Tag Archives: 2013 mayoral race

Comptroller John Liu officially launches mayoral bid


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of the New York City Comptroller

Comptroller and former Queens councilmember John Liu has formally kicked off his campaign for the mayor of New York City.

“This can’t be the city of the rich and poor, of them and us. New York City needs to be one city. One city where everyone gets a fair wage and a fair shot,” Liu said at the announcement on the steps of City Hall Sunday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Liu went on a five-borough tour to meet voters.

“With your help, I’ll be a mayor who fights not only for every borough—but for every block in every neighborhood,” he also said during his announcement.

Liu is entering an already crowded Democratic primary that includes Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who launched her campaign last weekend, and Bill Thompson, who served as comptroller before Liu.

The first Asian-American to be elected to a citywide office in New York, Liu has served as comptroller since 2010 and represented Council District 20 from 2002 to 2009.

After immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan as a young child, Liu attended P.S. 20 in Queens, later graduating from the Bronx High School of Science. He currently lives in Flushing with his wife and son.

Liu mentioned his immigrant roots in his speech today.

“My parents truly believed in that promise–that an immigrant family named Liu could work their way up to become like a family named Kennedy. That’s why they named me John—and if you don’t believe me—feel free to ask my brothers Robert and Edward,” he said.

Though a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 15 percent of city voters are enthusiastic and 72 percent are comfortable with an Asian candidate, it also found that in a Democratic mayoral primary against Quinn, Thompson and de Blasio, Liu would come in last.

Even before officially entering the race, Liu’s candidacy has faced issues over the arrest of two of his campaign aides last year in connection to illegal contributions towards his mayoral bid.

Liu has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

 

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Anthony Weiner has war chest, but will he run for office?


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

More than a year-and-a-half after he was forced into resigning, there’s still speculation former Congressmember Anthony Weiner will make a bid for some public office, several media sources have reported.

The Daily News claimed an anonymous pollster was calling registered voters to gauge if they still had a favorable view of the disgraced legislator, who resigned in June 2011 after he was embroiled in a sexting scandal. Weiner, despite his resignation, kept steadfast that the scandal did not stretch past the inappropriate pictures he sent.

The New York Post reported the same day that Weiner, who spent about 12 years in Congress, was eyeing a run for City Comptroller, meaning, if true, he’d face off against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in a Democratic primary.

Weiner, who represented south Brooklyn and a significant portion of Queens, has nearly $4 million in campaign funds, most raised while he was in Congress, according to the State Board of Elections 2013 January Periodic Report. Money paid out between July and January has mainly been for rent and phone lines. The only exceptions were in July when Anthony Weiner for Mayor paid out legal fees, purchased a hard drive and paid Godaddy.com $241.92 for domain hosting.

The former congressmember has continually told reporters rent and phone bills are standard procedure but doesn’t mean he will actually make a run. Before he resigned two years ago, Weiner was considered a front runner to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor.

After the scandal, Weiner slipped from the limelight and focused on being a stay-at-home dad for his newborn son. He came back into the public eye for roughly half an hour last summer on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” to discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling on health care reform — something he supported during his time on Capitol Hill. Broaching the scandal and his resignation for just a moment, Weiner apologized to his constituents but would not comment on his political future.

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Grocery mogul Catsimatidis announces run for mayor


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Facebook/.johncatsimatidis2013.com

It’s getting crowded.

The Republican race for the mayor’s office tallied another candidate on Tuesday when John A. Catsimatidis announced he was running for the hotly contested position.

Catsimatidis, owner, president and CEO of grocery chain Red Apple Group, parent company of Gristedes, announced his candidacy on the steps of City Hall and promised to represent all New Yorkers, in every borough, if elected. His platform is based on strengthening the school system, better public safety and tax relief for the middle class.

“I want to be a mayor for all the neighborhoods of our great city,” he said in a campaign statement. “For Richmond Hill and Flushing, for Canarsie and Williamsbridge, for Harlem and for Wall Street for Riverdale and Throgs Neck and for Tottenville and New Dorp. I want to be a mayor who fairly represents all New Yorkers whether you are a cab driver from South Asia, a bodega owner from the Caribbean or an aspiring actor from the Midwest.”

The produce magnate is one of the few candidates from either party who has not spent the bulk of his career in public service. His main Republican opponent, former MTA chair Joe Lhota, was a budget director and then deputy mayor for former Mayor Rudoplh Guiliani. He’s also facing philanthropist George McDonald, chair of the homeless aid group, The Doe Fund.

