Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey made a school visit today, going to Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School for a tour and discussion with students as he began an extended effort at demonstrating deepened policy knowledge. Massey, who has often appeared unfamiliar with significant City policy issues, has said that over the next several weeks he will unveil an “Urban Innovation Agenda,” via a “series of in-depth policy proposals.” Today Massey discussed education reform.
The press conference was held at Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, a fairly new school created in the former home of a shuttered Catholic high school. Cristo Rey Brooklyn is part of a national network of 32 Catholic high schools created on the model of the first Cristo Rey high school, a Jesuit high school in Chicago. Each school is separately run, with Cristo Rey Brooklyn sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and administered by a board of directors. Students work one day per week at jobs outside of school. Those employers, primarily large businesses and law firms, provide much of the school’s financial resources which in turn enables the school to modify tuition based on financial need and students pay as little as $100 per month. Massey has employed Cristo Rey Brooklyn students in his brokerage business and now in his campaign. He spoke enthusiastically of the school and its students.
That’s how Paul Massey characterized my question of whether it’s fair that the Staten Island ferry is free while riders on all other New York City public transportation pay at least part of the cost.
It’s a bit of a dicey question for a politician seeking support on Staten Island, but a reasonable topic and important in both transportation planning and broad budgeting for Staten Island services. Massey, on Staten Island for a press conference about the new ferry system, dismissed the very notion that it’s free.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey came to Staten Island this afternoon to offer a Staten Island-centric criticism of Mayor de Blasio’s plan for a new Citywide ferry system. The new system, which will begin partial operation next month, does not include Staten Island. It’s wholly separate from the existing Staten Island ferry, which runs a single route between the Battery and St. George, and is planned to run broadly along the waterfront of the other four boroughs. Massey spoke at the waterfront in Stapleton, with the harbor and lower Manhattan spread out behind him as he demanded that Staten Island be added to the new system.
Massey drew a larger press contingent than his prior Staten Island press conference, with the City Hall press corps settled in about two miles away for Mayor de Blasio’s Staten Island week. He’s improving on his knowledge of New York City government, but still reluctant or unable to talk in much detail.
Responding to my questions Massey said that he otherwise thinks that the mayor’s plan is a good plan and he declined to address what the right pricing will be for the new ferry system. Like all New York public transportation it will be subsidized by taxpayers.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey visited the Ohel Chabad-Lubavitch, the Cambria Heights burial site of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, Friday. The Ohel, literally the “tent”, is a small square roofless stone structure built around the gravesite creating a space in which many devoted followers come to stand, pray and seek immersion in the Rebbe’s spiritual presence. The Rebbe, who died in 1994, was the Lubavitch leader and a significant presence in New York City’s political fabric.
Mayoral candidate Paul Massey waded into the long running metzitzah b’peh morass today, as he was asked about it in a press Q&A during a visit the Rebbe’s Ohel, the gravesite of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The ritual, in which a mohel, an adult male, draws blood from an infant’s circumcision wound with his mouth, has bedeviled Mayors Bloomberg and de Blasio. A small number of infants have contracted herpes through such contact with herpes-infected mohels, provoking public health officials to seek to limit or ban the practice.
Here’s what Massey had to say:
Update – Full Report: Our full report on Massey’s visit to Ohel Chabad-Lubavitch is available here.
Ain’t got enough. That was mayoral candidate Bo Dietl’s succinct assessment of rival candidate Paul Massey. Dietl is hoping to receive a Wilson-Pakula, a waiver from three of the five county Republican committees, to run in the Republican primary. Should he receive a Wilson-Pakula, Dietl would face Massey in a Republican primary.
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.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey sought to again relaunch his campaign, with a visit today to Kissena Farms Kosher Supermarket in Flushing billed as part of a five day series of visits to the five boroughs “formally launch[ing]” his campaign. His visit included his third press conference and a cameo by Queens Republican County Chairman Bob Turner, but omitted typical elements of a campaign launch such as cheering supporters, family or a symbolically important backdrop.
Massey arrived early and stood smiling and chatting with Turner as shoppers moved past them. A few asked what was going on, but the majority rolled past pushing their cart and getting their list out. Massey and the store manager then did a lap of the outer aisles, chatting about the products they passed, the grocery business and the upcoming holidays. Massey greeted a few shoppers, but he mostly walked past them seemingly absorbed in his conversation with the store manager.
