Joseph Lhota has called members of the Tea Party extremists, but when it comes to gun permits, Joseph Lhota is on their side. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report, which includes exclusive video of a meeting with the Staten Island Tea Party from this past spring.
Joseph Lhota has tried to sink any connection between his candidacy and the Tea Party, including calling a meeting he had with the Staten Island Tea Party in April "verbally violent."
"We had a huge, verbally violent discussion of gun control and what it means to New York City," Lhota said on October 1.
But a member of the borough's Tea Party provided a copy of the video of the April meeting to NY1, where Lhota seems sympathetic to some of their positions.
In his talk, Lhota says that the process to get a gun permit in New York borders on harassment.
"The city of New York, though, goes to an extreme with their, bureaucracy is not even strong enough of a word, it's almost a level of harassment at a certain point, and it needs to change," he says. "There's something that should be fair and speedy about being able to get a gun permit."
Lhota also questions the teachers union's patriotism when asked about their so-called rubber rooms, where teachers under investigation wait on the public's dime.
"There is a tremendous unfairness once teachers decide to unionize, and they created this system where everybody's treated the same," he says. "It is unfair, almost un-American."
Whether the exchange was violent? No voices are raised in the video provided.
The group's co-founder has recently criticized Lhota for "throwing the tea party under the bus."
Lhota defended his remarks on guns on the Road to City Hall Monday night, saying he was talking about renewal permits.
"People who legitimately need it, it's getting harder and harder and harder for getting the renewal license, which is required, and it should be required once a year," he said. "They shouldn't be making it hard. These are not people with illegal guns."
He didn't back away from his remarks about the teachers' union, either.
"Why a union would want to protect these workers is, for me, it's beyond me," he said. "It doesn't make sense."