Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why This New York Mayoral Election Is Unlike Any in Decades
National Journal ^ | September 5, 2013 | Matthew Cooper

Posted on 09/09/2013 11:44:21 AM PDT by neverdem

With crime down and with fears of terrorism receding, voters are free to focus on issues such as income inequality and affordable housing—and it's why Bill DeBlasio is the unlikely front-runner.

At 6 feet 5 inches, Bill de Blasio isn’t just the tallest candidate running for mayor of New York. As the front-runner, he’s also become the biggest target. Once something of a liberal long shot, the 52-year-old has become the likely next mayor by being the toughest critic of the current one. De Blasio captured the anti-Michael Bloomberg mood of the city’s Democrats far better than the now-fading Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker who is vying to be the city’s first female mayor—and its first openly gay one. Quinn said, for instance, that she’d keep Bloomberg’s police commissioner, Ray Kelly, the architect of the stop-and-frisk policy.

De Blasio’s progressive surge is remarkable in a city that hasn’t elected a Democratic mayor in 24 years. It’s not that New York is conservative, of course. (President Obama won 81 percent of the vote in 2012.) But crime and safety have driven New York politics into the hands of Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and tough-on-crime Democrats such as Ed Koch. With crime down, New Yorkers are free to turn to progressive issues such as income inequality and affordable housing. It’s telling that curtailing, not beefing up, the police force is a key issue this year.

“This election is not going to be about crime, as some previous elections were,” de Blasio told National Journal last month. “It used to be in New York you worried about getting mugged. But today’s mugging is economic. Can you afford your rent?” With the influx of moneyed professionals into urban cores in Manhattan, D.C., and elsewhere, the issues at play in this race could be a harbinger of political battles elsewhere.

A political operative-turned-politician, de Blasio boasts ties to Hillary Rodham Clinton (he managed her 2000 Senate bid) and countless other New York Dems, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo (they worked together at the Housing and Urban Development Department). With his wife, Chirlane McCray, an African-American writer who identified herself as a lesbian until they married, he has a personal story that goes beyond being an outer-borough Italian white guy. His son, Dante, sports big hair and was the centerpiece of an ad denouncing Bloomberg and giving the campaign what’s been called “Fro-mentum.”

Now that New Yorkers are no longer focused on their personal safety—whether threatened by robbers or terrorists—they have the liberty to focus on the kinds of issues that de Blasio is raising in what he incessantly dubs his “Tale of Two Cities” campaign. He’s called for a tax on those earning more than $500,000. He was an early critic of Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy, under which police have dramatically increased the number of individuals detained on probable cause. By making himself the anti-Bloomberg, de Blasio is not only leading the pack, he’s also got a shot at avoiding a runoff election.

There’s plenty to back up de Blasio’s claim of inequality. By one index, Gotham is the most unequal city in the U.S., and inequality has grown four times faster than in the rest of the country since 1980. These days, just 1 percent of New Yorkers take in one-third of the city’s income—about twice the national average. The high cost of housing has exacerbated the differences. The question for New York and the nation is what to do about it. Through any number of policies, such as proposals to implement a surtax on higher incomes and to stop funding cuts to schools and hospitals, de Blasio wants to rebuild the middle class.

But the trends that have driven inequality nationally, even globally—among them, the cost of higher education, global competition, and punishing conditions for dropouts—aren’t easily remedied. In New York, the explosive growth of the financial sector, even after the banking crisis, has helped widen the divide. De Blasio is not Huey Long and he’s not wonky, but he’s got a good knack for finding symbols of the new Gilded Age, recently tweeting about one chic spot offering a $350 steak. His opposition to Bloomberg’s “congestion pricing” tax for cars entering Manhattan helps him gain currency in Queens and Staten Island.

De Blasio is surging now, yet when we spoke with him in mid-August at a Gramercy Park coffee shop, his entourage totaled one guy, and no polls had him in the lead. (Anthony Weiner had imploded by then, but the polls had yet to reflect that.) Asked about crime and whether the city could slip back to the bad old days, De Blasio emphasized vigilance but suggested that the progress wouldn’t erode. “The foundation we have now is fantastic,” he said.

No candidate used to utter the words "fantastic" and "crime" in the same sentence, but the campaign traces the cultural shift that has transformed New York from a city of romance (think of the 1957 film An Affair to Remember), to a city of dread (1971's Panic in Needle Park; 1974's Death Wish), back to a modern urban playground (2009's New York, I Love You). Koch, Giuliani, and Bloomberg rode the Needle Park wave as long as it could hold, but times are changing.

The open question is whether New York’s situation is unique. Would a de Blasio candidacy work in a city such as Chicago, where crime is still high, or places struggling to lure business, like a Saginaw or a Stockton? But in cities such as Washington, where yoga studios, condos, and organic markets now crowd out longtime residents, a campaign built around inequality could find some traction—assuming a candidate like de Blasio can really do anything about it.

