And Then There Was One?

Monday, March 16, 2009

If Anthony Weiner drops out of the mayoral race, William Thompson, New York City Comptroller, is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. What does he plan for NYC?


William Thompson

Comments [40]

John from in NYC

What happened to City Councilman Tony Avella? Is anybody listening to him? He has some good ideas and should not be taken lightly.

Mar. 17 2009 11:19 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Regarding Comment #37- Which asks what is preventing a field of Bloomberg oppenents from emerging? Regarding Comment #37- Which asks what is preventing a field of Bloomberg opponents from emerging?- See comments Nos. 19 and 36 above.

Then consider the scale of Bloomberg’s campaign spending together with the “charitable” spending that is abusively used for political purposes. Bloomberg is expected to directly spend more $100 million on his political campaign plus he is spending more than $235 million PER YEAR on the private “charities” being subjected to political use (the campaign is a multi-year endeavor). Plus, City Hall controlled taxpayer funds are going being routed to other questionable uses making his deployed financial funding armada even more formidable. (Following the links for a full story see, for instance, yesterday’s Atlantic Yards Report’s story about how the Markowitz political publication of Markowitz’s “Brooklyn” was funded: Sunday, March 15, 2009, The Brooklyn Paper and its new Courier-Life sibling: Markowitz, Ratner, and advertising.

Mar. 16 2009 11:25 AM
anonyme from ny

We have the power to top buying this crap food and agrabusiness will learn to do a better job - Argentina has healthy large scale livestock farming - organic beef on pasture. Seek out local food. If it costs more, think about how much less you pay at the doctor's office.

Mar. 16 2009 11:19 AM
jennifer from manhattan

I don't understand why more politicians of stature and substance don't want to run for mayor. I think people are quite tired of Mr. Bloomberg and, although he is well-funded, is defeat is entirely possible.

Mar. 16 2009 10:46 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

From the Times:

“Last year, when [Deputy Mayor} Ms. Harris became aware that some people in the arts world who had benefitted from Mr. Bloomberg's philanthropy had given political donations to one of his early campaign rivals, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, she called them and demanded to know what they were thinking.”

See the Times: Bloomberg's New Deputy Has a Velvet Fist, by Jennifer Steinhauer, December 6, 2005.

For more overall analysis about this, Ms. Harris’s role in managing the mayor’s charities and City Hall controlled real estate decisions, the insensitivity to conflicts of interests, and the way in which Bloomberg routes to his charities, funds he takes back from real estate developer interests that receive discretionary taxpayer funds from City Hall see Noticing New York’s:

Monday, February 2, 2009
The Good News IS the Bad News: Thanks A lot for Mayor Bloomberg’s “Charity”

Mar. 16 2009 10:41 AM
Leo from Queens

Michael White's point (#19) is a great point. This is how Bloomberg bought his reelection in 2005. This is also how he got term limits revoked, by threatening and pressuring wavering councilmembers and by intimidating non-profits getting his donations and contracts from the City to go and testify in his favor.

It's ok to use your money for charity, but it's really dirty to then extort and force these charities to do your bidding.

Mar. 16 2009 10:40 AM
Leo from Queens

Darius #25 - My point is that the the voting process is outdated and prone to mistakes and fraud.
Also, NYC doesn't really have real elections as most posts are filled by a Democrat and these people run unopposed.

Even during Bloomberg's election. Most of the press was against his opponent and most of the coverage was so biased.
let's face it, the Republican and Democratic parties in NYC function just like organized crime without the hits and the busted knee caps

Mar. 16 2009 10:34 AM
Darius from Prospect Heights

NCLB has no government or civic requirements either. Testing can't be the sole "indicator" of child's education otherwise it just breeds conformity amongst young people. New York City can teach us all a lot of things outside the classroom.

Mar. 16 2009 10:32 AM
Leo from Queens

Hugh: This is Thompson's website:

Mar. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Bud from Manhattan

Speaking of AIG, why aren't the executives in the Credit Default Swap area being arrested for theft and fraud, rather than granted multi-million dollar bonuses?

Mar. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Wendy from Riverdale

Re the Comptroller's statements on recent traffic enforcement actions (parking tickets and cell phone violations): yes, these do raise revenue, but they also enforce the law. A single double-parked vehicle on Lexingon Ave. slows traffic for blocks; two double-parked vehicles reduce the traffic to one lane.

