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November 3, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

Memo to Joyce Purnick

New York Times society reporter, Joyce Purnick, author of a recent semi-authorized Bloomberg biography, wrote Bloomberg a “memo” in the form of an op-ed piece in Tuesday’s paper. She said that he had made a “bad investment” spending all that money to win an election. As the incumbent, she wrote, “you are in and destined to stay in.”

Purnick went on to deliver a history lesson on the last fifty years of mayoral elections in which only two incumbents, Beame and Dinkins, three if you count Koch’s try for a fourth term, won reelection. New Yorkers, she opined, are “pragmatic, even complacent, when their city is not in anguish.” She wondered why anyone would even bother to run against the man who is managing our “stable” city so well.
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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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September 30, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

Reading List: Thompson Scoffs and Bloomberg Responds to Criticism with a Republican Endorsement

* “I found it comical and almost a little tragic that Mike Bloomberg did an op-ed talking about parking and about tickets today, when he’s the one who has really helped to create the major increase in parking fines and penalties across the city of New York. It’s almost like the mugger who beat you up and takes your money, and then is kind enough to take you to the emergency room afterward. That’s exactly what he’s done.” — Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson responding to Bloomberg’s post editorial about possible plans for parking reform in the City Room.

* Bloomberg isn’t ignoring all fellow GOP candidates running in November. The mayor has endorsed Republican Bob Capano who is running against popular Democratic Councilmember Vincent Gentile in the 43rd District. The Post reports the endorsement is likely the result of Gentile’s criticism of “Bloomberg for raising property taxes and being out of touch with the needs of outer borough homeowners” and using a previously published photo of Bloomberg’s ritzy mansion in a mailer to get his point across.

* Haven’t had enough of Joyce Purnick talking about Mayor Bloomberg? You can see her tonight with former Mayor Ed Koch at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

* Gotham Schools reports that Mayor Bloomberg would like to lift the cap on charter schools. Bloomberg unsuccessfully lobbied to lift the cap in 2005.

* Some advice for Thompson from Teachable Moment.

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September 30, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

Tom Robbins: Bloomberg’s Term Limits Scheme

Via The Village Voice:

As it heads into the home stretch, the Bloomberg campaign has adopted a new slogan to sum things up and help focus voters on the big picture. The new motto was rolled out at the big Bloomberg rally held primary night on a West Side pier, a gala celebration aimed at snatching attention away from Democrats and on to Mayor Mike. The slogan was emblazoned on Bloomberg’s podium, and tattooed over and over on a TV backdrop. Which made it hard to miss. It read: “Progress. Not Politics.” The first word is a debate worth having. The next two are simply lies.

Not politics? Whatever you think of Bill Thompson’s erratic campaign, at least he was being nominated that very night by his own party in an open primary. Mike Bloomberg? His GOP endorsement came courtesy of a classic, old-school political deal in which five Republican county leaders sat down in a room and agreed to give the mayor their ballot line.
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September 28, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

Reading List: Bloomberg’s Bad Innovation Economy, The Mayor Courts Staten Island, The Garment District in Jeopardy

* In a post about innovation at BusinessWeek, Bruce Nussbaum writes that New York is doing a bad job of jumpstarting an innovation economy and tells Bloomberg to start paying attention.

* “Some things we were told no to in previous years, suddenly turned into yes.” – Staten Island City Councilman James Oddo, on Mayor Bloomberg trying to win over constituents by unexpectedly moving forward with stalled projects in the borough during the election season. Will Staten Islanders buy it?

* The runoff election for Comptroller and Public Advocate is tomorrow. Turnout is expected to be dismal.

* The Daily News reports that Bloomberg is having trouble finding Veteran groups to endorse him for mayor because of his lack of progress with aiding homeless or addicted vets, reaching out to soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, and helping vets find jobs or housing.

* Joyce Purnick is still around and taking some more questions from readers about Michael Bloomberg — this time at Gotham Gazette. Email any questions to: info at

* The New York Post reports that Christine Quinn’s speakership may be in jeopardy.

* Core77 reports that Mayor Bloomberg wants to turn the Garment District into a commercial district. In New York magazine, fashion designer Nanette Lepore says she has been trying to meet with Bloomberg for more than a year and says that small factories are being lost over to developers.

* Democratic mayoral contender Bill Thompson is having a hard time raising campaign money to beat Bloomberg.

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September 24, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

Reading List: Purnick Answers More Questions About Bloomberg, The Quinnipiac Poll

* Joyce Purnick answers a second round of questions about Bloomberg in the City Room. Does Bloomberg buy loyalty with his donations? It’s likely, Purnick responds, but she needs more space — probably another book to get into that one.

* Mayor Bloomberg would like all the city buildings to paint their roofs white to make them cooler, but the city hasn’t painted a million square feet of the roofs of its own municipal buildings, reports the AP.

* A Quinnipiac poll shows Bloomberg leading Thompson by 16 points — a figure that has remained stagnant since the last Qunnipiac poll.

* Christine Quinn is trying to fend off challengers in November. Will Yetta Kurland run against Quinn as an Independent?

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September 24, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

On Joyce Purnick and “Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics”

The rationale offered by those who forgive Michael Bloomberg’s override of term limits is that he is an indispensable leader. Bloomberg true believers base their belief on the quality of his fiscal and economic stewardship, or more precisely what they have been told about it. We don’t understand Joyce Purnick’s stance. Presumably, she knows better. The business-financed Citizens Budget Commission certainly does. In its March, 2008 letter to the mayor, it wrote:

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

The Executive Budget you will present next month is a critical juncture for New York City and for your mayoralty. This is the last budget you will propose and administer, and one of the last two you will formulate.
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September 22, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

WNYC Chats With a Bloomberg Biographer and Listeners Respond

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer has a chat with The New Yorker’s Joyce Purnick, the author of the new Bloomberg biography, Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics.

Lehrer also asks listeners to post their top two and bottom two Bloomberg moments. Listeners listed term limits, the mayor’s behavior during the 2004 Republican National Convention and exaggerated progress in education as some of Bloomberg’s bottom two moments.
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September 21, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Reading List: Poll Shows New Yorkers Mixed on Bloomberg, The Mayor Uses Fuzzy Math in Mailers

* According to a Daily News/Marist poll, 47 percent of registered voters say they’re tired of Bloomberg while 46 percent say they’re looking forward to having him around for four more years. The poll shows Michael Bloomberg leading his Democratic mayoral challenger Bill Thompson 50 percent to 39 percent, with 10 percent of voters undecided.

* Adam Lisberg reports that Bloomberg is using fuzzy facts to attack Thompson in his mailers, citing misleading sources and incorrect data about Thompson’s education record.

* The City Room is giving readers the chance to ask Joyce Purnick, the author of Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, about the mayor’s life.

* Gay City News reports that Bloomberg puts the chances of a gay marriage bill being pushed through this year at “zero, zero.” Since 2005, Bloomberg has said he’d like to push a marriage equality bill through — despite appealing a State Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage — and has yet to make any progress on it.

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