Catsimatidis v. MTA (Round 1)

Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis held a press conference today to criticize the MTA and it’s scheduled increase of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll.

In this report, we cover what Catsimatidis had to say about some of his rivals, including one who was chairman of the MTA, and his suggestion as to how two of those rivals could help the Republican Party.

We’ll have more about their press conference in a later report.

Mayoral Mashup: 31st CD Special Election Edition

In our Mayoral Mashup we talk with voters, as well as political and policy leaders, about what they see as the most important issue facing New York City’s next mayor.

For this Mayoral Mashup we spoke with Rockaway voters participating in the 31st Council District special election and asked one simple question:  What do you see as the most important issue that our next mayor will face upon taking office?  Watch to find out what they had to say.

You can watch previous Mayoral Mashups here (with voters at a mayoral candidate forum) and here (with Dick Ravitch).

Republican Primary Voters: Where to find them

As the Republican mayoral primary heats up, the candidates face a fundamental challenge: finding their primary voters in overwhelmingly Democratic New York City.  To develop a more detailed understanding of the Republican search for primary voters, we’ve been doing some analysis of voter registration and voter activity (as well as answering candidate robocalls).  This first step in our analysis focuses on registered voters.  We will discuss voting patterns, likely voters and turnout in a later post.

Continue reading Republican Primary Voters: Where to find them

The Cat Man (Updated x 2)

As he was about to begin a press conference this morning (focused on expanding vocational education programs), John Catsimatidis previewed a possible new campaign slogan.  Perhaps he was responding to a critical review of other mayoral candidates campaign logo’s.  Or, perhaps he just likes campaigning.

As we noted last week here at, he has already adapted well to the new 140 character universe.

Update #2:  I received an email this evening from the Catsimatidis campaign advising that the twitter handle I referenced in item 1) below “is not affiliated” with the Catsimatidis campaign.  I’ve therefor deleted item 1).  I understand that @Jcats2013 remains as the campaign’s twitter handle.  My apologies for any confusion.


1)  [deleted]

2)  It is interesting that the candidate formerly known as John Catsimatidis chose to reveal his new persona to leading political reporter Azi Paybarah.  Both of them have recently undergone life changing Twitter-shortenings Twitter-trimmings.  They also crossed paths in a previous special feature.

5 Minutes with … Bill de Blasio

In our 5 Minutes With … feature we spend 5 interesting minutes with leading elected officials and policy leaders.  In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we speak with New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

Join us as we discuss the structure and role of the Public Advocate’s office and look ahead to January 2014 and the challenges that the next Public Advocate will face.

Be sure to also watch our report on the first candidate forum in the 2013 Public Advocate race.

Hurricane Sandy: Report from Rockaway #6

In this Report from Rockaway we talk with Graybeards president Steve Stathis.

Graybeards is a Rockaway-based group of approximately 200 members.  Originally an informal group of friends and neighbors, Graybeards formally organized after the September 11th attacks and the crash of American Airlines Flight #587 in Belle Harbor.  Graybeards is dedicated to helping friends and neighbors in need, while promoting friendship and community.  In the post-Sandy recovery, they have responded to an exponential expansion in the need for their help.

We spoke with Steve about Graybeards, the work they continue to do and the state of recovery in the Rockaways.

This is our sixth Report from Rockaway.  You can view our previous reports herehereherehere and here.

Coincidence or Causation? Koch and the Decline of Ulcers

Among Mayor Koch’s many memorable quotes is:

“I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” the mayor — eyebrows devilishly up, grinning wickedly at his own wit — enlightened the reporters at his $475 rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village on Inauguration Day in 1978. “Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.” (New York Times 2/1/13)

In the Koch era, ulcers really were the ailment of the times.  It seemed like ulcers were ubiquitous, both in real life and in pop culture.  The 1970s version of food allergies:  widespread, often very serious, but newly focused on and receiving outsized social attention.

Notwithstanding significant medical advances, the fading attention given to ulcers as the Koch era faded suggests a clear conclusion: maybe Ed Koch really did cause all the ulcers.