Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey held a press conference today to outline the broad parameters of several transportation proposals, without providing any details, cost estimates or funding sources. Massey has recently seized on the spate of subway troubles as a weapon against Mayor de Blasio, notwithstanding the limited role the mayor has in running the subway system, and he expanded that approach today as he briefly described several transportation projects beyond the subway. That list included an expansion of PATH service to Staten Island, a “transformational infrastructure investment program” on most of the City’s major highways and an unspecified number of bridges, building “green corridors” over parts of the BQE and extending the G train into Manhattan. He also pledged to implement an MTA system-wide maintenance campaign, despite the mayor not currently having the authority to do that, and a “total ground-up overhaul” of the City’s traffic management.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey opposes any form of congestion pricing as well as the imposition of tolls on the City’s East River bridges. Speaking at a transportation-focused press conference he held just outside of City Hall, I asked Massey about congestion pricing and the prospect of adding tolls to the City’s East River bridges. (East River crossings controlled by the MTA – the Triborough Bridge, the Midtown Tunnel and the Brooklyn Battery tunnel charge tolls, while City owned bridges do not.) I also asked about an element glossed over in his short release outlining his transportation plans, that many of the roads he’s proposing construction on are state, not city, roads.
Massey said that he does not support congestion pricing nor East River crossing tolls. His East River toll opposition seemed to be more about not increasing any taxes or fees, without any reference to whether such tolls would help ease traffic congestion, however. On whether he’s had any contact with state officials, Governor Cuomo or anyone else in state government, concerning his broad proposal on road construction Massey offered his frequent characterization that “we have a mayor who hates the governor” and that such mayoral failure is thwarting effective city/state cooperation. Massey asserts that as “a consensus builder” he will solve those city/state issues, but didn’t offer any direct answer about the state issues in his outline.
Here’s what Massey had to say:
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey supports mayoral control of the City school system, but doesn’t have any preference between the one house bills currently floating on the opaque sea of Albany. The state Senate has approved a bill giving a five year extension of mayoral control, but additionally providing for increases in then number of charter schools. The Assembly has approved a two year extension, without the Senate charter school provisions. Should the legislature not agree on an extension before concluding the legislative session next week New York City would revert from mayoral control to the discarded board of education model.
Massey passed on supporting either of the competing bills, saying that he’ll leave it to the legislature to resolve. That’s somewhat surprising since the Senate version seems well suited to his aspiring to be mayor and his support of charter schools. His response included a lengthy statement supporting charter schools, but as noted above, it didn’t move him to supporting the Senate version of mayoral control. Massey also said that he has not been in contact with Senate Temporary President John Flanagan, or any other legislators, on the topic of extending mayoral control.
We spoke this afternoon at the conclusion of Massey’s walking tour of Koreatown businesses.
Here’s our full exchange:
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey made a brief visit to the Upper East Side Monday, greeting passersby at 86th Street and Lexington for about 15 minutes and speaking with the press for about 10 minutes. He received an unremarkable reception, with most people streaming past him on the busy corner while a few said hi, shook his hand or stopped to chat on a hot summer evening.
In a post-meet & greet Q&A I asked Massey about two topics; the realities of his campaign call for greater mayoral action on the MTA and whether ratcheting up criticism of rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis reflects concern that she’s had some successes recently.
I asked Paul Massey today for his view on the value of endorsements. His answer? Bill de Blasio is corrupt. He didn’t address the question, instead offering a standard pitch of why he’ll be better than de Blasio.
I had asked Massey a similar question last week, with three county endorsements then open. The Bronx Republicans went for Massey the next day, Staten Island Republicans went for their fellow Staten Islander Malliotakis Thursday night and the Brooklyn Republicans went for Malliotakis tonight, putting the candidates in a 2-2 split with Manhattan undetermined. That’s a tough outcome for Massey, whose candidacy has adopted a sort of inevitability argument based in part on his ability to provide a substantial amount of self-funding.
Massey began well, receiving the endorsement of Staten Island Assembly Member, and now Staten Island Republican Chairman, Ron Castorina in February. Unfortunately for Massey, Castorina later rescinded his endorsement of Massey and instead endorsed fellow Staten Islander Nicole Malliotakis.
