On the radio Wednesday morning, Republican mayoral candidate Joseph Lhota kept up his attack on Democratic rival Bill de Blasio's youthful dalliances as a pro-Sandinista leftist.
"It's about your inner-core feelings. It's about your personal philosophy," he said on WOR's "The John Gambling Show". "We need to understand how people think, especially if we're going to put our children in their hands."
Voters who are considering putting their children in Mr. Lhota's hands would be hard-pressed, though, to figure out what the Republican candidate thinks about transit, education, economic development or taxes, let alone 1980s-era Central American conflicts.
Unlike Mr. de Blasio, who in June released a 74-page policy book packed with ideas big (tax increases) and small (protecting pet-owning seniors), Mr. Lhota's campaign has yet to lay out his ideas and policy prescriptions for New York. He regularly cites his service as deputy mayor for operations under Rudy Giuliani as his biggest selling point, but his campaign website is practically bare.
Mr. Lhota lists four headings under the "priorities" tab of his site: jobs and the economy, education, public safety, and government efficiency and fiscal responsibility. Each is described with bullet points of roughly 40 words, for a grand total of 178 words.
"Diversify our economy and provide an environment conducive to job creation and the elevation of the standard of living in all five boroughs," it reads under the jobs-and-economy heading.
(New York Times columnist Michael Powell noted Tuesday that Mr. Lhota's denouncement of Mr. de Blasio's leftist past is "notably longer and more detailed than the sections of his website devoted to public safety, education and the police.")
In contrast, Mr. Lhota's main rival in the GOP primary, grocery magnate John Catsimatidis—who was not known for his expert command of municipal issues—posted two six-page policy papers on his website, one on education and the other on small-business development.
That may change next week, when the campaign says it will release, in great detail, Mr. Lhota's vision for the city.
"We are in the process of compiling all of Joe's ideas and policy proposals into a user-friendly book that New Yorkers can go to, to learn how he will move the city forward," a spokeswoman said. "We will be unveiling it to the public in the coming days. Voters will have a clear choice in the philosophies and positions laid forth by the candidates and Joe's message of job growth and common-sense change that will resonate in all five boroughs."
How long has Lhota been running?
He announced his candidacy last January.
That's nine months ago.
And all he has is bullet points on website that cover his policy ideas - a total of 178 words?
Gee, don't rush or anything getting those policy ideas together, Mr. Lhota.
I mean, there are so many more important things to do, like smear your opponent as a Marxist over and over and over...