Tag Archives: Brooklyn Republican Party

President Obama Depicts Himself – in the Place of Icons.

5 Dec

Nelson Mandela passed. The saddening news came late this afternoon. Mandela was a global inspirational icon — a symbol of perseverance and overcoming South Africa’s apartheid. Mandela inspired hope and of a post-colonial Africa. His life-story is one of privilege, natural-born leadership across 4 generations, education, sacrifice, being  re-born as a statesman, of self-reflection, ultimately becoming President of South Africa and an incredibly calm, intelligent and measured global voice.

Mr. Mandela was 95 and had been hospitalized for quite some time. During a promotional trip to Africa this summer, Mandela’s family politely refused the visit of Pres. Obama to his bedside — maybe anticipating the usage of that moment by the American White House?


Immediately today, the White House “tweeted” Pres. Obama’s heartfelt comments — but also released a photo of President Obama at one of the jail cells where Nelson Mandela was isolated for 27 years. The Obama First Family which had been touring Africa (at a cost of $100 million to taxpayers) is depicted, listening to tour guides, possibly about how Mandela was allowed to send but 1 (one) letter per 6 months to his own family — wife, children, grandchildren. Odd today, that exalting, celebratory or triumphant photos of Nelson Mandela at our White House could not be used to appreciate his life and significance? His life and significance.

The White House had just received national criticism just 4 days ago — on the 58th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ bold and pivotal defiance to take ‘her place’ in the back of a Montgomery bus. It had handled a historical event not with her iconic picture, but his prepared image? This was immediately reported on by media nationwide.


Their online story highlighted that Pres. Obama’s WH had done the exact same thing, a year prior: “As we reported last year, the picture of Obama sitting in the bus was taken during a fundraising trip last April at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, where the vehicle currently sits.” And also furthered an issue that rankles news media for how Obama’s image is controlled: “At the time the photo was taken, White House press corps photographers were kept on the sidelines, ABC News reported.”



In an era of the “selfie” — where self-focus is increasing — we have a President that seems essentially interested in how he looks, putting himself in as subject matter, how it appears (as propaganda or using the news?) and how the importance of a greater event reflects on him? Critics refer to narcissism.

We believe there should be more critics.

# # #

Election Day retrospective: Remember the 2009 De Blasio-Bloomberg lunch?

10 Sep

As our media and De Blasio himself plays up (and plays off) the legacy of Mayor Bloomberg But, odd… how short everyone’s memory?

As a NYC Councilman in the Gowanus District, wasn’t Mr. DeBlasio supportive of the Mayor’s plan vs. the EPA/Gowanus Superfund (which ultimately won out)? Even as Public Advocate, DeBlasio never spoke for the Superfund of against the kind of development/developers that local community activists oppose (mostly outspoken Democrats)?


http://vimeo.com/7438556 (video includes Bloomberg/DeBlasio smiling exit/press conference)

Remember the news, the VERY next day after the 2009 election — in which DeBlasio’s platform essentially consisted on his self-described opposition to Bloomberg and the 3d term? What was THAT all about? While doubtless today it can be spun as some Detente-style peace-making — could it have been the reassurance of some deal-making? Didn’t the Public Advocate’s office get a $800k or so bump in budget, immediately after the election from where the budget was when Betsy Gotbaum was leading it/leaving it (after her budget was slashed)? Wasn’t that reported somewhere…?

Was this another case of saying one thing, and actually doing another that few know about?

# # #

Brownstone’s choice is Joe Lhota.

9 Sep

For NYC Mayor its Joe Lhota — we urge our members and neighbors to vote on Tuesday, Sept. 10 . Link to an earlier endorsement (July 1) is here.


Obama pressed on ObamaCare and Benghazi? — 38 total views.

30 Aug

It is beyond bizarre now.. how the White House has managed to keep “hard news” out of the Public’s Eye.  Below you can click on the Photo — to hear just about a minute of interaction that doesn’t seem to cross our broadcast news, any more.

We’re closing in on a YEAR after the “campaign promises” that the 100s of attackers on 9-11-12 at Benghazi would be “brought to justice”. Afghanistan casualties march toward a 75% of total under President Obama. Countless billions spent there and in Libya in 2011 for regime change, to protect European oil contracts from Kaddaffy? There was talk of military advisors being sent to central Africa — but even Darfur hasn’t seen air-time under Pres. Obama’s 2 terms. (Even after that $100 million African, working/family vacation in summer.)

No news at all across 6 pm nor 10 pm nor 11p m nightly news, nor any TV news magazines.

# # #

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. 


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?

# # #

Surprising vids of Catsimatidis – rare mentions of Oil business, and courting votes upstate

23 Aug

An interview on TV’s Kudlow Report (sent via email/link by the Catsimatidis Campaign) led to the discovery of the following YouTube videos, appearing on successive web-pages and in the public domain. Below, you can find 3 videos — raw footage and a chronicle of the pursuit of support within Jewish orthodox communities. He calls Joe Lhota “mean-spirited” in doing so, and repeats his admirations for President Clinton.

