New York City is dying. The Democrat Party led by Mayor DeBlasio has had total control for 8 long years and has inflicted us with disastrous policies, which have crippled our economy and eroded public safety. If the city had a healthy, functional democracy, the two-party system would allow the Republican Party to present voters with plausible alternative leaders and policies to fix the problems which have metastasized into serious existential threats. The vast majority of voters are Democrats, which is naturally a challenge to meaningful reform, but the establishment Republican leadership is so corrupt and incompetent that they are not capable of promoting good candidates and that tragic fact deprives the voters of a choice and cements the even more corrupt Democrat politicians into a position of total and likely permanent control. It is absolutely critical for this city that the Republican Party leadership be reformed.
(And that’s assuming the Democrats don’t just keep using vote fraud to steal elections!)
As the old adage goes: “A fish rots from the head,” so we’ll start at the top of the food chain. Each of the NYC 5 boroughs have Republican Party Chairs and while all are theoretically equal, the PRIMUS INTER PARES is Manhattan’s chair; because that’s where the money is. The Manhattan GOP raises more money than any other borough for the Republican Party; in fact more than the rest of the entire state.
The Manhattan Chair is Andrea Catsimatidis (the Bionic Bimbo), the beneficiary of a reputed $1,000,000 surgical makeover, (which transformed her from an anteater to a virtual lamppost lorelei), whose father, John Catsimatidis, a morbidly obese geezer, bestowed the position upon her through generous donations to the roughly 40 Republican County Committee Members (electors) who can vote for this office. Catsimatidis peré, is influential among Republicans because he owns the local affiliate of WABC NEWS RADIO and the Gristedes Supermarket chain. It’s said that he actually makes his money from blockade running the Venezuelan oil embargo and has a life size framed color poster of him with Fidel Castro enjoying a Latinate and manly smooch, right behind his desk in his private office. New York Republicans can be ideologically flexible. Once Ms. Catsimatidis occupied her seat, all signs of generosity to the party ceased.
Ms. Catsimatidis is a living embodiment of the “evils” of “white privilege” and nepotism. Her executive decisions on candidate endorsements have been disastrous throughout her term.
2 years ago, a promising contender for the Republican nomination in the race against Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for her district straddling the Bronx and Queens sought Ms. Catsimatidis’ approval. Miguel Hernandez is a lifelong denizen of the Bronx portion of the district in question; a self-made man who was orphaned at an early age in the poorest neighborhood in NYC; he worked tirelessly from his adolescence on, becoming a construction contractor and chief superintendent of a Madison Avenue high-rise apartment building. He’s a veritable pillar of his community, a devout Christian and elder in the Pentecostal church he shares with hundreds of blood relatives in his community. As a licensed pilot, he even flew several missions ferrying relief supplies to Puerto Rico during the big hurricane in his own plane at his own expense. This was the candidate Ms. Catsimatidis brushed off.
After the Manhattan crew shunted Mr. Hernandez off to the Queens crew, he was advised that he had to hire Cindy Grosz to do his P.R. and fundraising. Now Ms. Grosz is widely known as the attack dog for Queens GOP Chair Joann Ariola, who was installed in that position in a coup orchestrated a few years ago by the Queens GOP bosses, John and Bart Haggerty (the progeny of John C. Haggerty who was formerly the Republican Speaker of the New York State Assembly). Bart is the Deputy Chief of the Queens Board of Elections and John is the longtime Executive Director of the Queens Republican Party. The latter doesn’t seem to show up with that title on any official documents or letterheads; apparently, he prefers to remain an EMINENCE GRISE lurking in the background (a stance that might be attributed to the fact that he’s a convicted felon who’s done prison time for financial improprieties in past elections).
Mr. Hernandez says that Ms. Grosz promised to put him on FOXNEWS, etc., get him massive media exposure and manage his fundraisers for $10,000 per month. “After I’d paid her $12,000 from my own pocket and had gotten nothing, I had to fire her. She’s been suing me ever since.”
Meanwhile, the Haggertys and their crony, Mike Rendino (the Bronx Republican Party Chair) was busy installing John Cummings, a retired schoolteacher from Queens as the Republican nominee to run in the general election against Ms. Cortez. Upon nomination, the Cummings campaign took in between 6 and 9 million dollars from mostly small donors all over America who were anxious to unseat the radical extremist, Ms. Cortez. The assistant to the Manhattan GOP chair, Robert Morgan, who regularly consults outer borough party bosses told us that the Cummings campaign regularly referred to those small donors as “The Bubbas,” in what I would posit as a derisive manner, reflective of the Queens crew’s attitudes toward the peonage of rank and file Republicans.
The Cummings campaign, managed by the aforementioned Mike Rendino, was a lucrative farce with a “straw candidate” who didn’t show any sign making public appearances, buying advertising, organizing volunteers, soliciting media attention or any other of the costly standard campaign practices. Mr. Cummings was widely noted to be seen wining and dining all over town with the cronies though. Mike Rendino reputedly made well over a million dollars and the P.R. sinecure went to a youngster named Chapin Fay for a $750,000 payout noted a wistful Robert Morgan with a mixture of admiration and envy.
What the Haggertys and Mr. Rendino did with the Cummings campaign scam is not an isolated incident. It is part of a much larger pattern of abuse of power and office, with ramifications that continue through to the current mayoral race and even the next gubernatorial race and I’ll demonstrate how these characters are literally sabotaging Republican prospects in both cases. They’ll all become richer in the process!
To understand New York City and State Republican political dynamics, you have to understand that Queens is the keystone. It has more registered Republican voters than any other borough and thus its Republican machine has tremendous power within the Republican state party in Albany; So much so that John Haggerty, the convict, has just been appointed NYS Political Director for NYS GOP, which means he will effectively be choosing who gets to run against Governor Cuomo next year.
The Haggertys, Ms. Ariola and their cronies in Queens, are riddled with Democrat carpetbaggers who have only recently become nominal Republicans. Together, they cooperate with their Democrat party counterparts on issues like ballot access for candidates, judicial appointments, and patronage, much to the satisfaction of the Democrats.
One Queens Republican leader who is righteously incensed at this abuse of power is Phil Orenstein, the President of the Queens Village Republican Club and here’s what he has to say: “We have been fighting against the Queens GOP leadership, who work to crush good Republicans and keep the GOP small and under their control. They knocked me and my fellow Republican colleagues off the ballot and have spared no effort to keep us mired in court litigation until election day to prevent an open Republican Primary. Instead of uniting to defeat Democrats and socialists, they waste much time, money, and effort suppressing good Republicans. All they want is to keep their power.”
Ms. Catsimatidis doesn’t just sink good Republican candidates; she promotes obviously toxic candidates to carry the GOP imprimatur who aren’t even Republicans. In a city where many citizens still grieve for their lost loved ones from the 9/11 jihadi attack, 20 years unrepentant Muslim politicians don’t merely infest the Democrat party, they’re being welcomed into the ranks of the NYC Republican party by our clueless leaders.
The chief spokesman for the ill-fated effort to build a mosque where the World Trade Center’s twin towers once stood, ran for a New York State Senate seat as a Republican. On February 11th, 2020, New York County Chairwoman Ms. Catsimatidis endorsed and appointed Oz Sultan as Republican nominee for the 30th New York State Senate District election (Harlem).
At that moment, there had already been signs that Sultan’s candidacy could be problematic. He’d had a measure of notoriety for about 8 years, since he was the spokesman for the project called PARK 51 which used a lot of opaque foreign money to gain that unwelcome foothold. While that construction was ultimately blocked, his group did manage to erect a so-called, “Islamic Cultural Center” on adjacent land.
Ms. Catsimatidis and her father at around the same time were prominent on the cover of the New York Post for admitting that John routinely used high tech software to spy on his daughter’s dates. This embarrassment would and should have caused good leaders to quietly withdraw from politics for the common good, but the Catsimatidis gang stuck it out and merely became distracted from the responsibilities of leadership.
Another red flag they might have noticed came up before Sultan’s appointment when, in December 2019, Sultan was being sued for financial improprieties by Molly C. Braswell, a former Republican campaign aide. The case was adjudicated on the court show HOT BENCH (season 82, episode #6) where the plaintiff prevailed against Sultan with a partial judgement verdict.
Ms. Catsimatidis, who ignored our request for comment, had cause to castigate her protege when Sultan managed to offend the bulk of Harlem’s Republican caucus. On August 8th, 2019, he promoted a cookout and rally in the district that effectively excluded every Republican candidate and local leader, while prominently featuring a rogue’s gallery of Democrat politicians, gang members, and rabble rousers. Notable honorees included, Adriano Espaillat, the two term Democrat Congressman who holds the seat vacated by Charles Rangel, Democrat New York State Assemblyman (73rd District), Alfred Taylor, who rose through the ranks of Freddie Ferrer’s machine and also “Bam Bam” (who is, according to our sources, a feared Harlem drug gang boss).
Among the uninvited were Lovelynn Gwinn, the Republican nominee in last November’s race for Espaillat’s congressional seat and JoLinda Ruth Cogen, the former Harlem Republican District leader. Lovelynn Gwinn tells us that not only did Sultan exclude her, but “He tried to persuade me not to run in the first place because he wants to run for that seat two years from now!” Ms. Cogen sits on the Advisory Board for the Harlem district in question and told us that, “Sultan doesn’t act like a Republican and he won’t listen to the Republican community leadership. I think he’s a misogynist, the way he treats the women in the party here. I asked him to resign.” It was she that brought this fiasco to the attention of Andrea Catsimatidis a few days ago.
Sultan is also publicly partnered with Al Sharpton in the “Second Chance” project, which seems to be devoted to giving felons voting rights.
When asked for comment on these issues, Sultan told us, “I am making a clear distinction between protesters who are calling for racial justice and The BLM organization which most Black people are questioning…, in Harlem the focus is bipartisanship.” In this case, “bipartisanship” would be an understatement.
Sultan is now on the Kamala Harris bandwagon, posting on social media that he’s also biracial!
Ms. Catsimatidis’ latest missteps have triggered an all-out civil war in the NYC GOP. The race for Mayor and City Comptroller is the most crucial to the city’s future and we’ll now examine this pathetic clown show crooked tragedy.
On January 11th of this year, Ms. Catsimatidis proudly introduced Curtis Sliwa who announced his candidacy for mayor. Mr. Sliwa is the founder of The Guardian Angels, an international non-profit that operates in 13 countries and 140 cities and continues to organize the much-admired civilian volunteers who patrol the streets and subways to shield the citizenry from violent criminals. John Catsimatidis has been a longtime supporter of Mr. Sliwa, so all was well at that point.
That is until Mike Rendino persuaded Ms. Catsimatidis to shift her support to his client, another candidate with a deeply troubled past, Fernando Mateo, cue the inevitable New York Post headlines about the pathetic father/daughter split; a shell game where no matter which candidate emerges victorious, the family wins!
By stabbing Mr. Sliwa in the back and switching the Manhattan Republican party’s support to Mr. Mateo, Ms. Catsimatidis bifurcated the party she claims to represent. Staten Island and Brooklyn have the second and third largest populations of NYC registered Republican voters respectively and both boroughs’ Republicans overwhelmingly support Mr. Sliwa. Statistically Mr. Sliwa has a considerable polling advantage over the votes that Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx can muster for Mr. Mateo.
In an election that is determinative of the city’s future viability, the Republican party should be unified to present the voters with a clear option to the continued Democrat misrule, Ms. Catsimatidis has all but ensured that after the primary on June 22nd, there will be continuing fratricide in its ranks because Mr. Mateo has chosen to run as an independent in the general election, if he loses the primary election. Let’s note that it is standard and good practice for the loser of a primary election to concede gracefully and throw support behind the winner for the common good.
Who is Fernando Mateo and what forces put him in this position to cause such irreparable damage to NYC’s Republican effort? The answer is that he is only a recent, opportunistic affiliate of the GOP, who has made illegal campaign contributions to Mayor DeBlasio, of the sort that regularly result in convictions and jail terms. (Just ask Dinesh D’Sousa how that works!) My sources tell me that the Democrats would nail him with charges if he were to make it into the general election as the Republican nominee.
Ms. Catsimatidis and Mr. Matteo regularly tout the candidates “broad support” in the Latino community, his stewardship of the Taxi Drivers’ Union and his support for former President Donald Trump as sterling qualifications for his ascendancy. Mr. Mateo regularly derides Mr. Sliwa as a Trump hater citing Mr. Sliwa’s past support for the Reform Party, which didn’t endorse Mr. Trump in the 2016 election. The former Executive Director of the Queens GOP, (and former President of the New York Young Republicans) Robert Hornack, refutes the spurious anti-Trump allegations with, “Anyone claiming that Curtis is anti-Trump is just plain wrong. Nobody has been more neutral here than Curtis, who has consistently given Trump praise for what he agrees with and criticism when he disagrees. He’s been as fair as it gets. And criticism of Curtis as Chairman of the NY Reform Party is uninformed and misguided. It was strategically smart for him to back a third-party candidate while he was working to build a viable center-right third party that could ultimately be a counter to the Working Families Party. Sadly, Cuomo killed it before it’s potential was fully realized.”
Carmen Quinones, a Democrat District Leader and President of The Frederick Douglass Housing Projects, who supports Mr. Sliwa, says that Mr. Mateo does not in fact have much support at all in the Latino community and “The Taxi Drivers Union rank and file members hate him for selling the out in a deal with DeBlasio which allowed non medallion drivers to pick up fares.” This deal resulted in the market equity value of taxi medallions to plunge from about $200,000 to $40,000 over the last several years. (A loss of capital assets that ruined the lives of thousands of medallion cab drivers who operate as small businesses). Even the clueless New York Times picked up on this phenomenon, reporting on the astounding record number of medallion cab drivers committing suicide (scores of them) over the last several years.
Last week, Ms. Catsimatidis roped in General Michael Flynn (who is widely considered to be a stalking horse for subsequent endorsements from Donald Trump) to endorse Mr. Mateo. General Flynn was great at military intelligence in the Middle East and his calling out of Obama mouthpiece Susan Wright in the Congressional Benghazi hearings was laudable, but his decision to back Mr. Mateo has to be his worst call since he agreed to be interviewed by corrupt and partisan F.B.I. agents at the start of his service in the Trump Administration. Luckily, even though Ms. Catsimatidis was able to wrangle a visit by Mr. Mateo to President Trump’s office in his Bedminster, N.J. golf club, President Trump dodged the bullet, by issuing some anodyne happy talk and refused to commit to an actual endorsement.
Mr. Mateo’s hand-picked running mate, Daby Carreras, Ms. Catsimatidis’ endorsed City Comptroller candidate, is another case study in bad optics. The City Comptroller position wields enormous power over the city’s finances at a time when spending is out of control, the budget is a mess, and the “Incredible Shrinking Tax Base” is diminishing into non-existence. A former business partner of Mr. Carreras, William Bluett told me, “He’s completely unqualified, is way over his head, and is really just a social climber.” Mr. Mateo’s “mini-me”, a bald homunculus is an oleaginous broker in a bucket shop that specializes in hyping penny stocks to pensioners. He has no graduate degrees and it’s unclear if he has any education at all. *Full Disclosure: 4 months ago, because Mr. Carreras had had no exposure with the press, his campaign asked me to host a media meet & greet for which he would pick up the expenses. Out of curiosity, I did so, and while his unctuous attempts at charm were noticeably deficient, the Post’s Page Six column mentioned his presence. Messrs. Mateo and Carerras are so concerned about their prospects that Mr. Carreras has been harassing party leaders to demand their loyalty… Susan Miller, a high-profile activist and member of The Metropolitan Republican club tells me that, “Carreras called me at 8 AM yelling hysterically and accusing me of being a ‘traitor’ because he’d heard I support Curtis, He also called me a fake Republican, and an anti-Trump hating Communist.”
Republican primary voters can choose to abstain from voting for Mr. Carreras because due some dirty tricks and technicalities, the good candidate for the comptroller’s office, John Tobacco was scraped off the ballot by Robert Morgan, Ms. Catsimatidis’s assistant and “fixer”. Mr. Morgan, whose father is the former president of the Metropolitan Republican Club, has developed expertise in arcane ballot and election procedures. Mr. Morgan detected some trivial clerical errors on a few cover pages of the 10,000 plus signatures needed for candidate ballot status and together with the heavy-handed influence that the Haggerty brothers wield over the Board of Elections, defied the will of tens of thousands of Republican voters, which met the same insurmountable barrier that has canceled so many other promising candidates.
Matching funds occur when a candidate that makes it onto a ballot reaches a certain small threshold of legitimate, registered donations. At that point, the state kicks in 8 times the donations raised to each legitimate contribution and the campaign machine can then spend like drunken sailors. For instance, the Mateo campaign, even if it loses the primary, can enter the general election on the independent ballot line and qualify for as much as $10,000,000 of city funding. That’s why even though Mr. Mateo, who’s publicly stated on several occasions that he will support the winner of the Republican primary (implicitly by withdrawing from the race) is not expected to abide by that empty promise. We should all hope that both the Catsimatidises and the media hold him to his word!
The Brothers Haggerty and Mike Rendino are all known for their cordial relations with the Democrats and are thought to be cognizant of the techniques employed by the latter when it comes to vote rigging. Michael Zumbluskas, a Manhattan Republican District Leader and Board of Elections poll specialist, tells me that he is “concerned about cheating.” As of June 12th, The Post reported that Marko Kepi, a City Council candidate, affiliated with Mr. Mateo is under investigation for fraudulent absentee ballots. Mr. Zumbluskas and his colleagues in the Board of Elections have already turned “at least one absentee ballot for Mr. Mateo listed to Efrain Pabon, (vsnk. 104489) who is in fact, dead.” Mr. Zumbluskas is also concerned that if Mr. Mateo runs against Mr. Sliwa as an independent, the Haggertys will throw the campaign money (that they don’t pay themselves) into harming Mr. Sliwa, because a Sliwa victory would destroy their power.
Ms. Catsimatidis won’t be a loose cannon much longer as she is expected to leave office after November, so she can move to Miami to indulge her passion for Instagram modeling or whatever. Her father’s health might slow him down too. This city deserves a complete reform of both major parties and if it’s lucky we might at least get new blood running the Republicans.