For decades, the New York Post has prided itself on being intensely critical of NYC mayors. In its pages, the top municipal official in the largest city in the US is “Hizzoner”, a sobriquet that has been in place since at least the 1970s.
But its feud with de Blasio has been merciless even by New York City tabloid standards. And that’s understandable: From his chronic tardiness, to his off-putting and gaffe-prone persona, to his inability to actually deliver on his campaign promises, or confront any of the city’s most pressing crises, he’s particularly prone to being pilloried.
So perhaps it’s fitting that on the day of de Blasio’s campaign launch, the Post’s editorial board published a lengthy column exploring several of the most glaring reasons why de Blasio running on his mayoral record is a “complete farce.”
“He has nothing interesting to say – at least, not if he’s telling the truth.”
Even President Trump joined in the fun on Thursday with some harsh words for the mayor of his home town, who a day earlier held a farcical pseudo-campaign event at Trump Tower.
The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group. Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today. He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2019
Without further delay…
Cash for favors
The long-running scandal surrounding allegations that de Blasio traded favors for donations to a political non-profit he controlled. De Blasio escaped criminal charges, but at least two donors have pleaded guilty to bribing him. That’s not exactly a good look. Most galling of all, after de Blasio sold himself as a champion of affordable housing, his administration pushed to lift a deed restriction that allowed a developer to build high end condos and net a massive, eight-figure profit.
Failing kids and the homeless
Despite his promise to reform a city agency that monitored at-risk kids and, when necessary, separated them from abusive or neglectful parents, de Blasio let the Administration for Children’s Services go to seed. Children have died from abuse suffered in homes that were on the agency’s radar, and de Blasio ignored warnings by the city’s public advocate that it was badly in need of reform.
He also spent weeks denying the existence of a new homelessness crisis in 2015. He has doubled spending on services for the homeless, yet the city’s homeless population still stands at over 58,000.
His pick to head the authority overseeing all of the city’s public housing – an agency that has long been badly in need of reform – was eventually forced out over an investigation into systemic procedures for falsifying inspection reports involving lead paint. A system allowing the housing agency to falsify inspections existed before de Blasio, but it continued under his watch.
$1 billion wasted
De Blasio’s “Renewal Schools” program was spectacularly ineffective. The price tag? $750 million. ThriveNYC – run by the first lady of New York – has received some $250 million in annual funding since its rollout in 2015. But none of the top people can explain how it has helped even one member of New York City’s homeless community.
Then there’s de Blasio’s widely criticized practice of beginning most workdays with an hours-long trip to his old Brooklyn neighborhood to use his gym. It results in a small caravan of NYPD cars in his escort from Gracie Mansion to Park Slope.
But none of this really matters, since de Blasio’s favorables are so toxic, that the odds of him lasting past the Iowa caucus – if he even makes it that far – are extremely low.