Category Archives: John Catsimatidis

Photo Highlights of The Decade

As the decade rolls to an end we’ve compiled a brief photographic retrospective with a few of our favorite photos of the 2010s.

Political foes Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo shake hands, seemingly at the urging of RWDSU’s Stuart Appelbaum, as they march in the 2016 Labor Day Parade. 9/10/16

Our decade highlight gallery is available here.

Our focus is on New York politics, both city and state, but the gallery includes other shots of New York.  Among the campaigns we’ve covered are the 2013 and 2017 mayoral races, the 2014 and 2018 gubernatorial races, congressional primaries in 2014, 2016 and 2018, the 2016 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary and the 2019 public advocate special election. began in late 2012, with mostly video and little photography in 2012 and 2013, so this is a somewhat truncated decade retrospective that covers 2014-2019.

Special Bonus – Unabridged Gallery:

For those of you who really love New York politics we have an expanded decade retrospective gallery with lots of great shots that didn’t make it into the decade highlight gallery.  Take a look, and a walk down memory lane, here.

We’ve included a few 2013 iPhone shots in a brief addendum at the end of the expanded gallery.

Our 2019 year in photos is available here.

All of our photo galleries are available here.

2017 Year In Photos

Baseball fan Timothy Cardinal Dolan sports a borrowed Yankees hat while the hat’s owner sports Cardinal Dolan’s zucchetto.

Mayoral candidates fighting and occasionally smiling, a governor working his fellow electeds and the cameras, a hometown president passing through.  Those are among the images in our 2017 photo retrospective.

Shot entirely in the five boroughs, our photo retrospective reflects our 2017 focus on the mayoral election and particularly on challengers looking to defeat Mayor de Blasio.  There’s more, however, with a mix of light moments, conflict and loss.

Our photographic look back at 2017 is available here.

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis heads to her car following a Saturday morning appearance at a Queens GOP “Unity Breakfast” in Glendale.

Note:  Our more extensive photo retrospective on the 2017 mayoral race is available here.

Candidate Catsimatidis?

John Catsimatidis is not yet a 2017 mayoral candidate, having neither formally declared himself to be one nor having created a campaign account with the NYC Campaign Finance Board, but he’s acting like one with frequent political appearances.  Among his recent political appearances was a brief speech to kick-off a Reform Party mayoral candidate forum held last Tuesday.

Catsimatidis, who finished second to Joe Lhota in the 2013 mayoral primary, played a mixed role of potential candidate and elder statesman.  He praised the six candidates seated in front of him for engaging in politics while criticizing “professional politicians” who “glom.”  Catsimatidis, a prolific contributor to politicians, also spoke critically of political pay to play.  He closed with a pep talk to the six candidates and possible Catsimatidis rivals, only one of whom has held elective office.

Here’s what Catsimatidis had to say:

Update – Photo Gallery:

Our forum photo gallery is available here.

QVRC Lincoln Day Dinner (Updated)

The Republican mayoral primary rolled through Queens Village Sunday as America’s oldest Republican club held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner.  Over 300 people attended, lamenting the perceived faults of the de Blasio administration and hoping for a path to ending that administration.  Candidate Michel Faulkner and prospective candidate John Catsimatidis spoke during the dinner, while candidate Paul Massey attended the cocktail hour but did not address the crowd, departing before the dinner began.  2014 Republican gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino also attended the cocktail hour, but departed without addressing the crowd.

With a long list of speakers and honorees, the dinner program limited the mayoral candidates to about 5 minutes each.  Faulkner took full advantage of his short time, launching into a fiery denunciation of Mayor de Blasio with a “dump de Blasio chant” and a declaration of “desperate times” in both the country and the city.  He breezed past his campaign finance difficulties, proclaiming that he’s “in it to win it.”  He closed by quoting Donald Trump; unlike Paul Massey and prospective candidate Eric Ulrich, Faulkner is an enthusiastic Trump supporter.

QVRC Lincoln Dinner 3-19-17-29

Continue reading QVRC Lincoln Day Dinner (Updated)

Bronx GOP Dinner

Bronx County Republican Chairman Mike Rendino 3/8/17
Bronx County Republican Chairman Mike Rendino 3/8/17

It was dinner with the 1%.  Not that 1%, but the 1% of New York City voters registered as Bronx Republicans.  The not-quite 40,000 registered Bronx Republicans comprise less than 1% of New York City’s registered voters and don’t have any New York City or New York State elected officials, but they hosted an energetic dinner last night featuring two mayoral candidates and one prospective candidate.

Cast by Bronx County Republican Chairman Mike Rendino as kicking off the 2017 Republican mayoral race, the dinner featured appearances by candidates Paul Massey and Michel Faulkner and possible candidate John Catsimatidis.  Among the three hundred or so attendees were Republican State Chairman Ed Cox, Republican County chairs from Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island and New York City’s two Republican members of the New York State Assembly, Staten Islanders Nicole Malliotakis and Ron Castorina.

