Category Archives: Nicole Malliotakis

Malliotakis On ConCon

Nicole is a no.  Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis opposes holding a New York State constitutional convention and urges a “no” vote.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Malliotakis’ expressed view matches that of much of organized labor, opposing a convention on fears that it could result in weakening or eliminating the existing state constitution’s prohibition on reducing public employee pensions.  It also matches that of rival candidates Bo Dietl and Bill de Blasio and the two parties who have Malliotakis as their nominee, the Republican and Conservative parties.  We spoke this afternoon just before Harlem’s African American Day Parade.

Malliotakis On Cuomo & de Blasio

They have competing presidential ambitions, but de Blasio can’t get along with anyone.  That was the essence of Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ assessment when I asked for her view on whether she attributes Cuomo and de Blasio’s poor relationship primarily to either of them.

Malliotakis spoke at a press conference in which she extensively criticized the mayor for recent declines in subway service.  It’s a major campaign theme for her, fitting into a broader criticism of de Blasio as a poor municipal manager.  Her subway criticism is somewhat complicated, however, as Governor Cuomo primarily controls the MTA and its subway system.  Malliotakis is much less critical of the governor and pledges to work cooperatively with him as mayor.  Assessing the prospects of a future Governor Cuomo/Mayor Malliotakis relationship starts with considering the causes of the current problematic governor/mayor relationship and whether its causes will continue with a new mayor.

Malliotakis At QPTC

Mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis visited the Queens Public Transit Committee Wednesday evening, answering questions on a wide range of transportation topics.  The Queens Public Transit Committee is a small but energetic group focused on improving transportation options in Queens, with a focus on South Queens.  Projects that it supports include restoration of the Rockaway Beach Line, a long-abandoned Long Island Railroad track that runs to the Rockaway peninsula.

Lhota Lhessons?

People didn’t know how bad Bill de Blasio would be.  That was the most notable observation I could draw out of current Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis when I asked about her electoral predecessor, 2013 candidate Joe Lhota, and lessons from his campaign.  Lhota, a deeply knowledgable and skilled veteran of City government was crushed by nearly 50 percentage points in 2013.   With some notable similarities between her candidacy and Lhota’s, including running against the same opponent, I asked Malliotakis what would lead her campaign to a different outcome and what lessons she’s gleaned from Lhota’s campaign.

Beyond her initial observation that in 2013 “people didn’t know how bad de Blasio would be” but do now, Malliotakis simply gave a brief recap of her criticisms of the mayor.  Presumably she and her campaign staff have scrutinized the Lhota campaign history for instructive lessons, but she didn’t offer any in this press conference response.


Here’s our exchange:

Malliotakis General Election Kickoff

Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis held a press conference today to kickoff her general election campaign.  Speaking outside St. Mary Gate of Heaven church in Ozone Park Malliotakis laid out her broad campaign themes and parried repeated questions focused on the many electoral challenges she faces.  Malliotakis became the undisputed Republican and Conservative nominee several weeks ago, without having to face any opponents in a primary, but with the Democratic primary yesterday formally establishing Mayor Bill de Blasio as the Democratic nominee the general election season informally began today.

Malliotakis sought to turn Mayor de Blasio’s own campaign rhetoric on him, saying de Blasio’s “tale of two cities” is alive but is now a tale of “one city for [de Blasio’s] donors and friends and another city for everybody else.”  Somewhat awkwardly saying that she’s running “to give voice to the everybody else” Malliotakis catalogued New Yorkers who she expects will support her, including those paying higher property taxes, victims of sex crimes, transit riders enduring increased delays, homeless not sufficiently helped by the City, families whose children are insufficiently educated in City schools and families whose children are on charter school waiting lists.

She paired the laundry list of concerns she sees as burdening New Yorkers with a promise to focus on them, saying she’s “not in this race to fight an ideological war” or to “raise a national profile to run for president.”


Here is the full press conference:

Columbus & Capalino, Not Dietl

Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis held a press conference this afternoon in Columbus Circle, calling on Mayor de Blasio to make clear his personal position on whether the statue of Christopher Columbus should be removed and condemning what she termed pay-to-play by the mayor with lobbyist and supporter James Capalino.  Positing that she would only address “on-topic” questions, Malliotakis had little to say when asked about allegations by rival candidate Bo Dietl that her campaign submitted improper petitioning documents to the Board of Elections.

Declaring that “it is completely outrageous” that Mayor de Blasio will not say whether he supports removing the statue of Columbus, Malliotakis demanded that he state his position before the Democratic primary on Tuesday.  Malliotakis repeated her position that the statue should remain, adding later that she would not convene the commission the mayor has announced to review “symbols of hate” on City property.  She said that she could support adding a descriptive plaque near the Columbus statue and that she is open to a memorial honoring the “indigenous people” harmed and displaced by Columbus.

Malliotakis regularly offers harsh criticism of the mayor, but unlike some of the other mayoral candidates virtually always focuses on his job performance and policies.  In an unusually personal and harsh written statement issued in connection with her press conference, however, Malliotakis said “I really think Bill de Blasio should go back to using his birth name of Warren Wilhelm, because he obviously doesn’t have the heart and soul of an Italian.”  (She did not make that statement during the press conference.)

