In what has to be described as the ultimate in chutzpah, some group called Transportation Alternatives has taken it upon themselves to attack Richard Brodsky personally for his opposition to the mayor's congestion tax. As the NY Times' City Room blog reported yesterday, someone named Paul Steely White tried to correlate Brodsky's opposition to the traffic plan with contributions he received from the "parking garage industry."
Now we've known Brodsky for over twenty years, and we first got acquainted with his fighting spirit when he personally took on King Budweiser in the late eighties. Since then we've seen him take on any number of powerful figures; and he is the last guy in Albany you want to label a to label as a tool for any special interest.
So who is the putz at TA who wants to do this? Frankly, we have no idea, but the chutzpah in all of this is the fact that the special interests ($4-$5 million and counting) are lined up with Bloomberg on this new tax-with folks like TA acting as the useful idiots in the front row of a mayoral charade on behalf of the environment.
And while we're at it Mr. White, where has your group been when the mayor was adding tens of thousands of tons of new carbon dioxide emissions with his malling of the Bronx and Brooklyn? When Wal-Mart wanted to add thousands of cars to the choked S.I. roadways in and around Tottenvile was the Bloomberg/TA/EDF/NRDC alliance leading the charge of outrage? Where was the concern about asthma for black and Latino children when the Bronx Terminal Market was destroyed to bring 125,000 cars and trucks a week to the new Gateway Mall?- right on asthma alley.
So please, just stop with the aspersions against someone who has championed progressive causes for the better part of three decades in Albany. If you want to see special interests in action, all you need to do is to go down to city hall and watch the new Sotheby's in action-as the mayors minions sell everything but the Brooklyn Bridge to garner support for his new tax.
And don't think that the mayor's money isn't playing a central role with many of these barking seals. After all, the NYC Partnership's two leading lights-the comedy duo of Ross and Roth-are making hundreds of millions through their close friendship with Deputy Dan. Anyone who doesn't think that some of these enviros, habitually short of funds, aren't angling for a future piece of the Bloomberg pie isn't really paying attention (with the exception of our friends at DMI who we believe are genuinely committed to the taxing policy of the mayor).
So as we go into the home stretch, let's hope that Shelly hold firm on the need to subject this entire grandiose plan to a real independent review; one that ignores the slavish hectoring of the Daily News editorial board, and examines whether the Bloomberg scheme will be able to deliver on all of the promises that the mayor has been making. All of the "there" isn't "there" in this scheme.