Tag Archives: Joe Lhota

De Blasio elected mayor in landslide


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo by Lauren Epifanio

Bill de Blasio, in a landslide victory, has been elected as the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, de Blasio won Tuesday’s race with 73 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. His Republican opponent, Joe Lhota, had 24 percent.

“Today, you spoke out loudly and clearly for a new direction for our city, united by a belief that our city should leave no New Yorker behind,” de Blasio said in his victory speech.

“Tackling inequality isn’t easy; it never has been and it never will be. The challenges we face have been decades in the making, and the problems we set out to address will not be solved overnight,” he added.

“But make no mistake: the people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it, together, as one city.”

As far back as late June, polls still showed de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, finishing fourth in the Democratic primary.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the early front-runner, but when former Congressmember Anthony Weiner entered the Democratic primary in May, her lead shrunk in the polls.

Weiner, however, soon faced another sexting scandal, and he lost favorability with voters.

In July, de Blasio started to gain in the polls, and took the lead away from Quinn the following month.

De Blasio’s surge in the polls coincided with the release of a campaign ad starring his teenage son Dante, whose Afro took center stage.

His momentum continued until the primary, where de Blasio beat second-place finisher, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson by a significant lead.

But, with de Blasio still hovering around the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid an October 1 runoff, Thompson would not concede on primary night.

Thompson dropped out of the race six days later, and in late September the Board of Elections certified de Blasio the official Democratic nominee with just over 40 percent.

Lhota, the ex-MTA chairman and former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, easily secured the Republican nomination with 53 percent of the vote, topping grocery store mogul John Catsimatidis and Doe Fund founder George McDonald.

But Lhota’s success within his own party could not be replicated in the general election.

“We are five boroughs, but we are one city. We are one people and we want our city to move forward, not backwards. And I do hope our mayor-elect understands this before it’s too late,” said Lhota, conceding the race.

“It’s natural tonight to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow we must move beyond it. It was a good fight and it was a fight worth having,” he continued.

With a heavy Democratic electorate in the city, early on polls showed de Blasio beating Lhota by a wide margin.

The heated battle between the two and their different visions for the city were evident throughout the general election campaign and the three debates between the candidates, where they clashed on a range of issues, including taxes, education and crime.

Though Lhota promised a safer city under his watch, suggesting crime would go up under a de Blasio administration, voters ultimately favored de Blasio’s progressive message and saw him as a break from the Bloomberg years.

-With additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick

Updated 2:12 a.m. 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 48. Winds from the NE at 5 to 15 mph. Monday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 41. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph

EVENT OF THE DAY:  Sunnyside Restaurant Week

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) is holding its first-ever Sunnyside Restaurant Week from November 4 to 8. The five-day celebration will offer participants a “culinary journey through Sunnyside,” featuring special three course dinner menus for $25 at 17 participating local restaurants. Six of the 17 will also feature two course lunch menus for $10. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYC Marathon returns amid increased security; Mutai, Jeptoo of Kenya win titles

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As a new poll showed his mayoral dreams slipping away, Joe Lhota launched a novel attack, charging that Bill de Blasio’s inability to get up in the morning shows he’s unfit to lead the city that never sleeps. Read more: New York Daily News

Barclays Center accused in lawsuit of mistreatment based on race

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Lhota slams Harry Belafonte for ‘race baiting’ comments

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Missing NYU student found trapped between wall of dorm, parking garage

A 19-year-old New York University student who went missing over the weekend was found trapped in a narrow gap between a dorm and a neighboring parking garage in lower Manhattan, where rescuers had to break through a wall Sunday night to free him. Read more: NBC New York

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Federal court grants stay on stop-and-frisk decision


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

A federal court halted the decision that requires reforms to the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a stay on District Judge Shira Scheindlin’s decision, while the city is appealing the ruling. The court also removed Scheindlin from the case.

Scheindlin originally ruled the policy unconstitutional in August, appointed lawyer Peter Zimroth to monitor the NYPD and ordered that officers wear body cameras.

“I find that the city is liable for violating plaintiffs’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights,” Scheindlin wrote. “The city acted with deliberate indifference toward the NYPD’s practice of making unconstitutional stops and conducting unconstitutional frisks.”

The city filed to appeal Scheindlin’s ruling a few days later, and mayor Bloomberg called her decision unfair.

“Throughout the trail that just concluded the judge made it clear that she was not at all interested in the crime reductions here [in the city] or how we achieved them,” Bloomberg said.

The appeals court decision has received split reaction from the mayoral candidates.

“I’m extremely disappointed in today’s decision,” said Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio. “We shouldn’t have to wait for reforms that both keep our communities safe and obey the Constitution. We have to end the overuse of stop-and-frisk–and any delay only means a continued and unnecessary rift between our police and the people they protect.”

His Republican opponent, Joe Lhota, touted the court’s decision.

“Bravo! As I have said all along, Judge Scheindlin’s biased conduct corrupted the case and her decision was not based on the facts,” Lhota said. “The ruling by the nation’s second highest court was an unprecedented rejection of both the result of the case and the manner with which it was achieved.”

 

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Political Roundup: De Blasio, Lhota face off in final debate


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

ROUNDUP

Mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota had their third and final debate Wednesday.

The debate was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was moved to last night in observance of the Sandy anniversary,

Questions about Sandy led off the debate, but the two once again battled over many of the same issues they did in the previous two debates, including education, crime and taxes.

A Quinnipiac University poll released the same day of the debate showed de Blasio still has as significant lead over Lhota in the race.

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Lhota gets quiet backing from Queens GOP


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Joe Lhota has the support of the Queens County Republican Party, but the mayoral candidate may not have wanted a public endorsement announcement to be made.

According to a source, reported Crain’s New York Business, Lhota didn’t hold an endorsement press conference and asked the party not to issue a press release on the backing because his “camp did not want to highlight dissension in the Queens Republican Party and in other Republican circles by publicizing the endorsement.”

Queens GOP first vice chairman James McClelland said it was a question of “exactly how to roll out the endorsement” because Lhota’s schedule was so tight and “how the press release should be worded.”

The party sent The Courier the following statement from Chairman Phil Ragusa endorsing Lhota for mayor, which according to McClelland, was issued on Tuesday, October 22.

“As the Chairman of the Queens Republican Party, I am proud to announce our endorsement of Joe Lhota for Mayor. Joe is the only candidate who will preserve the gains we have seen over the last 20 years in safety, the economy and quality of life for all New Yorkers.  People should never forget what life was like throughout this city prior to 1994 when criminals held neighborhoods hostage and people were scared to leave their homes. We need Joe Lhota to lead this city through the challenging economic times ahead and we need a chief executive who is willing to make the difficult decisions to ensure New York remains the greatest city in the world. Queens Republicans will do whatever it takes to help Joe Lhota win this race to keep New York City the shining city it has become.”

Lhota spokesperson Jessica Proud also said the campaign “didn’t have time to do a press conference.” Proud said she did not know anything about the press release.

“We are happy to have the support of Queens Republicans,” she said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Queens Morning Roundup logo.

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast with rain. High of 57. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Wednesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 43. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Eric March: Cityscapes of Long Island City and Astoria

In Cityscapes of Long Island City and Astoria, an exhibit of paintings and drawings at the Greater Astoria Historical Society through November 17, Long Island City-based artist Eric March examines his local neighborhood to find the epic and the intimate in a new series of cityscapes of western Queens, from soaring bridges over the East River to private moments in a storefront. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Lhota, de Blasio have heated second debate


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

It was round two for mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio.

The two sparred over a range of issues during their second debate on Tuesday, including taxes and education, but some of the most heated exchanges came over crime and public safety.

Lhota, who received the backing of the Queens County Republican Party, brought up the fact that de Blasio served in the administration of Mayor David Dinkins—a period when there were 2,000 murders a year and “the last time we had a race riot in the city of New York.”

“He is actually bringing us backwards,” said Lhota.

Lhota, who disagrees with de Blasio over having an inspector general for the NYPD, said, “we cannot handcuff the police department.”

De Blasio said he believes in “a strong NYPD,” and “an independent inspector general is a smart form of check and balance to make sure we’re doing things right, to make sure that civil liberties and individual liberties are being recognized.”

Lhota already targeted his Democratic opponent on his weaknesses on crime in an ad released on Wednesday, October 16, which was brought up during the debate.

Calling the ad divisive, de Blasio said it was “race-baiting” and “fear-mongering.”

The ad shows scenes from the city’s higher-crime past and suggests crime will go up under a de Blasio administration.

“Don’t tell me I throw out the race card because there is nothing racial in there. And Bill, you cannot stoop that low and bring that up,” Lhota said, firing back at the charges at one point.

Lhota also blasted de Blasio over comments he made about Rudy Giuliani, whom Lhota worked for during both his terms as New York City mayor.

“I am getting sick and tired of you impugning the integrity of Rudy Giuliani,” Lhota said.

De Blasio and Lhota will meet for their next and final debate on Tuesday, October 29.

 

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De Blasio maintains wide lead in latest poll


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

The newest Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrat Bill de Blasio still has a commanding lead over his Republican opponent Joe Lhota in the mayor’s race.

The poll found that De Blasio tops Lhota 68 to 24 percent among likely voters. Independence candidate Adolfo Carrion received 2 percent in the survey.

Lhota improved slightly since the last Quinnipiac University poll, released on October 3, which showed de Blasio with a 71 to 21 percent lead over him.

But with only two weeks to go until Election Day, the poll also found that only 5 percent of likely voters are still undecided. Eight percent of voters who named a candidate said there’s a “good chance” they will change their mind by November 5.

“The good news for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is that he probably can start drafting is inauguration speech,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling  Institute.

“The bad news is that New York City voters’ priority for the next mayor is – you guessed it – jobs, something over which a mayor has very little control. The next priority is education and if he can succeed where so many have not, they can name a school after him.”

