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Friday, March 29, 2013

NYC Reporters Sharing the Burden On Paid Sick Leave Deal With Bill de Blasio

A lot has been said about Christine Quinn's dominating the political discourse now that she has compromised and taken a lead on passing the sick pay leave bill, especially after Mike Bloomberg vowed to veto it. 

There is also no doubt that no one lost more from this deal than it's main advocate: Bill de Blasio. As Chris Bragg writes: "Now, he has to make a very complicated argument to voters—that the deal didn't go far enough—even as both advocates and opponents have largely been co-opted into supporting the final agreement. Who in the media is going to pay attention to his attacks against Ms. Quinn on the issue now? And what other clear points of policy difference are there between Mr. de Blasio and Ms. Quinn that could animate the progressive base Mr. de Blasio is counting on? And with 32BJ likely going into Ms. Quinn's camp, his chances of landing the key Working Families Party endorsement are looking slimmer."

McDonald and Thompson Among The Losers of the Week

Two of the mayoral candidates managed to get into City and Stae NY's list of losers of the week.

George McDonald - for failing to match ground with his two rivals in the Republican primary. And Bill Thompson - for siding with Kelly on the Inspector General issue, which didnt play out too well and appealing to his Democratic party base of voters, and for violating the City's campaign finance board's campaign contribution laws. 

Quinn Deflates de Blasio's Campaign Theme With Paid Sick Deal

“It protects people, protects small businesses and I’m incredibly proud with this final piece of legislation,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as she stood with her fellow lawmakers on the steps of City Hall to officially announce the 'Paid Sick Leave' agreement, which was reached Thursday night. 

Under the bill proposed, businesses with 20 or more employees would be required to provide five paid sick days to their workers beginning April 1, 2014 and to businesses with 15 or more employees by October 1, 2015. Quinn called it a “good, strong, and sensible piece of legislation that recognizes the needs of everyday New Yorkers and the realities that our struggling small businesses face.”

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In 1999 Profile, Joe Lhota Is Described as 'Calm, Easy Going and Quirky' In City Hall

While Mayor Giuliani was known for his temper, Joe Lhota, who served as his deputy mayor and is now a Republican candidate for mayor of NYC, was described in a NY Times profile in 1999 "as the most easygoing member of the Mayor's tightly knit, tightly wound inner circle. While he can bluster as expertly as any other Giuliani aide, Mr. Lhota is better known for what sets him apart: his willingness to talk openly and his insouciant humor, which make him one of the quirkiest personalities in City Hall."

Unlike his Democratic counterpart, City Council speaker Christine Quinn, who was described in an extensive NY times piece by Mike Grynbaum and David Chen this week as "controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile," Joe Lhota's work at City Hall was described as totally the opposite: A calm voice for a combative mayor.

'If I Was A Democrat' Giuliani Likes Quinn and Thompson For Mayor

Rudy Giuliani, known currently as the backbone behind Joe Lhota’s bid for mayor, offered his reference to Michael Howard Saul of the WSJ, were he a Democratic primary voter. During an interview discussing Quinn's push for an inspector general, Giuliani said he would have difficulty choosing between Quinn and Thompson.

“I worked with Billy and I found him to be a very honorable man and a very level-headed man,” Giuliani said. “A lot of the stuff he thinks, I don’t agree with. But if you’re asking me which one would be the better chief executive, it would be between the two of them.”

Asked by the WSJ if he is frustrated about Bloomberg’s apparent support for Quinn instead of Lhota, the former mayor replied: “Well, let’s see how long that lasts, right?”

Joe Lhota's Museum Controversy That Might Haunt Him as A Candidate To Handle A Diverse City

Joe Lhota's handling of 1999 Museum controversy may come to haunt him shall he become the Republican nominee for mayor, raising questions about how he would operate in a diverse city whose current mayor champions unpleasant speech from every quarter.

In 1999, Lhota, as deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration threatened to cut funding and evict the Brooklyn Museum over a controversial piece of art that incorporated elephant feces in a depiction of the Virgin Mary. "The mayor and Mr. Lhota decided this exhibition offended their sensibilities. O.K. Then they said that if the museum did not kill it, they might evict it," Michael Powell recalled in a December article. Mr. Lhota offered his “8-year-old rule”: “I would not want my daughter to see a naked man, a statue or a caricature or a painting.”

Did Queens Senator, Serphin Maltese Sell His Endorsement of Catsimatidis?

Republican mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis was endorsed Tuesday afternoon by former State Senator Serphin R. Maltese of Queens. Maltese, who also served as Queens County Republican Party Chairman, called Catsimatidis “the only candidate, Republican or Democrat who has the hands on experience needed to run a city like New York.”

Short of Money, Mayoral Hopeful McDonald Drops Oppo Memo Against Lhota

While Catsimatidis is touting on his Democratic background as an electability argument against Joe Lhota in the Republican primary, Goerge McDonald, who is running low in campaign funds, is doing the opposite. In an internal six-page memo leaked to the WSJ (intentionally?), the McDonald campaign has decided the path to victory is by going on offense to explain Republican voters why Joe Lhota is "simply unelectable." 

"The paradoxical challenge of Lhota's campaign strategy is that to win the primary he must closely identify with Mayor Giuliani but in doing so he creates a political environment that is simply insurmountable in the general election," according to the March 25 memo sent to the McDonald campaign's finance-committee members.

Twitter Debates: Was NYT's Temperament Profile of Christie Quinn Sexist?

Unapologetic Quinn Pushes Back on National TV: At Times I Get Emotional and Forceful

What Mitt Romney used to tout his love for America, Christine Quinn is now using the same terminology "No Apology' to express her love for New York City.


Mayoral hopeful, Christine Quinn denied on national TV that she had used the power of her office to avenge grievances with elected officials who disagreed with her. "I am not going to apologize for that because that has made us efficient and more focused on the needs of New Yorkers," Ms. Quinn told CNN. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In Private, Quinn Acts Like A Spoiled Brat- Caning Colleagues With Taxpayers Money

The City's Mayoral front-runner may have a nice story to tell and a personal charm to sell, but indoors she's a spoiled rotten brat, the NY Times reports. Speaking to the NY Times, some of Christine Quinn's friends and colleagues have confessed about the other side of Ms. Quinn: "controlling, temperamental and surprisingly volatile, with a habit of hair-trigger eruptions of unchecked, face-to-face wrath."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Some Mayoral Candidates Will Be Celebrating Passover Over Matzah andMaror

As president Obama has been doing since he came into office in 2009, some of the mayoral candidates, who are running in a city that is the largest gathering of Jews outside Israel, will be celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover by attending a Seder night over Matzah and Maror.

Thompson's Greater Challenge To Keep His Base Assembled

John Liu and Bill de Blasio are not only a threat to Christine Quinn, holding her off from a decisive victory in the first round and avoiding a 1-one-1 run-off, but also a challenge facing Mr. Thompson as he tries to win the Democratic mayoral primary and the mayoral race in the general.

Thompson's campaign admits they are banking on at least 70% of the African American voters and a substantial chunk of the Latino vote, who together are expected to make up almost 50% of the primary electorate. If he can do that, and win a large percentage of Orthodox Jews, as he expressed at a recent visit in Borough Park, he would be a formidable contender in the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

2nd Catsimatidis Radio Ad: Pataki is Right, NY Needs John Catsimatidis

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Trump Not Yet Settled On Preferred Mayoral Candidate

Donald Trump, who had all of the GOP presidential candidates seek his support in 2012, says he is friendly with some of the candidates who are running, and that he his not yet fixed on expressing support for a preferred candidate as of now.

"I am friendly with many of them, including John Catsimatidis, there are some good people running. I will make a decision in the next few months," Trump told Page Six for Sunday's New York Post.

Friday, March 22, 2013

McDonald Vows Standing Strong Despite Weak Position

"Oh Right, that's because we are in court and the judge hasn't ruled yet," mayoral candidate George McDonald's response was as I approached him in the spin room over his poor showing in the latest financial disclosure. According to the Daily News, McDonald, who's been accepting over-limit donations while fighting the giving laws, raised a mere $21,204 between Jan. 12 and March 13th.

The Angry Old Guy That Stole The Show At the Mayoral Debate

The star of the night at the 92Y was neither of the candidates running for mayor, but a 89 year old guy who complained about too many express vs. too little local buses. 

Catsimatidis: It Takes A Fusion Ticket For A Republican To Win The Mayoral Race

"It's all about winning. It all about making sure one of us wins. You need the money, and you the need the ability to appeal," Business mogul John Catsimatidis modified his message in his closing argument at the 92Y mayoral debate sponsored by the New York Observer.

"A pure Republican can't win, It's impossible" Catsimatidis elaborated following the debate, in a brief conversation with NYC Elects. "When Romney lost in NYC 80-19, a pure Republican can't win." he added.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brooklyn DA 2013 Race heating UP - Abe George Reaching Out For Jewish Vote

Abe George, who is challenging the 24-year incumbent Charles Hynes for the Brooklyn DA office, has bought some ad space in this week's Orthodox Jewish Newspapers ahead of the Passover holiday, NYC Elects has learned. Mr. George has recently undertaken the task of directly reaching out to the Orthodox community for support, amid great outrage within the community against Hynes schooling the Jewish community for numerous rotten apples. 

