Race to City Hall 2013 – October 18, 2013

Oops: State GOP Wishes Lhota Belated Birthday

The New York State Republican party sent out an invitation for a fundraising event with mayoral candidate Joe Lhota in honor of his birthday. However, they got the date mixed up.

“Tomorrow is Joe Lhota’s birthday!” wrote David Laska, the party spokesman, adding a link to donate to Lhota’s campaign and to “learn about how Bill de Blasio’s policies would stifle the NYPD at a crucial time for New York City.”

Lhota was born 59 years ago on Oct. 7, but the GOP invitation read that his birthday was Oct.17.

Campaigning on Boro Park’s 13th Avenue Wednesday, Lhota was told about the writer’s gaffe. He laughed.

De Blasio Disputes Cuomo Talk On Tax Proposal

A day after the Daily News released parts of an interview with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in which the Democrat appeared to rule out the possibility of a tax hike for New York City, a signature de Blasio campaign proposal, de Blasio said that a “careful” analysis of Cuomo’s words shows that was not what he actually meant.

In response, the News released the full interview, showing that Cuomo would not consider raising taxes in a year when he faces the electorate.

“If [de Blasio] is elected and if he comes to Albany, he can make his case and we will hear him out and let’s have a fulsome discussion, but this is a conversation we just had,” Cuomo said in remarks released Wednesday.

But de Blasio, who wants to raise the income tax of residents earning more than $500,000 to pay for preschool programs, said that Cuomo wasn’t ruling it out.

“I would expect a man of your sophistication to look carefully at what was said,” de Blasio told Ross Barkan of Politicker, who asked him about Cuomo’s comment. “If you look carefully at what was said, he said he has an open mind on my proposal.”

Any income tax increase needs approval from state lawmakers. Cuomo has said he is looking into a tax cut for next year and would not be eager to support a tax hike instead. And the Senate, which has a majority of GOP and Cuomo-aligned Democratic lawmakers, has said that they would not consider a tax hike.

But de Blasio, saying he was convinced that an expected blowout victory would force Albany to agree to his idea, said Cuomo was expressing his view of “state government tax policy. But when it comes to local governments and their aspirations for use of their own revenue for their own needs and this specific proposal, he says — and he is quoted clearly — that he has an open mind and he’ll review the proposal.”

The News then released the full interview, in which Cuomo said, “I am afraid of the mobility of the over-two-million,” meaning he worries that 40,000 wealthy New Yorkers may leave the state if taxes go up.

“I can say to anyone … your taxes are lower today than they were, and the arrow is pointed in the right direction,” he continued. “They’re not ecstatic about the 8.82 [percent in state taxes], but they feel better that the arrow is pointed down. Their fear is that they are in a place where the taxes are going to continually go up, and there will be a ceiling and they’ll say, ‘I’m going to go to Florida.’…

“I can say, ‘Your taxes are going down. Don’t be afraid of me. … Stick with us, and we’re becoming more competitive.’”

Cuomo said that if de Blasio’s proposal is enacted, the tax rate “would go to a new high.”

“I wanted to do a lot of things when I became governor. I understand the desire to want to do things. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go raise taxes all the time,” he said.

“A campaign program is one thing; a government program is something else. It is one thing where you have a program worked on by a bunch of campaign aides versus [reality].”

De Blasio Ad Features Daughter Slamming Lhota ‘Attacks’

Bill de Blasio’s daughter Chiara narrated his latest ad, echoing her father’s progressive vision and slamming Joe Lhota for an ad claiming that a de Blasio mayoralty will set the city backward.

“From the start of this campaign, Bill de Blasio has offered a vision for New York that leaves no one behind,” Chiara, 18, says in the 30-second spot. “Now that my dad’s on the move, his opponents are on the attack.”

The ad is Chiara’s debut, following two ads in which her 16-year-old brother, Dante, was credited with changing the primary’s dynamic.

Dante is shown in this ad as well, with Chiara grimacing at the attention he got. “All of this attention is a good thing,” she says, “as long as it’s not your little brother.”

Hayon Endorsed by Brooklyn GOP Official

At the kickoff event for Republican Joseph Hayon’s run for City Council against David Greenfield, he was endorsed by Craig Eaton, chairman of the Brooklyn Republican party.

“Electing Hayon to the New York City Council will improve the quality of services to the constituents of the 44th Council District and will give them a voice in city government,” Eaton said.

Hayon, who in the past ran unsuccessfully against Assembly members Helene Weinstein and Steve Cymbrowitz, is a member of Flatbush’s Sephardic community.

Lhota Clarifies Role in Crime-Fighting System

There is no question CompStat helped bring the city’s crime rate down drastically. Both Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota agreed that the system set up by William Bratton, seen as a possible police commissioner in a de Blasio administration, saved lives.

But there have been disputes about who deserves credit for the system, which organizes crime statistics into a map showing police where there is an uptick in violence. Joe Lhota has said several times that he had a role in it.

On Thursday, he clarified that role to The New York Times. It was an admittedly minor position, which he filled as a deputy mayor.

“I was involved with them on how to collect the numbers in New York City and basically lay it out, so that it was all … formatted in a way that, month to month, it was readable,” Lhota said. “At the time they didn’t have the forms down pat. That was my role.

“I grant you,” he added, “it was a minor role.”


 

“Race to City Hall 2013” is a daily Hamodia column focusing on the New York City mayoral race, ahead of the general election on Nov. 5. It is culled from reports by AP, Politicker, the New York Post, Daily News, and other sources.