Monday, August 16, 2010

Sharpton Pimps Bloomberg's Ride

Adam Lisberg has thankfully stayed on Mike Bloomberg's tail-following the money and naming names. In yesterday's NY Daily News he gives voice to the dog that didn't bark-the lock jawed Reverend Al Sharpton and his pecuniary relationship to the mayor: "The Rev. Al Sharpton finally disagreed with Mayor Bloomberg a week ago on how to change elections in the city. It was a long time coming.The most prominent African-American voice in New York has a warm and productive relationship with its richest and most powerful white man. They don't always agree, but they always get along. On Aug. 7, Sharpton said he would fight any push to make city elections nonpartisan - which Bloomberg hoped to do this fall. His public stand helped kill the idea. Barely 48 hours later, Bloomberg pulled the plug. Two years earlier, though, Sharpton stayed mum while Bloomberg rammed through a law to extend term limits so he could run again."

And Lisberg rightfully asks, why? And, as in everything else political, the answer lies with Bloomberg's version of the golden rule: you take my gold and let me rule: "Perhaps because, as the city was convulsed over term limits, Sharpton's National Action Network got a $110,000 grant from a brand-new nonprofit funded by Bloomberg. In fact, on the very day Bloomberg announced he wanted to run again, the first $50,000 of the grant was transferred to the National Action Network.The details are buried in filings from the Education Equality Project, a group started two months earlier by Sharpton and Bloomberg's school chancellor, Joel Klein, to close the gap between white and minority students."

All of this comes as no surprise to us-and the smartest thing Mike Bloomberg did in 2001 was to put the morally suspect Sharpton on the pad. It's certainly made his life easier-and has allowed the mayor to staff his administration almost like the Augusta Country Club with nary a peep from the normally loquacious, and bombastic rabble rouser. The fact that Sharpton has parted company on nonpartisan elections is of little note, because his silence over the over turning of term limits gave Bloomberg his undeserved third term-and that's really was the whole enchilada for the solipsistic billionaire.

Sharpton, of course, remains true to his unprinciples to the very end: "The details are buried in filings from the Education Equality Project, a group started two months earlier by Sharpton and Bloomberg's school chancellor, Joel Klein, to close the gap between white and minority students. The project reported only two cash donations in 2008, gifts of $250,000 each from two anonymous donors. Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser would not discuss specifics, but said the mayor gave money to the education project in 2008 - which means Bloomberg was one of those two donors.The National Action Network got $50,000 on Oct. 2, 2008, and the remaining $60,000 on Oct. 17, 2008. The Education Equality Project's tax filing claims there was no conflict of interest in giving money to a group run by one of its own founders: "There is no relationship between the Organization and NAN." Sharpton told the Daily News last week the National Action Network never got any of Bloomberg's money - "not that I know of." He insisted he spoke out against Bloomberg changing term limits, though it doesn't show up in any news clips from the time. "When the mayor changed term limits, I've been on the record against it all along," Sharpton insisted. "The mayor has no financial arrangements, before or after, with us."

A real Chico Marx lyin' eyes moment. We would suggest that Al take a lie detector test, but have no doubt that the sociopath would pass it with flying colors-and this is the man who has become a respected power broker for the Democratic Party; even though Sharpton has been pulling his punches for the past eight years: "Sharpton endorsed the African-American William Thompson against Bloomberg last year but was barely visible. Sharpton denounces the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program at his Saturday rallies, but not on the steps of City Hall."

Lisberg concludes his expose with this amusing comment: "Rejecting nonpartisan elections showed Bloomberg that Sharpton can't be bought. But taking a dive on term limits showed Bloomberg that Sharpton might be able to be rented."  We demur. What this has shown is that Sharpton will take a dive for Mike Bloomberg whenever the mayor deems it to be important enough. The Sharpton stand against non partisan elections is simply a misleading epilogue to an eight year intimacy.