“Unlike many of my opponents are who professional politicians and products of the cronyism of the political club house,” Catsimatidis said, “I come to this race as an independent businessman who will offer commonsense solutions to the problems that affect New York.”

Catsimatidis, 64, has a net worth of $3 billion as of last September, according to Forbes, and is ranked 132 in the magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans.

Queens Republican chair Phil Ragusa said while the party has not officially endorsed a candidate, Catsimatidis has had support in the party based on his initiative to create jobs and fight for residents’ rights.

Photo: Twitter/@JCats2013

 

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Joe Lhota officially enters mayoral race


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Lhoto photo courtesy of MTA/Flickr / Additional photos courtesy of Twitter (@JoeLhota)

It’s official. Joe Lhota, former CEO and chair of the MTA, is a mayoral candidate.

On Thursday Lhota filed papers with the Board of Elections to become the 109th mayor of New York City.

This morning on his newly created campaign website and Facebook page as well as on both his personal and campaign Twitter accounts he made the announcement:

He also tweeted an image with the slogan “A mayor for all of New York, proven leadership” and a photoshopped picture of Grand Central’s Mercury clock  with “Joe Lhota for Mayor” written below it.

The ex-transit head stepped down from his MTA position at the end of 2012 so he could ponder his candidacy, and said he would make his final decision on running in early January.

Lhota, a former deputy mayor for operations during the Rudy Giuliani administration, will reportedly run as a Republican.

Among his own party Lhota is a top contender, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-three percent of New York City voters said they would vote for Lhota in a Republican primary for mayor.

Coming in second was supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis with nine percent, followed by newspaper publisher Tom Allon with five percent, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion with three percent and Doe Fund founder George McDonald with two percent.

But 53 percent of those surveyed were still undecided.

The same Quinnipiac poll also found that voters would back several potential Democratic candidates, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller William Thompson, over Lhota by a 3-1 margin or more.

 

 

Ex-MTA chief Lhota closer to mayoral run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA/Flickr

Former MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota is on the fast track to a mayoral bid.

According to media reports, at a New York Building Congress luncheon Monday, Lhota said that he intends to file papers to run for mayor this week.

“I would not have left the MTA, a job and position that I loved, if I was not going to run for mayor of New York,” he said yesterday.

Lhota stepped down from his position heading the city’s transit agency last month in order to explore running in the 2013 race.

When he announced his resignation on December 19, Lhota said that he would make his decision on running for New York City mayor in early January.

A former deputy mayor for operations during the Rudy Giulianni administration, Lhota is expected to run as a Republican and get the endorsement of his ex-boss.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday Night: Clear. Low of 36. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Indians in the Caribbean

A photographic exhibition of arts, culture and nation building (1900-1950) at the Rajkumari Cultural Center in Richmond Hill, Indians in the Caribbean shows the life of arts and culture, scholarship and commerce, politics and civics in countries like Guyana, Suriname and Caribbean Islands like Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Rockaway beaches to open Memorial Day weekend: officials
Residents in the Sandy-ravaged Rockaways packed into a community board meeting Tuesday night to discuss the future of their wrecked boardwalk. Read more: NBC New York

Park advocates slam U.S. Tennis Association expansion plan

Park advocates aren’t showing much love to a plan for a $500 million expansion of a premiere tennis center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Read more: New York Daily News

Cuomo to press for wider curbs on gun access

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, pushing New York to become the first state to enact major new gun laws in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., plans on Wednesday to propose one of the country’s most restrictive bans on assault weapons. Read more: New York Times 

Quinn brushes off report that Bloomberg is eyeing other mayoral candidates

For some time now, it was unquestioned that New York City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn would have the backing of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But that’s not a sure thing, according to a report. Read more: CBS New York 

More anti-Muslim ads go up in NYC subways

The group that equated Muslim radicals with savages in advertisements last year has put up another set of provocative ads in dozens of New York City subway stations. Read more: Wall Street Journal 

Brooklyn Nets player questioned in Philly sex assault claim

Philadelphia police are investigating reports of a sexual assault that may have involved a Brooklyn Nets team member. Read more: NY1 

2012 was hottest year on record in U.S., climate agency says

The year 2012 was the warmest on record for the contiguous United States, beating the previous record by a full degree in temperature, a government climate agency said on Tuesday. Read more: Reuters

MTA head Joe Lhota resigns to explore mayoral run


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA/Flickr

Following the MTA board’s approval of his fare hike proposal, CEO and Chairman Joe Lhota announced that he will resign, effective December 31, to consider running for New York City mayor in 2013.