Here’s what Massey had to say today:
My exchange with Massey last week on this topic is available here.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey visited a Staten Island drug treatment facility this afternoon, outlining his proposed plan to address the opioid epidemic in a post-visit press conference. Prevention efforts in his proposal include expansion of a Staten Island school prevention program Citywide, creation of a “Synthetics Task Force” with federal, state and city law enforcement and “develop[ing] clearer standards for prescribing opioids.” Treatment efforts he proposes include hiring and training first responders in administering anti-overdose medications and creating additional crisis treatment centers. He also proposed additional recovery efforts.
Massey did not provide any cost estimates for his proposals, nor say how the unspecified costs would be paid.
Here is Massey’s prepared statement:
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey has refined his approach to the controversial Puerto Rican Day Parade. Massey previously said that he would not march due to the parade honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera, a co-founder of the FALN, but would attend. He’s now said that he won’t attend the parade, but will instead attend an unspecified “celebration of Puerto Rican heritage.” At a Staten Island press conference this afternoon Massey was asked (by Erin Durkin of the Daily News) for an explanation of his changed position. Like rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis Massey has never marched in the parade, nor has he ever attended.
I’m a huge Joe Lhota fan. That was about all Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey had to say about Lhota endorsing rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis over Massey. Lhota, the 2013 Republican and Conservative Party mayoral candidate, issued a statement this afternoon endorsing Malliotakis shortly before a Massey press conference.
I asked Massey for his reaction to the Lhota endorsement, including Lhota’s reference to Malliotakis as “the only real Republican in the race,” and whether he had approached Lhota for an endorsement. His fairly lengthy answer included an attack on Bill de Blasio and touting his own candidacy, with only a brief complimentary mention of Lhota. Massey described himself as an “independent candidate” and cast the race as a “referendum on my character and my ability to manage” but didn’t offer any direct reaction or rebuttal to Lhota’s “only real Republican” comment. Continue reading Massey On Lhota Endorsing Malliotakis
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.
Massachusetts native and New York City Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey claimed to have long ago left Red Sox Nation as he donned a Yankee hat in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Massey, receiving the endorsement of the Bronx Republican Party, spoke at a press conference outside Stan’s Sports Bar near Yankee Stadium. Continue reading Massey Emigrates From Red Sox Nation
The Bronx Republican Party endorsed mayoral candidate Paul Massey Wednesday night. Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino and Massey held a short press conference outside Stan’s Sports Bar (owned by Rendino), in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, just after the Bronx County Republican executive committee voted to grant the endorsement. This is Massey’s second County endorsement; he was previously endorsed by Queens County. His main rival, Staten Island Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis, advised late Wednesday that she will receive the endorsement of the Staten Island Republican party Thursday evening. Continue reading Bronx GOP Endorses Massey
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey seems open to some type of change to the money bail system for criminal defendants, but he does not appear to have yet developed any plan or proposal to do so. He has read the Lippman Report, which concludes that the City jails on Rikers Island should be closed and replaced with jails throughout the five boroughs, and disagrees with its conclusions although he shares much of its analysis of Rikers’ problems. We spoke during a Bronx press conference Tuesday.
Earlier in the press conference Massey expressed concern for defendants held on Rikers for more than a year without trial. Many of those defendants are unable to make bail, even seemingly low amounts required for bail in some cases. When I asked if he supported efforts to end or significantly change the current bail system Massey offered that “we need to look at” and “make improvements,” saying that defendants should be able to get through the system more quickly and fairly. He similarly demurred on whether he supports efforts at a City-financed bail fund. He expressed empathy for those caught in the system, saying that “New Yorkers have a heart” and concerning people who “aren’t career criminals … we’re gonna help them back.”
Massey said that he’s read the Lippman Report and talked with experts, leading him to support “ending the facility that we now call Rikers” but building new facilities on Rikers Island rather than replacing the current Rikers jails with jails spread around the City. Until recently, Mayor de Blasio held a similar view.
Here’s our exchange: