Newsday: Follow the Mooch

TALKING POINT Follow the Mooch


Friday, January 6, 2018

Rita Ciolli 


The raging East Coast storm Thursday incentivized more daytime television viewing for the last on the snow totals and more opportunities to witness the return of Long Island’s very own snow-job expert, Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci.

Scaramucci was unavoidable as he made the rounds of network and cable news shows to defend President Donald Trump against the stunning claims in the new book “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff. He also got in some knocks against his old nemesis, Steve Bannon, who is the source for many of the book’s unflattering anecdotes about the president.

The Mooch, who last summer blew up his own run as White House communications director in just 11 days because of an interview with The New Yorker magazine about Bannon, seemed to be auditioning to get back into Trump’s good graces. “I don’t think any of those people think the president’s an idiot, dumb or dope . . . You cannot be dumb to win the presidency. You know he’s not dumb, I know he’s not dumb,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

Whether Scaramucci can find his way back into the White House is unknown, but his return to the spotlight is sure to juice ticket sales for a fundraiser featuring “The Mooch” as guest speaker on Jan 31. 1 that is being held by the Manhattan GOP. Tickets are $500 each, and you will learn the location of the dinner after your check is cashed, giving Mooch the same aura of mystery as Bannon, when he spoke at Lee Zeldin’s recent fundraiser in the city.

Posted on 07 Jan 2018, 13:43 - Category: Manhattan Republican Party

Politico: At strategy summit, GOP operatives hope to avoid primary

At strategy summit, GOP operatives hope to avoid primary


12/11/2017 05:04 AM EST


ALBANY — Ideally, there will be no Republican gubernatorial primary next year. The GOP standard bearer will be able to run as an outsider, and bring his or her own money to the campaign.

Those were the takeaways from a summit of the state’s top Republican operatives, convened last week by new Manhattan Republican Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis at the Women’s National Republican Club.

"We had a great meeting with successful GOP operatives from around the state and discussed the importance of a unified big-tent party that can win in 2018," Catsimatidis, the daughter of supermarket mogul and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, said in a statement.

According to several sources who were there, the consensus was that business consultant Harry Wilson is the party’s best bet for next year. Wilson, who ran unsuccessfully for comptroller in 2010, has told party leaders that he would pony up $10 million of his own money and has begun touring the state. He’s said he’ll decide about running by year’s end.

“The sense is there’s Harry, and then there’s a bunch of second-tier options,” said one person who attended the meeting, who asked not to be named because it was a private discussion.

Jonathan Trichter, who has worked with Wilson for the last eight years, was in attendance. As were Bill McGahay and David Catalfamo of Park Strategies, Jessica Proud of the November Team, Michael Fragin and Chapin Fay of Mercury, former Brooklyn Republican chair Craig Eaton, Rob Cole, Ed Lurie, Leticia Remauro, John Haggerty, Mollie Fullington, Obi Murray, Vinny Balascio, Jake Menges, Manhattan GOP vice chair Alexandra Nigolian, NYGOP finance chairman Arcadio Casillas and Bryan Larkin of John McLaughlin & Associates.

Haggerty, who worked on Carl Paladino’s insurgent 2010 gubernatorial bid, talked about the virtues of primaries at honing candidates for the general election. The other people in the room — who often work for warring candidates — said that 2018 was not the right time for such honing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he will seek a third term next year and is sitting on a campaign war chest of at least $25 million. Republicans are bullish, though, and say they will use upcoming corruption trials — and a new federal probe of hiring practices revealed on Friday — and the still-lagging upstate economy as cornerstones of any campaign.

At one point, someone in attendance suggested the ideal candidate should “have a record.” Trichter jumped in, adamant that someone without any experience in elective office should be considered alongside any established politician.

Trichter, reached by phone Friday, declined to comment.

One person at the meeting said there also was a discussion about whether the candidate should rebuke President Donald Trump, whose poll numbers in the state are flagging. The consensus was no, for fear of losing parts of the GOP base.

In addition to Wilson, the potential gubernatorial candidates are Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua).

Posted on 12 Dec 2017, 13:33 - Category: 2018 Election

NY Daily News - 20 GOP consultants gathered to 2018 NY governor's race

20 GOP consultants gathered to 2018 NY governor's race



Monday, December 11, 2017, 4:02 AM

The following is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column:

In a rare meeting, about 20 Republican consultants from across the state got together in Manhattan last week to talk about the upcoming governor’s race.

The group met at the behest of new Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis and largely agreed that wealthy business turnaround expert Harry Wilson would be the best candidate for the party.

But they also discussed the type of candidate they would need to challenge Gov. Cuomo should Wilson not run, those in attendance said.

Among the traits that would be best, they said, is a social moderate, fiscal conservative with a record of accomplishment and the resources to help fund a campaign. A woman would also be ideal, two attendees said.

”Harry checks off all but one of those boxes,” said one consultant.

Another consultant said the takeaway from the meeting is that “Cuomo is vulnerable. Harry would be terrific, but if not Harry, someone else. People should not be scared off by Cuomo. There is a pathway to victory.”

Also considering a run is state Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. The Buffalo News reported Sunday that former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is also considering running.

Wilson in an email told the Daily News he still hasn’t made up his mind whether to run. He has previously said he would decide by Christmas.

The Republicans haven't won a statewide race in New York since George Pataki was elected to a third term as governor in 2002.

The 20 or so GOP consultants who attended the meeting made up a cross section of representation. Some were from upstate, some downstate. Some date back to winning campaigns by Pataki and ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Others were part of more current races.

