Malliotakis: No Opinion On Healthcare Bills

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis had little of substance to say Wednesday concerning the ongoing effort by U.S. Senate Republicans to repeal or dramatically change Obamacare.  Malliotakis replied “I haven’t read these bills” when I asked for her view of the Senate’s motion to proceed, adopted Monday, and whether she supports any of the iterations being considered by the Senate this week.  (“I haven’t read the bills” has been Malliotakis’ repeated answer on this topic, offered in May and June.)

Malliotakis did urge Congress to “stop bickering” and “work together”, but did not offer any policy views.  When I asked whether she’s supportive of continuing the Medicaid expansion, a key target for many Congressional Republicans, Malliotakis said “I can be ok keeping the Medicaid,” but immediately turned to expressing concerns over higher insurance policy premiums and deductibles.

Reductions or eliminations in Medicaid would likely have profound effects on New York City, both directly in the hospitals it runs and on the several million Medicaid enrollees in the City.


Here’s our exchange during Wednesday’s City Hall press conference:

Malliotakis Press Conference: Deportation Edition

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis came to City Hall Wednesday for a press conference criticizing Mayor de Blasio’s “sanctuary city” policy and pledging to increase cooperation with federal government’s efforts at deporting people unlawfully in the United States.

Malliotakis strongly emphasized the limits of her support for assisting federal deportation efforts, however.  She began with a detailed statement of support for City policies that provide some protections to persons unlawfully in the U.S., saying that as mayor she would continue Executive Order #124, implemented by Ed Koch and continued by Dinkins, Giuliani, Bloomberg and de Blasio.  That executive order prohibits City employees from reporting immigration status to the INS.  Among the practical effects of that prohibition: the NYPD does not ask and will not report on the immigration status of a person reporting a crime.

Malliotakis was harshly critical of Mayor de Blasio’s efforts at limiting NYPD and Department of Corrections’ enforcing immigration detainers.  The City currently enforces those immigration detainers only in limited circumstances, with those circumstances including a for persons convicted of specified “serious” crimes.  Malliotakis proposes expanding that list of specified crimes.


Here is the full press conference.

Malliotakis re Dietl

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis brushed aside rival candidate Bo Dietl’s recent complaints on not being granted a waiver allowing him to run in the Republican mayoral primary and his assertion that the New York State Republican chairman and New York County Republican chairwoman quashed his prospects in order to boost Malliotakis.  Speaking last night as she arrived at a campaign appearance in Middle Village’s Juniper Valley Park Malliotakis professed disinterest in Dietl’s efforts.  She also denied any involvement or influence in the Republican party leaders’ decision to again decline to grant Dietl a Wilson-Pakula.

Shortly after we spoke Malliotakis and Dietl encountered each other –  video of their encounter is available here.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say:

Dietl & Massey Dine

He’s gone from melba toast to movie star.  Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl was harshly dismissive of rival candidate Paul Massey during Massey’s campaign, deriding him as “melba toast”, bland and dry.  Last night, however, Dietl said that he had dinner Monday evening with former candidate Massey and that Massey now “looks like a movie star, nice and tan.”

“I don’t care” Dietl shrugged when I asked if Massey will endorse him.  Dietl separately said that he hasn’t asked for Massey’s endorsement and that Massey hasn’t offered it.  It’s notable, however, that Massey has not endorsed his former Republican rival, Nicole Malliotakis.

I spoke with Dietl as he departed from a campaign appearance at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village – here’s what he had to say:

Dietl To The DR

Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl headed to the Dominican Republic last night, for a one day visit intended to help his campaign.  Dietl said that he’s scheduled to meet with the mayor of Puerto Plata, a north coast city, and visit an unspecified orphanage.  Dietl also said that he hopes to meet with “Leonel, the president”, presumably meaning former president Leonel Fernández Reyna.  (The current president is Danilo Medina.)

Here’s what Dietl had to say – we spoke last night during a campaign appearance at Juniper Valley Park.

When I Become Mayor …

It was smiles and jabs as mayoral candidates Bo Dietl and Nicole Malliotakis crossed paths tonight in Middle Village’s Juniper Valley Park.  The candidates were there to work the crowd at Italian Night, a concert drawing several hundred people. There’s been some significant long-distance friction between them recently as Republican leaders quashed Dietl’s final effort at getting a Wilson-Pakula and running in the Republican primary.

They smiled for the camera (singular, as I was the only reporter there), with some forced joviality smoothing the light jabs they each tossed toward the other.  Dietl sought to claim the turf immediately, declaring “this is Italian, this ain’t Greek, this is my neighborhood” as he walked up to Malliotakis.  They didn’t shake hands, much less hug, with Malliotakis’ hand on Dietl’s shoulder the only greeting gesture.  “Are you gonna be nice to me now Bo, I heard you’re calling me names on Curtis Sliwa” said Malliotakis.  Dietl offered that when he becomes mayor “I want you to help me … cause Staten Island needs a lot of help.”  Malliotakis quickly countered that when she becomes mayor “I will not make you my police commissioner.”  (Dietl retorted “I’ve been offered that already by your friend Malpass.”)

