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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.

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!