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Posts tagged ‘Blasio’

Bill Clinton Swears in de Blasio as NYC Mayor.

Image: Bill Clinton Swears in de Blasio as NYC MayorBill de Blasio is sworn in as the mayor of New York City on Jan. 1 by former President Bill Clinton while de Blasio’s family, Chiara de Blasio, Dante de Blasio, and wife Chirlane McCray look on.

Bill de Blasio, an unabashed liberal Democrat who campaigned to reduce the gap between New York City’s rich and poor, was formally inaugurated on Wednesday as the city’s 109th mayor at a ceremony on the steps of City Hall.Former President Bill Clinton administered the oath of office using a Bible once used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

De Blasio had been sworn in earlier, just after midnight, at a ceremony at his home in Brooklyn.

He succeeds Michael Bloomberg, who led the city in the aftermath of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the recession six years later. Bloomberg’s policies have been credited with making the city safer, greener and more livable.

Bloomberg, who is leaving City Hall after 12 years, has said he plans to take a two-week vacation in Hawaii and New Zealand with his longtime girlfriend, Diana Taylor.

Then, the billionaire, who has homes in Bermuda and London, has said he will focus on his charitable foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and remain active in public health, gun control and government innovation.

Running for office, de Blasio presented himself as an anti-Bloomberg candidate, decrying the “tale of two cities” that he said has emerged as New York shed its reputation, from the 1970s and 1980s, as a gritty and dangerous place.

After a resounding victory in November with more than 70 percent of the vote, de Blasio pledged to confront an affordability gap that has left those in the middle and bottom rungs of the economic ladder struggling to pay for basic services such as housing and mass transit.

“When I said we would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it. And we will do it,” de Blasio said in excerpts of his inaugural speech released beforehand.

“That mission — our march towards a fairer, more just, more progressive place, our march to keep the promise of New York alive for the next generation — it begins today,” he said.

Over the last decade, as the city prospered, apartment rents in New York City rose about 44 percent and the cost of a monthly Metro Card jumped 60 percent.

De Blasio has made some major promises, including a signature proposal to create universal access to pre-Kindergarten and middle school after-school programs, and his critics are likely to seize quickly on his ability to deliver.

“We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full-day universal pre-K, and after-school programs for every middle school student,” de Blasio said in the prepared remarks. “We do not ask more of the wealthy to punish success. We do it to create more success stories.”

Those programs depend on approval by state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo of an income tax increase on the city’s highest earners. Cooperation from Albany is far from assured.

De Blasio has also pledged to improve police and community relations to extend New York’s historic drop in crime as well as to fight the closing of community hospitals.

While Bloomberg has left the city with no budget deficit for the current fiscal year, contracts for all of the public sector unions have expired.

In a news conference on Tuesday, de Blasio said he hoped to have the new contracts in place within a year.

De Blasio began his career in government working under David Dinkins, the city’s first black mayor who was elected in 1986 and was the last Democrat to hold the post.

In 2000, when former U.S. first lady Hillary Clinton ran for U.S. senator in New York, de Blasio was her campaign manager.

He went on to serve two terms on the New York City Council and four years ago was elected public advocate – a citywide office with a budget of just $2 million that is generally seen as a springboard for the job of mayor.

On Wednesday, the city’s new comptroller, Scott Stringer, and its new public advocate, Letitia James, also were sworn in. Both are Democrats and close allies of de Blasio.© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


Cuomo Fighting de Blasio over NYC Council Speaker.

By Lisa Barron

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has apparently picked his first fight with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s by trying to stop his liberal pick for City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The Democratic governor has been trying to drum up support instead for Councilman Dan Garodnick, Councilwoman Mark-Viverito’s opponent in the race for the city’s second most powerful position, the New York Post reported Monday.

“It’s certainly not in Cuomo’s political interest to have another left-wing activist along with de Blasio running the city,” a Democratic city leader told the Post of Cuomo’s effort to upset de Blasio’s endorsement of Mark-Viverito. “The sense is that Cuomo wants to see de Blasio defeated on this one, so that he’ll start off as mayor weaker and not stronger, relative to the governor.”

Cuomo, first elected in 2010, has recently launched his 2014 re-election campaign, presenting himself as an economic moderate.

“The governor, who wants to run for president, doesn’t want to see the city turned into a People’s Republic of New York at the same time as he’s trying to make the state at least look like it’s business friendly,” a political observer told the Post, referring to .

De Blasio, who has called for higher taxes on the wealthy, endorsed Mark-Viverito, one of his strongest supporters in the mayoral election, for speaker earlier this month.

“The mayoral meddling in Council business was unsurprising but unseemly, especially from someone who used to accuse Speaker Christine Quinn of being too close to Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” wrote the New York Times Editorial Board on Sunday.

“Now we’re about to get a speaker with an enormous debt to the mayor, leading a legislative body that is supposed to be an independent counterweight to the executive.”

The Times editorial continued, “Meanwhile, there are 50 others in the council who need to remember that electing speaker is their decision, not any party boss’s or mayor’s. It is their institution whose role and reputation they are bound to protect.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Forbes: De Blasio’s New Tax Could Drive Wealthy From New York.

Image: Forbes: De Blasio's New Tax Could Drive Wealthy From New York

By Dan Weil

The tax increase proposed by incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on people with income over $500,000 could drive those taxpayers out of New York, says Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media.De Blasio wants to impose the tax to fund pre-kindergarten and after-school programs.

“It sends a signal out that New York City takes prosperity such as it is for granted,” Forbes told Fox Business Network.

Editor’s Note: Opinion: Retirees to Be Hit With Social Security Cuts

“New York does have unique advantages. It won’t kill the city, but it sends a message out, we’re not interested in entrepreneurs. More importantly we don’t understand real wealth creation.”

The city should be doing the exact opposite, Forbes says.

And taxpayers do vote with their feet, moving to places with lower taxes, Forbes says. That’s especially true of people entering retirement. “They look at death taxes. They look at income taxes,” he said.

“The fact is a lot of people move to Florida, people move to Texas and some people even move to states like Wyoming, Nevada and the state of Washington.” None of those states has a personal income tax.

New York City and state taxes together already constitute “one of the highest tax burdens in the country,” Forbes said.

“It has devastated New York State. Look at upstate. To think New York City is impervious to this kind of demand, look what happened in the 1960s and ’70s. They literally drove the city to bankruptcy. Why start on that path again?

Forbes says it’s not surprising that the economy isn’t helping the poor under President Barack Obama.

“When you have an economy that is stagnating, those who want to get ahead have the least chance to do it,” he said.

“We should have learned that from the 1980s. You had more income disparity. People like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were coming along doing very well. The economy blossomed, and people had a chance to move up.”

The key issue is growth, Forbes says. “Instead of looking at a stagnant pie and figuring out how to cut more from it, how do you grow the pie?” he said.

“I wish people like Mr. de Blasio would realize that if you want prosperity, you get a lot more creating new businesses than by driving people away. [He doesn’t] understand how prosperity is created.”

Plenty of wealthy New Yorkers have expressed opposition to de Blasio’s plan. “It shows lack of sensitivity to the city’s biggest revenue providers and job creators,” Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a group of 200 CEOs told Bloomberg.

Editor’s Note: Opinion: Retirees to Be Hit With Social Security Cuts

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© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

NY Post’s McManus: De Blasio Is NYC’s Obama.

New York City’s new Democratic frontrunner Bill de Blasio has a lot of similarities to another newsmaking DemocratPresident Barack Obama, according to a New York Post columnist.

“He was the only Democrat in a cluttered primary field to recognize — and then to capitalize on — the lesson Barack Obama taught the nation in 2008: That is, it is no longer necessary to do important things to win high office; it is only necessary to talk about doing important things,” writes columnist Bob McManus. 

The two politicians have much in common, McManus said.

“Each wandered into his respective spotlight from stage (far) left, audaciously ambitious bit players with inauspicious resumes — Obama with minor local credentials and a partial term in the US Senate; de Blasio with thumb-twiddling time in the City Council and as New York’s institutionally do-nothing public advocate,” he said.

But both understand that perception matters more than substance and how to play the publicity card and used those talents to get votes.

But having a record of success means a candidate is “vulnerable to out-of-context attacks, snarky tweets and late-night-comic ridicule,” said McManus.

Both Obama and de Blasio also know that Americans no longer have patience to deal with difficult problems or the people who solve them, but still have a “prodigious appetite for unserious solutions,” he wrote.

In addition, Obama and de Blasio also understand how to play on class resentment and they both advocate healthcare issues. The president has his Obamacare plan and de Blasio has his advocacy of the failed Long Island College Hospital, McManus said.

Obamacare, McManus said, is an “unaffordable overreach now being strangled by bureaucratic inertia and political backlash” while championing the Long Island facility is a “symbolic effort to preserve equally unaffordable 20th-century health-care infrastructure (and union jobs) in the face of far better, digital age, alternatives.”

Both Democrats also have unrealistic views on dealing with threats, he wrote.

“Obama preached a wrong-headed but winning message in 2008 — that Islamic terrorists, and an otherwise fractious world, are open to reason,” McManus wrote. “He has since learned otherwise — Vladimir Putin spent much of last week playing with him like a bored cat with a crippled mouse — but the ploy worked on Election Day 2008.”

De Blasio, meanwhile, contends New York has won its war on crime and no longer needs its stop-and-frisk law.

“But what de Blasio really objects to — as did all of the Democratic candidates in last week’s primary — is effective policing, pure and simple,” he said.

The two Democrats also have many other similarities in their educations, their early careers, “and each comes with an extraordinarily winsome family — always an electoral asset.”

But most of all, McManus says, “they are truly political twins in this regard: Each came to prominence untested, hawking superficialities and promising what amounted to the unattainable.”

And Obama and his incompetencies have “finally compiled a record — and it ain’t pretty,” he concludes.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

De Blasio Tops Mayoral Primary; Runoff Possible.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who ran an upstart campaign pledging to fight New York City’s economic inequality, emerged as the surprising top choice in the Democratic mayoral primary, but could still face weeks — and another electoral fight — before becoming his party’s nominee.

The swirling, chaotic campaign to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which featured Anthony Weiner‘s latest sexting scandal and at least three lead changes in the polls, was fittingly plunged into uncertainty again after the Tuesday primary bled into early Wednesday.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had about 40.2 percent of the total vote, which puts him a whisker above the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid triggering an automatic Oct. 1 runoff. If he cannot maintain that, he will face former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, who has 26 percent, for a potentially grueling three-week, one-on-one showdown, with the winner advancing to face Republican nominee Joe Lhota in the general election.

But it may take a week or more before it is known whether that battle will be fought at all.

The campaign will take a pause Wednesday as the city stops to observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Later this week, election officials will recount all the ballots cast Tuesday. It will likely take until early next week before they tabulate an additional 30,000 or more votes as absentee ballots arrive by mail and paperwork comes in from voters who had problems at the polls.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the early frontrunner who was seeking become the city’s first woman and openly gay mayor, finished third at 16 percent, followed by current city Comptroller John Liu at 7 percent and Weiner at 5 percent.

De Blasio, who was flanked by the interracial family he made a centerpiece of his campaign ads, made no mention of the potential runoff in his speech to supporters late Tuesday.

“We are better as a city when we make sure that everyone has a shot,” de Blasio told the raucous crowd. “We begin tonight.”

With de Blasio so close to 40 percent, Democratic leaders may pressure Thompson to drop out of the race in the name of party unity. Exit polling shows that de Blasio would handily defeat Thompson in a runoff, 52 to 34 percent, with 9 percent saying they would stay home.

But Thompson made it clear Tuesday he would compete in a potential runoff.

“Three more weeks! Three more weeks!” chanted Thompson, the party’s 2009 nominee. “This is far from over.”

De Blasio, more than any other candidate, benefited from the rapid fall of Weiner, who was leading in the polls before he was felled by his old demons.

A gossip site revealed that Weiner used the online handle Carlos Danger to continue to send X-rated messages to women even after he resigned from Congress in 2011 for the similar behavior.

His ill-fated campaign had two final embarrassments in its last minutes: one of his online paramours, Sydney Leathers, tried to crash his primary night rally and Weiner was caught making an obscene gesture at reporters as he was driven away.

Another scandal-scarred politician, Eliot Spitzer, who resigned as governor in 2008 after paying for sex with prostitutes, tried to run a self-financed campaign for the lesser office of city comptroller. But his distant, television-heavy campaign struggled to connect with voters and he lost to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

In the mayoral race, de Blasio’s rise was as sudden as it was unexpected.

Not even two months ago, he was an afterthought in the campaign but surged thanks in part to an ad campaign that featured his 15-year-old Afro-sporting son Dante, who became such a cult figure that the campaign embraced the Twitter hash tag #fromentum.

The exit polling showed the appeal of de Blasio, who holds the position of the city’s official watchdog, to be broad-based: He was ahead in all five boroughs; was even with Thompson, the only African-American candidate, with black voters; and was ahead of Quinn, the lone woman in the race, with female voters. He also led Quinn among gay voters.

The voter interviews were conducted by Edison Media Research for The Associated Press and other news organizations.

The winner of the mayor’s race in November will assume the helm of the nation’s largest city at a critical juncture, as it experiences shrinking crime rates yet widening income inequality, and as the nearly completed One World Trade Center building symbolizes a new era after the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Nearly three-quarters of Democratic primary voters said in the exit polls that the next mayor ought to move away from Bloomberg’s policies.

And De Blasio, 52, has fashioned himself as the cleanest break from the Bloomberg years, proposing a tax on the wealthy to fund universal pre-kindergarten and changes to city police practices he says discriminate against minorities.

On the Republican side, the candidates largely pledged to follow Bloomberg’s lead. Lhota, former head of the region’s transit agency and a one-time deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani, led the race from start to finish, fending off the self-financed bid of billionaire grocery store magnate John Catsimatidis.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


De Blasio, Lhota Win Primaries For NYC Mayor.

Image: De Blasio, Lhota Win Primaries For NYC Mayor

(Getty Images)

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio won the most votes in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday but it was not immediately apparent whether he could avert a runoff, according to early results and exit polls reported by local media.

The winner needs at least 40 percent of the vote or will face the second-place candidate in the race of Democratic hopefuls to succeed three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg in running the most populous city in the United States.

If DeBlasio does not get 40 percent, he could face a tough run-off against Bill Thompson who, analyists predict, is likely to pick up the bulk of the votes that went to Christine Quinn. Many think Thompson could be the ultimate victor if there is a run-off. He came within a hair of defeating Michael Bloomberg in 2009.

With about 25 percent of precincts reporting results, de Blasio had 39 percent over former city comptroller Thompson with 25 percent and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 16 percent, according to NY1 television.

On the Republican side, Joe Lhota, the former head of the city’s mass transit agency and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani‘s deputy mayor for operations, had 50 percent of the vote with about one-third of precincts reporting, NY1 said.

Republican grocery chain billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis had 43 percent, the local television station reported.

Lhota faces an uphill battle against the Democratic nominee in the city of 8.3 million people, where Democrats outnumber Republicans six to one.

A poll cited by the New York Times also showed de Blasio, one of the more liberal candidates on the ballot, with a strong lead.

Thompson lost the 2009 race to Bloomberg, who has been mayor since January 2002 and is leaving office due to term limits.

Quinn, who would be the city’s first female and openly gay mayor if elected, was seen as most likely to follow Bloomberg’s moderate policies.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who saw his lead vanish after news that his penchant for texting women lewd pictures of himself had not ended, was last among the major candidates with 5 percent in early results.

Weiner conceded the election this evening, saying, “We had the best ideas. Sadly, I was an imperfect messenger,” according to USA Today reporter Catalina Camia ‏on Twitter.

Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin was not with him when he conceded.

Sydney Leathers, who came forward this summer to say she and Weiner had frequent sexually charged conversations online and over the phone, arrived at his primary night party at a midtown Manhattan bar, where he was noticeably absent.

“I’m here celebrating his impending doom. His loss, here at his victory party,” Leathers said.

She called his campaign “embarrassing” and said he might have a political future “after he gets himself together.”

“I mean, I’m one to talk,” she said. “But he needs help.”

The winner of the mayor’s race in November will assume the helm of the nation’s largest city at a critical juncture, as it experiences shrinking crime rates yet widening income inequality, and as the nearly completed One World Trade Center building symbolizes a new era after the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Bloomberg, the businessman Republican-turned-independent, is completing his third term. While the city’s registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 6 to 1, the GOP’s recent success in mayoral elections has been largely attributed to a crime epidemic, the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks or other extraordinary circumstances.

Nearly three-quarters of Democratic primary voters say the next mayor ought to move away from Bloomberg’s policies, according to the exit polls.

And De Blasio, 52, has fashioned himself as the cleanest break from the Bloomberg years, proposing a tax on the wealthy to fund universal pre-kindergarten and changes to city police practices he says discriminate against minorities.

His rise was as sudden as it was unexpected. Not even two months ago, he was an afterthought in the campaign but surged in part thanks to an ad that centered on his interracial family, his headline-grabbing arrest while protesting the possible closure of a Brooklyn hospital and the defection of Weiner’s former supporters in the wake of another sexting scandal.

“I’m a lefty and I’ve had enough of the righties,” said Jessica Safran, a business consultant from the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn who voted for de Blasio. “Even if de Blasio moves to the center if he gets elected, he’ll be closer to the positions I want than the others.”

De Blasio, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign before being elected to the city council and then public advocate, the city’s official watchdog position.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Newsmax Wires

Ira Stoll: De Blasio Runs for Mayor as the Obama of NYC.

The man New York Democrats seemed poised to choose this week as their candidate for mayor, Bill de Blasio, sure has a lot in common with President Obama.
Both men were born in 1961. They both describe their fathers as alcoholics and say they were brought up primarily by their mothers and their mothers’ families. Both politicians have degrees from Columbia University and once lived in Cambridge, Mass. They both once lived under different names — Obama as Barry Soetoro and de Blasio as Warren Wilhelm Jr., the name he was born with.
They both have ties to the far left New Party; de Blasio reportedly worked as executive director of the New York branch of the New Party, while documents indicate that Obama joined the Chicago New Party and signed its candidate pledge. Both Obama and de Blasio are married to black women they met at work.
Beyond the biographical coincidences, and more importantly, the two politicians seem to be following the same political and policy playbook. They want to raise taxes on the rich to fund healthcare and education sectors whose government-spending-reliant growth they are unwilling to restrain. While for Obama and perhaps de Blasio, that’s been a path to political success, or at least election and re-election, it’s a policy that also comes with considerable costs and risks.
De Blasio’s signature policy proposal is an income tax increase for New York City residents who earn more than $500,000 a year, with the proceeds directed to public education. President Obama ran on asking “millionaires and billionaires” to pay higher taxes, in part to fund his Obamacare subsidies for health insurance.
But de Blasio likes healthcare spending, too. He’s been fighting to keep city hospitals open, even if there’s insufficient patient demand to support them. And Obama likes education spending, too; he has ramped up Pell Grant spending and called in a State of the Union speech for exactly the expanded pre-kindergarten programs that de Blasio is campaigning to bring to New York.
De Blasio has backed an increased minimum wage at the local level, just as President Obama has supported one nationally. De Blasio has used his teenaged son in a campaign commercial against the New York Police Department’s “stop, question, and frisk,” tactics, while President Obama famously said, after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
De Blasio and Obama both have scant private-sector experience, which may account for their tendency to see successful businesspeople as cows to be milked for the maximum possible tax revenue. Obama’s ambitions have been somewhat limited by Republicans in Congress, while de Blasio, if he wins the primary and the general election that follows, will be constrained, at least somewhat, by Republicans and more conservative Democrats in Albany.
The final constraint on a Mayor de Blasio, however, won’t be merely some other politicians in Albany; it will be the reality that a tax, spend, polarize, and regulate approach to government inevitably confronts. It’s wasteful, it’s expensive, it doesn’t function particularly well, it breeds corruption and resentment, and eventually the people who are being taxed to excess decide to stop participating, either by moving or by restructuring their affairs so as to generate less taxable revenue (and usually fewer jobs, too).
President Obama does have some tools de Blasio will lack, among them the ability to print money and the ability to conduct foreign policy in a way that distracts from domestic problems. If de Blasio governs as he has campaigned, though, don’t be surprised if in a few years he finds himself wishing he could ask the City Council for the authority to attack New Jersey.
Ira Stoll is editor of and of Read more reports from Ira Stoll — Click Here Now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Ira Stoll

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