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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Lhota’

Lhota: De Blasio Is Dinkins 2.0

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Joe Lhota woke up this week with a fresh burst of energy as he kicked off the last two weeks of his campaign to discourage voters from voting for Bill de Blasio. In a speech in front of a real estate group Wednesday morning, Mr. Lhota ratcheted up his charge that Bill de Blasio, if elected, will take the city in a “tried and failed” direction.

“My opponent will tell you that he understands your concerns, and behind closed doors he’ll tell you things that are the complete opposite of his public rhetoric,” said Mr. Lhota. “When he does this, I want all of you to remember one thing — one thing, when Bill de Blasio tells you that he understands the concerns of New York City’s business leaders: Bill de Blasio is not a leader; he has never managed anything.”

“Don’t take my word for it. Just ask former Mayor David Dinkins, Bill’s former boss. In his own words, David Dinkins recently said Bill de Blasio “has never run anything” in his life, ” Mr Lhota went on.

“Despite eight years on the City Council and four years as Public Advocate, New York City has little to show for Bill de Blasio’s 12 years in elected office. Why? Bill de Blasio is not a leader. The dark days of the 1980s are where Bill de Blasio learned the ropes. The problem is, he learned all the wrong lessons. In Bill’s view, the New York City of David Dinkins and 2,000 murders a year was a success story, while the progress of the last 20 years is, in his words, “unacceptable.” This is the central idea of Bill de Blasio’s campaign, an idea that is the opposite of tried and true: it’s tried and failed,” he charged.

Speaking to reporters following the speech, Mr. Lhota sought to use as many zingers and punch lines possible to double down on Mr. de Blasio, as he had begun to do at Tuesday night’s debate.

“I mean, he talks a good game, but boy, he can’t even get into the first inning, because once you go past and ask any type of a detailed question, it’s ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,’” he said of Mr. de Blasio.

“Did you miss me?” Mr. Lhota responded with a devilish smirk when asked by a Capital New York reporter about his new aggressive style during a scrum with reporters after the speech. “I’m back!”

“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said when pressed on where he’d gone. “I went into the debate last night loose, not worried, wanting to have a conversation with my opponent, with the people at home, sitting watching television. And that’s what I did … I prepared to do what I’ve done my entire life: speak my mind, don’t anyone put words in my mouth and just put the issues out there.”

“This all started with my opponent tagging me with Rudy Giuliani. Rudy Giuliani this, Rudy Giuliani that. That’s fine. I’m inextricably linked to Rudy Giuliani,” he said. “But if that’s the direction he wants to go in, I want to remind everybody that he worked for the biggest failure of a mayor that’s ever hit the shores of the City of New York. David Dinkins was an abysmal failure right from the get-go. And so if he wants to talk about my experience working in the prior administration, I’ll talk about his experience in the prior administration and how dangerous this city was from [the Dinkins' administration] lack of action.”

Video: Questions for Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Questions for Joe Lhota

Earlier on the campaign trail in Brooklyn, Joe Lhota, the Republican nominee for mayor, participated in a Jewish Press forum, along with his Republican primary opponents. Here are Lhota’s responses to issues that are of particular concern to the city’s Jewish community.



Questions for Bill de Blasio

Earlier on the campaign trail in Brooklyn, Bill de Blasio, the Democratic nominee for mayor, participated in a Jewish Press forum, along with his Democratic primary opponents. Here are de Blasio’s responses to issues that are of particular concern to the city’s Jewish community.


Questions for Joe Lhota

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The Jewish Press recently asked New York City Republican mayoral nominee Joe Lhota, former chairman of the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority and deputy mayor for operations under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, to address issues that are of particular concern to the city’s Jewish community. The questions (and candidate’s replies) below are in addition to those posed to Lhota and his Republican primary opponents during a Jewish Press forum earlier in the campaign season. (That forum can be viewed at here.)

These same questions were sent to Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for mayor. As of Monday afternoon, de Blasio had not responded.

The Jewish Press: As mayor, Rudolph Giuliani ejected Yasir Arafat from a Lincoln Center concert held in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Many observers commented that Giuliani’s act was likely inspired by his support for Israel. Should pro-Israel New Yorkers care whether their mayor supports Israel?

Also, please share your views regarding Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest push for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and the threat a nuclear Iran poses to Israel and the rest of the world.

Joe Lhota: I am running to be mayor of New York and my primary concern is, first and foremost, keeping this city safe. The Jewish community in particular understands the need to live in a safe city, and how far we have come since the early 90s. Since 2001 the NYPD has thwarted 17 terrorist attacks, including the attempted bombings of Riverdale synagogues. That’s why I support Ray Kelly as NYPD commissioner and why we need to ensure the NYPD has the tools necessary to keep our city safe.

At the same time, being that our city is oft dubbed “the capital of the world” there is a role for the mayor to use his bully pulpit to speak on behalf of Israel, just like Rudy and Ed Koch have done in the past.

And as a Bronx boy I am not afraid to speak my mind in defense of Israel. Having experienced 9/11, I better understand what Israelis deal with as part of their daily existence, and any negotiations must support Israel’s security needs. And I strongly support the government and people of Israel in their search for a lasting peace.

Iran represents a threat not only to Israel but to the region and the Western world as well. Iranian-backed Hizbullah was responsible for the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994 and the civilized world must remain united in preventing a radical, nuclear Iran.

Last year, the New York City Commission on Human Rights decided to pursue a discrimination claim against several chassidic storeowners in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section over their posting of signs that stated, “No shorts, no barefoot, no sleeveless, no low-cut neckline allowed in this store.” The storeowners claim they are simply requesting a level of modesty for their stores; that the commission has overreached based on existing city law; and that other institutions, such as high-end restaurants and even courtrooms, impose dress codes but have not met scrutiny. What is your opinion on this matter?

One of New York’s defining characteristics is its diversity, its immigrants who came through Ellis Island and later [on], and how disparate groups have helped make this great city what it is – and the Orthodox and chassidic communities of Brooklyn are an essential part of that.

Having visited those stores, I gained an appreciation for their way of life and devotion to their traditions. We cannot discriminate in either direction and we must find a proper balance between religious and secular sensitivities. For example, one disappointment I have with the Bloomberg administration has been its refusal to allow religious groups to rent public school space during off hours and weekends. That is something I would do differently because it doesn’t violate separation of church and state and religious groups can put the schools to good use while raising revenue for the city.

Too often, crimes that would appear to be anti-Jewish hate crimes – especially Nazi-related vandalism – get labeled as something more benign and are treated as simple mischief. Do you think New York City’s existing hate crime laws are tough enough?

Jewish Press Sponsors Republican Mayoral Forum (Video)

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The Republican candidates seeking the post of the next Mayor of New York City answered a range of questions in a Jewish Press-sponsored forum in Boro Park.

Moderated by radio host Nachum Segal, with questions from Jewish Press editorial staffers, the forum offered candidates Joe Lhota, John Catsimatidis, and George McDonald a chance to present their views to the Jewish community, about 100 of whom sat at the Boro Park YM-YHWA on Monday, August 26.

Watch the video for their answers on bris milah, the cost of yeshiva education, plans for the city’s economy, and Stop and frisk.


A Mayoral Candidate’s Low Blow

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

We were dismayed by Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota’s opportunistic call last week for New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign from his leadership position over the Vito Lopez matter.

To our mind Mr. Lhota’s injecting the Lopez Assembly controversy into the mayoral race, something that has scant relevance to anything in his campaign platform, is a transparent effort at jump-starting what has otherwise been a lackluster campaign by securing some name recognition and perhaps whipping up some financial support. We think it no small coincidence that Mr. Lhota promptly followed up his attack on Mr. Silver with an extravagant fundraising e-mail.

It should be noted that Mr. Lhota’s remarks were directed at someone who has long been the single most productive elected official in the country in terms of laws enacted to protect the rights of Jews as a minority group. And while politics is politics, Mr. Lhota could not have been unmindful that his attack – were anyone actually paying attention to anything he says – could have helped fuel the anti-Silver bandwagon being driven by the city’s daily tabloids.

It is also a fact that the major candidates for mayor on the Democratic side have all been leaders in advocating for women’s rights and all have expressed support for Speaker Silver in the Lopez matter. In addition, Mr. Silver enjoys nearly unanimous support on the issue from the members of the Assembly Democratic caucus – including its female contingent, which has pressed for many women’s rights initiatives. Indeed, Mr. Silver himself has long been key to many of the achievements in this area.

There is another very current issue on the state level if Mr. Lhota is truly searching for a state issue to address. As we discussed last week, the Assembly had passed a bill sponsored by Speaker Silver that prohibits domestic insurers from including on their financial statements investments in companies that engage in investment activities in Iran. State insurance regulators rely on such financial statements to determine whether a company is solvent and able to pay claims.

Mr. Silver has said his bill addresses a concern that investments in Iran are not financially sound given the political turmoil there. Yet he also noted that he hopes this legislation would further encourage divestment in Iran in tandem with federal legislation. This is certainly something our community, along with most New Yorkers, is interested in. Sadly, the Republican majority leader of the State Senate, Dean Skelos, did not even allow Silver’s bill to be voted on before the legislature adjourned last Friday.

Rather than commenting on this clear failure on Senator Skelos’s part, Mr. Lhota chose to challenge Speaker Silver over the Lopez affair.

Come election time, our community should not forget Mr. Lhota’s priorities.

Catsimatidis Quietly Breaks Record with 50 Friendraiser Events

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Republican mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis may be self-funding his campaign but he’s not sitting idly either. The Republican candidate has held nearly 50 “friendraisers” since March. The invitation-only events provide, at no cost, something the city’s richest residents often pay dearly for: one-on-one face time with the politician in a small, social setting.

Mr. Catsimatidis has least 30 more scheduled events through July, his campaign stated.

In an interview with the WSJ, Mr. Catsimatidis called the events his way of keeping in touch with friends and meeting their friends, as he’s running his busy campaign. “They don’t have to write a check,” Mr. Catsimatidis said.

Rob Ryan, a spokesman for the candidate, said the majority of the friendraiser events have been held in Manhattan, and none have been held in the Bronx, but “friendraisers have been held around the city” and attendees have been among a wide socioeconomic spectrum.

“The events outside Manhattan are drawing large crowds and attracting GOP Primary voters, building the enthusiasm we need to win,” he said.

Friendraisers have been held in middle-class neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn.

According to the WSJ, many who attended the events said they came away impressed with the candidate’s business-savvy and willingness to engage in candid, one-on-one conversations.

The campaign of Republican mayoral hopeful of Joe Lhota , Catsimatidis’s main rival in the GOP primary, took the opportunity to paint Mr. Catsimatidis as being out-of-touch. “Whether it’s bankrolling political committees or subsidizing events, the only support John has in this campaign is the kind he’s bought and paid for,” said Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for  Lhota.

Mr. Ryan responded: “Obviously, the Lhota campaign is jealous.” He added that Mr. Catsimatidis is “drawing large crowds and winning support in all five boroughs.”

Can a Bearded Candidate Become Mayor? Yes and No

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Bill de Blasio is not a Hasid, although he represented Borough Park in the city Council. Nevertheless, the NY Post took issue with the mayoral hopeful getting rid of his beard as soon as he was considered a serious candidate for mayor.

“As a Brooklyn councilman, de Blasio sported a beard when elected in 2001, taming it to a rakish mustache and goatee by the time he was public advocate in 2010. Just a year later, he made his smooth transition,” the Post noted.

“I didn’t leave my beard — my beard left me,” de Blasio told The Post, explaining that it was vanity, not politics, that led him to shave it off. “I started to notice flecks of gray . . . and I didn’t like the look,” de Blasio admitted, adding he “immediately felt younger after the shave.”

Experts said de Blasio’s close call makes sense, because conventional wisdom says facial hair doesn’t cut it in politics.

“In modern times, it makes the general public wince,” said political consultant George Arzt, who worked on de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate. Voters find facial hair “untrustworthy,” he added.

However, Arzt cautioned, “you can’t keep switching off from beard to mustache and goatee to nothing — then you don’t have a steady image of that person. That could work against him.”

Which raises the question: can a candidate with a beard become mayor of New York City? Maybe that’s why Joe Lhota, the Republican favorite, is considered a long shot. Joe Lhota — is the lone bearded candidate in the race. The last bearded mayor of New York City was William Gaynor, who served from 1910 to 1913. He was also the only mayor targeted by an assassin; he survived being shot in the throat in 1910, but died three years later.

“Having facial hair is not a determent,” Lhota declared to The Post. “I have no desire to shave it. That’s not going to happen. Plus, Republicans can get away with it more than Democrats, because they have this image of being self-made people.”

And Arzt confirmed to the post: “if anyone can pull it off, Lhota can, because the beard is part of his personality.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/can-a-bearded-candidate-become-mayor-yes-and-no/2013/06/11/

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