January 27th, 2008
To The Editors of the New York Times
The endorsements that the NY Times made this week of John McCain in the Republican primary had acute inaccuracies with regard to Mayor Giulliani. The Times wrote:
“The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square.
Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking. When he claims fiscal prudence, we remember how he ran through surpluses without a thought to the inevitable downturn and bequeathed huge deficits to his successor. He fired Police Commissioner William Bratton, the architect of the drop in crime, because he couldn’t share the limelight. He later gave the job to Bernard Kerik, who has now been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.”
The complaint by the Times that Giuliani is a secretive vindictive person is not news. Up until riots broke out in Brooklyn, the Times banged this drum relentlessly. But the claims that he saw no need to limit police power and was racially polarizing, or left a legacy of racial polarization make me wonder if the current editors of the Times actually lived in New York City in the years prior to the Rudy miracle.
Giuliani didn't create the racially charged atmosphere in New York prior to his election. He inherited. Did the times forget the race riots that pit West Indian Blacks against Orthodox Jews under the Dinken's administration? Did they forget the 2000 murders a month, mostly of Black and minority young people prior to Giuliani removing 50,000 illegal handguns off the street? Did the Major forget how race baiting politics by previous administrations allowed Sunny Carson and Al Sharpton to protest in front of an innocent Korean Grocery store on Church Avenue for nearly two years which resulted in a racially charged powder keg which nearly exploded in the face of the entire outer boroughs?
New York's current state of racial harmony, good but hardly perfect, is a direct result of a Giuliani ending violence. In fact, the Rudy Miracle which ended violence all across New York made the job of his predecessor easy. Slum and crime infested communities all across this city where made safe for the first time in generations. Williamsburg, Harlem, Long Island City, Washington Heights, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Greenpoint, Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, bastions of murder, drug deaths, AID's and hopelessness have opened up to young people, businesses and the arts. Young women who now job without any fears down Hoyt street, 125th Street, and Lafayette Avenue would have been attacked, raped and driven from their homes just a few short years ago. Does the Times have a nostalgic remembrance or just bias with the facts?
The financial problems that Rudy left the city with, even after 9-11, was in no way close to the institutional budget disasters which dated back to Laguardia. One out of four people in New York City were on public support prior to his miracle on city government. I was victimized by the previous ideas of city finance when school days were cut back from 10AM – 2PM and class sizes swelled to 50 kids in a class room? Did Rudy leave Blomberg with such an intolerable mess?
Furthermore, you fail to mention that Rudy is an administrative genius. Nobody of any of the current candidates is even remotely capable of administrating government as the Mayor. His government was one of the most open ones ever and his morning round table meetings which called all levels of administration to account for itself in light of statical facts, and which pressed for results is unheard of in current or previous administrations. Up and down the entire hierarchy of Government, everyone who worked for New York City knew they were being watched, judged and being held accountable. None of the Democratic candidates could ever say that. In fact, the Clinton administration was a free for all.
In my opinion, the nation must have that kind of government going into the next decade. And if a few political eggs need to be broken on the road to regaining control of our foreign policy, our intelligence community and the federal bureaucracy, so be it. I'd be happy to send them all to the same place the Mafia went after it was drummed from the private sanitation business in this town. And if there isn't enough room for both the ego's of Rudy and Branton, so be it. Who cares.
The Mayor made safe the nice new location of the NY Times billion dollar building. So considering the fortune of money the Mayor's policies and administration made possible for the paper and the Times family. You would think they'd be a little more truthful. Or perhaps they would prefer to go back to having crack adicts in their loading docks.
One last point. While the Mayor was busy after 9-11 holding the city and nation together, the Times executives were busy giving directives to move their entire computer infrastructure outside of the “dead zone” of New York City? What was the dead zone? The area around New York where, if it was attacked by a nuclear weapon by a terrorist, that the systems would be unaffected so that they could still publish. The Times put its money on a bet the the city would be nuked. The Mayor has done the opposite.