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.


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.


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.


Malliotakis offers sleepy de Blasio a can of Red Bull – New York Post

Mayor ​Bill ​de Blasio’s midday nap habit came under fire Tuesday by political opponents gunning for his job — one of whom offered him a can of Red Bull outside City Hall.

Hours after The Post ​​exclusively revealed Hizzoner’s penchant for crashing out on his office couch, Republican Nicole Malliotakis was about to hold a campaign news conference when she spotted de Blasio headed to a nearby subway entrance.

The Staten Island assemblywoman approached the mayor and held out the caffeinated energy drink.

De Blasio, who was surrounded by bodyguards, didn’t reach for the eye-opener and instead just smiled and gave her a thumbs-up.

“I said, ‘Mayor, I got you a Red Bull to keep you up during the work day,’” Malliotakis said afterward.

De Blasio held his tongue, she said, adding: “I’m sure he was thinking of something.”

Malliotakis said she was “a little disappointed” that the Democratic incumbent rejected her offer of a pick-me-up “because it shows that not only is he lazy and incompetent, but he’s rude, too.

“I’m just trying to help him out so he can stay awake during the day — and doesn’t even need those frequent naps,” she said.

On his way out of City Hall en route to the subway, de Blasio refused to respond when The Post asked him if he’d ever taken a nap on the job. His press secretary had earlier denied that de Blasio “regularly” snoozed inside City Hall.


West Virginia’s Democratic Governor to Announce Party Change at Trump Rally – Fox News

West Virginia Democratic Gov. Jim Justice plans to announce at a rally Thursday evening with President Trump that he is changing parties, three Republican sources confirmed to Fox News.

Justice is expected to announce he’s becoming a Republican.

Trump earlier in the day had teased the prospect of having a big announcement at his rally in Huntington, W.Va.

The state is a Trump stronghold, and even as the president faces record-low approval ratings nationally, his popularity has largely held in West Virginia.

At least 1,000 supporters lined the streets ahead of the president’s expected appearance, wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting “USA! USA!”

The New York Times first reported that Justice plans to announce his party change.

The rally is set to start shortly after 7 p.m. ET.