Their sparring over, Malliotakis introduced herself to a couple of parks workers in a truck as she and Dietl began walking.   As Malliotakis continued walking Dietl stopped to talk to those workers, soon calling out to the departing Malliotakis “they’re with me, they’re with me … they love the Bo man.”

Update – Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.

Dietl On Ending His Wilson-Pakula Bid

Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl says that his most recent effort at getting on the Republican primary ballot was squashed by New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox and Manhattan Republican Chairwoman Adele Malpass.

Dietl had recently renewed his effort at obtaining  a Wilson-Pakula, with a surprising successful step Monday night as he received the Queens County Republican Committee’s endorsement.  Obtaining a Wilson-Pakula requires a majority vote of the five New York City Republican county committees, so he still had a long way to go but Dietl’s Queens endorsement reenergized his effort.  Bronx County, which like Queens had initially endorsed Paul Massey and was now without a candidate, appeared likely to also support Dietl.  Dietl abruptly announced yesterday that he was ending his effort at obtaining a Wilson-Pakula, and would not seek to run in the Republican primary.

I spoke with Dietl today about his decision, with Dietl asserting that Cox and Malpass pressured Bronx Republican Chairman Mike Rendino to not support Dietl.  Without Bronx GOP support Dietl had virtually no chance.  According to Dietl, he was confident enough of his chances that he planned to host a meeting this coming Monday with the five Republican county executive committees, seeking a vote on his Wilson-Pakula.

We spoke today on Arthur Avenue, just ahead of Dietl’s walking tour with actor Chazz Palminteri.

$5 Million?

$5 million.  That’s what Democratic mayoral candidate Mike Tolkin reports putting into his campaign recently.  It’s an extraordinarily large amount, significantly exceeding the $2.7 million that Paul Massey reported lending his campaign through mid-May.  There’s a catch, however.  Tolkin reports the $5 million as an in-kind contribution of “Campgn Lit. / Campaign Assets.”  He has separately loaned his campaign $225,000, but raised only $2,590 in cash contributions.  Continue reading $5 Million?

Queens With Dietl

Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl with Queens Republican Chairman Bob Turner, on May 20, 2017.

The Queens County Republican Party tonight endorsed Bo Dietl in the race for mayor.  The Queens Republican Party had endorsed Paul Massey, but Massey announced his withdrawal from the race on June 28th.  Dietl is not a registered Republican, having muffed an attempt at switching his registration from Republican to Democratic, and sought a Wilson-Pakula early in the race to run in the Republican primary.  Republican leaders declined to offer Dietl such a waiver then, and the issue appeared completely ended after Dietl lost his lawsuit seeking reinstatement to the Republican Party.

I’m told that the vote, by the Queens County Republican executive committee, was Dietl-16, Malliotakis-3, abstain-2.  Continue reading Queens With Dietl

Going, Going … Bo?

Could Bo Dietl still end up in a Republican mayoral primary?  That prospect has appeared dead since Dietl lost his lawsuit seeking reinstatement as a Republican and the five county Republican leaders declined any interest in granting Dietl a Wilson-Pakula, but he has yet another chance tonight.  Dietl is set to appear at a meeting of the Queens County Republican executive committee to pitch his candidacy, seeking an endorsement and a Wilson-Pakula.  Nicole Malliotakis is also expected to appear, seeking the Queens County GOP endorsement in the wake of Paul Massey’s withdrawal from the race.  The Queens Republican Party initially supported Paul Massey, but Massey abruptly announced his withdrawal from the race on June 28th.  As we reported on July 6th, the Queens GOP then set tonight as the date for considering its post-Massey options.  Continue reading Going, Going … Bo?

Malliotakis Money: July Edition (Updated)

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis raised $250,00 in the two month reporting period that ended last week. It was a decent, but far from outstanding, fundraising performance for the expected Republican nominee in her first full reporting period.  Malliotakis joined the race in April, about two weeks before the previous reporting deadline, and reported raising about $94,000 in that truncated period.  With reported expenses of $64,000 this period, Malliotakis ended the reporting period with $275,000 in cash on hand.

Malliotakis’ financial picture may markedly improve with matching funds from the City’s Campaign Finance Board.  An analysis by Politico estimated that based on her reported fundraising Malliotakis may receive just over $600,000 in City matching funds, which are given at a 6-1 ratio for qualifying contributions.  Malliotakis has not yet qualified for the program, however, and her receiving matching funds therefor remains uncertain.  Time is short for Malliotakis, with a limited opportunity to reduce the large current fundraising gap with her expected general election rival, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who reported $2.5 million cash on hand in the prior (mid-May) report. Continue reading Malliotakis Money: July Edition (Updated)