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WSJ: New York Set to Elect Occupy Movement as Mayor

Image: WSJ: New York Set to Elect Occupy Movement as Mayor

By Dan Weil   |   Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 01:59 PM

Voting in Democrat Bill de Blasio as mayor of New York would be similar to putting the Occupy movement into City Hall, the Wall Street Journal claimed Tuesday.

With the election just one week away, de Blasio has a huge 40 percentage point lead in the polls over Republican Joe Lhota. "If the opinion polls are right, New York voters are about to elect the Occupy movement to run America's largest city," an editorial states.

"The Big Apple is on the verge of electing a man whose explicit agenda is the repudiation of the conservative reforms achieved by a generation of city leaders from both parties, which transformed New York from a terrifying urban joke into the nation's municipal crown jewel."

Reforms of the police and municipal departments under Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani, largely sustained by his successor Michael Bloomberg, turned the city around from its previous decline, the editorial says.

"Mr. de Blasio's agenda threatens that achievement, and before next Tuesday's vote any serious New Yorker, Democrat or Republican, should understand what his intentions are."

Journal editors lay out their objections to de Blasio on several major issues:
  • Daily security. New York's murder rate has dropped to its lowest since the 1960s, the editorial says. That's thanks to reforms such as the stop-and-frisk program. "Mr. de Blasio repudiates these police practices," the editorial states.
  • Taxes. De Blasio wants to increase the city's income tax rate of 3.876 percent to 4.41 percent to pay for a new pre-K education program, the editorial says. "Given his spending agenda, he'll have to raise property taxes, too."
  • Schools. Under Bloomberg, the ceiling on independent public charter schools was raised to 200, mostly in the poorest neighborhoods, the editorial says. "Aligning himself with the teachers union, Mr. de Blasio will reverse this growth."
  • Union contracts. Almost all of the city's major union contracts have expired. De Blasio favors at least partial retroactive pay increases, "and he has laid out no reforms in pensions or work rules," Journal editors write.
Some left-wing leaders have moderated their views once in office, the editors note. "But what's striking about Bill de Blasio is how unreconstructed a man of the left he remains," the editorial says.

"New Yorkers are resilient," the Journal points out. "And if they elect Bill de Blasio, the odds are they will have to be."

Related Stories:

NYC Firm Helps de Blasio From Obscurity to City Hall

Lhota Predicts NYC Crime Wave if de Blasio Wins Mayor's Race

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