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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Public Advocate’

A Closer Look at Bill de Blasio’s Record

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Bill de Blasio, the current frontrunner in the Democratic primary for mayor, has been running his second television commercial of the campaign, titled “Dignity,” since Monday. Fact checking the ad, Michael Barbaro of the NY Times found it quite misleading. Mr. de Blasio argues he’s the only candidate pledging to end the way the Police Department carries out the stop-and-frisk tactic. The problem with that claim is that his opponents have all, in one way or another, pledged to reform it, too.



Nor is Mr. de Blasio, per his claim, the only candidate proposing an income tax on the rich to pay for education. John C. Liu, the city comptroller, has proposed raising the city’s marginal income tax to pay for after-school programs, among other things.

“Dropping the misleading word ‘only’ from several of his claims, or using it more carefully, would do wonders for the accuracy and credibility of his commercials,” Barbaro concludes.

Bill de Blasio’s exaggerating his role as an advocate for the issues he believes are at the top of voters’ concerns is nothing new. In fact, his record of representing the outer-boroughs, as he now promises not to let down any New Yorker, is far from exhilarating.

Back in 2001, when he first ran for City Council in the 39th district, Mr. de Blasio was examined for mismanagement and controversial ties that had put in question his credentials at the time. “[Bill de Blasio] carries a lot of baggage as well,” The Village Voice wrote in a profile on the race for council.

“De Blasio was elected to School Board 15 in 1999, and his tenure has been rocky. Many public school parents charge that de Blasio was stubbornly supportive of Frank DeStefano, the former superintendent of District 15 who resigned in the winter amid allegations of overspending and mismanagement. Reports first surfaced in the fall of 1999 that DeStefano had begun to run up big deficits, taking himself and other school officials on several expensive junkets costing a total of more than $100,000. One year later the school deficit topped $1 million, leading to the cancellation of a popular after-school reading program while DeStefano maintained an expensive car service.

“De Blasio still defends his decision to stick with DeStefano for as long as he did. “He was a visionary and a great educator, but he was a horrible communicator,” de Blasio says of DeStefano. “I was deeply concerned, but I was not going to make a final decision until I saw the evidence.” In the end, de Blasio says, “he could have made better decisions, but I don’t think the spending was wildly excessive. Both of my parents were victims of the McCarthy era. I do not take lightly the idea of ousting someone. You have to have the evidence.”

“De Blasio has also been linked to the flap over New Square, the Hasidic village in upstate New York that has been mired in pardon scandals. Candidate Clinton assiduously courted the small Rockland community last year, winning the town by the whopping margin of 1400 to 12. Six weeks after the election, Israel Spitzer, New Square’s deputy mayor, met with the Clintons at the White House, where pardons for four New Square civic leaders convicted of fraud were discussed. In January, Bill Clinton commuted their sentences, leading to a probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in which several Hillary Clinton campaign aides were called in for questioning. At a Manhattan fundraiser for de Blasio in December, Spitzer made a $2500 donation, the largest permitted under the city’s Campaign Finance Board. De Blasio refused to comment on that matter, including the issue of whether he was questioned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. De Blasio would only offer this comment: “I’m waiting to hear what’s going to happen with that.”

in 2007 as councilman, Mr. de Blasio was lambasted for not living up to his promises and for a lackluster performance as representative of his district.  In a hard hitting piece by a local blogger named “Parden Me For Asking,” Mr. de Blasio was criticized for running a dysfunctional office and keeping himself distracted from the issues that mattered to the neighborhoods he represented, going back to his time he served on the Board of Education before his run for council.

Jewish Press Endorsements In The Thursday, October 11 Democratic Primary Runoff Election

Saturday, November 10th, 2001

We note parenthetically the role of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in ensuring that the tragic need for a postponement of the primary elections and subsequent runoffs did not result in any voting on Jewish holidays. That the Democratic primary runoff was scheduled for October 11, a Thursday, rather than Tuesday, October 9, and offering alternate accommodations for those observing Succoth that day, is, in large measure, a tribute to his input as one of the three top decision-makers in Albany.

Mayor

Mark Green

The two contenders for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of New York City in the October 11th primary election runoff are Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer. As we said last week, we urge those of our readers who are registered Democrats to vote for Mr. Green.

Of the two, Mark Green plainly seems more likely to build on the achievements of the Giuliani years. He is a staunch advocate of continuing the Giuliani, no-nonsense anti-crime policies. He has also come to represent the attitude that throwing money at problems is not the key to solving the City's problems. Standards, personal responsibility and self-help seem to be central to virtually all of his positions on the issues. And he invariably displays a refreshing openness when presented with new ideas.

We have long respected “Freddie” Ferrer for his support of the Jewish community in the Bronx even when there was no political benefit in it for him. The “Jewish vote” in the Bronx was never all that critical to his local electoral races. And he could be counted upon to lend his voice in support of the State of Israel. But, as we have noted in this space, we were appalled by the turn his mayoralty campaign took early on. He went to great lengths to offer himself as the champion of the “other New York,” which most of us correctly took as not signalling the inclusion of the Jewish community. Mr. Ferrer is of Puerto Rican descent, and we found it very troubling that he would directly appeal to voters on that basis. Further, in the last congressional elections, Mr. Ferrer went along with the effort to unseat the incumbent Eliot Engel as the Democratic candidate, in favor of a Black candidate. In retrospect, this emerges as having been the first salvo in the effort to forge the Black-Hispanic coalition which has stood Mr. Ferrer in such good stead in this election.

To make matters worse, when Mr. Green was well ahead in the polls and Mr. Ferrer, Alan Hevesi and Peter Vallone were collectively bringing up the rear, Mr. Ferrer was instantly catapulted to the top by the endorsement of Al Sharpton, with whom the Jewish community has had the most serious of problems. It is not a hyperbole to state that Mr. Ferrer owes his place in the runoff ? and all that goes with it ? to Sharpton. And this, together with his earlier patently racially divisive campaign, makes his candidacy untenable to us. Again, we hasten to underscore that it is not the Sharpton endorsement per se that troubles us. It is the political reality that Freddie Ferrer owes so much to Al Sharpton.

As to his stance on the issues, Mr. Ferrer seems to act as if the Giuliani revolution never happened. Unfortunately, in sum, we believe that should he become Mayor, much of the celebrated rebirth of our City would be reversed.

Public Advocate

Betsy Gotbaum

Betsy Gotbaum is our choice for Public Advocate. She is an experienced City Hall hand, having served in various capacities in New York City government. Ms. Gotbaum seems well versed in how the City works and can be counted on to know which buttons to push in order to fulfill her role as our ombudsman. We are confident that she is highly qualified and motivated to investigate complaints against government and take up the cudgels where appropriate to make sure that there is a level playing field between us and our government.

Ms. Gotbaum's opponent, Norman Siegel, despite his flair for the dramatic and notorious penchant for publicity, is really quite thoughtful and personable. Unfortunately, he has a view of the Public Advocate's office that is an outgrowth of his long career running the New York Civil Liberties Union. To be sure, many of the arguments he advanced for that group over the years were anathema to us. But our concern with his candidacy is not so much that he championed this or that position ? and we are convinced of his basic sincerity. What concerns us is that he has viscerally and programmatically looked to the courts to conform public policy to his view of the public weal. He inevitably evokes visions of the paradigmatic confrontation between decisions by duly elected officials and pronouncements by essentially unrepresentative judges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/jewish-press-endorsements-in-the-thursday-october-11-democratic-primary-runoff-election/2001/11/10/

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