Wednesday, July 07, 2010

L'etat, C'est Moi

More and more we have come to realize that, as far as Mayor Mike is concerned, he's very much like Leona Helmsley who once famously remarked, about her failure to pay taxes, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes..." We were reminded of the mayor's tendency to place his own self interest-and that of the exclusive club of billionaires that he belongs to-above the general good when we read the WSJ article last week about the mayor's reaction to a court ruling over the closing of 19 city schools.

As the Journal reported: "Mayor Michael Bloomberg, vowing to keep fighting to shutter 19 failing city schools, suggested Friday that judges should take a more activist role when deciding cases.The mayor's remarks—denouncing a unanimous appellate court ruling that prevents his administration from closing the schools—offer a provocative glimpse at Mr. Bloomberg's perspective on the role of the judiciary and would undoubtedly be a lightning rod if he launched a bid for president."

In the mayor's own particular world view, activism means ruling in his favor: "On his weekly radio show, the mayor conceded it's "probably true" that his administration "didn't comply" with the procedures required under law to close the schools, but he suggested the five-judge panel on the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court should have looked at the bigger picture. "We're playing with children's lives, not whether the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed," Mr. Bloomberg said. "They should look at the context of it, and for them to think, 'Well, you know, I'm just here to interpret the law,' that's not true. They are part of society."

For those of you who follow our musings about the mayor's unique solipsistic behavior, this injudicious comment might recall a similar one when the NY Times exposed how EDC used a dummy local development company to create a grass roots support for its legacy project over at Willets Point. As the Times told us, the mayor said that, although it might have technically be a violation of the law, it's done all the time.
So as far as Mike Bloomberg is concerned, there is one narrow set of rules for him-and a more detailed one for the little people. And when it comes to a choice between his own interests, and the rule of law itself, the mayor unhesitatingly comes down on the side of what's good for Mike Bloomberg.