Category Archives: 2013 Mayoral Race

Dietl On Albanese



“I think it’s time for you to go to the pasture.”  Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl was dismissive of rival mayoral candidate Sal Albanese and Albanese’s victory in Tuesday’s Reform Party primary, suggesting he should end his candidacy.  Albanese was the only candidate listed on the Reform Party ballot, but Dietl and Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis mounted write-in campaigns seeking to take the Reform Party Nomination from the party’s designated candidate.  In preliminary election night results Albanese received 57% of the votes cast, with total write in votes of 43% insufficient to give Dietl or Malliotakis a chance of winning.

In addition to deriding Albanese’s 57% showing in a race in which he was the only candidate on the ballot, Dietl also accused Albanese of colluding with Bill de Blasio to help de Blasio receive primary election matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board.  (The CFB awarded matching funds to de Blasio on a finding that Albanese’s Democratic primary candidacy met the legal threshold of significant competition.)

Albanese’s Reform Party candidacy is an unwelcome complication for Dietl and Malliotakis, adding a third anti-de Blasio candidate who may draw press and voter attention away from their respective campaigns.  They’re already fighting for the same base, as evidenced by this Dietl visit to a senior center in Malliotakis’ assembly district.  That base is not nearly large enough to power a single candidate to victory, and split between Dietl and Malliotakis it leaves both with little ability to pose a real challenge to Mayor de Blasio.  Albanese’s presence further muddles their efforts at establishing themselves as the primary de Blasio opponent, and Dietl’s comments reflect an understanding of that challenge.

Flashback:

Dietl was harshly dismissive of Albanese’s debate performance against Mayor de Blasio, when Dietl and Albanese crossed paths at a Queens candidate forum.

Lhota Lhessons?



People didn’t know how bad Bill de Blasio would be.  That was the most notable observation I could draw out of current Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis when I asked about her electoral predecessor, 2013 candidate Joe Lhota, and lessons from his campaign.  Lhota, a deeply knowledgable and skilled veteran of City government was crushed by nearly 50 percentage points in 2013.   With some notable similarities between her candidacy and Lhota’s, including running against the same opponent, I asked Malliotakis what would lead her campaign to a different outcome and what lessons she’s gleaned from Lhota’s campaign.

Beyond her initial observation that in 2013 “people didn’t know how bad de Blasio would be” but do now, Malliotakis simply gave a brief recap of her criticisms of the mayor.  Presumably she and her campaign staff have scrutinized the Lhota campaign history for instructive lessons, but she didn’t offer any in this press conference response.

Video:

Here’s our exchange:

Bo & Sal



“Hey Sal, boy he bitch-slapped you the other night” is rarely a good greeting for a a mayoral candidate, but that’s how mayoral candidate Sal Albanese was greeted by fellow mayoral candidate Bo Dietl last night outside a candidate forum hosted by the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. Diet had just finished a NYTrue.com interview when Albanese walked past, headed in to the forum.  Diet called out in a friendly voice but with a message undoubtedly displeasing to Albanese, focused on Albanese’s on-on-one debate Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Stop with that, we did pretty well”replied Albanese as they shook hands.  “We don’t do violence” thumped Albanese as he turned and continued in after Dietl lamented Albanese failing to give de Blasio a “right hook.”  “He needs a little violenceatation” countered a smiling Dietl.  (Dietl once dismissed rival candidate Paul Massey as not having “enough umpatation.”)

Here’s a look:

Queens Trib Forum Lightning Round



The Queens Tribune and St. John’s University hosted an unusual candidate forum Tuesday evening, putting mayoral, comptroller and public advocate candidates together on stage for two hours.  Participating candidates included mayoral candidates Nicole Malliotakis, Bo Dietl, Sal Albanese, David Bashner and Mike Tolkin, comptroller candidates Scott Stringer and Michel Faulkner and public advocate candidates David Eisenbach and J.C. Polanco.

We’ll begin near the end, with the Lightning Round questions:

Massey On Lhota Endorsing Malliotakis



I’m a huge Joe Lhota fan.  That was about all Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey had to say about Lhota endorsing rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis over Massey.  Lhota, the 2013 Republican and Conservative Party mayoral candidate, issued a statement this afternoon endorsing Malliotakis shortly before a Massey press conference.

I asked Massey for his reaction to the Lhota endorsement, including Lhota’s reference to Malliotakis as “the only real Republican in the race,” and whether he had approached Lhota for an endorsement.  His fairly lengthy answer included an attack on Bill de Blasio and touting his own candidacy, with only a brief complimentary mention of Lhota.  Massey described himself as an “independent candidate”  and cast the race as a “referendum on my character and my ability to manage” but didn’t offer any direct reaction or rebuttal to Lhota’s “only real Republican” comment. Continue reading Massey On Lhota Endorsing Malliotakis

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.

