Tag Archives: Joe Lhota

Sept. 23rd meeting welcomes GOP primary winner Joe Lhota, and discussion of local issues in the best way (unbiased)

25 Sep

“Democrats are keeping an open mind, especially across the 39th Council District where Mr. DeBlasio is widely remembered for a lackluster record”


Our September meeting was ambitious – first, in recognizing the GOP Primary win of Brooklyn’s Joe Lhota and inviting him for his 3rd appearance as our main guest speaker across 2013. Mr. Lhota addressed the post-primary, near immediate news of polls heralding the near insurmountable lead by his Democratic opponentphoto-8

Mr. Lhota spoke of a plan of emphasizing his own formidable record and experience vs. the scant accomplishment of his opponent. Some attendees reacted, in saying that we have a 2-term President that’s generally unqualified – and that people don’t seem to vote on merits, but on emotion. They urged a stronger representation of what’s at stake – should NYC’s voters be swayed by talk and rhetoric and class warfare, as we just saw nationally not a year ago. Mr. Lhota said he was strong on Education, on Jobs and in turning our local Economy around – and that all Democrats and Independents should recognize that he’s a New York Republican, and apart from national Republicans.

Our meeting was joined by some local Democrats/civic leaders visiting to hear Mr. Lhota in person. Democrats are keeping an open mind, especially across the 39th Council District where Mr. DeBlasio is widely remembered for a lackluster record that seemed more focused on his career trajectory and the politics/policies wider than on our areas.

With debates ahead, there’s a chance to show that difference.


photo-7Secondly, our focus on raising awareness of local issues in an apolitical way, emphasizing community over anything partisan was underlined by the first appearance of our 2nd guest speaker — Craig Hammerman, District Manager for Community Board 6 – who spoke of wide-ranging issues.

Many of our members responded to discussions of topics they have been involved in – including the defense of LICH, updating on the Gowanus/EPA focus and development around the canal areas and the opposition to NYC plans of squeezing 170 homeless men into a 4-story building on 9th Street. Mr. Hammerman cover many issues, received genuinely appreciative applause from our gathering of over 35 attendees, after an extended Q&A session.


REPUBLICAN INFIGHTING and pending County Chair Election

Our third theme, occurred within in the 2nd hour of our meeting – where we rolled-up our sleeves to debate/openly discuss the 2013 infighting of the Brooklyn Republican party. This topic was a paradox and 100% against the agenda of the Brownstone September meeting, which sought to bring together any/all of our Republicans behind our Mayoral candidate. However, it was clearly the undertone answer and the 400-pound gorilla in the room – being our County’s stance of the election as tied into their own battle for retaining office?

Our Kings County Republican Committee and Chairman Craig Eaton exhausted every effort for their candidate, John Catsimatidis – who lost Brooklyn on the whole, and our areas by a 2-1 margin in the Sept. 10th primary. However, as of our September 23rd meeting they had still not endorsed Joe Lhota for Mayor. What was worse, the candidate John Catsimatidis – did not embrace the winner, as the Democrats had done on the steps of City Hall (with Gov. Cuomo play-acting as a uniter of both DeBlasio and Thompson). This divide in the Brooklyn GOP was both surprising and more than a little disturbing for many Brownstone Republicans – who had heard prominent Kings County representatives pledge (in our own May to July meetings) that we would “all come together to support the eventual winner”. Why hadn’t this happened, when the win was decisive? – This seemed tied to the Kings County Chair vote that was pending within a week, of our meeting and still threaded to sentiments and perhaps vindictiveness from the Catsimatidis campaign?

This topic reached an outward, open debate – as BRC President Joe Nardiello relayed that he had spoken to Brooklyn Chairman Eaton just before the meeting (by phone) and relayed positives of the prior years (elections of Congressman Grimm, Congressman Turner’s win over Anthony Weiner, before being districted out, etc.). Some voiced that the absence of a Republican candidate for Brooklyn Borough President, and the tandem of seeming ‘spiteful’ after losing the Mayoral primary to Joe Lhota – alone, was enough to consider his opposition. Some BRC members are also Kings County Committee members, and brought in a mailing of the upcoming, ominous/pending “Brooklyn Convention” which had no date set, but would be sprung among members within a day or two (?) – as per Rules of electing a chairperson. They relayed that there was too much “cloak and dagger nonsense” going on, behind the scenes – that its difficult to watch the Democrats uniting behind DeBlasio, in comparison who had a lower percentage of the overall primary voting (barely 40% of Democrats to avoid a run-off).

The Brownstone Club then recognized one new attendee, who introduced himself to BRC as the opposition for Kings County Chair, Mr. Tim Cochrane.  Mr. Cochrane would on the ballot against Chairman Eaton, whenever the Convention would occur. He spoke for a short while – but very directly – about the goals, direction that the Brooklyn Republican Party should take. He outlined his experience in the Republican Party, plus his business experience and his personal history of being raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. While recognizing that the goals of this Brownstone meeting were wider focused, on the general Mayoral election, etc. – Mr. Cochrane said that his focus would be in developing the Republican party (“period”) across areas of Brooklyn that both show promise, and have been neglected historically. Mr. Cochrane took a question or two, before heading out to another meeting.

It was another of a string of meetings that kept over 15 attendees long after the official end of the meeting – compelled to get their perspectives, points and ideas across for the betterment of the GOP, here in Brooklyn.

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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.


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…


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?


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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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.


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


“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.”


(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. 


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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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.”


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