Republican mayoral hopeful George McDonald vowed to soldier on after raising less than $4,000 in the latest filing period, raising serious questions about the viability of his campaign.
The Doe Fund founder brought in just $3,580 from March 12 through May 11, according to a campaign spokesman–a total that would be considered disappointing for even a City Council candidate, let alone someone campaigning citywide. That leaves Mr. McDonald with just $126,000 cash-on-hand–$125,000 of which came from a loan from the candidate himself.
The foundations of any successful high-profile campaign usually include strong fund-raising operations, and the race to replace term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg is no exception. As tomorrow’s deadline approaches for candidates to release their quarterly fund-raising totals, most of the campaigns are claiming success.
Former MTA chair Joe Lhota for example, raised a healthy $558,000 for his bid.
Taxation and Representation
City Republicans–and Adolfo Carrion Jr.–slammed proposed city legislation that would allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections, calling the idea offensive, illegal and just plain dumb.
The City Council held a hearing earlier today on a bill that would allow any resident legally living in the city for six months or longer to vote in municipal elections. The bill, which is opposed by the mayor, has wide support on the council, with 34 sponsors–a veto-proof majority.
A group of outspoken animal rights advocates said they’re now considering supporting Republican Joe Lhota for mayor, after the candidate vowed to get rid of horse-drawn carriages because of their smell.
New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets (NYCLASS), the anti-horse-drawn carriage that is one of the groups behind the anti-Christine Quinn political committee New York City Is Not for Sale, told Politicker Wednesday that the group is looking at endorsing Mr. Lhota in November if Ms. Quinn wins the Democratic nomination.
Earlier this week, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg breathed fire and brimstone at a plethora of politicians for failing to support his law-and-order agenda, some police reform advocates reacted harshly and said Mr. Bloomberg was deflecting from the real issues.
But not Joe Lhota. In fact, Mr. Lhota, a Republican vying to replace the term-limited Mr. Bloomberg, thought the speech was better than anything he’s ever heard from a mayor.
“Bravo! Bravo to Mayor Bloomberg for that speech,” Mr. Lhota exclaimed in a radio interview with Brian Lehrer this morning. “It was probably the best speech I’ve ever heard a mayor of the City of New York give in the 59 years I’ve been a resident of this city.”
Just Like Obama
At a fund-raiser last night for his one-time deputy mayor Joe Lhota, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani not only came out swinging against Democratic officials’ counter-terrorism policies, he blasted this year’s crop of Democratic mayoral candidates, saying neither they–nor President Barack Obama–had ever held a real job.
Mr. Giuliani, one of Mr. Lhota’s biggest backers as he seeks the Republican nomination for City Hall’s top job, touted his former attack dog’s record in the private sector and as the city’s once-budget director.
“That’s exactly what we need. Not these career politicians who have never really held a job. Like our President, who never really held a job,” he said, to laughs, according to footage of the speech at the Excelsior Grand in Staten Island, captured by blogger Jacob Kornbluh.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who led the city through 9/11, accused some in Washington of being in “denial” about the risks posed by terrorism and said that Democrats too preoccupied with “liberal ideas” are putting public safety at risk.
Speaking at a fund-raiser for Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota last night, Mr. Giuliani, who made an unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2008, said that New York City remains a target, and that government must be ever-vigilant to stave off the next attack.
The three leading Republican candidates for mayor all support the use of controversial unmanned drones to watch over New York City–as long as cameras aren’t peering into their bedrooms.
“I’m absolutely for it,” said former MTA Chair Joe Lhota, speaking at a candidates’ forum hosted by the New York Young Republican Club in Midtown Tuesday night. “Drones to be used from a surveillance point of view, so long as it understands people’s privacy rights.”
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.”
Planes Trains & Automobiles
This afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially announced his pick to head the Metropolitan Transit Authority, left vacant over 100 days ago when then-Chairman Joe Lhota resigned to pursue a mayoral campaign: M.T.A. Interim Executive Director Tom Prendergast. And Mr. Lhota told Politicker he couldn’t be more pleased with the selection.
“Tom Prendergast is a superb choice and he has a unique understanding of the system,” Mr. Lhota proclaimed. “And I know of no one who cares more for the customers and the riders than Tom Prendergast. As chairman, I relied on him more than anyone and I think it’s a great choice.”
Mr. Cuomo, in a statement, was similarly effusive.