Tag Archives: 2013 Mayoral election

Carroll Gardens blog reveals DeBlasio’s Achilles’ Heel — local Democrats with a memory

19 Oct

“I was skeptical from the start. I felt that Mr. DeBlasio was too much of an ideologue with a sound bite.” — Comment

“You and/or CORD could have gotten this out sooner – However, we DO thank you for getting it out at all. Those of us (without public voices) remember Bill D.  Lhota may not have been the best choice during the primary season, but he may be now — and at least he got the trains to run on time.” — Comment

“I truly appreciate the dialogue with my readers and my neighbors. That’s what makes a community.” — blogger, Katia K.

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PMFA

A recent posting in our local “Pardon Me For Asking” blog brings into the forefront locally — what many citizens across Carroll Gardens, Kensington and Park Slope have been aware of across decades. It reveals Bill DeBlasio’s true weakness — local Democrats with their memory intact, and  non-partisan fearlessness of relaying their opinion.

In fact, the 39th NYC Council District could be playing as a microcosm of the 2013 general election.

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“Married” to Bill DeBlasio
A Joint Memoir from Some Ex-Constituents

“Our affair with Bill DeBlasio began sometime in 1999 when he became our School Board Representative.

We were attracted to his drive, his enthusiam and yes, even his ambition. He flirted with us–we responded.

The marriage was consummated when we elected him our Council Member in 2001. He married each of us…all of the men, women and children of District 39.

He appeared to be quite the catch—well-spoken, attentive, an engaged conversationalist who seemed to listen with every fiber of his being. He was tall, handsome, charming—He was a Democratic representative in a Democratic demographic–he had ties with a former President and was an advisor to a potential one—The honeymoon had begun. We were willingly seduced and felt very lucky.

We were unaware then, that we did not even know his real name.

It was not long before we learned that his style of representation was very different to what we had become accustomed to. He was not readily available by phone–he was rarely in his office and there were intermediaries that we were told to deal with instead of him.

It seemed like he was never home.

This was a very different type of commitment—one this corner of the 39th had certainly never seen before.

Four years into our relationship, we renewed our vows, but it became clear that Bill had set his sights on much greener, much larger pastures. All of the signs were there and of course, conflicts arose.

Developers seemed to be targetting our community. High rise, out of context apartment buildings tearing the fabric of our historic brownstone neighborhood–changing our surroundings faster than our infrastructure or current environment could possibly accommodate.

What did our Champion DeBlasio do?

He turned his back on us and opened his arms to a developer who had grand plans for a project that presented very real environmental concerns.

Then, in April of 2009, the filthy Gowanus Canal was miraculously nominated to the National Priorities List–an event that any faithful partner would have cheered….instead Our Bill declared that the Canal “was not that dirty” and proceeded to support the New York City Plan which scoffed at the facts and scientific findings of the EPA.

Perhaps if this had been the last of our disappointments, our relationship and inevitable parting could have been more pleasant. He was now the certain Public Advocate to Be and he had more than one foot out the door.

But his final farewell, the last straw came when we learned that he very very quietly tried to push through a law which would exempt a project which was in direct contradiction to a hard earned zoning amendment he had publicly supported and widely claimed to take credit for!

Bill moved on to his Public Advocate position–where his tenure left us, to put it politely, unsatisfied. The EPA vs the City of New York battle raged over the Gowanus Canal’s future, and our Bill, our neighbor, our former partner and most importantly, OUR PUBLIC ADVOCATE, had not one word to say about the environmental/public health hazard coursing through the heart of his former district.

Throwing his hat into the Mayoral race at the end of the Public Advocate gig, was not a surprise. We did find him predictable and ever self serving.
It may come as a surprise to you that Bill can deride the worst landords in New York City on one hand and accept their money with the other…but it does not surprise us.
One day Charter Schools must go–next day–they can stay if they pay rent–next day they won’t be pushed out if they can’t pay……all too familiar to us.

Bill tells a tale of two cities combined with the I am Robin Hood stance. It is a catchy platform–who would not fall in love with someone who professes to better the lives of the poor, champion the underserved and better educate our children while taxing the rich?

However, this same Robin Hood, this same equalizer, this former partner of ours has also publicly characterized himself both a progressive and a fiscal conservative. We suppose it depends on who is in the audience at the time.

It seems as though Bill is counting on the fact that New York is still a Democratic city–and what he says will not really be measured or remembered.

He is wrong.

After all these years, we can say that we know the man known as School Board Member Bill DeBlasio. We remember the man known as Councilman Bill DeBlasio and we experienced the man known as Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio.

We have seen the many shades of Bill and we know what a relationship with Bill DeBlasio might bring. Now, he is courting you.

