Band Leader: A Q&A With Willie Colón

Written by Aaron Short on . Posted in Interviews

Few mayoral candidates have a Grammy-winning trombonist writing jingles for their campaigns. But Bill Thompson has salsa legend Willie Colon composing paeans in his corner. Colon spoke with City & State reporter Aaron Short about the problems of stop-and-frisk police tactics, his feud with the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and why he doesn’t mind that Big Pun and Jay-Z sample his music in their rap songs. City & State: When did you first meet Bill Thompson, and why are… [More]

Mr. Progressive: A Q&A With Howard Dean

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Interviews, Uncategorized

Howard Dean, a doctor and the former governor of Vermont, arrived on the national scene during the 2004 presidential election. Questioning the invasion of Iraq and building up a strong Internet-based campaign, the long-shot candidate became the Democratic front-runner until he fizzled in the Iowa caucuses. During a concession speech in Iowa, Dean’s enthusiastic “Yeah!”— dubbed “the Dean Scream”—was shown repeatedly on cable channels and pointed to by some as a key turning point in the race. Dean went on… [More]

Just the Facts: A Q&A With Campbell Brown

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Interviews

Until she left CNN in May 2010, Campbell Brown was one of the most prominent television news reporters in America. Formerly the host of her eponymous prime-time show Campbell Brown, Brown joined CNN after having been White House correspondent for NBC News, the co-anchor of Weekend Today and the primary substitute for Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News. These days the Emmy award winner is no longer a journalist, instead concentrating her investigative skills on probing education issues in New… [More]

Brooke’s View: A Q&A With Brooke Shields

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Interviews

Lifelong New Yorker Brooke Shields has been one of the most recognizable faces in the world since she was a child. Her roles in films like Pretty Baby and The Blue Lagoon, along with the iconic ad campaign for Calvin Klein jeans in which she appeared as a teenager, vaulted her to the status of international sex symbol and cemented her place in American popular culture. Since the ’90s, the Princeton graduate has been a fixture on television, portraying the… [More]

The Guardian’s Angle: A Q&A With Curtis Sliwa

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Interviews

Curtis Sliwa rose to fame in the 1980s as the founder of the Guardian Angels, the unarmed citizen crime patrol force that now operates in 17 countries and 67 cities around the world. Since the inception of the organization, Sliwa, who is instantly recognizable by his iconic red beret, has been involved in New York State politics as a commentator, agitator and candidate booster. For over two decades he’s been a fixture on conservative talk radio—currently he’s the host of… [More]

Def Politics: A Q&A With Russell Simmons

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Interviews

It’s safe to say that Russell Simmons has transcended his status as one of the first true moguls in hip-hop music. A Queens native and founder of the iconic Def Jam Records along with music producer Rick Rubin, Simmons has expanded his brand to include clothing, film, television, advertising and, most notably, philanthropy. In the political arena, Simmons is a renowned advocate for animal rights, and has used his clout and celebrity to help register voters in multiple national elections… [More]

Freedom of Speech: A Q&A With Alfonse D’Amato

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Interviews

Alfonse D’Amato served as New York’s junior senator for three terms, beginning in 1981. A former town supervisor of Hempstead, Long Island, D’Amato rose to become one of the country’s most influential Republicans, chairing the Senate Banking Committee, helming the National Republican Senatorial Committee and playing kingmaker to a generation of state GOP leaders, including George Pataki. Since his 1999 defeat by Charles Schumer, “Senator Pothole” has distanced himself from his reputation as a conservative firebrand, and not unlike the… [More]

The Ultimate Interview: A Q&A With Lorenzo Fertitta

Written by Aaron Short on . Posted in Interviews

Lorenzo Fertitta, the 46-year-old chief executive of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has become a billionaire thanks to his foresight in turning a fringe athletic league into one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. There are mixed-martial-arts matches in 48 states as well as in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, but the sport has not been sanctioned in New York State. Fertitta has been lobbying the state Legislature for six years to legalize mixed martial arts, arguing that it… [More]

Insider Outsider: A Q&A with Alexandra Pelosi

Written by Morgan Pehme on . Posted in Daily, Features, Interviews

Filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi has one of the most famous last names in American politics. As the daughter of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the granddaughter of a former mayor of Baltimore, Pelosi has been steeped in politics from birth—the perfect pedigree for a documentarian who often gravitates toward political figures as the subjects of her movies. Starting with her Emmy-nominated debut feature, Journeys With George, which chronicled her time on the campaign trail with George W. Bush… [More]

Master of Communications: An Interview with Ari Fleischer

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Interviews, Latest

DSC_3187_web Ari Fleischer arrived on the national stage as the first White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, serving in that role until mid-2003. These days, he lives in Westchester County and is focused on another area where top-notch communications advice comes in handy: sports. While consulting through his company, Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, he also keeps a hand in politics with regular appearances on CNN. He also helped author a recent Republican National Committee “autopsy” report on how… [More]