NYC's Bloomberg (the 'mayor') Sucks Terribly...

Jan 19, 2004

The Bottom Line Mike Bloomberg is the very example of a specific type of person (a Boston-born-billionaire) who should not be running any large city, especially the Big Apple.

This is my latest rant...

It has escaped no one's attention that New York City 'mayor' Mike Bloomberg has seen his popularity remain consistently low among the city's general population. It's not surprising considering the fact that Bloomberg spent $75 million on his own election campaign in late 2001 just after the September 11 Attacks. There are many who've become disillusioned about this overspending, and the way they were tricked by it.

To start with, IMO his ban on smoking was ill-timed, draconian, forced down the throats of the City Council, and detrimental to quite a few bars, clubs, and large restaurants. It opened many people's eyes (including my own) to how Pat-Buchanan-like this billionaire really is.

As I've asked before a few times, where are the massive crowds of non-smoking patrons that Bloomberg promised? So far it hasn't happened, or at least I haven't seen it. There are reports of smoke-easies popping up, and a few bars allowing some patrons to smoke after the doors are closed. Those caught violating the rules no more than three times can actually be closed down at a moment's notice, literally forcing the bar owner and all his waitresses onto the unemployment lines, which is every bit as unhealthy as breathing smoke from ashtrays on tables. Smokers are jumping over to (still smoking) New Jersey and even Connecticut (which recently imposed its own smoking ban). And I know of many people who approve of his smoking ban but hate his guts for many other reasons. That attitude is shared all over New York State (which soon after imposed a smoking ban statewide modeled after Doomberg's).

Just what are these many other reasons? I'll name just a few.

He didn't so much as raise a finger to protest the fare hike the Metropolitan Transportation Authority imposed despite real evidence of accounting errors. As a result, yet another cost is being passed onto the regular New Yorker. Seriously I've never heard of anything that Bloomberg said about the recent budget cuts to the MTA by Albany that clearly made things worse.

At one point he even proposed (and tried to push through) a land swap that would have given the Port Authority full control of its airports (they're currently leased from the city government), in exchange for city control of the WTC site. The city and state government was wise to scrap his wrong-headed move, which would not only have stripped the city of badly needed revenue from airplane tickets from Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, but probably would've resulted in 'affordable housing' on the 16-acres alongside a depressing memorial dug down to bedrock. As if the 1,150-foot proposed 'Freedom Tower' wasn't bad enough.

Also he's going about closing the budget deficit the wrong way. While I'm sure he means well, but he's simply doing it the wrong way. Instead of asking the billionaires with offices in the city to contribute their fair share, je's been raising property taxes on co-ops and condos at virtually all levels at the wrong time, increasing the number of parking, cellphone, and even sitting-in-subway-step tickets that would make supporters of the Patriot Act turn green in jealousy, and other tax laws to archaic to describe here. No doubt the more common people are suffering under his rule more than anyone else.

His general personality is of no help. Giuliani, although not flawless, was (and still is) a flamboyant mayor who was dead serious about what he wanted, was always willing to connect to people and compromise with all but his zealous opponents, and as a city native he knew just how to keep order in the city without stifling its fast vibrancy.

Overall, Bloomberg comes off as a robotic-sounding CEO whose stiff, drab CEO personality, backdoor-dealing methods, and uncompromising Bostonian 9-to-5 beliefs (Bloomberg was born and raised in Medford MA, a suburb of Boston. Go figure.) seem to alienate all the right kind of people except neo-hippies who want to live to 120, especially billionaires and tree huggers. The way he speaks is reminiscent of a Victorian-age nobleman who tells common people to stop misbehaving. His blissful and ignorant attitude, especially towards the smoking ban and Puritan-style ticket drive, is both dishonest and infuriating, Example: "Fundamentally, people just don't want the guy next to them smoking. People will adjust very quickly and a lot of lives will be saved.” Good going mayor, the secondhand smoke is now being ingested by the average pedestrian on the street!

Bloomberg had better think about the bar owner who's losing business because both smoking and nonsmoking patrons aren't coming, the grocery shop owner who can't get customers who've been driven away from the business district by legions of ticket cops, the homeless family who has to wait in line in a soup kitchen with declining numbers of soup cans, the deliveryman agonizing over how to pay the $210 parking ticket, the pigeon feeder puzzled over a $100 ticket givern by the parks Department, and so on and so forth. Does he care? I doubt it.

By contrast, Bloomberg the Tower, a blue-glass mixed-use building that began construction in Midtown East in view of the Queensboro Bridge, oozes serious bravado, rises to an impressive 850 feet, stands on what was once an empty shell of a closed department store, and even looks a bit like a square-shaped cigarette (Cigarettes, as cancerous as they are, seem to be becoming a symbol of political incorrectness it seems). It's also designed to house the business media firm Bloomberg LP, which despite its corporate image is more vibrant and down-to-earth than the current 'mayor' who founded and built up the firm. If the building itself was to run in a mayoral campaign against its own namesake as of this moment...

One more note: He's a former Democrat who turned Republican a few months before announcing his candidacy for mayor. That about explains it all. He needs to go in 2005, before he proposes a law strictly limiting the number of patrons at bars and restaurants and even stores as a means of "alleviating congestion". And just for the record, I'm a non-smoker.

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