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‘Billionaire Man of the People!’

May 8, 2013

Martin Hassner of the Liberal Party announces endorsement of John Catsimatidis
John Catsimatidis (l.) and Martin I. Hassner

By Marc Bussanich

New York, NY—Billionaire and Republican candidate John Catsimatidis received the Liberal Party endorsement for the Mayor of New York City outside City Hall on Tuesday and said he would be the man of the people. The party’s executive director, Martin I. Hassner, said that Mr. Catsimatidis is a force of nature and there’s nobody like him around. Watch Video

Mr. Catsimatidis owns several businesses, including Gristedes Foods and the Red Apple Group, which has holdings in aviation and real estate. According to the Forbes’ Magazine’s list, “The World’s Billionaires,” Catsimatidis is worth $3 billion. But he said he’d be the Mayor not only for business, but also the common man.

“Today is a game changer. Today is the day we create a fusion ticket where all New Yorkers can vote for us—pro-business New Yorkers and pro-people New Yorkers.”

He likened himself to a former Republican mayor of New York City.

“I would be proud to be the 21st century Fiorello LaGuardia because that’s who I am—I am the man of the people. I love people, I love all people,” said Catsimatidis.

Mr. Hassner spoke about Catsimatidis’ stand on issues such as education, jobs and the controversial stop-and-frisk tactic used by the NYPD. 

On education, Catsimatidis agrees with the Liberal Party’s campaign issue of a comprehensive reform of the City’s public school system that de-emphasizes standard testing and includes more rigorous training for teachers.

“There are two impossible problems in this city and country—educating our children and getting them jobs.”  

While Hassner praised Mayor Michael Bloomberg for attracting high-tech capital to New York, he said that not all New Yorkers would be suited to get hi-tech jobs.

“We should become the high-tech capital of the world. But there’s too many hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who can’t and won’t qualify for those jobs,” said Hassner.

He hopes that a nascent manufacturing sector will reclaim a more prominent role in the City’s economy as more entrepreneurs show interest in building in New York.

Hassner also said that stop-and-frisk, the police practice of stopping, questioning and frisking people they deem suspicious of committing a crime, will be a thing of the past by next year because the NYPD is working on deploying technology that will detect people carrying weapons without having to frisk them.

“That’s coming. Ask Ray Kelly. He’ll tell ya,” said Hassner.  

As the owner of unionized supermarkets, Hassner noted that the Republican candidate would be able to resolve outstanding labor contracts with the City’s employees.

“He will negotiate as an individual who understands how to relate to the leadership and rank and file, so as to hammer out new municipal union contracts that will save the City millions while providing the best possible deal for our City employees.”

Before relinquishing the podium to Mr. Catsimatidis, Mr. Hassner quoted a Liberal Party member who had the opportunity to meet Mr. Catsimatidis.

“A member of our party recently described John Catsimatidis as an ‘uncommon common man.’”

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