Catsimatidis: GOP Council Caucus Endorsement Not In The Best Interest of GOP

While John Catsimatidis formally counted on the support of the Bronx county committee, Catsimatidis says he fully understands Savino had no choice but to publicly back Lhoa. 

By not supporting Lhota, the Bronx boss would put himself at direct odds with the City Council's Republican caucus, which hasn't yet agreed to return Savino ally J.C. Polanco to the Board of Elections.“I believe that Jay wanted to support me, and he was pressured by people who control the Board of Elections to swing their way -- or else his people would lose their jobs. Over 30 jobs are involved. And I told Jay I understand," Catismatidis told Celeste Katz. 

Mayoral Panel Discussed Who Should, Would, Could Be The Next Mayor Of NYC

At a panel discussing the mayoral race, the uncertainty in the volatile race seemed to be the only issue that had a broad understanding between the panelists at the table. The insightful discussion called “Who Should Be the Next Mayor of New York” was moderated by Fred Siegel, St. Francis College’s Scholar in Residence, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. Panelists included Harry Siegel (The Daily Beast), as well as John Avlon (CNN), Michael Powell (New York Times), Maggie Haberman (Politico), and Michael Meyers (New York Civil Rights Coalition).

Adolfo Carrion Losing Last Hope for GOP Primary Entry

As we reported last week, Joe Lhota has picked up the endorsement of another county committee  thus dealing a severe blow to the candidacy of Adolfo Carrion, now losing his magic entry to participate in the Republican primary. 

On the same day that he received the endorsement of the city's council members, Joe Lhota has racked up the endorsement of Bronx County GOP Chairman Jay Savino, the Daily Politics blog has learned. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Running for Mayor? Tweet or Die!

You gotta sympathize with Joe Lhota, if you're a fellow tweep. Prior to launching his mayoral bid in January   former MTA chairman Joe Lhota was an extremely prolific Twitter user. Since hitting the campaign trail, Mr. Lhota has made far fewer posts on the social media site and stopped tweeting the witticisms he was previously known for. 

When Hunter Walker from Politicker saw Mr. Lhota at lunch yesterday, he asked him why he reduced his Twitter presence. Mr. Lhota attributed his lower Twitter profile to instructions from his campaign press team, specifically, his spokeswoman Susan Del Percio. “I eventually will get back. You know I get handled by my press people,” said Mr. Lhota. “Susan, she threatened me, so I have to be careful.” 

NYT: Mayoral Contributions Dramatically Down Since 2001

John Liu Opens Up: I've Been Running For Mayor Since 2009

Mayoral candidate John Liu, who has dominated the race since he has officially kicked off his campaign in a 14 hour tour on Sunday, opened up to the press. Asked, by Colin Campbell  when he decided to pursue the job of mayor, he said, "Probably from the moment I got elected comptroller."

Queens GOP Rising Star Calls On 'Buffoon' Catsdimatidis To Drop Out

While He has managed to ramp up support among county chairs and local individuals, Billionaire John Catsimatidis got hit in the head by non other than one of the Queens GOP rising stars, Councilman Eric Ulrich.

 "He’s a buffoon -- and he will never get elected mayor in New York," said Ulrich at a Wednesday press conference. 

Hamodia Highlight Charles Barron's Endorsement of John Liu

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rock Star, Defiant Representitve or a Cult Leader? Liu Shakes Up Mayoral Campaign

John Liu officially entered the crowded field of mayoral candidates with a 15 hour kick off tour Sunday, tailed by family members, supporters and tired NYC reporters.

Some viewed the chaotic scene and over flowed crowd of supports at the steps of City Hall as a treatment of a rock star:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bill Thompson Assures Wary Jewish Community He can Win And Deliver

In the event of so many campaign announcements and Borough tours, Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson met Sunday evening with a dozen of Jewish community leaders and politicos at the Avenue Plaza Hotel in Borough Park. "You are looking at the next mayor of New York, without any doubt," said Rabbi Freilich.

Mr. Thompson, who remembers that Borough Park handed over victory to Mayor Bloomberg in 2009, faced a tougher crowd than expected, with questions about vouchers, transportation, public safety, taxes and  unions covering the entire Q&A. While Thompson seemed to be on the defensive (after all this is a district that has voted for Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani in the highest numbers) he also deferred concerns of a future Democratic administration after 20 years of Republican/Independent control of City Hall.

Bill de Blasio Kicks Off Charm Offensive Tour Courting The Jewish Vote

"This community will be crucial," Bill de Blasio started off his remarks at a breakfast with Jewish community leaders and politicos, hosted by Leon Goldberg from Agudath Israel. Mayor "Bloomberg came to you in 2009, but didn't tell you why it was that crucial. I can tell you upfront because it will be a close election," Mr. de Blasio added.

This is the age of close elections," Mr. de Blasio continued. "But I think we have all gotten the memo that every single vote counts."

Chaotic Start To John Liu's Lefty Campaign Kick Off

It didn't go too well for John Liu on Sunday as he officially kicked off his mayoral campaign. From a more calmer 5-Borough tour, to the chaotic kick off rally at City Hall, to his over chewed exaggerated stories, City Comptroller John Liu seemed to have started the campaign for mayor with a left foot, and a turn left (A Yiddish Term to א לינקע פיס).

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mayoral Candidates Attend Launch of American Muslim Democratic Club

About 60 activists and the Democratic mayoral candidates celebrated the launch of New York City's first Muslim Democratic Club Thursday evening.

City Comptroller John Liu, and Sal Albanese, a former Democratic Councilman from Bay Ridge, were the only two candidates to attend the event. Representatives for New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former comptroller Bill Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio were also in attendance.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lhota Warns: 'Fragile' City Situation Could Regress in a Democratic Administration

"Many of you don't look old enough to remember what the city was like 20 years ago," Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota told a small gathering of young Brooklyn Republicans on Sunday. "The changes that have been made since then in quality of life, in reduction in crime and what's happened all throughout the city have been nothing short of spectacular."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Catsimatidis Ramps Up Early GOP Support

John Catsimatidis might not be considered the favorite in the GOP primary to take on the Democratic mayoral nominee, but he is definitely ramping up early support among the party's power brokers.

A source close to the three-term Republican governor, George Pataki, told the NY Post that Pataki could announce his support of his fellow Republican as soon as this week. “It’s expected soon,” the Pataki insider said.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

PHOTOS: Mayoral Candidates Attend COJO of Flatbush Breakfast

Bill de Blasio Presents "Women for de Blasio" On Quinn's Day

As the first-to-be-female-mayor of NYC kicked off her first day of campaigning, mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio didn't waste time, even as the traditional note would leave Christine Quinn in the spotlight for her first day as a candidate. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, had his own launch event for “Women for de Blasio.” 

Tidbits From The Trail: Quinn Kicks Off "Walk and Schmooze" Tour

Quinn Launches Mayoral Campaign with Video and 5 Borough "Walk and Talk"

Christine Quinn, New York City's council speaker, announced Sunday that she is officially running for the mayor’s office.

Announcing on Twitter (@Quinn4NY) that she's in the race, Quinn said she wanted to give middle- and working-class New Yorkers the same opportunities generations of her family got when they came here. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Interview: BP Hopeful Eric Adams Discredits Anti-Semitic Accusations

In a blog comment and a follow up email conversation, Gatemouth argued that there is no public statement that show Eric Adams apologize for offending the Jewish community and supporting the nation of Islam.

"In order for me to apologize for something, I would have to have said something anti the Jewish community or antisemitic," Mr. Adams told me in a brief conversation. Gatemouth, Mr. Adams claims took Farrakhan and Khalid's language and made it seem as if he were supportive of what they were saying.

Bill de Blasio's War on Buggies

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has pledged that one of his 'first acts' as the city's chief executive would be to get Central Park's carriage horses off the streets, David Seifman reports. 

"I would ban the horse carriages in Central Park within the first week on the job," de Blasio told a midtown forum Tuesday night sponsored by several Democratic progressive groups. "I think it's horrible what happens to the horses. I think it's unnecessary and doesn't do anything for our economy, much to the chagrin of the mayor who thinks it's at the center of our tourism economy." 

Former SI Congressman Endorses Catsimatidis for Mayor

Former Staten Island GOP Congressman Vito Fossella, who quit Congress amid a love child scandal in 2008, is making a big political splash – endorsing billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis for mayor, The NY Post has learned. 

“My candidate for mayor is John Catsimatidis. I will do whatever I can to help him,” Fossella said. “John is a wonderful, amazing guy. I admire his accomplishments. There’s not a guy out there who is more real. I know his passion for New York City,” Fossella added. 

New NYC Muslim Democratic Club To Help Elect 'Responsible' Dems

For the first time in the city, a group of political activists have launched a new club called: The 'Muslim Democratic Club of New York,' Azi Paybarah reports. In an email message to supporters and the media, the group inviting them to a March 14 kick-off event in Manhattan. , 

The organization, that describes itself as a "New York City-based organization of American Muslims" who are "dedicated to helping elect responsible Democrats to local office" includes a handful of political operatives, such as Ali Najmi, a former New York City Council staffer, and Umair Khan, a staffer for State Senator Kevin Parker.   

Pataki Rightman Fundraising for Lhota Ahead of March Report Deadline

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota is getting a fundraising assist from ex-Gov. George Pataki just hours before the CFB deadline - March 13th, Celeste Katz reports.

"Joe is a dedicated public servant and a successful private sector executive. He served as Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Deputy Mayor and has worked tirelessly for all New Yorkers," John Cahill, who served as Pataki's senior advisor and COS, wrote in an email invite for the Manhattan fundraiser benefiting Lhota. "I know we can elect Joe as our next Mayor and win this race.But more importantly, we must win this race so New York continues to flourish," Cahill continued.

Orthodox Paper Conceals Hikind, Highlights McDonald, Adams Controversies

UPDATED: The Brooklyn Orthodox paper Hamodia, that covered up for Assemblyman Dov Hikind by not reporting a word about the Purim 'Blackface' controversy, highlighted in Thursday's newspaper Mayoral candidate' George McDonald's comments about Jailing more blacks. The news review of the NYC 2013 race also included Beep candidate Eric Adams' past controversial comments about Jews, as revealed by Gatemouth, despite the fact that Adams was never asked to adress the issue in public, and has ever since earned praise and welcomed by events of all local Jewish organizations. Not to mention a number of leaders that participated at his kick off campaign rally. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Catsimatidis Touts Jewish Friendship and Religious Freedom Protectionism

“God has been good to us. New York City has been good to us. That’s why I want to give back," Mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis told The Jewish Voice in an interview published this week. "I think every successful citizen should give back. Remember what John Kennedy said – ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.’ People don’t believe that anymore. I want to give back [because] in the end I don’t need any money, I don’t need anything. Bloomberg works for a dollar – I’m going to work for 99 cents."

Joe Lhota Disdains Debate Moderator for Calling Giuliani a 'Jerk'

Joe Lhota may have won the first GOP debate by a single shot. Newt Gingrich's John King moment in the SC primary debate has turned into a tactical  game changer for candidates seeking the spotlight. The most memorable moment of the Wednesday morning forum, sponsored by Crain's New York Business, came ahead of the closing statements, when Crain's columnist Greg David, in a question posed to Mr. Lhota, called former Mayor Rudy Giuliani a "jerk."

Republican Mayoral Candidates Debate Winning Formula in D-Dominated City

What happens when a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent and a Liberal enter a room together? It's a Republican mayoral debate. At least that was the impression of the first GOP mayoral debate hosted by Crains New York business in Manhattan Wednesday morning.

Three of the five candidates participating at the candidate forum are former Democrats who are seeking the Republican nomination; the other describes himself as a 'Clinton Democrat' or rather a 'Republicat' in short. Joe Lhota was the only pure Republican in the room; thus that was heart of the discussion - whether a pure Republican can win a mayoral contest in NYC.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bill Thompson Travels to DC To Celebrate Israel

video by @gifterphotos

Former City Comptroller and Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson traveled all the way to Washington to attend  the Iron Dome Tribute Luncheon arranged by the Friedlander group. The event, that also served as a memorial for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, was participated by a bipartisan array of U.S.Senators and Congressmen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Christine Quinn Might Lose Key Endorsement From Home Chelsea Club

What happens to many politician once they rise to power and are given the keys to the palace. City Council Speaker might soon learn on her own flesh what you get for neglecting your district and the consequences following for  making it difficult for community groups and residents to access her. 

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn might lose the endorsement of the political club that launched her to power, New York has learned. The Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, a bastion of progressive politicians since 1958, helped transform Quinn from a young housing advocate to the City Council Speaker. But now, many Chelsea residents, dissatisfied both with her performance representing their neighborhood and her job as speaker, have joined the club in a bid to ensure anyone but Quinn wins its mayoral endorsement. 

John Liu Goes Large In Suggesting 60% Hike For Minimum Wage

Last night at a mayoral forum about poverty, City comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu suggested a dramatic 60% increase of the minimum wage. "In New York City, we need a minimum wage of 11.50 an hour," Liu said. Of course, the crowd gathered roared with approval, Dana Rubenstein reports.

"Let me tell you something," said Liu. "Nine dollars buys you a lot more in Buffalo than it does in Brooklyn or the Bronx."