Dietl Calls On Malliotakis To Drop Out

Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl, running on a self-created ballot line, called on Republican/Conservative mayoral nominee Nicole Malliotakis to withdraw from the race.  Dietl issued a press release and spoke at a candidate forum last night urging his rival to end her candidacy.  We spoke at length with Dietl after the forum; video excerpts of our conversation are below.

Malliotakis’ withdrawal would significantly help Dietl, but it’s extremely unlikely to happen.  Dietl and Malliotakis each dramatically trail Mayor Bill de Blasio in public polls, with both of them barely into double digit support.  Either ending their candidacy would help the other, but there’s little incentive for Malliotakis to do so.

Dietl mostly offered that he’s better able to defeat de Blasio as his main argument for Malliotakis to withdraw.  He gave a brief policy-based argument, saying that Malliotakis opposed a minimum wage increase, opposed same-sex marriage and opposed MTA funding and is therefor out of synch with the majority of New York voters.  He also criticized her participation in the City’s campaign matching funds program.  Finally, Dietl had harsh criticism of New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox.


Here’s an edited version of our exchange.  We spoke just after Dietl’s appearance at a Bay Terrace candidate forum.

Bo & Sal

“Hey Sal, boy he bitch-slapped you the other night” is rarely a good greeting for a a mayoral candidate, but that’s how mayoral candidate Sal Albanese was greeted by fellow mayoral candidate Bo Dietl last night outside a candidate forum hosted by the Bay Terrace Community Alliance. Diet had just finished a interview when Albanese walked past, headed in to the forum.  Diet called out in a friendly voice but with a message undoubtedly displeasing to Albanese, focused on Albanese’s on-on-one debate Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Stop with that, we did pretty well”replied Albanese as they shook hands.  “We don’t do violence” thumped Albanese as he turned and continued in after Dietl lamented Albanese failing to give de Blasio a “right hook.”  “He needs a little violenceatation” countered a smiling Dietl.  (Dietl once dismissed rival candidate Paul Massey as not having “enough umpatation.”)

Here’s a look:

Malliotakis Press Conference: Rivington House

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Republican public advocate candidate J.C. Polanco held a press conference today in front of Rivington House, the former nursing home entangled in a de Blasio administration scandal.  Malliotakis and Polanco sought to draw renewed attention to the tangled tale of Rivington House and to the relationship of Mayor de Blasio and lobbyist Jame Capalino.  Capalino was a key figure in the elimination of Rivington House deed restrictions that opened the possibility of a for-profit real estate project at Rivington House.

Question topics included Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that he’ll convene a commission to review removing public art honoring Confederate and other figures, the Democratic mayoral candidate debate to be held tonight and Malliotakis’ pledge to release her assembly emails.

Here is the full press conference:

Dietl For Faulkner

Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl offered a seemingly impromptu endorsement of Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner last night.  Both candidates had just exited a candidate forum at St. John’s University, with Dietl headed off after speaking to a few reporters.  As Faulkner stepped forward to speak with the press Dietl returned and made his statement.

Faulkner did not reciprocate with an endorsement of Dietl’s independent candidacy.  After ending his mayoral campaign and switching to the comptroller’s race Faulkner initially endorsed Paul Massey.  He has not formally endorsed Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis, but he has expressed support for her.  At a joint August 4th press conference Faulkner said that “we all hope and pray [that Malliotakis] will be our next mayor.”

Dietl Punch

Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl said he would like to punch Mayor Bill de Blasio, although he later tried to minimize the literalness of his comment.  A candidate forum hosted by the Queens Tribune and St. John’s University Tuesday night included a “lightning round” question asking which council member or citywide elected official each candidate would most and least like to be stuck in an elevator with.  Dietl named de Blasio as the official he would most like to be stuck in an elevator with “so I could punch him.”  When asked afterwards (by the Post‘s Rich Calder) about his comment Dietl offered that “you can’t talk violence,” but proceeded to describe his disdain for de Blasio.

Malliotakis On Statues

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis was critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intention to create a commission to consider removing statues and other public art honoring Confederate soldiers and other public figures whose actions are regarded as dishonorable.  Responding to a series of questions from Erin Durkin of the Daily News and Yoav Gonen of the Post, Malliotakis asserted that de Blasio’s announced intention has “caused tremendous division in our City” and that he’s acted solely to seek publicity.  She later said, however, that de Blasio should not have announced his intended review, but instead should have had “individuals quietly go around the City” to look at and consider public art for removal.

Malliotakis also criticized de Blasio’s stated 90 day goal for the review, noting that the timeframe places completion after November’s election.  She demanded that any such review be completed and announced before the election.  Asked for her view on several specific statues Malliotakis said that she believes the statue of Christopher Columbus (who she errantly referred to as “the founder of our nation”) in Columbus Circle should stay.

Malliotakis On Dem Debate

She’ll be watching.  Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis was an emphatic “yes” when I asked whether she plans to watch the Democratic mayoral debate tonight between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sal Albanese.  Urging “everyone in the City to watch,” Malliotakis cast the debate as the “beginning of holding Mayor Bill de Blasio accountable” with the public able to see “what’s happening in this City.”

