Tag Archives: Tom Allon

Republican candidate Tom Allon drops out of NYC mayor’s race


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Sunday the Democratic mayoral field widened, but today the list of Republican candidates is shorter.

Newspaper publisher Tom Allon announced Monday that he is dropping out of the 2013 race for mayor of New York City.

In a statement, the CEO of Manhattan Media said he was withdrawing his bid after acquiring City and State Media, which exclusively covers New York government and politics.

“While no longer a candidate, I will continue to passionately and relentlessly pursue a reform agenda as an education activist, a columnist and blogger, and parent of three teenagers,” said Allon.

In the primary the ex-Democrat was set to face former head of the MTA Joe Lhota, supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis and Doe Fund founder George McDonald.

“I entered this race in 2011 to offer the voters of New York City a choice that was different from the career politicians who at the time seemed likely to be the only Mayoral candidates in the campaign-to-come, but the equation has changed in the months since,” Allon also said in his statement. “I have been gratified to hear Joe Lhota, John Catsimatidis, Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn and others voice some of my education and economic development ideas and I hope the next mayor will see them to fruition.”

 

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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.

 

Op-Ed: Rebuilding our city with private investment


| editorial@queenscourier.com

TA Stuy Speech at MicSmileCrop

The recent superstorm, Sandy, has devastated large parts of our city, and while we must continue to help those neighborhoods still in need, we also must begin to figure out how we move forward to avoid this large-scale suffering again.

First of all, our power grid is extremely fragile and in need of serious upgrade. Too many of New York’s electrical lines are above ground, which will always leave us at the mercy of Mother Nature, who seems to be more mercurial these days, probably because we are not treating her planet as well as we should.

We need to look at how the electrical and energy grid can be upgraded, safeguarded and backed up. This includes investing in new power plants in safe areas (why was a Con Edison plant near a hurricane zone?), figuring out how to move as many power lines as we can underground, and developing a gasoline back-up strategy (New York City reserves?) so we do not have a crippling shortage in future emergencies.

Beyond developing an energy and electricity policy for New York City that protects us going forward, we need to develop plans to rebuild in our precious waterfront communities that are safe and cost-effective. Do we need to set back our communities from the waterfront and put up walls or levees to protect them?

With our crucial subway system, there is one relatively inexpensive quick fix. Like Singapore has done, we should build elevated entrances at subway stations that are vulnerable to flooding. Just imagine walking up a few steps before you then head underground so that our subway stations are protected in the future.

On a more macro level, how do we now protect our citizens in places like Queens, lower Manhattan and waterfront sections of Brooklyn and Staten Island in a cost-effective way? Perhaps we need to look at private-public partnerships that allow private investment dollars in our waterfront to help fund the necessary investments like large river gates.

How can we turn areas of our city’s waterfront into thriving marinas which bring in private investment dollars, while at the same time funding our necessary safety precautions like sea gates or protective walls?

Imagine a New York waterfront that attracts boats — large and small — from along the eastern seaboard and where our citizens can go to enjoy a day at the shore and eat and shop along the waterfront.

We see small pockets of this at our piers on the West Side of Manhattan or near Battery Park City, but we can do more to develop our waterfront in such a way that will create new jobs, new tax revenue and new ways to fund our necessary infrastructure improvements.

We must heal our communities while we also learn the necessary lessons from our recent superstorm devastation. We must not let ourselves be lulled into stasis as we were after Hurricane Irene. We can rebuild and make New York a better, safer place. Let that process begin now.

Tom Allon is Republican and Liberal Party-backed candidate for mayor in 2013

 

Quinn leads crowded field for 2013 mayoral nod; More than a third of voters still undecided


| brennison@queenscourier.com

mayor-budgetw

Council Speaker Christine Quinn remained at the head of the field in the 2013 mayoral race, though her once wide margin has shrunk.

NY1-Marist Poll released a poll surveying registered city voters on next year’s race for mayor with Quinn coming out on top with the support of 23 percent of Democrats. She was followed by former Comptroller Bill Thompson with 15 percent, Comptroller John Liu at 9 percent and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio with 8 percent.

With any primary at least eight months away, 37 percent of Democratic voters remain undecided.

“There’s still a long way to go before Democrats go to the polls,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

The amount of undecided voters actually increased from the last poll in April, when under 30 percent of voters were unsure. Quinn’s lead also shrunk over the past six months. In April, she held a 20 point lead over Thompson.

Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon received 2 percent in the poll, double his support from the first poll, though he no longer is a registered Democrat. The poll was conducted before Allon switched parties to run in a less-crowded Republican field.

Forty-six percent of voters in the city do not want another possible Republican candidate — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly — to run.

Despite rumors of former Congressmember Anthony Weiner considering a 2013 run, 58 percent of voters said they do not want him to enter the race. Weiner fared better than actor Alec Baldwin, who two-thirds of New Yorkers do not want to see run.

Whoever takes over the office will be following a mayor 12 percent of voters will believe will be remembered one of the city’s best mayors. Forty-three percent of voters believe Mayor Michael Bloomberg will leave a positive legacy and 8 percent think he’ll be considered one of the city’s worst mayors.

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

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Queens landlord wanted in teacher murder nabbed in Maryland

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

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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

 

NYC voters less likely to elect atheist, born-again Christian as mayor


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Though most New York City voters do not consider religion a factor in choosing the next mayor, a Quinnipiac University poll released today found that New York City voters are less likely to elect an atheist or born-again Christian than a Muslim or a Mormon.

According to the results, 30 percent of city voters are less likely to vote for an atheist and 27 percent are less likely to elect a born-again Christian; they also said that they were 24 percent less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate and 19 percent less likely to choose a Muslim. But 61 percent of voters said that religious positions would not affect their vote.

The poll also asked voters about other characteristics outside of religion: 16 percent are less likely to vote for an overweight or obese person, 10 percent are less likely to vote for a gay or lesbian mayor and 1 percent said they are less likely to elect a woman.

The last two characteristics are particularly important since Christine Quinn is one of the top candidates in the 2013 New York City race for mayor. If she wins, Quinn will be the city’s first female mayor and the first openly gay one.

But those factors will have little effect on voters. The poll found that 29 percent of New York voters are planning on voting for her in the Democratic mayoral primaries. In second place was City Comptroller William Thompson with 10 percent and 9 percent of voters said they would elect city Comptroller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer received 4 percent and only 1 percent of city voters said they would cast their ballot for newspaper publisher Tom Allon.

Quinnipiac also polled city voters about the recent Chick-fil-A controversy. The majority of voters (74 percent) believe a “business owner’s controversial or unpopular opinions should not affect the ability to get government permits to do business,” and that “elected officials should not try to discourage people from patronizing such a business.”