Malliotakis On Charlottesville: Part 2

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis addressed the Charlottesville violence and President Trump’s “many sides” statement for a second day.  Speaking at a City Hall press conference this morning on her plan for strengthening the City’s handling of seriously mentally ill people Malliotakis again sought to distance herself from President Trump’s statement while offering a more direct personal denunciation.  (Malliotakis’ initial reaction yesterday is available here.)

Malliotakis’ began her response today by saying that “I only saw a couple of tweets, I didn’t see the whole … extent of everything that he said,” but then stated that “I think what occurred there was disgusting”  and said that “all Americans” should denounce the use of “Nazi flags, KKK propaganda.”

In response to a question Malliotakis did say that President Trump “should have called them out.”  When asked if she is troubled that Trump was not more forceful and direct Malliotakis again said “he should probably be more forceful” but didn’t reveal whether that lack of directness and forcefulness troubles her.

Here’s the full exchange on Charlottesville and Trump’s statement.  (I’ve excluded my question on whether Malliotakis expects to meet with Trump during his New York City visit.  “No” was her answer.)  The initial questions are from Mara Gay of the Wall Street Journal, with followups from me and Jill Jorgensen of the Daily News.

Mayoral Frenemies

Mayoral frenemies Bo Dietl and Nicole Malliotakis crossed paths this afternoon, just ahead of the Dominican Day Parade on Sixth Avenue.  With their respective parade contingents lining up on the same block, Dietl and Malliotakis orbited around each other without interacting for a while, greeting supporters, talking with the press and saying hello to a mix of cops and marchers.  They eventually came face to face, however, engaging and brushing each other off as a large press contingent stood nearby.

Dietl and Malliotakis share the goal of unseating Mayor de Blasio, but have obviously opposite strategies as to who should supplant him.  They appeal to a largely overlapping slice of the electorate and face the prospect of simply dividing the anti-de Blasio vote, with both defeated by de Blasio in a crushing vote.  That tension is quite apparent.

Here’s how it unfolded:


Sidenote:  A look at a prior dietl/Malliotakis campaign trail interaction is here.

Mayoral Candidates On Charlottesville

Here’s what Democratic mayoral candidate (and incumbent mayor) Bill de Blasio, Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl had to say about the Charlottesville violence and President Trump’s statement.  Each spoke just ahead of today’s Dominican Day Parade in Manhattan; de Blasio in a statement to an assembled press pack (without taking any questions) and Malliotakis and Dietl in separate brief interviews with me.  Video of their respective full statements is below.  Continue reading Mayoral Candidates On Charlottesville

Malliotakis Matching Funds?

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis said that she is closing in on qualifying for matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board, but has not yet met one of the two required thresholds.  According to Malliotakis she has surpassed the requirement of receiving contributions from at least 1,000 City residents, but she has not yet received qualifying contributions of at least $250,000.  (Qualifying contributions are contributions from City residents, but limited to$175 per contributor.)

Qualifying for matching funds is very important for Malliotakis: as of her July 15th filing she had raised $344,000 but an analysis by Politico estimated that she could additionally receive slightly more than $600,000 if she qualifies for matching funds on the contributions reported through July 15th.  (Subsequent contributions would generate additional matching funds.)  The Campaign  Finance Board will make the determination of whether she qualifies based on her filings; the next is due August 11th.

Faulkner faces deep financial challenges in his campaign, as his campaign committee is insolvent.  His campaign is $90,000 in debt (in addition to loans of about $150,000 from Faulkner) after raising just $93,000.  I asked Faulkner about his campaign’s financial condition.


Here’s what Malliotakis and Faulkner had to say:

Malliotakis & Faulkner Press Conference

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner held a joint press conference Thursday, condemning Mayor Bill de Blasio for what they termed “pay-to-play” and his administration’s engagement with Harendra Singh.  Singh is enmeshed in a variety of legal troubles, including criminal charges that he bribed Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and accusations that he improperly sought assistance from the de Blasio administration while operating the restaurant Water’s Edge.  (Prosecutors declined to bring any criminal charges after reviewing the Water’s Edge accusations.)

Malliotakis and Faulkner are likely to be the Republican nominees for their respective offices, without having to run in a primary.


Here is the full press conference:

Malliotakis Press Conference: DOE Edition (Updated)

Republican  mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis criticized several aspects of the City’s Department of Education (DoE) today, including the use of consultants and poor performance in installing internet and wireless service in schools.  Speaking at City Hall press conference this afternoon Malliotakis called for the City’s Department of Investigation to investigate the Education Department’s activities.

Malliotakis criticized the DoE as a “bureaucratic nightmare”, top heavy with administrators and consuming enormous amounts of money intended for improved classroom conditions.  She claimed that a lack of audits and accountability have allowed such conditions to fester and declared that she’ll initiate a DoI investigation when she becomes mayor.

Malliotakis is generally responsive to questions, if a bit lengthy in her answers.  She’s adept at focusing on what she is interested in emphasizing, even if it’s not wholly in sync with the question.  She’s also good at producing a memorable phrase: this press conference included “this mayor has spent money like a Saudi prince,” the moniker “Mayor ‘I don’t care’ de Blasio” and “this election is not about Trump, it’s about transit, traffic and trash.” Continue reading Malliotakis Press Conference: DOE Edition (Updated)

Malliotakis Poll Weakness

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has often cited her gender and ethnicity as giving her an advantage over past Republican candidates, saying that those characteristics give her an opening to female and hispanic voters.  A Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday says that’s not really the case, at least not so far.

The Q poll shows support for Malliotakis among women and hispanics as lower than her overall support.  In a two-way race against Mayor de Blasio Malliotakis drew 22% support overall, but only 19% and 15% from women and hispanic voters, respectively.  In a three-way race that includes Bo Dietl Malliotakis’ support similarly fell off with women and hispanic voters, at 11% and 9%, respectively,  from her overall 15% support.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say today at a City Hall press conference about her polling weakness with these groups:

Spend Better, Not Less?

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis is harshly critical of increased City spending under Mayor de Blasio, but she doesn’t have a plan to reduce that spending.  Malliotakis held a City Hall press conference this afternoon to criticize de Blasio for “outrageous amounts of money being spent on consultants” in the Department of Education.

Malliotakis regularly criticizes the $85 billion overall size of the City budget and the $15 billion increase in the budget since de Blasio took office.  Today I asked Malliotakis how much, if at all, she would cut the $24 billion Department of Education budget.  After a lengthy critique of de Blasio’s spending, including the line that de Blasio “has spent the taxpayers money like a Saudi prince,” Malliotakis offered that she’s “looking to make sure that that money is spent properly” but acknowledged that she does not have any plan to reduce the City’s spending.


Here’s our full exchange: