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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Catsimatidis Endorsed By Liberal Party; Gets No from Conservative Party

The Liberal Party, without a line, is backing Republican mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis.

“John Catsimatidis understands history and respects the power of a successful Republican-Liberal Party fusion in New York City electoral politics." said LP Chairman Jack Olchin. "John also understands the concerns and aspirations of all New Yorkers, and we feel he will be a people’s Mayor just like the first Republican-Liberal Party fusion Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1940’s." 

Lhota Gets Long Awaited Staten Island County Backing

Following a week long visits to the island, Republican Mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota got the long awaited backing from the Staten Island Republican Party executive committee on Monday night, Tom Wrobleski reports in the Staten Island Advance.

The committee interviewed Lhota and GOP rival John Catsimatidis before making its pick. According to the Advance, Lhota received 26 of the 29 committee votes. GOP chairman John Antoniello said that Lhota, a deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani and former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was better-equipped to lead the city. "Both candidates presented themselves extremely well," Antoniello said, but Lhota displayed "a much better understanding of how city government works." 

"He definitely has a world of experience," Antoniello said. "And he has the personality for the job." 

Lhota said he was "very proud" to get the panel's backing. "These are the same people who allowed Rudy Giuliani to become mayor and George Pataki to become governor," he said. "I'm humbled to be in their league."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Catsimatidis Opposes Congestion Pricing: Americans Should Be Able To Dream Of Owning A Car

At a Park Slope civic council candidate forum, Republican mayoral hopeful rebuffed the idea of congestion pricing as a formula intended to encourage people using mass transit, coming in to the city. "I voted against congestion pricing. I was against congestion pricing," Mr. Catsimatidis said when asked whether he supports Mayor Bloomberg's idea of congestion pricing. "I don't think we should penalize people coming from the outer boroughs to New York."

"If people want to drive God bless them. That's what America is all about... I grew up on 135th street, and I wanted to work hard. You know why I wanted to work hard? So I can buy a car.. And you know what car I wanted to buy? I wanted to buy a GTO. Why? Because I wanted to. I worked hard and Americans work hard. They should have the ability to do what they want to do," he added.

Pressed by the moderator, about Mayor Bloomberg's argument that people should drive less because it contributes to greenhouse gas emission etc., Mr. Catsimatidis put on a blunt face: "So, Americans should not have dreams?" he asked. "I think we should build more efficient cars. But we should not restrict the american people who are having dreams... If you have a dream of owning a car, you should have a dream of owning a car," he added. 

Four Years Late, Thompson Hires Sheinkopf As 'Senior' Strategist

Four years later, after he left Thompson hanging in favor of Mayor Bloomberg, Hank Shenkopf is back in the car with Bill Thompson. In key hiring rollouts, the Thompson campaign announced the hiring of Mr. Shenikopf as a senior strategist, working together with team Thompson's chief strategist Jonathan Prince.

"There was a time when he certainly was not happy with me, but there's a larger issue involved, and the larger issue is getting him to Gracie Mansion," Sheinkopf told The Daily News. "I'm emotionally very moved that he would want me back and working with him, and I hope that I can help to make him the next mayor of the city of New York.

Lhota Husbanding Campaign Finances For Name Recognition Purposes

Appearing on The Fox Business Network with Neil Cavuto, Republican mayoral hopeful Joseph Lhota discussed the uphill battle he faces in besting any of the potential Democratic nominees for mayor. Mr. Cavuto gently pressed Mr. Lhota on how he intends to overcome the biggest hurdle of all - name recognition. "But the name recognition thing. it's so tough," Mr. Cavuto hit the soft point. 

"The name recognition thing is very important," Mr. Lhota responded. "I am out there fundraising every single day. I am husbanding my money, so we can use it as we get closer to the primary. Name recognition is critical. My name will be out there. People will know me when they get to the polls," he added.

A One Percenter! Thompson Donated 1 Percent To Charity

Bill Thompson is the charity cheapskate among the top rivals in this year’s Democratic mayoral campaign, Sally Goldenberg and David Seifman report in the Post. 

Mr Thompson, who earned $727,621 in private-sector earnings last year, gave just $4,750 to charity, according to his tax returns. That’s below 1 percent. By comparison, Comptroller John Liu donated $9,150 of his $294,310 in earnings to charity, or 3.1 percent. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who earned $165,000, gave 4.3 percent of his salary — $7,117 —  and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn donated more than $4,800 of her $137,777 salary to charity — 3.5 percent.

“Bill has dedicated much of his career to public service, in addition to his donations to well-deserving charitable organizations,” Thompson spokeswoman Dani Lever said.

When CUNY's Mayoral Forum Turned Into A Stand Up Show

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Quinn and Lhota Recall Not-Much-Changed-Since Childhood in LI

Before Christine Quinn and Joe Lhota were leading candidates for the Democratic and Republican nominations for mayor of New York, respectively, they were Long Islanders, Newsday reports, as the candidates recall their not-much-changed-since LI childhood.  

The Similarities: Quinn, 46, lived on a Glen Cove street that ended in a cul-de-sac. Lhota lived in a home in the Venetian Shores neighborhood of Lindenhurst, where his parents still reside for part of the year. Both thrived in tight-knit communities, went to their high school proms and got their first taste of politics through student councils. 

Mayoral Candidates Express Religious Freedom Rights When Asked About "Metzitzah B'peh"

The Forward has been reviewing the mayoral candidates stances on the controversial Jewish circumcision practice known as metzitzah b’peh, and came to conclusion that only Rev. Erick Salgado and  City Comptroller John Liu pledged to outright abolish the city’s regulation of the practice. 

 “For thousands of years, this has been a practice that has been observed by people,” Liu said. “As with most procedures, some risk is inherent. But I would certainly defer to the rabbis on this, as opposed to thinking that, well, we know better after thousands of years of this practice.”

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bloomberg Believes Quinn Is Last Barrier Against Union Takeover

Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn't seem to be willing to distance himself from mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn, nor would he shy away from heaping heavy praise on one of  his would-be successors.

“Chris Quinn has done a very good job as speaker,” Mr. Bloomberg told John Gambling during his weekly WOR radio show this morning, Colin Campbell reports. “Whether you’re going to vote for her or not, she has been a very good speaker. The city has been very well served by her. I don’t think that she gets enough credit for it.”