Thursday, July 14, 2016
Is there any part of city government that our “leaders” won’t turn to their own private ends?
The latest is City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s use of council staff to gin up a “study” of the supposed impact of a Donald Trump presidency’s immigration policies on the city — a nightmarish future of massive job losses, plummeting tax revenues, dogs and cats living together …
The speaker released the scare show in a speech Wednesday to the Association for a Better New York, but her true target is obviously national. She’s hoping to score points with the pro-immigration movement.
We get it: Thanks to term limits, she’s off the council after next year, with nowhere in local politics to move up to. So she’s updating her LinkedIn profile and trying to boost her image with other potential employers.
Mark-Viverito won’t put a number on the resources diverted from the people’s business for her presentation, and the amount’s not the real issue: It’s that she’s using taxpayer-financed staff to service her personal ambitions.
We suppose we can be grateful she didn’t even bother to pretend it was a nonpartisan exercise by forcing her minions to report that a Hillary Clinton White House will bring pie in the sky, by and by.
To be fair, she’s only following in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s footsteps. We’re thinking of his “pay-to-play” fundraising for his various political and “charitable” funds — much of which went to boost his fantasies of national influence. And his (failed) effort to buy votes via politicized Water Board rebates as well as his abuse of the Rent Guidelines Board.
And last month’s report from NYPD Inspector General Philip Eure — a hit on Bloomberg-era policing that supposedly showed Broken Windows policies don’t work. (Too bad Eure’s work also outraged Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who still relies on the Broken Windows approach.)
In the end, it’s hard to say what’s more outrageous: that the city’s two top officials are so blatantly abusing the public trust to serve their personal ambitions — or that they’re so blasé about hiding it.