Category Archives: 2017 Mayoral Race

Massey Outlines Opioid Epidemic Plan



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey visited a Staten Island drug treatment facility this afternoon, outlining his proposed plan to address the opioid epidemic in a post-visit press conference.  Prevention efforts in his proposal include expansion of a Staten Island school prevention program Citywide, creation of a “Synthetics Task Force” with federal, state and city law enforcement and “develop[ing] clearer standards for prescribing opioids.”  Treatment efforts he proposes include hiring and training first responders in administering anti-overdose medications and creating additional crisis treatment centers.  He also proposed additional recovery efforts.

Massey did not provide any cost estimates for his proposals, nor say how the unspecified costs would be paid.

Video:

Here is Massey’s prepared statement:

Massey On The Puerto Rican Day Parade – Update



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey has refined his approach to the controversial Puerto Rican Day Parade.  Massey previously said that he would not march due to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera, a co-founder of the FALN, but would attend.  He’s now said that he won’t attend the parade, but will instead attend an unspecified “celebration of Puerto Rican heritage.”  At a Staten Island press conference this afternoon Massey was asked (by Erin Durkin of the Daily News) for an explanation of his changed position.  Like rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis Massey has never marched in the parade, nor has he ever attended.

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

Malliotakis P.R. Parade Past



Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis held a press conference today condemning the National Puerto Rican Day Parade for honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera, co-founder of the F.A.L.N. which carried out fatal bombings in New York City and elsewhere.  Malliotakis has said that she will not march in the parade and has condemned Mayor de Blasio for planning to march.  Malliotakis has never marched in the parade, however, and said she last attended the parade in 2009.  It was unclear whether she attended the parade before 2009.

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Malliotakis on Puerto Rico’s Status



Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis does not have a personal view or preference on whether Puerto Rico should remain a commonwealth, become a state or gain full independence.  “I think it’s up to the people of Puerto Rico” was how Malliotakis concluded her brief response to my question today.  Note, however, that Malliotakis spoke in terms of a choice between statehood and commonwealth, without mentioning independence. Continue reading Malliotakis on Puerto Rico’s Status

Malliotakis Urges de Blasio To Skip Parade



Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today demanded that Mayor Bill de Blasio skip the Puerto Rican Day Parade due to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera.  Malliotakis spoke at a press conference in front of Fraunces Tavern, the lower Manhattan target of a fatal bombing by a group led by Lopez Rivera.  She was joined by Joseph Connor, whose father Frank was killed in the bombing, and Thomas Engel, who prosecuted members of the FALN as an assistant U.S. Attorney. Continue reading Malliotakis Urges de Blasio To Skip Parade

Photo Gallery: Mayoral Memorial Day Parade



Three mayoral candidates marched in the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Monday, joining elected officials in the stream of people, horses and firetrucks flowing along Northern Boulevard.  The mayoral candidates joining in were Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio and Republican candidates Paul Massey and Nicole Malliotakis.  Other elected officials participating included Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Reps. Grace Meng and Tom Suozzi and Council Members Peter Koo, Paul Vallone and Barry Grodenchik.

Republican rivals Paul Massey and Nicole Malliotakis each worked the crowd energetically, marching near one another while doing their best to ignore the other’s presence.  Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly, marched behind her own banner and following the Queens Village Republican Club while Massey walked without a banner, instead dependent on a staffer bellowing “meet Paul Massey, the next mayor of New York City” for identification.  Malliotakis and Massey mostly worked opposite sides of the street, with each receiving steady positive responses.  Those responses mostly did not appear to be driven by familiarity, but instead driven by being a Republican opposing Mayor de Blasio.

A woman yells at a passing Mayor de Blasio during the Little Neck-Dougaston Memorial Day Parade. 5/29/17

Mayor de Blasio also received a mostly positive reception.  In walking about 1/3 of the route with him I saw about 6-8 instances of heckling or jeering among a steady stream of cheers, handshakes and photos.  de Blasio entered the parade immediately upon arrival and did not take any press questions.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Malliomentum



Nicole Malliotakis sought to take back the momentum in the Republican mayoral primary last night as she received the endorsement of her hometown Staten Island Republican Party, hoping to replace Masseymentum with Malliomentum.  Rival candidate Paul Massey had received the endorsement of the Bronx Republican Party the night before, for his second county organization endorsement.  Staten Island’s endorsement of Malliotakis was not a surprise, she’s a well-liked four term elected official, but it was nonetheless a welcome boost for Malliotakis.

