Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Morning After Winners (Thompson) and Losers (Bloomberg, UFT and Anthony Weiner), Updated

Updated Thurs. Nov. 5, 10pm

From the NYTimes today:

Said one top Bloomberg campaign adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect internal discussions: "If a poll had come out showing that the race was within five points, Barack Obama would have swung into town, the United Federation of Teachers would break for Thompson and Mike Bloomberg would not be mayor today."

Addition to loser list: Obama
- See below under Losers

The big winner, and maybe the only winner in the mayoral election, was Bill Thompson. 51% to 46%. Add the other anti-Bloomberg candidates and it's a statistical tie: 51-49%.

All along I felt he was running for the 2013 race. Everyone declared him a loser from the very beginning. The obvious issues: Bloomberg was pretty popular and his money. But Thompson also ran an inept campaign, refusing to really go after Bloomberg on his education record and other issues. When Giulianni pulled the race card while campaigning with Bloomberg standing at his side, Thompson showed no fight back. A lot of the enthusiasm for Thompson that existed was due to anti-Bloomberg feeling.

Ed Notes was predicting from the get-go that Thompson didn't want to go overboard, preferring to husband his resources for the next time. And I felt that the lack of the UFT endorsement was a sort of quid quo pro, where he pretty much figured he would get it in 2013 in his face-off with Anthony Weiner, who the UFT despises. Thompson is now the most viable candidate in 2013 and has 4 years to build a war chest.

The losers:
The big loser is Michael Bloomberg. Listen to news reports and he's almost a laughing stock. Jeff Greenberg on Imus calculated what he spent per vote (I think it was thousands) and suggested Bloomberg should have just gone around in a Brinks truck and hand out a thousand dollars to everyone who promised to vote for him and he could have saved $50 million. (Thanks to Leonie, I realize he meant applying the thousand dollars a vote to the margin of victory. He could have spnet 50,000,000 by giving a thousand doilars each to 50,000 people who promised to vote for him. My math still may stink, so check it.)

By the way, if Bloomberg had donated the 100 million he spent for class size reduction in the 100 worst schools in the city he would have done a lot more to improve education for a great number of kids than anything else he's done in his education deforms. Remember what happened in Ed Koch's third term. May the same fate befall Bloomberg.

The other big loser is the UFT, which sat on the sidelines (see comments below). Their performance should cause as much embarrassment as Bloomberg faces. The numbers come out to their worst nightmare. At the debates over the Thompson endorsement at the October Delegate Assembly, the UFT leadership made the case that Thompson was a sure loser and at most could move the needle only 3 points. Let me do the math: subtract 3 from Bloomberg and I get 48%. Add 3% to Thompson and I get -- let me see now, it comes to 49% for Thompson. Thus, every time another idiot policy comes out of Tweed or out of the mouth of Bloomberg, every single teacher in the system should think about these numbers.

When the UFT folded on term limits in rejecting an ICE proposal at the October 2008 Delegate Assembly, Paul Egan also made a lame case, as I reported on my blog: In opposing the ICE amendment to the term limits resolution, UFT District 11 (Bronx) rep Paul Egan made the astounding argument that if each individual in the room went home and called their city council rep that would have a greater impact than if the UFT as an organization took a stand and pressured the reps to deny Bloomberg another term of office."

Will the election results affect the upcoming internal UFT elections? ICE/TJC will make sure to remind the members how Unity Caucus and Mike Mulgrew put Bloomberg in office.

(See the Ed Notes report from Philip Nobile on the Oct. DA:
Endorse Thomson Resolution Trashed at DA Fearful UFT Leaders Surrender to Bloombergs’s Reich)

Another big loser was mayoral wannabee Anthony Weiner, who folded like a cheap suit when faced with a few measly attacks from the Bloomberg machine. Counting on Thompson being the sacrificial lamb and would get swamped to the extent he would not be a viable candidate for mayor in the future (call it the Ruth Messinger syndrome), Weiner figured to be a shoo-in in 2013. In fact he could have beaten Bloomberg this time and maybe even handily. Look for a mea culpa, but his jelly fish spinelessness will not easily be forgiven.