People who feed the parking meter all day in order to avoid finding an alternate-side parking spot or paying for a parking lot are defeating the purpose of meters, which is to allow short-term parking.

Parking during street-cleaning time prevents the street sweepers from coming through. (And having lived on a small block where that happened frequently, I can attest that it makes a big difference.)

People who talk on a cell phone - with or without hands - while driving tend to be dangerous, especially if they're holding the phone. How much has the accident rate increased because of that?

Once again, what's wrong with enforcing these laws? Are we only focusing on rich people and corporations because they're easier targets now?

Mar. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Marjorie Hirsch

Brian why don't you hold Thompson's feet to the fire re: his altogether mixed message concerning the Mayor's running again. On one hand he's trying a completely bizarre legalistic approach (voting rights act), and then he adopts a moralistic approach regarding the mayor's not confining himself to the campaign finance support. That's his preference, as it was Barach Obama's. Come on Brian, you just collapsed in the face of Thompson's self-serving discussion. And then pressing him on Weiner -- why?

Mar. 16 2009 10:30 AM
Phil from Queens

Wow, almost everyone on the board is against the Oligarch Bloomie -- maybe he will lose or at least be so down in the polls that he will restore the $400 bribe/rebate to home owners in NYC. I'd like the check, but won't be voting for him. I'm proud to say I never have. He is another fake, phony and fraud.

Mar. 16 2009 10:29 AM
robert from park slope

Re AIG bonuses: I understand that contractual obligations require payment. Still, it seems that unions have often been forced to accept changes to contracts in extraordinary circumstances. Also, the government could void the contracts by withdrawing its support from AIG and forcing the company into bankruptcy.

Mar. 16 2009 10:28 AM
Brian from Brooklyn

AIG is 80% government-owned. Not %40.

Mar. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Darius from Prospect Heights

If you think NY has shady elections you've never been to the South. Thompson has a fair shot at mayor. Bloomberg got stale years ago.

Mar. 16 2009 10:25 AM
Jenny from brooklyn

After reading Michael Barbaro's article in the NYT a few weeks ago about the intricacies of the campaign finances laws in NYC I was struck by the fact that it is illegal to receive funding from a corporation or corporate entity.

Given that Mayor Bloomberg is a one-man corporation, isn't his self-funding of his own campaign the same as receiving funds from a corporation? Why is that legal (forget about fair)?

I've been curious about that.


Mar. 16 2009 10:24 AM
JB from The Bronx

Bravo Comptroller Thompson! The property taxes on my small house in The Bronx have doubled in the eight years I've owned it. The value of the property has barely increased. My salary has barely increased. You make a sensible and important point.

Mar. 16 2009 10:23 AM
hjs from 11211

well i hope the city/state can go after tax cheats like brian 14.

Mar. 16 2009 10:23 AM

Mr. Thompson Another Andrew Cuomo, Caroline Kennedy and Pedro Espada Jr. That came into political office because his father was a judicial judge and feels entitlement to public office because of family political background I say Hell no, No way as Mayor.

Mar. 16 2009 10:23 AM
Phil from Queens

Now that Tony Weiner has dropped out I will be supporting Mr. Thompson against that uncaring oligarch posing as our Mayor; but I do take exception to his characterization of "people beating money" in the presidential campaign. Let's face it Barry broke his promise to the American people and spent between 640 - 800 million dollars against Sen. McCain's 84 million in public financing, yet Bill is in favor of public financing in NYC, how strange. PS - Brian, the Mayor appears on the great John Gambling morning show on WOR 710 AM on every Friday.

Mar. 16 2009 10:22 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

It is important that, as the Times has reported, Bloomberg has a history, acting through Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, of using his charities to punish people (by withdrawing charitable contributions) who contribute to his political opponents.

It is a vicious circle because the mayor also takes contributions to his charities from those in the real estate industry receiving city funds he controls.

Mar. 16 2009 10:22 AM
Leo from Queens

Brian, The City is not "nickle and diming". it's $100's of dollars a pop. Specially for the working poor. For the rich that is trump change!

Mar. 16 2009 10:22 AM

Robert from Park Slope (#9): Couldn't have put it better myself!

Also, #12 is spot-on as well. NYS tax policy is way off-base.

Mar. 16 2009 10:21 AM
Leo from Queens

I like mayor Bloomberg's view that the wealthy are very sensitive and needed and that they need to be treated with fear and deference, otherwise they will flee.
The middle class and working class can be taxed to death and shaken down for money at every corner and that's ok- They are tough. But the rich, we need to be sensitive to their feelings because they are fickle.. I guess it takes one to know one!

Mar. 16 2009 10:20 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

As a percentage of our _earned_ income, we already pay more in taxes than the billionaires and millionaires. The super-rich derive most of their income from capital gains, taxed at a much lower rate. In the 1950s, top marginal tax rates were over 80%!

As for people leaving, what about the people who have to leave because of foreclosure or because they can't afford their rent or because they have no work, or because they cannot deal with the two hours commuting from reduced bus and subway service?

Mar. 16 2009 10:19 AM
brian from NYC

If city taxes get raised (and in any scenario, I'm in this higher bracket) I'll simply open a drop box in westchester and make that my new address. I am not alone in this.

Mar. 16 2009 10:18 AM
fuva from Harlem, NY

Bloomberg is the richest person in NYC. The correlation between that and his ability to invalidate term limits enacted by the people AND his ability to buy a third term as the most powerful person in NYC is direct. If he is really suspending his campaign and questioning his run, Weiner is enabling this overt display of purchased power. At the very least, this is a betrayal of his proclaimed advocacy for the working class. At the most, it is...suspicious.

Mar. 16 2009 10:18 AM
Anon from Manhattan

Today, for a single filer, the top New York State personal income tax rate of 6.85% starts on adjusted gross income over $20,000 per year. That means a NYC police officer making $40,361 is in the same tax bracket as former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, who made $83.1 million in 2007.

Mar. 16 2009 10:17 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Like anyone with serious money would leave the city and live in New Hampshire. Nonsense.

Mar. 16 2009 10:17 AM
Julie from West Village

Do you really think all of the Money Managers who contributed to your campaign would have contributed all of that money to you if you, for example, were running for Public Advocate?

Mar. 16 2009 10:17 AM
robert from park slope

Mayor Bloomberg has been a very competent, effective mayor. Nevertheless, his -- and the City Council's -- disregard for the public will as expressed in the term limits law leads me to support anyone who runs against him.

Mar. 16 2009 10:16 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

Where is William Thompson's campaign website so that we who believe in democracy can support him?

Mar. 16 2009 10:16 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

Why is nobody mentioning Bloomberg's ties to Wall Street and his long support for deregulation (which played a key role in the current financial disaster)?

Mar. 16 2009 10:14 AM
Leo from Queens

Can you ask Mr. THompson on his take about tax and 'fees' policy in the City and the pressure being put on the middle and working class in order to protect that very wealthy in this City?

Mar. 16 2009 10:14 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

New York doesn't need a king or a petty dictator of the kind that Bloomberg has made clear he wants to be. His end-run around the democratic will of the people is sufficient reason to vote against Bloomberg.

As for Weiner, Obama didn't hold that view as he ran for President. Neither did Hillary Clinton.

How many terms is Bloomberg planning to buy? Mayor for life?

Mar. 16 2009 10:12 AM
JB from brooklyn

Thompson is sounding like a real whiner.

Mar. 16 2009 10:12 AM
Leo from Queens

Unfortunately, the Democratic party in NYC is corrupt and inept. NYC and NY State are the most undemocratic and politically corrupt places in the World. MOST Third World countries have more open competitive elections than those conducted in NY

Mar. 16 2009 10:10 AM
Zak from Washington Heights

Let's hope you're a little more sane than Chicago's Big Bill Thompson of the 1920s. That means if you have a debate, it's got to be against ACTUAL opponents, not rats posing as your opponents.

Mar. 16 2009 10:09 AM
Charles from Brooklyn

Until the Democratic party in NY picks a new Democrat, an Obama Democrat, to run for mayor, such as Mr. Weiner, the most progressive city in the world will be relegated under the thumb of the republican party and its accompanying philosophy.

Mar. 16 2009 10:00 AM

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