing significant personal funding for his campaign.  Massey, who has previously said that he’s unable to fully fund his campaign, would only say “[w]e will never lack for resources.”

Here’s our exchange:

If They Choose Someone Else?



New York City’s Republican county leaders are seeking to avoid a mayoral primary by uniting behind a single candidate in the coming weeks.  It’s an appealing idea to candidates and supporters, so long as they or their candidate is the chosen one, but it can pose a bit of a quandary for candidates.  They’re understandably loath to publicly consider the prospect of another candidate receiving united party support and to contemplate a premature end to their candidacy.

Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey punted when I asked him about those Republican party efforts and whether he would continue his candidacy if a rival candidate receives unified party support, replying “I wouldn’t speculate on that.”  There’s an added twist for Massey, who has already received the support of the New York State Independence Party, as he could readily end up on the general election ballot as the Independence Party candidate running against both a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate.  He was far more committal on that possibility, declaring “I think the answer is yes.  I’m in, I’m all in.”

Here’s my exchange with Massey at a Staten Island press conference yesterday:

Massey On ConCon



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey says he supports a state constitutional convention.  Massey appeared unfamiliar with the question, but expressed support after a brief description during a press conference today on Staten Island.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

Massey & The Rock



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey has some Staten Island roots, both personal and professional.  I asked the Boston-born Manhattanite/Westchesterite about his connections to Staten Island today as he appeared in Tottenville to receive the endorsement of Assembly Member Ron Castorina.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

Massey’s 1st Press Conference



Massey Press Conf 2-21-17-9Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey held his first press conference today, launching harsh attacks on Mayor Bill de Blasio and sparring with the press.  Massey has been in a slow launch of his campaign, with a limited number of public appearances and no press conferences until today.

Speaking on the steps of City Hall, Massey read a lengthy prepared statement focused on the reported six ongoing investigations examining various actions of Mayor de Blasio and his administration.  Declaring that de Blasio “is corrupt” and has “sold out New Yorkers”, Massey urged that a seventh investigation begin to examine the mayor’s plan to create a legal defense fund to pay his personal counsel and seek outside contributions for that fund.  Massey said that he has written to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance calling for such an investigation.

Massey Press Conf 2-21-17-1

Continue reading

Photo Gallery: LGBT Solidarity Rally



LGBT Rally 2-4-17-20Thousands gathered in front of the Stonewall Inn Saturday as a show of “solidarity” against Donald Trump.  Elected officials, LGBT activists and entertainers (with some meeting more than one category) exhorted the audience to stand firm against many of Trump’s actions and initiatives, particularly those that would harm the LGBT community.  Speakers included Senator Chuck Schumer, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, former council speaker Chris Quinn, Public Advocate Tish James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Council Members Corey Johnson, Jimmy Van Bramer and Rosie Mendez, Cynthia Nixon and Omar Sharif Jr.

The view from the stage at Saturday's LGBT Solidarity Rally.
The view from the stage at Saturday’s LGBT Solidarity Rally.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is here.

Ulrich On ConCon



Council Member and putative Republican mayoral candidate Erich Ulrich supports holding a state constitutional convention.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.”  The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977.  Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Saying that there are vital changes that “weak-kneed politicians in Albany and City Hall have refused to take up,” Ulrich said that he is “wholeheartedly” in support of a convention.  Should Ulrich run and make it to the general election, the ConCon could be an energizing issue in November.

We spoke with Ulrich following an appearance at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club.

Here’s what he had to say:

Massey Gets Going



Massey 1-30-17-9“The current mayor is failing.  I’m the answer.”  That was Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey as he offered a harsh analysis of the “current mayor” and displayed supreme self-confidence in his ability to correct those perceived failings.

Speaking to a packed room of about 125 people at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club Monday evening, Massey demonstrated strong speaking skills and a steady, friendly temperament that easily engaged his audience.  He shared their disdain for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who Massey never referred to by name, but there was a meaningful gap between Massey and his audience on several issues.

Massey 1-30-17-11

Continue reading

Massey On Trump



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey offered a less than full embrace of President Donald Trump.  Speaking briefly after an appearance at the Metropolitan Republican Club Monday evening Massey offered only modest criticism of Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees and residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

On the so-called “travel ban”, Massey began with a declaration that “we’re a city of immigrants” and defended the travel ban only so far as it may address realistic security concerns around controlling entry to the U.S.  He added that any such security measures should “be done with dignity and respect for everyone.”   When asked his broader view of Trump’s first ten days in office Massey demurred, saying only that “I disagree with him on a bunch of policies” before pivoting to talk about the importance of a mayor “getting along with the federal government” as well as the governor of New York, and attacking Mayor de Blasio as “corrupt … divisive … incompetent.”

His lukewarm comments toward Trump separate him from his audience, which appeared enthusiastically supportive of Trump.  Notably Eric Ulrich, one of Massey’s Republican mayoral rivals, is also not a strong Trump supporter.  Their coolness toward Trump may be a significant element in the nascent Republican primary.

Here’s what Massey had to say: