To the Editor: So the man who once referred to himself as “Mayor Mike” believes we should promote him to President Mike. Twice elected NYC Mayor as a Republican and once as an independent, Mr. Bloomberg now believes the Democratic Party should anoint him its presidential candidate.
I don’t think so. Even if Democrats forgive and forget his old Republican label, they will never overlook Mayor Mike’s record.
Let’s begin with the issue Mr. Bloomberg claimed would come to define him: education. By any measure, his animosity towards the United Federation of Teachers and singular focus on Charter schools as the cure to the ills plaguing NYC’s public schools resulted in abject failure. The former Mayor’s lack of genuine concern for the education of NYC’s youth was made painfully obvious when he named a social friend, magazine publisher Cathie Black, NYC Schools Chancellor. Ms. Black was so unsuited to this key position that she was forced to resign a mere 95 days after her appointment.
On the subject of unions, Mr. Bloomberg’s history as Mayor is damning. For 12 years, Mayor Mike bashed organized labor and left his unionized workers without a contract for nearly half his time in office. Claiming poverty following the 2008 market crash, Mr. Bloomberg refused to bargain in good faith over next five-plus years, insisting that back pay and modest raises were non-starters in any contract deal.
His biggest mistake, however, was stop-and-frisk. While Mayor Giuliani made this illegal, racist practice NYC policy, Mayor Mike took it to its limits. In 2011, over 685,000 stops were recorded in NYC -nearly 1,900 every single day. Of course, now that he is running for President, Mr. Bloomberg says he’s sorry and that he “was wrong”; even though he adamantly defended the practice as recently as January, when a Naval midshipman questioned Mayor Mike during the 2019 U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference. I am quite certain that Mr. Bloomberg’s late apology offers little consolation to the millions of New Yorkers who were victimized during his 12 years in office.
Finally, there is the matter of his blatant disregard for democracy. In late 2008, facing term limits twice voted upon by NYC voters, he used his influence (read that as money) to overturn the will of people by strong-arming the City Council into allowing Mr. Bloomberg, and only Mr. Bloomberg to run for a third term.
Wrong on education, wrong for workers, wrong on race relations and too rich to follow the same rules as regular folks, Mr. Bloomberg is just plain wrong.
Retired 28-year DOT Employee
We depend on the support of readers like you to help keep our publication strong and independent. Join us.