According to the poll, released Monday, 32 percent of likely voters said creating jobs is the top priority for the next mayor, followed by education at 24 percent, keeping crime rates low at 20 percent and reducing the gap between the rich and poor at 18 percent.

The poll, conducted from October 16 to 20, surveyed 973 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus and minus 3.1 percentage points.

On October 15, de Blasio and Lhota faced each other in their first general election mayoral debate. The following day, Lhota released a new campaign ad highlighting his Democratic opponent’s “weak positions on crime.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Queens Morning Roundup logo.

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast. High of 68. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 48. Winds from the NW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the North after midnight. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Quality-of-Life Town Hall with Assemblymemeber Francisco Moya and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance

Assemblymember Francisco Moya and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance will host a Town Hall featuring a panel comprised of representatives from an array of city agencies, state agencies and community groups. The event will provide Jackson Heights residents with the opportunity to address these representatives on a wide range of issues and discuss ways in which quality of life in the community can be improved. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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De Blasio, Lhota face off in their first general election debate


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photos

Mayoral opponents Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota met in their first debate of the general election Tuesday night.

De Blasio, the Democratic candidate and front-runner, spent much of the Tuesday, October 15 televised debate trying to tie Lhota to national Republicans and the Tea Party.

“I think Mr. Lhota should be straight up with us about the fact that he does subscribe to the views of the national Republican Party,” said de Blasio, who mentioned Lhota’s attendance at a Staten Island Tea Party event and support of delaying Obamacare for a year.

“Don’t lump me in with people who I’m constantly in disagreement with,” said Lhota, defending himself at one point.

Lhota, who was deputy mayor under Mayor Rudy Giuliani and headed up the MTA, took aim at de Blasio by saying he has the direct management experience to be mayor.

“I can be mayor on day one without any training, without any learning curve whatsoever, said Lhota.

Though both candidates expressed a desire to change the direction of the city and agreed on some basic points, including creating more affordable housing, they were divided on many of the issues.

Among the topics covered were charter schools, crime and stop-and-frisk, the government shutdown, job creation and narrowing the income gap.

De Blasio spoke about his “Tale of Two Cites,” saying 46 percent of residents are living at or near the poverty the level, and his desire to tax the wealthy. He wants to use the tax increase to expand after-school programs and create universal pre-K.

Lhota called de Blasio a typical “career politician” who says he’s going to raise taxes on the wealthy, but will end up also raising them on the middle class. Lhota added that de Blasio voting twice to increase property taxes when he was on the City Council and other parts of his record were proof of him “going back and taking money away from the middle class.”

The two candidates will debate again on October 22 and 29.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High of 72. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low of 61. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Louis Armstrong House Museum’s 10-Year Anniversary Bash

The Louis Armstrong House Museum celebrates its 10-year anniversary at 6 p.m. with a really hot program. It includes a special performance by The Hot Sardines and Creole creations based on Louis’s own recipes prepared by The Cooking Channel’s Tamara Reynolds and her company, Van Alst Kitchen; and, if that wasn’t hot enough, the museum will unveil Louis Armstrong’s Life Mask, which has recently been restored and will be on display for the first time in the Museum’s history. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 68. Winds from the East at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 59. Winds from the East at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Come by the Museum of the Moving Image at 2 p.m. for a screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” ​Free with museum admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum members may ​​reserve tickets in advance by calling 718-777-6800. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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The federal government may still be partially closed, but the Statue of Liberty isn’t. Read more: CBS New York/AP

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Thousands march across Brooklyn Bridge in support of charter schools


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Thousands of parents, teachers and students marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday morning in support of the city’s charter schools.

The marchers were also reportedly concerned over some of Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio’s educational proposals, which they feel could negatively impact charter schools if he becomes mayor.

Those ideas include his proposal to charge rent to charter schools that use space in city school buildings and his support for a moratorium on charter school co-locations with traditional public schools.

Proponents of charters schools fear these policies could limit the number of charter schools in the city.

Ending co-location and putting a moratorium on charter schools will “destroy charter schools in this city,” said de Blasio’s Republican opponent in the race, Joe Lhota.

He has proposed doubling the number of charter schools, saying they have been an “enormous success.” Lhota has also said he would like to expand co-location.

“If you oppose charter schools and other choices for minorities, inner city kids, and children of immigrants, you cannot call yourself progressive,” he said at a speech to the Association for a Better New York before joining a rally following the march.

“The majority of the children in charter schools are from that other city Bill de Blasio likes [to] tell tales of, yet their voices today fall on his deaf ears,” he added.

 

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Political Roundup: Schumer backs Vallone


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

ROUNDUP

Senator Schumer endorses Paul Vallone 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer endorsed City Council candidate Paul Vallone for the District 19 seat on Monday.

“I have known the Vallone family for decades and their respected name and commitment to public service have made the people of Queens proud to call them their own,” Schumer said.

Vallone was recently endorsed by former Congressmember Gary Ackerman.

He faces Republican challenger Dennis Saffran in the November general election.

 

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Political Roundup: Another poll shows strong voter support for de Blasio


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

ROUNDUP

HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WEB

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