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October 29, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

Sam Leff: Top 10 Reasons Not to Vote for Bloomberg

Via the Huffington Post:

1. Giving the nation four more years of George W. Bush.

Michael Bloomberg rolled out the red carpet and gave the keys to the city to the Republicans to nominate Bush for a second term in the summer of 2004. Exercising a staunchly [and stealth] pro-Republican strategy, he denied a protest venue for the millions of Americans angered and disturbed by the illegitimate Bush administration and its trumped up war in Iraq, forcing angry U.S citizens to march up and down the City’s avenues rather than assembling in the traditional public space of large gatherings, Central Park’s Great Lawn. More than that, Bloomberg’s secret police followed potential demonstrators for two years prior to the convention and illegally arrested and detained 2,000 people at a greasy bus depot on the Hudson for two days during the Bush coronation. The city has already paid out $10 million in lawsuits for its assault on the rights of Americans to demonstrate their just grievances at a national political convention. In response to the denial of constitutional rights perpetrated by his NYPD, Bloomberg pats his police commissioner Raymond Kelly on the back. “Heckuvajob Kelly.” Showing his true face, Bloomberg is ending his campaign by cuddling up to Rudolph Giuliani and their orthodox Jewish constituency at a Brooklyn rally supporting Giuliani’s latest aspirations to be governor of New York.

2. Bloomberg is a liar.

Twice the citizens of New York City voted to impose term limits on elected officials. Bloomberg twisted arms on the City Council to have them pass a new law overturning term limits, promoting their own self interest, and flying in the face of the public will he broke his promise to respect term limits and not run again and is using his extraordinary fortune in an advertising blitz to twist the truth, create myths, and squeeze out votes that any sane democratic society would reject out of hand.

3. Speaking of rats, Bloomberg’s New York is overrun with rats.

They’ve been observed leaving restaurants on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and going into apartment buildings. So dense is their population they have become road kill crossing Broadway or Amsterdam Avenue. They became national television news stars playing at night in a Greenwich Village Taco Bell restaurant. Many city residents who park on the streets have found that the rats take up residence in their engines, often eating away wires and leaving their droppings and chicken bones behind. Riverside Park is a favorite hangout where they dine at the Boat Basin restaurant and scurry around the feet of tourists on park benches by the river.

4. Helicopter tourism vs. peace and quiet in our local environment.

Bloomberg is the only New York politician who supports the 17 private New York companies providing extremely noisy low-flying helicopter tours over the densely populated residential East and West side communities. Expensive helicopter tours [$120 per person for 20 minutes] constantly fly from the Hudson to Central Park and back, creating a deafening atmosphere that often approximates a military siege and destroys the tranquility of Central Park. Even after a helicopter and small plane crashed over the unregulated Wild West air space over the Hudson River, killing nine tourists, Bloomberg was the only local politician who failed to speak out against the helicopter problem. The reason behind this enigma is simple. Billionaire Bloomberg takes full advantage of helicopter transportation and, being a helicopter pilot himself, won’t do anything that might restrict his own comings and goings. All other Manhattan politicians say that helicopter tourism is insignificant to the city economy and that those few tourists who spend hundreds of dollars for a few minutes in the air over the city would all find other ways to spend their tourism money.

5. Bloomberg doesn’t make the trains run on time.

Bloomberg’s city streets are a joke. He has drawn bike lanes, but just try to ride the bike lanes on the Upper West Side. They are, like the treacherous crosswalks at the major streets and avenues, pockmarked with potholes and patchwork repairs from companies who dug up the streets to put in internet and video cables. (Bloomberg has a large investment in Verizon, and though he is supposed to have a hands-off policy concerning his investments, his billions have tripled during the time of his mayoralty). Bike lanes on the Upper West Side are (typically) useless window dressing.

6. Parking tickets as a revenue source.

Bloomberg’s traffic agents are so aggressive they give alternate side street cleaning tickets out at exactly 11 a.m. at the very second when the regulations go into effect. If your watch is two minutes slow, or if you leave your car at 12:28 two minutes before 12:30 when the regulations go off, you can get ticketed. Bloomberg has installed television cameras to take pictures of cars going through lights which change in the blink of an eyelash. He, like his predecessor Giuliani, thinks squeezing the public for money from tickets is a great source of revenue for the city. He has done nothing to provide low-cost public parking for city drivers, as is available in all major civilized European cities. Oh, you can park in New York if you’re wealthy and don’t mind paying a small fortune for the privilege.

7. Bloomberg’s Heckuvajob Kelly hires thugs for his police department.

Look at the YouTube favorite
(over 2 million views) of the New York City cop throwing a body block on a Critical Mass bike rider riding through Times Square, or the Channel 11 report.

Like the 2,000 arrested by Heckuvajob Kelly, this cyclist was charged with”attempted assault” “resisting arrest” and “disorderly conduct.” Now imagine what would have happened if that tourist with a video camera hadn’t been there to record the “attempted assault.” That young man would have found himself tied up in court trying to defend himself against, as it turns out, the son of retired New York City police detective who had been a former high school football lineman.

8. Bloomberg runs the local police like the CIA

He hired a former high-level CIA official, David Cohen, to conduct secret surveillance of “potential troublemakers” like environmentalists, church groups, street theater groups, and every other type of creative or not so creative traditional protest group that might come to the city to oppose Bloomberg’s favored political candidates and causes. We don’t know exactly how many millions of dollars were spent investigating peace groups before RNC 2004, but it may have been nearly as much as the $10 million paid out in court settlements to the victims of the NYPD assault on anti-Bush demonstrators and witnesses. What we do know is that none of that money was spent for housing for the homeless or on education of our children, or for fixing potholes.

9. Michael Bloomberg is openly buying power with his fortune.

This is particularly ironic in a world where billions of dollars of the tax money of ordinary people are being shelled out to shore up the fortunes and lifestyles of millionaires and billionaires like Bloomberg who made their obscene fortunes manipulating financial devices on Wall Street while Main Street was being bled dry by those same institutions. In these times, why in the world should the decisions of New York City government be made by a person whose finances are so far removed from the average citizen that he couldn’t possibly empathize with the hardships of normal New Yorkers? This country was born of a revolution that overthrew the rule of royalty. Why should it be ruled by pseudo royals like Bloomberg who have no respect for truth or justice?

10. As Holden Caulfield might say, Bloomberg is the biggest phony in town.

Sam Leff is an anthropologist specializing in American culture.

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