Nicole Malliotakis sought to take back the momentum in the Republican mayoral primary last night as she received the endorsement of her hometown Staten Island Republican Party, hoping to replace Masseymentum with Malliomentum.  Rival candidate Paul Massey had received the endorsement of the Bronx Republican Party the night before, for his second county organization endorsement.  Staten Island’s endorsement of Malliotakis was not a surprise, she’s a well-liked four term elected official, but it was nonetheless a welcome boost for Malliotakis.

A crowd of about 75 people gathered for the Staten Island party’s nominating convention, enthusiastically cheering their nominees.  Incumbent Borough President Jimmy Oddo and incumbent City Council Members Steve Matteo and Joe Borelli were among the nominees, each unanimously selected without any opposing candidates.  Michel Faulkner, who was not present, was endorsed for comptroller, also without opposition.  As reported by the Staten Island Advance’s Rachel Shapiro, (prior to my arrival) the Party endorsed J.C. Polanco for public advocate.

Malliotakis’s acceptance speech was a mix of campaign themes and a hometown address to fellow Staten Islanders.  She turned to a recent campaign theme, describing New Yorkers driven to leave the city as “economic refugees” and “quality of life refugees.”  Malliotakis also touched on familiar criticisms of Mayor de Blasio, saying that he “ties the hands of law enforcement” and ignores the will of City residents in areas such as his plan to build 90 shelters for the homeless and his newly adopted goal of replacing Rikers Island with jails throughout the City.

Malliotakis voiced a central theme of Staten Island politics; that the borough is shortchanged and “we have to fight together twice as much to get half as much.”  She criticized the mayor’s “five borough ferry plan” for excluding Staten Island, and said that the only thing Staten Island does get a fair share of is unwanted traffic cameras.

Malliotakis closed with promise to “bring a message of common sense and sanity” to the City and City Hall.


Here’s Malliotakis’s full acceptance speech:

Malliotakis On Bronx-Massey Endorsement

The Bronx Republican Party endorsed Paul Massey for mayor last night.   Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino, a retired FDNY firefighter, said that the aftermath of the Manchester bombing inspired him to choose Paul Massey over Nicole Malliotakis.  Massey created and operated a commercial real estate brokerage business, but was never a first responder not involved in emergency management or government.

Mallitoakis dismissed that notion today, saying “it doesn’t really make a connection” and criticizing Massey for planning to attend the Puerto Rican Day Parade.  (The parade will honor Oscar Lopez Rivera, a member of the FALN who served 35 years in federal prison.)   Malliotakis described herself as supported by police unions, but didn’t offer any more direct criticism of Rendino’s choice.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say today in Arrochar:

For background, here’s what Bronx Chairman Rendino had to say at last night’s endorsement press conference:

Bronx GOP Endorses Massey

The Bronx Republican Party endorsed mayoral candidate Paul Massey Wednesday night.  Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino and Massey held a short press conference outside Stan’s Sports Bar (owned by Rendino), in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, just after the Bronx County Republican executive committee voted to grant the endorsement.  This is Massey’s second County endorsement; he was previously endorsed by Queens County.  His main rival, Staten Island Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, advised late Wednesday that she will receive the endorsement of the Staten Island Republican party Thursday evening. Continue reading Bronx GOP Endorses Massey

Massey On Bail & Lippman Report

Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey seems open to some type of change to the money bail system for criminal defendants, but he does not appear to have yet developed any plan or proposal to do so.  He has read the Lippman Report, which concludes that the City jails on Rikers Island should be closed and replaced with jails throughout the five boroughs, and disagrees with its conclusions although he shares much of its analysis of Rikers’ problems.  We spoke during a Bronx press conference Tuesday.

Earlier in the press conference Massey expressed concern for defendants held on Rikers for more than a year without trial.  Many of those defendants are unable to make bail, even seemingly low amounts required for bail in some cases.  When I asked if he supported efforts to end or significantly change the current bail system Massey offered that “we need to look at” and “make improvements,” saying that defendants should be able to get through the system more quickly and fairly.  He similarly demurred on whether he supports efforts at a City-financed bail fund.  He expressed empathy for those caught in the system, saying that “New Yorkers have a heart” and concerning people who “aren’t career criminals … we’re gonna help them back.”