A crowd of about 75 people gathered for the Staten Island party’s nominating convention, enthusiastically cheering their nominees.  Incumbent Borough President Jimmy Oddo and incumbent City Council Members Steve Matteo and Joe Borelli were among the nominees, each unanimously selected without any opposing candidates.  Michel Faulkner, who was not present, was endorsed for comptroller, also without opposition.  As reported by the Staten Island Advance’s Rachel Shapiro, (prior to my arrival) the Party endorsed J.C. Polanco for public advocate.

Malliotakis’s acceptance speech was a mix of campaign themes and a hometown address to fellow Staten Islanders.  She turned to a recent campaign theme, describing New Yorkers driven to leave the city as “economic refugees” and “quality of life refugees.”  Malliotakis also touched on familiar criticisms of Mayor de Blasio, saying that he “ties the hands of law enforcement” and ignores the will of City residents in areas such as his plan to build 90 shelters for the homeless and his newly adopted goal of replacing Rikers Island with jails throughout the City.

Malliotakis voiced a central theme of Staten Island politics; that the borough is shortchanged and “we have to fight together twice as much to get half as much.”  She criticized the mayor’s “five borough ferry plan” for excluding Staten Island, and said that the only thing Staten Island does get a fair share of is unwanted traffic cameras.

Malliotakis closed with promise to “bring a message of common sense and sanity” to the City and City Hall.

Video:

Here’s Malliotakis’s full acceptance speech:

Malliotakis On Bronx-Massey Endorsement



The Bronx Republican Party endorsed Paul Massey for mayor last night.   Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino, a retired FDNY firefighter, said that the aftermath of the Manchester bombing inspired him to choose Paul Massey over Nicole Malliotakis.  Massey created and operated a commercial real estate brokerage business, but was never a first responder not involved in emergency management or government.

Mallitoakis dismissed that notion today, saying “it doesn’t really make a connection” and criticizing Massey for planning to attend the Puerto Rican Day Parade.  (The parade will honor Oscar Lopez Rivera, a member of the FALN who served 35 years in federal prison.)   Malliotakis described herself as supported by police unions, but didn’t offer any more direct criticism of Rendino’s choice.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say today in Arrochar:

For background, here’s what Bronx Chairman Rendino had to say at last night’s endorsement press conference:

Bronx GOP Endorses Massey



The Bronx Republican Party endorsed mayoral candidate Paul Massey Wednesday night.  Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino and Massey held a short press conference outside Stan’s Sports Bar (owned by Rendino), in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, just after the Bronx County Republican executive committee voted to grant the endorsement.  This is Massey’s second County endorsement; he was previously endorsed by Queens County.  His main rival, Staten Island Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, advised late Wednesday that she will receive the endorsement of the Staten Island Republican party Thursday evening. Continue reading Bronx GOP Endorses Massey

Massey On Bail & Lippman Report



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey seems open to some type of change to the money bail system for criminal defendants, but he does not appear to have yet developed any plan or proposal to do so.  He has read the Lippman Report, which concludes that the City jails on Rikers Island should be closed and replaced with jails throughout the five boroughs, and disagrees with its conclusions although he shares much of its analysis of Rikers’ problems.  We spoke during a Bronx press conference Tuesday.

Earlier in the press conference Massey expressed concern for defendants held on Rikers for more than a year without trial.  Many of those defendants are unable to make bail, even seemingly low amounts required for bail in some cases.  When I asked if he supported efforts to end or significantly change the current bail system Massey offered that “we need to look at” and “make improvements,” saying that defendants should be able to get through the system more quickly and fairly.  He similarly demurred on whether he supports efforts at a City-financed bail fund.  He expressed empathy for those caught in the system, saying that “New Yorkers have a heart” and concerning people who “aren’t career criminals … we’re gonna help them back.”

Massey said that he’s read the Lippman Report and talked with experts, leading him to support “ending the facility that we now call Rikers” but building new facilities on Rikers Island rather than replacing the current Rikers jails with jails spread around the City.  Until recently, Mayor de Blasio held a similar view.

Video:

Here’s our exchange:

Massey On County Endorsements



Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey professed indifference today about the looming endorsement decisions from the Manhattan, Bronx and Republican county organizations.  Manhattan Republican Chair Adele Malpass has said that Manhattan plans to meet Thursday for its endorsement decision and I understand that Brooklyn also plans a Thursday meeting.  Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino said last week that he expects an endorsement meeting this week, although the precise day was unclear.  Queens County has already endorsed Massey.

It’s my view that Staten Island Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis has a strong chance of receiving some, or perhaps all, of the three looming endorsements.  While those endorsements are far from dispostive it would nonetheless be a sharp rebuke to Massey should he receive one or none of the three.  At a Bronx press conference today I asked Massey about what outcome  he expects and whether a poor showing would be worrying.  Here’s what he had to say (the groaning and creaking noises come from a barge moored just to Massey’s left):