Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Post Recovers its Balance

In this morning's NY Post, the paper comments on the NY Times revelation about the Mike Bloomberg slush fund: "Mayor Bloomberg's reputation for fis cal competence took one on the chin this week with a troubling report in The New York Times about some unexplained city funding of two politically connected nonprofits."

But the report underscores what we have been saying for some time-Mike Bloomberg is not some iconic figure standing above the rough and tumble of ordinary politics; he is, despite attempts to portray himself differently, thoroughly immersed in the rewarding of political favors to those that can benefit the most significant mayoral special interest, Mike Bloomberg in the flesh. And the revealing report raises questions about that other Bloomberg canard-the need for the uniquely qualified Bloomberg to pilot the city through tough economic times.

Because the truth is that Mikey Bloomberg's F Troop, not only was clueless about the most tawdry aspects of the City Council's own slush fund, but apparently couldn't follow the law itself when it came time to spread a little love on a favored special interest: "Indeed, incompetence is the kinder word. Absent an explanation for how the groups -- Agudath Israel and Ohel Children's Home and Family Services -- got $3 million in city cash from 2002 to 2008, New Yorkers might be forgiven for thinking the worst. The money was part of a $20 million pork pot ladled out to nonprofits supposedly on behalf of City Council members. Bloomberg's folks say they wrote the necessary checks at the request of Councilman Simcha Felder. But Felder says he never requested the money, and the groups say they dealt directly with the mayor's office -- which has no records to resolve the issue one way or another."

Once again, Mr. Indispensability demonstrates just how hollow the third term argument for Mike-the new Abe Beame?-really is: "No one has yet challenged the integrity of the two groups in question. And if Felder never asked for the cash, as he claims, then Mike's folks broke the law, which bars City Hall from disbursing pork directly to any group. Frankly, the possibilities go downhill from there...Which is why Mike Bloomberg needs to keep his records in substantially better order than this episode demonstrates."

And not only the city records, but his own private pig pen as well-the one that allows those favored hogs to slop down hundreds of thousands of charitable dollars; money that was never seen prior to Bloomberg's entry into city politics. The Post, along with all of the other editorialists, should demand an itemized list of the mayor's largess-and compare the before and after on it. It will amaze one and all how Mike Bloomberg's love for the Jewish people has grown exponentially since he has taken office. Pay for play has been turned into a game of three dimensional chess by the billionaire Bloomberg.

In our view, he should clean up all those municipal records so that the city archivist has a better handle on what happened during his two terms in office-and so that his successor has a better grip on getting a head start in insuring that the city is in more competent hands. Can anyone still argue with a straight face that Mike Bloomberg is needed for an extra-legal third term now?