At the announcement, Lhota said that he would make “no further comment” on his mayoral candidacy until early January, when he will announce his decision.

The approved fare and toll changes, which raise the MetroCard base and unlimited fares, reduce the discount, as well as increases ticket prices on the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North, and raise tolls on MTA bridges and tunnels, are Lhota’s last hoorah as the agency’s head, and could conceivably hurt his chances among voters.

Post-Sandy polls showed that the majority of New Yorkers were pleased with how the MTA responded to the superstorm and its aftermath, but voters are fed up with the frequent fare hikes.

His party could also be an obstacle.

After two decades, the city will likely have a Democratic mayor again.

A November Quinnipiac University poll found that if Lhota ran for mayor as a Republican he would lose to an unnamed Democratic candidate 60 to nine percent. Forty-five percent of those surveyed also disapproved of how Lhota is handling his job as the head of the MTA.

Current mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ran for his first two terms as a Republican before switching to an Independent before his third run, is expected to endorse City Council Speaker and Democrat Christine Quinn, and reportedly even asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run.

Another former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, however, is expected to endorse Lhota, who served as his deputy mayor for operations. Giuliani also reportedly encouraged him to run.

The MTA chair also worked in investment banking, was an executive vice president for the Madison Square Garden Company, and served as the city’s budget director and commissioner of finance, before Governor

Andrew Cuomo appointed him as head of the transit agency in November 2011.

Before facing a Democrat, Lhota needs to win the Republican primary, where he could run against newspaper publisher Tom Allon, billionaire grocer John Catsimatidis, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrión Jr. and Doe Fund founder and president George McDonald.

The same November Quinnipiac poll also found that Lhota would lose to Carrión 62 to 11 percent.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Clear. High of 48. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph

EVENT of the DAY: Queens Young Professionals Holiday Party

Recently, the Queens Young Professionals group formed to provide resources and networking opportunities to cultivate the borough’s future business leaders and encourage the next generation to become invested in borough wide issues. QYP, which is free to join, hosts its first ever holiday party with an unlimited buffet and specially priced drinks plus the chance to network. $10. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

M.T.A. chief will resign as he looks at mayoral bid

Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has informed the Cuomo administration that he is stepping down from his position, according to four people with direct knowledge of his plans. Read more: New York Times

MTA to vote on fare, toll hike proposal Wednesday

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is scheduled to vote on its latest fare and toll hike proposal Wednesday morning. Read more: NY1

Little-known program can help flood-prone homeowners stave off future damage

Broad Channel homeowner Joan Delahunt, still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irene, was working on a plan to raise the level of her flood-prone home when Superstorm Sandy struck. Read more: New York Daily News

NRA breaks silence, comments on Newtown tragedy

After four days of self-imposed silence on the shooting that killed 26 people inside a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the nation’s largest gun rights lobby emerged Tuesday and promised “to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” ABC New York

Obama to call for gun policy changes

President Barack Obama is launching an administration-wide effort to curb gun violence, underscoring the growing political consensus over tightening gun restrictions following the horrific massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. Read more: Fox New York

Instagram takes step back, says ‘It is not our intention to sell your photos

Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service now owned by Facebook, has backpedaled on some of its planned changes that led to concerns that it would use its members’ photos in advertisements. Read more: CBS New York

Time 2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama

Twenty-seven years after driving from New York City to Chicago in a $2,000 Honda Civic for a job that probably wouldn’t amount to much, Barack Obama, in better shape but with grayer hair, stood in the presidential suite on the top floor of the Fairmont Millennium Park hotel as flat screens announced his re-election as President of the United States. Read more: Time magazine

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 61. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Monday night: Overcast with rain showers. Low of 45. Winds from the WSW at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the NW after midnight. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY: Rapture Loung Open Mic Night

Monday nights at Rapture Lounge in Astoria, musicians, poets, writers, singers-songwriters, comedians and performance artists are invited to the bar’s open mic night. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police gun down man after he flashes BB gun

Two undercover NYPD detectives shot and killed a career criminal Saturday night after he flashed a BB gun at the officers as they arrested a friend of his, an alleged drug dealer. Read more: New York Daily News

Woman found stabbed to death, man found wounded in Queens

Police Sunday night were investigating a stabbing that left a woman dead and a man injured in Elmhurst, Queens. Read more: CBS New York

Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long wants MTA boss Joseph Lhota to run for mayor

