After facing criticism for having a campaign website that is short on policy details, Republican candidate for Mayor Joe Lhota is preparing to release a policy book. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio picked up an endorsement Wednesday from the city's firefighters union. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Joseph Lhota has spent much of the week talking about his Democratic rival in the mayor's race, Bill de Blasio.
"There's no doubt he wants to redistribute wealth," Lhota said. "His whole purpose of taxing the rich is for redistributing wealth."
Lhota has tried to portray De Blasio as a leftist radical who is taking his cues from a "Marxist playbook." Despite those attacks, the Republican candidate said he wants to talk about issues and explain to the public where he stands on them.
"I've not had one reporter ask me a question substantively about issues," Lhota said. "I'd love to be able to answer the questions for you."
One place Lhota has free reign to talk about whatever he likes is his website, but a section devoted to his priorities for the city is light on details. It is only 176 words long.
"The website's in the process of being updated. I reviewed it recently," Lhota said. "We will bring it up in total relatively soon."
A spokeswoman for the Lhota campaign said that they will release a book of the candidate's ideas and policy proposals in the coming days. Lhota did not prepare one during the primary.
De Blasio, meanwhile, picked up an endorsement from the city's firefighters union, which supported William Thompson in the primary. The union has backed Republicans in the past, and the union president, Steve Cassidy, said he did speak with Lhota.
"We're not afraid to talk to people on both sides of the aisle, and I think that gives us credibility when we endorse a candidate," Cassidy said.
As for the firefighters, de Blasio said that unlike Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he will not propose closing fire companies. He is also calling for an independent review of the city's new 911 system.
"Our firehouses are a fundamental part of protecting our public safety," de Blasio said.
De Blasio also seems to be trying to calm fears on Wall Street that he would not be a friend like Bloomberg. A source tells NY1 that senior Democrats are telling financial institutions that it will not be as bad as they think if de Blasio wins City Hall.