Friday, June 5, 2009

Bloomberg’s Competition

Sometimes we just have to do a quick one to point out something that is just so choice. With all the flurry of news going on this little tidbit might go unnoticed by too many if we don’t help point it out. (Flurry-wise ESDC head Marisa Lago- working on Atlantic Yards is out of a job right on the heels of Frank Gehry getting booted from Atlantic Yards.)

Nobody can write during a flurry of news faster than Norman Oder (Atlantic Yards Report) and still make the super-trenchant passing remark in the midst of all his other meticulously astute cataloguing of government chicanery. (Mr. Oder has four posts up today on current news no one else has caught up with, including Daniel Goldstein’s gutsy asking of questions at Forest City Enterprises’ annual shareholders’ meeting.)

Here is what is not to be missed. Reporting on a Bloomberg radio interview from earlier today, Mr. Oder asks (and answers) the question: Bloomberg likes competition? (He doesn’t.) Here is the bit from Mr. Order’s post wherein the mayor, ever dedicated to his friend Bruce Ratner,* is still finding nice things to say about Bruce’s Atlantic Yards Nets arena which has degenerated into an airplane hanger/planting shed.

MB [Bloomberg]: And if you want to have a circus while somebody else has the Ice Capades... you’ll have another venue. The Dolans might not like competition, but competition’s good.

Bloomberg likes competition? He's the guy who backed Forest City Ratner's project in 2003, a project that would involve 8.5 acres of crucial public property, without suggesting that the Vanderbilt Yard should come up for bid.
(* Bloomberg’s support it seems is definitely ad hominem, support Bruce Ratner, the man, no matter what the project is- The same way the ESDC contracts were written.)

Mr. Bloomberg likes competition? He is the guy whose direct campaign expenditures have already exceeded everything that all his “competitors” in the mayoral race will spend collectively to run against him during his entire campaign. And Bloomberg even denies he has started his campaign! Rent for his campaign headquarters exceeds everything one of the other main candidates has already raised. Plus he is using his incumbency to mobilize city funds in service of his campaign and he is spending over $235 million a year during the campaign on charitable expenditures that are used for political purposes. Beyond that, by virtue of being mayor he controls city charities that are similarly pressed into service for political ends. This is the mayor whose top staff calls up the recipients of charity to warn that they had better not support his rivals or they will be cut off. This is the mayor who uses fake push poll calls to politically emasculate another of his political rivals before that rival has even gotten started. And what is this we hear about Bloomberg using influence with media owners so that profiles of his campaign opponents don’t get into print to tell the public that there might actually be alternatives?

Bloomberg thinks competition is good? Ridiculous!*

(* What Mr. Bloomberg said about the question of a reporter asking whether Mr. Bloomberg would save the public money by limited his campaign spending to the level of his rivals are permitted to spend.)

No comments: