Tag Archives: John Catsimatidis

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”

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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. 

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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 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. 

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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.

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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.

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Candidates prove Small Business issues are in their wheelhouse.

1 May

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St. Francis College hosted its second Mayoral forum on “Workforce Development and Small Business issues”. Tuesday’s quick-moving forum featured GOP candidates John Catsimatidis, Joe Lhota, George McDonald and Independence party candidate Adolpho Carrion, Jr.

Answers were candid and in-depth, and showed each candidate understands the challenges facing the NY economy. Each answer demonstrated an advantage of the Republican contenders vs. the Democrats who all gathered for the exact forum earlier in April (no matter their lack of a first-hand connection with the subject matter). Too bad, they couldn’t do this together.

NY-1’s Errol Louis moderated the forum, with an interesting array of questions presented by each of NYC’s chambers of commerce and hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber. Mr. Carrion showed clear skill across many answers. Mr. Catsimatidis was passionate about issues facing storefront businesses, as he’s been contending with them for 40 years. Mr. McDonald has run the Doe Fund for 25 years.

Joe Lhota’s experience as Deputy Mayor and within business management made for intelligent responses – but was attacked on the issue of raising Verrazano tolls (he called it a “cheap shot”). Revealing was Mr. Lhota’s response of the increases being an “every two year” occurrence by NYS legislation – that the public may not be aware that next year, and 2 years from then, the tolls are going up further.

For the entire debate – posted by Brooklyn Independent TV on youTube – just click.

Online summary by Brooklyn’s Home Reporter News (click). 

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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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George McDonald Brings a Focus That is Well-Received.

19 Mar

George McDonald proved himself a passionate speaker during Monday evening’s meeting of the Brownstone Club, particularly on subjects of crime, small business support, welfare and NYC’s “right to shelter” rule.

“Work defines you,” said Mr. McDonald in his remarks that covered his extensive experience in leading and founding The Doe Fund, a multi-state non-profit organization that seeks to restore and bridge homeless men to mainstream work.  “Because they mostly seem OK with this (societal condition), I made my departure with the Democratic party long ago. I didn’t like it, either, when Pres. Obama said that many can aspire to join “the middle class” during his State of the Union – when the American Dream is founded on aiming higher!”

George McDonald at Brooklyn's Brownstone Republican Club.

George McDonald at Brooklyn’s Brownstone Republican Club.

“Early on with The Doe Fund, I spoke with 100s of men about what they wanted – and they all said “a job”. It is the way to confidently adjust from incarceration or drug abuse,” said Mr. McDonald. “That why we call our program Ready, Willing and Able… because its what they are. They want to contribute, to work and be self-sufficient.”

He went on to relay his accomplishments with many ‘graduates’ of his programs, across our geography – and connected reasons why they fall into this condition with the failings and lack of proper focus of NYC programs. Education and crime are both costs to New York City for what it overlooks, and how young people fall through the cracks. But, he’s seen them. He’s helped many. He knows ways to re-construct mechanisms to lessen the burdens on this citywide segment of NYC’s population.

“We also cannot have 20% of our homeless coming to NYC, being from outside of the City – for the burdens it puts on the system. The “Right to Shelter” rule, where the public cannot know or ask for ID…but must shelter or face lawsuits, etc. has to be ended. The costs are staggering. Ultimately, no one is made to work or needs to try and get out of this.”

McDonald also said that NYC seems to do all it can, to harm small businesses…who can employ so many more as an economic engine.

“Tonight’s speaker was the most ‘real’ to me…in that he seems to really care about raising the condition for so many struggling people across New York,” said one Brownstone member of the candidates she’s met so far in 2013. “So far, I would walk his petitions if he needs it, come the time.”

George McDonald was very friendly, and was well received before and after his extensive question & answer period. He was knowledgeable and fielded questions ranging from gun-laws to local housing concerns to the safety of NYC shelters, and also vowed to discover more and “communicate” with State officials as per Brownstone’s concern over our local hospital (LICH) being threatened by the very SUNY leadership that was supposed to be stewarding its health and rebound from Continuum’s mismanagement (which seemed to put Real Estate value/grabs over the focus and care of the institution).

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Clearly, there’s solid interest at BRC meetings in seeing Republican mayoral candidates up-close.

On an evening that weather-wise felt more like early February with piling snow, hail and biting cold…the number of BRC attendees may have easily been low. Instead, about 30 were on hand, a number even more surprising when word spread of a tandem event in Manhattan drawing potential attendees to an off-Broadway play on the upper eastside. (It was Tony Lo Bianco reprising Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in “The Little Flower” as sponsored by Gristedes supermarkets and hosted by its owner and declared GOP candidate John Catsimatidis).

While the general public is just beginning to hear the names, and reflect on media coverage of GOP mayoral candidates – the pregame is well underway.

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