At tonight’s Republican mayoral candidate debate, hosted by WCBS-TV, 1010 WINS and El Diario La Prensa (available in full here), the three candidates displayed a fair amount of friction.
John Catsimatidis thinks that the New York Post doesn’t like him.
Joe Lhota supports marriage equality, but apparently has no interest in attending your wedding.
Update – George and John are not friends:
Frictions between George McDonald and John Catsimatidis have previously emerged during the campaign. In this debate, McDonald strongly rejected the notion that they’re friends, and expanded on that point in his post-debate comments. While it’s clear that there really is some interpersonal friction, McDonald eventually gets to what appears to be the deeper cause of his frustration. McDonald regards Catsimatidis as unqualified to be mayor, yet Catsimatidis’s wealth and resulting ability to fund substantial TV advertising nonetheless make him a “serious candidate” while McDonald’s campaign suffocates from lack of money.
Tonight, the Presidents Co-op & Condo Council of Queens and the Queens County Bar Association co-sponsored a mayoral candidate forum. Eight candidates attended, appearing before a crowd of 400-500 and answering questions posed by moderator Azi Paybarah. Attendees included, in order of appearance: Sal Albanese, Joe Lhota, George McDonald, Anthony Weiner, Erick Salgado, Adolfo Carrion, Christine Quinn and John Catsimatidis.
Update #3 – Salgado re: Anthony Weiner & His Ideas:
Erick Salgado discusses Anthony Weiner’s adoption of Salgado’s idea, at least according to Salgado.
As Anthony Weiner went to the podium at last night’s forum, a small wave of groans and discontent rumbled through the audience. Here is Weiner’s reaction when asked about the audience response.
Update – Something Positive About My Rivals? Ummm …:
Moderator Azi Paybarah asked all eight candidates a simple, but revealing question: Can you say something positive, or something interesting that you’ve learned, about any one of your rivals? The answers range from very warm and friendly to “all about me.” Watch.
Weiner v. McDonald:
To start our coverage, we have a brief clip of Anthony Weiner and George McDonald crossing paths. You may recall that Weiner and McDonald had a confrontation at an earlier forum. McDonald has been highly, and vocally, critical of Weiner and his sexting.
The three Republican mayoral candidates faced off in a debate hosted by WABC-TV, and co-sponsored by Noticias 41 Univision, the Daily News and the League of Women Voters. John Catsimatidis, Joe Lhota and George McDonald agreed on many issues and had a civil, friction-free debate. (Some prior debates and forums, including a debate broadcast on NY1 on July 10th, have featured more fraught interactions.) The debate was held on Friday, August 10th and will be broadcast on Sunday August 12th.
This evening, NY1 hosted a Republican mayoral candidate debate. NY1 graciously allowed us to watch the debate at their studio and to speak with the three candidates afterwards in the NY1 newsroom. (Here is NY1’s coverage.)
Update #2 – JCats on JCats:
In this report, John Catsimatidis touts his dealings with elected officials of both parties as a significant reason to elect him as mayor. He describes a meeting in December, 2012, with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg in which they asked Catsimatidis to approach the Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate for eight votes in support of the then-pending Hurricane Sandy relief bills. (On June 28th, we reported on similar comments by Catsimatidis, available here.)
Update – John & George:
John Catsimatidis and George McDonald displayed some personal friction at this evening’s debate. We spoke with them about it afterwards.
Lhota on Democratic Voters
In our first report, we asked Joe Lhota why he thinks that Democratic voters would vote for him in the general election. In the second part of our discussion he strongly rejects the idea that the last two mayors, both Republicans, were elected due to a sense of crisis among voters at the time which drove Democratic voters to abandon their party’s nominee.
Last night, El Diario, the Hispanic Federation and Hostos Community College hosted a mayoral forum with seven Democrats, two Republicans and one Independence Party candidate. It was quite an evening.
Update #3: Quinn v. de Blasio
In this excerpt, Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio engage in a pointed discussion of their respective views of their accomplishments.
Update #2: Weiner on his House Immigration Subcommittee Work
In this excerpt, Anthony Weiner is asked what he accomplished as a member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration. He demonstrates his substantial speaking skills, giving a lengthy description of acting as “an advocate” and pledging to be “an advocate on immigration” just “as Mayor Bloomberg does on guns.” When pressed by the moderator on what he has to show from his time on that subcommittee, Weiner says that “every member of the Democratic caucus … didn’t get much done” during that time. He does, however, assert that he “tilled the fields” and “fought really hard.”
Update: O, Alma Mater, glorious …
In this brief excerpt, the candidates focus on their love for a particular high school. Really. Well worth watching.
In our initial report the candidates discuss the city’s solid waste disposal plan. It’s a unique exchange in several ways. First, more than any other forum or debate segment that I can recall, the candidates engage in a long and unusually involved discussion with each other. Second, there are some clear personal frictions that emerge. Finally, there are a few loopy moments. All in all, this segment displays more candidate personalities more effectively than any other moment that I’ve seen so far in the campaign.
Tonight the New York City Bar Association hosted a mayoral candidate forum. The forum, moderated by NY1’s Errol Louis*, featured separate panels of four Republican and Independence Party candidates and four Democratic Party candidates.
This excerpt has the “Lightning Rounds” in which Errol Louis posed a series of yes/no questions to each panel. He asked four questions of the Republican/Independence candidates and the same four, plus one additional question, to the Democratic candidates. (It’s possible that I’ve missed a fifth question due to a recording or editing glitch, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.) Among the notable answers, all eight candidates indicated that they are in favor of settling the Central Park Five case.
Update: In this excerpt George McDonald criticizes Anthony Weiner and Vito Lopez, and laments the lack of voter participation as enabling improper conduct by elected officials.
* This was the ninth mayoral forum of 2013 hosted by Errol Louis. Be sure to watch our interview with Errol Louis discussing the enormous number of candidate forums and whether they are a productive exercise.
At the conclusion of the forum, we spoke with Bill de Blasio about civil liberties and the NYPD. Watch it here.
Last night, Union Settlement Association and several other groups hosted an East Harlem Mayoral Forum. Seven candidates participated: Sal Albanese, Adolfo Carrion, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, George McDonald, Erick Salgado and Bill Thompson.
Update: This excerpt covers a question concerning job training, with the complete candidate answers. (George McDonald arrived during this question/answer and was not invited to answer this question.)
For our initial report, here are the two “lightning rounds” conducted by moderator Errol Louis. In the first lightning round, held mid-forum, all seven candidates participated. The second lightning round was held at the end of the forum, with four candidates remaining. All of the questions cover substantive policy issues, and the last may be the most surprising.
Be sure to watch our post-forum conversation with Errol Louis, available here.
Also, don’t miss our lighthearted look at this forum, available here.
Finally, courtesy of the forum hosts, here is a transcript.
Here’s a segment with George McDonald and Joe Lhota discussing bike lanes and the Citi Bike program. The audience was most animated and engaged on this topic, and clearly not fully in sync with either McDonald or Lhota. The question was narrowly posed: “Are bike lanes dangerous?”
McDonald began by holding out his Citi Bike membership card, drawing a few mild boos. He then unequivocally stated that he’s in favor of bike lanes, pivoted to a critique of “anybody [read: Democratic mayoral candidates] who criticizes the New York City Police Department for political gain” and concluded.
Lhota began with a lengthy critique of bike lanes, noting the importance of vigorous enforcement of bike safety laws and that “bike lanes do impede commerce” before stating that he’s “not opposed to the Citi Bikes program.” (He doesn’t state whether he supports or opposes bike lanes.) Lhota then conflated the Citi Bikes program with the death of a bicyclist unrelated to the Citi Bikes program, stirring consternation in his audience. Lhota closed by criticizing a lack of coordination among city agencies in implementing the Citi Bikes, without mentioning or directly criticizing Michael Bloomberg.
(John Catsimatidis attended part of this forum, but left before this discussion.)
At a candidate forum hosted by the Republican National Lawyers Association, Joe Lhota gave a pointed criticism of the Office of Emergency Management under Mayor Bloomberg. OEM was created during the Giuliani administration and was the focus of significant energy and attention during that administration.
While Lhota has generally spoken highly of Mayor Bloomberg, he has nonetheless offered sharp comments on a number of specific actions and agency management issues under the Bloomberg administration.
At a mayoral candidate forum this morning, hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and held at St. Francis College, three Republican candidates and one Independence candidate fielded questions from a number of borough Chambers of Commerce. Jack Friedman of the Queens Chamber of Commerce posed a question concerning the ongoing Sandy recovery.
George McDonald, a Republican candidate for mayor, has spent most of his professional life creating and running The Doe Fund, an innovative social program focused on helping “homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals … break the cycles of homelessness, addiction, and criminal recidivism.” The Doe Fund is best known for it’s Ready, Willing & Able program, which puts its “Men in Blue” to work cleaning and maintaining many neighborhoods and business improvement districts while also providing those workers with intensive counseling and development programs.
McDonald has an unorthodox perspective, shaped by nearly 30 years of creating and running a major social services provider on a “free enterprise model” and the premise that “a job is the best social program in America.” We visited McDonald off the campaign trail, to discuss his experiences and his view of the role of government in providing social services. Watch.
In our Mayoral Mashup we talk with voters, as well as political and policy leaders, about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.
For this Mayoral Mashup we spoke with voters attending a Republican mayoral candidate forum hosted by the Asian American Federation, asking 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.
One additional note: The Federation conducted a straw poll at the conclusion of the forum, with the following results: Adolfo Carrion – 44%, John Catsimatidis – 29%, George McDonald – 27%.
We have some additional coverage of the forum here.