This article appears in the Sep. 7, 2013, edition of National Journal as Unequal Time.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: New York
KEYWORDS: deblasio; newyork

1 posted on 09/09/2013 11:44:21 AM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Well, since there have been two black on white random hate crime attacks there in the last 2 days (with both of the perpetrators proclaiming their hatred of whites before attacking) and a huge upsurge in crime in Central Park and other formerly safe public spaces in Manhattan, I’d say New Yorkers should think twice about that.

On the other hand, de Blasio is married to a black woman, and they have a son who has been appearing in ads for his father, so maybe he will defuse some of the anti-white (and anti-Hispanic and anti-Asian) hostility generated by Obama among blacks there.


2 posted on 09/09/2013 11:51:31 AM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Big mistake early on: Quinn wants to do away with stop and frisk. Unless she’s lying on her lousy tv ads.


3 posted on 09/09/2013 11:54:35 AM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: livius

Why is the kid walking around looking like JJ Walker in a 1970s sit com? And talk about pushing the race card in your face!


4 posted on 09/09/2013 11:56:02 AM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: miss marmelstein
Big mistake early on: Quinn wants to do away with stop and frisk. Unless she’s lying on her lousy tv ads.

She's a moron. She can't help herself.

5 posted on 09/09/2013 11:56:14 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Zhang Fei

Ah, but deeply attractive!


6 posted on 09/09/2013 11:57:56 AM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: miss marmelstein

The beauty of this is that the GOP candidate can appeal to stop-and-frisk voters. Given the immutability of gun control in NYC, most moderates and conservatives there probably support stop-and-frisk.


7 posted on 09/09/2013 11:58:10 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Don’t care. Like every other liberal mayor, he will screw it up with his nanny state agenda and then some Republican will have to clean up his mess.


8 posted on 09/09/2013 11:59:35 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Make today a great day. Insult a liberal.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

What the opening of this piece should have said:

“With crime down and with fears of terrorism receding, voters are free to focus on issues such as income inequality and affordable housing—and forget about how crime got down and fears of terrorism receded in the first place and elect a leftist moron who will restore crime to the streets and drive business away turning places like Times Square back into the filth infested dumps they once were.”

And so the cycle of idiocy continues. The leftists destroy, the conservatives are called in to rebuild, the voters forget how things got rebuilt and elect the liberals. Wash, rinse, repeat.


9 posted on 09/09/2013 12:02:40 PM PDT by FlipWilson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: miss marmelstein

Well, his look may actually be a little more effective. He looks like a leftover black hippie preserved in amber...but that’s ok, because he might have more credibility that way, and in any case, that “look” is coming back.

When I was a teenager, most of the guys at the leftwing special public high school I attended in NY wanted to look like lefties from the 1930s (their parents’ generation) and even brought out cloth caps that hadn’t been worn by real working men since - well, the 1930s. Once in a while, I’d see caps like that on some ancient mannie in a Riker’s cafeteria on Broadway, but otherwise I saw them only on my fellow students.


10 posted on 09/09/2013 12:13:07 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: FlipWilson

Exactamundo!

The pea brained liberals have a hard time connecting cause and effect. Might it be that the cause of the supposedly lower crime rate is the “stop-and-frisk policy” which de Blasio said he would quickly do away with?


11 posted on 09/09/2013 12:19:48 PM PDT by aquila48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

New York’s renaissance was in large part due to the money made in financial services over the last thirty years. That this created more “inequality” is a natural consequence. The only way anyone could reduce “inequality” in NY is to drive away those people and those businesses. Which would make everything more equal, but worse.

Unless of course this is all just the usual political pandering.


12 posted on 09/09/2013 12:25:30 PM PDT by buwaya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Has any bicycle, anywhere, ever been peddled backward, as quickly as this administration has backpeddled it’s various policy statments, since it’s inception?


13 posted on 09/09/2013 12:29:44 PM PDT by G Larry (Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Psalms 109:8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: livius

That’s very funny. Yes, it may be that black boys want to look like Huey Newton. I think they look like crap.(It’s also very, very difficult to maintain!)


14 posted on 09/09/2013 1:02:20 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: miss marmelstein

Plus it’s horrible to sit behind in a movie theater.


15 posted on 09/09/2013 1:04:43 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Zhang Fei

NYC has changed, in my opinion. I don’t think a Republican (liberal, of course) can get elected until the city returns to the depths of the 1970s. Of course, Bloomberg allowed the squeegees and homeless back into the city (as well as Occupy Wall St.) but I was the only one to notice.


16 posted on 09/09/2013 1:05:42 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: livius

Hah! I had a friend who would always ask big haired people who sat in front of her to MOVE. I always cringed but secretly admired her crust.


