king of queens
Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran, who was indicted on corruption charges earlier this year, declared today he would be crossing party lines to vote for Democrat Paul Vallone to succeed him in the council–a fact celebrated by Mr. Vallone’s GOP rival, Dennis Saffran.
Cats Out of The Bag
Running in the shadow of an indicted pol of his own party, Dennis Saffran is hoping voters in northeast Queens aren’t souring on the Republican brand in one of the few City Council races the GOP can conceivably win this year.
Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis hinted to reporters today that he had testified in an investigation pertaining to the City Council, but declined to provide any further details.
“I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about it but there are a few investigations going on that I am privy to,” Mr. Catsimatidis said in Queens today after being asked why none of the Republican City Council members had endorsed his candidacy. All have chosen to side with his rival, former MTA Chair Joe Lhota instead.
Embattled Councilman Dan Halloran, whom federal prosecutors have charged with quarterbacking a bribery scheme to rig the mayor’s race, is having trouble holding staff members.
First, Mr. Halloran’s legislative director, John Mulvey, bailed, followed by his chief of staff, Chrissy Voskerichian. And today, Kevin Ryan, Mr. Halloran’s spokesman, just did the same.
As indictments of minority elected officials continue to pile up, some leaders have openly suggested, while offering scant evidence, that a conspiracy exists to remove blacks and Latinos from power. But U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, one of two federal prosecutors responsible for bringing many of the recent corruption charges, outright rejected any conspiracy theories last night.
exiting stage right
Councilman Dan Halloran’s former chief of staff, running in the race to replace him after he was arrested on corruption charges, has raised about $11,000 in less than two weeks.
Chrissy Voskerichian abruptly left her post when Mr. Halloran, a Republican, was charged last month for allegedly quarterbacking a bribery scheme for a mayoral candidate. She filed a campaign committee to run in the Democratic primary in Mr. Halloran’s northeast Queens district, even before he said he would not seek re-election.
Councilman Dan Halloran, who has been charged with helping quarterback a bribery scheme to rig the mayoral race, will not seek another term in office, he announced this afternoon.
“Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council,” he said in a statement. “After much thought, I have concluded that it is impossible for me to properly do these things and take on the enormous demands of a political campaign, so I will not to pursue another term in the Council.”
A name familiar to millions of New Yorkers could enter a volatile Queens City Council race.
Rudy S. Giuliani, chief of staff to Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich and second cousin to the former mayor of the same name, is mulling a run for indicted GOP Councilman Dan Halloran’s seat, multiple sources told Politicker.
“If there’s a special election, it’d be hard to pass up,” one Queens Republican insider said. “That’s how he’s framed it to me.”
Councilman Dan Halloran, charged last week in a wide-reaching bribery scheme, often says his office has been consistently ranked number one citywide in constituent services, but it’s not completely clear where his number comes from.
Indeed, after Mr. Halloran’s chief of staff resigned yesterday, his spokesman repeated the assertion that their office was “the most responsive to constituents in the Council, closing over 8,000 cases.” At his re-election kick-off in February, Mr. Halloran himself touted their “No. 1 ranking in constituent services in the Council.” The claim was again presented by his spokesman last October and their office produced a press release celebrating the achievement in January.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is not happy about the barrage of corruption charges hitting various New York lawmakers throughout the week, including State Senator Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Dan Halloran and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson. Accordingly, Mr. Cuomo released a statement this afternoon detailing his disgust.
“The allegations of public corruption by City and State officials revealed this week are appalling,” the governor declared.