Remember a week or so ago, when U.S. Representative Max Rose was caught on camera by TMZ Sports railing against Knicks owner James Dolan, urging him to sell the team?
Well, Dolan has responded…with his checkbook, and his words.
According to the New York Post, Dolan cut a $50,000 check to a PAC supporting Nicole Malliotakis, a current state Assemblywoman and Rose’s GOP opponent this November in the race for the Congressional seat in New York’s 11th District (covering Staten Island and part of Brooklyn).
Per the Post, Dolan confirmed that MSG Sports wrote the 50K check to “The Governing Majority Fund,” a PAC run by former Representatives that has the mission of helping Republicans take back the House of Representatives.
“Max Rose thinks he can make our team and my ownership his political platform,” The Post reports Dolan writing in a personal email to friends last week. I need to let him know that we will not stand for this. The best way to do this is to help his opponent. He is in a tight race for the US Congress in Staten Island.”
“Please join me in helping Nicole defeat Max Rose for Congress. It will help send a strong message to all NY politicians that the Knicks will not be their political ticket to reelection,” the email continues. “The most you can donate is $2,800. I cannot do this alone due to the limit on campaign contributions.”
Dolan had already donated the maximum amount in February to support Representative Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st District, covering the 12 northern-most counties in the state.
According to the Post, the Malliotakis move was indeed a direct response to Rose, citing a source close to John Faso – one of the former Representatives running the PAC – as saying that “Dolan got pissed off at Max Rose because he said something about the Knicks being a sh–ty team."
Dolan apparently told the Post similar, saying neither Malliotakis nor Rose had been on his radar before the dustup, but that it was inappropriate for a sitting Congressman to politicize the team; he called it “disrespectful to constituents,” and also said that New Yorkers can expect Dolan to be more politically active in the future as MSG “hemorrhages” money because of COVID-19 shutdowns.
“I think we’re going to start taking more aggressive positions, particularly in New York politics,” he said. “New York is really a one party city, particularly the city, I don’t think that’s healthy democracy. I think that you will see us be very pro-two party democracy and do more to help balance the scales.”
Dolan also reiterated that he has no plans to sell the team, and Rose had a perfect response.
“Glad to see James Dolan is taking his talents to boost Nicole’s campaign. God knows he’s got the Midas touch…never forget the Eddy Curry trade!” The Post quoted Rose as saying. “Proud to say that I don’t take money from Corporate PACs, federal lobbyists, or worst of all: James Dolan.”
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN