Mayoral hopeful Nicole Malliotakis calls for ban on lobbyists raising campaign funds while blasting de Blasio – Daily News
Mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis pushed for a ban on lobbyists raising cash for city pols while slamming Mayor de Blasio for his ties to influential lobbyist James Capalino.
The Staten Island Republican went after de Blasio’s lobbyist connections outside shuttered lower East Side nursing home Rivington House — which she charged was flipped for luxury condos in just one example of the lobbyist’s clients getting special treatment after bundling tens of thousands of dollars in contributions for the mayor’s campaign and non-profit.
“This mayor and this administration are providing special favors,” Malliotakis said. “Who is the mayor of New York City? Is it Bill de Blasio or is it James Capalino?”
Malliotakis said registered lobbyists should be banned from raising donations for candidates, a practice known as bundling, and pledged not to accept such bundled donations for her own mayoral campaign.READ MORE
The White House on Friday announced a new round of sanctions against Venezuela that explicitly exempt the U.S. arm of the country’s state-owned oil company. That company, Citgo, donated six-figure sums to Trump’s inauguration and recently hired former Trump officials to lobby for that exemption.
The purpose of the new sanctions announced by the administration is to target arms of the Venezuelan government that have supported or facilitated President Nicolas Maduro’s ongoing crackdown on domestic political opposition. The carve out for Citgo was included in the White House statement released on Friday.
“To mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people, the Treasury Department is issuing general licenses that allow for transactions that would otherwise be prohibited by the Executive Order,” the White House wrote in a statement on the sanctions. “These include provisions allowing for…transactions only involving Citgo,” and no other sanctioned entity.
Citgo is the U.S. arm of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the country’s state-owned oil company. Since 2014, Citgo, a Delaware corporation, has fought to insulate its operations from measures aimed at punishing the Maduro regime’s efforts to consolidate political power.READ MORE
Italian American elected officials and community leaders took to the steps of City Hall on Thursday to blast City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio for considering the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle.
Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, and Harlem elected officials held a rally earlier this week to request the removal of a statue of J. Marion Sims, a 19th Century doctor who has been called the “father of modern gynecology,” from Central Park, where it is located on East 103rd Street in East Harlem. Sims experimented on African slaves without their consent or any anesthesia throughout his career.
During the rally, the speaker said that the statue of Columbus, known for discovering the Americas while sailing for Asia, but later known for aggressive moves to colonize and oppress natives, should be also be reviewed.
In 2013, de Blasio, who is of Italian heritage, said that there are “some troubling things” in Columbus’s history.READ MORE
Malliotakis: Lobbyists call the shots with de Blasio, pay-to-play must stop – Staten Island Real Time News
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis called out Mayor Bill de Blasio on his lack of transparency, “pay-to-play” dealings and criticized his relationship with “mega-lobbyist” Jim Capalino at a press conference at Rivington House on the Lower East Side on Wednesday.
“It’s time for Bill de Blasio, the most ethically challenged mayor in recent history, to get honest with the voters and explain who calls the shots in his relationship with lobbyist Jim Capalino,” Malliotakis said, standing alongside the Republican nominee for Public Advocate, J.C. Polanco.
The de Blasio campaign fired back, calling Malliotakis a hypocrite.
“Nicole Malliotakis, a former registered lobbyist, just accepted a maximum contribution from the landlord lobby and has never disclosed a cent of donations that were bundled for her by lobbyists when she ran for State Assembly four times. This is the height of hypocrisy and another silly stunt to distract from her support for Donald Trump and ties to the billionaires who fund the so-called ‘alt-right,'” said Dan Levitan, a spokesman for de Blasio’s re-election campaign.
Calling de Blasio “the most ethically challenged mayor in recent history,” Malliotakis said he’s guilty of allowing the Rivington House to be turned into luxury condos.READ MORE
With candidates vying for votes ahead of New York City’s September primary and November general elections, many in and around campaigns know that the state’s antiquated election laws will, in part, ensure that a small percentage of potential voters will cast ballots among limited choices.
One candidate, Juan Carlos Polanco, known as J.C., is currently the presumptive Republican nominee for Public Advocate and has released an extensive package of proposed reforms to New York voting laws.
As a former member of the New York City Board of Elections (BOE), Polanco has had personal experience with the system that certifies candidates and runs elections. In a document provided to Gotham Gazette and subsequent phone conversation, Polanco outlined plans he believes will update, improve, and secure elections in New York through a combination of legislative changes, ballot referendums, and even changes to the state constitution.
“We have to really take a look at our election system and we have to modernize it,” said Polanco, who is eyeing a likely general election matchup with incumbent Letitia James, a Democrat.READ MORE