(NY Times endorsement) “For Republicans, Joseph Lhota”

26 Aug

The following is verbatim from Sunday’s New York Times

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“For Republicans, Joseph Lhota

You might find it odd to see this page endorsing the mayoral candidacy of Joseph Lhota, a Republican who made his mark in politics as right-hand man and chief enabler to Rudolph Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani, a two-term mayor of uncommon nastiness, has seen his once-formidable reputation shrink to a pinpoint, to the things he did on and around one terrible September day more than a decade ago. But Mr. Lhota is more than the sum of his years as Mr. Giuliani’s top deputy, and he is the best qualified of the three men seeking the Republican nomination for mayor.

Few people know better than Mr. Lhota how city government works. He was an expert budget director for Mr. Giuliani, and then became deputy mayor for operations.

In 2011 and 2012, he ran the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which, under his leadership, recovered amazingly quickly from the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.

Mr. Lhota, son of a New York City cop, is not a glad-handing pol, but a practical and efficient one. When The Times’s editorial board interviewed candidates for the mayoral endorsement, it asked them to supply one practical idea to improve the quality of life in New York. Some were flustered. Not Mr. Lhota, who gave an instant, excellent answer: park-and-ride lots at the far ends of subway lines, to coax drivers at the city’s edges onto mass transit.

Mr. Lhota is running against John Catsimatidis, billionaire grocer, and George McDonald, founder of The Doe Fund, which gives homeless New Yorkers a job and a bed. Mr. McDonald has had an admirable career, though not one that remotely qualifies him to run New York City, and we wish he would do better at hiding his contempt for some of his opponents. When he called Anthony Weiner a “self-pleasuring freak” and got to the brink of a shoving match, he inspired audiences to boo him, not Mr. Weiner, which was quite a feat.

Being mayor requires a thick skin, good humor and the ability to show or feign graciousness. Mr. Catsimatidis, an affable man, is good at that. He likes to call his fund-raisers “friend-raisers,” and it doesn’t sound ludicrous. He also promises to make this city of eight million people a cleaner, well-run, thriving place, but we won’t take him seriously until he shows he can do that at Gristedes.

Mr. Lhota has had to live down his reputation as Mr. Giuliani’s enforcer, as when he shamefully threatened to cut off funds to the Brooklyn Museum over artwork that offended the administration. He surely knows and possibly regrets that his loyalty to his old boss has complicated his current ambitions. Asked recently by The Times to name his favorite mayor, Mr. Lhota said Fiorello La Guardia. If he embodies the traits he admires in the Little Flower — “He took off his jacket, he rolled up his sleeves, and he took care of all New Yorkers,” Mr. Lhota said — he could do well in City Hall.”

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(From BRC)

Interesting is that the Times calls Catsimatidis the “billionaire grocer” when he’s stated that “only 3%” of his current worth is owed to it? The Times reserves mention of his “Oil Refinery/business” and ample “real estate development”. Both topics are habitual red-meat for Democrats. The 97% would probably come as grist for the mill should he win — maybe as part of their assured general endorsement of the Dem. primary winner?  Let’s try and get the man who can lead on Day 1, front and center.

We urge you to relay to your friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives – that Joe Lhota is the clear choice in the September 10th Republican primary.

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