Photo Courtesy of the Dietl Campaign
Dietl has repeatedly referred to Mayor de Blasio as “Big Bird.” He also recently challenged Hizzoner to a debate in each of the five boroughs.
By Michael V. Cusenza
At least he’s trying to make it interesting.
Long-shot mayoral candidate Bo Dietl has thrown down the proverbial political gauntlet, challenging the heavily favored incumbent, Mayor Bill de Blasio, to five debates – one in each borough of the city.
Dietl, who is running as an Independent, sent a letter to de Blasio – who Dietl derisively refers to as Big Bird on the campaign trail – on Thursday, touting himself as “the most qualified and viable candidate to replace you.”
“Each one of our five boroughs faces its own unique challenges and issues, and voters in each borough have their own sets of concerns,” Dietl wrote. “Two debates have been sanctioned by the Campaign Finance Board, but this small amount of discussion is woefully inadequate for our city’s vibrant democracy. You tout yourself as a transparent mayor — a claim that millions of New Yorkers disagree with, myself included. But I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I challenge you to live up to your own billing and give the voters the transparency and information they deserve by agreeing to five additional debates.”
Dietl billed the bouts as the chance the city’s “4.5 million eligible voters deserve to be able to make the most informed decision possible about the future” of the five boroughs.
Gentrification, homelessness, crime, addiction and transportation impact each neighborhood differently,” Dietl said as he closed out the brief missive. “From Wakefield to Tottenville, voters have a lot of questions about real issues. I want to address each and every one of them and look forward to discussing all these topics and more with you at length in a series of spirited and substantive public debates. Mayor, it’s time to step up to the table and show by your actions and not just your claims that you actually care about giving voters the most information possible this election year. I look forward to your participation.”
The de Blasio camp did not respond to The Forum’s request for reaction to the letter or the debate challenge.
That wasn’t the only letter that Dietl penned in recent days. The bombastic Bo also ripped Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis in a missive to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. According to Dietl, the Malliotakis campaign “submitted false documents to the Board of Elections by claiming in a cover sheet that ‘the petition contains the number, or in excess of the number, of valid signatures required by Election Law.’ This statement was false! She didn’t even file a third of the required minimum.
“We don’t need to replace de Blasio, the criminal, with another criminal,” Dietl added. “I am immediately calling on her to drop out of the race.”