Thursday, May 08, 2008

Behind the Political Times

In today's NY Times, the paper critiques in its editorial the new discretionary funds procedures proposed by Speaker Quinn: "Still, these are small fixes to a big problem. The best reform would be to simply get rid of these “member items” and other fiscal bonbons that city politicians like to parcel out in their neighborhoods. All city money should go through the regular budgeting process, with its checks and balances."

But why should it? Don't the current expenditures have to be vetted and processed through various mayoral agencies? And why doesn't the paper even mention the failure of mayoral due diligence? This kind of legislative animus is unbecoming to a paper that prides itself on its commitment to democratic practices-and never misses an opportunity to excoriate the executive on the national level (could this be simply partisan double standards?).

The fact is, that the NY Times has been slavishly fawning all over that mayor for the past six years; sitting quietly aside while the billionaire awards city property to his billionaire real estate friends without the benefit of public bidding; not to mention the millions of contracts that have been awarded without proper oversight.

And even where a bidding process has been in place-as with the Moynihan Station-isn't it fascinating, the Marxists would say, "No accident,"-how the winning bidders just happened to be Dan Doctoroff's favorite Bobsey Twins-Steve Ross of Related and Steve Roth of Vornado? This practice, one that we've labeled patricianage, has gone unexamined by the toadies over at the paper of wreckage.

So please spare us all of the reform messages here. and by the way, has anyone yet examined all of the Bloomberg philanthropy prior to his election and beyond? The Times should remain quite in all of this, After all, after making campaign finance reform its signature issue, the paper went ahead and endorse Mayor Mike after he spent over $160 million in making a mockery of the finance law that the Times pretended to see as sacrosanct.