In New York City it is illegal to hang signs on lampposts, trees, bus shelters and other city-owned property. But this didn’t stop former NYC Controller and Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, present Controller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio from using public campaign funds to plaster thousands of their litter-causing signs all over the city, as our Sanitation Department had to spend thousands of dollars and man hours to take them down.
Now all three of these upstanding politicians are refusing to pay the fines for this illegality, using teams of lawyers to find technicalites to get them off. “If elected officials don’t follow the law, what hope is there for any of us?” forthrightly stated Mayor Bloomberg.
In the last mayoral election, however, Bloomberg himself skirted the two-term limit we voted for by using political muscle to weasel around it. Now that he is in his third term, he again firmly supports two-term limits.
Laws? We are above your stinkin’ laws! The attitude was perhaps best expressed by tax-evader Leona Helmsley when she scornfully sniffed “Only the little people pay taxes.”
Sadly, she was close to the truth. Billionaire Warren Buffet admits he pays a lower percentage on his taxes than his secretary or janitor. He calls the current tax structure “unfair,” “hypocritical” and “absurd.”
These three words well describe not only what is going on among local politicians, but nationwide. Republicans who called President Obama everything from a socialist to a Muslim who hates America to a secret Kenyan whose father supported the Mau Mau uprising are now “outraged” by Obama’s recent speech saying there is nothing courageous about those who stick it to the poor and elderly while coddling the superrich, indignantly calling his remarks “disrespectful” and “uncivil.” Talk about chutzpah!
The NYC politicians mentioned above all consider themselves liberal Democrats, But they and the conservative Republicans now attacking the President are brothers under the skin in one important way: they believe they are exempt from the laws, mores and standards of decency dictating the lives of those they govern.
But when we call them out as arrogant, double-standard phonies, they are shocked and appalled. How dare we be so…uncivil?