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bloomberg and the boys Archive

October 19, 2009 @ 9:02 am

Giuliani Says Vote for Bloomberg Or NYC Will Become Detroit

Via The Daily News:

Former mayor Rudy Giuliani warned Sunday that crime rates could soar to 1990s levels and the city could again be a victim of terrorism if Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t win reelection.

Giuliani’s dire predictions came during a tag-team campaign swing – the first time Bloomberg has tapped the one-time GOP star for help on the stump this election season.

“This city could very easily be taken back in a very different direction,” Giuliani told a crowd of ultra-Orthodox Jews at a breakfast sponsored by Brooklyn’s Borough Park Jewish Community Council. “It could very easily be taken back to the way it was with the wrong political leadership. Politics is important. It’s important toour safety. It’s important to our security.”
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October 18, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

Bloomberg, The Republican Candidate

A note to readers; I just bought Joyce Purnick’s semi-authorized Bloomberg biography.

According to this version, the way in which Bloomberg came to be the Republican nominee was as follows: Zena Mucha, a D’Amato aide who D’Amato had installed in Pataki’s inner circle, was contacted through a former Bloomberg girlfriend. The girlfriend met her husband, a senator, through Al D’Amato. Thus, the girlfriend became friendly with Mucha who invited Bloomberg to lunch. Here’s Purnick:

“It went well, she told Pataki, and that’s how he met the governor. That went well, too. And why not? The Republicans lacked a strong candidate for mayor. Bloomberg was smart, and wealthy, a potential contributor, and a candidate able to pay his own way.”

Purnick added a few comments about the Governor “giving his blessings” and “alerting the Republican troops and business allies”, and she wrote that Bloomberg “connected the dots” with Guy Molinari, the Staten Island Republican boss who “welcomed the wealthy new benefactor, who contributed handsomely to his Staten Island clubhouse.” In fairness, I haven’t read the book. There may be more. Somehow I doubt it.

There is no reference in the index to Gargano and the only reference to D’Amato is a passing note that he was in the room with Bloomberg, Koch, and a few other important supporters to await the results of the 2002 campaign.That’s it.

When I read the the book, I’ll let folks know if there’s anything else. As far as Purnick seems to have taken it, maybe it was accurate. I’m sure there was a meeting with Mucha and with Pataki. I’m sure Bloomberg contributed to Molinari’s “clubhouse” whatever that means, but as far as I’ve read, it’s like saying a tsunami is a very big wave. The book is entitled Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics. I suspect we’ll have to wait for the unauthorized version.

– Neil Fabricant

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October 16, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

George, Rudy and Mike: So Happy Together

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October 16, 2009 @ 11:37 am

Bloomberg The Corrupt

By Neil Fabricant

“Michael Bloomberg is the most corrupt politician New York has seen in our generation.”

Isn’t it about time that someone said that? Well, I just did.

Hyperbole?

In the past eight years Bloomberg has paid millions of dollars to the Republican Party and ended up with its ballot line three times. He did the same with the Independence Party, which also received sole source contracts from the Bloomberg administration. As far as I know, these contracts have never been questioned, let alone investigated. Is nobody interested? Taxpayer money aside, Bloomberg simply says:

It’s my money and I can spend it any way I want. And it’s all legal. And you’re a disgrace to even question it. I stand for progress, not politics.

Giving public officials cash in exchange for favorable government action is of course a crime. Granted, the real estate lobby, the hedge fund operators, the predatory equity crowd, and to be bipartisan about it, the trial lawyers do it all the time. If the exchange or the promise is explicit and can be proved, people go to jail. But the quid quo pro is rarely contemporaneous. Instead, the players carry around ledgers in their heads, political due bills. But it’s corrupt and everyone knows it. It’s just that the beneficiaries have made so much of it legal.
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October 1, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

DePaolo: Marty is Bloomberg’s Cash Clown

Here’s Phil DePaolo on Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s endorsement of Bloomberg:

Marty Markowitz received $900,000 in slush from Mayor Bloomberg to fund concerts that had already received discretionary funds from the City Council. When Mayor Bloomberg and Markowitz overturned Term Limits, Debra Kresh-Garcia, a close ally of Markowitz filed general objections to Marty’s only challenger Eugene Myrick’s petitions.

Kresh-Garcia is the director of Markowitz’s annual Seaside Summer Concert Series who was funded with Mayor Bloomberg’s slush fund. Just think what $900,000 could do for our schools that have faced cuts for years. Senior services, maybe some more bodies at the D.O.B to oversee the blight created by Marty Markowitz and Mayor Bloomberg.

Bloombucks are a drug Marty can’t get off of! Lets cut off his supplier.

– Phil

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September 28, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

Residents Fight for Affordable Housing

A familiar issue facing many tenants in Mitchell-Lama complexes that have been privatized under Bloomberg: The owners refuse to make repairs or maintain the apartments of long-time tenants who receive some sdort of housing subsidy. This puts pressure on them to move out to make room for market rate tenants. A friend sent us this quote, which has great resonance in this mayoral election

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” — Ben Franklin
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September 27, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

Good Old Mike — The Affordable Housing Mayor

From Sue Susman:

Hi, all.

The article below says Gluck & Chetrit, developers of “Columbus
Square” (5 new apartment buildings and more between 97th and 100th Streets along Columbus & Amsterdam Avenue and in between) have agreed to put the apartments under rent stabilization in terms of increases – in exchange for tax abatements. But the rents are so high that tenants – at least in the second year after the special deals expire – will have to earn more than the “high income” at which landlords may legally deregulate the apartments.

I’m hoping to see the agreement – and whether Gluck & Chetrit agreed NOT to deregulate.

More specifically: Rent stabilization is based on the REGISTERED rents. But the article says “AFTER FACTORING IN THE OFFERS OF FREE RENT, one-bedrooms START at $2,799 and two-bedrooms at $4,103. Alcove studios start at $2,535, but there are no concessions on those units.” – emphasis added.

Given the 3 months free, the registered rents would be 1/3 more than the article reports – or $3732 for a one-bedroom apartment and $5470 for a two-bedroom. So if the tenants stay for a second year, their rents would be the higher amounts. And their incomes would have to accommodate that.

Typically, a prudent tenant pays no more than 33.3% of household
income in rent – and landlords often refuse to rent to tenants who would have to pay more than that percentage of their income in rent.

So the tenant in a one-bedroom apartment that rents for $2,799 would have to have an annual income of at least $100,764 — but if the actual rent is $3732, the income would have to be $134,352.

In a two-bedroom apartment that rents for $4,103, the tenant would need an annual income of at least $147,708 — but if the actual rent is $5470, the tenant’s income would have to be $196,944.

BUT the current law is that when the rent of an occupied rent stabilized apartment is $2000 or more AND the household income exceeds $175,000 for 2 consecutive years, the landlord can remove it permanently from rent stabilization.

The bill that would increase high-income decontrol so that the income would have to be $240,000 might help the tenants who move into Columbus Square – if the bill passes. But so far, no major tenant bills have passed the state legislature.

– Sue

Via The New York Times: Bounty for Brokers

WITH the economy sluggish and rents falling, new rental buildings have been offering ever larger incentives to tenants and their agents. But Columbus Square, the complex of five new glass rental buildings going up on the Upper West Side on and around Columbus Avenue between 97th and 100th Streets, is raising the stakes.

The developers, the Chetrit Group and Stellar Management, have already been offering free rent and broker fees in the first two buildings to be ready for occupancy. Last week they sent brokers an e-mail blast with the subject line, in capital letters: “$1,000 agent bonuses plus three months’ free rent.”

Brokers get the $1,000 bounty if they bring in buyers who move in by Oct. 15. Jeffrey Davis, the project manager at Columbus Square, said the project was not facing any financing or other deadlines. But, he said, the developers wanted to speed up business toward what they consider the end of the summer leasing season, and get renters to move in while construction is still under way.

“In this market you have to be creative,” Mr. Davis said. “I figured if I could incentivize everybody I would get more deals done.”

The offer raises ticklish questions for real estate agents who bring in renters, because the agents technically represent the interests of the landlord. Do they disclose the possibility of a $1,000 bonus, and if so, do they use the bonus as an incentive for the renter — instead of keeping it themselves — to help close the deal?

The first building in the project, a 29-story tower at 808 Columbus Avenue, has 359 apartments, of which 200 are now completed and 110 rented, Mr. Davis said. The building’s amenities include a 70-foot saltwater pool, an outdoor sundeck and a Whole Foods grocery.

