Malliotakis Bronx Rally

Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis attended a Bronx Republican Party rally Saturday, giving a pep talk to about 50 supporters at Bronx County Republican headquarters in Pelham Bay.  Republican public advocate candidate J.C. Polanco and city council candidates John Cerini, Patrick Delices and Daby Carreras also participated in the rally.

Malliotakis’ presentation was almost entirely a criticism of Mayor de  Blasio, beginning with a rallying cry question of whether “Bronx is ready to make Bill de Blasio a one term mayor” and ending with a harsh critique of de Blasio’s July trip to Germany the day after NYPD officer Miosotis Familia was assassinated.  Characterizing New York City as a place where “everything is deteriorating” Malliotakis touched on familiar complaints: that property taxes and water bills have increased, that sex crimes have increased, that the Department of Education spends enormous amounts of money yet produces many under-prepared students while charter schools are neglected, the mentally ill are insufficiently helped by the City and the homeless are insufficiently assisted while the City spends enormously on a plan to build 90 new shelters.

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Photo Gallery: African American Day Parade

Sunday’s African American Day Parade drew elected officials to Harlem, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis.  de Blasio, accompanied by his wife Chirlane McCray, received an extremely warm welcome.  Steadily working the sidelines as the parade worked its way up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, de Blasio was showered with smiles, handshakes and hugs.  Malliotakis worked her way through waiting marchers ahead of the parade, but did not march in the parade.  She was well-received, with many people interested in her candidacy, but her reception did not match de Blasio’s.

Photo Gallery:

Our full photo gallery is available here.

Will Malliotakis Qualify For Matching Funds?

Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis expressed some confidence today that she’ll qualify for campaign matching funds, but she was far from declaring her effort complete.  Saying “I feel confident about it” and that “I believe that we will” qualify for matching funds, Malliotakis added, however, that her campaign’s accountant is still reviewing contribution records.

New York City’s campaign finance laws provide a 6-1 match to candidates for contributions of between$10-$175 from City residents, but mayoral candidates must meet the thresholds of receiving at least $250,000 in eligible contributions from at least 1,000 City resident contributors.  Malliotakis has previously reported that she’s met the 1,000 contributor threshold, but not the $250,000 in eligible contributions threshold.  She recently said that she was about $20,000 shy of that threshold, as she focused on fundraising ahead of the most recent reporting cutoff on September 22nd.

Receiving matching funds is a big item for Malliotakis.  Raising money has been difficult, with cash on hand as of August 28th of $212,000.  (Bill de Blasio reported $5.1 million as of that date.)  Receiving matching funds would produce hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly close to $1 million for Malliotakis, and meaningfully improve her campaign’s ability to operate.  Will she make it?  Stay tuned.

Malliotakis On Graham-Cassidy

Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has no opinion on Graham-Cassidy, the immensely consequential healthcare bill currently being pushed toward a vote by Republicans in the U.S. Senate.  Among the many likely effects of the bill is a reduction in Medicaid funding to New York State in the tens of billions of dollars over the next ten years.

This afternoon Malliotakis said “I have not read the language” when I asked if she supports it.  That’s a familiar response from Malliotakis, who has similarly refused to offer a position on previous Republican efforts at dramatically changing Obamacare in July, June and May.       We spoke during a press conference in Elmhurst outside the Pan Am Hotel.

Malliotakis On ConCon

Nicole is a no.  Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis opposes holding a New York State constitutional convention and urges a “no” vote.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Malliotakis’ expressed view matches that of much of organized labor, opposing a convention on fears that it could result in weakening or eliminating the existing state constitution’s prohibition on reducing public employee pensions.  It also matches that of rival candidates Bo Dietl and Bill de Blasio and the two parties who have Malliotakis as their nominee, the Republican and Conservative parties.  We spoke this afternoon just before Harlem’s African American Day Parade.

Malliotakis Press Conference: Subway Edition

The mayor has ridden off the rails.  That’s the essence of Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ assessment of Mayor de Blasio’s effectiveness at managing the subway system, offered this afternoon at a Columbus Circle press conference.

Malliotakis’ criticism at times skirts the reality that Governor Cuomo primarily controls the MTA and its subway system.  That’s particularly the case on criticism of de Blasio for operational troubles, but less so on a Malliotakis focus today; that the City should contribute more money to the MTA budget.

Video:

Here is the full press conference:

Malliotakis On Cuomo & de Blasio

They have competing presidential ambitions, but de Blasio can’t get along with anyone.  That was the essence of Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis’ assessment when I asked for her view on whether she attributes Cuomo and de Blasio’s poor relationship primarily to either of them.

