Malliotakis slams de Blasio over Superstorm Sandy recovery – New York Post

The de Blasio administration is bungling the Superstorm Sandy recovery effort — with a quarter of applicants’ homes in the Build It Back program still incomplete after five years, GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis charged Thursday.

Malliotakis acknowledged that de Blasio inherited a bad program from his predecessor, but said that doesn’t excuse the mismanagement.

“I certainly don’t give any pass to the previous administration. But when a new administration comes in, their job is to look over what they’ve inherited and make changes, make improvements, streamline the process,” Malliotakis said in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, an area that was hit hard by Sandy in October 2012.

She highlighted a Staten ­Island home valued at $225,000 that the city spent $773,000 to repair.

Her campaign cited figures from a June 13 City Hall press release stating that of 5,174 homes that required construction work under Build It Back, 74 percent had been completed.


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.


Trump Saves Citgo, Repped by His Ex-Aides, From New Sanctions – The Daily Beast

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.


Italian Americans Defend Columbus’ Honor Amid Talks of Removing Statue – Observer

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.


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.


Public Advocate Candidate J.C Polanco Outlines Election Reform Agenda – Gotham Gazette

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.


De Blasio’s ‘special assistants’ costing taxpayers millions – New York Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s spending on his “special assistants” ballooned by $4.6 million over the past fiscal year as he fattened their ranks by nearly 13 percent and doled out raises to those already on staff, The Post has learned.

The bloated taxpayer-funded roster of de Blasio’s vaguely titled aides — who are accountable only to Hizzoner and constitute about 40 percent of his already large staff — grew by another 34 to 298, payroll records show.

The move helped swell their collective salaries to $23.3 million during the year that ended June 30, up nearly 25 percent from fiscal 2016, according to payroll records.

Those paid more than $100,000 each jumped to 84, up about 30 percent, while four pocketed more than $200,000 each.

De Blasio also shifted four special assistants to the Department of Veterans Services, offloading nearly $540,000 in spending from the Mayor’s Office.


Trump to outline new Afghanistan strategy – USA TODAY

President Trump will outline a new Afghanistan strategy Monday that will clear the path to deploy several thousand more U.S. troops to help local forces in the conflict that has stretched on for nearly 16 years.

In a prime-time speech, Trump is also expected demand more assistance from NATO allies and the Afghanistan government itself.

Trump will address the nation at 9 p.m. ET from Fort Myer, Va., a military base just a few miles from the White House. In front of a group of soldiers, Trump will “provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia,” the White House said in a statement.


Trump signs legislation greenlighting War on Terrorism memorial for National Mall – Washington Times

President Trump has signed a bill authorizing the construction of a new memorial on the National Mall commemorating U.S. service members who fought in the international war against terrorism.

Mr. Trump announced his signing of the Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act through his official Twitter account Friday evening, paving the way for the monument’s sponsors to ramp-up work on erecting one of the nation’s capital’s newest memorials.

The Global War on Terrorism, also known as the GWOT and the War on Terror, refers to the international military campaign initiated by President George W. Bush in reaction to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including ongoing operations against targets including the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Islamic State.


Malliotakis points to sane city policy on mental health – New York Post

Days after another NYPD officer was targeted and almost killed by a mentally ill man, GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis is out with a thoughtful plan for how New York can better deal with people suffering from serious mental illness.

Those unfortunates, Malliotakis noted Monday, “have become lost in a system that is mostly geared for the high-functioning mentally ill.” She wants to shift the emphasis, targeting resources to the most desperate.

That means replacing some of Mayor de Blasio’s programs (such as the ad campaign focused on removing the “stigma” of mental illness, and others that target lesser issues, such as depression) with ones that focus on, for example, paranoid schizophrenics.

The kind of people, in short, whose dysfunction is so serious they can’t understand what’s wrong with them. This, she argues, can save taxpayer dollars by diverting people from the criminal-justice system into treatment.

She’d get more people into the programs they need by stationing “assisted outpatient treatment evaluators” in hospitals and jails, so they can file Kendra’s Law petitions to compel care.

Another top Malliotakis priority: working with Gov. Cuomo on a new agreement to provide supportive housing for homeless people suffering from severe mental illness. The last such agreement, signed in 2005, targeted those released from psychiatric facilities — and cut homelessness in that population by 47 percent.