According to a new amNewYork-News 12 poll out today, ex-Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota has a wide lead over businessman John Catsimatidis, 50% to 28%, in New York City’s Sept. 10 Republican mayoral primary.
So I shouldn’t be surprised that Catsimatidis is pulling out the big gun: comparing Lhota to Alex Rodriguez. Here’s a mailer I received yesterday from the Catsimatidis campaign:
The mailer hits Lhota for a “$400 million Yankees giveaway.” That’s referring to an agreement reached in 2001, when Lhota was Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani, under which the city was going to pay half the cost of a new Yankee Stadium.
The Catsimatidis mailer credits Mayor Mike Bloomberg for killing the Giuliani plan, which he did in 2002, under fiscal pressure from the recession and the Sept. 11 attacks. He also killed a related plan to build a new, subsidized stadium for the Mets.
In the end, the Yankees built their own new stadium, which opened in 2009, though the city ended up spending almost $US400 million on indirect subsidies and securing hundreds of millions more in federal and state subsides. So that wasn’t exactly a total victory for taxpayers.
How all that makes Joe Lhota like Alex Rodriguez, who is banned from Major League Baseball through 2014 for use of performance-enhancing drugs, is unclear.
Lhota has gone negative, too. He’s hitting Catsimatidis saying this about the outer boroughs: “There are two New Yorks, Manhattan and everything else. I’m a Manhattanite. I feel sorry for those people who aren’t.”
Catsimatidis did indeed say that. I would note, though, that he said it in 1989, a fact you wouldn’t glean from the Lhota mailer’s “New York Post, May 13, 2013” citation for the quote.
On the reverse side, Lhota’s mailer points out that Catsimatidis was a Democrat until 2007, who gave money to various Democratic politicians and even supported David Dinkins (D) in his two campaigns against Giuliani. Of course, Mike Bloomberg was a Democrat until he decided he wanted to be the Republican mayor of New York, and that didn’t stop New York Republicans from nominating him for mayor thrice, the third time even after he had quit the GOP to become an independent.
I’m one of like five GOP supervoters in New York City, so I’m receiving an average of more than one mailer a day from each campaign. We’ll see what they think up next.
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