Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's a Private Deal

The coverage of the Bronx Voices for Equal Inclusion press conference yesterday was extremely gratifying. We are particularly happy that Congressman Weiner lent his support to the merchants and the community. Weiner hit the nail on the head, slamming the project as a "sweetheart deal" crafted to favor Steve Ross, a good friend of the deputy mayor.

What tickled us, however, was the mayor's response. First the good news: we seem to be getting through the thick skins down at City Hall. As the Daily News reported, the mayor said:

There are a group of small businesses there, and we've got to find ways to help them
All of our efforts, including the extensive media outreach, seems to be pushing the folks down at the mayor's office to realize that they can't simply kick the merchants to the curb.

On the other hand in the NY Times story, the mayor falsely characterized the deal as a private transaction between the Buntzman family and Related. Elsewhere we have described this as the "immaculate deception." In the spirit of the current debate between science and religion over evolution we should perhaps re-label the deal, in honor of Fransisco Redi, as "spontaneous degeneration."

Clearly, the mayor and EDC's claims should be thoroughly investigated. We have already shown just how phony this claim is, and how the fingerprints of Deputy Dan are all over the entire deal. Now it is time for the mayor's opponents to demand an independent investigation. We believe that it will clearly show that this was the most public of private deals and, making a bad situation worse, a deal that rips off the taxpayers. The deal is, however, private in one sense: the whole thing was probably concocted over dinner between Dan and Steve (with the proverbial player to be named later).