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John Catsimatidis: 
"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.

Touting his Democrat appeal and closeness with Bill Clinton, Catsimatidis pointed out "It's all about winning in November  and make sure the city goes in the right direction. It takes money. Mr. McDonald doesn't have it, and Mr. Lhota has to raise 5-6 Million dollars in order to compete. But with us, we have the money to make a difference, and I think it takes a fusion ticket to win," he asserted.

While Mr. Catsimatidis  is using his fortune and ability to self fund his campaign  to make the electability case, he also sought to present himself  as an advocate for small business owners. "I feel their pain," he said about struggling small business owners in the city, adding the amount of ticket he  is paying to the city on parking tickets and 'water bills up to the zoo'. Mr. Catsimatidis said he would create a business advocate department for small businesses, just like the consumers have a consumer advocate department, so small business owners have some place to go. "Small businesses cannot afford to hire lawyers, and you need some place for them to go to voice their concerns," he explained.

Joe Lhota: 
Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota responding to my question why he is more electable than his Republican counterparts.

George McDonald:
"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.

While Joe Lhota touts his experience in the Giuliani administration and his short stay at the MTA as his qualification to take the helm of the city, and while John Catsmaitidis has the money and the electability argument going for himself, Doe Fund founder is laying his hopes in the airwaves.  "I have the message," he told NYC Elects following the mayoral debate hosted at 92Y and sponsored by the NY Observer.

"We are going to start collecting money under the matching funds, and qualify for that," McDonald said of his plan to promote his message. "I believe that will give us sufficient money, $1.5M by August, to be able to get our message out ahead of the Republican primary.

Addressing Catsimatidis's money advantage, McDonald stressed that at a certain point money becomes meaningless  "Ask the woman in Connecticut, Linda McMahon, who ran for Senate twice. She spent 100 million dollars, and she got only 30-40 percent of the vote. So, Money is not always the determining factor," he said. "Of course if you spend a 100 million dollars it does have an impact," Mr. McDonald acknowledged Catsimatidis's strength in the mayoral race, "but I don't think he is going to do that."

"The winning thing about us is our message," he added.

Sal Albanese:
Sal Albanese is a terrific schmoozer. The conversation went on and on, addressing almost every political issue,  for over an hour before his communications director signaled me that they were expecting another one-on-one meeting at the diner. Interestingly enough, Mr. Albanese did find some connection to the Jewish community, a theme sticking to the many GOP candidates. Raised in Park Slope and advancing his public and political career in Bay Ridge  Like Adolfo Carrion, Mr. Albanese says he can describe himself as a cultural Jew. He was even called by some of his friends in college, back in the years, 'Saul'.

As a matter of fact, he points out: "I am the first candidate in this race that went to Israel (in 1986) as an elected official, long before it became the popular thing to do in nowadays just becuase they are running for office to appeal to the Jewish vote."

"I had an interest in Israel, and the Jewish community before these folks were involved," he added.

Expressing confidence in his candidacy, "Who's you base?" I pressed. "The Majority of voters who don't vote in these elections," was his answer. "I want to compete in every neighborhood in this city, adding the Brooklyn is the start off. "I plan to compete heavily in the Jewish community too," he went further in a plan to expand his appeal. "The things that we are saying will resonate well among Jewish voters."

As an Immigrant himself, who didn't know a word of english the first year he came to the United States, Mr. Albanese believes he can relate to the Asian and Latino community which has a large population of immigrants. "My message of Economic development, Education and public safety are something everybody relates to," he said. As a matter of fact, in the latest Marist poll, Mr. Albanese's favorability number were the highest among Latino and Asian voters.

"New Yorkers are better off now than 20 years ago" Mr. Albanese said before explaining where he thinks Mayor Bloomberg (who he refers to as 'Bloomy') went of track as he criticized the latest State of the City speech as 'out of touch'.

Bill Thomspon:
I asked Mr. Thompson whether his confidence that he'll be able to defeat the Republican candidate has also taken in consideration a scenario in which John Catsimatidis wins the Republican primary? "I am confident that if I am the Democratic nominee, and I believe I will,  I believe I will beat whoever my opponent is," he responded. 

Addressing concerns by the audience of a return to the Democratic policies of higher taxes and power the unions have on the Democratic candidates, Mr. Thompson went of the offensive against the current front runner of the Republican primary Joe Lhota. "They are trying to scare you that if a Democrat gets elected as mayor it will all reverse back 20 years or so. But make no mistake, all Rudy Giuliani wants is a 3rd Giuliani administration," Thompson said of Lhota.

In his opening remarks, Thompson touted his years long relationship with the Jewish community, his ability to raise funds to remain competitive and the issues of great concern to the outer boroughs that remain issues close to his heart, which are: Public safety, affordable housing, job growth and the high cost of living. Echoing Quinn and de Blasio, Mr. Thompson also spoke about One New York City that includes the outer boroughs. "New Yorkers want someone that will listen to them, even if they disagree on some of the policies," he said.
The low poll numbers are not an issue of concern, at least that was Mr. Thompson impression. "Nobody that was the front-runner at this point went on to become mayor," He said. "The campaign has just begun," he added. While expressing hope that he will exceed over 70 percent of the Black vote and a substantial amount of the Hispanic vote, "but I need your help, the help of the Jewish Community," he issued a plea. 

"I need your community, I need your help and your support. If I have that, you know something? I am going to the next Mayor of the City of NY. And we will be able to sit down in the futrue, and have conversations about the future of NYC. Those who know me, know the one thing: We may disagree but we will always sit down and talk.You will never be surprised by what i do." Mr. Thompson argued seeking the Jewish community's support.

"And one thing," he continued, "I am not going to be the mayor who can't find his way to Borough Park, or to Flatbush, or to Crown Heights or to Williamsburg. You will be able to find me, I know that," he promised to loud applause. "I know how to get there. I don't need a driver to get there."


  1. Joe Lhota is by far the most qualified and I will be voting for him. When Lhota received the Libertarian nod he gained what could be the magic potion for this crowded race. Republicans are without a doubt a minority in New York and without cross-party support from a third party with some teeth will lose to the Democrat. The principles of the Libertarian party appeal to both disenchanted DEMS and GOP'ers. Watch Lhota receive more endorsements in the next few weeks.

    1. Walter Iwachiw RN SPNP SFNP is the best Republican candidate for Mayor of NYC. Lhota is a failure at the MTA by allowing the tunnels to flood during hurricane Sandy, allowing the subways to be pig pens with peeling pail, garbage and a puppet for cablevision and LI billionaires, participating in organized crime with the re-award of the cellular wifi rfp at the mta to a none bidder and the coverup of Governor Coumo who extended the illegal contract for 100 years.The public has been sold out long term and the group has total control of the press to keep any coverage of Walter Iwachiw RN from being published thru the ny times family who participated in the illegal bid reaward.