New York GOP Says Bill de Blasio’s Town Hall Was ‘Phony’

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Mayor's Office/Flickr)

Mayor Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Mayor’s Office/Flickr)

Ed Cox, the chairman of the New York State Republican Party, called the first town hall Mayor Bill de Blasio held “phony,” citing reports that Mr. de Blasio corralled friendly groups to attend the Washington Heights event.

Mr. Cox also blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat and Mr. de Blasio’s erstwhile friend, over a New York Post report that Mr. Cuomo asked state employees to attend a recent climate change announcement he held with former Vice President Al Gore. The workers were there, the story alleged, to make the Columbia University auditorium look full.

“The two scorpions in a bottle are rubbing off on each other,” Mr. Cox said. “Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, who have upside down job approval ratings were embarrassingly caught this week trying to pad their audiences with paid supporters and invite-only guests.”

“Mayor de Blasio held a phony event open only to a chosen group handpicked by City Hall; he has yet to follow his predecessors and hold town hall meetings open to the real people of the city,” he added.

Mr. de Blasio’s town hall on housing issues was open to the public. It was, however, carefully-controlled, with progressive and tenants’ rights groups providing the majority of attendees. When a questioner tried to grill Mr. de Blasio about a topic unrelated to housing, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the local lawmaker and a de Blasio ally, shut him down.

On Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Cox said the governor should reimburse the state from his campaign account for a “gross misuse” of taxpayer dollars.

“New Yorkers are suffering under the highest taxes, the most residents fleeing a state and the worst business climate. Enough with the political theatrics; it’s time to focus on reform and good government,” he said.

Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Mr. de Blasio, said that it was “hard to fathom why anyone could oppose the mayor taking two hours of unfiltered questions from tenants and helping explain their legal rights.”

Mr. Cuomo’s office did not return a request for comment.

View the full statement below:

The two scorpions in a bottle are rubbing off on each other. Both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, who have upside down job approval ratings were embarrassingly caught this week trying to pad their audiences with paid supporters and invite-only guests.

Governor Cuomo was busted for his practice of using state workers on the taxpayer’s dime to fill the audience of his event with former Vice President Al Gore.

Mayor de Blasio held a phony event open only to a chosen group handpicked by City Hall; he has yet to follow his predecessors and hold town hall meetings open to the real people of the City. He is, however, furthering his national ambitions by holding a “presidential” forum in Iowa in December.

Governor Cuomo should reimburse the state out of his well-padded campaign account for this gross misuse of tax dollars and Mayor de Blasio should hold a real town hall meeting open to the public, who will tell him that crime is going up, quality of life is going down and the public education system is an embarrassment.

New Yorkers are suffering under the highest taxes, the most residents fleeing a state and the worst business climate. Enough with the political theatrics; it’s time to focus on reform and good government.

New York GOP Says Bill de Blasio’s Town Hall Was ‘Phony’