Bloomberg Watch was started by Neil Fabricant assisted by a small staff.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is counting on voters’ short memories and his vast fortune to buy and bully his way to a third term. The effort to blot out and distort the impact of his disastrous record on ordinary New Yorkers has to be resisted.
When it gave Barack Obama the presidency in November, our country passed a major test of its character. New Yorkers will face a similar test this November. Whether Michael Bloomberg’s much touted management skills have earned him the right to a third term is beside the point. The issue is whether the richest man in New York can override a term limits law that the people voted for twice, spend hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money, and hold onto the office for as long as he pleases. Will we let him get away with it?
The mayor assured his followers not to worry, that the election is a long way off and the people will forget. Not forgetting is our test of character.
As for the city council members who extended their own terms without asking the voters and proclaimed they were doing it to strengthen our Democracy, Plunkett of Tammany Hall said it best: They “seen their opportunities and took ‘em.” Known throughout the land for political hackery, the council has plunged to a new level of depraved indifference to anything but self-interest.
Full disclosure: I was the president of a tenant association whose home, along with tens of thousands of others, was put at risk by the mayor, the city council, and a small group of housing bureaucrats in thrall to the landlords and developers. While their constituents watched helplessly as their rents doubled and tripled, the politicians rallied alongside them at City Hall protests, made speeches, issued resolutions, and so on. Then, when the doors were closed and the real estate money was on the table, they took it and ran–for political office.
Payback is too grandiose a term; after all, we’re dealing with a powerful mega-billionaire who has the support of the city’s major newspapers whose owners have themselve enjoyed the mayor’s favors. But if our small voice gets heard by a few like-minded citizens, who knows? Boss Tweed was brought down by a cartoonist.
In the weeks and months to come we’ll tell the story of how the tenants of Independence Plaza in Tribeca, and tenants around the city have been treated by Mayor “Mike” and the hacks and flacks who pretend to care about ordinary New Yorkers.
We’ll begin with our own story but we won’t limit ourselves to it. There’s much more to tell about the phony education statistics and the press releases that trumpet success where failure is self-evident, the gross violations of civil liberties, the financial support of the most regressive and corrupt Republican right-wingers, and on and on — and we’ll have stories to tell about George Pataki, Alfonse “pothole” D’Amato, and the rest of the cabal that constitutes New York’s political class.
– Neil Fabricant, Organizer
Questions? Comments? Contact Mike Dang at firstname.lastname@example.org