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Analyzing NYC’s Mayoral Elections: Bill de Blasio (Part IV of V)

7:24 pm in Uncategorized by BrandonJ

This is an on-going series analyzing New York City’s mayoral race. To read the introduction, click here. To read on Independent candidate Adolfo Carrion Jr, click here. To read on Republican candidate Joseph Lhota, click here.

Bill de Blasio – Democratic candidate

Bill de Blasio is the last person in this series as the election comes to a close. It is fitting since many publications and polls have stated he is heavily favored to win the election. Yet, since he is on the Democratic ticket and making such a huge stride, I must wonder why a person like de Blasio is having such an edge and whether his rhetoric matches his actions.

Bill de Blasio is definitely someone guaranteed since the beginning of this race to win the election through a landslide. However, his work within the Democratic establishment merits further discussion of his overall role in this race and what may occur in the future. It is more important to start off during his politically active days as an outsider to the system.

During his upbringing, his volunteering with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua was pointed out as another instance of a “Communist”  guaranteed to bring his communist friends to have communist policies with communist parties and erect Lenin statues across New York City, especially across Wall Street. If that seems ridiculous to you, the New York Post had a cover with the face of Bill de Blasio and the USSR symbol of the hammer and sickle. The Gothamist poked fun of such talk by saying:

Coincidentally, the news emerges on the eve of tomorrow’s election, and could cost de Blasio the crucial ‘senile conservative’ demographic.

The New York Post, a Rupert Murdoch-owned publication, discussed his trips to communist — or state capitalist — countries during the 1980s. Their ridiculous “analysis” wouldn’t even be taken as serious, but it is interesting to observe his status as a person with a revolutionary spirit against the capitalist system.

Then, de Blasio joined Democrats for campaigning and he would slowly lose such status as a left-wing revolutionary and more of an establishment individual. As the New York Times pointed out on Aug. 25:

The campaign for an open Senate seat [for Hillary Clinton] was a turning point in Mr. de Blasio’s life; it was the biggest and most high-profile political effort he had ever been put in charge of. And it turned out to be his last, as an operative.

His work with the Clintons goes back to the late 1990s where he was appointed in the Department of Housing and Urban Department as Regional Director for New York and New Jersey. One interesting point from historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is housing under Clinton:

The United States (forgetting, or choosing to forget, the disastrous consequence of such a policy in the twenties) was consigning its people to the mercy of the “free market.” The “market” did not care about the environment or the arts. And it left many Americans without jobs, or health care, without a decent education for their children, or adequate housing. Under Reagan, the government had reduced the number of housing units getting subsidies from 400,000 to 40,000; in the Clinton administration the program ended altogether.

Bill de Blasio later, as the previous New York Times article points out, ran for different positions after realizing his talent as a campaign manager. He mentions, reflecting his time under the Clinton Senate campaign in 2000, what he gained and applied to his own style of campaigning:

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Analyzing NYC’s Mayoral Elections: Adolfo Carrión, Jr. (Part II of V)

10:55 pm in Uncategorized by BrandonJ

This is an on-going series analyzing New York City’s 2013 mayoral race. To read the introduction, click here.

Adolfo Carrión, Jr. – Independent Party candidate

I must admit, before October 9th, I had never heard of Carrion before.  Watching him in the debate with only Joseph Lhota did not impress me at all and I decided to view his policies as I felt I was not aware of what he represented.

Let me first begin to say, however, the title of “Independent” is a misnomer for those unaware. Carrion originally was a Democrat until last year where he left the Democratic Party and became an Independent. It must be noted this makes him more suspicious of his policies as he can lie to the public over such policies, while advocating an agenda for the establishment.

Carrion, strangely (I sincerely mean it), did not go the full independent route and attempted to be a Republican contender. However, just a few months later, he flip-flopped to an attitude where he is independent of Democrats and Republicans.

To this day, I do not understand why Carrion would do it if he is saying New Yorkers are smart to know the difference between the two parties. Wouldn’t they also be smart to know he actively wanted to be on the Republican ticket but was overshadowed? Doesn’t it make his candidacy less credible as a result?

I can’t say since 75 percent of New Yorkers don’t know him or probably never heard of him like I did.

A brief history of Carrion should give an image of where he comes from and where he stands in the election so far.

Carrion had the usual upbringing as a servant for the civil life through the public sector, elected to District Boards, elected to City Council, elected to Bronx Borough President and using his status to champion causes and acts he felt were necessary in his tenure. His work to raise awareness of Naval bombings of Vieques, Puerto Rico were right to do and surprisingly had an honest opinion many, including me, would agree with:

“It’s not great to be incarcerated. That’s for sure,” he told WNYC’s Beth Fertig at the time. “And I never imagined that I would. But when you engage in an act of conscience and an act of civil disobedience, you know there’s a price to pay.”

Notably, Carrion was appointed by Barack Obama as Director of the Office of Urban Affairs, which is a part of the executive branch. It ensured, as Obama stated, “focus on wise investments and development in our urban areas that will create employment and housing opportunities.”

This was in 2009 and the situation for millions of Americans, as many articles point out, had not seen anything remotely close to “wise investments” or “development in urban areas.” Yet, he states his work in office had accomplished much as his biography on his campaign site notes:

Carrión’s work at the White House resulted in the establishment of a White House Urban Policy Working Group, as well as a comprehensive interagency review of the federal government’s engagement with urban and metropolitan areas. It was the first review of its kind in 30 years.

He had a scandal in the beginning of his tenure for breaking the law with a “conflict of interest” with another developer who needed help in approving of a project he was doing, which is all related to the real estate industry. This was related to a bribery and corruption probe the New York Department of Investigation conducted with the developer’s company, Boricua Village. He paid a $10,000 fine for what occurred, apologized and has not been further penalized since.

Additionally, he was confirmed by the Senate as the Regional Administrator of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for New York and New Jersey that saw him, as his site notes, “overseeing $6 billion in HUD investments in New York and New Jersey.” He loved housing so much that he left to enter the private industry and created “Metro Futures, LLC, a consulting and real estate development firm.”

It is no surprise that later one of his policies features a revamped model of the FIRE sector for his own campaign based on his experience in the real estate industry.

He then left the HUD in 2012 and left the Democratic Party that same year. Davidson Goldin, someone close to him, told the New York Times: