Monday, August 14, 2006

Putting the Carting Before the Horse

There has been an ongoing dispute over the claims by Mark Green that he played a major role in rooting OC out of the commercial trash hauling business. In particular Randy Mastro, the Giuliani deputy who played a leading role in the passage of Local Law 42, has derided the Green claims.

While it is true that Green, as Consumer Affairs Commissioner under Mayor Dinkins, was the first to focus real attention on the issue of the mob control of private sanitation, he clearly was not the most instrumental in ridding the industry of its influence.

Then again, neither was Mayor Giuliani, in spite of all of the hoopla over the legislation he engineered that brought with it the vaunted Trade Waste Commission. By the time Local Law 42 was passed the mob cartel had already been broken-by DA Bob Morgenthau! The DA's undercover work took out all of the main players. As we have said, Morgenthau beat up the bad guys, Giuliani than went out and whipped up on the women and children.

If it weren't for the work of the Alliance the Giuliani administration, with the execrable Ed Ferguson in charge of the Commission, would have eliminated all of the mom-and-pop carters leaving only the national firms to pick up the garbage.

As it stands today, carting rates are at an all time high with local retailers longing for the halcyon days of the "mob tax." Lost in the nostalgic mists is the fact that LL 42 was one of the most anti-civil liberties bills ever passed in the city. After all, the "honesty, integrity and good character" clause was the recipe for a witch hunt against anyone the Giuliani folks even suspected of having had mob ties. The "associated" with bad guys clause was so broad that, under its aegis, the mayor himself would have been denied a carting license.

If we're going to look back on all of this than we should examine the entire episode and not just the press releases of the self-serving. If we do take a closer look we'll see just how ridiculous the Guiliani full page ads touting "Independence Day" (from the mob tax) really were.