Christine Quinn’s leaving of a living wage press conference after a participant heckled the Mayor as “Pharaoh Bloomberg” could be viewed either “as a principled stand that makes her appear mayoral or a fit of pique that could prove a liability,” writes Kate Taylor.
Michael Powell says that the bill isn’t anything to cheer about, noting that Quinn “spent months trimming and cutting the bill down to the size of a hat box,” so that in the In the end the bill would affect 0.013 percent of the jobs in the city.
Nicole Gelinas concurs: “Why pass a “living wage” at all if it’s not big enough to matter much, good or bad? Politics. The anti-poverty “advocates” and union honchos whose support Quinn needs have seized upon the bill as a top issue.”
The Times meanwhile calls Read More
Ydanis Rodriguez told The Politicker he is getting rid of his spokesman, David Segal, after the New York Post published a story revealing Mr. Segal spent six months in federal prison and four months on house arrest after attempting to burn down an army recruitment center in The Bronx.
“He is a very hardworking person during the time that he’s been in my office,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I didn’t know about any crime that he did or that he spent time in jail in the past and he’s being relieved from my staff.”
Law & Order
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was arrested and charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest during the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park November 15. This morning those charges were dismissed in Manhattan Criminal Court. Though the district attorney’s office claimed they “determined that the officers who were involved in Read More
The New York Times accidentally identified Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez as “George Martinez” in a story today. The case of mistaken identity appeared in the caption of photo that accompanied the Times’ article about the press conference on the NYPD’s alleged use of excessive force at Saturday’s Occupy Wall Street protest Mr. Rodriguez held yesterday along with fellow Council members Jumaane Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Stephen Levin.
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who has been a staunch supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, appeared on the radio this morning to discuss his plans for a “Protester’s Bill of Rights” with John Gambling, who is most certainly not a fan of the Occupy movement. Mr. Rodriguez’s bill was inspired bythe NYPD’s handling of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Zuccotti Park last Saturday.
“I believe that in the last couple of demonstrations there have been a lot of questions about how the NYPD has been handling the arrests,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I witnessed the excessive use of force used by the NYPD last Saturday making the arrest and I believe that a ‘Protester’s Bill of Rights’ will help both the protesters and the NYPD to have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of both the protesters and the NYPD.”
Several Council members held a rally along with several members of the Occupy Wall Street movement to call attention to allegedly excessive force used by police who cleared crowds at the Occupy protest in Zuccotti Park Saturday night. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who has been a staunch supporter of the Occupy movement and claims he was the victim of excessive police force when he was arrested during the eviction of the protest from Zuccotti Park last November, said there will be a massive “Day of Action” for Occupy next Saturday, that he is working on a bill to establish a “protester’s Bill of Rights” and that he plans to push Christine Quinn to hold a hearing reviewing the NYPD’s handling of the occupiers.
“I am here today because, on Saturday night, I saw the NYPD using brutal excessive force arresting peaceful people that had gathered in this park,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “More than 1,000 people came here to celebrate our sixth month anniversary in a peacful way, saying Occupy is here, Occupy is alive, Occupy will not leave.”
Mitt In Manhattan
Approximately 200 protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement showed up to protest a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria today. Aaron Black, an Occupy Wall Street organizer, said he wanted to demonstrate against the influence of money in politics.
“it was an auction happening in our city right under our noses–$2,500 a plate. Our government is not for sale,” Mr. Black told The Politicker. “This is the root of all evil corporations are not people.”
Watching the Watchers
A Quinnipiac University poll out this morning had some disappointing news for civil libertarians when it showed that 58 % of New Yorkers favor the NYPD’s surveillance efforts of Muslims.
This doesn’t sit well with critics of the practice, and Ydanis Rodriguez, a City Councilman from Washington Heights and frequent critic of the NYPD, believes that these misguided New Yorkers will soon come around.
His evidence? Look at how opinion changed about the war in Iraq.
“In the days leading up to 2003 invasion of Iraq, a similar percentage of Americans were in support of an invasion. Just five years later, when the consequences of this war were clear, nearly two-thirds of the country felt the war was not worth fighting,” Mr. Rodriguez said in a statement. “The failure of the war in Iraq has become so widely accepted, that most of us forget the support it initially had.”
It is hard not to pity poor Charlie Rangel.
Not because his golden years have been besieged by trouble, some of it his own making, some of it the usual thrust of a hyper-partisan political culture. Not because he is now—and has been for the past several years—hounded by plausible challengers at an age when most politicians are busy buffing the stones on the sides of buildings that bear their names; not because he continues to contend with suspicions that he is on the cusp of retirement.
No, instead, Mr. Rangel deserves some sympathy because after four decades in the House of Representatives, building a political machine that has seen scores of friends and protégés win high office, serving a district that has been represented by only two people since World War II, he is now presiding over that district’s dissolution.
As the MTA’s contract with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 was set to expire at midnight last night, hundreds of workers gathered in the bitter cold outside the negotiations at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown for a raucous rally where they were joined by several local politicians.
“I’ve been bargaining for the better part of the last 48 hours,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “I’m going to go back into that hotel and I’m going to tell the chairman of the MTA, I’m going to tell the governor to take their petty demands and shove it.”