All posts by John Kenny

Republican Primary Voters: Where to find them

As the Republican mayoral primary heats up, the candidates face a fundamental challenge: finding their primary voters in overwhelmingly Democratic New York City.  To develop a more detailed understanding of the Republican search for primary voters, we’ve been doing some analysis of voter registration and voter activity (as well as answering candidate robocalls).  This first step in our analysis focuses on registered voters.  We will discuss voting patterns, likely voters and turnout in a later post.

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The Cat Man (Updated x 2)

As he was about to begin a press conference this morning (focused on expanding vocational education programs), John Catsimatidis previewed a possible new campaign slogan.  Perhaps he was responding to a critical review of other mayoral candidates campaign logo’s.  Or, perhaps he just likes campaigning.

As we noted last week here at, he has already adapted well to the new 140 character universe.

Update #2:  I received an email this evening from the Catsimatidis campaign advising that the twitter handle I referenced in item 1) below “is not affiliated” with the Catsimatidis campaign.  I’ve therefor deleted item 1).  I understand that @Jcats2013 remains as the campaign’s twitter handle.  My apologies for any confusion.


1)  [deleted]

2)  It is interesting that the candidate formerly known as John Catsimatidis chose to reveal his new persona to leading political reporter Azi Paybarah.  Both of them have recently undergone life changing Twitter-shortenings Twitter-trimmings.  They also crossed paths in a previous special feature.

5 Minutes with … Bill de Blasio

In our 5 Minutes With … feature we spend 5 interesting minutes with leading elected officials and policy leaders.  In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we speak with New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

Join us as we discuss the structure and role of the Public Advocate’s office and look ahead to January 2014 and the challenges that the next Public Advocate will face.

Be sure to also watch our report on the first candidate forum in the 2013 Public Advocate race.

Hurricane Sandy: Report from Rockaway #6

In this Report from Rockaway we talk with Graybeards president Steve Stathis.

Graybeards is a Rockaway-based group of approximately 200 members.  Originally an informal group of friends and neighbors, Graybeards formally organized after the September 11th attacks and the crash of American Airlines Flight #587 in Belle Harbor.  Graybeards is dedicated to helping friends and neighbors in need, while promoting friendship and community.  In the post-Sandy recovery, they have responded to an exponential expansion in the need for their help.

We spoke with Steve about Graybeards, the work they continue to do and the state of recovery in the Rockaways.

This is our sixth Report from Rockaway.  You can view our previous reports herehereherehere and here.

Coincidence or Causation? Koch and the Decline of Ulcers

Among Mayor Koch’s many memorable quotes is:

“I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” the mayor — eyebrows devilishly up, grinning wickedly at his own wit — enlightened the reporters at his $475 rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village on Inauguration Day in 1978. “Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.” (New York Times 2/1/13)

In the Koch era, ulcers really were the ailment of the times.  It seemed like ulcers were ubiquitous, both in real life and in pop culture.  The 1970s version of food allergies:  widespread, often very serious, but newly focused on and receiving outsized social attention.

Notwithstanding significant medical advances, the fading attention given to ulcers as the Koch era faded suggests a clear conclusion: maybe Ed Koch really did cause all the ulcers.

Hurricane Sandy: Report from Rockaway #5

In this Report from Rockaway we look at the aftermath of the Rockaway Beach Boulevard fire, which burned several blocks of businesses and homes, and at recovery progress in Rockaway Park.

We talk with Lew Simon, an elected District Leader, and visit the wreckage of his office, which was destroyed in the Rockaway Beach Boulevard fire.

This is our fifth Report from Rockaway.  You can view our previous reports here, here, here and here.

Republican Primary Rundown: The @Jcats2013 Edition

The Republican mayoral race has burst into public view, with at least seven candidates and hope-to-be candidates.   My prediction?  It’s Catsimatidis and Lhota, with the wildcard of A.R. Bernard.  Here’s a quick rundown on the Republican primary field:

1.  John Catsimatidis:  Which recent Republican nominee will he most resemble?  A schlubby version of Michael Bloomberg, a self-made, self-financing successful businessman and effective CEO focused on serious campaign issues and governing, albeit with a thick New York accent, $100 suits and a messy haircut?  Or the New York City version of the Carl Paladino Clown Show?

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Mayoral Mashup: The Mayoral Forum Edition

In our Mayoral Mashup, we talk with political and policy leaders about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.

On January 24th, the New York Daily News and Metro IAF hosted a mayoral candidate forum, with Errol Louis moderating the six-candidate discussion.  We conducted our own Mayoral Mashup with audience members after the forum, in which we asked one simple question:  What do you see as the most important issue that our next mayor will face upon taking office?  Watch to find out what they had to say.

Cuomo’s Cash – A Closer Look

Here is a close look at Andrew Cuomo 2014, Inc.’s January 2013 campaign finance report.  (You can read my analysis of Governor Cuomo’s previous filing, in July 2012, here.)

1.  Two Wrongs Can Make A Right.

The governor’s filing violates Section 14-108(2) of the Election Law by not including over $300,000 received during the legally mandated reporting period.  How do I know that?

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“Outer” Boroughs No More: May the Major Boroughs Prevail


Let us shed the term “outer boroughs” and enable the Major Boroughs to proclaim their rightful dominance in city politics.

“Outer Boroughs” has long been used as a shorthand reference to everything non-Manhattan.  Implicit in the moniker is their lesser status, away from the true center of all things worthy, and dependent on the “inner” borough for support.  Like workers in the field, they are expected to wait for beneficence to be sent out from inside the castle wall.

The four “outer” Boroughs are, however, anything but.  They are the majority in number, the majority in population, the majority in land area, the majority in the number of elected representatives, the majority in, well, just about everything.  In short, as the majority in everything except media company headquarters and hot air, they are truly the Major Boroughs.

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