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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: Joseph Lhota (Part III of V)

1:17 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.

Joseph Lhota

Joseph Lhota – Republican candidate

We move on to Joseph Lhota, the former Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from January 9th, 2012 to December 31st. He is the Republican candidate in this election and has experience in numerous offices under major names like Rudy Giuliani.

Lhota echoes a sentiment of being a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, which is a theme all three major candidates build upon.

A few Republican (clueless if I might add) individuals I know of have found de Blasio to be so revolting that Lhota would be the instant candidate for their needs. However, Lhota, currently at 23 percent according to Siena, has failed to do anything of a push against de Blasio’s strategies. In fact, he is the epitome of the New York Republican Party — delusional.

Interestingly, Lhota has appeal based on fear of de Blasio’s policies, rather than of what he is doing. It is a grave mistake Lhota is making and indicative of a campaign fully knowing it has nothing up its sleeves to counter-act de Blasio’s genius run.

In fact, it is comical Joseph Lhota stated de Blasio “is using his family because he has no policies,” despite using his family in the New York Post since “he has no policies.”

To be fair to Lhota, he does have policies, but here is one:

For years, New York has relied heavily on the finance and related industries for job growth. While financial services produce vast wealth and tax revenues, they can also subject the city economy and government to painful contractions when markets fall.  To give New Yorkers access to well-paid jobs and more of them we must welcome and attract new business from a variety of industries.

For an individual who celebrates his time on Wall Street, it brings numerous concerns as to what his agenda might be. If New York will gain jobs, at what point will such jobs go to Wall Street? Are we to expect public works projects by an individual who was an investment banker?

Moreover, an attack-ad by Lhota was, as The Nation’s Leslie Savan points out, filled with mistakes and errors that, once again, represent delusional politics at play.

His support of stop-and-frisk is connected to the fear-based politics, which he believes would work to his favor if elected. He writes in his “Policy Book” his answer regarding stop-and-frisk:

The Supreme Court of the United States held in the landmark case of Terry v. Ohio that police have the ability to stop people upon reasonable suspicion. This technique is used by police departments around the country. Terry stops are an important tool in the prevention of crime, especially gun violence. Police, however, should be free to go into high crime neighborhoods and prevent crimes, including quality of life crimes.

He tries his very best not to say low-income people should be frequently checked and frisked by police, but ends up implying that through statements like these.

He echoed the time when New York was filled with crime and compared it to a de Blasio administration if elected. “We are one bad mayor away from unsafe streets, failing schools and fiscal chaos” he remarks in a new campaign video.

It is as if Lhota did not stop and look at what “fiscal chaos” in this country is already.

He is famous for working in public administrations under Republican Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani is famous for being called “America’s Mayor” after the Sept. 11th attacks.

The reality is he was at the right place at the right time as journalist Rebecca Solnit writes in Paradise Built in Hell:

The spiteful, self-serving, scandal-ridden figure was gone, and in his place was brave, empathetic, inexhaustible, and omnipresent. But the old Giuliani came back soon enough to try to advance his own career on his performance and dismiss or suppress inconvenient facts about that day and his decisions before and after. He often lauded his own preparedness in creating an Emergency Operations Center, though that center was located in 7 World Trade Center and was quickly evacuated on September 11th. The space was leased from a landlord who afterward became a major campaign donor to the mayor. Years earlier, his own advisers had his plan to locate the center at what even then they called Ground Zero.

His time in the MTA has been praised and even used by newspapers to indicate his experience if elected as a mayor. In their endorsement of Lhota, Newsday wrote:

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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:

Analyzing NYC’s Mayoral Elections: Introduction (Part I of V)

10:30 pm in Uncategorized by BrandonJ

Gracie Mansion, official residence of the mayor of NYC

In another usual night at the dinner table with my parents, my father had the television on with the October 9th mayoral debate in New York City featuring Republican candidate Joseph Lhota and Independent candidate Adolfo Carrion, Jr. What was interesting, as was noted, is Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio not showing up to the debate and was criticized not only by the candidates, but others in the media as well.

Polls have indicated that Bill de Blasio holds a commanding lead over likely voters with numbers up to 71 percent. Commentators have stated these numbers would suggest de Blasio is comfortable enough not participating in debates when the numbers are in his favor.

But the debate on October 9th made me laugh since all of the commentators, reporters to candidates, had no clue what to do. What made me frustrated is the ignorance of those in the media, as to be expected, on why de Blasio is making such gains and the reality of his appearance in this race. Therefore, I decided to do an analysis over the three major candidates — Lhota, Carrion and de Blasio — while placing into context the situation in New York City.

The election for the next mayor is on November 5th, 2013, therefore I will post up separate analysis for each of the candidates. I will target:

  • Their background
  • Their policies
  • Their significance in this election

Due to college season of midterms, I cannot guarantee each post will be up every Saturday (my ideal date). However, I will have the five-part series up before the November 5th election.

*

This comes at a time where the United States has 60% of Americans clamor for a third party because Republicans and Democrats are doing a poor job. Moreover, more than four in 10 Americans state that capitalism is not working “working not too well (26%) or not at all well (16%).” Society is failing and the ruling class is closely examining this in order to come up with a solution to their benefit.

This analysis does not come from a perspective of endorsing any candidate. Indeed, none of the candidates, I can personally say, are ones I would vote for in the election.

However, I will place their role among the factors currently occurring not only in New York City, but across the globe. It is possible to see how this impacts debate in the United States as both parties try to re-establish legitimacy in the public’s eye. It is by far an interesting event and a thorough analysis can help explore not only this author’s view, but those who are curious on the election.

This is not an attempt to play sectarian and I will further discuss that in my analysis. Rather, it stems from a genuine interest on this election and why it is occurring with so many events.

This is much to discuss with these candidates and our future. These are individuals that, from what I saw, get a free pass in the media and are not scrutinized to a point where voters can critically think about the system these people are running in.

The next election follows Mayor Michael “Moneybags” Bloomberg and his problems that he left for the city. Whatever the case may be, the successor will have quite the job to take over.