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.
The Iron Lady
Politicos on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are mourning former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who suffered a stroke and passed away earlier today. Indeed, at least two mayoral candidates have commented on the conservative icon’s passing so far, including GOP mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota.
“Margaret Thatcher was a 20th century visionary who understood the power of individual freedom versus the tyranny of government collectivism,” Mr. Lhota, who has described himself as a libertarian in the past, said in a statement.
2013 Mayoral Election
With less than six months to go until the primaries, the New York Observer and the 92nd Street Y have teamed up to host an evening of discussion with all of the major mayoral candidates. The event starts in one hour and, if you can’t make it to the 92nd Street Y to see it in person, you can watch live online right here.
The Boogie Down
In a serious blow to Adolfo Carrión’s chances of running on the GOP line, the Bronx County Republican Party is backing Joe Lhota for mayor. Mr. Lhota’s campaign announced the endorsement this afternoon with a statement that included a quote from Bronx GOP chair Jay Savino, who met with Mr. Lhota along with the rest of the county party’s executive committee Monday night.
“After an open and honest exchange it was our conclusion that Joe Lhota is the most qualified candidate in this race,” Mr. Savino said. “His proven leadership, in and outside of government, is exactly what New York City needs.”
City Council Republicans and mayoral candidate Joe Lhota were mostly in sync with Mayor Michael Bloomberg today, denouncing a bill that would create an inspector general’s office for the NYPD.
“There’s no reason to have an inspector general office for the NYPD,” Mr. Lhota said at City Hall this morning. “It already has oversight by the five district attorneys, by the two U.S. attorneys, by various other organizations. Its just another level of bureaucracy that is being put upon the City of New York and it’s absolutely unnecessary.”
Prior to launching his mayoral bid, Republican former MTA chairman Joe Lhota was an extremely prolific Twitter user. Since hitting the campaign trail, Mr. Lhota has made far fewer posts on the social media site and stopped tweeting the witticisms he was previously known for. When Politicker saw Mr. Lhota at lunch yesterday, we asked him why he reduced his Twitter presence. Mr. Lhota attributed his lower Twitter profile to instructions from his campaign press team, specifically, his spokeswoman Susan Del Percio.
“I eventually will get back. You know I get handled by my press people,” said Mr. Lhota. “Susan, she threatened me, so I have to be careful.”
About two hours after announcing he was ending his campaign for mayor, local media mogul Tom Allon had lunch with a man he would have faced off against in September’s Republican mayoral primary, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota. Both men insisted their meal at Michael’s in Midtown was already on the schedule and wasn’t a sign Mr. Allon will be endorsing Mr. Lhota following his departure from the race.
“We had an appointment to meet a couple weeks ago and it’s just by happenstance,” Mr. Lhota said when asked about the timing of the meal. “It’s the honest to god truth.”