Category Archives: 2017 Mayoral Race

Malliotakis On Dietl

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis professed to be unconcerned about rival candidate Bo Dietl, trying to instead focus on Bill de Blasio in a brief discussion today.  Malliotakis is the only Republican who qualified for the primary and will therefor be the Republican nominee, de Blasio is widely expected to easily win the Democratic primary and Dietl has filed petitions seeking to be on a self-created line in the general election.

Dietl issued a press release this morning, dubbing himself “Feisty Bo Dietl,” touting his and Malliotakis’ scheduled appearance at a candidate forum Tuesday evening.  I spoke with Malliotakis shortly afterwards, during a visit to Stuyvesant Gardens II, a NYCHA development in Bed-Stuy. Continue reading Malliotakis On Dietl

Malliotakis On Charlottesville: Part 3

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today offered a more direct criticism of President Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville rally and his Tuesday press conference, saying that she’s “very disappointed in how the president handled the situation.”  Malliotakis also said that the president should have directly attributed the violence in Charlottesville to white supremacists.  Malliotakis previously spoke about Charlottesville in a brief interview with me Sunday and at a press conference Monday.  Her comments received significant criticism, with Mayor de Blasio’s campaign attacking her over her Sunday comments.

Malliotakis quickly pivoted to criticizing Mayor de Blasio for his attacks on her on Charlottesville and for trying “to paint me as … ultra-right wing.”  She described herself as “very offended” at the mayor’s attacks and especially at his use of those attacks to fundraise.  Malliotakis sidestepped a question of whether she’s concerned about the effect of Trump’s words on Republican candidates here in New York City, saying that “every individual should be judged on what they say, what they propose, and not by anybody else in their party” and analogized having a mayor and governor who “don’t see eye to eye” to her differences with President Trump.  Malliotakis then returned to criticizing Mayor de Blasio’s performance in office, saying that he should defend his record rather than attempt to “tie me to the one guy who has an 18% approval rating in the City of New York.”

We spoke today following a Staten Island press conference in which Malliotakis and fellow Staten Island Republican Assembly Member Ron Castorina, Jr. called for additional stop signs on roads near schools.

Here’s our exchange:

Update – Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.

Malliotakis Plan Lacks Cost Analysis

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis unveiled a plan to expand the City’s services aimed at assisting the severely mentally ill, but was unable to provide any estimate of the overall cost of her multi-point plan or how she would pay such costs.  Speaking Monday at a City Hall press conference, Malliotakis outlined a twelve point plan, available on her campaign website, which includes extensive legal efforts at locating and mandating treatment of mentally ill persons, building 30,000 units of supportive housing and expanding the psychiatric bed capacity in City hospitals.

I asked Malliotakis for the estimated cost of these extensive increases in City services and whether she intends to reduce other City spending in order to pay for these expanded services.  She did not provide any cost estimates, arguing only that on a per-person cost creating supportive housing units will ultimately reduce City spending as such housing is less expensive than the cost of incarceration.  While her proposal appears to be a serious effort at addressing very difficult problems, a cost estimate is a fundamental part of moving any such ideas to reality.  Malliotakis has frequently criticized the growth in the City budget under Mayor de Blasio, but has not publicly identified any reductions that she supports.  Estimating a cost of this plan is a necessary element of deciding whether to further increase the City budget with the costs of this plan or to select other City spending to cut as a source of funding.


Here’s our exchange, with followup questions from Anna Sanders of the Staten Island Advance and Jill Jorgensen of the Daily News:

City Mental Health Services & Trump

Those were the two primary topics of Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ press conference this morning, the first by design and the second by circumstance.  Malliotakis held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to promote a plan to significantly expand City services for severely mentally ill persons.  She was joined by DJ Jaffe, an advocate and executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org.

Malliotakis’ plan calls for action in several categories, including expanded legal efforts to compel hospitalization via use of “Kendra’s Law,” review expiring orders of protection, scrutinize mentally ill inmates before release, expand mental health courts and psychiatric capacity of hospitals, support relevant non-profit agencies and greatly expand the number of supportive housing units.  Malliotakis did not provide a cost estimate for the wide range of expanded services, offering only the general proposition that keeping mentally ill persons out of prison will be a cost-saver.

Malliotakis was again asked about Charlottesville and President Trump’s “many sides” statement.  (My exchange with Malliotakis on this topic Sunday is available here.)  As detailed in an earlier post, Malliotakis today characterized the Charlottesville violence as “disgusting” and decried the use of “Nazi flags, KKK propaganda” but tried to avoid addressing Trump’s statement.  Initially saying that she had not seen the president’s Saturday statement, Malliotakis eventually said that the president “should have been more forceful” in his statement.


Here is the full press conference (Q&A begins at 15:40):

Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.

Malliotakis On Charlottesville: Part 2

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis addressed the Charlottesville violence and President Trump’s “many sides” statement for a second day.  Speaking at a City Hall press conference this morning on her plan for strengthening the City’s handling of seriously mentally ill people Malliotakis again sought to distance herself from President Trump’s statement while offering a more direct personal denunciation.  (Malliotakis’ initial reaction yesterday is available here.)

Malliotakis’ began her response today by saying that “I only saw a couple of tweets, I didn’t see the whole … extent of everything that he said,” but then stated that “I think what occurred there was disgusting”  and said that “all Americans” should denounce the use of “Nazi flags, KKK propaganda.”

In response to a question Malliotakis did say that President Trump “should have called them out.”  When asked if she is troubled that Trump was not more forceful and direct Malliotakis again said “he should probably be more forceful” but didn’t reveal whether that lack of directness and forcefulness troubles her.

