Thursday's announcement that Philadelphia beat out Brooklyn to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention will likely raise questions as to whether New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's bitter feuding with the New York Police Department and police unions scared the Democrats away.
While early news reports emphasized other factors like transportation and available hotel space, the decision to award the convention to Philadelphia followed months of open warfare between de Blasio and the NYPD
The New York Daily News reported
Jan. 1 that tensions between de Blasio and police unions "are casting a giant shadow over the mayor's bid to bring the Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn."
Party officials expressed concern that "bad blood may still be an issue," according to the paper, and that it threatened to steal away the spotlight from the Democrat Party's presidential nominee.
"Will [the police] turn their backs on the mayor?" asked a source familiar with the Democratic National Committee's deliberations over the convention venue. "They don't want side stories. The story should be the convention."
Even local Democrats who were helping de Blasio lobby for the convention admitted that the city's bid faced serious problems as a result of the mayor's poor relationship with local police.
Until it becomes clear how de Blasio's battle with the police gets resolved, the Democrat Party "would not want to take the chance of this controversy being the backdrop for its convention selection," said one New York Democrat working with the mayor on bringing the convention to the city.
"Imagine what the Republicans would say," this Democrat added. They would argue that the mayor's problems with police "show the failure of progressive leadership."
In all probability, "it's a death knell for the city's chances," the source said.
The police unions have attacked de Blasio, accusing him of inciting tensions by sympathizing with protesters angry over the decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict police officers following the death in July of Eric Garner, who died after a confrontation with police officers who attempted to arrest him for illegal cigarette sales.
Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, suggested that the mayor had "blood on his hands"
following the Dec. 20 execution-style murder of two NYPD officers as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn.
There have been numerous instances in which police have expressed their anger by turning their backs on de Blasio – including when he went to the hospital where the two officers were taken.
The mayor had tried to argue that tensions with police
wouldn't hurt the effort to land the convention.
But the decision to award the event to Philadelphia suggests that many prominent Democrat Party officials thought otherwise.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.