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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Roosevelt Island Supermarket Owner John Catsimatidis Talks About NYC Mayoralty Campaign - He Fixed Roosevelt Island Gristedes Supermarket, Can His Business Skills Do Same For NYC?

Roosevelt Island's Gristedes supermarket owner Johnn Catsimatidis was interviewed by City And State. Here's what he had to say.

Mr. Catsimatidis held a Roosevelt Island Town Hall meeting in 2012 and I interviewed him at the Gristedes Grand Re-Opening last March.


Janet Falk said...

I have never met the man, but I wonder how his weak memory will affect his ability to govern. He was at the Grand Re-Opening of Gristede's in March, but according to The New York Times of May 6, 2013:

"Gristedes is only a tiny fraction of his empire — and [he] insists he has not set foot in a store for years."

CheshireKitty said...

Gristedes chain is like a loss leader for him. He has bigger fish to fry. Very successful businessman but doesn't particularly care about his grocery business. Probably should sell it already.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Yeah, this is what NYC needs. Another business man running it. Right. The last 12 years showed already what that means.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer: It's a cycle. Electorates get tired of politicians because of all the politics and less focus on economic issues, so their tastes shift towards business people. But business people (sometimes) aren't the best politicians, so they are less adept that getting things done and then tastes shift towards politicians. Other cycles overlap, too, such as single-issue candidates. Well, that was a lesson from a college history class. :-)

Anyway, when I hear "we need a business person", it's typically a reaction to bad economics.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"Anyway, when I hear "we need a business person", it's typically a reaction to bad economics."

And that's why Bloomberg insisted that the city needed him for another term. I will never forgive him about this because he was the one who was vigorously against the idea that Guiliani should extend his term to get the city through the 9/11 aftermath.

CheshireKitty said...

Business success doesn't always translate into political success. This man added 1 billion to his net worth between 2012 and 2013. Not bad for a guy that dropped out of NYU and started out as a clerk in a grocery store.

But, despite his money, he has no political ideas, or the ideas he has are seen as comical or outlandish. For example, Catsimatides not only is for stop-and-frisk, he has said robots could be employed in the future to carry out these stops! Even completely law-and-order conservatives shy away from Catsimatides.

Incidentally, he makes much of his ethnic roots. It is true most Greek-Americans are conservative/Republicans - but most aren't blithering idiots like Catsimatides. And even some Greek-Americans have been known to vote Dem on occasion - depending on the candidate. If Catsimatides were the Rep candidate for Mayor, you can be sure that most Greek-Americans in NYC would vote Dem. Most Greek-Americans may be conservative, but they're not stupid.

Like many in the rich layer Catsimatides has given a lot of money to politicians from both sides of the aisle. The wedding of his daughter to the grandson of Richard Nixon was packed with politicians of all stripes - even Hil, one of the many Dem recipients of his financial support.

Probably Catsimatides decided to run as a Republican as a label of convenience, because of the seemingly "invincible" Quinn. Unfortunately, Catsimatides really has no business entering politics on a personal level since he has no actual ideas.

The Rep field this year is lackluster but even in this drab/unexciting group, he polls last, unsurprisingly. If I were him, I'd sell the grocery and possibly the aviation businesses and focus on the real estate and oil refinery holdings - both of which should yield huge profits for many years to come.

elvarstam said...

As much as the upgrades are appreciated, Gristedes' seating accommodations outside the store need to be assessed for safety and practicality. I walk everyday minimum four times a day through that area avoiding chairs, tables, plants, delivery carts, milk-crates, signs, bicycles/strollers and a number of people smoking (today a man was drinking a Coors beer). Is it possible to move the chairs and tables to the other empty side, north, so that the path to the garage, bus station or entrance to motorgate is not blocked?