Murdoch: NYC Now Totally 'Managed by Leftist Activists'

Image: Murdoch: NYC Now Totally 'Managed by Leftist Activists' New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Monday, 03 Mar 2014 08:28 AM

By Melanie Batley

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New York City is being managed entirely by inexperienced "leftist activists" since the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio, with grim prospects for the city's future, says media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

The 82-year-old executive chairman of News Corp. made the comment as The New York Times reported that de Blasio has appointed more liberal activists than managers for city posts.

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"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," The Times said.

On Friday, de Blasio appointed Steven Banks, the top attorney for the Legal Aid Society and longtime critic of city policies affecting low-income residents, as commissioner of the city's Human Resources Administration.

"We've said all along, as we make appointments, our standards are clear," de Blasio said when appointing Banks. "We need people who share our progressive values related to the future of this city."

The Times listed other liberal activists who have been appointed, including Carmen Farina, the school chancellor, who had quit the Bloomberg administration in protest over standardized test scores.

Meanwhile, Emma Wolfe, the mayor's top political strategist, was a former campus activist and organizer for the advocacy group Acorn. The new chief of staff for de Blasio's wife, Rachel Noerdlinger, was a longtime gatekeeper for the Rev. Al Sharpton, according to The Times.

De Blasio's new counsel, Maya Wiley, was most recently in the running to lead the NAACP. Laura Santucci, de Blasio's chief of staff, was formerly acting executive director of the Democratic National Committee.

"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," The Times said.

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