02 October 2008

13 Reasons Bloomberg Shouldn't Be Re-elected

I'm not sure why a great chunk of the metropolitan population, when thinking about Michael Bloomberg, don't remember his many mayoral failings, but only that they kinda like him for some reason. So, as Mayor "I-know-you-need-me" Mike jockeys for a third term, I thought I'd jog some memories with 13 reasons why he doesn't deserve one more single day.

1. Atlantic Yards. That gaping hole in downtown Brooklyn is as much his fault as Ratner's. He allowed it to happen, funneling money from the City coffers to the developer and looking the other way as Ratner twisted every law in the book,including that of Eminent Domain, in his favor.

2. The West Side Stadium. This bad idea—which would have choked the West Side and burdened Manhattanites with crowds, traffic, smog and congestion—had its only important champion in Bloomberg. It was his pet project, a legacy-making ego trip, and he has never admitted that he was in the wrong when he pressed for it.

3. Every Ugly Condo Tower and Every Dangerous Construction Site You See. Bloomberg unlocked the gate of the City's corral of avaricious developers, pointed them in the direction of every neighborhood in Gotham and said "Have at it, boys! I ain't watchin'!" To further mollify them, he put a puppet in charge of the Department of Building, leading to a body so corrupt and ineffective, it resulted in a rash of construction deaths.

4. Unaccountability. Bloomberg refuses to let the City know when he leaves for vacation in Bermuda. He thinks this is acceptable policy.

5. He's Too Charitable for the City's Good. Bloomberg gives thousands and thousands of dollars to many organizations and peoples. This is not a bad thing in itself. But it makes it difficult for many quarters to criticize his policies, for fear of reprisal. A cynic could said he's buying silence on a daily basis.

6. Every Chain Store You See. Giuliani ushered in the era of chain stores in NYC. Bloomberg accelerated the pace, killing indy shops left and right. If neighborhoods like Yorkville and the Upper West Side have been completely scrubbed of character, you can blame Mike.

7. Amanda Burden. He hired this lifelong socialite as Commissioner of Planning. She's never seen a neighborhood zoning that she didn't think needed more tall buildings.

8. Big Vision Projects. Cristo's Gates. Olafur Eliasson’s Waterfalls. These gargantuan art projects are here to beautify the City or increase tourism. They're here to make Bloomie look like a Big Vision Man, which is what he wants more than anything.

9. Wall Street Melted Down on his Watch. There are a lot of people to blame. There are a lot of reasons why. But Michael Bloomberg was the Mayor of New York City when it happened. This is not a small detail.

10. He Buys Elections. $73 million on the first election. More than that on the second election.

11. He Changes Stripes. Bloomberg, a lifelong Democrat, became a Republican in order to win City Hall. He then became an Independent when he hoped to run for President. THE MAN HAS NO CONVICTIONS EXCEPT PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT!

12. He's a Fake Subway Rider. Bloomberg loved to trumpet his use of the subway as a bonafied of his man-of-the-people status, until the New York Times revealed that three shiny SUVs ferry him every morning from his Upper East Side townhouse to an express Lexington Avenue station many blocks away.

13. He Allowed This Picture to Be Taken of Him.

Term limits were made for this man.


HoyaLawya said...

Bloomberg had virtually nothing to do with the credit crises as mayor of New York. All of the relevant regulatory agencies that could have imposed regulation on the creation of CDOs are Federal(SEC, Fed, Treasury, etc). The only non-federal agency that has anything to do with the regulation of any of the financial industries that are to blame is the New York State Insurance Commission, which the Mayor has absolutely no authority over. IF you are going to cite the fact that Bloomberg was mayor when the credit crises happened, please point out one way in which he is to blame for it. I expect a Palin-esque response shortly.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I know he has no direct control over Wall Street. Everyone knows that. But not being in charge hasn't stopped Bloomberg from butting in and mouthing off about a variety of subjects. He is the Mayor. He knows what goes on in his City. And he is a financial expert, knows that world inside and out. It was very much in his power to speak out against the recklessness on Wall Street. He could speak out at press conference or simply whisper in the right powerful ears. The third mate on the Titanic doesn't steer the ship, but he can sure as hell sound the alarm when he sees an iceberg. In that way, Bloomberg should bear some indirect blame. Also: I try to be respectful of the commenters on this blog. But compare me to Sarah Palin again and I shall have to politely ask you to go fuck yourself.

NoLandGrab said...

Bloomberg's Atlantic Yards transgressions have been to stand by as the State of New York used its power to supercede all local zoning and wield the power of eminent domain; throwing money at the project and then throwing extra money at the project for a grand total pledge of $205 million, thus far; and then lying about the project, leading New Yorkers to believe that developer Bruce Ratner would foot the bill, and that there was only, like, a one eminent domain hold-out.

Anonymous said...

There's a few more reasons too, like leaving gracefully, giving the people of NY another mayor. We've only had like 4 of them since 82 right? Not to mention that he's spitting on NYC by totally disregarding what the people wanted which is term limits. He needs to do what's best for the city and let someone take their turn at the highest mayoralty in the world.

p.s. - #3 itself could have taken ALL of your reasons, from that hideous Blue thing downtown to the other Big thing in the UES, and everything in between. Yikes.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Well put, Jose.

markznyc said...

yep. we need another David Dinkins. just what the city needs. right time. right man.

Unknown said...

Bloomberg has been great for NYC, but more than anything, he has been a fighter for the city, and that is sooo important. He has stood up to the federal government on immigration, guns, education and taxes. He has mad NYC's local government the most efficient, responsive, effective of any large city, and as a result, the city is where mayors and other leaders come to learn how things are supposed to be done. And we're supposed to kick him out and expect the same from someone like Weiner - the worst person to work with on Capitol hill? no way.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Thomas: Three words—Department of Building. Now talk to me again about "efficient, responsive, effective."