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New York City considers its future past

Wednesday, 23 October, 2013

“Poll Shows de Blasio Maintaining Huge Lead” wrote the New York Times yesterday. The New York City mayoral election takes place on 5 November and the Democratic nominee, Bill de Blasio, looks set to win handsomely. The thing about Bill de Blasio, though, is that he’s not quite what he appears to be. First of all, he’s actually Warren Wilhelm, Jr. He legally changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm in 1983, and in 2002 he changed that to Bill de Blasio. In doing so, he traded in his paternal German heritage for his mother’s Italian origins.

In 1988, Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm travelled to Managua to help distribute food and medicine during the Nicaraguan Revolution. He was a fervent supporter of the Sandinista regime and when he returned to the US, the joined a group called the Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York, which held fundraisers for the Sandinistas. Filled with revolutionary zeal, De Blasio got involved in the 1989 mayoral campaign of the notoriously incompetent David Dinkins and was rewarded for his efforts with a sinecure at City Hall. Since then, he’s devoted his career to climbing the greasy pole of Democratic politics. Incredibly, voters now trust him with creating jobs, reducing the gap between rich and poor and improving education.

Following September’s primary election, Ben McGrath of the New Yorker went along to the de Blasio victory party in Brooklyn and was impressed by what he saw: “His sixteen-year-old son, Dante, has an afro that would have humbled a young Julius Erving, and his wife, Chirlane McCray, is an ex-radical lesbian.” At the end of the evening, “the likely new First Family of New York City engaged in a signature dance that involved licking their palms, slapping them on the floor, and jumping backward with arms raised.”

New Yorkers seem to have forgotten the citywide murder and mayhem, crime and grime that marked the mayoral misrule of Ed Koch and David Dinkins. Otherwise, they wouldn’t consider giving the city’s top job to such a shameless apparatchik of Democratic machine politics. Nicaragua, despite Bill de Blasio’s revolutionary support, is now is the second poorest nation in the Americas, after Haiti.


Comments (3)

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  1. Kevin says:

    Eamonn

    David Dinkins had a much more successful tenure as mayor than he was given credit for, especially with respect to reversing crime trends. Rudy Giuliani surfed the waves of the success that resulted from the Dinkins initiatives.

    Regards

    Kevin

  2. Kevin

    I lived in New York during the days of Koch and Dinkins and I can tell you that the city was hellish for most of its residents. The dirt and danger may have been romantic for the intellectual class but those who had to work in ordinary jobs had to endure extraordinary hardship daily. The beggars, the homeless and the crazed made every commute a trial and the muggers and the murderers ran riot. In 1990, there were 2,605 murders in NYC. In 1999, the number was down to 903 and in 2009, it was down again to 781. More people were murdered in the first two years of the Dinkins mayoralty than in 20 years of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland!

    Eamonn

  3. Kevin says:

    Eamonn

    Yes, the city was a disaster during that time. Dinkins was the person that turned it around and it is only fair to give him credit for that substantial achievement.

    He became mayor in 1990 and hired Ray Kelly. Starting in 1991, under his Safe Streets, Safe Cities program, crime in New York City decreased more dramatically and more rapidly, both in terms of actual numbers and percentage, than at any time in modern New York City history. The rates of all categories of violent crime, made consecutive declines during the last 36 months of his four-year term, ending a 30-year upward spiral and initiating a trend of falling rates that continued beyond his term. He started the clean-up of Times Square and snared Disney to have a presence there.

    Achievements that his successor loved to take credit for!

    Best

    Kevin