Massey said that he’s read the Lippman Report and talked with experts, leading him to support “ending the facility that we now call Rikers” but building new facilities on Rikers Island rather than replacing the current Rikers jails with jails spread around the City.  Until recently, Mayor de Blasio held a similar view.


Here’s our exchange:

Massey On County Endorsements

Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey professed indifference today about the looming endorsement decisions from the Manhattan, Bronx and Republican county organizations.  Manhattan Republican Chair Adele Malpass has said that Manhattan plans to meet Thursday for its endorsement decision and I understand that Brooklyn also plans a Thursday meeting.  Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino said last week that he expects an endorsement meeting this week, although the precise day was unclear.  Queens County has already endorsed Massey.

It’s my view that Staten Island Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis has a strong chance of receiving some, or perhaps all, of the three looming endorsements.  While those endorsements are far from dispostive it would nonetheless be a sharp rebuke to Massey should he receive one or none of the three.  At a Bronx press conference today I asked Massey about what outcome  he expects and whether a poor showing would be worrying.  Here’s what he had to say (the groaning and creaking noises come from a barge moored just to Massey’s left):

Massey On Rikers

Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey held a press conference today opposing some of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies and positions and offering some broad criminal justice suggestions.  Standing on the Bronx shoreline in Barretto Point Park, with Rikers Island directly behind him, Massey proposed criminal justice reforms including a “comprehensive review of sentencing guidelines and judicial practices that particularly disadvantage black and hispanic New Yorkers.”  He spoke of rebuilding the facilities on Rikers Island, declaring that the current operations are a failure, but not endorsing the new de Blasio view of closing the Rikers Island jails and moving those operations to new and expanded jails around the City.  He also spoke of addressing  the plight of defendants held in Rikers for extended periods before trial. Continue reading Massey On Rikers

Met Club Dinner

Mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Nicole Massey attended the Metropolitan Republican Club’s annual dinner Monday night, with each speaking separately and then doing a joint audience Q&A.  Such close engagement has been very limited so far in the mayoral campaign, with Massey and Malliotakis appearing together just twice.  In just one of those joint appearances, at a candidate forum hosted by the Manhattan Republican Party, did they engage before the audience.

Continue reading Met Club Dinner

Urlich Fundraiser

The Bo Show rolled into Howard Beach Saturday afternoon, adding some sizzle to Eric Ulrich’s reelection campaign fundraiser.  Ulrich, who seriously pursued running for mayor before opting to run for a third and final term on the City Council, has endorsed Bo Dietl for mayor and Dietl returned the favor appearing at Ulrich’s fundraiser.  Dietl encountered fellow mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Queens County Republican Chairman Bob Turner, an early and enthusiastic backer of mayoral candidate Paul Massey.  Massey, who has been endorsed by Turner’s Queens County Republican organization, did not attend.  Continue reading Urlich Fundraiser

Malliotakis On Cuomo & MTA

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has a generally positive view of Governor Andrew Cuomo, although she’s dismissive of his recent attempt to distance himself from the MTA.  Speaking Saturday during a visit to a reelection fundraiser held by Council Member Eric Ulrich, Malliotakis included several criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio in her comments on Cuomo and the MTA. Continue reading Malliotakis On Cuomo & MTA

Photo Gallery: de Blasio On de Boardwalk

Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Rockaway Friday, touring a short stretch of the rebuilt boardwalk and making brief remarks but not answering any press questions.  Large portions of the five mile boardwalk were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, with rebuilding now just about complete.  The final unopened portions are scheduled to reopen in the next week.   Continue reading Photo Gallery: de Blasio On de Boardwalk

Massey Transportation, Chapter 2

Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey attended a transportation town hall Wednesday night, getting a glimpse into several transportation issues affecting South Queens.  Hosted by the Queens Public Transit Committee at the South Ozone Park Knights of Columbus, the town was lightly attended but those in attendance were deeply focused on transportation issues.  Massey mostly listened, acknowledging his lack of transit expertise but seemingly interested in learning about the topic. Continue reading Massey Transportation, Chapter 2