Tag Archives: Michael Bloomberg

Occupy Evicted

16 Nov

Early yesterday morning, under cover of night and by excluding and/or arresting the press, Mayor Bloomberg ordered the New York City police to clear Occupy Wall Street out of Zuccotti Park, and sanitation to clean it.

I’ve always had my doubts about the First Amendment implications of Zuccotti being a privately owned park – to my mind, the protesters would be on a more solid legal footing if they were gathered on public property. In any event, to my mind, yesterday’s expulsion was violative of the Constitutional protections for political speech and assembly. The government kicked them out – not the private park owner.

That Bloomberg did it under cover of night and deliberately excluded the press makes this even more ominous – what were they hiding?

While most media coverage of the Occupy movement has been dismissive, or packed with unwanted advice, in my opinion the lumpendemocratic, unorganized (if not disorganized) nature of the protest is exactly right. As Matt Taibbi points out, Occupy isn’t for any one specific thing – it is demonstrating against the general wrong direction of a superficial, lost society; an economy that has been systematically transformed into a bastardization of free market capitalism. The 99% get the crumbs while 1% of Americans belong to a privileged brown-shoe mafia that enforces its advantage through buying off politicians.

Although Occupy had obtained a temporary restraining order blocking their eviction, a State Supreme Court judge upheld the eviction later in the day, stating that the park was for the benefit of all the public, and that Occupy posed a health and safety hazard.

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Occupy is allowed back in the park, but not with tents, tarps, or large bags or camping equipment.

The earlier TRO:

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The city’s response:

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In Buffalo, the Occupy movement has set up in Niagara Square as a 24-hour demonstration. It’s been invited to stay by city government, and finds support among the unionized police and fire departments. There’s no reason to evict what’s become a movement.

And to those who say that Occupy needs to immediately set up a list of demands and figure out what it’s all about, I can’t think of a more succinct, relevant, accurate, or reasonable slogan than “sh1t is all f*cked up and sh1t”.

Yesterday on WECK 1230-AM

31 Mar

I joined Corey Griswold for the free-wheeling, mid-day local micro-talk show “1230 at 12:30” to discuss the Partnership for Public Spaces’ remarkable PowerPoint presentaion and the power of 10 and how we prioritize matters in this city.

At 4pm, Brad Riter and Chris Smith interviewed Green Party candidate in NY-26 Ian Murphy.  Murphy is running what has long been my dream campaign – substance mixed with snark. He has a finely honed and profane disdain for things that suck and are stupid, and an articulate passion for things that he believes to be important.

Remember how a week or so ago, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said something about how Buffalo wishes it had our problems? I didn’t do a post about it because I knew that the usual local suspects would express outrageous outrage while ignoring the fact that, to a certain degree Bloomberg was absolutely right.  Not that we wish we had an overcrowded and overpriced island of millions, but that we have a crisis of too much supply and not enough demand, while New York has the exact opposite.

New York Magazine asked Murphy about this, because frankly what else is a New York City-based journalist going to ask someone from Buffalo at this time?

Mayor Bloomberg recently apologized for saying that Buffalo is full of empty space and implying that it was not a very enticing place to live. Apology accepted?
No, he shouldn’t apologize for that. Buffalo fucking sucks. And everyone here knows it. There’s a lot of good things about Buffalo, but it is full of empty space, it’s full of urban decay, everyone’s leaving, and instead of putting on a cheery, happy face and denying it, let’s admit it to ourselves and make it better, yeah?

How do you think saying “Buffalo sucks” is going to go over with people who live in Buffalo?
Well, Buffalo’s not in my district, so Buffalo can kiss my ass.

Oh, I thought you had some northern suburbs of Buffalo in there.
Ah, we do, we do. I mean, I love Buffalo. I grew up here, and you better write that there’s a lot of good things about it because there is. But there are a lot of problems. There are a lot of empty buildings, there is a lot of empty space, and there are not a lot of economic opportunities. That’s one of the reasons I am running, is to bring that to the region. I don’t think that’s something to apologize for. I mean, did he apologize for calling Irish people drunks yet? Did he do that?

He kind of gave a half apology.
I was about three fifths into my bottle of scotch when I read that, and I was eating my potatoes, and, uh … I was mightily upset.

So you didn’t have a problem with that.
No, I think it was just a joke that didn’t go over, and I think people are just way too thin-skinned about everything.

Indeed. Murphy is absolutely right that Buffalo needs to stop strutting around like a peacock, pretending like it’s on exactly the right track, when the objective evidence proves the exact opposite.  While Mayor Brown whinges about being “pissed” about Bloomberg’s response, he should instead be focused on slowing – if not reversing – the precipitous decline of the city over which he presides. There’s civic pride, and then there’s mindless cheerleading. We need less of the latter.

Bringing us back to the WECK theme, when this Bloomberg thing became “news”, I talked with Brad Riter about it.  Fast Forward to 20:35.

Paladino and Pecuniary Peccadilloes of Pigeonesque Proportions

4 Jun

It was reported yesterday that Carl Paladino, the embarrassing Buffalonian gubernatorial candidate, had retained the services of John Haggerty to compile petition signatures at a prospective cost of at least $500,000. Local reports merely identified Haggerty as a “veteran political operative”. But downstate media also use adjectives such as “disgraced“, and referred to Paladino’s cozying up to a Haggerty-backed rogue Queens GOP faction as a “faux pas“. In Albany in May, the words, “subject of a grand jury probe” were appended to Haggerty’s name.

Who is John Haggerty?

A petitions expert from Forest Park in Queens, who used to work for ex-Governor and utter failure George Pataki. Mr. Haggerty is closely connected with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and is currently reportedly under investigation by the Manhattan DA for receiving a $750,000 payout from Bloomberg’s campaign fund that was funneled through the state Independence Party. Haggerty’s use of that money is at issue, and he is the subject of a grand jury probe. He also leads a breakaway faction of the Queens GOP, acting as an outer-boroughs Republican version of Erie County Democratic nuisance Steve Pigeon – right down to the Independence Party ties.

Haggerty is represented by former AG Dennis Vacco.

Interesting campaign hire by a guy who purports to be above the political fray. With every passing day, Paladino proves himself to be a bigger and bigger phony. He’s just as much a political guy as any of them.

(Photo Credit NewYorkBlotter.com)