Donovan’s visit began in the upstairs temple area, as a Hindu priest chanted prayers and bestowed a blessing on Donovan. At the conclusion of the blessing, the priest and temple leaders wrapped a shawl around Donovan, in what they described as a sign of respect.
It was Rudy Giuliani Time today on Staten Island’s South Shore, as he swept through in support of Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan. Greeting shoppers at a Hylan Boulevard ShopRite, visiting the NYPD’s 122nd Precinct and stopping at the Arrochar Friendship Club Giuliani was an effective surrogate, drawing attention to Donovan and to the upcoming unusual Spring election on his second visit in five days for Donovan. Our photo gallery of Giuliani’s visit is here.
For Donovan, already well-known on Staten Island, the Giuliani visits have been an effective way to connect with his base. Giuliani remains extraordinarily popular with them and using his star power to draw the base out, rather than attempting to sway non-Donovan voters, is a meaningful boost for Donovan.
Giuliani received an extremely warm reception in all three spots, with a few additional warm wishes shouted from passing cars as he and Donovan walked from the ShopRite to the 122nd Precinct. “Rudy, we need you back” drew an appreciate chuckle.
Does Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan support congressional Republican efforts to block the use of social security retirement taxes to fund social security disability payments? It’s hard to say.
The social security disability fund is projected to be unable to pay it’s full obligations as soon as next year. In the past, social security disability payments have been partly funded with money intended for the bigger and better-funded social security retirement account. Congressional Republicans have begun moving to block such transfers, with a social security disability funding shortfall projected to occur in 2016. Donovan often speaks of the importance of “protecting” social security, but without a detailed discussion of what that would entail. Should he be elected he’ll be part of a House Republican Conference intent on reducing social security benefits, however.
Donovan responded to my question seeking his view on the possible funding transfer by discussing the importance of addressing fraudulent claims. That’s important, but not a solution to the difficult challenge of funding social security disability payments. When pressed, he spoke of the importance of preserving the “trust fund”, suggesting that he would not support diverting retirement account money from the “trust fund” to make disability payments.
Does Staten Island District Attorney and Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan share Rudy Giuliani’s view that Mayor Bill de Blasio bears some responsibility for the murders of NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu? It’s hard to say, as Donovan avoided directly answering that question on Tuesday. At a Donovan fundraiser Saturday Giuliani asked the crowd “do you think [the killer] would have shown up here when I was mayor?”
Here’s how Donovan responded when I asked him whether he shares Giuliani’s view:
“It’s a Republican.” That was Dan Donovan’s frequent reply as he worked the crowd at the Mount Loretto Friendship Club, a senior center at the southwest corner of Staten Island on Tuesday. Sharing that, at age 58, he’s about have his first child produced excitement, some applause and a bit of befuddlement with many asking the age old question: Boy or girl?
Dan Donovan’s Saturday morning fundraiser featured Rudy Giuliani. Although Giuliani praised Donovan his primary focus was attacking Democrats, especially President Barack Obama and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Here’s a brief excerpt in which Giuliani essentially lays blame for the December murders of NYPD Detectives Ramos and Liu on Bill de Blasio:
Dan Donovan dismissed complaints that he’s participated in too few forums and confirmed that he does not plan to attend any additional candidate forums or debates ahead of the May 5th 11th Congressional District special election. Donovan has participated in three forums/debates, not attending an additional four forums held by various groups. We spoke with Donovan outside of a Chinatown press conference where he received the endorsement of the Lin Sing Association.
During an 11th Congressional District candidate debate Tuesday evening, both Republican Dan Donovan and Democrat Vincent Gentile acknowledged smoking marijuana. The question was posed during a “lightning round” by moderator Errol Louis in which the candidates were asked for yes/no answers (and occurs at about 35:45). As the Staten Island District Attorney Donovan oversees prosecution of marijuana and other drug charges.
After the debate I asked Donovan when and how frequently he had smoked marijuana:
NY1 and the Staten Island Advance hosted an 11th Congressional District candidate debate Tuesday evening between Republican Dan Donovan and Democrat Vincent Gentile. Held at the College of Staten Island, the debate topics ranged from whether the candidates have ever smoked marijuana to how to deal with Israel, Iran and the deep issues raised by President Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration.
Both candidates spoke with the press following the debate.
During a candidate debate hosted by NY1 and the Staten Island Advance Republican Dan Donovan appeared to not know the federal minimum wage. His Democratic opponent, Vincent Gentile, asked him that question during a “cross examination” portion of the debate (at about 31:00). When asked about it during a post-debate Q&A with reporters, Donovan denied hearing the question as posed.
Gentile: Here’s what Gentile had to say about his minimum wage question and Donovan’s response when speaking with reporters after the debate.
The race to succeed Michael Grimm moved ahead Tuesday evening as three candidates met for a sharp, sometimes raucous debate. Democratic Party candidate Vincent Gentile, Green Party candidate James Lane and Republican/Conservative/Independence parties candidate Dan Donovan faced off in Bay Ridge in front of a crowd of more than 100 people.
The evening began with opening statements and then moved entirely to questions asked by the audience. Many were solid, meaningful questions even if they often made clear the questioner’s view on the answer.
Here are a few observations on the candidates and the race, with video of the complete debate at the bottom of this post.
Offering a position contrary to most of his party, Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan expressed support for President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General of the United States. A vote on Lynch’s nomination has been blocked by Senate Republicans. Although only the Senate votes on such nominations, Donovan has a worthwhile perspective. He’s the Staten Island District Attorney and his jurisdiction of Richmond County falls within Lynch’s jurisdiction as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
I asked Donovan about the the Lynch nomination following an 11th Congressional District candidate debate in Bay Ridge. Here’s what he had to say.
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