2013-09-06 / Columnists

School Scope

Political Rumblings
By Norm Scott

I get it about The Wave’s dismissal of Bill de Blasio because he ignores Rockaway. Maybe it’s because I’ve only lived here for 34 of my 68 years with half my life lived in Brooklyn. I’m not a Rockaway chauvinist when it comes to choosing the next mayor. The Wave takes him to task for not showing up in Rockaway, not a life or death matter for me. I would judge him more on his plan for renovating hospitals which might save our lives. As I write, this just popped up: Bill de Blasio attends "Hospitals Not Condos" Rally. His plans for a rational health care system will do more for Rockaway – if he actually delivered. I would also judge him on his stand on Stop and Frisk, but more on that in my next column which will come during the run-off, which, given the de Blasio numbers, he should make (and watch the vicious fur begin to fly then).

Let’s face it. Albanese and Liu, both of whom I like, and Weiner, are toast. I still may vote for Sal just to prove that there are people who support rational politicians. I don’t necessarily view it as a wasted vote. Do I trust de Blasio which is where I am leaning due to the liberal agenda? Not. His history shows lots of things to be concerned about. But of all the candidates who have a chance I am most comfortable with him.

The NY Times, has been dishing dirt on all the candidates, even Quinn, who they support. Quinn is a Bloomberg hack (if you loved Bloomberg vote for her and reap the consequences). And she collected more money from the real estate industry than any other Democratic mayoral candidate. The Times hit de Blasio a few times, also pointing to his ties to the real estate industry and the way he managed the Hillary Clinton campaign for Senate as they dragged out Bloomberg attack dog sleaze Howard Wolfson, who has worked for the UFT, Hillary and Attila the Hun.

They’ve done a couple of hits on Thompson’s connections to certain shady characters (I posted a link in my last column- tinyurl.com/kmw7atw). The latest on August 30 was a devastating exposure of how Thompson, as Comptroller, funneled the management of pension funds to a big campaign contributor. “Again and again, Mr. Thompson reaped political gains from those he awarded city business…. nationwide, more than half of large public pension funds outperformed the five city funds’ combined 4.84 percent return from 2002 through 2009…” Ouch. I could live with him giving my pension money to a pal, but not a pal who screwed up. NYC Teacher/Blogger Reality-Based Educator said it straight out: Bill Thompson is a Crook (tinyurl.com/klxhp7u). I wouldn’t go that far. In my view almost every professional politician is a crook, of some sort. Let them get a real job.

The UFT is supporting Thompson and there is some desperation given they were 3-time losers in the 2001 election when they began with Hevesi the crook, then onto Ferrar, then Green and we ended up with Bloomberg. Nice work. Imagine if Thompson doesn’t make the run-off, leaving a Quinn/de Blasio race. Where do they go then? Do they sit the runoff out or go de Blasio? Oh, the possibilities for political junkies.

Now the three or four people who read this column know that my bottom line comes down to where people stand on the education/corporate “reform” movement which I’ve dubbed the “deform” movement, especially charters, which I characterize as “the invasion of the body snatchers.” NY State Regent head Merryl Tisch, pro ed deform and an enemy of teachers, is Bill Thompson’s campaign co-chair. (By the way, with all the news on education deform, have you ever heard one public opinion from our own local regent, Geraldine Chapey?) So how does the UFT/Thompson/Tisch connection play out in the education wars? Thompson straddles the fence on charter schools. De Blasio takes the position they should pay the damn rent for occupying public school space. That’s enough to get my vote.

I lied. A word on stop and frisk. Major crime dropped under Giuliani. Did you know that Rudy, that paragon of treating people of color like crap, used stop and frisk 1/8 of the amount Bloomberg has used at its height? When Bloomberg cut down Stop and Frisk recently by significant numbers (due to the pressure), crime actually dropped. I’m not a fan of Giuliani but he had lots more cops on the street while Bloomberg cut cops and decided to make S&F his major policy despite the collateral damage on people of color, instead of community policing --- saving money on the backs of the police force. No one opposed to S&F is calling for less police presence, but more. Bloomberg and Kelly are engaging in scare tactics. In fact many cops are themselves wary of S&F quotas being used to juke the stats of their superiors.

Next time: I have a bone to pick with Eric Ulrich. Norm spills his guts every day at ednotesonline.com.

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