As Seen on TV
A day after John Catsimatidis hit the airwaves with the first television ad of the mayor’s race, his chief Republican rival, Joe Lhota, has come out with one, too.
The ad, titled “Joe is New York,” focuses on Mr. Lhota’s working class background, his role in the Giuliani administration during 9/11 attacks and his work restoring the subways after Hurricane Sandy.
As Seen on TV
In political terms, there’s still a long time to go before candidates can afford to hit the airwaves with serious television advertising–most voters simply won’t be paying attention until a few weeks before the September 10th primary. But billionaire mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis, who is self-financing his campaign, is under no pressure to limit his spending as he seeks to win the Republican nomination and accordingly released the first ad of the race this morning.
“John Catsimatidis never forgot where he came from, raising millions for education, neighborhood he believes every New Yorker deserves the opportunities he had,” the narrator declares in the slickly-produced, 60-second spot. “Today, John Catsimatidis is running for mayor, because he believes every New Yorker deserves the opportunities he had.”
I want candy
All of the major mayoral candidates have been spending cash at a relative steady clip; but no other candidate has managed to do so as fast as billionaire supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis. The self-financed Republican has spent a whopping $880,000 since he entered the race, including $615,332 in bills over the past two months.
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.
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.
Apples to Apples
John Catsimatidis was not too pleased when he opened up today’s New York Times to read about his reportedly embattled supermarket chain, Gristedes, which it dubbed the “unloved uncle of the New York City grocery scene.”
“I’d say ‘ugh.’ I’d say ‘ugh,’” the billionaire Republican candidate for mayor replied when Politicker asked him about his reaction to the piece, which detailed how the grocery chain has been struggling financially and targeted by several class action lawsuits.
He elaborated by comparing his relationship with Gristedes, which launched his successful business career, to a wife who doesn’t like her name.
The Liberal Party endorsed Republican John Catsimatidis as its mayoral candidate, party heads announced at a press conference Tuesday.
“John Catsimatidis understands history and respects the power of a successful Republican-Liberal Party fusion in New York City electoral politic,” party chair Jack Olchin said in a statement. “In addition, John also understands the concerns and aspirations of all New Yorkers and we feel he will be a people’s Mayor just like the first Republican-Liberal Party fusion Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1940′s.”
The Greek-born John Catsimatidis is ineligible to run for President of the United States, but that doesn’t mean the GOP mayoral candidate hasn’t thought about it. Indeed, during yesterday’s rowdy event at the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, Mr. Catsimatidis talked extensively about federal policy before proclaiming that he would have defeated President Barack Obama’s re-election bid if he were in the race.
“I’m running for mayor, I can’t run for president!” he declared. “But let me tell you something, I would have won. I could have beat Obama. Buy me a box of Kleenex.”
Cats Out of The Bag
Earlier today, John Catsimatidis gave his mayoral campaign pitch to the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, and it was certainly not a humdrum affair. His initial speech, given as he stood in the backroom of a Cobble Hill Irish pub, went smoothly enough. When Mr. Catsimatidis veered into the question-and-answer period, however, the GOP candidate quarreled extensively with a multiple audience members.
“I still don’t understand what your plan is,” conservative activist Frank Russo told Mr. Catsimatidis, for example, about his job training program. “Quite frankly, I’m being honest. I’m not trying to be confrontational.”
“That’s public money, that’s my money,” another audience member chimed in about the proposal, which would train some young people trade skills early on in their careers. “You think it’s okay to steal it!”
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.”