Monday, March 9, 2009


So now John Liu wants to run for Comptroller. Whoop di do! I guess he saw that the office of Public Advocate was filling up fast and his ratings were in the toilet. As they should also be for the office of Comptroller.

NYC voters should expect that candidates running for the office of Comptroller be on the up and up and have a brain. They should have a pristine record of dealing with finances. That is - they should not be involved with any questionable goings on involving hiding things from the public, supporting fraudulent legislation and supporting legislation that would cost the tax payers money at the expense of a private questionable industry that only politicians and lobbyists support. What industry is that do you say ... well the carriage horse industry ... what else?!


Council Member Liu recently signed on as a sponsor of Intro 653-A, the industry bill that would (among other things) provide the drivers with a rate increase, joining his cohort, David Weprin. Presently the drivers (officially and according to the law) make $34 for 1/2 hour and $10 for each additional 1/4 of an hour. They have not had a raise in 20 years (or so they would want you to think.)

Boo hoo.

The truth is that the industry took this matter into their own hands years ago and charge EXORBITANT rates through their web sites. Did you really think they wanted to wait for the City Council. There is no difference between booking a ride on the web sites and catching one at the hack line. The law applies to both. If you do not believe me, take a look at this web site for NY Tours. $173.95 for 40 minutes!!! Jumping Jehassafeffers .... when according to law, 40 minutes should be $34 for the first 1/2 hour and another $10 for each additional 1/4 hour. So it should be $44 tops. This is outrageous.

What is wrong with you, Mr. Liu and Mr. Weprin? Why are you supporting fraud? Please explain yourselves.

How will you handle the city's money?
If it is anything like this, you should both get a job in the private sector -- try Wall Street. Neither of you deserve to be our Comptroller.

You think this is an anomaly you say? Well take a peek at these two other web sites: Gotham Carriages -- $98 for 40 minutes ... or Manhattan Carriage - they charge $40 for 17 minutes and ask you to call for the price for other rides. Hello! it is $34 for 1/2 hour. Doesn't anyone pay attention. Mr. Liu - Mr. Weprin - what gives with you two? Are you getting some hefty campaign contributions?

OK - now with the rest of this highly questionable legislation.

Take a look at #17-330-j. A bit hard to comprehend? This is what it really means: The ASPCA has been overseeing the carriage industry for like forever. They have peace officer status and can issue violations and tickets. They volunteer their services for free to the city. This bill would get rid of the ASPCA oversight along with any city agency and the police department -- notice the text in brackets that gets removed. Why -- well the ASPCA, one of the more conservative animal welfare organizations is in favor of a ban of the horse-drawn carriage industry in New York City. Although they are not opposed in principle to horse-drawn carriages, they are for NYC because they say that there is NO WAY the industry can operate humanely. Why people like Liu and Weprin are not listening to an organization founded by Henry Bergh, horse advocate, is beyond my comprehension.

I happen to love the ASPCA. They are conservative and do not rush into things. They are solid and not extreme. When they take a position, I generally agree with it. They know about animals, animal issues and the NYC carriage industry. This responsibility should not be taken away from them and given to shady representatives of the carriage industry. Gee, maybe the Teamsters will get the contract.

The gist of this is that the industry would self regulate -- but who would pay for it? Well not them, that's for sure. The RFP would most likely be prepared by the Department of Consumer Affairs or Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ... a contract would be awarded .... and the cost would be picked up by NYC's tax payers. At the expense of what - closing a health clinic for people or a senior citizen center? Yes - that is exactly what will happen!

Is this who you really want for Comptroller? Liu or Weprin. Either they are stupid; they think we are stupid; or they don't care about this.

Can either David Yassky or Melissa Katz do a better job? Only the shadow knows ... but I think anyone who is outraged about what has happened on Wall Street should be just as outraged at this development and think twice before voting for these losers.

Oh BTW - did I mention that Speaker Christine Quinn, Queen of the Slush Fund scandal, is in closed door talks with the industry lobbyists? No? How could I forget? She supports the industry. Of course, no surprise there since her godfather was the late Tom Manton, Emperor of the Queens Democratic Party who "appointed" her speaker.

And you thought this was a democracy? Silly you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"If it's hot, don't sit on it" department

"Consumers and voters are hungering for authenticity like never before."
--pollster John Zogby

It’s not that Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t like people, it’s just that he prefers rich ones. How do we know this? He said so, last week! “If you make more money, you deserve more money," he explained during his weekly radio show. Similarly, his recent refusal to extend food stamp benefits to non-working, able-bodied adults reflects his position that work is the best way to escape poverty. (Fair enough. Still, remember, this is the mayor who in 2001 described asthma as a public health problem that comes from "not knowing how to clean." And the same mayor who explained last summer, "if it's hot, don't sit on it," in regard to scorching hot mats at city playgrounds. A real "people person.") He reserves his affection for investment bankers, traders and others who have lost jobs on Wall Street; they'll be the beneficiaries of his $45 million retraining program.

A recent New York Times editorial described Bloomberg's "tough love" stance on food stamps as "cramped." More like morally constipated, and his undemocratic power play over term limits demonstrates that he is bankrupt of integrity.

Is Bloomberg qualified to get the city out of its financial mess, or did he cause it? And how dearly will his term limits debacle cost him in the polls? We shall see.
Will people finally wake up and get real about electing a mayor? What about William C. Thompson and Anthony Weiner (who were described, along with Christine Quinn, in a Wall Street Journal editorial as "the political equivalent of "The Three Stooges")? What do we know about Tony Avella?
Photo credit: Smith/Daily News