Updated 1:29 p.m.
Yes, by now everyone knows that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg won his much-desired third term (another four years!) – after overturning voted-in term limits – last night with his $100 million campaign, the complicity of the local media and the lackluster support given by the ‘powers that be’ to the Democratic candidate Bill Thompson.
The one good thing that might come out of a Bloomberg third term is that the press and the politicians, especially in light of his narrow (4-5%) win, may at last stop thinking of him as such a “good mayor” and start looking more critically at his policies (and failings) on:
– homelessness, poverty, construction and building, over-development, corporate giveaways, lack of affordable housing, privatization of parks and public space, rezonings destroying communities and small businesses, police misconduct (the RNC should not be forgotten), lack of public planning (not enough schools for all the new “luxury housing”), endless school testing with lackluster results and parental outrage at his educational “system,” lack of community input in just about everything (but to name a few: Coney Island, Washington Square Park, Willets Point, Atlantic Yards, Yankee Stadium, Union Square, Chinatown, Williamsburg/Greenpoint), enforcing of the “nanny state,” and more.
Here are eight nine articles worth reading on our Mayor and the election:
1. Politico excellent article on Bloomberg race as missed opportunity for Democrats (i.e., President Obama!).
2. Today’s New York Times News Analysis proclaims “Mayor No Longer Seems Invincible.” On Bloomberg’s “slim victory,” the paper says: “For all the talk of a post-racial, post-class city, Mr. Bloomberg gained a third term heavily dependent on the votes of white, middle-class and wealthy voters.”
3. A Daily News article concurs:
What if President Obama – instead of delivering a squishy, nonendorsement-endorsement of Thompson, after his press secretary couldn’t even come up with Thompson’s name – had stumped for the man?
What if City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, instead of sitting on her hands for months, used the power of her purse strings to rustle up some support for Thompson?
What if the Rev. Al Sharpton, who was happy to stand onstage last night at Thompson’s concession speech, had stood a little closer during the campaign?
What if the more powerful city unions like the United Federation of Teachers and SEIU Local 1199 Democratic check writers or for-hire strategists had stayed true?
“A lot of Democratic donors who sat on their wallets are kicking themselves tonight,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, who bowed out of the race for mayor early on, but did what he could for Thompson down the stretch.
6. Election Day piece from Vanishing New York on Bloomberg’s narcissism and endless need to “clean up” the City.
7. At Gothamist, “What Exactly did happen last night?”:
“After running a record-breaking $100 million campaign that won major endorsements and blanketed the city in nearly non-stop advertising, Mayor Bloomberg defeated the underfunded Democratic candidate Bill Thompson by only 5 percent of the vote, winning with 51 percent to his rival’s 46. This comes after polls from the days before the election predicted Bloomberg ahead by double digits… The pollsters might have some explaining to do.”
8. Gawker’s pre-election “endorsement” “Don’t Vote for Bloomberg” encapsulates the issues with our Mayor (which most of the mainstream press ignore) perfectly.
9. (Added!) Pretty amazing recounting of Bloomberg’s strong arm campaign tactics in Times’ piece, “Chief Factor in Mayor’s Race: Bloomberg Influence.”