The most heated rhetoric came when the candidates differed on the issue of the massive Willets Point redevelopment and the use of eminent domain, the process by which a government can seize privately owned land for the public good.
De Blasio said he supported eminent domain in “very certain circumstances,” including the Queens project.
“I think it is valid if it creates a substantial number of new jobs and affordable housing, and I think Willets Point does that,” he said.
Gioia called the practice “absolutely wrong.”
“The very presence of it changes the terms of the bargain,” he said, comparing a municipality with eminent domain power to a gun-wielding Al Capone.
Green openly supported the Willets Point redevelopment.
“If it comes to eminent domain, the city should go out of its way to relocate those small businesses within the community, to the extent it can,” he said.
Siegel decried eminent domain abuse and called Willets Point “unconstitutional.”
“The city did not provide services to the businesses out there,” he said.
Sparks flew as the candidates spent some time squabbling over the finer points of the Supreme Court decision that enabled public-private redevelopments via eminent domain.
DeBlasio: How is this a "certain circumstance"? The entire project is uncertain - no developer, no plan, no approval for the highway ramps, the number of jobs keeps shrinking and the affordable housing certainly will too (it always does) and the city is broke.
Gioia: If it is so wrong, why did you vote in favor of it? Not only did the mayor put the gun on the table, but you loaded it for him. Asshole.
Green: "To the extent that it can?" What the hell does that mean? The city can just say, "Well, we tried, I guess we'll just have to send you packing now... As a consolation prize, here's 1/4 of what your property's worth, now get out."
These three want to advocate for us with attitudes like this? Doesn't sound like they'll stand up for private citizens if they stand in the way of despotic development plans.
Looks like there's only one choice.
VOTE FOR NORMAN SIEGEL.