SoHo Journal: The Magazine of Arts and Politics in SoHo and the Hamptons Soho Politics Blog Hamptons Politics Blog

August 1st, 2007


by Trip Plunkitt

In case you live under a rock and haven’t read or heard any of Presidential hopeful Rudolf Giuliani’s speeches, they pretty much go like this:

“On 9/11, I was mayor of the City of New York. Nobody else was mayor on 9/11–I was mayor on 9/11. 9/11 was a big thing forAmerica, and since 9/11, people call me America’s mayor. Why? Because I was mayor on 9/11. Terrorists hate me because I am tough because of 9/11–I’ll have everybody arrested, just to be safe from another 9/11 (but not you of course). If you vote for anybody else for president, we’ll have another 9/11.We need more troops in Iraq because of 9/11.My cell number is 911911911 and 911 is the code on my car alarm. I named my dog 9/11…”

It goes on like this. Now, what happened to the presidential bid of our former governor? Mr. Pataki didn’t even make it to the Republican debate, and some pretty invisible candidates were there–we thought we saw our doorman up there on the podium–but where was Pataki? This proves our theory: Pataki talked about a run for president, raised money while he was still inAlbany so he could increase his profile with the goal to eventually say he was a “former presidential candidate,” thus getting a more lucrative job somewhere (except that “former candidate” status came even before he was a candidate).

Were you one of the 2,000+ people who tried to get into the Pier 40 hearing onMay 3rd? Only several hundred people could actually enter the building. Conversely, only a tiny handful of HRPT (Hudson River Park Trust) board members even showed up to listen to the people.After all is said and done, it’s our bet that indeed nothingWILL get done, just like last time (remember the RFP (Request For Proposals) for Pier 40 in 2002? That worked out so well–not!). Seems like trying to preserve this pier by handing it over to developers is not working out too well. Heck, why not just sell it and get it over with? People are asking: is HRPT a tool for private development or a public park agency? (Correct answer: tool)

And speaking of private interests and “park,” we hear Friends of Hudson River Park is changing its name to “Friends of Hudson River Park Development.” It’s a much better name!

Ever hear the phrase “payback from the proletariat”? No you haven’t, because we just made it up. Those poorly paid working people hired to sit at the doors of the buildings and offices you are trying to enter–the security guards and gatekeepers who are paid minimum wage and trained accordingly– are able to get back at us every day by hassling us, often in an officious and less than pleasant manner, about IDs, metal jewelry, handbags, belts, briefcases, “sign in” sheets, etc. (we have yet to understand why some lame sign-in sheet protects anybody from anything–we have a friend who signs in as “Donald Duck” at every entrance and hasn’t been stopped once). And those in charge who fabricated these ersatz “security” rules, the ones who have security people glancing at our IDs when any two-bit hustler can get a fake one on 42nd Street, are really on top of it–soon we’ll need to go through customs to get into a NYC building.And for what?We heard these building entry rules come from the book Security for Dummies.

Rumor has it that Manhattan Democratic Leader Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Harlem) will be stepping down from the New York StateAssembly to run for City Council in 2009, whereupon he will be supporting his protege Councilmember Inez Dickens, also from uptown, for City Council Speaker (since Denny knows everyone, she’ll get it). Then, he will take over as speaker when she is term limited in 2013. Farrell is apparently tired of the commute toAlbany every week (Albany: the place hillbillies call home) but wants to continue to be a player in government and politics. It is also expected he will step down asManhattan’s Democratic County Leader, a post he has held since 1981–will long time Hell’s Kitchen district leader Jimmy McManus succeed him? Occasionally controversial, Denny has the keen political insights of a master–after all, a good politician is one who can read other people, understand where they’re coming from, and above all, count votes. Politics: “…competition between groups or individuals for power and leadership.” Congressman Charles Rangel has spoken out about how the draft should be reinstated in order for everyone, rich and poor alike, to share the burden of this war. Right on! Relatively few living in lowerManhattan have been directly affected by this war, and the recruiting office on Chambers Street continues to try to rope in BMCC students with the promise of whatever they promise. It’s sad.Why isn’t there a recruiting office right near the campus at Columbia, or in the Village for the students at NYU? Where’s the “fair share” distribution of misery over Bush’s war?When one person is killed, they call it murder–when it’s thousands, they call it policy.

The lineup for Mayor in 2009: Not-ready- for-prime-time-but-trying Christine Quinn; the ever-ambitiousAnthonyWeiner; the low key and non-controversial city comptroller William Thompson (the favorite of many since Virginia Fields lost in 2005 –he was even the favorite while she was running, but enough about that). Stories are out how Police Commissioner Ray Kelly spends 2 hours each day working on his mayoral campaign–good luck Ray–it ain’t gonna happen.Wannabe Congressman, still Councilmember, David Yassky came over from Brooklyn to attend several Manhattan Democratic club fundraisers recently–why, we ask?And Scott Stringer appears to be running, since he’ll be term limited in 2013 but there will be no openings then.We think he’ll go for the city comptroller spot in ’09.Anyone else out there? Any Republicans? Or has that party let this country down so completely with that@#%& in Washington that we’ll get a break this time?Well, we can only hope.

So who is running forAlan Gerson’s old seat when he vacates it in ’09? People are saying Julie Menin is a contender. Rocky Chin may make a comeback run after getting beaten in 2001, andMadelynWils hovers nearby (don’t forget that 2002 blog with over 2,000 people signing on, outing her for her nasty and disrespectful treatment of the families of those killed on 9/11: the victims of 9/11 only died in the most horrible way imaginable, andWils had to be mean to their grieving relatives– not nice!)And recently, the Bloomberg administration (Dan Doctoroff, really) has rewarded this behavior by hiringWils to be an executive vice president for planning and development at the Economic Development Corporation. Our bet is she’ll last as long as her last job: One and a half years–then it’s time to go!

For the SoHo/Village council seat, it’s a showdown between CB2 chair Brad Hoylman, who brings the art of fence-sitting to new heights, and historic preservation activistAndrew Berman, who actually appears to believe in something and takes stands on issues! Imagine that! Seems being a chair of a community board is a favorite stepping stone to elected office–four of the names listed above are or have served as community board chair–will Maria Derr join the Village fray and become the 5th? Stay tuned.

Filed Under: Commentary | New York | News | Politics





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