Skip to comments.The Candidate (Rudy Giuliani in NH)
Posted on 01/29/2007 1:36:27 PM PST by Dark Skies
Many skeptics continue to question whether Rudy Giuliani is serious about making a run for the White House, but it was abundantly clear on Saturday that he had come to Manchester for more than the sub-freezing temperatures.
Addressing over 500 activists at the New Hampshire Republican Party's annual meeting as part of a two-day swing through the state, Giuliani sketched the broad outlines of what looks like a presidential run. Sounding at times like a motivational speaker, Giuliani cautioned against cynicism and pessimism in the wake of November's election results and challenges in the ongoing War on Terror. The message especially resonated with the audience in this critical primary state, where the Republican Party just lost control of both chambers of the legislature for the first time since the 1870s.
"The best way we remain safe and we retain our freedom...is remaining on offense, remaining strong and not becoming weak in a time of pressure," Giuliani said in a line that drew the biggest applause from the crowd at the Palace Theater.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
Ping to a good article.
|Giuliani/Clinton/GOP Platform Comparison|
|Abortion on Demand||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Partial Birth Abortion||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Roe v. Wade||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Taxpayer Funded Abortions||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Embryonic Stem Cell Research||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Gay Civil Unions||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Openly Gay Military||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Defense of Marriage Act||Opposes||Opposes||Supports|
|Amnesty for Illegal Aliens||Supports||Supports||Opposes|
|Special Path to Citizenship
for Illegal Aliens
|Tough Penalties for
Employers of Illegal Aliens
Ignoring Immigration Law
|Protecting 2nd Amendment||Opposes||Opposes||Supports|
|'Assault' Weapons Ban||Supports||Supports|
Against Gun Makers
|War in Afghanistan||Supports||Supports
Voted for it
|War in Iraq||Supports||Supports
Voted for it
Voted for it
2001 & 2006
Please tell me how someone who is more interested in political cronyism in the selection of such a critical, national security position - after the 9/11 attacks and during a time of war - is better on national security than any of the other candidates. Despite getting the reports about comms not working between FDNY and NYPD during the 1993 WTC attack, Giuliani didn't fix the situation and 8 years later found the city unprepared for the 2001 WTC attack. Tell me how that helps his image on national security and war fighting issues. I mean, if a glaring security and safety deficiency, exposed by an attack on us, is found in our national security or our armed forces, will it take President/Commander in Chief Giuliani 8 years to fix it if he even attempts to fix it?
Giuliani agreed to give the New York Stock Exchange a $1.1 Billion dollar handout (which, by the way, is equal to the entire operating budget of the New York Fire Department) but he could never find it in the budget to upgrade the FDNY and NYPD communications systems even after the original WTC attacks demonstrated their deficiencies. How does this demonstrate the way he will act as Commander in Chief when determining priorities for the military and homeland security?
In truth, the whole national security thing with Giuliani is purely myth. Yes, he's a war hawk. Just like almost every other Republican Presidential candidate right now except for Paul and Hagel. But his actual record on issues that directly pertain to how he would operate as President is not going to help him.
Law and Order: His law and order record does not go well beyond clearing the streets of squeegee men, bums, and hookers. Some tout his efforts to go after organized crime, but he lost all credibility on that when it was exposed that he'd appointed a corrupt high school dropout with mob ties to be the Commissioner of the New York Police Department. Bernie Kerik, again. Giuliani went on to strong arm President Bush into appointing Kerik to one of the top law enforcement positions in the country - the head of the Department of Homeland Security. Kerik had to withdraw his name when he was later indicted for his crimes for which he received an even later conviction. He avoided jail, but narrowly.
Giuliani also continued the 'sanctuary city' policies of enacted by his Democrat predecessors. He welcomed hundreds of thousands of criminals - illegal aliens - into his city and refused to work with the INS on enforcing immigration laws. In fact, so annoyed with the pressure that INS was putting on him to cooperate and uphold law and order, he actually sued the Federal Government to try to be able to just ignore the law and continue coddling hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens. His lawsuit failed, and failed again on appeal, but he flouted the law anyway and continued to coddle the hundreds of thousands of criminals in his city.
Appointments/Nominations to his administration:First, I'll start with two words. Bernie Kerik. We know what a great job Giuliani did at getting Bush to appoint his mobbed up, high school dropout, corrupt business partner Bernie Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security. Giuliani earlier appointed Kerik to head the New York Police Department And we know now how that all worked out. Kerik narrowly avoided jail, but he was convicted anyway.
Giuliani, in a quid pro quo for the New York Liberal Party's endorsement and support, appointed Liberal Party Chairwoman Fran Reiter as Deputy Mayor. He also appointed Russell Harding, the son of Giuliani's close friend Raymond Harding who also chaired the Liberal Party and was one of Giuliani's closest campaign advisers, to be the City Housing Director. Russell Harding had to leave office upon being arrested by federal law enforcement and charged with conspiracy, fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, receiving child pornography, and possesing child pornography. He was using his official credit card to pay for personal items including a car, 'Sopranos' and 'Sex in the City' DVDs, and a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. He later pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 5 years in prison and forced to repay $367,000 he embezzled from the New York City.
Yes, Rudy Giuliani has a sterling record when it comes to appointing people to positions in his administration. One can only imagine the types of people he'd appoint to his administration and to the Supreme Court if given the opportunity. It would be wise not to give him that opportunity given his record.
Fiscal Conservatism:Rudy is no fiscal conservative. He's a big government Republican. Rudy got taxes cut $2.0 billion. But that only offset the $1.8 billion tax increase Mayor Dinkins signed off on a few years earlier. A modest $200 million tax cut. Rudy also froze the 12.5% surcharge on high income earners, but he didn't eliminate the surcharge. Nor did Rudy abolish the city income tax structure. Rudy also left NYCity saddled with a projected, pre-9/11 deficit of $2.0 billion and a $42 billion debt. Second largest behind the federal government. Rudy also added 15,000 new teachers to the city employment rolls, helping to increase the membership of two of America's largest liberal oraganizations. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. Rudy also took all those savings from the cuts in welfare costs and applied them to other city welfare progarms. Really no savings whatsoever. The scope of city services wasn't reduced. In addition, Rudy almost doubled the costs of contractual outsourcing from $3.0 billion to $5.8 billion.
Rudy Giuliani: The Knight and The Queen 11/28/2001
According to The London Times, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gives kisses before he leaves every morning, but to neither his estranged wife, nor his girlfriend. Instead, says The Times, Sir Rudy gives a peck on the cheek to the two homosexual men hes living with.
We always get a little kiss, its cute, says wealthy car dealer Howard Koeppel, with whom Giuliani has been sharing an apartment since June. When Giuliani was recently knighted, Koeppel tells The Times that he told Sir Rudy to call him Queen Howard. Koeppel (63) and his homosexual lover Mark Hsiao (41) have been comforting Giuliani, and trying to make him laugh, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
On the way to a recent fundraising dinner for the pro-homosexual state lobby group, The Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), Koeppel ribbed Giuliani by saying that if the ESPA was able to raise $100,000 donation for the homosexual victims of the September 11 attacks, Giuliani should agree to appear on Showtimes controversial Queer as Folk dressed in drag. Surprisingly, Giuliani agreed.
Marty Algaze of Gay Mens Health Crisis once summed up Queer as Folk a show that touts graphic sexual activity as one of its biggest draws as one that would shock a lot of people. Showtimes Queer as Folk was inspired by the original series in Britain, which featured a storyline in which a 29-year-old man has a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy.
The propensity to shock people is not new to Giuliani, who likes to dress in womens clothes as a stage act, and even did so once at a Pride Agenda fund-raiser.
According to the Times, Giuliani has attended every gay pride parade in New York during his eight years as mayor. In 1992, during his first run for mayor, Giuliani took part in a homosexual pride parade that included a contingent of pedophile activists marching behind a banner for NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association).
| Concerned Women for America
1015 Fifteenth St. N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 488-7000
Fax: (202) 488-0806
Nice out of context quote. Of course, NOTHING has changed since then.
Spoken by one of the "base" who actually listened to Giuliani. We have a choice -- listen to the incessant naysayers who haven't said anything new in months about a possible Giuliani candidacy, or watch and listen to his campaign as it develops, and listen to those who are approaching this presidential campaign in a thoughtful way, not a knee-jerk way.
DO YOU HAVE RUDY ON SPEED DIAL OR WHAT? LOL!
Away with you. Isn't there a 'Gay Pride' parade you need to endorse? After all, your man, Rudy, participates in them, arm-in-arm with his ex gay roommate.
Do you want to cite sources for all of those Giuliani postitions, or are we to accept your perspective in a blind leap of faith?
Hey Spammy...lookie here. Why don't you put up some spam?
And an electable one, at that.
Not since Teddy Roosevelt took on Tammany Hall a century ago has a New York politician closely linked to urban reform looked like presidential timber. But today exNew York mayor Rudy Giuliani sits at or near the top of virtually every poll of potential 2008 presidential candidates. Already, Giulianis popularity has set off a stop Rudy movement among cultural conservatives, who object to his three marriages and his support for abortion rights, gay unions, and curbs on gun ownership. Some social conservatives even dismiss his achievement in reviving New York before 9/11. An August story on the website Right Wing News, for instance, claims that Giuliani governed Gotham from left of center. Similarly, conservatives have been feeding the press a misleading collection of quotations by and about Giuliani, on tax policy and school choice issues, assembled to make him look like a liberal.
But in a GOP presidential field in which cultural and religious conservatives may find something to object to in every candidate who could really get nominated (and, more important, elected), Giuliani may be the most conservative candidate on a wide range of issues. Far from being a liberal, he ran New York with a conservatives priorities: government exists above all to keep people safe in their homes and in the streets, he said, not to redistribute income, run a welfare state, or perform social engineering. The private economy, not government, creates opportunity, he argued; government should just deliver basic services well and then get out of the private sectors way. He denied that cities and their citizens were victims of vast forces outside their control, and he urged New Yorkers to take personal responsibility for their lives. Over the last century, millions of people from all over the world have come to New York City, Giuliani once observed. They didnt come here to be taken care of and to be dependent on city government. They came here for the freedom to take care of themselves. It was that spirit of opportunity and can-do-ism that Giuliani tried to re-instill in New York and that he himself exemplified not only in the hours and weeks after 9/11 but in his heroic and successful effort to bring a dying city back to life.
The entrenched political culture that Giuliani faced when he became mayor was the pure embodiment of American liberalism, stretching back to the New Deal, whose public works projects had turned Gotham into a massive government-jobs program. Even during the postWorld War II economic boom, New York politicians kept the New Deals big-government philosophy alive, with huge municipal tax increases that financed a growing public sector but drove away private-sector jobs. Later, in the mid-1960s, flamboyant mayor John Lindsay set out to make New York a poster child for the Johnson administrations War on Poverty, vastly expanding welfare rolls, giving power over the school system to black-power activists, and directing hundreds of millions of government dollars into useless and often fraudulent community-based antipoverty programs. To pay for all this, Lindsay taxed with abandon. The result: sharply increasing crime, a rising underclass inclined to languish on welfare rather than strive to uplift itself, a failing school system that emphasized racial grievance and separateness, and near-bankruptcy.
When Giulianis predecessor, David Dinkins, came into officethanks to voters hopes that as the citys first black mayor, hed defuse Gothams intense racial tensionshe wholly embraced the War on Povertys core belief that the problems of the urban poor sprang from vast external forces over which neither they nor the politicians had much control. Under Dinkins, the citys welfare rolls grew by one-third, or some 273,000 people. By 1992, with some 1.1 million New Yorkers on welfare, the citys political leadership seemed stuck on dependency, too. Dinkins became the chief proponent of a tin-cup urbanism, constantly hounding Washington and Albany with demands and grim warnings about what would happen if they were not met.
Dinkinss political philosophy substituted cant-do fatalism for the can-do optimism that had made New York great. As crime spikedthere were 2,262 murders in Dinkinss first year, compared with fewer than 600 in 1963, two years before Lindsay became mayorDinkins declared: If we had a police officer on every other corner, we couldnt stop some of the random violence that goes on, since it resulted from poverty and racism, not poor policing.
Accordingly, Dinkins wanted to turn the police into social workers. His police commissioner, Lee Brown, believed that cops should stop reacting to crime and become neighborhood problem solvers. In an article on that community policing approach, the New York Times informed readers that such experiments in Houston and in Newark, New Jersey, were enormously popularbut neither city experienced a statistical drop in crime. Under that policing regime, New Yorks already high crime rate soared, prompting the New York Post to plead, in a famous headline, dave do something.
As crime and welfare rocketed up, Dinkins decided that government should promote diversity and multiculturalisma gorgeous mosaic, in his phrase. Though the performance of the citys schools was crumbling, so that by 1992 fewer than half the pupils were reading at grade level, the board of education turned its energies to two controversies unrelated to education: it tried to adopt a Rainbow Curriculum geared to instilling in first-graders respect for homosexuality, and it proposed to distribute free condoms in high schools to promote safe sex among students. Although many parents objected that the board was promoting values that they did not share, Dinkins supported the board on both fiercely controversial issues.
By the time Giuliani challenged Dinkins for a second time, in 1993 (his first try had failed), the former prosecutor had fashioned a philosophy of local government based on two core conservative principles vastly at odds with New Yorks political culture: that government should be accountable for delivering basic services well, and that ordinary citizens should be personally responsible for their actions and their destiny and not expect government to take care of them. Giuliani preached the need to reestablish a civil society, where citizens adhered to a social contract. If you have a right, he observed, there is a duty that goes along with that right. Later, when he became mayor, Giuliani would preach about the duties of citizenship, quoting the ancient Athenian Oath of Fealty: We will revere and obey the citys laws. . . . We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this city not only not less, but far greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.
In New York, where generations of liberal policy had produced a city in which one in seven citizens lived off government benefits, in which lawbreakers whose actions diminished everyone elses quality of life were routinely ignored or excused, in which the rights of those who broke the law were often defended vigorously over the rights of those who adhered to it, Giulianis prescriptions for an urban revival based on shared civic values seemed unrealistic to some and dangerous to others. The head of the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter described Giulianis ideas on respect for authority and the law as frightening and scary. But New Yorkers who had watched their city deteriorate were more frightened of life under an outdated and ineffective liberal agenda. Giuliani rode to victory in 1993 with heavy support from the same white ethnic Democratic voters who, nearly a decade earlier, had crossed party lines even in liberal New York to vote for Ronald Reagan.
To those of us who observed Giuliani from the beginning, it was astonishing how fully he followed through on his conservative principles once elected, no matter how much he upset elite opinion, no matter how often radical advocates took to the streets in protest, no matter how many veiled (and not so veiled) threats that incendiary figures like Al Sharpton made against him, and no matter how often the New York Times fulminated against his policies. In particular, offended by the notion that people should be treated differently and demand privileges based on the color of their skin, Giuliani was fearless in confronting racial extortionists like Sharpton. Early in his tenure, he startled the city when he refused to meet with Sharpton and other black activists after a confrontation between police and black Muslims at a Harlem mosque. And though activists claimed that Giuliani inflamed racial tensions with such actions, there were no incidents during his tenure comparable with the disgraceful Crown Heights riot under Dinkins, in which the police let blacks terrorize Orthodox Jews for several days in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
For Giuliani, the revival of New York started with securing public safety, because all other agendas were useless if citizens didnt feel protected. The most fundamental of civil rights is the guarantee that government can give you a reasonable degree of safety, Giuliani said. He aimed to do so by reinstituting respect for the law. As a federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s, he had vigorously hunted low-level drug dealerswhom other law enforcement agencies ignoredbecause he thought that the brazen selling of drugs on street corners cultivated disrespect for the law and encouraged criminality. You have to . . . dispel cynicism about law enforcement by showing we treat everyone alike, whether you are a major criminal or a low-level drug pusher, Giuliani explained.
