Groundhog

NEWS: Republicans troll Bill de Blasio on campaign trail

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The GOP is hoping Bill de Blasio’s political career will go back to sleep for six more weeks of winter.

Republicans are trolling the former mayor as he makes a congressional run with various embarrassing animal incidents during his term — including his fatal dropping of “Staten Island Chuck” on Groundhog Day.

“We honor the fallen pets and animals that used to bless the grounds of New York… that is, before they met Bill de Blasio. Whether it was a cage, tranquilizer, or ban — these blessings in disguise are now gone but not forgotten,” reads a June 14 email from the Republican National Committee, that was sent to supporters on Pet Remembrance Day.

The GOP is also hitting de Blasio with a string of animal related website trolls referencing specific incidents, such as the untimely deaths of “Staten Island Chuck,” the death of Harlem deer, a runaway Queens bull and even carriage horses.

“Bill de Blasio’s failed leadership is a danger to animals and New York,” reads an RNC blog post.

The most infamous incident for de Blasio was his tragic mishandling of “Staten Island Chuck” during a Ground Hog Day ceremony at the borough’s zoo in 2014.

Former Mayor de Blasio dropped the Staten Island groundhog Chuck, at the zoo on Feb. 2, 2014.

The woodchuck bit the big one days after the towering de Blasio accidentally dropped it nearly six feet.

Mayoral staffers tried to cover up the death of “Chuck” — who actually turned out to be a female groundhog named Charlotte — before the truth came out in a damning Post exposé that September.

De Blasio also caught heat when he infamously feuded with former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2016 over how best to deal with deer that was caught in Harlem.

Deer
The Harlem deer caused some controversy between de Blasio and Cuomo.
Seth Gottfried

The unlucky buck died from “stress” while in captivity at a Harlem Animal Care and Control center as both pols argued over whether to euthanize him or free him upstate.

The GOP even tried to start a beef with de Blasio by laying blame at his door for a 2017 incident in Queens when a bull escaped a local slaughter house — and died after cops hit it with multiple found of tranquilizers.

“While these situations, specifically, aren’t necessarily what the voters are going to be rejecting per se, they’re more symbolic of a disastrous track record that he has,” RNC spokeswoman Rachel Lee told the Post Wednesday.

A spokesman for de Blasio could not be reached for comment by publication time, however, the mayor made light of the groundhog incident in a video earlier this year.

“Now, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I was not good with groundhogs at all, probably shouldn’t have gone to the gym, but you know what? We changed things in this town – pre-K for every child,” de Blasio said in a January video while announcing he would not run for governor.

The specters of a dead groundhog and other furry friends are haunting de Blasio as he runs in the crowded Aug. 23 Democratic primary to represent the newly drawn Congressional District 10 straddling Manhattan and Brooklyn, including his home base in super-blue Park Slope.

Other candidates in the race include City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, former House impeachment attorney Daniel Goldman and others.

Rep. Mondaire Jones also jumped in after being pushed out of a Westchester-based race by fellow Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney following an inter-party feud.

A poll conducted May 24-25 by Emerson College Polling/Pix11/The Hill found Jones leading the field with 7% support among likely primary voters, de Blasio in second place with 6% despite his nearly universal name recognition.

Bull
A bull broke free from a slaughter house in 2017.
Dennis A. Clark

Another 77% of poll respondents were undecided.

Republicans have little chance of winning the district, where embattled president Joe Biden won 82.5% of the 2020 presidential vote, according to an analysis by CUNY Mapping Services.

Historical trends and the current political zeitgeist, however, suggest they will likely win control of the U.S. House this November without the post-mortem assistance of Charlotte.
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The RNC could not confirm by publication time whether it was fundraising off of de Blasio’s congressional run, but a spokeswoman said the GOP is going to be keeping an eye on Congressional District 10 ahead of the general election.

“We’re gonna play to win everywhere,” Lee said.



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