Malliotakis also criticized the mayor’s engagement with lobbyist James Capalino, focusing on his involvement in a project to build a 47 story tower on the grounds of the Upper East Side’s Stanley Isaacs Houses.  She also attacked as “pathetic” de Blasio’s recent op-ed defending himself against pay-to-play complaints.


Here is the full press conference:

On Topic Only (Updated)

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today adopted a move favored by Mayor de Blasio, seeking to limit press questions to “on topic” only.  At a truncated Columbus Circle press conference this afternoon Malliotakis sought to restrict questions to her chosen two topics; Mayor de Blasio’s unclear position on removal of the statue of Christopher Columbus and his, in her view, insufficient addressing of pay-to-play allegations.

Yesterday rival candidate Bo Dietl issued a statement referring to Malliotakis as a “criminal,” alleging that her campaign submitted petitions to the Board of Elections with a false certification on the number of signatures included on those petitions.  (The petitions are for an additional, self-created ballot line, “Fix Transit Now.”)  When I asked Malliotakis about that allegation today she responded with a mashup of replies, first saying that she would “stay on topic today,” then dismissing Dietl’s assertion as “outrageous” and “ridiculous” and ending by saying “there’s no comment on that … it’s frivolous” as her staffer moved to end the press conference.  She included a denial of the circumstances surrounding the filing of those petitions, however, saying “I don’t honestly, I don’t know those petitions were filed, and if we didn’t have a sufficient number then they were kicked off.”

The attempted “on-topic” restriction was unusual for Malliotakis.  She’s generally open to questions, holding fairly lengthy press conferences without topic limits.  She has also been quite accommodating to me throughout her campaign, regularly answering questions on-camera without restriction.  It’s unclear why she sought a topic restriction today, including whether it was specifically to avoid discussing the Dietl allegations.

Dietl & Malliotakis On DACA

Rival mayoral candidates Bo Dietl and Nicole Malliotakis support continuation of DACA, and oppose President Trump’s expected termination of the program.  I spoke with Dietl, running on a self-created line in the general election, and Malliotakis, the Republican and Conservative Party nominee, just before today’s West Indian Day Parade.


Dietl said that he’s “totally against” the ending of DACA.  Voicing support for the DACA applicants, Dietl declared that “we gotta bring ’em into our system” and called for a path to citizenship.



Malliotakis condemned any presidential action removing the DACA protections.  Noting that there has not been any White House announcement yet, Malliotakis was nonetheless clear that she would oppose any significant reduction or elimination of DACA’s protections.   She urged Congress to act and “put[] forward some type of path for legalization and citizenship.”  She also urged Congress to act more broadly to improve the immigration system.

Malliotakis Press Conference: Rivington House

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Republican public advocate candidate J.C. Polanco held a press conference today in front of Rivington House, the former nursing home entangled in a de Blasio administration scandal.  Malliotakis and Polanco sought to draw renewed attention to the tangled tale of Rivington House and to the relationship of Mayor de Blasio and lobbyist Jame Capalino.  Capalino was a key figure in the elimination of Rivington House deed restrictions that opened the possibility of a for-profit real estate project at Rivington House.

Question topics included Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that he’ll convene a commission to review removing public art honoring Confederate and other figures, the Democratic mayoral candidate debate to be held tonight and Malliotakis’ pledge to release her assembly emails.

Here is the full press conference:

Malliotakis On Statues

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis was critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intention to create a commission to consider removing statues and other public art honoring Confederate soldiers and other public figures whose actions are regarded as dishonorable.  Responding to a series of questions from Erin Durkin of the Daily News and Yoav Gonen of the Post, Malliotakis asserted that de Blasio’s announced intention has “caused tremendous division in our City” and that he’s acted solely to seek publicity.  She later said, however, that de Blasio should not have announced his intended review, but instead should have had “individuals quietly go around the City” to look at and consider public art for removal.

Malliotakis also criticized de Blasio’s stated 90 day goal for the review, noting that the timeframe places completion after November’s election.  She demanded that any such review be completed and announced before the election.  Asked for her view on several specific statues Malliotakis said that she believes the statue of Christopher Columbus (who she errantly referred to as “the founder of our nation”) in Columbus Circle should stay.

Malliotakis On Dem Debate

She’ll be watching.  Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis was an emphatic “yes” when I asked whether she plans to watch the Democratic mayoral debate tonight between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sal Albanese.  Urging “everyone in the City to watch,” Malliotakis cast the debate as the “beginning of holding Mayor Bill de Blasio accountable” with the public able to see “what’s happening in this City.”

Here’s our exchange:

Queens Trib Forum Lightning Round

The Queens Tribune and St. John’s University hosted an unusual candidate forum Tuesday evening, putting mayoral, comptroller and public advocate candidates together on stage for two hours.  Participating candidates included mayoral candidates Nicole Malliotakis, Bo Dietl, Sal Albanese, David Bashner and Mike Tolkin, comptroller candidates Scott Stringer and Michel Faulkner and public advocate candidates David Eisenbach and J.C. Polanco.

We’ll begin near the end, with the Lightning Round questions:

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