Queens County Republican Chairman Bob Turner supports mayoral candidate Paul Massey, although he’s not ready to describe it as “a formal endorsement.” Turner joined Massey at a press conference today in Flushing, dubbed by the Massey campaign as “formally launching” his campaign. “I am supporting Mr. Massey, but this is short of a formal endorsement” said Turner when I asked Massey whether he has Turner’s support or endorsement. Turner had stood off to the side watching as Massey held his press conference, not joining him at the lectern. (When I spoke with Turner on March 2nd, he seemed supportive of Massey, but was not nearly as direct.)
In a conversation with Turner afterwards he emphasized that the Queens Republican organization has not yet endorsed or supported Massey, although he expects a decision on whether to do so in “less than a month.” Turner appeared quite optimistic on the effort by the five New York York City Republican county chairs at uniting behind a single candidate. Doing so, presuming Massey is their choice, may discourage Eric Ulrich (the only New York City or New York State Republican elected official representing Queens) or John Catsimatidis from entering the race or encourage Michel Faulkner to end his campaign.
Like a blooming sign of spring, the nascent Republican mayoral primary continued emerging this week, with a candidate forum last night. Hosted by the Columbia University College Republicans, the forum featured four candidates: Darren Aquino, Michel Faulkner, Paul Massey and Eric Ulrich.
The forum was a “compare and contrast,” rather than a mix-it-up/toe-to-toe, style. Each candidate was asked each question seriatim, with little direct interaction among the candidates. It’s a less dramatic format, but useful in this early “getting to know you” stage. The audience of about 75 people was attentive but mostly silent in the soaring rotunda of Columbia’s Low Library.
Aquino is an actor and self-described “national advocate for disabled” who has not had any significant previous visibility in the race. His January campaign finance filing reported raising $1,000, with $542 on hand. Faulkner and Massey are both declared candidates who have been running energetically for months, with their most recent appearances being Wednesday night at a Bronx County Republican dinner. Ulrich, a member of the City Council and the only Republican candidate with government experience, is registered with the Campaign Finance Board as a candidate for an “undeclared” city office. He’s effectively running at the moment, albeit at a somewhat reduced pace and without a full commitment, appearing at some political events while he considers whether to fully move ahead and formally declare himself a mayoral candidate. That decision is likely in the next couple of weeks.
John Catsimatidis, a wealthy businessman who lost to Joe Lhota in the 2013 Republican primary, is also considering a run but did not appear at this forum. Like Ulrich he’s appearing at some political events but hasn’t announced his candidacy. (Unlike Ulrich, he has not registered with the Campaign Finance Board.) Catsimatidis recently said that he expects to make a decision on running by late March or early April.
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.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey is having a tough time connecting with the Republican party faithful, despite some strengths as a candidate and support among the party leadership. While “masses” may overstate the 60,000 or so Republicans scattered across the city who may actually vote on primary day it’s still a sizable group that Massey will need to persuade.
There are immediately apparent similarities between Massey and Michael Bloomberg: each is a wealthy self-made man who created and ran his own business, was born and raised in the Boston area, oozes self-confidence and discipline and chose New York City mayor as his first political race. Resembling a successful well-regarded past mayor is a good starting point for a new candidate. The downside for Massey is that Bloomberg, while now ever-more highly regarded as Republicans chafe under a de Blasio administration, was never really loved by the Republican rank and file and his Bloombergesque profile, at this early stage, appears to leave many Republican Party faithful cold. The operatic Rudy Giuliani, rather than the emotionless Michael Bloomberg, is the mayor these Republicans love. Massey may be a more personable and warm version of Bloomberg, but he’s nonetheless much more Bloomberg than Giuliani.
Republican mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Michel Faulkner appeared at a candidate forum hosted by the Brooklyn Republican Committee last night. The candidates appeared separately for just under an hour each, with time allotted for a speech, questions submitted via social media, audience questions and press questions. An audience of 60-70 people listened closely, responding positively to both candidates although more enthusiastically to Faulkner.
Sitting in the audience was New York State Conservative Party Chairman and Brooklynite Mike Long. Long said that he does not yet personally support any mayoral candidate and that he was there to listen. Long also said that his party is also not yet at a decision point for selecting a mayoral candidate, adding that Massey, Faulkner and John Catsimatidis have expressed interest in receiving the party’s support.