July 5, 2009

Another Stolen Election (BLOOMBERG)

“New York, New York big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain't always what it seems, you might get fooled if you come from out of town,”

Those lyrics are from New York, New York by Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five.  The next line to that classic hip hop song is “but I’m down by law and I know my way around”.  The reality is you might and will get fooled even if you are from town. If you dream of making it big in politics then New York is the city for you. New York City has a reputation of being progressive and that may be true when it comes to our vices but we are one of the most backwards states in the union. One of original thirteen colonies, we didn’t have an African American Governor until the Spitzer sex scandal, and New York City the most culturally diverse cities has only had one minority leading the city, Dinkins who was kicked out after one term because of antics from people like Rudolph Giuliani and NYPD. 

We are often fooled by those seeking to used the state to promote their political careers; the most recent is Hillary Clinton who used New York as her base to establish a political career that would potentially lead to the presidency. It didn’t work out for Hillary but New Yorkers didn’t seem to have a problem with her using the state and overwhelmingly voted for her during the primary.

Now we have the situation of Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg an extremely successful Wall Street businessman was a registered Democrat who many New Yorkers had never heard of before he decided to run for mayor in 2001. Bloomberg had no name recognition outside the Business community and it was clear that he would not win democratic primary or the support of democratic political leadership so he jumped parties and captured the Republican nomination. He spent over $75 million on the mayoral campaign and narrowly defeated the democratic candidate Mark Green. Bloomberg is now serving in his second and what should have been his final term except for one thing.

Michael Bloomberg is an opportunist; he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to run as a republican for the position of mayor, when it was clear that being a Republican was no longer popular he again made the switch to “Independent”. Some speculated the change was made to line up for a possible run for the white house, but Bloomberg had something else in mind. He wanted to circumvent the wishes of New Yorkers and run for a third term as mayor, even though New Yorkers twice voted to have term limits imposed on their public officials. 

Bloomberg has decided that he is the only one that could save New York City. The Mayor claims the city has many problems and he wants to be around to help fix them. My question is where have you been for the past eight years Mr. Mayor? The mayor has had eight years to tackle the problems that plague New York City, yet he has had minor impact. As a matter of fact the mayor worked down the street from Wall Street and claimed not to know what was going on there. The mayor is one who also favored deregulation of the banks. While Wall Street stole the people money, The Mayor was just chillin in city hall doing nothing about it. In fact he was giving the cities money away.

Many New Yorkers seem to be fascinated with Bloomberg but he remains in my eyes a mediocre Mayor, garnering much of his support from conducting what I call media stunts. He has an uncanny way of seeming like he is helping the average person while actually doing very little. The Mayor has been very good at marketing himself and creating a smoke screen to distract us from his many failures, the city has not gotten better, I would say things have gotten worse. Let us start with the MTA strike, the handling of the black out in queens, taking over of the Board of Education and the continued failure of the New York City public school systems. Poor maintenance and deterioration of public housing, lack of low income or affordable housing, and the hole that’s still in lower Manhattan. Just to name a few. 

New York is one of the states affected by predatory lending there are many houses in foreclosure and cars being repossessed. While Manhattan is kept nice and clean for the tourists the outer boroughs are in disarray. Drugs and guns continue to be a problem here. 

After the strike fight with the union I did not expect what would come next. Bloomberg negotiated to give the New York Yankees over 600million dolars to build a new Yankee stadium. Well after we gave the Yankees our hard earned tax dollars they built a beautiful stadium, baseball which is supposed to be a family affair, the average New York family cannot afford it. If a family of four wants to see the game it will cost about $400. The Yankees are one of the most, if not the successful franchises partly because they are in New York. Did Bloomberg think the Yankees were going to leave the city if they didn’t get the money? 

Campaign finance reform is something that we have been spending a great deal of time talking about for the past couple of years. Many feel that because Obama spent a record breaking amount of money in the last campaign that it should be okay for people to just go ahead and break the bank open if they have it. But realize that Obama raised most of that money from his supporters. People who wanted to see Obama win the office of presidency. Why does Bloomberg need to spend so much of his own money for his re-election? If he was doing such a great job as mayor wouldn’t there be an overwhelming show of support for his re-election. Wouldn’t he have been able to raise the money he needed from his supporters. 

Wouldn’t he have presented to the people the option of allowing him to run again for a third term in the form of referendum vote asking the people whether or not they supported him for a third term. What the heck is Bloomberg afraid of and why doesn’t he respect the people of New York, why doesn’t he respect the fact that twice New Yorkers voted for term limits? What is Bloomberg afraid of? They way our current mayor is trying secure his third term I think is enough not to vote for him, and any council member who supported the mayor's efforts should also be removed from office. 

It may sound good to just let Bloomberg go ahead and have his third term and I wondered who was going to step in as mayor because Bloomberg seems to be intimidating most of the cities leaders, and some treating him as a relative god, even though over seventy–nine schools have been closed under Bloomberg, the city is virtually bankrupt, public housing is falling apart, and wall street went bust under his nose. This city is in such bad shape but there was no one else out there willing to challenge him. 

He has a multi-million dollar budget and seem willing to spend it all to ensure that he secures an illegal third term as mayor of the this great yet distressed city. To date Bloomberg has spent over nineteen million dollars on his re-election campaign. It is clear that he is once again trying to buy the mayors office. Millionaires should not be able to pour unlimited sums of their own money into a campaign. 

William Thompson is the only candidate that stands any kind of chance in beating Bloomberg, but I am not sure that Thompson has the right message and is making the right points, I am willing to take anyone over Bloomberg.  No politician should be a powerful as Bloomberg has become. So while we are condemning actions abroad in countries that have no bearing on our day to day lives, let’s remember those in this country who violate our laws, seizing power and refusing to let go. 

It seems we are always demanding that democracy be recognized abroad but when it is compromised here we are willing to acquiesce. People from out of town always have this perception of New Yorkers as smart, progressive and not taking any crap, but most New Yorkers ARE from out of town, bringing with them the mentality that you can’t fight City Hall. Not saying they are the reason but mix that with everything else going on in this city and you have a recipe for corrupt politics, and we don’t fight City Hall. So when it comes to our politics we New Yorkers are very malleable and easily fooled. We have to get Bloomberg out now, if we do not block Bloomberg at his attempt to steal a third term who knows when we will get rid of him.

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