Here’s the full exchange on Charlottesville and Trump’s statement.  (I’ve excluded my question on whether Malliotakis expects to meet with Trump during his New York City visit.  “No” was her answer.)  The initial questions are from Mara Gay of the Wall Street Journal, with followups from me and Jill Jorgensen of the Daily News.

Mayoral Frenemies

Mayoral frenemies Bo Dietl and Nicole Malliotakis crossed paths this afternoon, just ahead of the Dominican Day Parade on Sixth Avenue.  With their respective parade contingents lining up on the same block, Dietl and Malliotakis orbited around each other without interacting for a while, greeting supporters, talking with the press and saying hello to a mix of cops and marchers.  They eventually came face to face, however, engaging and brushing each other off as a large press contingent stood nearby.

Dietl and Malliotakis share the goal of unseating Mayor de Blasio, but have obviously opposite strategies as to who should supplant him.  They appeal to a largely overlapping slice of the electorate and face the prospect of simply dividing the anti-de Blasio vote, with both defeated by de Blasio in a crushing vote.  That tension is quite apparent.

Here’s how it unfolded:


Sidenote:  A look at a prior dietl/Malliotakis campaign trail interaction is here.

Mayoral Candidates On Charlottesville

Here’s what Democratic mayoral candidate (and incumbent mayor) Bill de Blasio, Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl had to say about the Charlottesville violence and President Trump’s statement.  Each spoke just ahead of today’s Dominican Day Parade in Manhattan; de Blasio in a statement to an assembled press pack (without taking any questions) and Malliotakis and Dietl in separate brief interviews with me.  Video of their respective full statements is below.  Continue reading Mayoral Candidates On Charlottesville

Malliotakis Matching Funds?

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis said that she is closing in on qualifying for matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board, but has not yet met one of the two required thresholds.  According to Malliotakis she has surpassed the requirement of receiving contributions from at least 1,000 City residents, but she has not yet received qualifying contributions of at least $250,000.  (Qualifying contributions are contributions from City residents, but limited to$175 per contributor.)

Qualifying for matching funds is very important for Malliotakis: as of her July 15th filing she had raised $344,000 but an analysis by Politico estimated that she could additionally receive slightly more than $600,000 if she qualifies for matching funds on the contributions reported through July 15th.  (Subsequent contributions would generate additional matching funds.)  The Campaign  Finance Board will make the determination of whether she qualifies based on her filings; the next is due August 11th.

Faulkner faces deep financial challenges in his campaign, as his campaign committee is insolvent.  His campaign is $90,000 in debt (in addition to loans of about $150,000 from Faulkner) after raising just $93,000.  I asked Faulkner about his campaign’s financial condition.


Here’s what Malliotakis and Faulkner had to say:

Malliotakis & Faulkner Press Conference

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner held a joint press conference Thursday, condemning Mayor Bill de Blasio for what they termed “pay-to-play” and his administration’s engagement with Harendra Singh.  Singh is enmeshed in a variety of legal troubles, including criminal charges that he bribed Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and accusations that he improperly sought assistance from the de Blasio administration while operating the restaurant Water’s Edge.  (Prosecutors declined to bring any criminal charges after reviewing the Water’s Edge accusations.)

Malliotakis and Faulkner are likely to be the Republican nominees for their respective offices, without having to run in a primary.


Here is the full press conference:

Malliotakis Press Conference: DOE Edition (Updated)

Republican  mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis criticized several aspects of the City’s Department of Education (DoE) today, including the use of consultants and poor performance in installing internet and wireless service in schools.  Speaking at City Hall press conference this afternoon Malliotakis called for the City’s Department of Investigation to investigate the Education Department’s activities.

Malliotakis criticized the DoE as a “bureaucratic nightmare”, top heavy with administrators and consuming enormous amounts of money intended for improved classroom conditions.  She claimed that a lack of audits and accountability have allowed such conditions to fester and declared that she’ll initiate a DoI investigation when she becomes mayor.

Malliotakis is generally responsive to questions, if a bit lengthy in her answers.  She’s adept at focusing on what she is interested in emphasizing, even if it’s not wholly in sync with the question.  She’s also good at producing a memorable phrase: this press conference included “this mayor has spent money like a Saudi prince,” the moniker “Mayor ‘I don’t care’ de Blasio” and “this election is not about Trump, it’s about transit, traffic and trash.” Continue reading Malliotakis Press Conference: DOE Edition (Updated)

Malliotakis Poll Weakness

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has often cited her gender and ethnicity as giving her an advantage over past Republican candidates, saying that those characteristics give her an opening to female and hispanic voters.  A Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday says that’s not really the case, at least not so far.

The Q poll shows support for Malliotakis among women and hispanics as lower than her overall support.  In a two-way race against Mayor de Blasio Malliotakis drew 22% support overall, but only 19% and 15% from women and hispanic voters, respectively.  In a three-way race that includes Bo Dietl Malliotakis’ support similarly fell off with women and hispanic voters, at 11% and 9%, respectively,  from her overall 15% support.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say today at a City Hall press conference about her polling weakness with these groups:

Spend Better, Not Less?

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis is harshly critical of increased City spending under Mayor de Blasio, but she doesn’t have a plan to reduce that spending.  Malliotakis held a City Hall press conference this afternoon to criticize de Blasio for “outrageous amounts of money being spent on consultants” in the Department of Education.

Malliotakis regularly criticizes the $85 billion overall size of the City budget and the $15 billion increase in the budget since de Blasio took office.  Today I asked Malliotakis how much, if at all, she would cut the $24 billion Department of Education budget.  After a lengthy critique of de Blasio’s spending, including the line that de Blasio “has spent the taxpayers money like a Saudi prince,” Malliotakis offered that she’s “looking to make sure that that money is spent properly” but acknowledged that she does not have any plan to reduce the City’s spending.


Here’s our full exchange: