Wednesday, September 01, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
David Malpass gets arguably the most important endorsement in the Republican US Senate primary, snagging the support of the New York Post editorial board.
The former Reagan treasury secretary is praised by the paper for being a conservative intellectual, and, in that respect, "follows the intellectual tradition set by the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the most fertile minds ever to sit in the Senate."
Most voters, though, haven't heard of him. In the latest Q poll, 85 percent said they don't know enough about him, and just eight percent report a favorable opinion. And his primary rivals are working to fill the void. During a Tea Party forum at Baruch College on Monday night, former Nassau legislator Bruce Blakeman, attacked Malpass for working at Bear Sterns while his Wall Street colleagues drove the economy into the ground.
Blakeman said to Malpass, "You advocated for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae getting more money" and "you were the chief economist for Bear Sterns went they went broke."
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
A less serious but heatedly debated point at last night's Tea Party forum in Manhattan erupted when two of Gillibrand's likely GOP rivals debated who had real Republican credentials.
"It's absurd to say that you worked for Ronald Reagan," David Malpass says to Bruce Blakeman.
Blakeman responds, "I was an advance man for Ronald Reagan."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
WSJ also picks up [$] on a key point in a recent GOP debate: all three Republican senate candidates looking to face Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November agree on at least one thing: Ed Cox has not been a good state chairman of their party.
DioGuardi, Blakeman and Malpass each expressed their opinion during the "Lightening Round" portion of Tuesday night's televised debate.
A GOP insider takes umbrage with the candidate's answers, saying, they all sought Cox's support. There's also some airing of the intra-party factionalism that, as a spectator, I find refreshing.
Anyway, the view from a GOP insider:
All three Republican Senate candidates for the Gillibrand seat have actively sought Chairman Cox’s support and endorsement. Since Bruce Blakeman is the party’s official designee, Chairman Cox is supporting Blakeman. As a Mondello acolyte, however, it’s no surprise that Mr. Blakeman was unwilling to defend Ed Cox or offer up kind words about the Chairman in public. As far as Malpass and DioGuardi are concerned, it’s no surprise they’re both upset at Chairman Cox’s backing of Blakeman, though the mature reaction would have entailed the two of them acknowledging the position Chairman Cox is in, give that Blakeman is the party’s designee.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
Kirsten Gillibrand’s three Republican opponents agree: Ed Cox has not been a good chairman for their party.
The answer came in the first televised debate between the little-known, under-funded Republican candidates, Joe DioGuardi, a former congressman from Westchester, Bruce Blakeman, a former local legislator in Nassau County, and David Malpass, who served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Arguably, none of them would be on stage to even answer the question about Cox’s leadership if, as chairman, Cox had been able to lure a serious Republican challenger into the race.
As it stands now, DioGuardi, Blakeman and Malpass all trail Gillibrand in public opinion polls and fundraising, and have so far failed to demonstrate they’ll have a bona fide field operation come November.
Each tried tying Gillibrand to President Barack Obama and the Washington establishment. DioGuardi, a certified public accountant, said Gillibrand is throwing around money we don’t have to solve the state’s job creation problem.
“New York loses more jobs every month than any other state in the union but one. And what is Senator Kristen Gillibrand's response to that? To spend money we don't have,” said DioGuardi.
Malpass echoed the sentiment, saying Gillibrand “has been completely uncontrollable in her spending and in her ideas.”
Blakeman’s most pointed criticism of Gillibrand came when discussing gun control. As an upstate congresswoman representing Albany, Gillibrand had earned high marks from the National Rifle Association. But since being appointed senator, she’s come out in favor of tougher gun control laws (enough to earn the endorsement of Long Island congresswoman and gun control advocate Carolyn McCarthy).
Blakeman said Gillibrand’s gun control focus is misplaced.
“Gang members aren't licensed gun holders, they have illegal arms, illegal weapons. Stop punishing the people who play by the rules," said Blakeman, who acknowledged to owning two guns (a Smith & Wesson and a shotgun).
Blakeman, who flirted with running for New York City mayor briefly last year, appeared the most telegenic and articulate of the three candidates. DioGuardi, by comparison was more measured in his remarks, and substance. And Malpass offered the least amount of fireworks or notable YouTube moments.
When the three candidates were allowed to ask a question of any of their challengers, both DioGuardi and Malpass chose to focus on Blakeman (arguably making him the perceived front-runner).
DioGuardi accused Blakeman of raising taxes 9 percent while a Nassau County legislator, as the county saw it’s bonds go to “near junk bond status.”
Blakeman seized the moment and turned his notable blemish into a teachable moment.
“As an elected official, I’ve made mistakes in my life, but you have to know the full context,” Blakeman explained. “We hadn’t had a tax increase years and I was faced with a choice” of “whether or not to raise taxes on the average home owner $130 or whether I had to lay off police officers, correction officers, probation officers, and not update our sewage treatment plant. I chose to go with safety first.”
“Whether it was a mistake or not, I can’t tell you. But I made that choice. I’m a leader, and so, leaders make choices.”
Malpass asked Blakeman if he’d seek to reform the state pension system.
Blakeman said he’d work to end the practice of “loading up” on overtime in an employees final three years in order to pad their pension payout.
Blakeman fired shots at his rivals, accusing DioGuardi of being a paid lobbyist and saying Malpass took bailout money at Bear Stearns while writing opinion columns urging officials to deny relief aid to flood victims in rural parts of the state.
DioGuardi said he was not paid, but rather, worked as a “volunteer” lobbyist for humanitarian efforts in Europe. DioGuardi called it a “mitzvah” and said he helped create the state of Kosovo.
When questioned by Blakeman, DioGuardi admitted to going on “one or two” fact-finding trips when he was a member of Congress, but said, “I wasn’t one to abuse that.”
Malpass said Blakeman was taking his flood victim article “completely out of context” but later said he was unaware of the specific article, and challenged Blakeman to produce a copy of it.
The most memorable part of the night came shortly after this skirmish among the candidates, when a debate host asked each candidate to say something nice about their opponents, including Gillibrand.
Blakeman’s compliment about the woman he’s trying to unseat: “I think Kirsten Gillibrand is an attractive woman. I think she’s bright, and I think she’s probably a good mom herself.”
When asked about the “attractive woman,” Blakeman said, “She’s an attractive, bright woman who I believe is a good mom.”