Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A Blast Back at Bloomberg

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While Mayor de Blasio has continued to tweak the record of his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg received a full-body slam in a front-page New York Times story today with the tough headline: “Bloomberg Era Brought a Rise in Jail Violence.”

In the story, Bloomberg’s first correction commissioner, Martin Horn, threw his old boss under the Rikers bus, saying: “There was very little interest in expending political capital and financial capital on the jails.”

Realizing the seriousness of The Times story, Team Bloomberg enlisted the help of two once-and-future attack dogs: former Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and former Press Secretary Stu Loeser.

It’s fascinating to see The Times, which largely supported Bloomberg’s agenda for 12 years, take one of its most critical looks at his administration -- seven months after he left office. Mindful of his legacy (after all, this is the man whose memoir is titled “Bloomberg by Bloomberg”), the former mayor may soon be pulling out all the stops to stuff the early history books.

On his Twitter feed, Wolfson noted how some of Bloomberg’s achievements were a major part of de Blasio’s video that’s designed to lure the 2016 Democratic National Convention to New York: “Vimpressed w #DNCNYC video, esp green taxis, ped plaza, Barclays, 911 Memorial, HighLine, Citibike. Lots of great selling points!”

At some point soon, it might make sense for de Blasio to stop talking about the legacy of his predecessor and soldier on with the pretty good hand he was dealt; Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg all entered office in much more difficult circumstances than de Blasio. As for The Times, it’s following the rules of the Fourth Estate: Dig around and ask lots of questions. The rest of New York should get a tetanus shot because Wolfson and Loeser may soon be running around without their leashes.

Bob Hardt

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