Political peace ruled the shore, both East and South, of Staten Island this morning as mayoral candidate and Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis and Council Member Joe Borelli held a cordial City Hall press conference. It’s been reported (such as this report by Anna Sanders in the Staten Island Advance) that the two Staten Island Republicans, who represent overlapping districts, have a poor relationship and Borelli had not previously joined his fellow Staten Island Republicans in endorsing Malliotakis for mayor. Council Member Borelli previously served in the state assembly alongside Malliotakis.
“I endorse Nicole” interjected Borelli as I asked about his lack of an endorsement, repeating it once I stopped speaking. Saying he’s “a confrontational person” Borelli described their relationship as being like siblings who fight while home but present a united front to the outside world. He concluded by making clear his preference for Malliotakis over incumbent Bill de Blasio.
He’s been dead more than 500 years, so there are some logistical issues, but Christopher Columbus has had a significant role in the 2017 mayoral race. He did not actually endorse Nicole Malliotakis for mayor, but his influence was felt in some endorsements that Malliotakis received from former New York State senator Serph Maltese and a group of Italian-American civic leaders Tuesday in Middle Village. In a twist Malliotakis, the only one of the four top mayoral candidates without any Italian ancestry, declared that “a vote for Columbus is a vote for Malliotakis.” (Bill de Blasio and Bo Dietl each have an Italian father and German mother, while Sal Albanese was born in Calabria and came to the U.S. at the age of 8.)
“Peanut is the culprit” said mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis, ruefully smiling as she described how she broke her toe Tuesday morning. Malliotakis described how Peanut, her beloved chihuahua, was lying in her path at home and Malliotakis kicked the base of a table as she tried to move around Peanut.
With two weeks remaining until election day it’s an inopportune time for such an injury. Malliotakis made the best of it Tuesday, noting that she had a hairline fracture in her other foot during her 2010 campaign in which she unseated a Democratic incumbent. While describing her injury she stood and swung her boot-clad injured foot, declaring “the good news is I’m ready to give the boot to Mayor de Blasio.”
Malliotakis spoke at an appearance in Middle Village, as she received the endorsement of former New York State senator Serph Maltese and several local Italian-American civic leaders.
As we’ve reported independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl’s fundraising has dramatically slowed in the past two months, with Dietl reporting $163,000 on hand as of October 2nd. He loaned his campaign $100,000 in July and has often said he’s prepared to put more of his own money into his campaign.
He wouldn’t commit to a particular amount today, although it seems clear he’ll put an equivalent or greater amount in to fund $100,000 of TV ads that he said will air next week, saying “that’s gonna be from my little pockets and we got a lot more cash where that comes from, too.” He also criticized rival candidates Bill de Blasio and Nicole Malliotakis for accepting taxpayer money via the City’s campaign finance matching funds program. He tossed in a little shade at Malliotakis’ recent ad featuring a disembodied hand flicking a lighter and rolled into his conclusion by declaring that Mayor de Blasio is “sleazatatious,” all without declaring what amount he’s prepared to into his campaign.
Recent public polls have put Bo Dietl a distant fourth behind mayor and Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Reform Party candidate Sal Albanese, with Dietl drawing just 6% in a recent Quinnipiac University poll and tied with Albanese at 5% in a recent Marist poll.
I asked Dietl about those low poll numbers and what he thinks he can do to improve his standing in the 19 days remaining. His primary response was that the polls were conducted before last week’s mayoral debate (true) and that his debate appearance and upcoming TV ads have and will greatly increase awareness of his campaign, with that awareness expected to translate into support.
Here’s our exchange:
Note: In my question I referred to polls released “last week.” Both the Quinnipiac and Marist polls were released the week before last, on October 5th.
Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis held a City Hall press conference today to promise enhanced enforcement efforts against illegal home conversions. Such conversions of homes generally consists of taking lawfully occupied homes and greatly increasing the number of residents by adding unlawful walls and dividers to create multiple tiny living spaces without sufficient exits, ventilation or plumbing and electric service. Some neighborhoods have a high density of such illegally converted homes, with the residents often undocumented immigrants. There are laws prohibiting such actions, but the City’s enforcement has not kept up with the growth of such converted homes.
Run a tighter ship was the essence of Bo Dietl’s advice for the hosts and organizers of the upcoming and final mayoral candidate debate. Dietl confirmed today that he’ll be in the second debate. Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis has not yet met the fundraising threshold for an invitation to the debate, although she expressed optimism on Tuesday that she’ll do so. We spoke with Dietl today during a press conference focused on the Department of Education. Continue reading Dietl Debate Analysis→
Two New York City mayoral candidates today voiced support for the New York Yankees while bashing Boston-bred rival de Blasio. Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis and independent candidate Bo Dietl held separate press conferences in close time and space proximity today, Malliotakis focused on fighting illegal home conversions and Dietl focused on the Department of Education, with both additionally addressing the Yankees’ playoff success and Mayor de Blasio’s increasing candor on his Red Sox fandom and its intrinsic Yankees rejection.
Malliotakis gave the most memorable line, “I believe that you’ll have two underdogs winning this year, the New York Yankees and Nicole Malliotakis,” adding that it’s “unconscionable to me that any mayor would not support the home team.” Dietl offered harsher words, urging Mayor de Blasio to “just leave, go back to Boston” and saying “he despises the Yankees because … he doesn’t like New York City.”
Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis rolled into El Barrio for a brief stop, holding a press conference today at the “Lucky Corner” of 116th Street and Lexington Avenue. Dubbed the “Lucky Corner” after Fiorillo LaGuardia held election eve rallies there before his mayoral victories. It’s a popular spot with candidates, both for its legend of luck and for its high foot traffic.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) endorsed Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today, giving Malliotakis her first union endorsement. It was a welcome boost for Malliotakis as election day looms exactly three weeks away. The SBA has supported Malliotakis with campaign contributions throughout her Assembly career and made an early contribution of $4,900 to her mayoral campaign, just shy of the legal maximum of $4,950. Continue reading SBA Endorses Malliotakis→
Today the Sergeants Benevolent Association endorsed Nicole Malliotakis for mayor. Among the rival candidates the SBA passed over was a retired colleague, former NYPD detective Bo Dietl. When I asked SBA President Ed Mullins about passing on Dietl he offered a kind word, saying he considered Dietl a friend, but had little else to say about Dietl. Mullins offered the conclusion that Malliotakis would be better for the members of the NYPD and for the people of New York City and noted her enthusiasm and engagement with the SBA, but didn’t offer any detailed description of the SBA’s decision to pass on Dietl.
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