I Am That Messenger



The New York City Republican Party has had “the right message but for years we have not had a messenger who could deliver it to allll the communities.  I’m telling you, right now, I am that messenger.”  That was at the core of Republican mayoral candidate Michel Faulkner’s pitch to the Queens Village Republican Club in a recent visit.  Faulkner’s fiery speech drew a standing ovation, far exceeding rival Paul Massey’s reception the prior month, although enthusiasm waned as he dealt with audience questions.

Faulkner does differ from most New York Republican candidates.  He’s a Baptist minister and African-American who cites Jerry Falwell Sr. as a “political mentor [and] spiritual father.”  Low on money but high on energy, the 6’4″ Faulkner’s religious roots infuse his appearances as he preaches politics.  He’s fluid at the mic, quickly revving up as he attacks Bill de Blasio with his energy filling the room.  He’s spotty on many issues, however, often displaying a lack of  significant depth on specific topics.  Continue reading I Am That Messenger

Ulrich For Dietl



New York City Council Member Eric Ulrich today endorsed Bo Dietl for mayor, supporting Dietl in a race that he may not get to run.  Dietl’s hope of running in the Republican primary depends on receiving a waiver, known as a Wilson-Pakula, from the Republican county committees in at least three of New York City’s five counties.

This was a good get for Dietl, attracting a decent amount of press interest in a race that has attracted limited attention.  There’s a very small pool of Republican elected endorsements available, as Ulrich is one of only seven elected Republicans (excluding President Trump) from New York City.  He’s the second to endorse a mayoral candidate, with Assembly Member Ron Castorina having endorsed Paul Massey.

Continue reading Ulrich For Dietl

Massey Goes To School



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey made a school visit today, going to Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School for a tour and discussion with students as he began an extended effort at demonstrating deepened policy knowledge.  Massey, who has often appeared unfamiliar with significant City policy issues, has said that over the next several weeks he will unveil an “Urban Innovation Agenda,” via a “series of in-depth policy proposals.”   Today Massey discussed education reform.

The press conference was held at Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, a fairly new school created in the former home of a shuttered Catholic high school.  Cristo Rey Brooklyn is part of a national network of 32 Catholic high schools created on the model of the first Cristo Rey high school, a Jesuit high school in Chicago.  Each school is separately run, with Cristo Rey Brooklyn sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and administered by a board of directors.  Students work one day per week at jobs outside of school.  Those employers, primarily large businesses and law firms, provide much of the school’s financial resources which in turn enables the school to modify tuition based on financial need and students pay as little as $100 per month.  Massey has employed Cristo Rey Brooklyn students in his brokerage business and now in his campaign.  He spoke enthusiastically of the school and its students.

Continue reading Massey Goes To School

Misnomer



That’s how Paul Massey characterized my question of whether it’s fair that the Staten Island ferry is free while riders on all other New York City public transportation pay at least part of the cost.

It’s a bit of a dicey question for a politician seeking support on Staten Island, but a reasonable topic and important in both transportation planning and broad budgeting for Staten Island services.  Massey, on Staten Island for a press conference about the new ferry system, dismissed the very notion that it’s free.

Massey Transportation (Updated)



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey came to Staten Island this afternoon to offer a Staten Island-centric criticism of Mayor de Blasio’s plan for a new Citywide ferry system.  The new system, which will begin partial operation next month, does not include Staten Island.  It’s wholly separate from the existing Staten Island ferry, which runs a single route between the Battery and St. George, and is planned to run broadly along the waterfront of the other four boroughs.  Massey spoke at the waterfront in Stapleton, with the harbor and lower Manhattan spread out behind him as he demanded that Staten Island be added to the new system.

Massey drew a larger press contingent than his prior Staten Island press conference, with the City Hall press corps settled in about two miles away for Mayor de Blasio’s Staten Island week.  He’s improving on his knowledge of New York City government, but still reluctant or unable to talk in much detail.

Responding to my questions Massey said that he otherwise thinks that the mayor’s plan is a good plan and he declined to address what the right pricing will be for the new ferry system.  Like all New York public transportation it will be subsidized by taxpayers.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

Update – Full Video:

Here is Massey’s full press conference:

Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery of Massey’s press conference is available here.

Massey Visits The Ohel



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey visited the Ohel Chabad-Lubavitch, the Cambria Heights burial site of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, Friday.  The Ohel, literally the “tent”, is a small square roofless stone structure built around the gravesite creating a space in which many devoted followers come to stand, pray and seek immersion in the Rebbe’s spiritual presence.  The Rebbe, who died in 1994, was the Lubavitch leader and a significant presence in New York City’s political fabric.

