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You’re In Good (Liberal Activist) Hands, NYC

Written By : William Teach
March 1, 2014

Mayor Bill De Blasio is taking a page from the Obama administration, and surrounding himself with hardcore liberal activists rather than people with real knowledge about running a city. Even the NY Times notices

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De Blasio Picks More Liberal Activists Than Managers for City Posts

In Bill de Blasio’s City Hall, it seems more and more, there is only a left wing.

The mayor, who advanced in politics by grass-roots organizing, has built a team filled with former activists — figures more accustomed to picketing administrations or taking potshots from the outside than working from within. His administration is heavily populated with appointees best known for the fights they have fought. (snip)

“We’ve said all along, as we make appointments, our standards are clear,” Mr. de Blasio said in announcing the appointments of Mr. Banks, who once lost to him in a City Council race, and two other officials. “We need people who share our progressive values related to the future of this city.”

Alternative ideas and values are no longer welcome in NYC. So, it seems, is the notion of needing people with quality backgrounds

In any case, Mr. de Blasio’s mayor’s personnel choices are just one means by which he appears to be easing the mayoralty from the practical details of governing into a platform for the kind of social change usually achieved on the streets and in the courts.

It is a far different approach from that of his predecessor, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who favored agency heads and staff members with button-down business backgrounds.

As far as Bloomberg goes, while you can certainly condemn him for his nannying ways, but the guy did know business. And he wanted business to come to NYC, he wanted people who knew how to Get Things Done, like in a business. I heard an interview with him back in September, and he was thrilled that NYC had so many really, really, really rich people, because he understood they created jobs, and put money in the city coffers. De Blasio is sure to drive people away.

Even those de Blasio has picked who have managerial experience are hardcore progressives, and must share his vision. Expect this to be a very activist government for NYC, and things will not work very well, especially when much of the big tax base moves away.

Mr. Green, who was Mr. Bloomberg’s opponent in the 2001 election, warned that New Yorkers needed “more of a leader and manager than activist and advocate.”

“He’s been preparing for years to run for mayor but not to be mayor,” Mr. Green said. “The most-asked question I get from earnest citizens is, ‘Can he manage the city?’ ”

That reminds me of someone else with few managerial skills but was great at campaigning, and it hasn’t worked so well for the United States.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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