Maloney, Hoylman, Kavanagh re-elected

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney chats with a voter in Stuyvesant Town.  (Photo courtesy of Congress Member Maloney)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney chats with a voter in Stuyvesant Town. (Photo courtesy of Congress Member Maloney)

By Sabina Mollot

On Tuesday, three local Democrats easily held on to their positions as voters, along with re-electing Andrew Cuomo as governor, also re-elected Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh.

Maloney won with 79.85 percent of the vote, defeating former seminary student and former Pfizer employee Nicholas Di iorio, who got 20.15 percent.
Di iorio had fought tooth and nail for each vote though, having sent out near daily press releases blasting his opponent in the weeks leading up to the election on everything from her trip to China to secure a panda for New York to failure to get many bills passed in Washington. For this he labeled her ineffective.

He’d also hounded his opponent for a debate, and did eventually succeed in wearing her down. The only debate of the campaign took place at a newspaper office in Queens last Thursday, focusing on issues of interest to that part of the district.

Meanwhile, by Tuesday morning, Maloney reported doing well with voters she encountered while campaigning.
Many told her they’d be giving her their vote, though she quickly added, “I probably shouldn’t say that. Of course they’re not going to tell me if they weren’t going to vote for me.”

After casting her own vote at the 92nd Street Y, Maloney also made several stops throughout the district, including popping by Stuyvesant Town in the afternoon.
Some voters had gripes about long lines to cast their votes, although this year, without a presidential election, lines weren’t exactly spilling out of polling place doors.“It’s definitely lower (turnout) than in a presidential year, but people are coming out to vote,” said Maloney. She added that she would work on trying to keep lines shorter in the future, either by pushing for more polling sites or the creation of smaller voting districts.

She also said that if reelected, “I’ll be focused like a laser on affordable housing and making sure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not finance anything that removes affordable housing.”
Other goals included making it easier for people to buy homes, doing away with excessive bank overdraft fees and getting a bill for women’s equality passed, that has, since Maloney’s been in office, failed to do so.

Nicholas Di iorio talks to a voter in Brooklyn. (Photo courtesy of Nicholas Di iorio)

Nicholas Di iorio talks to a voter in Brooklyn. (Photo courtesy of Nicholas Di iorio)

On Tuesday, Di orio was also making various campaign stops around the three-borough district, starting on the Upper East Side, where he lives not far from Maloney, Greenpoint, Brooklyn and later Queens. At around 11 a.m., he was in Manhattan, after voting at Knickerbocker Plaza on 91st Street.

He said for the most part voters he was encountering were familiar with his campaign, having read interviews with him in Town & Village and other newspapers.
When voters stopped to chat with the candidate, typically they had questions that were economy-related. This is where he felt his background working to save money for a pharmaceutical giant worked in his favor.

“It’s been a great day so far,” said Di iorio said. “A lot of the legislators in Congress talk about growing the economy but they haven’t spent time working in economics. That’s one of the differences between me and Congress Member Maloney. I’m trying to help companies and small businesses hire more employees.”
His platform was based around cutting corporate taxes to keep jobs from going overseas.

Later, when asked about the contentious nature of the race, Maloney dismissed her opponent’s steady stream of criticism as a typical Republican tactic.
“The Republicans do not fight on issues,” she said. “They try to destroy the person.”

But not all Republicans used tough guy tactics in this race — or even any tactics at all. Hoylman and Kavanagh both sailed to reelection thanks to their opponents, Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, and East Villager Bryan Cooper, respectively, not running active campaigns.
Kavanagh won with 85.06 percent of the vote, while Cooper got 14.94 percent. Hoylman got 85.66 percent while Scala got 14.34 percent.

State Senate candidate Frank Scala

State Senate candidate Frank Scala

Scala, who’s the president of the Albano Republican Club and the owner of a Fifth Avenue barber shop, said he only ran for State Senate after being asked by the Republican County Committee. But he didn’t seek attention beyond participating in a candidate forum last week hosted by the 17th Precinct Community Council, which his opponent didn’t attend.
And this wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that local candidates have run just to have a Republican on the ballot. In Manhattan, there hasn’t been a Republican elected since the late Roy Goodman left the State Senate in 2002.

Cooper, who, like Scala, has run for office locally before, told Town & Village he had been genuinely interested in running for Assembly, but had wanted to try doing it in a “grassroots” way. He didn’t build a campaign website or attempt to get press, choosing instead to walk around the Lower East Side and the East Village, mostly, as well as Stuy Town where he said he’s noticed a “strong Republican presence.”

“People do come to our club meetings,” he said, referring to the Albano Club, in which he’s a district leader. “People feel like our interests are not being represented. We need a Republican, especially on the Lower East Side.”
Cooper, a production assistant and Navy veteran, said he’d been hearing disgust from his neighbors about corruption in Albany and Cuomo’s handling of the Moreland Commission’s dismantling. Lack of jobs was another concern.

Nov6 Bryan Cooper

Assembly candidate Bryan Cooper

“We want more businesses to be here, less taxes. There’s more unemployment and the homeless situation has risen. Why is this? Businesses are leaving New York.”
He also said that following Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to end stop-and-frisk, he’s found that people no longer feel safe.
“Ever since they stopped stop-and-frisk, people are like, ‘I’m out of here,’” he said. “What’s the point of having a police force when your hands are tied? What’s the problem with stopping and asking a question or checking your bag?”

On his low-key campaign, he explained it was mainly due to money reasons, but he also wanted to see “how effective it would be,” since he is already planning a run for State Senate. “Maybe if this doesn’t work out, I’ll learn my lesson.”

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Editorial: A little information goes a long way, Say yes to debating, not mud-slinging

A little information goes a long way

Last week, an attempted rape of a woman in a Stuyvesant Town elevator sent shockwaves through the community, which despite the occasional assault or robbery, has a reputation for being safer than most neighborhoods.

Far less shocking, but still disturbing was the fact that there was no attempt by the owner of the complex to reach out to residents. Town & Village reported on the crime on our blog shortly after the police released information about the attack, as did other local news outlets, and the Tenants Association sent out an e-mail blast to warn neighbors.

There was a time when, if there was a crime in the community, fliers would be posted in prominent spaces in lobbies, but sadly that hasn’t been the case in years.

In a recent high profile sex crime incident, in which, the “Stuy Town groper” victimized two women in the complex, fliers were distributed, but they came from local State Senator Brad Hoylman and his aides, not property management.

CWCapital didn’t respond to a request from this newspaper on Friday to speak with the chief of Public Safety or anyone else who could provide more details about the attack, other than to say (on Monday after the arrest) that security had been beefed up over the weekend and that a comment would be forthcoming. We’re still waiting.

The point here as long as management prefers to let tenants hear about crime in their apartment complex from the media and the TA, it’s going to appear that they care more about not scaring away potential renters than protecting those who’ve already signed on the dotted line.

CW already knows how to communicate with tenants when management wants to, sending emailed newsletters and Facebook posts to promote events and the soon to open ice rink. It would take no more effort to keep tenants in the loop about criminal activity.

Say yes to debating, not mud-slinging

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who’s held her position in Washington for 22 years, is currently running against Nicholas Di iorio, a former seminary student and former Pfizer employee whose party (Republican) automatically makes him a longshot. Di iorio has spent the past several weeks calling Maloney out for not accepting invitations to publicly debate him.

When asked why she wasn’t debating him, a rep for Maloney said she has agreed to a debate (scheduled for October 28 in an event held by the 17th Precinct Community Council).

Still, Di iorio this week issued press releases accusing Maloney of not debating him, but rather only agreeing to “show up” at the event, a candidates forum, then “speak for 20 minutes and take questions from the audience for 10 minutes.”

Maloney spokesperson Kathy Lynn responded to say the event, which she described as a debate, would have the format of candidates each getting a five-minute opening statement, followed by each candidate getting a short rebuttal.

Following that, the audience asks questions that are facilitated by a moderator,” Lynn said. “This is the format proposed by the 17th Precinct and both campaigns agreed to this when they accepted the invitation to participate.”

When asked for clarification on what the event was, an officer at the 17th Precinct told a T&V reporter it’s “not really a debate,” because there would be no formatted questions, but candidates from local races would have the opportunity to speak and take some questions.

So okay, it’s not technically a debate, but she’s also not shying away from questions.

Now this event aside, as to whether or not we think Maloney (or any candidate) should agree to participate in a debate event if invited and if their schedule permits, the answer is of course.

In Maloney’s case, the fact there hasn’t been a Republican elected in Manhattan since Roy Goodman left the State Senate may make expending the energy on a debate seem like a waste. Maybe, for her, it is.

Still, we think it’s still important for longtime candidates to continue to prove themselves to voters and also to show that they have nothing to hide.

That said, we also think Di iorio might have a better shot at being taken seriously if he’d tone down the near weekly ripping of Maloney via press releases.

As the election looms closer, the candidate has begun sending out statements bashing Maloney on everything from her trip to China to get a panda for New York (while Di iorio went to Israel) to authoring lots of bills that haven’t passed the house to not doing enough about Ebola.

These are fair game topics, but after a while, constant mud-slinging can begin to look like a too-desperate attempt to get attention and voters tune it out.

It’s also worth noting that the past two elections Maloney has run in, most recently with Republican Chris Wight and prior to that with Democrat Reshma Saujani during the primary, were pretty contentious. The attacks on Maloney in both races were nonstop and still Saujani and Wight were easily clobbered by Maloney.

It’s hard to say whether or not the negative campaigning had anything to do with it, since a well-known incumbent is always going to have an extreme advantage over a political newcomer. But it obviously didn’t help.