Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just one man’s opinion — Victory Speech Showed Joe Lhota Just Doesn’t Get It

Some day I might be able to support Republican nominee Joe Lhota for Mayor of the City of New York. HOWEVER, as a simple, virtuous and self-reliant Brooklyn Republican, the way things are going I doubt that it will be any time in 2013

According to various news outlets the new Republican nominee Joe Lhota said at his victory party in Manhattan late Tuesday that "It is time to unify our party, strengthen it and prepare it for victory in November...." (See “Lhota Wins Republican Primary for Mayor” by Erica Orden, 9/11/13, Wall Street Journal []); see also “Joe Lhota Vows to ‘Unify Our Party’ After Bruising Primary” by Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, 9/11/13, NY Observer/Politicker  []).

Some might think that’s mighty odd talk from somebody who has not yet made any attempt to unify the Brooklyn Republican Party behind its current leadership team.  In fact it’s quite the contrary, Joe Lhota has been  participating with a group that has been committed to ripping apart the Brooklyn GOP in advance of the November mayoral election. Also it’s very odd talk from somebody who is far from a consensus GOP candidate based on Tuesday’s primary result. For the record, Mr. Lhota was rejected by a majority of Brooklyn’s 2013 Republican Primary voters, and he came in second to John Catsimatidis in Staten Island.

Let’s stick to Brooklyn, though. Several months ago, Mr. Lhota was speaking to a small group of Republican activists in Brooklyn. I am informed that one of the things he made a commitment to at that time was that he intended to follow through on a complete overhaul of the Republican Party regardless of how the mayoral race came out.  Since that time, Mr. Lhota has pursued that goal in Brooklyn by way of close alliances with State Senator Martin Golden and an insurgent faction inside the Brooklyn GOP called “Republicans for Change.”

Maybe, Tuesday’s primary result has awakened Mr. Lhota to the realization that he might not have been put on a path to victory by his pre-primary chosen allies in Brooklyn, but rather that he has been led down the garden path. If Joe Lhota doesn’t see all of that clearly now, then he probably also doesn’t realize is that he is standing in the middle of a five ring circus of simple Republican virtue and self-reliance that is the  part of the Brooklyn GOP, which wants nothing to do with State Senator Marty Golden or his co-conspirators, the inaptly named “Republicans for Change.” Furthermore, although I don’t speak for any particular group of Brooklyn Republicans, I think it’s fair to say that some, if not all, of those simple, virtuous and self-reliant Brooklyn Republicans will not want any part of any Lhota campaign for mayor, unless  and until he shows some timely and proper amends for his ill-chosen alliances with Golden and the “Republicans for Change.”

I know of at least one group of Republicans and social conservatives that’s ready to go with a real social conservative, Erick Salgado, if he pushes forward on a third party line. That might be worth looking into.


Anonymous said...

Lhota can't win. So there isn't any reason to get behind his run for mayor. Lhota isn't a conservative Republican or any kind of conservative at all. So there isn't any reason to support him. Lhota is a johnny come lately to Brooklyn. So there isn't any reason to listen to him about the Republican Party in Brooklyn. Lhota hasn't been a unity candidate up to now. So there isn't any reason to unify the Republican Party because he says so.

Galewyn Massey said...

Galewyn Massey said...


Any report of the Big Cats’ Tuesday night concession speech mentioned his line about working harder next time (See e.g., “‘Next Time I’ll Work Harder!’: John Catsimatidis Loses Republican Primary” by Helaina Hovitz, 9/11/13, NY Observer/Politicker []).

John Catsimatidis lacks many virtues and has some glaring talent deficits (especially if you count haircuts and suits) — but loyalty is a virtue that he might have to a fault, and a capacity for long, hard work is something with which JC has been blessed almost to a curse. That’s why Catsimatidis’ concession speech betrayed a complete lack of insight into the real cause of the Catsimatidis campaign’s failure to connect with and motivate a majority of Republicans to vote for the successful entrepreneur on primary day.

If there is a next time, if John Catsimatidis wants to succeed in getting elected, he will have to learn and understand that the problem with the 2013 Catsimatidis campaign wasn’t that he didn’t work hard enough; the problem with the Big Cat’s campaign was that it was a “Vanity Campaign” managed by Rob Ryan, a man with long and deep connections to the Conservative Party that had endorsed Catsimatidis’ opponent. A lesson that Catsimatidis has to learn is that misplaced loyalty is almost always repaid with disloyalty; and that hard work is useless when you’re probably being advised to work against yourself.

Anonymous said...

Gale, I agree with one exception. I don't think Cats campaigned enough in person and I don't think enough people got to meet him around the city. He kept a fairly light schedule of appearances and tried to bring voters to him instead of going to them (i.e. Jay Black, Little Flower, etc.). If there is a next time, Cats should focus on being out there in the neighborhoods and demonstrating what he says: that he's not a politician, that he's a regular guy who made it big, and that understands the issues facing average New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the fact that Cats came off like a mushmouthed buffoon during the debates and certain interviews didn't play any role in his loss?

Galewyn Massey said...

A couple of "friends" called me about the comment above, which I have since deleted.... Not wanting to risk tainting anybody near and dear with some of the specifics of my current decision not to support the newly chosen GOP candidate for mayor, or more important, not wanting my suggestion as to what Mr. Lhota might do to make amends sound like it was the ultimatum to Mr. Lhota by any establishment or independent Republicans in Brooklyn for their conditional support, I have deleted the comment completely.

However, some time sooner rather that later, I will probably be posting a "Just one man’s opinion II ..." or something like that. It will be akin to a Bill of Particulars of my reasons why any simple, virtuous and self-reliant Brooklyn Republicans should not be uniting behind the current Lhota candidacy on the Republican line or any of the other lines upon which he is running, because Lhota's candidacy had been profoundly flawed ab initio, especially anything that makes it look or sound like Lhota might be any kind of Republican-Conservative.

Galewyn Massey said...

That's called "setting up a straw man"....

Assuming for argument that it's a fact that those things did play a role in Catsimatidis' extremely close loss to Lhota overall and virtual tie in Brooklyn, "...the fact that Cats came off like a mushmouthed buffoon during the debates and certain interviews..." was more likely an effect of what I identified as a cause, than it was an underlying cause in and of itself.

btw, neither Lhota nor Catsimatidis comes across as Lincoln or Douglass, much less Edward Everett (“Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before ....”)

Galewyn Massey said...


Somewhere in the middle of the New York Post’s coverage of the Lhota campaign yesterday was this little gem, “We’re still ironing out the details,” said [a NYS GOP spokesman]. “But in the immediate aftermath of last night’s primary, one thing is certain: Republicans are united behind Joe Lhota.” ( See “Lhota campaign will tap supporters nationwide” by Beth DeFalco & Carl Campanile, 9/12/13, NY Post/Metro []). Unfortunately, the rest of the article made it clear that Lhota’s GOP Primary opponent John Catsimatidis was still evaluating whether to continue waging his campaign against Lhota through the November election, and other key Republicans were still not on board with GOP nominee Lhota.

Even more distressing to a large portion of the Republican base in New York City is something that appeared in a sidebar to the print edition of the New York Post article quoted above. Listed as one of GOP candidate Joe Lhota’s “Keys to Victory” was the following point: “Work to show that [Lhota’s] brand of Republican politics has nothing to do with that of national Republicans. ( See “Fight For The Future – Keys to Victory – Joe Lhota” – pg 6 – NY Post/Metro, 9/12/13 [sidebar box, “Keys to Victory,” appeared next to print edition of the article cited above]).

Galewyn Massey said...


According to a report in the NY Daily News, “Republican Joe Lhota said Thursday that he doesn't see what the big deal is about reaching out to the Rev. Al Sharpton as he moves into the general election campaign for mayor.” (See “Republican NY Mayor Contender Joe Lhota: So I'll Talk To Al Sharpton. Why Not?” by Celeste Katz, 9/12/13, Daily News/Daily Politics []). Lhota went on to say, “My greatest strength [is] that I will talk to everybody, and I see no reason to exclude anybody. If I'm going to be the mayor of all New Yorkers, I've got to be able to talk to all New Yorkers.”

Apparently, “...all New Yorkers...” does not mean most of the key GOP leaders in Brooklyn.