Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New York Post Endorsement of Joe Lhota More Harmful Than Helpful

Thomas Riggins

Reading the New York Post's endorsement of Joe Lhota in the Republican Primary for New York City Mayor (8-26-2013) one can see that if he wins  the Post will be backing him for mayor in the general election as well. The trouble is that the endorsement is so outlandish and ridiculous  that no one with any sense would want to vote for someone the Post would endorse. You would have to think if the writers at the Post are as crazy as they seem to be in the claims they make about the up coming election who would trust their judgment as to whom to vote for.

The Post likes Lhota because he is different from "many" of the other candidates who "say we can strip the police of their powers, give giant raises to the municipal unions, and tax our way to utopia."

Really? Who are these other candidates? Not one of the major candidates, Democratic or Republican, advocates "stripping" the police of their power. Some have supported measures that allow for more civilian review of police conduct to prevent abuses by some police of their powers (especially as regards "stop and frisk" which has been found to violate the constitutional rights of New Yorkers. None of the suggested reforms strip the police of any legal powers granted to them  or would in any way hamper legitimate policing. For the post to suggest otherwise is to pervert the truth and to try and mislead those who read the paper.

The same is true about the claim regarding "giant raises" for city workers, many of whom have been working without new contracts for years. That the workers demand realistic cost of living adjustments and wages that reflect increases in their levels of productivity as well is perfectly natural and is what collective bargaining is all about. Again the Post perverts the truth in an effort to mislead and misinform its readers.

Again, with respect to taxing "our way to utopia"-- what claim could be more absurd. None of the candidates believes that New York City can be turned into "utopia" but some of them, mostly if not exclusively the Democrats, think that closing tax loopholes or modest increases on the super rich, or on Wall Street, could go a long way to easing the strains on the city's ability to provide the best possible municipal services to the people without at the same time seriously causing distress to those whose taxes are raised. This is simply prudent governing, which the Post very well knows but would rather distort for its own political reasons.

As is well known the Post has never had a profitable year since it was taken over by reactionary billionaire Rupert Murdoch and survives on life support by monetary transfusions from his other sources of wealth. He keeps it alive to have a political presence in New York City and its editorial stances function to further his business investments, as does its news reporting.  The Wikipedia article on the Post, in fact, reports that, " According to a survey conducted by Pace University in 2004, the Post was rated the least-credible major news outlet in New York." This endorsement of Lhota is one of the reasons why this is still true.

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