In a wide ranging interview on Monday, independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl disparaged the leadership of both major political parties in New York City, dismissed both Mayor de Blasio and Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis and discussed his upcoming political trip to the Dominican Republic amid anecdotes about his days in the NYPD (“I never killed anybody”) and his private-eye rescue mission to Istanbul.
Dietl, 66, said he is running for mayor because crime is a bigger issue than official statistics indicate, claiming that the NYPD’s stats significantly undercount what is really occurring in the streets: a rise in disorder that Dietl blames on lax quality-of-life enforcement under de Blasio. He promised to zero out every city agency in the budget process and rebuild their spending plans from scratch. He said he would tell President Trump to recognize the reality of undocumented immigrants living in New York City, and that he supports a path to citizenship, but would increase New York’s cooperation with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency because “We’re a sanctuary city to a criminal element.”
Noting his time as a Fox News contributor and even as the public face of Arby’s, Dietl believes his name recognition coupled with his ability to articulate a case against career politicians position him well to defeat both the mayor and Malliotakis in November.
With his penchant for profanity and his peripatetic style on the stump, Dietl would seem easy to dismiss. But his policy platform includes more varied and ambitious proposals for 2018 and beyond than any other candidate now in the race for mayor: increasing the minimum wage, boosting the city’s use of minority and women-owned contractors, taxing plastic bags, activating vacant land to house the homeless. There’s not a lot of detail on some big points, like the idea to “convert all taxis and buses to electric energy” or the claim that “Bo has already tapped into connections with real estate developers in the city and they have begun to formulate a plan to create incentives for affordable housing.” But while there’s certainly a lot of braggadocio, Dietl is more than mere bluster.