Here’s our exchange:

Queens Trib Forum Lightning Round

The Queens Tribune and St. John’s University hosted an unusual candidate forum Tuesday evening, putting Democratic and Republican mayoral, comptroller and public advocate candidates together on stage for two hours.  Participating candidates included mayoral candidates Nicole Malliotakis, Bo Dietl, Sal Albanese, David Bashner and Mike Tolkin, comptroller candidates Scott Stringer and Michel Faulkner and public advocate candidates David Eisenbach and J.C. Polanco.

We’ll begin near the end, with the Lightning Round questions:

Update – Full Forum:

Here is the full forum:

Malliotakis On Dietl

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis professed to be unconcerned about rival candidate Bo Dietl, trying to instead focus on Bill de Blasio in a brief discussion today.  Malliotakis is the only Republican who qualified for the primary and will therefor be the Republican nominee, de Blasio is widely expected to easily win the Democratic primary and Dietl has filed petitions seeking to be on a self-created line in the general election.

Dietl issued a press release this morning, dubbing himself “Feisty Bo Dietl,” touting his and Malliotakis’ scheduled appearance at a candidate forum Tuesday evening.  I spoke with Malliotakis shortly afterwards, during a visit to Stuyvesant Gardens II, a NYCHA development in Bed-Stuy. Continue reading Malliotakis On Dietl

Malliotakis On Charlottesville: Part 3

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis today offered a more direct criticism of President Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville rally and his Tuesday press conference, saying that she’s “very disappointed in how the president handled the situation.”  Malliotakis also said that the president should have directly attributed the violence in Charlottesville to white supremacists.  Malliotakis previously spoke about Charlottesville in a brief interview with me Sunday and at a press conference Monday.  Her comments received significant criticism, with Mayor de Blasio’s campaign attacking her over her Sunday comments.

Malliotakis quickly pivoted to criticizing Mayor de Blasio for his attacks on her on Charlottesville and for trying “to paint me as … ultra-right wing.”  She described herself as “very offended” at the mayor’s attacks and especially at his use of those attacks to fundraise.  Malliotakis sidestepped a question of whether she’s concerned about the effect of Trump’s words on Republican candidates here in New York City, saying that “every individual should be judged on what they say, what they propose, and not by anybody else in their party” and analogized having a mayor and governor who “don’t see eye to eye” to her differences with President Trump.  Malliotakis then returned to criticizing Mayor de Blasio’s performance in office, saying that he should defend his record rather than attempt to “tie me to the one guy who has an 18% approval rating in the City of New York.”

We spoke today following a Staten Island press conference in which Malliotakis and fellow Staten Island Republican Assembly Member Ron Castorina, Jr. called for additional stop signs on roads near schools.

Here’s our exchange:

Update – Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.

Malliotakis Plan Lacks Cost Analysis

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis unveiled a plan to expand the City’s services aimed at assisting the severely mentally ill, but was unable to provide any estimate of the overall cost of her multi-point plan or how she would pay such costs.  Speaking Monday at a City Hall press conference, Malliotakis outlined a twelve point plan, available on her campaign website, which includes extensive legal efforts at locating and mandating treatment of mentally ill persons, building 30,000 units of supportive housing and expanding the psychiatric bed capacity in City hospitals.

I asked Malliotakis for the estimated cost of these extensive increases in City services and whether she intends to reduce other City spending in order to pay for these expanded services.  She did not provide any cost estimates, arguing only that on a per-person cost creating supportive housing units will ultimately reduce City spending as such housing is less expensive than the cost of incarceration.  While her proposal appears to be a serious effort at addressing very difficult problems, a cost estimate is a fundamental part of moving any such ideas to reality.  Malliotakis has frequently criticized the growth in the City budget under Mayor de Blasio, but has not publicly identified any reductions that she supports.  Estimating a cost of this plan is a necessary element of deciding whether to further increase the City budget with the costs of this plan or to select other City spending to cut as a source of funding.


Here’s our exchange, with followup questions from Anna Sanders of the Staten Island Advance and Jill Jorgensen of the Daily News:

City Mental Health Services & Trump

Those were the two primary topics of Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ press conference this morning, the first by design and the second by circumstance.  Malliotakis held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to promote a plan to significantly expand City services for severely mentally ill persons.  She was joined by DJ Jaffe, an advocate and executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org.

Malliotakis’ plan calls for action in several categories, including expanded legal efforts to compel hospitalization via use of “Kendra’s Law,” review expiring orders of protection, scrutinize mentally ill inmates before release, expand mental health courts and psychiatric capacity of hospitals, support relevant non-profit agencies and greatly expand the number of supportive housing units.  Malliotakis did not provide a cost estimate for the wide range of expanded services, offering only the general proposition that keeping mentally ill persons out of prison will be a cost-saver.

Malliotakis was again asked about Charlottesville and President Trump’s “many sides” statement.  (My exchange with Malliotakis on this topic Sunday is available here.)  As detailed in an earlier post, Malliotakis today characterized the Charlottesville violence as “disgusting” and decried the use of “Nazi flags, KKK propaganda” but tried to avoid addressing Trump’s statement.  Initially saying that she had not seen the president’s Saturday statement, Malliotakis eventually said that the president “should have been more forceful” in his statement.


Here is the full press conference (Q&A begins at 15:40):

Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.