A second building, at 801 Amsterdam Avenue, is also near completion, with 13 of 100 apartments rented. The free rent offers — three months at Amsterdam Avenue and two months at Columbus — lower the costs to renters, but preserve the higher rent written into the lease.

The high rent may be particularly important at a project like Columbus Square, whose developers agreed to take part in the state’s rent stabilization program, limiting rent increases in exchange for tax abatements. Mr. Davis said the regulated rent levels would be based on the initial rents.

After factoring in the offers of free rent, one-bedrooms start at $2,799 and two-bedrooms at $4,103. Alcove studios start at $2,535, but there are no concessions on those units.

The new development was bitterly opposed by residents of its neighbor, a 2,500-unit development called Park West Village. As part of the Columbus Square project, a T. J. Maxx store, a bakery and a bank are going up on Columbus Avenue.

Mr. Davis said the new retail stores would turn this section of Columbus Avenue into a more attractive destination for renters.

E-mail: bigdeal@nytimes.com

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September 16, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

We Just Missed. Let’s Take Our City Back on November 3

The Bloomberg and Quinn Parade
Although the Slush Fund Queen had a hard time, she clings to her office, and as we have seen she will do anything to hold onto it. We can only hope that the U.S. Attorney’s investigation continues and that it gets to the bottom of all the looting. So far it appears that only the street dealers have been caught. Presumably, some higher up New York City politicians are under investigation. Given the seriousness of the allegations, we think there should be — and trust there will be — a full public report. After two years, the mantra “It’s under investigation” gets a little old.

We don’t know whether Quinn or Bloomberg are under investigation but the wisdom of the saying that the fish rots from the head seems apt. If they are innocent, they should be exonerated. If not, they should be held accountable.

But we can’t rely on prosecutors to do what needs to be done–and there is much to do between now and November 3. We simply can’t accept the thumb in the eye that Michael Bloomberg gave to all New Yorkers when he decided to stay on after his legitimate term ended. Despite the cabal of real estate developers, frightened politicians, grant recipients, and media barons that doff their caps, the results of this primary show that the term limits insult is very much alive and he can be beaten. If he isn’t, we have only ourselves to blame. In Bob Marley’s words — Don’t give up the fight. We surely won’t.

P.S. congratulations to the challengers and the voters who did manage to knock off a few miscreants — and special congratulations to Margaret Chin, who trounced Alan Gerson, a third term wannabee who has misrepresented our own District 1 for eight long years. We know it would be better to offer a more graceful farewell to Gerson, but after watching him betray his constituents repeatedly over such a long time, it just isn’t in us. So why pretend? Besides, we suspect that Gerson will wind up as a Bloomberg-appointed judge or commissioner or find some other way to “serve.” Stay tuned.

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September 14, 2009 @ 11:35 am

Emperor’s Carelessness Shown On Staten Island


By Luke Crisalli
Grant City, Staten Island

Initially I didn’t want to politicize Friday in any way, shape, form or function. I wanted a day away from the grind, time to set aside petty differences, if even for just a minute.

Then it happened, and it changed my way of thinking.

Every September 11th, Staten Islanders gather by the hundreds in a small section of land near the St. George Ferry Terminal where Staten Island’s tribute to the 11th, entitled “Postcards” stands. There, 274 silhouettes show the Staten Islanders taken that day.

For the past eight years, Islanders have gathered there for a service each September 11th evening. At these services, there are a few brief speeches read, songs sung and doves released. Then it is capped by a reading of the names of all Islanders lost. Simple, yet immensely poignant.
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September 7, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

The Times Forgets About Term Limits

A Times reader reminds the newspaper how much voters care about the term limits issue.

Via The New York Times:

To the Editor:

Re “For New York City Comptroller” (editorial, Aug. 24):

I wish that your editorial endorsing City Councilman David Yassky for comptroller had told us how he voted on term limits. This is an important issue to many of your city readers.

Twice we voted for term limits, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg supported them as well. Now he claims that he is indispensable, and the craven members of the City Council, with a few exceptions, have agreed.

Your endorsements should clearly state whether the candidate voted to disregard our wishes regarding term limits and whether the candidate accepted contributions from real estate developers.

Naomi Z. Katcher
New York, Aug. 24, 2009

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