17 posted on 09/09/2013 1:07:06 PM PDT by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: livius

Huge upsurge in Central Park crime??? Hahaha. Good one.


18 posted on 09/09/2013 1:09:01 PM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: thefactor

There has actually been a big increase in robbery and rape in Central Park in the last year - in fact, we seem to have gone back to the “corridor” model for various events there (a protected corridor through which people were supposed to exit).

Look up the statistics.


19 posted on 09/09/2013 1:47:26 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: livius
Funny you should ask. I have the stats right here:

Through September 1st, there have been six rapes in Central Park. In 2012, there were zero through September 1st. Six rapes in eight months. It's only a lot when you compare it to zero.

Through September 1st, there have been five robberies in Central Park. In 2012, there were seven robberies through September 1st.

There have been six burglaries in 2013 versus one in 2012. All in all, there have been 74 "major" crimes in 2013 as opposed to 67 in 2012. Don't look at percentages. Look at actual numbers. There is basically no "major" crime in Central Park.

20 posted on 09/09/2013 1:57:44 PM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: thefactor

It’s a lot if you were one of the people raped.


21 posted on 09/09/2013 2:26:32 PM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: EQAndyBuzz
Don’t care.

I care! De Blasio is great for the cause of freedom because he will push more NYC businesses to move to America.

22 posted on 09/09/2013 2:36:18 PM PDT by Reeses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Guiliani cured NY and the City couldn’t wait to elect liberals and statists. They deserve de Blasio.


23 posted on 09/09/2013 6:31:30 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: miss marmelstein

I agree. The leftists, immigrants and sodomites have infected the city. Giuliani was the best mayor in a century. Crime went down and the city was clean and prosperous. Bloomberg and his smoking, salt, gun, knife, large soda, excess fat, and fourth amendment bans have crossed so far over the line that people have just rolled over. Stop and frisk is unconstitutional. Period.

If it were not for Wall Street, the city would collapse from lack of revenues. Did you know that New York has a tax especially to confiscate wealth from the banks?

Perhaps Lhota can step in after all the democrats have eaten each other alive.


24 posted on 09/09/2013 7:20:46 PM PDT by NoKoolAidforMe (I'm clinging to my God and my guns. You can keep the change.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Zhang Fei

WHO is the Republican candidate for mayor...NO ONE??


25 posted on 09/10/2013 3:12:45 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: livius

Yes, but were those rapists SMOKING in Central Park? We couldn’t have that, now could we?

Man, do I hate this city. Born and raised there and live on Long Island now, but I’m still not far enough away. One day, I will escape.

I particularly like DiBlasio’s openness in his TV ads: “I will tax the rich to pay for programs for the poor.”

Bah! And they’ll fall for it, too, like always.

Regards,


26 posted on 09/10/2013 3:41:52 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: VermiciousKnid

Sorry for the typo on this moron’s name. It should be de Blasio.

Regards,


27 posted on 09/10/2013 3:43:34 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: VermiciousKnid

I love NYC- I grew up and lived most of my life there, and I still go back regularly. But every visit since Bloomberg has gotten stranger and stranger. I think law-abiding folks feel very “monitored” at every moment, and unless you’re a raving liberal (they like to be monitored), that’s not a pleasant feeling. Every little unimportant detail of our behavior is subject to oversight, all the way down to our diet, and not only in indoor spaces, but even outside in the parks. I would never have believed that could have happened in NY.

Yet the “rights” of criminals are firmly defended, and it’s pretty clear that they don’t feel monitored at all and in fact that the positions of de Blasio and others like him with regard to “stop and frisk” are actually giving the thugs a real sense of specialness and empowerment.

How crazy is that? Intimidate the harmless New Yorker going out for a Danish or (Heaven forbid!) a cigarette, and hover solicitously over the gang-banger who has a stolen weapon practically hanging out of his pocket while he looks for someone to kill.

And then they think they’re going to extort any more from “the rich” for putting up with that? Forget it.


28 posted on 09/10/2013 5:12:20 AM PDT by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: livius

You hit the nail right on the head, Livius. I appreciate that you love the City (my Daddy still does, too), but I’ve had it. The liberal mindset has spoiled the water for the rest of the state, and its infestation spreads far and wide.

The minute my husband begins the retirement process, I will start packing my bags. I’m already scoping out possibilities for a new home base for us, and it won’t be anywhere near NYC.

I have a dream, Livius. A dream that one day...one fine day...I’ll be represented in Congress by someone for whom I’ve actually voted. Do you know that in my 50 years, that has NEVER happened?

...sigh...

Regards,

PS: I do like the Mets, though! Been a fan my whole life. LOL


29 posted on 09/10/2013 5:26:00 AM PDT by VermiciousKnid (Sic narro nos totus!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson