Mayor Bloomberg's cover-up of the domestic violence arrest of one of his highest ranking staff members is a new low for his administration.
Strange, Ugly Week for NYC's Mayor
Last week gave us a front-row seat to witness an ugly turning point in the Bloomberg Administration's reign.
Mayor Bloomberg has had failures and disappointments during his tenure, but he has typically been overly critical of personal failures (Plaxico Burress, smoking). We have been critical of the Mayor, but watching the Mayor get caught attempting to execute a classic political cover-up is both strange and disappointing. He has supported ultra-racist policing in our city. He has presided over the ruinous debacle of an educational system where only 28% of black males graduate high school. He has sought regressive taxes and punished the poor for being poor. But, Bloomberg has never shown a willingness to engage in a cover-up or to protect perpetrators of domestic violence, until now.
The Mayor had other ugly realities emerge last week as well. His administration demonstrated an unyielding commitment to race-based policing and established a pace of stop-and-frisk activity in our city that would set yet another record. A white police officer accused the NYPD of punishing him for complaining about racist statements made to him as part of ordering him to meet quotas for traffic stops. The same officer also has accused the NYPD of ordering him to give unfavorable performance evaluations to black officers.
One wonders if the public has accepted that the Bloomberg Administration has declared war against African Americans (especially against African American males). But, there should be little doubt that the public does not condone cover-ups or domestic violence. Bloomberg may not be excused for the cover-up the way that he has been excused for the intensity and consistency of his racism.
Ironically, while the Mayor has been dedicated to racism as his governing principle in office and not been held accountable, he has shown no evidence of supporting domestic violence (until now), and his one known defense of domestic violence may bring him down in a way that ten and one-half years of intense and unashamed racism has not.
The Domestic Violence Cover -Up
Mayor Bloomberg's Deputy Mayor, Stephen Goldsmith, resigned after spending two days in jail for domestic violence. The Mayor promoted the idea that Goldsmith's resignation was required because of disappointment with his handling of the blizzard in December 2010.
Only now, many months later, are we learning of the domestic violence arrest. The Mayor has not yet offered any explanation for the cover-up. In fact, he has praised himself for the cover-up and refused to apologize. That is an amazing contrast to his demand that Plaxico Burress be prosecuted "to the full extent of the law". Friends and supporters of Bloomberg get his assistance in covering up their crimes and keeping their crimes out of the media. Non-supporters get trashed by Bloomberg in press conferences before their trials. The Mayor focuses on compassion for the accused criminal when the accused criminal works for him. When the accused criminal is not a friend, the Mayor leads the lynch mob before the jury gets the case.
We cannot imagine that the Mayor genuinely believes that his cover-up was best for the people of New York City, but it is very difficult to understand what he believes other than that perhaps he values his friendships more than he values his credibility as our Mayor. He is willing to destroy his credibility and support domestic violence to show loyalty to a friend, even though a Mayor who supports domestic violence and tells lies to the public cannot be effective.
Goldsmith lives in Washington, DC (an odd location for a NYC Deputy Mayor), and the Mayor may have felt justified in engaging in a cover-up, given that another jurisdiction was entirely responsible for the arrest.
Bloomberg may feel that the cover-up was justified in retrospect because the domestic violence charges were later dropped.
But, neither of those explanations, if offered, could justify the deception promoted and executed by Mayor Bloomberg. A cover-up of domestic violence by a top advisor to the Mayor of our country's largest city can never be justified. It is a new low for Bloomberg.