Mayoral candidates Bo Dietl, Michel Faulkner and Paul Massey appeared in Howard Beach Thursday night, courting support at the Queens County Conservative Party Spring Dinner. The Conservative Party will select its mayoral candidate shortly, with the individual county organizations commencing discussions this week and a final selection expected by the end of May. Their appearances and quest for the Conservative Party nomination had an additional subplot; Dietl’s controversial remarks on Mayor de Blasio’s wife the night before, Massey’s statement condemning those remarks and Dietl’s demand for an apology from Massey. Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis is also seeking the Conservative Party nomination, but did not attend this dinner.
Three of the four Republican mayoral candidates appeared together Thursday night, with Bo Dietl seeking to address the contretemps generated by his Wednesday night comment equating two African-American women, Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, and a judge hearing Dietl’s election related lawsuit, based on their physical appearance. Dietl has faced significant criticism in the 24 hours since making his comment. The episode may drive voters away from him, although it anecdotally appears at this early stage Republican voters are only moderately concerned about. More immediately, and more significantly, it may push Republican leaders away from granting Dietl his sought-after waiver to run in the Republican primary, a Wilson-Pakula. Continue reading Hashing It Out
Republican mayoral rivals Michel Faulkner and Paul Massey have often proclaimed their affection for one another, but Faulkner has been increasingly critical of Massey. At the Manhattan Republican Party mayoral candidate forum last night Faulkner had some harsh comments about Massey.
Massey started the evening with a kind word for Faulkner and Bo Dietl, saying “it’s been great getting to know you” and “developing a friendship with you.”
It was a Republican wrestling match as four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for mayor came together last night, participating in a forum hosted by the Manhattan Republican Party at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club. Smiling, joking and mostly making nice, they harshly attacked Mayor Bill de Blasio as the four engaged in their first group forum. They threw a few barbs at each other, and one managed to draw harsh condemnation afterwards for a comment involving Mayor de Blasio’s wife, but they mostly tried to push past each other as they sought audience and press attention.
Michel Faulkner, Nicole Malliotakis and Paul Massey are Republicans seeking their party’s nomination while Bo Dietl is a former Republican seeking a party waiver to run in the Republican primary. The forum was important for all four, but especially critical for Dietl as he seeks a Wilson-Pakula; dispensation from at least three of the GOP county chairs to run in the Republican primary. All five were present, part of an overcapacity crowd and large press contingent.
Here is the full forum, including the introductory remarks of Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Adele Malpass:
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. Massey also rejected the premise of a question on the fairness of the Staten Island ferry being free of charge.
Here’s what Massey had to say:
Update – Full Video:
Here is Massey’s full press conference:
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.
Here’s Dietl on Massey:
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.
Here’s our post-presser conversation: