A Texas woman arrested by the FBI and charged for allegedly funneling more than $10,000 in illegal contributions to Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign was arraigned in federal court this afternoon.
Diana Durand, a close friend of Mr. Grimm–a lawyer for Ms. Durand wouldn’t confirm they had a romantic relationship, though media reports have described her as an ex-girlfriend–appeared briefly in a downtown Brooklyn courtroom, where she did not enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
For the politician formerly known as the Republican Party’s presidential front-runner, the hits keep coming: hits to his credibility, hits to his governing style, hits to his reputation. Read More
Cats in the Bag
Ed Cox, the chairman of New York State’s Republican party, has penned a scathing letter to members of his party, urging them to resist “strong-arm tactics” by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to rack up endorsements for his re-election bid.
“When out of power, our job as a party is to provide loyal opposition, not for opposition’s sake but for the sake of the governing philosophy and principles that will advance our state,” Mr. Cox declared in the letter, which was released to reporters this morning.
John Catsimatidis is not impressed with his ex-rival’s campaign for mayor.
The supermarket and oil magnate, who lost the Republican primary to Joe Lhota earlier this year, briefly discussed his former challenger this morning, telling Politcker he would have run a far stronger campaign against Democrat Bill de Blasio, who is dominating Mr. Lhota in the polls.
Republican Joe Lhota, fending off repeated attacks from his Democratic rival, Bill de Blasio, that he is too right-wing to become mayor of New York City, was forced to defend himself tonight after a video surfaced that showed him telling conservatives that gun permits should be easier to obtain in the city.
Former MTA Chair Joe Lhota has led each and every poll surveying the mayoral race’s GOP primary. Yet late Friday night, rival John Catsimatidis called on Mr. Lhota to “end this charade [and] drop out of the race now.”
Needless to say, Mr. Lhota did not heed Mr. Catsimatidis’s call, which was prompted by a modest fund-raising filing. But Mr. Catsimatidis, a billionaire who is self-financing his campaign, still repeated his call today.
“The whole thing is, with $157,000 for the whole month of August, where the hell are you going? Where are you going?” Mr. Catsimatidis pressed when asked about the remarks while greeting voters at a kosher supermarket in Brooklyn, which was buzzing with shoppers preparing for Rosh Hashana.
Tell us how you really feel, Joe Lhota.
The former MTA chair joined his fellow Republican candidates at a mostly-genial mayoral forum tonight, where they lobbed bombs at common enemies like their Democratic rivals and agreed on virtually all policy fronts. But the good will ended when rival John Catsimatidis said he “liked” Mr. Lhota while declaring himself the most viable contender in the race.
“You don’t show it,” Mr. Lhota groused, pointing to the flood of negative advertising recently launched by the billionaire businessman’s campaign. “You sure spend a lot of money to piss me off.”
A Cup of Joe
Comptroller John Liu, known for his rapport with minority groups across the city, drew rare scorn from a predominately black crowd in Queens last night because he dared to make a joke about Anthony Weiner during a heated forum, in which the moderator at one point threatened to turn off a rival’s microphone.
“So I’ll be working day in and day out,” said Mr. Liu, describing how he planned to spend his time if elected mayor, during a forum inside a Laurelton, Queens church. “And you can rest assured at night, I’ll be resting up for the next day’s work … I certainly will not be taking pictures of myself.”
Joe Lhota took his mayoral campaign to southwest Brooklyn today, and the first-time candidate insisted he knows what he’s doing.
“There’s an urban myth about my retail campaigning,” Mr. Lhota, a Republican, told Politicker. “I’ve campaigned not as the candidate, but out front with Rudy Giuliani in ’89 and ’93. I ran with a campaign manager for a whole bunch of people who ran for student body president in college. I understand what you need to do.”
Hey, did you hear that Congressman Pete King might run for president? If you haven’t, Mr. King wants that to change.
Hours after confirming his interest in the White House to Politicker today, Mr. King fired off an email to his supporters entitled, “Rep. Peter King Mulls 2016 Presidential Bid.” In the quick missive, Mr. King says, “Recently my name has been floated as a potential 2016 Presidential candidate … I won’t rule out a possible run.”