web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

The Bloom Comes Off The Mayor


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button

Mayor Bloomberg has enjoyed the sort of adulatory media coverage that would make even Barack Obama envious. Well, maybe not Obama, but certainly any merely mortal politician. Which makes Fred Siegel’s stubborn refusal to join Bloomberg’s Hallelujah chorus all the more startling.

Siegel, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Civic Innovation and a prolific writer on New York City politics, has long been a discordant voice among a local and national punditocracy all too eager to spread the message that Bloomberg, in the words of former New Yorker editor Tina Brown, is “the city’s greatest mayor.”

Recently, Brown and five other prominent New Yorkers were asked by New York magazine to name the ten individuals “who reshaped the city.” Four of the six had Bloomberg on their list. Only two included Rudy Giuliani, and one of those gave him a decidedly mixed review.

To illustrate the absurdity of the above, just think back to the state of the city in January 1993 when Giuliani took over from David Dinkins and the state of the city (9/11 notwithstanding) in January 2002 when Bloomberg took over from Giuliani. Which mayor faced the greater challenges and which has left more of an impact on the city?

At any rate, getting back to Fred Siegel, he’s lately been in a higher state of dungeon than usual about Bloomberg, mainly, as he wrote in the New York Post, because of the way the mayor “deployed his vast personal and political power to overturn the term limits law … [and] his unlawful refusal to send out property tax rebate checks that have been due since Oct. 1.”

Siegel quoted Bloomberg’s excuse that “We have no money … this is not a legal issue, it’s a fiscal issue” – a statement, according to Siegel, “that boils down to ‘I know better.’”

Don’t believe it, said Siegel; “the cupboards are bare because Bloomberg has emptied them for his own political ambitions. While the stock market was heading south, Bloomberg, one eye on a potential presidential run, raised his approval numbers by expanding the city payroll. Since 2004, he has hired at least 40,000 new city employees, while bringing his own mayoral staff to record levels.…”

And, continued Siegel, while “Bloomberg touts himself as a CEO who can negotiate the best deal for the city … part of running the city includes bargaining with people he can neither give orders to, nor buy like the City Council. That’s made Bloomberg a singular failure in Albany, where the mayor tried to steamroll his ill-conceived congestion pricing plan through the Assembly.

“The plan, which seemed designed as much to provide Bloomberg with a green issue for his presidential campaign as to decongest Manhattan, met with a skeptical response. Bloomberg’s reaction was to blame his defeat on ‘gutless’ opponents. While arguing over whether to reauthorize Off Track Betting, the mayor clashed with the normally mild-mannered Governor Paterson, whose support is essential for the city; Paterson came away describing the mayor to the Post’s Fred Dicker as ‘a nasty, untrustworthy, tantrum-prone liar who has little use for average New Yorkers.’”

Siegel went after the mayor in similar fashion last month in The Weekly Standard, writing that “Until a few weeks ago New York had a term-limits law – twice ratified by public referenda – that limited the mayor and the city council to eight years in office. Bloomberg could have held a referendum on overturning them – a referendum he was very likely to win given his 70 percent approval rating. But there were dangers in taking the democratic path. The referendum would have been scheduled for February 2009, and, as Baruch College’s Doug Muzzio notes, voters are likely to be hit before then by hikes in their property taxes, water bills, and subway fares.…

“Instead, operating on the basis of ambiguities in the city charter, Bloomberg strong-armed the city council into overturning term-limits: threatening to cut off funds to their districts and stop his ‘anonymous’ donations to the nonprofits they count on to get out the vote if they opposed his plan.”

Mincing no words, Siegel mocked the mayor’s claims of indispensability: “For the time being Bloomberg, who presided over the great spending spree of the last few years, has been reduced to insisting that only a genius like himself can save Gotham from the fiscal dangers imposed by Wall Street’s collapse (and his own maladministration).”

Share Button

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “The Bloom Comes Off The Mayor”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-bloom-comes-off-the-mayor/2008/12/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: