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November 2, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

Gawker Endorsement: Don’t Vote For Bloomberg

Via Pareene and Gawker:

Tomorrow is Election Day! You will probably not vote, because there are no contested races for anything important in 90% of the nation. But if you are a New Yorker, we have one message: don’t vote for Michael Bloomberg.

You know those idiots who don’t know anything about politics but think it sounds smart to say “I am a social liberal and an economic conservative?” Bloomberg is the candidate for them, if they love a liberal nanny state and a conservative religious fervor for the eternal goodness of private enterprise.

For all the talk of Bloomberg the power-player who at least gets things done without worrying about the unions and special interests, he’s been unable to win any political battle with anyone he couldn’t literally buy off. Like Sheldon Silver, who (thankfully) killed the West Side Stadium and (annoyingly) ended all that “Congestion Pricing” talk. And those unions and special interests were just bought off, which worked fine back when the boom whose end Bloomberg never saw coming was in full swing.

And about that stadium: what the fuck was that? And the Olympics thing? After bitching about Giuliani’s disgraceful subsidizing of the fucking Yankees, Bloomberg both turns around completely on that particular issue and attempts to build the fucking Jets a stadium, so that New York could get an Olympics that it did not want. And that failed, and everyone forgot about it. Meanwhile: 40,000 people in shelters! Bloomberg could personally buy every single one of those people an apartment in a vacant Williamsburg luxury condo building and still have enough left over to bribe a City Council member into supporting his fifth term.

And those luxury Williamsbug condo buildings, by the way, that stand vacant? Yes, well, that was part of this brilliant plan to utilize rezoning to spur the free market (which always allocates resources more efficiently than anything else in the history of civilization but sometimes it needs government help, like with tax breaks and stuff) to create affordable housing all over the waterfront. This did not work, as developers decided to just not bother to build all those affordable housing units they were supposed to build. More than 2,200 promised new affordable apartments in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have turned out to be 768, 20 percent of which are renovations of apartments that were already affordable. There are lots more of these stories.

His record on housing, like his record on nearly everything having to do with the outer boroughs and poverty and human beings who make less than $100,000 a year, has been a ridiculous disgrace. His entire philosophy of development solving everything turned out to be precisely, 100% wrong, and suddenly the city itself was driving the real estate boom, driving up land prices to absurd levels across the boroughs and tearing down neighborhoods only to replace them with vacant lots and half-filled cheaply built hideous high-rises once the bottom fell out of the City Hall-inflated market. But hey, we got the High Line and 311! So you can sleep in that fancy park while you call 311 asking if there is room in a shelter because you can no longer afford your home.

Eight years into the Bloomberg administration, Ground Zero is a still a hole that everyone continues fighting about.

The MTA has raised fares while cutting service (without actually cutting service, officially—it’s just that whatever line you happen to ride is suddenly experiencing a whole lot of track work every single goddamn weekend).

The Gays: still not married! And also a lot of them are getting beaten up on the streets these days for some reason?

Bloomberg is also the beneficiary of the most friendly news coverage of any big city mayor in the nation. Easily. It helps that, you know, he is a media mogul, himself, and he is good, close, personal friends with the three publishers who run the newspapers that went after each one of his predecessors for shit they’ve let slide under this mayor, because they know he’s a good, decent guy, at heart, and the only one who can Fix New York, because of his Money.

Can you imagine how the Post would’ve blown up if David Dinkins lied about taking the Subway to work every day? The Daily News response to discovering that John Lindsay flew to Bermuda every weekend?

Let’s talk about the cops, for a second: they are still operating under Giuliani levels of complete disregard for the law. They are getting drunk and running people over and shooting unarmed black people and sodomizing people in subway stations. The Civilian Complaint Review Board has become a joke, unless your case gets a lot of publicity. There’s obviously no accountability, whatsoever, and no attempt to recruit and train more cops from the communities they actually police. The NYPD remains, primarily, the home of roided-out white people from outside the city with a great deal of contempt for civil liberties. The Mayor always sounds properly upset when some of them rape someone, but he’s never done a damn thing to rein them in or change the culture.

What he has done is Keep Us Safe by never once giving a shit about Civil Liberties. The cops stop and frisk thousands more people every year, your 4th Amendment rights do not apply in the Subway system, and expensive and completely ineffective new rings of cameras are going up across Manhattan.

Bloomberg deserves to be run out of town on an inadequately funded public rail line for the 2004 GOP convention alone. Remember that ridiculous farce? No, of course not, no one does, besides the thousands of people improperly spied on, arrested, harassed, and detained by the NYPD. All of this was completely illegal. No heads rolled.

One more special bonus factoid: New York leads the world in marijuana arrests! Specifically, marijuana arrests of black people!

And he is personally a jerk. He is a thin-skinned, unpleasant, sanctimonious asshole. His company is being sued for a culture of sexual discrimination that plaintiffs say Bloomberg himself contributed to. He is a tremendous dick to reporters whenever he gets cranky. He is fucking race-baiting with Rudy Giuliani again, because why not?

He has been a shitty mayor and he does not deserve the support of anyone who claims to be a liberal. Though what all of his most destructive missteps as mayor have in common is that they do not in any way upset or inconvenience the well-off self-professed liberals who support him. Besides maybe a couple Critical Mass riders arrested in illegal sweeps. (Though he sure does like bike lanes, so it’s a wash, right?)

We cannot encourage you to vote for the Democrat in the race, because even we still aren’t sure if we’ll go for him or the much more delightful Billy Talen. Just don’t fucking vote for Michael Bloomberg.

Send an email to Alex Pareene, the author of this post, at alexp@gawker.com

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Filed under In the Trenches, Reading List

8 Comments

  1. Posted by neil Fabricant

    November 3, 2009 @ 7:52 am

    While we agree with the critique, there’s no way to get rid of Bloomberg except to vote for Thompson. So please folks, this is a deadly serious election, not only for what some regard as an abstract idea– that elected officials should not get away with ignoring the outcome of a referendum–or the abstract idea that Bloomberg’s defeat will send a powerful message to politicians all over the country that in the money v. the people class war, the people can still put a hurt on politicians who go for the money– — but also because the most vulnerable New Yorkers will be further crushed under a Bloomberg, budget cutting regime.

  2. Posted by Joe

    November 3, 2009 @ 10:21 am

    Isn’t gawker an internet gossip rag?

  3. Posted by Mike

    November 3, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    Joe — yes, Gawker is a New York City blog that bills itself as a source for Manhattan media news and gossip in the same vein of other NYC-based blogs, Gothamist, Cityfile and Curbed. Gawker often gets more than 2 million visits — many from readers who may not normally read any of the major dailies. If they’re getting voters to head to the polls who normally wouldn’t — fantastic. Pareene backed up his criticism with specific links, which is better than other critics out there who forget to the same. How many “gossip rags” bother to pay attention to something like a mayoral election?

  4. Posted by Joe

    November 3, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

    Hey mike, more power to em! It’s cute that they are trying to get involved in politics. It’s a strange stance to take though, anti-democratic almost. It just seems foolish.
    I don’t give a shit how many visitors Gawker gets.
    And they aren’t trying to get people to the polls they are saying that 90% of the country has nothing important up for vote.
    As for the “facts” in this article most of them are total bullshit.
    The stadiums issue is correct, but, really?

    On the zoning issues he used a link to a Gotham Gazette. The second article from the daily news goes for the, blame it on the big guy, approach. As if Bloomberg personally dropped the ball on this. A lot of that had to do with HUD housing issues. Also the particular project they are talking about in that article was resolved (http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/developers/large-scale-cornerstone.shtml).

    “His record on housing…” I can’t speak on this paragraph because it isn’t based on any facts. It’s totally bullshit though (http://www.data360.org/pub_dp_report.aspx?Data_Plot_Id=600) for example.

    That article about Bloomberg’s silence on public housing is just inaccurate if you look at the data.

    9-11 memorial being held up is now Bloomberg’s fault? I’m not even going to touch that.

    Bloomberg has been on the side of commuters when it comes to the MTA (even though NYC has one of the most efficient and cheapest public transportation around. More than 54 percent of New Yorkers take public transportation to work, beating the next-best metropolis, Washington, D.C., by 17 percent.).

    Blame Bloomberg every time there is track work. Next time your train is five minutes late don’t blame bloomberg blame the halfwit holding the door open in the station.
    Gay marriage? Bloomberg isn’t a member of congress; I would recommend you guys get your hands on the School house Rock episode that covers this material. Also, you can’t cite yourself as a source. As for “And also a lot of them are getting beaten up on the streets these days for some reason?” You’re totally right, New York City is completely intolerant of homosexuals.
    “Let’s talk about the cops, for a second: they are still operating under Giuliani levels of complete disregard for the law. They are getting drunk and running people over and shooting unarmed black people and sodomizing people in subway stations.” This is what passes for journalism these days? I actually can’t walk down the street without seeing drunk cops shooting blacks and sodomizing people in subway stations. Get reverend Al on it. Then the accuser can change their story a year later after they spend their settlement money on crack cocaine.
    Some stats here, I’m not a journalist so it’s really not my job to be doing this, you can look it up for yourself if you want. (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/163998.html)
    “The NYPD remains, primarily, the home of roided-out white people from outside the city with a great deal of contempt for civil liberties.” That is such an ignorant statement. The low standards for acceptance make it one of the fastest growing fields for minority groups in NYC. You will almost never see a white cop in a majority African American neighborhood. In latino neighborhoods the NYPD insures all the cops speak Spanish and same in china town.

    As to your fourth amendment rights violations you are claiming, you should probably brush up on your con law. First of all you have the right not to be frisked on the subway. You have the right to not have your bag searched on the subway. Every station has a large sign letting you know your right to refuse to have your bag searched. Also, the search is for illegal weapons only. And the largest flaw in this argument is that you don’t have the constitutional right to NEVER be searched. When you are entering a restricted area where the public’s safety is at a significantly higher risk the government has every right to search you. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been on an airplane before but apparently my right to carry 4 oz of shampoo on a plane was taken away from me when 1366 New Yorkers were murdered on September 11, 2001.
    Subway bag searches do not offend the fourth amendment, only your ability to be a terrorist. But no need to worry the ACLU will keep fighting for the rights of New Yorkers to carry weapons on the subway.
    The camera article in the Daily News that was brought to your attention through the New York Civil liberty Union (a group that’s really looking out for New Yorkers) is fill of big numbers and all kinds of claims but if you speak to any victim of crime who’s attacker caught thanks to camera’s in NYC they would say it was worth it. Do you really feel less free because you’re on camera? You could potentially be on camera any time you’re out in public anyway. You don’t have a right to privacy when walking around the city.
    The spying allegation are actually from a New York Times article, but the writer linked to a Gothamist repost. I was about to disregard it until I saw it was an actual news story not a blog. These allegations have nothing to do with the Bloomberg election but it was an interesting side story. Also it’s Handschu v. Special Services (Gothamist would be taken more seriously if they wrote more seriously) and the case they are taking about was rescinded in 2007. And once again, the case didn’t involve Bloomberg.

    The rest of the article is a poorly written rant of personal opinion that reads like a 16 year old’s anarchist blog.

    That is why I called it a “gossip rag”.

    This article is ridiculous.

  5. Posted by Mike

    November 3, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    Joe — having different viewpoints makes for a very healthy debate, whether it be yours or Alex Pareene’s. I hope you also posted this comment directly on Gawker’s site since you’re addressing their thoughts and it would be an interest to their readers.

  6. Posted by Joe

    November 4, 2009 @ 12:02 am

    I don’t have any beef with Gawker. Just pointing out that you should watch your sources.

    This is the great thing about democracy.

    I don’t particularly care for Bloomberg or his extension of term limits.

    For the record, I didn’t vote for Bloomberg.

    Cheers.

  7. Posted by Tweets that mention Bloomberg Watch — Topsy.com

    November 4, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dennis V Perepelitsa, Bloomberg Watch. Bloomberg Watch said: Gawker Endorsement: Don’t Vote For Bloomberg http://bit.ly/ivkkX [...]

  8. Posted by lee Meyers

    January 25, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

    The Election passed and Bloomberg won much to the disgust of many of us. Now I get the opportunity to watch Bloomberg’s plan to dismantle public education go into effect at the NYC dept of education. People are losing their jobs right now and they have no other choice but to apply for a position with the child’s first network a priviate owned corporation for jobs at half the pay and no medical coverage. This is a disgusting betrayal to the public good and the dedicated educational staff who have worked hard to the benefit of children. We dont deserve that …where are our unions?…..how could they have allowed this to pass?….has mike bought them as well?…It is very sad ………………..

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