Add state Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long to the list of those who want MTA boss Joseph Lhota to run for mayor. “He’d make an interesting candidate,” Long said. “He’s certainly head and shoulders above the potential (Democratic) candidates running right now.”  Read more: New York Daily News

Report: MTA to reduce minimum for MetroCard discount

The MTA reportedly plans to make it easier for bus and subway riders to get a discount. Read more: ABC New York

Court date in NY hotel maid’s suit vs Strauss-Kahn

The outcome of a New York City hotel housekeeper’s sexual assault lawsuit against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn may soon be decided in court. Read more: Wall Street Journal 

As “fiscal cliff” clock ticks, Obama hits the road again

It’s just over three weeks until the first effects of the “fiscal cliff” kick in and this week begins with more politics, posturing, and partisanship dominating the negotiations between the White House and House Republicans. Read more: CBS

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 61. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 52. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT of the DAY: Copy Cat at Resorts World Casino New York City

See Copy Cat perform tonight at Resorts World. The band describes themselves as four guys who can be anyone you want them to be, playing anything from Bob Marley to Limp Bizkit to Frank Sinatra. But what we really makes them unique are the sounds of the Caribbean: Soca, Calypso, Reggae, anything that will get you off your chair and onto the dance floor. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens woman charged in 28-year-old cold case

A Queens woman is under arrest, accused in a murder that happened in Louisiana nearly three decades ago. Read more: ABC New York

Bloomberg asked Clinton to consider succeeding him as mayor

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has long struggled to imagine a successor with the combination of star power, experience and grit to fill his shoes. Read more: New York Times

Man pushed in front of train, killed, at Midtown subway station

Police on Monday night released new surveillance video in the search for a suspect who shoved a man onto the subway tracks for a train to strike him and kill him. Read more: CBS New York

City violations an added insult to storm victims in Queens

Queens civic leaders and homeowners are furious with city officials for allowing inspectors to slap them with violations just days after Superstorm Sandy sent trees crashing into their homes. Read more: New York Daily News

FEMA has more than 100 unused, winterized trailers in Pennsylvania lot

Anthony Avena, his wife and three children managed to escape the flood waters — he said it was like “living in an action movie. But now it will be a while before they can move back into their home. Read more: NY1

U.S. Navy denies Iran drone capture claim

Iran said on Tuesday it had captured a U.S. intelligence drone in its airspace over the Gulf in the last few days, but the U.S. military quickly denied having lost any unmanned aircraft in the Middle East. Read more: Reuters

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST: 

Tuesday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 61. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 48. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Live Classical Music

A special presentation of classical music featuring the artistry of soloist Lesley Zlabinger with Catherine Frank on piano. The program will include the song cycle “Frauenliebe und-leben” by Robert Schumann; three songs by Claude Debussy, “Nuit d’etoiles,” “Voice que le printemps” and “Paysage sentimental;” the secular cantata “Lucrezia” by G.F. Handel; and four songs by Mozart, “Ridente la calma,” “Warnung,” “Als luise die briefe” and “An chloe.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Fight over proposed Queens Kickshaw bike corral could be paved over with compromise in Astoria

The battle over a proposed bike rack in front of an Astoria eatery may come to a hault. Read more: New York Daily News

Queens landlord wanted in teacher murder nabbed in Maryland

The Queens landlord wanted for questioning in the stabbing death of a 39-year-old public school teacher has been caught in Maryland, authorities said Monday. Read more: NBC New York

Roughly half of Aqueduct racino’s top managers reside in the borough

The operator of the Aqueduct racino released new jobs data this month showing that about half of its top executives call Queens home. Read more: New York Daily News

A ‘match’ for Nobel

Two American scholars — one of them born in Queens — netted the Nobel economics prize yesterday for work on a matchmaking technique that has sharply reduced the number of New York students who end up in high schools they didn’t want to attend. Read more: New York Post

Mayoral hopeful switches to G.O.P.

The field of likely Democratic candidates for New York City mayor narrowed by one on Monday when Tom Allon, a newspaper publisher waging a long-shot bid, announced that he would switch to the Republican Party to increase his odds of making it to the 2013 general election ballot. Read more: New York Times

Brooklyn Nets win their Barclays Center debut game

The Brooklyn Nets won their first basketball game at the new Barclays Center against the Washington Wizards on Monday night, and the preseason victory marked the first time professional sports were played in the borough since the Dodgers left in 1957. Read more: NY1

Pundits: Hofstra presidential debate could easily mean doom for rhe loser

All eyes in the United States and around the world will soon be on a Long Island university. Read more: CBS New York