Malliotakis spoke at a press conference in which she extensively criticized the mayor for recent declines in subway service.  It’s a major campaign theme for her, fitting into a broader criticism of de Blasio as a poor municipal manager.  Her subway criticism is somewhat complicated, however, as Governor Cuomo primarily controls the MTA and its subway system.  Malliotakis is much less critical of the governor and pledges to work cooperatively with him as mayor.  Assessing the prospects of a future Governor Cuomo/Mayor Malliotakis relationship starts with considering the causes of the current problematic governor/mayor relationship and whether its causes will continue with a new mayor.

Malliotakis At QPTC

Mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis visited the Queens Public Transit Committee Wednesday evening, answering questions on a wide range of transportation topics.  The Queens Public Transit Committee is a small but energetic group focused on improving transportation options in Queens, with a focus on South Queens.  Projects that it supports include restoration of the Rockaway Beach Line, a long-abandoned Long Island Railroad track that runs to the Rockaway peninsula.

Bingo For Bo

Bingo was over and the seniors heading home when mayoral candidate Bo Dietl arrived at Staten Island’s Arrochar Friendship Club, but he still had a winning visit.  Dietl arrived well past his scheduled 1:00 visit Wednesday.  That would have come mid-bingo, when the room was full, but a delayed Dietl appeared after most of the players had left.  He swirled through the remaining 25 or so, catching some for a handshake as they boarded a bus or made their way toward their car and chatting with a few lingering inside.

Dietl was warmly greeted, recognized by most.  Many offered support and promises to vote for him.  Little mention was made of rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis, who represents the neighborhood in the state assembly.  In conversations with a few attendees they spoke nicely about Malliotakis, but didn’t express an intention to vote for her over Dietl in November.

Photo Gallery:

Our photo gallery is available here.

Dietl On Albanese

“I think it’s time for you to go to the pasture.”  Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl was dismissive of rival mayoral candidate Sal Albanese and Albanese’s victory in Tuesday’s Reform Party primary, suggesting he should end his candidacy.  Albanese was the only candidate listed on the Reform Party ballot, but Dietl and Republican/Conservative candidate Nicole Malliotakis mounted write-in campaigns seeking to take the Reform Party Nomination from the party’s designated candidate.  In preliminary election night results Albanese received 57% of the votes cast, with total write in votes of 43% insufficient to give Dietl or Malliotakis a chance of winning.

In addition to deriding Albanese’s 57% showing in a race in which he was the only candidate on the ballot, Dietl also accused Albanese of colluding with Bill de Blasio to help de Blasio receive primary election matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board.  (The CFB awarded matching funds to de Blasio on a finding that Albanese’s Democratic primary candidacy met the legal threshold of significant competition.)

Albanese’s Reform Party candidacy is an unwelcome complication for Dietl and Malliotakis, adding a third anti-de Blasio candidate who may draw press and voter attention away from their respective campaigns.  They’re already fighting for the same base, as evidenced by this Dietl visit to a senior center in Malliotakis’ assembly district.  That base is not nearly large enough to power a single candidate to victory, and split between Dietl and Malliotakis it leaves both with little ability to pose a real challenge to Mayor de Blasio.  Albanese’s presence further muddles their efforts at establishing themselves as the primary de Blasio opponent, and Dietl’s comments reflect an understanding of that challenge.

Flashback:

Dietl was harshly dismissive of Albanese’s debate performance against Mayor de Blasio, when Dietl and Albanese crossed paths at a Queens candidate forum.

Dietl On ConCon

He’s a no.  Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl opposes holding a state constitutional convention.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Dietl’s expressed view matches that of much of organized labor, opposing a convention on fears that it could result in weakening or eliminating the existing state constitution’s prohibition on reducing public employee pensions.  We spoke during a Dietl visit to Staten Island’s Arrochar Friendship Club.

Lhota Lhessons?

People didn’t know how bad Bill de Blasio would be.  That was the most notable observation I could draw out of current Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis when I asked about her electoral predecessor, 2013 candidate Joe Lhota, and lessons from his campaign.  Lhota, a deeply knowledgable and skilled veteran of City government was crushed by nearly 50 percentage points in 2013.   With some notable similarities between her candidacy and Lhota’s, including running against the same opponent, I asked Malliotakis what would lead her campaign to a different outcome and what lessons she’s gleaned from Lhota’s campaign.

Beyond her initial observation that in 2013 “people didn’t know how bad de Blasio would be” but do now, Malliotakis simply gave a brief recap of her criticisms of the mayor.  Presumably she and her campaign staff have scrutinized the Lhota campaign history for instructive lessons, but she didn’t offer any in this press conference response.

Video:

Here’s our exchange:

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