OCALA, Fla., September 11, 2013 — Despite New York’s mayoral elections being a strictly municipal matter, they tend to attract national, and sometimes international, attention.
That is undoubtedly because New York is the world’s financial center, and has been for quite some time. In recent years, though, other cities — from Houston to Hong Kong — have risen to substantial white-collar prominence.
While New York’s kingpin status cannot be questioned at the present time, new players have entered the game of world finance, and might eventually give the Big Apple a serious run for its money.
Enter New York’s ongoing mayoral race.
Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio is a man on a mission: Annihilate “stop-question-frisk” policing policies, even though these are designed to crack down on street crime, and tax the wealthy so less affluent communities can have better public services. This essentially pits higher-income New Yorkers against the working poor and outright destitute.
Michael M. Grynbaum of The New York Times writes that “(m)any in New York’s business and financial elite, stung by the abrupt ascent of Bill de Blasio, an unapologetic tax-the-rich liberal, are fixated on a single question: What are we going to do?
“The angst, emanating from charity galas and Park Avenue dinner tables, has created an unexpected political opening for Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee, whose once-sleepy candidacy is now viewed by players in both parties as their last, best hope for salvaging the business-friendly government of the [Michael] Bloomberg era.”
de Blasio is the incumbent Public Advocate of New York City, which the Editors of National Review describe as “an obscure office with little in the way of real responsibility or influence.”
The Editors go on to note that de Blasio’s “main appeal to the Left is that he is so impeccably Park Slope. He earnestly says things such as: ‘I am very proud of the fact that my wife and I have raised two vegetarians.’ He makes a point of mentioning that his children have attended public schools, and the impressive afro of his mixed-race son has become a sort of campaign rallying point.
“Not quite fitting this narrative is his wife’s time at Citigroup, where she worked for CEO Chuck Prince, financial archvillain in the minds of the sort of people who vote for men like Bill de Blasio.”
During a recent interview with New York magazine, Bloomberg, who has almost completed his third term as mayor, said that de Blasio’s campaign is both “(c)lass-warfare and racist”.
de Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm in the Boston-area city of Cambridge, which is home to Harvard University. He eventually moved to New York City where he pursued the career of a bureaucrat, first at the local level, and ultimately in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
He changed his name to “de Blasio” and married former lesbian Chirlane McCray, an activist in the black feminist community. They have two children and reside in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood; once a violent ghetto, it has since been gentrified and boasts a famously cosmopolitan atmosphere.
It remains to be seen how the general election will play out between de Blasio and Lhota, who was a member of the Rudy Giuliani Administration and once chaired the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Far-left? Far-right? Get real: Read more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto
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