2012-12-14 / Letters

Dropout

Dear Editor,

There are good reasons why Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer dropped out of the 2013 race for NYC Mayor. Consider NYC has a municipal budget approaching $70 billion dollars with over 220,000 employees. This is greater than many states and nations. Stringer who also previously served as a legislative assistant to State Assmblymember and Congressmember Gerald Nadler along with serving as a member of the State Assembly has no private sector experience. He has never built a business, balanced a budget, created jobs, met a payroll or managed any significant agencies with large numbers of employees. He has been running around town campaigning since November 2009 "unofficially running for Mayor as term limits prevents him for running Manhattan Borough President in 2013. His dreams of running for Mayor never got off the ground. Stringer has been consistently polling at no greater than 5% among potential Democratic Party primary voters over the past three years coming in last among the four leading candidates. Now, he decides instead to run for NYC Comptroller. This hardly makes him a credible candidate. Stringer is just another career politician looking for his next meal ticket.

Former New York City Comptroller and 2009 losing Democratic Party Mayoral candidate William Thompson is a profile in courage for resigning as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority many months ago. He is free to run full time for Mayor with no conflicts of interest. Contrast his courage with the six cowardly lions -- New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Comptroller John Lui, New York City Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio running for Mayor and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer along with NYC Councilmember Finance Committee Chairperson Dominic Recchia of Brooklyn who are running for Comptroller. NYC Manhattan Councilmember Dan Garodnick who was previously an active candidate for Comptroller mysteriosuly dropped out of the race within days of Stringers announcement. You have to wonder if some other political leaders "made Garodnick an offer he couldn't refuse." After all, you don't want two candidates running for any citywide office who share the same Manhattan political base. All of these candidates lack the moral courage of Thompson and continue to hold one public office while openly campaigning for the upcoming 2013 Democratic Party Mayoral Primary. The lines are clearly blurred between their day job and new job they each seek. All have been actively working the Pay for Play fundraising circuit, along with visiting every local and county Democratic Party clubhouse on day one after lame duck Mayor Bloomberg took his last oath of office in January 2010.

Quinn, Lui, de Blasio, Stringer and Recchia start out with many advantages not available to ordinary challengers. During their respective terms of public office, each incumbent has daily television, radio and newspaper exposure, press conferences, newsletters, guest columns in newspapers, letters to the editor and speaking engagements on a regular basis. Don’t forget the perks of public office, including announcements of member items (many of which taxpayers consider local porkbarrel projects) which are used to raise name recognition and assist in greasing the wheels of reelection or attempt at a higher new office.

If Quinn, Lui and deBlasio are serious about running for Mayor along with Stringer and Recchia for Comptroller, they should resign their current public office today. End the charade by being honest enough to run full time on their own time and dime. Allow citizens a Special Election to elect a replacement who can represent their constituents full time. It is time we elected someone who is not using one public office as a stepping stone to another.

Hard-working municipal civil servants who work full time can’t campaign part time during the day as Quinn, Lui, de Blasio, Stringer and Recchia do. They would have to either take a leave of absence or quit their day job.

LARRY PENNER

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