Grimm Discusses Immigration



Rep. Michael Grimm today voiced a more optimistic view on immigration reform than many of his fellow House Republicans.  He described the existing immigration system as “completely broken” and “unsustainable” and said that on the question of “deal[ing] with those that are here” there’s “more common ground than you think” in the House of Representatives.  Grimm was dismissive of President Obama’s recently announced executive order, but expressed a belief that legislative action is possible.

We spoke with Grimm in Port Richmond, just after he handed out free turkeys to a group that likely included undocumented immigrants.  The distribution was in conjunction with the Rev. Erick Salgado and was held at the site of Rev. Salgado’s church on Staten Island, which was destroyed by fire several months ago.  I began by asking Grimm how a moment like this affects his thinking on immigration.  He did not respond directly on that point, but gave a detailed response on the broader issue of immigration.

Three Cities, Three Gaggles, Three Speeches (Updated)



Governor Andrew Cuomo revved up his reelection campaign Saturday with a three city bus tour.  Visits to Albany, Syracuse and Rochester included a rally and speech in each, followed by a gaggle, the somewhat informal press Q&As in which the press and the subject stand in a tight circle for their back and forth.

Today’s bus tour was billed as a “Women’s Equality Party” tour, with Governor Cuomo focused on his “Women’s Equality Act.”  His reelection campaign has mostly been conducted through the Women’s Equality Party ballot line he’s created for November, with his focus on codifying, and thereby protecting, the right to an abortion.

To start our report, here is video of each of his three gaggles and speeches.  Questions were primarily about the Women’s Equality Party and Women’s Equality Agenda and Cuomo’s comments on addressing sexual harassment throughout society.  Among the other topics were Rob Astorino’s characterization of recent Cuomo comments as “race baiting”, the Vito Lopez matter and it’s handling by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an Onondaga Lake construction project and the reports of travelers at Newark Airport who may have the Ebola virus (all in the Syracuse gaggle).

Albany:


Syracuse:


Rochester:

Quinn Presses Pay Equity (Updated)



Christine Quinn pressed the issue of pay equity today in her new role as the face of the “Women’s Equality Party”.  Speaking at a press conference at Teamsters Local 237, she continued her recent public efforts at promoting the “Women’s Equality Agenda,” with a particular focus today on the pay equity component of that agenda and proposed law.

Update – Buffalo Jills:

Here is the full question and answer on the Buffalo Jills lawsuit:

Chris, Rob & The Early Arrival



Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino arrived at a campaign event 30 minutes ahead of it’s scheduled start Tuesday, to Christine Quinn’s consternation.

Quinn, former speaker of the New York City Council, is the chief public face of the “Women’s Equality Party”, a ballot line recently created by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and she hoped to confront Astorino with a pledge that Team Cuomo is pushing.  The pledge essentially provides that signatories will support legislation next year on a “Women’s Equality Plan”, covering a variety of issues ranging from pay equity to human trafficking laws to “allow[ing] for the recovery of attorneys’ fees in employment and credit and lending cases.”  Most contentious, however, is a proposed codification of abortion rights.  Should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned, and states permitted to determine state by state whether abortion is legal, that would become a significant legal matter.

Astorino says he supports nine of the ten points in the “Women’s Equality Plan”, objecting to the codification of abortion rights.  Team Cuomo has been pushing the Women’s Equality Party and Women’s Equality Plan in an effort to highlight Astorino’s opposition to allowing abortions, and Quinn sought a face to face moment Tuesday.  Here’s what happened.

Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade (Updated)



Many elected officials participated in todays Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, among them Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Update – Electeds on Parade:

We look at the Mayor’s, and other elected officials, reception:


de Blasio & Cuomo Remarks:

In what could be titled “a tale of two proclamations”, the Mayor and Governor each made brief remarks at the start of the parade and each presented their own proclamation to the parade organizers.  Neither took questions.  de Blasio invoked his father’s World War II service and injury, and subsequent struggles, in urging the audience to “never let their memories go” of service members injured or killed.  Cuomo described himself as a “Queens boy” for whom it is a “pleasure to be back on [his] home turf.”  H e declared it “a day to remember that freedom is not free”, noting that “we still have boys in harm’s way.” Their full remarks are here:

Steve & Teddy:

Congressman Steve Israel, chair of the DCCC, met a historic figure.  Every parade needs a little goofiness after all.

Quinn on a Successor (Updated)



At a City Hall press conference this afternoon, Capital New York reporter Sally Goldenberg asked outgoing Council Speaker Christine Quinn for her thoughts on the prospect of the council selecting a speaker who does not support marriage equality.  Here is Speaker Quinn’s response.

Update – Williams:

Earlier, we asked Council Member and speaker contender Jumaane Williams about the weight that his fellow council members should give to his positions on marriage equality and abortion rights in selecting the next speaker.  Williams is alone among the announced speaker contenders in opposing both.