NYS GOP Chairman Ed Cox, Queens GOP Chairman Bob Turner and John Catsimatidis at the Bronx GOP dinner. 3/8/17
NYS GOP Chairman Ed Cox, Queens GOP Chairman Bob Turner and John Catsimatidis at the Bronx GOP dinner. 3/8/17

Continue reading Bronx GOP Dinner

JoLho v. JCats: The Epilogue

Celeste Katz of the Daily News today reported that former Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis is, so far, unwilling to endorse Republican primary victor Joe Lhota.  Among other comments, Catsimatidis is reported as saying “[d]eep down inside, I feel he doesn’t like me, and if he doesn’t like me, that’s why I’ve held back.”

I asked Lhota about Catsimatidis’ comments, and whether it is a problem that his rival has not supported him, all as Bill de Blasio brings his former rivals onboard.  Lhota gave a lengthy description of their contacts from primary night, including phone calls, texts and a breakfast.  He also tried to be friendly toward Catsimatidis, exclaiming “what’s not to like about John Catsimatidis”, but also saying “I don’t understand why he makes such disparaging remarks about me.”

We spoke this morning at a reception for “King of Queens” honorees.

Republican Mayoral Debate One on One: JoLho v. JCats (Updated)

Republican mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis participated in a televised debate today, hosted by WNBC-TV and co-sponsored by NBC 4 New York, The Wall Street Journal and Telemundo Nueva York.  It was a friction-filled face-off, with the candidates down to the last 48 hours of the campaign.

We have video from the candidates’ post-debate media availabilities.

John Catsimatidis:

Joe Lhota:

Joe Lhota & Rudy Giuliani:

Catsimatidis Ads & September 11th

John Catsimatidis has aggressively used the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in his campaign advertising.  His ad, Got It, features a former Port Authority Police Inspector attacking Joe Lhota for recently referring to the Port Authority police as “Mall Cops”, while invoking the memory of the 37 Port Authority police officers who died on September 11th.  Catsimatidis uses a similar attack in his ad Not Even Close.

Catsimatidis’ use of September 11th is the most aggressive of any New York political ad and is a marked departure from the practice of most candidates over the past 12 years.  I asked Catsimatidis whether he thinks it’s troubling or problematic for candidates to use September 11th in political advertising.

Catsimatidis’ ads have some additional layers of irony.  First, Joe Lhota was Rudy Giuliani’s deputy mayor during the attack and it’s aftermath, going to the World Trade Center before the second plane hit and accompanying Giuliani that morning.  Giuliani, of course, was lionized for his response.  Catsimatidis professes to be “friends with Rudy”, but attacks his rival on a topic that his rival’s former boss is widely acclaimed for.  Second, Giuliani and his administration had a long history of tangling with the Port Authority.  The PA is an agency that mayors love to hate as it operates major parts of New York City’s infrastructure with no mayoral control and a shared gubernatorial control (with the New Jersey governor) that provides only partial power to the New York governor.  Should Catsimatidis become mayor, he may find himself in an adversarial relationship with the Port Authority.  Finally, although Catsimatidis professes to “love all people”, the former Port Authority Police Inspector featured in his ad has been reported as making hateful statements on Facebook and elsewhere.

Cats Clatch (Updated)

John Catsimatidis was endorsed today by the New York Veteran Police Association.  Catsimatidis discussed many campaign topics at a press conference announcing the endorsement.

At the press conference, Courtney Gross of NY1 asked Catsimatidis about the news that David Koch  and his wife Julia have contributed $290,000 to a PAC supporting Joe Lhota.  (David Koch (pronounced “Coke”), and his brother Charles, are major funders of right-wing political groups.)  Here’s how Catsimatidis responded.

Continue reading Cats Clatch (Updated)

Catsimatidis & The Lhota “Charade”

Today Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis issued a statement describing competitor Joe Lhota’s most recent round of fundraising as “dismal” and saying that Lhota “should end this charade and drop out of the race now.”  In his statement, Catsimatidis did not mention the fact that Lhota has led in every public opinion poll released on the Republican primary.

We spoke with Catsimatidis today about his statement, at the Richmond County (as in, Staten Island Richmond County for you city folk) Fair.  I began by asking Catsimatidis about his statement referring to Lhota’s campaign as a charade.

Catsimatidis backed away from his characterization of Lhota’s campaign as a “charade”, saying “I didn’t write the press release … I think it was my political people.”  In a less harsh, but similarly ending, approach Catsimatidis suggested that Lhota’s lack of money means an inability to win in November and that Lhota should therefor step aside in favor of Catsimatidis.  Catsimatidis described himself as having done something similar in 2009, saying “I had the nomination uncontested and what did I do?  I backed off and gave the nomination to Michael Bloomberg.”