In the first video below, Kudlow briefly mentions his ownership of United Refining Company headquartered in Pennsylvania. (This has been an aspect that the Catsimatidis campaign has been very shrewd to down-play.) During one visit to Brownstone, in fact, his campaign mentioned that the “grocer business is only 3% of his interests“.  Although not an issue in the GOP primary, in a general election we wonder how the Democrats and Media would treat a billionaire Republican who represents both Big Oil and Real Estate/Development, all rolled in himself.

Vid 1 — “Kudlow Report” August 21, 2013



Mr. Catsimatidis’ visits upstate mostly, during early and mid-August – to rally votes back in NYC. Mr. Catsimatidis also brings a message that Mr. Lhota is somehow “mean-spirited. “I don’t refer to police as mall cops.” Also: “I was a Clinton Democrat. He was the smartest President we ever had.” 

Vid 2 — YouTube – “Joe Lhota Must Calm Down” August 4, 2013



Vid 3 — You Tube – “Tours Jewish Strongholds in the Catskills” (Monticello, NY) Aug. 11, 2013


In this video, John Catsimatidis says his Oil company “provides most of the petroleum need between Pittsburgh and Buffalo”. The Rabbi asks why doesn’t he “switch to solar”? This easy conversation may be a point, in a general election. (Then following there’s a video stump speech.)


Vid 4 — YouTube – “Tours Jewish Strongholds” Aug. 5, 2013


John Catsimatidis: “If I depended on Gristedes I’d be driving a bicycle!” After hearing of plans of a John Catsimatidis Park upstate responds: “Help me to be Mayor and I don’t forget my friends.”


# # #

Brownstone Endorses Joe Lhota.

1 Jul

BRC invited each candidate and listened to their goals, background and perspectives up close. Our attendees were able to ask questions, get answers and openly engage each campaign across 2013.

Our choice for NYC Mayor is Joe Lhota — we urge our members and their neighbors to vote for him on Sept. 10 and on through the general election. 


He’ll make an outstanding Mayor

BRC chose Joe Lhota by a large margin (68% to 13%) over John Catsimatidis. There was 18% Undecided and George McDonald received no votes. We’ll summarize the responses, as to why:

1. His potential to lead NYC and his sacrifice is second to none — across both Parties.

Unlike any other candidate, Mr. Lhota sacrificed a lucrative career as Chairman of the MTA — to take the chance of running for the Mayoralty, essentially as a call to duty in our recessionary times. Many BRC members responded to that sacrifice, as a requisite of what true leaders do. (Contrast this with Democrats that are running for Mayor — while being paid in other capacities and actually campaigning during middays in Elected Offices — Comptroller, Public Advocate, Councilmember, etc.).

Mr. Lhota has Rudy Giuliani’s support for Mayor because helped in both Giuliani terms in leadership positions – serving as First Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Finance and Operations, and before that leading Economic Development. His management style has also been honed across the private sector (a background that Mayor Giuliani didn’t possess). He knows what to expect and what to prepare for — and methods most effective for working with NY’s communities. Joe Lhota recognizes that he learned on-the-job within City Hall, and has insight about communicating and outreach. For those reasons, and because he’s his own man — we believe he can be an even better Mayor than Rudy more inclusive and capable of starting quickly without even a day of any lagging for learning how Government works in any way.

2. In citywide Mayoral 2013 forums, he’s shown a commanding knowledge.

Mr. Lhota has a perspective of one that has already seen the depth of the issues.  Other candidates talk in generalities, or conjure grandiose promises. Lhota has gotten applause speaking about Housing-policy and NYCHA’s issues in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He understands and respects City uniformed workers, and roles of unions – but aims to be reasonable. He’s relayed the struggles of Small Business, taxation and how jobs can be created – knowing how everything in the City works in synch. He’s already lessened the size of government in a challenging economy, by attrition and cutting excess spending. He has spoken on Education in specific terms, about its challenges – and options that escape other candidates that are far less familiar with the role they covet.

mayorjandebateHe knows the City from Hunts Point to the West Shore of Staten Island, back to Far Rockaway. Our BRC members have questioned him across two meetings – and he seems unaffected by any special interests. He makes clear, intelligent points. One member added: “He seems far less likely to manipulate in back-room dealings.” We trust he’s the person to lead the City and base consideration/decisions on merit.

3. There has never been a Mayor in NYC’s history with Lhota’s in-depth understanding of our Transit system, the MTA and internal processes.

While there are steady pot-shots — Mr. Lhota has explained how tolls were increased and that the NY Legislature had also added future increases (to come every 2 years). One BRC member feels this strength is a slam-dunk: “notice that transportation is never an issue — at any forum with either Party? — because he owns that issue.” Joe Lhota offers NYC what it never had – no Mayor has ever had a first-hand knowledge of operating procedures, “the two books” and hands-on experience leading the MTA/transit system and Authority. He knows exactly what is B-S and what our transportation systems need. This is an advantage, when interacting with the MTA, State legislature and Governor moving forward, on our behalf.

When Superstorm Sandy crippled our transportation system – Joe Lhota’s leadership was well-regarded, universally recognized and widely reported across the nation for bringing the System back to working condition (in 2 days).

4. Joe Lhota is the choice to rebuild the Republican Party in NYC.

Having a strong “2nd Party” in NYC is critical — for a better, more responsive government.  We have an entrenched One Party system that “looks the other way” so often to protect its own. We accept mediocrity from local elected officials. A One Party system also creates a protective bubble for many in Office. Unemployment, crime, poverty, senior housing, jobs leaving, etc. — are somehow, someone else’s doing. NYC Democrats simply fingerprint and avoid tackling large-scale problems. Our media lets them off the hook even as the City Council has been 90% Democrats for 50 years?..

Any thinking voter wants a 2-party system, at least – and can support an intelligent option.

BullElephantJoe Lhota spoke at the Brownstone Club immediately after the 9-11-01 attacks as part of the Giuliani Administration, and has returned twice in this campaign season. In a City that wonders why Republicans don’t groom others for office – he is a prime example and personification of what any NYC Republican should want in their candidate.

Both primary opponents have recently enrolled as Republicans in comparison. In fact, Mr. Catsimatidis has referred to himself as a “Clinton Democrat — but had registered as a Republican ahead of the 2009 election with a run in mind, then. Many BRC members were puzzled as to how Kings County representatives formerly identifying as “conservative Republicans” were quick to work for his campaign. Mr. Catsimatidis said that Congressman Rangel and Pres. Clinton would endorse him. George McDonald was a Democrat as recently as last year, and has gone on record (NY-1 TV forum) saying that building the Republican Party isn’t something he’s interested in.

5. BRC believes NYC has reached its tipping-point for Billionaire Mayors — and wants $ out of politics.

In NYC, we have been suffering from as one BRC member put it: “just too much Bloomberg”. Members believe that NYC would vote against any billionaire again as they had with Ronald Lauder in 1989 (who was beaten by Rudy Giuliani). The election of 2009 almost made a Mayor out of Bill Thompson — who is lagging behind in the Democratic primary, right now. This means, they didn’t vote FOR him in 2009… but against Mayor Bloomberg. In fact, local Councilmember Bill de Blasio was swept into the NYC Public Advocate office despite a scant record of achievement– with his campaign, essentially having run against the Bloomberg 3rd term. Then again, we’ve seen people win even national elections, without records of achievement.

The “Republican brand” has been to connected again to the wealthy – and this began in earnest with the “two Americas” campaign of John Edwards in 2008 (which attracted Bill de Blasio to the midwest to campaign for Edwards). Across the 2012 presidential season, NYC voters were barraged by an “anti-1%” sentiment that was hung onto the Republican candidate (that “only” had a $350 million self-worth, comparatively vs. the billions of John Catsimatidis). In fact, Occupy Wall Street protestors — set up across 2011 and 2012 — and never once rallied against policies of the Obama White House, nor the frequent $26k per plate mega-fundraisers.

NYC has to be more savvy.

Lhota can stand up to scrutiny vs. any Democrat in any debate or forum. He can win. Joe Lhota’s communicated he’d be ready to lead “on Day 1” — and we believe no other candidate is so qualified.

lhotamediaHis understanding of our City is comprehensive. His background includes Mayoral-level government, public transportation, economic development, finance & budgeting of City agencies, interaction with all City divisions (as First Deputy Mayor under Giuliani), engaging the public at open Town Hall forums within each borough of the City, and executive management that pertains to NYC tourism with sports teams and entertainment with the NY Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden oversight. He was raised in The Bronx and his father was an NYPD officer, his uncle a taxi driver — and he’s lived in Brooklyn for 26 years. BRC believes he has a unique grasp of the layers and inter-connection of life in NYC and its suburbs.

Democrats in the White House and Albany are providing scant leadership on the Economy. The next Mayor also faces unions that have a signed agreement from Democratic candidates — and want retro-pay and their contracts. NYC needs far more than talk. We need a Republican that can improve our City on so many levels. We need a leader to build a team and effectiveness we can trust. We need a Mayor that can get things done without a year of appointments and disappointments. We need a leader that will not need to learn how to adapt into government as he goes along.


The 2013 elections have become a circus of caricatures. Put any of them against Joe Lhota, and the voters will see the difference.

He simply is the best person for the job.

# # #