Even if there were any doubt about whom New Yorkers should support for mayor, last week’s bombshell testimony by fat-cat donor Jona Rechnitzdetailing how he purchased City Hall’s favors makes the choice crystal-clear.
Which is why The Post today endorses Republican Nicole Malliotakis to become the city’s 110th chief executive.
It’s not just Mayor Bill de Blasio’s corruption. It’s also his incompetence, exacerbated by his overwhelming ego and his heavy ideological hand.
But, boy, what corruption: De Blasio won the job four years ago by touting his “tale of two cities,” then delivered one New York for his wealthy donors and another for everyone else.
Rechnitz’s sordid account of a City Hall for sale to the highest bidders merely confirms what’s been obvious since de Blasio took office.
As The Post reported back in May, at least 67 of the 102 bundlers for the mayor’s 2013 campaign reaped various political rewards from Team de Blasio. And two-thirds of the donors to his Campaign for One New York slush fund were doing city business or seeking city action when they contributed.
Donors, lobbyists and other assorted power brokers have called the shots in his administration.
Lowlights of the long list include: cracking down on Uber and other ride-hail services to protect taxi donors; trying to kill the carriage-horse industry to repay activists who destroyed his chief rival in the 2013 primary; handing a $6 million no-bid trash-bag contract to the guy who gave $100,000 to CONY — plus OK’ing that notorious Lower East Side nursing-home flip.
This hypocrite campaigned as the voice of forgotten New Yorkers, only to sell City Hall to the very special interests he’d vowed to fight.
And other than selling favors, he’s shown little interest in or attention to the job. His record is a litany of policy failures and mistakes. Having appointed tired hacks and arrogant ideologues to run city agencies, he wound up having to can a host of them as scandal and disaster struck.
Yes, he kept his pledge to deliver universal pre-K. And the NYPD has kept crime at record lows — though he courted doom his first year as his embrace of anti-cop activists yielded the spectacle of hundreds of officers turning their backs to him at police funerals.
But by his own admission, de Blasio has botched the city’s growing homeless crisis — a problem he long denied even existed, when The Post had proved otherwise. Worse, his policy is still dictated by ideology: That’s why, for all the repeated promises to stop parking homeless in hotels, the city can’t seem to stop spending more millions doing just that.
The public school system continues to fail hundreds of thousands of students, because the mayor remains in thrall to the teachers union. Test scores remain low and teacher evaluations a joke. De Blasio’s expensive Renewal program to fix dysfunctional schools has utterly failed to turn them around.
And he remains bitterly hostile to the educational alternative that is one of the city’s great success stories — charter schools — to the point of denying them space and working to thwart their growth. This even though their major beneficiaries are poor, minority students.
The city hospital system remains in crisis, with huge operating losses and mounting deficits. His Administration for Children’s Services saw a wave of dead children (which he long ignored) before the state had to impose a monitor — for which de Blasio tried to claim credit.
All the while, he jets off around the country and the world, trying to raise his political profile.
In short, this mayor’s record is one of mismanagement and incompetence on top of unbridled corruption. But is Malliotakis up to the job?
We believe so. The New York-born and -educated daughter of Greek and Cuban immigrants, she compiled a respected record as a community liaison and legislative aide before defeating a Democratic assemblywoman (later identified as Shelly Silver’s mistress) in 2010.
In her four terms, she’s focused on elder rights and transit needs. And she did so even as then-Speaker Silver vengefully treated her with even more disdain than he normally did other Republicans.
She’s hardly a GOP sacrificial lamb: Malliotakis jumped in against a well-funded primary opponent favored by the party establishment, driving him from the race. She’s since campaigned vigorously, despite her fundraising disadvantage. And she’s outlined solid policies targeted at New Yorkers’ needs.
Her record shows she has the experience, the intelligence and the integrity to assemble a team of honest and capable people whose focus will be on policy, not fundraising.
New York simply can’t afford four more years of Bill de Blasio’s mismanaged pay-to-play government. Nicole Malliotakis offers a real and hopeful alternative.
Source: NYPOST.COM, Post Editorial Board
Photo Credit: James Messerschmidt