From Bloomberg Watch:
For all the talk of Bloomberg the power-player who at least gets things done without worrying about the unions and special interests, he’s been unable to win any political battle with anyone he couldn’t literally buy off. Like Sheldon Silver, who (thankfully) killed the West Side Stadium and (annoyingly) ended all that “Congestion Pricing” talk. And those unions and special interests were just bought off, which worked fine back when the boom whose end Bloomberg never saw coming was in full swing.
And about that stadium: what the fuck was that? And the Olympics thing? After bitching about Giuliani’s disgraceful subsidizing of the fucking Yankees, Bloomberg both turns around completely on that particular issue and attempts to build the fucking Jets a stadium, so that New York could get an Olympics that it did not want. And that failed, and everyone forgot about it. Meanwhile: 40,000 people in shelters! Bloomberg could personally buy every single one of those people an apartment in a vacant Williamsburg luxury condo building and still have enough left over to bribe a City Council member into supporting his fifth term.
And those luxury Williamsbug condo buildings, by the way, that stand vacant? Yes, well, that was part of this brilliant plan to utilize rezoning to spur the free market (which always allocates resources more efficiently than anything else in the history of civilization but sometimes it needs government help, like with tax breaks and stuff) to create affordable housing all over the waterfront. This did not work, as developers decided to just not bother to build all those affordable housing units they were supposed to build. More than 2,200 promised new affordable apartments in Williamsburg and Greenpoint have turned out to be 768, 20 percent of which are renovations of apartments that were already affordable. There are lots more of these stories.
His record on housing, like his record on nearly everything having to do with the outer boroughs and poverty and human beings who make less than $100,000 a year, has been a ridiculous disgrace. His entire philosophy of development solving everything turned out to be precisely, 100% wrong, and suddenly the city itself was driving the real estate boom, driving up land prices to absurd levels across the boroughs and tearing down neighborhoods only to replace them with vacant lots and half-filled cheaply built hideous high-rises once the bottom fell out of the City Hall-inflated market. But hey, we got the High Line and 311! So you can sleep in that fancy park while you call 311 asking if there is room in a shelter because you can no longer afford your home.
From NYC Council Watch:
But while Mayor Bloomberg can’t be bought, he can buy: the incorruptible is the ultimate corrupter. This is the truth that is so evident that it passes without comment. The Mayor gave the Independence Party $1.2 million for its endorsement—this is just business as usual, nobody cares. The Mayor bypassed City regulations to give millions of public dollars to select groups in Brooklyn, and then lied and tried to suborn Simcha Felder to claim he requested the money—the story disappeared, nobody cares.
So if you are Miguel Martinez and you backdate a few receipts to the tune of a couple grand, you go to federal prison. But if you are Mike Bloomberg and you ask an elected official to commit fraud and backdate a legal request, nobody follows it up, even though Mr. Felder refused adamantly to go along with the Mayor’s cover story.
So there we have it folks. The third term that Mayor Bloomberg wanted was voted on in hugger-mugger under highly irregular procedures. Almost all of the Council Members who voted for it will retain their cozy seats, thankfully with a few egregious exceptions. The Mayor will likely keep being Mayor, so he can continue to bully New Yorkers with his bogus City Beautiful projects and revenue schemes. And civic democracy will die another little death.