Lhota comes out swinging in second mayoral debate

Perhaps it was the candidates' podiums angled toward one another that led to such fiery, confrontational exchanges. Credit: Getty Images
Perhaps it was the candidates’ podiums angled toward one another that led to such fiery, confrontational exchanges.
Credit: Getty Images

Less than twenty minutes into the second debate of the general election, the mayoral candidates were exchanging defensive, angry words at such a volume that the moderator was prompted to call a time out.

Moderator Maurice DuBois asked the candidates what happened to their “kumbaya moment” just ten minutes prior, when they found common ground over their mutual appreciation for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Seaport City plan.

But it seemed the goodwill began and ended there, and before long, accusations by de Blasio, characterizing Lhota’s recent attack ad against him as “race-baiting,” had Lhota actually yelling at his opponent.

Lhota insisted there was “nothing divisive about that ad whatsoever,” and explained the reason he thinks de Blasio is weak on crime is because of his support of the City Council’s Community Safety Act bills, which established an Inspector General over the NYPD and instituted anti-profiling protections beyond race-based profiling.

De Blasio objected to Lhota’s characterization of the Council bills, dismissively saying, “There’s a number of inaccuracies in what Mr. Lhota said. He obviously doesn’t understand the legislation.”

The Democratic candidate argued that an inspector general is a “smart checks and balance” measure.

De Blasio frequently brought up the Lhota ad as an example of attempts at “fear-mongering,” while Lhota seemed to ease off of his police- and safety-centered attacks on the public advocate and refocus, if briefly, on de Blasio’s oft-criticized proposed tax hike.

The cornerstone of the Democratic candidate’s platform since day one has been a tax on New Yorkers earning half a million dollars or more to fund full-day universal pre-kindergarten and after school programming for all middle schoolers over the span of five years.

De Blasio noted that his proposed hike would up the tax rate from 3.9 to 4.4 percent, “less than the tax rate Mike Bloomberg set” for high owners ten years ago. He argued that “one of the things business leaders care most about” is education.

“That’s going to make our workforce stronger in the future,” he said. “I would argue it’s in the interest of all.”

Lhota repeatedly warned middle class New Yorkers to keep an eye on their wallets, saying “no one has ever been able to just tax the rich.”

Both candidates also spent a significant amount of time attacking each other’s former bosses and defending their own — former Mayor David Dinkins for de Blasio, and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for Lhota.

While the Republican candidate steadfastly defended Giuliani, crediting him with bringing in a “renaissance” in the city, Lhota emphatically insisted that he is the truly bipartisan candidate, having worked for both Giuliani and Cuomo.

Though he didn’t seem to land any significant jabs, Lhota did appear to be a stronger candidate in the second debate, staying energized and even getting in a few quips.

“You talk about tea so much you remind me of the Mad Hatter,” Lhota said when de Blasio tried to bring up his courting of the Staten Island Tea Party.

 

Debate highlights

Charter schools

De Blasio: Maintained that the vast majority of children in New York attend regular public schools — like his own children — but that he would work with charter schools without favoring them.

Lhota: Accused de Blasio of trying to “annihilate” charter schools by charging rent or forcing co-locations.

NYPD’s Muslim surveillance

De Blasio: The surveillance program is wrong because it isn’t based on specific leads — targets the Muslim community as a whole.

Lhota: The surveillance program is fine because it’s in line with the Handschu guidelines. Lhota said the Handschu guidelines allow the police to follow targets into supermarkets and mosques.

Tax-funded universal pre-K

De Blasio: When asked if his tax hike really has a chance of clearing Albany, de Blasio said Gov. Andrw Cuomo “said he would keep an open mind.” He quickly continued to reiterate what his plan is, and said, “We have it do it; it’s strategically crucial.” De Blasio’s strategy of funding full-day universal pre-K and afterschool programs for all middle schoolers relies on a tax increase on New Yorkers earning half a million or more.

Lhota: “If you’re in the middle class, hold on to your wallet, because no one has ever been able to just tax the rich.”

Biggest regret

De Blasio: Supporting Bloomberg’s push for mayoral control of the city’s education system.

Lhota: Calling Port Authority police officers “mall cops.”

Charging admission for the 9/11 Museum

De Blasio: Would negotiate a lower price.

Lhota: Should be free and open to all, like the Smithsonian and other federal museums.

Proudest moment in life (that doesn’t involve family)

De Blasio: Graduating from NYU.

Lhota: Cutting the ribbon to close Fresh Kills landfill.

Guns?

In the lightning round, both candidates affirmed that they do not own any guns. But attention was brought to a Staten Island Advance article on Lhota’s relationship with the local Tea Party, which referred to him as a gun owner.

Lhota spokesperson Jessica Proud confirmed via email that Lhota does not own a gun, and said she asked the Advance to correct the story after it ran.

Tagline

De Blasio: “We need a safe city and a fair city.”

Lhota: “We are one mayor away from unsafe streets, unsafe schools and unsafe fiscal policy… Do you want your vote to be safe… or sorry?”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

G train running again after five weeks of…

G train service between Brooklyn and Queens returned as planned on Tuesday after several stops were closed for five weeks. Stating on July 25, crews…

Local

Islamic state issues video of beheading of U.S.…

The Islamic State militant group released a video purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday.

Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and Giants climb

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Comments

1

  1. The Campaign Finance Board should be ashamed. Another Wall Street owned mayor is the LAST thing New York needs. How about someone with the guts to TAX WALL STREET! Not bring Wall Street to its knees. No! A 0.5% Wall Street Sales Tax is a most fair rate. There is one candidate for mayor advocating this fair tax. His name is Randy Credico.

    http://www.credico2013.org/

    And since the CFB insists on locking out credible contenders for mayor…

    And since EVERYONE AND YO MAMMA would agree a 0.5% Wall Street Sales Tax would be a huge lift to NYC finances (paying for free health care, free city college tuition, free subways and buses), you will just have to go to Credico’s campaign website and DONATE, so his message can get on the radio.

    He’s not going to beat deBlasio. But if he beats Lhota, then every political hack in the nation will know with utter certainty it is time we TAX WALL STREET!