Continue reading Massey Visits The Ohel

Massey On Metzitzah b’peh



Mayoral candidate Paul Massey waded into the long running metzitzah b’peh morass today, as he was asked about it in a press Q&A during a visit the Rebbe’s Ohel, the gravesite of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.  The ritual, in which a mohel, an adult male, draws blood from an infant’s circumcision wound with his mouth, has bedeviled Mayors Bloomberg and de Blasio.  A small number of infants have contracted herpes through such contact with herpes-infected mohels, provoking public health officials to seek to limit or ban the practice.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

 

Update – Full Report:  Our full report on Massey’s visit to Ohel Chabad-Lubavitch is available here.

Dietl Q&A: The Labor Edition



Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl spoke with the press today following an appearance at District Council 1707/AFSCME.  Labor Press and AM 970 The Answer hosted a “Labor Appreciation Day” which included a panel on the future of Rikers Island.  Dietl, along with Michael Palladino of the Detectives Endowment Association, Elias Husamadeen of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association and Gregory Floyd of Teamsters Local 237 were panelists and former police and corrections commissioner Bernard Kerik moderated.

Although Dietl’s press advisory promised a joint press conference with Kerik, Kerik departed immediately after the panel and did not participate in the press Q&A.

Topics included Kerik and how Dietl reconciles his criticism of Mayor de Blasio’s “corruption”, Kerik’s comment that children should be specifically taught how to safely interact with police, the continuing possibility of Dietl running in the Republican primary and possible union support, the “raise the age” initiative and mayoral control of schools.  Here’s the wide ranging post-panel Q&A with Dietl:

Dietl’s Wilson-Pakula, Continued



Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl continues his effort at seeking a Wilson-Pakula, which would enable him to run in the Republican primary.

Under New York election law candidates may seek to run on the line of a party that they’re not registered in only with the permission of the party, granted via a “Wilson-Pakula” waiver. Dietl, who initially wanted to challenge Mayor de Blasio in the Democratic primary, ended up as a man without a party after the Board of Elections rejected the form he submitted seeking to change his registration from Republican to Democratic as improperly completed. Dietl now plans to run on a self-created ballot line, “NYC Cares” while also seeking the Reform Party and Conservative Party lines.  (Prior reports are here and here.)

Speaking after a panel discussion on Rikers Island at a “Labor Appreciation Day” at D.C. 1707/AFSCME Dietl didn’t offer much detail but he did make clear that he continues to seek a Republican Wilson-Pakula.  He also distances himself from political parties, however, calling himself a “moderate conservative Democrat” who has “evolved” away from the GOP.  Today he said that he envisions himself in a position “where I don’t have to kiss Democrats or the Republicans butts, you know what I’m saying, I wanna kiss the peoples butts.”

Here are excerpts of Dietl’s comments to me and Laura Nahmias of Politico:

Dietl & A Wilson-Pakula



Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl continues seeking a Wilson-Pakula and the ability to run in the Republican primary.  (Background is here.)  I asked Dietl about his ongoing effort during a press conference on Thursday.  He made clear that he’s still seeking one, but offered little on how he’s progressed in obtaining the support of at least three of the five Republican county committees.

Umpatation



Ain’t got enough.  That was mayoral candidate Bo Dietl’s succinct assessment of rival candidate Paul Massey.  Dietl is hoping to receive a Wilson-Pakula, a waiver from three of the five county Republican committees, to run in the Republican primary.  Should he receive a Wilson-Pakula, Dietl would face Massey in a Republican primary.

Here’s Dietl on Massey:

Dietl Press Conference #3



Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl held his third press conference Thursday, appearing outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office.  The press conference featured Dietl reading a letter to Governor Cuomo in which Dietl urged Cuomo to initiate a NYS Board of Elections investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising practices.  Dietl read the letter at a previous press conference, but seemingly and inexplicably hoping for more a press conference with more cameras than just NYTrue.com’s camera, held an additional press conference for a second reading.

Dietl continued his attacks on Mayor de Blasio, with interwoven denunciations of de Blasio as lazy, corrupt and from Boston.  Dietl touted his native-born status and his time as an NYPD detective as foundational to his qualifications for the mayoralty.

Video:

Here is the full press conference:

Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.

Reform Party Candidate Forum



The Reform Party hosted a mayoral candidate forum Tuesday, with six candidates appearing and seeking the 2017 Reform Party nomination for New York City mayor.  The participating candidates included Democrats  Sal Albanese, Michael Tolkin and Kevin Coenen, Republicans Michel Faulkner and Rocky De La Fuente and currently man-without-a-party-but-hoping-to-run-as-a-Republican Bo Dietl.  All expressed a desire to run on the Reform Party line in addition to that of their respective party.

The Reform Party was created in 2014 by Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as the “Stop Common Core” ballot line.  Winning more than 50,000 votes in that election brought a four year ballot existence for the party, which changed its name to the Reform Party.  Astorino and his allies lost control of the party, however, with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa taking control.  (There’s a separate and unaffiliated Reform Party that is part of the national Reform Party of the United States.)  According to Sliwa, the Reform Party’s 18 committee members will select the party’s mayoral nominee, likely in late April or May.

Video – Here are the six candidates giving short introductions:

Update – Photo Gallery:

Our forum photo gallery is available here.