The Catsimatidis Agenda

Granted, John Catsimatidis has made noises about running for mayor before. More than once.

But there’s still something refreshing about a person so willing to talk about every aspect of his theoretical campaign before so much as hiring a press secretary.

Yesterday, we chatted about some of the specifics of the Catsimatidis ’09 agenda.

The price for the campaign? $30 million. “If it’s going well and I want to spend 40, I’ll spend 40. It doesn’t matter.”

In which party? “Most likely the Republican Party. I mean, I’m not a left-wing Democrat. I’m a Rockefeller Republican, the way Bloomberg Republican.”

What makes you a Rockefeller Republican?

“I’m pro-people and pro-business.”

And your vision for the future of New York?

“My number one concern is not chase the middle class out of New York.
Do you want to turn New York into a downtown Detroit or downtown Cleveland? I love New York. I don’t want to do that.”

And what’s that like?

“Downtown Cleveland? There’s nobody down town except the people on welfare,” Catsimatidis said. “You know, you need a mixed society, you need a little bit of everybody.

Everybody?

“When you talk about illegal aliens, they have a purpose too. I want illegal aliens, and I’ll support them if they’re paying their taxes, hard working families. But if they’re here to live off the rest of us, then I’m not going to support them. If they’re here to commit felonies and murders, I’ll have them on the first boat out. You know, if it’s within my power.”

More Catsimatidis after the jump.

JC: I’m willing to spend $30 million,” he said. “That was a statement I was giving to people.

Azi: That sounds like a confirmation. Are you going to run?

JC: Most likely.

Azi: In which party?

JC: Most likely the Republican Party. I mean, I’m not a left-wing Democrat. I’m a Rockefeller Republican, the way Bloomberg Republican.

Azi: In what policy matters are you a Rockefeller Republican instead of a left-wing Democrat?

JC: I’m pro-people and pro-business.

Azi: Bloomberg raised property taxes —

JC: We had a little bit of a loss with 9/11. He did what he had to do because of the problems the city was in. I don’t want to raise taxes.
My number one concern is not chase the middle class out of New York.
Do you want to turn New York into a downtown Detroit or downtown Cleveland? I love New York. I don’t want to do that.

Azi: I’ve never seen those two areas, what are they like?

JC: Downtown Cleveland? There’s nobody down town except the people on welfare. You know, you need a mixed society, you need a little bit of everybody. I’m not looking to chase the poor out. I’m not looking to chase the middle income out. I’m not looking to chase the rich out. I want everyone.

[skip]

New York is a great melting pot.

When you talk about illegal aliens, they have a purpose too. I want illegal aliens, and I’ll support them if they’re paying their taxes, hard working families. But if they’re here to live off the rest of us, then I’m not going to support them. If they’re here to commit felonies and murders, I’ll have them on the first boat out. You know, if it’s within my power.

Am I saying anything illogical?

Azi: It sounds pretty unambiguous. Have you spoken with Bloomberg about what it’s like to run and govern?

JC: No. I think he’s aware I’m thinking about it.

Azi: When you get into the specifics about how much you’ll spend —

JC: I threw out the number of $30 million. If it’s going well and I want to spend 40, I’ll spend 40. It doesn’t matter. I think Bloomberg could have won with half the amount he spent.

Azi: Then why did he spend so much?

JC: He’s a lot richer than I am. I’m not poor but I’m not that wealthy.

Azi: Dick Parsons is reportedly thinking of running.

JC: He’s a very fine person — but I’m not sure he’s going to run. That’s my opinion.

Azi: I called over to the Board of Elections and they said you’re still registered as a Democrat. Do you know when you might change that?

JC : When we hire an election lawyer in the next couple of months, we’ll talk to him about it. I was a registered Republican in the 1980s, pre-Bill Clinton.

Azi: Why would you run for mayor as a Republican?

JC: Because I’m a moderate business man. I don’t’ think a moderate businessman has a chance in hell winning the Democratic primary.

– Azi Paybarah