October 20, 2009 @ 11:31 am
Here is one of the anti-Mayor Bloomberg TV ads that will be hitting the airwaves tomorrow as part of CWA Local 1180’s $500,000 campaign to assist Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson by giving heft to his claim the mayor is an out-of-touch billionaire.
At a rally later this morning, the union will be handing out “Bloomberg Bucks” that feature a photo of the mayor wearing a (drawn-on) crown and read: “This note is legal tender for buying votes, third terms and the City of New York.”
October 15, 2009 @ 1:35 pm
Fred and Harry Siegel have written about how the middle class is losing a battle to survive in Bloomberg’s “Luxury City.” They now turn their attention once again to Bloomberg’s hallowed out “Luxury City” — a city that “even as it’s losing the luster of Wall Street, taxes small businesses the way California taxes millionaires.” Thanks to Eric Dixon for passing this along.
New Yorkers take pride in their city’s ability to reinvent itself, as witnessed most recently in the bubble-aided recovery from the 9/11 attacks. “While any city may have one period of magnificence,” journalist A.J. Libeling wrote of New York in 1938, “it takes a real one to keep renewing itself until the past is perennially forgotten.”
But as next month’s mayoral election approaches, the city faces an economic downturn and a political reordering that augur badly for the future. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a two-term incumbent running against Bill Thomson, a lackluster Democratic challenger all but disavowed by his own party, has already spent at least $70 million funding 336 times as many TV ads as his rival through late last month. Yet the incumbent can barely break 50% in the polls.
The standard explanation for Mr. Bloomberg’s weakness is anger at his ham-handed repeal of the term-limits law he had once championed. But underlying that, there’s a growing civic unease, a foreboding that’s remained nameless while the candidates have sidestepped the city’s economic problems. While the city’s unemployment and commercial vacancy rates have both passed 10%, so far the city has lost only 100,000 jobs (compared to the 330,000 lost from 1989 to 1993 under Mayor David Dinkins). But more losses are coming.
Read rest of story…
October 5, 2009 @ 12:08 pm
* The Daily News reports that there’s a “Democratic dream team” vowing to toss Bloomberg out of office this November made up of Bill Thompson, Bill de Blasio and John Liu.
* Forbes’s Michael Maiello writes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the 8th richest man in the United States, should worry about low voter turnout this November and argues that the term limits override will haunt him if Bloomberg has any national political ambitions.
* The Transport Workers Union’s “Bloomzilla” image has become one of the most rabble-rousing attacks against Bloomberg this election. The Union has emerged as one of the mayor’s most vocal critics this election season and is planning a “Day of Outrage” for Oct. 14.
* Errol Louis argues that Mayor Bloomberg needs to answer immediate questions on why his administration has not stemmed the growing homelessness rate in the city, especially at a time when the weather is getting colder.
September 7, 2009 @ 4:15 pm
Azi Paybarah posted the following palm card that was passed out at the West Indian Parade in Brooklyn today:
The TWU is supporting Thompson for mayor.
June 22, 2009 @ 12:25 pm
The leaders of New York’s municipal unions have to do business with him. In the past, some have supported corrupt right wingers in Albany as well as New York. They rationalized that those people would remain in power after November 4th and that deals could be made before the elections that would benefit their members. We sympathized with the dilemma they faced.
But things are different now. Notwithstanding the bulldozing of the opposition, the difficulty of being heard over the k-ching of the Bloomberg cash registers, and the effort to portray his inevitability, we sense a very different mood in New York City. Bloomberg has dissed us. And just beneath the surface, there is much anger. Even the vast sums of money Bloomberg is spending won’t keep that anger from boiling over. We think it’s going to erupt.
For whatever reason, organized labor may still support Michael Bloomberg and all the rest of the scoundrels who cast aside the results of two referenda, but this time we don’t think their own members will listen to them. We’re counting on it. (See: Workers protest: ‘We’re not going to take this anymore!’)
Here is a piece by Joe Bageant that you may find interesting. We don’t agree with everything he writes but he’s worth reading. And we think he’s captured the zeitgeist.
No Balls, No Gains
By Joe Bageant
In looking back on growing up, I always remember 1957 and 1958 at “the two good years,” They were the only years my working class redneck family ever caught a real break in their working lives, and that break came because of organized labor. After working as a farm hand, driving a hicktown taxi part time, and a dozen catch as catch can jobs, my father found himself owning a used semi-truck and hauling produce for a Teamster unionized trucking company called Blue Goose.
Daddy was making more money than he’d ever made in his life, about $4,000 a year. The median national household income at the time was $5,000, mostly thanks to America’s unions. After years of moving from one rented dump to another, we bought a modest home, ($8,000) and felt like we might at last be getting some traction in achieving the so-called “American Dream.” Yup, Daddy was doing pretty good for a backwoods boy who’d quit school in the sixth or seventh grade — he was never sure, which gives some idea how seriously the farmboy took his attendance at the one-room school we both attended in our lifetimes.
This was the golden age of both trucking and of unions. Thirty-five percent of American labor, 17 million working folks, were union members, and it was during this period the American middle class was created. The American middle class has never been as big as advertised, but if it means the middle third income-wise, then we actually had one at the time. But whatever it means, one third of working folks, the people who busted their asses day in and day out making the nation function, were living better than they ever had. Or at least had the opportunity to do so.
Read the rest of the story here: “Worker’s Rights” on counterpunch.org