Some of those in attendance included Ed Laurie, David Catalfamo, Jake Menges, Chapin Fay, Mollie Fullington, Craig Eaton.

Also in attendance was Jonathan Trichter, a principal at MAEVA Municipal Solutions, which Wilson heads. Trichter is a Democratic consultant who worked for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s campaign and crossed party lines to work on Wilson’s 2010 unsuccessful run for state controller and has been helping the potential gubernatorial candidate as he’s moved around the state.

One source familiar with the discussions said Trichter said Wilson would run against Trump and the GOP and believes his story would transcend any anti-Trump or anti-Republican feelings in blue New York.

“His whole presentation was Trump doesn’t matter, what happened in the fall (when the Democrats made big gains in New York) doesn’t matter,” the source said. “The room came away from the presentation saying these guys are clueless. If this is their plan, God help us.”

But Trichter and four other attendees disputed the contention. They said Trichter was mainly listening and spoke up when the discussion turned to the need for someone with a record of accomplishment.

“I got the sense Trichter was listening and there to hear what our thoughts were,” one said. “I didn’t get a sense one way or the other that he had made a decision.”

Said another: “Trichter definitely had a message of what Harry would say, of what his bio would be.”

Wilson grew up upstate, has a business record of helping turnaround struggling businesses, and was tapped by Democratic President Barack Obama to help with the General Motors bailout.

Posted on 12 Dec 2017, 13:30 - Category: 2018 Election

Chair Catsimatidis Interviewed on Cat's Roundtable

Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis spoke about her plans for the Manhattan GOP this morning on Cat's Roundtable.  Click here to listen to the segment.

Posted on 22 Oct 2017, 13:05 - Category: 2017 Election

NY Post: Bitter de Blasio thinks there should be a parade in his honor

Bitter de Blasio thinks there should be a parade in his honor

By Michael Gartland and Danika Fears

September 4, 2017 | 9:01pm | Updated

Mayor Bill de Blasio claims he’s running the city so well, “you’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets” — and insisted he’d be more popular if it weren’t for “the time in history.”

“When I think about how crime’s gone down for four years, graduation rates up, test scores are up, more jobs than ever in our history — I think, ‘Wow, just that quick profile, any candidate anywhere would want it,’ ” he boasted to New York magazine.

“You’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets. But that’s not the time in history we’re living in,” he added.

De Blasio’s job approval rating plummeted over the summer to a 50 to 42 percent margin, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released in late July

New Yorkers are split — 46 percent to 46 percent — on whether he deserves a second term, the poll found.

The mayor admitted he had made “missteps” and had “insufficiencies as a communicator” — but said New Yorkers were simply taking out their frustrations with the current economic climate on their leaders.

“The Great Recession, specifically, but really the decades of people being economically stagnant, deeply affected people’s views, understandably,” de Blasio said. “And the increased cost of living around here.”

Seemingly responding to a Post report about him being a bully of a boss, the mayor took issue with criticisms of his “management approach.”

“You don’t achieve all those things without managing the hell out of the situation,” de Blasio said.

As for the investigations into his campaign fundraising, Hizzoner said “everyday New Yorkers” are far more concerned with the issues that affect their lives.

“Some political insiders, maybe they’ve come to certain conclusions,” he said. “But for everyday New Yorkers? They didn’t see anything wrong, and they’re right, because there wasn’t anything wrong.”

But the vast majority of New Yorker voters — 78 percent — believe he should raise his own money to pay for the lawyers who represented him during the probes — and not take the funds from taxpayers, the Quinnipiac survey found.

De Blasio initially said he would raise the $2 million to cover his legal bills, then announced in June he would have the city pay for it.

Asked whether the New York Times was determined to prove he was corrupt, de Blasio declared, “I think there are some in the media who are having trouble letting go.”

He pushed back against media reports about his regular jaunts to his old gym in Brooklyn — again saying regular New Yorkers just don’t care.

‘You’d assume they’d be having parades out in the streets. But that’s not the time in history we’re living in.’

The trips from Gracie Mansion to the Park Slope YMCA require two gas-guzzling SUVs.

“Everyday people do not raise that concern to me, ever,” de Blasio said. “If the worst you can say about someone is he goes to the gym, that’s a pretty good situation in today’s world.”

The mayor directed some of his media ire squarely at The Post, saying it is primarily to blame for the “tabloid culture” that got Donald Trump elected president.

He said The Post and its parent company, News Corp., “provided Trump not only the platform but the language and the approach.”

“He riffs off them, they riff off him,” de Blasio said.

The mayor predicted that the backlash against Trump, whom he called “spoiled” and “profoundly racist,” would be the “death knell for tabloid journalism.”

“They’re not going to be around too much longer, in my opinion, but for a brief and sad moment, that negative, hateful, divisive tabloid culture, the same culture that vilified the word liberal, effectively, became too ascendant. It’s now crashing on the rocks,” he said.

De Blasio also addressed his ongoing feud with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, conceding that some of their beef was personal.

“I’m saying some of this is structural, some of this is ideological, some of this is just naturally what happens when people disagree on an issue,” the mayor explained.

“Yeah, we do have a long personal relationship, and that’s a component.”

The mayor declined to discuss whether he would endorse Cuomo for re-election.

“I’m talking about this year. I’m in a mayoral election this year,” he said. “That’s what we’re talking about.”

Posted on 05 Sep 2017, 19:17 - Category: Mayor Bill de Blasio

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