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
The Travis 4th of July Parade drew mayoral rivals Bill de Blasio and Nicole Malliotakis together Tuesday, as they attended the annual event in the Staten Island neighborhood of Travis. Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer were the two off-Island electeds participating, while Assembly Member Malliotakis was one of many Staten Island elected participating. Others included Borough President Jimmy Oddo, NYS Senator Diane Savino, Assembly Members Michael Cusick (also the parade Grand Marshal), Ron Castorina and Matt Titone, City Council Members Steve Matteo and Debi Rose and Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner also attended. Continue reading Travis Parade
The sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and the politicians waving as New York City’s annual Pride March was held Sunday. Once a small protest on the political fringe, the Pride March is now decidedly in the mainstream of New York politics. This year’s edition featured many elected officials and candidates, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer and mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Bo Dietl.
It was a regular Cuomo/de Blasio affair, with the two leading Democrats arriving separately and taking pains to avoid each other. Governor Cuomo delayed his arrival until the March began, rolling up 34th Street in his SUV to the parade route just as his marching contingent came down Fifth Avenue to 34th. Cuomo then held a brief press Q&A as his contingent stood still, blocking the parade route for Mayor de Blasio and the rest of the March.
Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade featured many elected officials, although some elected and appointed officials skipped the parade in reaction to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera. Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the parade, but appeared to make significant effort at avoiding Lopez Rivera, skipping the opening ribbon cutting and instead arriving after Lopez Rivera had joined the parade. Continue reading Photo Gallery: Puerto Rican Day 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
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.
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.
Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Rockaway Friday, touring a short stretch of the rebuilt boardwalk and making brief remarks but not answering any press questions. Large portions of the five mile boardwalk were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, with rebuilding now just about complete. The final unopened portions are scheduled to reopen in the next week. Continue reading Photo Gallery: de Blasio On de Boardwalk
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, New York City’s annual celebration of all things Irish, featured numerous politicians marching up Fifth Avenue Friday. Among the biggest political names were Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny. Political parade traditions include a stop to greet Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of the New York Diocese, as he watches the parade from a perch in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Governor Andrew Cuomo offered interesting introductions of some political friends and frenemies today. As he began his State of the State tour today in Manhattan Cuomo noted the presence of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (“doing great work with us, please stand”), Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (“doing a great job”), NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (“let’s give him a round of applause”) and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (“doing a magnificent job”). He’s had significant friction with Schneiderman, although they’ve had a much more cooperative relationship in the past 18 month, a fraught relationship with DiNapoli since Cuomo was attorney general and a dizzyingly difficult relationship with de Blasio.
Perhaps due to an apparent cold/sore throat, Governor Cuomo also referred to “Cardinal O’Connor” when thanking Cardinal Dolan for offering a blessing before Cuomo took the stage.
Here’s what Cuomo had to say:
Today’s Three Kings Day Parade featured five elected officials; Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, NYS Senator Jose M. Serrano and NYS Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez. Marking the Feast of the Epiphany, the date that tradition holds Jesus was baptized and then visited by three wise men, or kings, the parade is sponsored by El Museo del Bario.
It was a warm reception for Mayor de Blasio, as squeals of school kids and shouts of encouragement floated out over Third Avenue. The hazy morning was brightened by scattered pods of cuteness as small children lined up wearing crowns, waving and trying to attract the mayor’s attention. “Four more years” shouted a woman as the mayor and his marching companions moved up the Avenue. She ran out and hugged the mayor mid-march, falling in behind him for the rest of the parade and sporadically repeating her “four more years” call.
In a seemingly spur-of-moment decision at the end of the parade, Mayor de Blasio accompanied Speaker Mark-Viverito to La Marquetta. It’s a marketplace under the Metro-North tracks on Park Avenue, and a favorite location of the Speaker. Mayor de Blasio did not take press questions.
New York State’s Electoral College convened Monday, casting its 29 votes for New York’s home state candidate Hillary Clinton. Led by former president Bill Clinton, the electors met in the majestic state senate chamber at the Capitol for a tightly scripted session without any disruption or deviation. Clinton’s New York victory, expected to be a foundational bloc for her winning campaign, was instead a cruel coda to the disorienting election night experience of an anticipated presidency suddenly vanishing. There were some smiles and applause in the senate chamber Monday, but it wasn’t a celebration. Like a jilted groom recasting the pre-paid reception as a party, New York Democrats could cheer their own victories and predominance in their state but the overriding feeling was the last-minute loss of something so much bigger.
Former President Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo were the stars of the show, with Cuomo presiding as president of the convention. They entered the senate chamber together to a standing ovation, after all of the other electors and spectators had taken their seats, later rising to cast their ballots together. Cuomo lauded Clinton during his closing remarks, drawing a standing ovation for the former president.
Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his energetic embrace of New York City’s Muslim population Sunday evening, visiting Staten Island’s Albanian Islamic Cultural Center. de Blasio spoke at a celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birth. Since taking office de Blasio has embraced the City’s Muslim community, adding two Muslim holidays to the school system’s calendar for example, with that embrace more visible as we enter the Trump presidential era. For de Blasio the Staten Island location was an additional plus, as many Staten Islanders feel that de Blasio has minimal interest in the smallest borough.
Arriving about 30 minutes late, de Blasio joined a group of about 75 men seated on the carpet of a large prayer room. Women were seated on a rear balcony, obscured by a scrim-draped railing. de Blasio was accompanied by the NYPD’s borough commander, Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre and escorted by the Center’s president, Dr. Zarkani Vardar, and Imam Tahir Kukaj. Both Vardar and Kukaj gave warm introductions of de Blasio, with Vardar thanking de Blasio for the respect implicit in his visit. Dr. Vardar’s compliment that he could see de Blasio as president someday drew a smile and a chuckle from the mayor.
de Blasio spoke strongly on confronting anti-Muslim bias and hatred, promising continued vigorous effort by the NYPD. He praised Imam Tahir Kukaj, hailing the NYPD’s arrest of a man charged with threatening the Imam. Afterwards, the mayor greeted and took photos with several dozen well-wishers. He did not take press questions.
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.