Category Archives: 2017 Mayoral Race

Massey On ConCon



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey says he supports a state constitutional convention.  Massey appeared unfamiliar with the question, but expressed support after a brief description during a press conference today on Staten Island.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

Massey & The Rock



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey has some Staten Island roots, both personal and professional.  I asked the Boston-born Manhattanite/Westchesterite about his connections to Staten Island today as he appeared in Tottenville to receive the endorsement of Assembly Member Ron Castorina.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

Massey’s 1st Press Conference



Massey Press Conf 2-21-17-9Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey held his first press conference today, launching harsh attacks on Mayor Bill de Blasio and sparring with the press.  Massey has been in a slow launch of his campaign, with a limited number of public appearances and no press conferences until today.

Speaking on the steps of City Hall, Massey read a lengthy prepared statement focused on the reported six ongoing investigations examining various actions of Mayor de Blasio and his administration.  Declaring that de Blasio “is corrupt” and has “sold out New Yorkers”, Massey urged that a seventh investigation begin to examine the mayor’s plan to create a legal defense fund to pay his personal counsel and seek outside contributions for that fund.  Massey said that he has written to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance calling for such an investigation.

Massey Press Conf 2-21-17-1

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Ulrich On ConCon



Council Member and putative Republican mayoral candidate Erich Ulrich supports holding a state constitutional convention.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.”  The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977.  Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Saying that there are vital changes that “weak-kneed politicians in Albany and City Hall have refused to take up,” Ulrich said that he is “wholeheartedly” in support of a convention.  Should Ulrich run and make it to the general election, the ConCon could be an energizing issue in November.

We spoke with Ulrich following an appearance at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club.

Here’s what he had to say:

Massey Gets Going



Massey 1-30-17-9“The current mayor is failing.  I’m the answer.”  That was Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey as he offered a harsh analysis of the “current mayor” and displayed supreme self-confidence in his ability to correct those perceived failings.

Speaking to a packed room of about 125 people at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club Monday evening, Massey demonstrated strong speaking skills and a steady, friendly temperament that easily engaged his audience.  He shared their disdain for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who Massey never referred to by name, but there was a meaningful gap between Massey and his audience on several issues.

Massey 1-30-17-11

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Massey On Trump



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey offered a less than full embrace of President Donald Trump.  Speaking briefly after an appearance at the Metropolitan Republican Club Monday evening Massey offered only modest criticism of Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees and residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

On the so-called “travel ban”, Massey began with a declaration that “we’re a city of immigrants” and defended the travel ban only so far as it may address realistic security concerns around controlling entry to the U.S.  He added that any such security measures should “be done with dignity and respect for everyone.”   When asked his broader view of Trump’s first ten days in office Massey demurred, saying only that “I disagree with him on a bunch of policies” before pivoting to talk about the importance of a mayor “getting along with the federal government” as well as the governor of New York, and attacking Mayor de Blasio as “corrupt … divisive … incompetent.”

His lukewarm comments toward Trump separate him from his audience, which appeared enthusiastically supportive of Trump.  Notably Eric Ulrich, one of Massey’s Republican mayoral rivals, is also not a strong Trump supporter.  Their coolness toward Trump may be a significant element in the nascent Republican primary.

Here’s what Massey had to say:

Mayor Likes Mayor (Updated)



Former Mayor David Dinkins appeared with current Mayor Bill de Blasio today, expressing great support and admiration for de Blasio although without expressly endorsing his reelection bid.  de Blasio and his wife Chirlaine McCray met as young staffers in the Dinkins administration and they’ve long expressed their high regard for Dinkins, which Dinkins has reciprocated.  Today’s appearance continued de Blasio’s rapid ramp up of his nascent 2017 reelection campaign, adding to the early union endorsements and appearances as he moves to publicly present a strong base of support.

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Photo Gallery: de Blasio GOTV (Updated)



de Blasio GOTV 11-7-16Mayor Bill de Blasio made a four borough GOTV swing today, visiting Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College, Queens’ LaGuardia Community College, Manhattan’s Baruch College and the Bronx’s Hostos Community College.  At Medgar Evers and Baruch de Blasio spoke to about 150-200 people at brief outdoor rallies.  (I did not attend the LaGuardia or Hostos Community College appearances.)

There’s little in the way of competitive races within the City, so the Mayor’s GOTV effort won’t impact election outcomes.  Instead, it’s an opportunity for the Mayor to limber up the campaign muscles with some positive visibility.  (Curiously, however, the Mayor was accompanied by government staff rather than campaign staff.) Continue reading

Ulrich Q&A Goes Awry



Council Member Eric Ulrich got more than he bargained for this morning as supporters joining a protest he organized overwhelmed the press Q&A portion of that protest, driving Ulrich and other elected officials to abandon the effort.

Ulrich City Hall 10-21-16

Ulrich, a Council Member from Queens who’s running for mayor and long a critic of Mayor de Blasio, organized the rally and press conference to “protest Mayor de Blasio’s failed homeless policies.”  Joined by State Senators Joe Addabbo, Jose Peralta and Tony Avella and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Ulrich decried the de Blasio administration’s actions around placement of homeless shelters, particularly in the Playland Motel in Rockaway and the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth.  Both efforts by the de Blasio administration have generated intense neighborhood opposition.  It’s a good issue for Ulrich in many ways as many of his Rockaway constituents are strongly opposed to the administration’s efforts and it provides a means for greater exposure to the City’s full electorate.

His rally spun out of control as Ulrich began taking press questions, with several attendees jumping in to shout over Ulrich and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.  Those shouting attendees (including state senate candidate Michael Conigliaro) and the elected officials attending aren’t at odds, they all oppose the shelter placements, but the deep anger flowing out of many attendees overwhelmed the more measured complaints from Ulrich and the other electeds.

Here’s what happened:

Update – Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is here.

Elected officials and candidates listen to a press question during a rally & press conference hosted by CM Eric Ulrich.  10/21/16
Elected officials and candidates listen to a press question during a rally & press conference hosted by CM Eric Ulrich. 10/21/16

Saddle Up For 2017



Horse Protest - Gracie Mansion 9-15-162017 could be a rough ride for Mayor de Blasio as animal rights activists saddle up for a renewed campaign to end the use of carriage horses in Central Park.  150-200 activists loudly protested outside Gracie Mansion this evening, demanding de Blasio follow through on his 2013 promise to do so and expressing bitter disappointment over his failure to do nearly three years into his first term.

Horse Protest - Gracie Mansion 9-15-16

During the 2013 campaign de Blasio unequivocally promised to immediately end the use of carriage horses, drawing enthusiastic support from advocates.  He quickly encountered difficulties in fulfilling that promise, however, with little visible progress after nearly three years.

Fairly modest in number, activists working toward a carriage horse ban are highly organized and energetically devoted to their cause.  Their loud visible presence hounded Christine Quinn in the 2013 mayoral campaign and it looks increasingly likely that, unless Mayor de Blasio comes through on his long-promised ban, he will receive similar attention in 2017.

Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is here.

No Mayor Moskowitz



IMG_4903Mayor Moskowitz?  Nope, at least not in 2018.  Success Academy Charter Schools founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz today announced that she will not run for mayor in 2017.  Moskowitz, a former City Council member who ran for Manhattan Borough President in 2005, has long had an interest in being mayor and she’s been deeply engaged with New York City and State government in her current role.  She’s been among a small group of potential 2017 mayoral candidates discussed in political circles and the press.

Moskowitz arrived early and alone, waiting for several minutes as a lectern was located and the press gathered.  Once a lectern was produced and the press in place Moskowitz told her audience that she is “not running for mayor in 2017.”  She dismissed any concerns about “winnability”, instead insisting that she’s idealistic and hopes to continue to have the opportunity to “dramatically change education.”

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