Sunday, September 13, 2009

Primary Picks

Tuesday is Primary Day. Here in the gerrymander-shaped 39th City Council District (Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Street, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Boro Park), a passel of candidates are running for the seat vacated by Bill de Blasio. John Heyer, Bradford Lander, Gary G. Reilly, Josh Skaller, and Bob Zuckerman, the candidates participating in the Campaign Finance Board program, are running in the Democratic primary. The race seems to be between Lander and Skaller. Skaller refused to take developer money from the get-go. He's no Green, but then this is the Democratic Primary...

Of course, City Council is mostly a rubber-stamp for the plutocratic Mayor-for- Life. With the awesome power of his billions, he either buys 'em now or buys 'em later (and this seems to hold for everybody: all the non-profits, cultural institutions, etc. are afraid of alienating him; it’s a dictatorship of the checkbook, the complete antithesis of democracy). De Blasio earned my respect for voting against the one-time term limits repeal gift to Bloomberg. He is now running for Public Advocate. Unfortunately for him, Norm Siegel, the former head of the NYCLU, has a much stronger record as a fighter.

Among the candidates for comptroller, Melinda Katz has taken $700,000 from developers, while the ruling business class’s tribunes at Crain’s complain that John Liu is too tenant-oriented. Talk about an endorsement! I'm still comparing him with David Weprin, another former Councilmember who needs a job. I used to like David Yassky, who is also running for comptroller, but he will most definitely not get my vote because he rolled over for Bloomberg.

Unfortunately, blowhard/developer’s whore Marty Markowitz doesn’t have any real competition for Borough President.

With our own Berlusconi paying good money for every vote for his mayoral sinecure, the lackluster Democrats don’t have a chance for that office. I realize most Democrats will be voting for Bloomberg, who has, of course, done some good things, and is no Giuliani. But I hope they consider how pulling the Republican line legitimizes the logjam (and anti-city animus) in Albany, since Bloomberg is one of the largest funders of GOP Senators (and some of these trolls are there because NYC prisoners are housed in their districts, counted as local population but not allowed to vote there, in a shocking throwback to Jim Crow), and perpetuates the rule of the megadevelopers, corporations, and billionaires who own this city. Yes, it is somewhat benevolent, this rule, and some do get fine crumbs sprinkled on them, but mostly they walk all over us and tell us what’s good for us. No surprise that they mean what's good for themselves, of course.

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