Published jointly by Carroll Gardens CORD and Pardon Me for Asking

(link to actual blogpost, click here)

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It’s the epicenter of DeBlasio’s “Working Family Party” and its notorious actions which thwart non-WFP Democrats, reformers and moderates alike. BY THE WAY.. While it was Rudy Giuliani’s former counsel, Randy Mastro that nearly crippled the WFP (by exposing their actions) — where is Mr. Mastro and Mr. Giuliani now, to remind NYC’s Democrats and Independents of this?

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The Tale of Two DeBlasios — What About LICH?

17 Sep

There’s the DeBlasio that gets himself arrested in mid-July, 2013 ( although arriving ‘late to the protest’, as the community was asking for the Public Advocate’s help since January and years prior).  No matter if he’d done so to spike his low polls numbers — which were at 7%, or not — the press attention it received was clearly appreciated by the workers, patients and areas affected by the planned closing of Long Island College Hospital/LICH SUNY Downstate.

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Then, there’s the Other DeBlasio…holding hands high with the very same Governor Cuomo that protestors have been trying to reach for years — who behind State agencies, had orchestrated the closing of State hospitals (LICH and InterFaith) stressing over 3,500 jobs, putting healthcare and doctor’s support systems, eliminating Emergency Rooms serving 100,000s per year. Does DeBlasio mention this topic to the media or at the podium? No. Does he call for a meeting, or relay to the very communities that he has worked with the Closings for 3 months (July-Sept) about any possibility of meeting with Gov. Cuomo and using his elevated stature for LICH and InterFaith? NO. 

That’s the Bill we know. There’s no mistaking it, DeBlasio a political creature if ever there was one. He’ll re-shape himself to fit what might get more votes – and because he’s been successful, the media at-large will go along with any new persona conjured. Should the media mention this fact…we’d see Bill talking about his intentions, all along…

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No one knows better than ‘the locals’ about the former 3-term Councilman from Brooklyn’s 39th — the excuses, inaction, and stances for self-advantage. Therefore, as he touts and rehashes the old John Edwards-line of “two Americas” (DeBlasio supported Edwards for President, traveling to Ohio) we will substitute his media-ready “two cities”-line with some local flavor.

But what about the 1 million Brooklyn residents, children with asthma, the seniors, the communities fighting for their local hospitals? How can you hold hands and not mention the fight (that he’s just used for votes?) in the very primary election he’s just won? It does now seem awfully hollow of DeBlasio to join the fight to protect LICH so late, in mid-July, only to ignore it in mid-September? It’s Governor Cuomo’s aggressive efforts to shutter the hospital. 100,000 people were served in its ER alone last year — or more than the total population of Albany. How about all the times that Black-Shirted private security team DEFIED NY SUPREME COURT ORDERS to remove patients throughout evenings? block ER entrances? Does defying Court orders even come up — or was all this just politically expedient?

PatrolsantiambLICH

Many 10,000s of Brooklyn residents (and elected officials) have been trying to get the attention of Gov. Cuomo — by voicemail, protests, letters/ emails, media interviews, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, stoppng traffic, SUNY meetings, etc. — as he manipulates State agencies to crush two Brooklyn hospitals. Yet, there’s DeBlasio sharing a stage with him — with the subject never coming up?

Mayoral candidates Wiener and John Liu were at the very same protest — they didn’t get themselves arrested. That “portrays” a deeper commitment (even though he all but just walked up). It worked for DeBlasio as it appeared he was fighting for LICH. Local pols for months had been at protests (as this youTube video in April clearly shows) and our State Senator Squadron had taken the fight to Albany last winter — outright asking the Governor and State electeds to pass a bill/discuss what the then reported $500 million would be even used for if not to support Brooklyn hospitals?

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Know what’s “debatable”? — holding Republican Mayoral Debates on Sunday

8 Sep

For years, the most cynical among us have said that the media chooses candidates. Usually this meant by presentation and soft-selling one over another. Today, we see evidence of given Republicans in NYC the short straw.

The GOP debate today is airing at 11:30 am on Channel 4/NBC — but many potential viewers are either at Sunday church services, or on their way home from them. They’re with family on a Sunday afternoon. Additionally, as the first Sunday of NFL football… many households (of the people who would be home at all) would have on pre-game televised offerings across ESPN etc. in anticipation of kick-off. The “2nd half” of Sunday’s GOP debate is actually on nbcnewyork.com — directly competing with the Opening Day excitement of the nation’s most popular televised sport?

Anyone notice how the Democratic debates have been held on major local networks, and NY-1…. in PRIME TIME and on weeknights, when more people are home to see the candidates? Equal time is slighted by the actual time-slot selected, offered, reluctantly sacrificed for the GOP forums?

We all have seen how the media plays politics — promoting one-sided issues across day-time and night-time TV, in the slight criticisms vs.  usual outright fashioning of the Obama “image”, for example. Across NYC it’s clear our local NYC broadcasting folks have shown their hand, again. They’ll do anything they can, to obscure the GOP’s candidates.

The greatest city in the world, the Media Capital of the World… has been led by a Republican for 5 terms now and for 20 years consecutively. But no one can see the primary debate — of the potential next one?

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(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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Catsimatidis is cringe-worthy. Turns to attack ad. (Maybe he should’ve stayed a Democrat.)

23 Aug

Just yesterday we saw video of Mr. Catsimatidis traveling the Catskills and telling Orthodox Jewish audiences that it was Joe Lhota that was “mean-spirited”  — which was unfounded name-calling. Tonight the campaign of John Catsimatidis revealed a TV ad that is more of a stunt in the savvy NYC political marketplace. It’s a circus act more worthy of what the Democratic candidates have been bringing of late. A factually incorrect attack-ad that can only be seen as either an Atom Bomb, the act of a desperate campaign – or both. 

BRC

Trailing his Republican opponent in the polls with just over 2 weeks to go to primary — Catsimatidis called himself a job-creator and said his opponent created “1 job, for himself” listing the MTA Chairman role and a salary on-screen of $300,000-plus. This is a regrettable moment in the year’s Mayoral race — as Mr. Lhota was appointed to that position by New York Governor Cuomo and resigned, actually sacrificing that plum appointment for the slings and arrows surrounding the what’s commonly knowns as the “second toughest job in America”. The ad goes on to rip “3 differences” — saying that Mr. Lhota raised fares/tolls at the MTA and Catsimatidis (in a simpleton statement) “would never do that”. Of course he wouldn’t as he’ll never anywhere near the role that does this — meaning the NY Governor, the NYS legislature and the MTA Board by voting.

Catsimatidis also says that “Joe Lhota calls officers mall-cops”. This affront seems to refer to an of-the-cuff remark made by Joe Lhota (the son of an NYPD officer in the Bronx) months ago about Port Authority Police, which was apologized for. Again, its for Joe Lhota’s campaign to respond, and answer to this. But any Republican supporting Catsimatidis is now reduced to making excuses for a man that’s lowered the level of the race — ahead of next week’s final debate.

It was created a very negative and factually incorrect attack-ad – maybe revealing a despair? but certainly no regard for truth or any respect for his Republican opponent.

If there are Republicans anywhere in NYC tonight — cheering this — clearly they have no interest in building the GOP across our city. Winning at all costs was the “Obama way” — a level of self-interest that defies logic, especially as a Republican (at least for the last 4-5 years) in a City with staggering numbers of Democrats against anyone wearing the Republican “R”. Just as we are left with a society torn apart by last year’s Obama campaign — on matters of race, women’s rights, “the 1%”, capitalism vs. socialism, NAACP conjuring that a GOP conspiracy was set to prevent people from voting in Philly, etc. — now we endure a new, lowered bar for the NYC Mayoral race.

This is the level of the John Catsimatidis campaign tonight.

Let’s see how it shakes out?

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Brownstone joins protest march across Bridge and by City Hall

24 Jul

BrownstonephotoWith Governor Cuomo assaulting the safety-net of healthcare and hospitals — from Red Hook to Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights through to the center of Brooklyn — 1000s of activists from the communities of Bedford-Stuyvesent and Downtown Brooklyn came together to demonstrate. Nearly 3,500 jobs are threatened at InterFaith and LICH, and earlier in the day letters were handed out by SUNY administrators at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) not to show-up for the next day of work. Defying court orders, SUNY each day seeks to cripple LICH, which last year attended to more patients through its Emergency Room (100,000) — than the total population of Albany (97,000). There have been 10 plans submitted to keep it running as a hospital — but the Governor seems hell-bent on selling the buildings (for unknown coffers).

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Yet? Gov. Cuomo still pulls the strings — and hides from answering to the millions of people served by these two hospitals. Our NYC media is drawn to demonstrations, but still doesn’t ask the NY Governor nor NYC Mayor about management of Public hospitals, with Public funds in the interest of millions of residents?

Here’s some of the day’s energy:photo-15

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John Catsimatidis Visits our April Meeting.

28 Apr

photoIs the City ready for another billionaire Mayor?

John Catsimatidis visited BRC amid a level of anticipation from attendees. Members wanted to hear his vision for New York – and were aware that the Kings County GOP weeks before had chosen him as its choice for NYC Mayor. (Brooklyn’s County GOP had previously backed Adolpho Carrion.)

Mr. Catsimatidis was the last of five prospective candidates for the Republican line to visit Sam’s restaurant in the 2013 race. Respectful of their sacrifice and commitment to public service, BRC has been able to openly learn the backgrounds, achievements, pose local issues to them in extended Q & A periods, and see up close how questions were answered. While Mr. Catsimatidis could not take many questions – his next stop was paying respects at wake services – he immediately blended in with the group by sitting among them, trying the pizza and telling anecdotes about his family.

Mr. Catsimatidis prides himself as a “mayor for all the people” and a man that has been “all over the City” due to the locations of his stores and real estate concerns.

Known for his business success including Gristedes supermarkets, aerospace ventures and for philanthropy with PAL (Police Athletic League), with political and Hellenic/Greek organizations – Mr. Catsimatidis delivers an interesting narrative near immediately. He’s a home grown success story. He tells of a modest upbringing in upper Manhattan/Harlem – and ultimately ties into the American dream.

He tells a life-story of hard-work and how management of a food market led to ownership (at about 21 years old) – and how he shed aside formal education in New York University “with 6 credits left” to focus on the lucrative business he was building uptown. Decades later, Mr. Catsimatidis is a billionaire who believed he was ready to run for Mayor in 2009 “but stepped aside being Bloomberg was doing a good job”.

On a macro-business level, Mr. Catsimatidis relays how “money” and investments have come into NYC – on the faith of what Mayor Bloomberg has done for the international business community, planned for NY, and the general stability of law and order. He’d like to do more of that.

He says a main focus is education. He feels he’s ready to “give back, not take” for all he’s amassed. He feels that the lower income and middle class families, and students in particular, need to understand how to earn a better living. “They should have an option to learn a trade and make 70, 80 thousand dollars.” Creating jobs is a strongpoint of his, as he says he’s created “10s of thousands of jobs and no other candidate can say that.” He tells of fundraising for Brooklyn Tech, where he graduated from despite being raised in Manhattan.

Later, he added that he’s “a man of vision” due to his idea of a 3rd World’s Fair to summon 100 of greatest high-tech companies to New York and demonstrate their visions for the future of the City. He said this “would create another 10, 20 thousand good jobs in construction and operations” and (borrowing an idea of Mayor Bloomberg’s team for the Olympic bid) spread pavilions throughout each borough – accessible by water taxis.

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But for purposes of the primary, Mr. Catsimatidis says using his own money is an advantage – as he’s not asking for any more. “I have friend-raisers, not fundraisers.”

In expressing how he can win vs. other candidates, Mr. Catsimatidis cited statistics of the Romney national election – how New York went “89 to 19 against the Republican”. (He added playfully that he would’ve won had he run.) The 89-19 statistic got some heads nodding with the added thought that “any Republican needs ‘Reagan Democrats’ to win”…However, the 2009 NYC mayoral election was far closer. Moreover, the voting for a national candidate (that didn’t campaign here) overlooks that Giuliani won 2x, and Bloomberg 3x. The Republican line, it could be said, has delivered the last 5 mayoral terms in a row in NYC since 1994.

Mr. Catsimatidis also relays something that no other candidate can say… that stalwarts of the Democratic Party including Pres. Bill Clinton and possibly Congressman Charles Rangel may very well support him in a general election. This may have to do with his connections/friendships or prior support of their races – but is a certain speculation of wide support across party lines

He offered that he has a friendship and sponsorship of a one-man play (“Fiorello”) with actor Tony Lo Bianco who plays Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Mr. Catsimatidis draws inspiration from both the play and the legacy/life of Mayor La Guardia – and has recently supplied tickets for a performance in upper Manhattan. He offered to possibly bring the show to each borough, so that more may see it. Of his campaign manager Rob Ryan, Mr. Catsimatidis said he “was the son of Fiorello LaGuardia’s chief of staff”.

Answering a question, Mr. Catsimatidis also spoke of how he’ll communicate with labor unions, with many contracts coming due for negotiation in the next election. “I’ve never had a problem with unions in my businesses, across decades,” he added, underlining his point of being able to handle the negotiations.

Our attendees did have many questions for Mr. Catsimatidis – including asking about an interview with NY Times and NY-1’s Sam Roberts in June, 2012 when he speculated on a run for a Mayor by characterizing himself as “I am a Clinton Democrat” (3:40-4:05 on the video) that couldn’t be elected as a Democrat, as a businessman. Does that mean he’s changed parties in his past or recently? That history will probably be explained across the primary – which Mr. Catsimatidis informed is on September 10th.

Brownstone has now seen all 5 for Mayor in less than 4 month’s time – and appreciates each candidate coming to our areas of Brooklyn. Doubtless we will see more of them across the 5 months from now until the Republican primary election.

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