Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Moneybags Is An SUV-Riding Hypocrite

Mayor Moneybags Bloomberg "says" he takes the subway to work every day.

He says people who complain about having to ride subways at 150% capacity during rush hour are "whiners" who should "Get real...So you have to stand up next to people."

He says he rarely sees crowded subways during his commute, but if people don't back his Manhattan congestion pricing plan to charge car drivers $8 and truck drivers $21 to enter the borough below 86th Street, this non-existent subway crowding will get even worse.

(I'm not sure how putting more people on the subways by charging drivers extra money to drive into Manhattan actually alleviates subway overcrowding, but nonetheless Mayor Moneybags insists it will...)

The mayor has gotten away with his blunt response to subway riders who have complained about subway overcrowding because he says he rides the subway to and from work every day just like millions of other New Yorkers, therefore he knows what he's talking about.

Except that the New York Times reports today that Moneybags is lying about his subway use. He actually takes an SUV to work every day, even on days when he "rides the subway":

He is public transportation’s loudest cheerleader, boasting that he takes the subway “virtually every day.” He has told residents who complain about overcrowded trains to “get real” and he constantly encourages New Yorkers to follow his environmentally friendly example.

But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s commute is not your average straphanger’s ride.

On mornings that he takes the subway from home, Mr. Bloomberg is picked up at his Upper East Side town house by a pair of king-size Chevrolet Suburbans. The mayor is driven 22 blocks to the subway station at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue, where he can board an express train to City Hall. His drivers zip past his neighborhood station, a local subway stop a five-minute walk away.

That means Mr. Bloomberg — whose much-discussed subway rides have become an indelible component of his public image — spends a quarter of his ostensibly subterranean commute in an S.U.V.

“I never see him,” said Namela Hossou, who sells newspapers every morning at the downtown entrance to the mayor’s nearest stop, at 77th Street, four blocks from the mayor’s house. “Never, never.”


Almost every morning, two Suburbans waited outside his East 79th Street town house, sometimes with engines idling and windows up, until their charge was ready to leave. Uniformed police officers and the mayor’s security detail flanked the doorway as Mr. Bloomberg emerged and ducked into one of the waiting vehicles.

As they head to the express subway, they pass two No. 6 local stops, at 77th Street and 68th Street. They pull up to the 59th Street station, across the street from Bloomingdale’s.

Being driven to the 59th Street station shaves about a third off the mayor’s commuting time, based on a reporter’s test runs. It also saves him aggravations others cannot avoid, like taking the local and transferring to the express.

Ah, it's good to be the king!

The New York Times reporter notes that Bloomberg has not one but two SUV's idling with their motors on every morning and says that when asked why Moneybags needs to have two SUV's, a spokesman declined to comment.

But isn't the answer obvious?

It's good to be King Bloomberg!

At any rate, I'm glad Bloomberg's hypocrisy on this issue has been exposed but I wonder why the press didn't look more closely at Bloomberg's supposed subway use before this.

After all, Bloomberg has gotten a lot of mileage out of his populist image as a subway commuter and the "Metrocard Mayor" (NBC's Brian Williams took the subway to work with Bloomberg a while back and filmed the trip for the NBC Nightly News, all the while fellating him for being "America's Environmental Mayor".) He has based much of his image as an environmental proponent on his supposed use of the subways.

Yet now we find out the story is bullshit, that Moneybags actually rides his SUV to work every day while his second SUV sits with the motor running in case Bloomberg doesn't like the first one.

I wonder if Moneybags wouldn't have had a more difficult time getting a compromise for his congestion pricing plan last month if the press had reported that while he says he commutes to work every day on the subway, he actually uses not one but two SUV's to get him to City Hall where he then dons the mantle of "America's Environmental Mayor."

POSTSCRIPT: The picture above is the mayor taking the subway to work.

UPDATE: First Read says the SUV story is "one of those stories that could haunt the candidate-to-be for longer than some think (and could have more legs than any other story today.)"

I hope so. Bloomberg has gotten a free pass from the news media for most of his 6+ years in public life but it is important that his environmental hypocrisy, his past sexual harassment of female employees, and his manipulation of education statistics and test scores get some scrutiny before Moneybags spends $1 billion dollars on commercials to define himself for the '08 presidential campaign.

Stories about the mayor are like when you're in a classroom and someone farted bigtime, but it's so silent and crowded in the classroom you can't tell who did what. And there's a reasonable chance it was the most popular kid in the class, but you don't want to say anything because 1) he's so cool and 2) people will start talking ish about you if you say anything about him rippin' that one.

Unfortunately, he's ripped one too many. And the stench is starting to bother even the most patient of us in the classroom. It always tends to be the nerds and the studious in the class that get picked on for going against the popular kid.

haha ...
It's starting to get out into the media, Jose, it's true...unfortunately Bloomberg plans on spending a billion dollars on advertising to try and buy the White House and that kind of message is hard to fight.

Environmentalist Tag of an SUV:

Six Thousand Pounds of Moving Metal,

For One Macho Fat-Ass Delivered.

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