Obama is also a loser here. He shunned Thompson while campaigning 5 times for Corzine. How embarrassing is that? What kind of message does it send to Democrats? Obama favors the millionaires like Bloomberg and Corzine over working politicians who came up through the ranks like Thompson.

ICE members comment on the election

Michael Fiorillo
The election results demonstrate the moral and political bankruptcy of the Unity Caucus, and particularly Randi Weingarten.

She was in many ways the chief enabler of Bloomberg's weak victory. Had she fought the overriding of term limits, had she exposed the fraud of Bloomberg's and Klein's educational regime, had she endorsed Thompson (admittedly, far from a perfect candidate), the entire political climate in the city might be perched on the edge of movement and change, and the axe might be a little further from teacher's necks. Instead, she took the craven route of sucking up to power.

Well, movement and change is going to happen regardless. Bloomberg's popularity and political support has been shown to be a Potemkin Village. If there is any validity to the Third Term Curse, then he is likely to soon become the most hated man in NYC.

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Loretta Prisco

Certainly, Thompson was not all we wanted, but at least we would have a had a shot of having a more compassionate school system, kinder to kids and teachers. The media declared Thompson a loser a long time ago which seriously effected his ability to attract money and volunteers. If only our union...

Out of Oakland
The Perimeter Primate has left a new comment on your post "Comments on UFT and Bloomberg Embarrassing Win":

Yesterday I heard on the news that Michael Bloomberg had spent about $100 million on his campaign.

With a net worth of $16 billion (the most recent Forbes figure, making him world billionaire #17), the amount of money Bloomberg spent on his campaign was the equivalent of $312.50 to someone with a net worth of $50,000. In other words, it was a chunk, but not all that much -- relatively speaking of course.

I'm so sorry that the campaign finance laws of this country are permitting the wealth of this person to rule NYC. I'll keep my fingers crossed that more and more New Yorkers give him absolute hell for the next four years!


  1. I made this comment over at Gotham Schools:

    I think this election is the end of Michael Mulgrew. He refused to back Thompson and that could have made all the difference. We might have had a new mayor, an actual contract, and a new Chancellor of Ed. Instead he laid down the carpet for Bloomberg. Nice work, Mulgrew. I hope there’s lots of booing in the crowd at the next Delegate’s Assembly.

  2. It’s a good day to look around, smell the coffee, and take stock. It’s been a year now since Barack Obama won the Presidency and the day after Michael Bloomberg suffered the complete rejection of the people of New York City. No one who wasn’t paid to vote for Bloomberg did so. And to look around on this day is to more clearly see that many of the things wrought by globalization, the drive to turn the planet and its inhabitants into one giant multi-national sweatshop, have begun their descent and will soon crash and burn.

    Oligarchs in public office and oligarchs with undue influence over public policy will soon disappear. Michael Bloomberg bought his last term in public office last night. He will not even finish this one. Bill Gates, Eli Broad and the Walton Family will soon disappear from the public discourse. Unlike Warren Buffet’s “all-in bet on the American economy” railroad purchase yesterday, Gates and the other oligarchs sold-out to globalization long ago. It is clear they lost their bets.

    The flunkies of the oligarchs will fade with them. That list is very long and the only question is how high it will go. But someone celebrating a big anniversary today might want to look around, smell the coffee, and take stock.
    The victims of the oligarchs and the refugees of globalization will not disappear. For us the long difficult struggle in the twilight of capitalism has begun.

  3. Andrew,

    Yes the system is broken, as it inevitably had to break, but what's to replace it? Things could turn right, and towards an ugly hard right, just as easily or perhaps more easily than they could turn left.

    And this is to say nothing about the suffering that the breakup will entail.

  4. Press release as follows:
    "Bloomberg Inc. is proud to announce that in addition to Bloomberg Net, Bloomberg LLP and Bloomberg TV, they have recently acquired, Bloomberg NYC."
    It's like watching a far-fetched, dystopian novel unfold.

  5. Michael, can't disagree with much of anything you wrote but to answer your question--socialism.

  6. Thomspon should get a recount the way the Repuglicuns are takling back all those seats and Ram Imamuel must resign because he abandonded THompson!


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.