As mayor, he instituted a zero tolerance approach that cracked down on quality-of-life offenses like panhandling and public urination (in a city where some streets reeked of urine), in order to restore a sense of civic order that he believed would discourage larger crimes. Murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes, he explained. But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other. He linked the Dinkins eras permissive climate, which tolerated the squeegee men (street-corner windshield cleaners who coerced drivers into giving them money at the entrances to Manhattan), to the rise of more serious crime. The police started ignoring all kinds of offenses, Giuliani later recounted of the Dinkins years. They became, he deadpanned, highly skilled observers of crime.
Civil rights advocates warned that Giulianis promise to deprive the squeegee men of their $40100 weekly shakedown might drive them to more violent crime; in effect, they endorsed a lesser form of criminality, hoping that it would forestall more serious crime. The citys newspapers were happy to print threats from squeegee men, like this one: I feel like if I cant hustle honestly, Ive got to go back to doing what I used to do . . . robbing and stealing. But the squeegee-men campaign provided Giuliani with his first significant victory, showing a beleaguered citizenry that government actually could bring about change for the better. Within months, the squeegee men disappeared. A city, and especially a city like New York, should be a place of optimism, Giuliani later explained about his policing strategies. Quality of life is about focusing on the things that make a difference in the everyday life of all New Yorkers in order to restore this spirit of optimism.
Giuliani changed the primary mission of the police department to preventing crime from happening rather than merely responding to it once it had occurred. His police chief, William Bratton, reorganized the NYPD, emphasizing a street-crimes unit that moved around the city, flooding high-crime areas and getting guns off the street. Bratton also changed the departments scheduling. Crime was open for business 24 hours a day, but most detectives, including narcotics cops, had previously gone off duty at 5 pm, just as criminals were coming on duty. No more.
The department brought modern management techniques to its new mission. It began compiling a computerized database to track the citys crime patterns and the effectiveness of the NYPDs responses to them. That database, known as Compstat, helped police target their manpower where it was needed, and in due course it became a national model. The department drove authority down to its precinct captains and emphasized that it expected results from these top managers. Bratton replaced a third of the citys 76 precinct commanders within a few months. If you were to manage a bank with 76 branches every day, you would get a profit-and-loss statement from the bank, explained Giuliani. After a week or so, you would see branches that were going in the wrong direction, and then you would take management action to try to reverse the trend. That is precisely what is happening in the police department.
The policing innovations led to a historic drop in crime far beyond what anyone could have imagined, with total crime down by some 64 percent during the Giuliani years, and murder (the most reliable crime statistic) down 67 percent, from 1,960 in Dinkinss last year to 640 in Giulianis last year. The number of cars stolen in New York City every year plummeted by an astounding 78,000.
Criminologists tried to dismiss this achievement by arguing that the police have little influence on crime. The crime drop, they contended, was merely the fruit of an improving national economy, though the decline preceded the citys economic rebound by several years. Others argued that New York was just riding a demographic trend, as the population of teenagers prone to break the law declined. One criminologist even suggested that Giulianis New York would soon see another upsurge, as a new cohort of children reached the teen years. I dont need a crystal ball, the criminologist confidently predicted. Instead, crime declined relentlessly over Giulianis eight years, even when it rose nationally.
Critics, especially those on the left, have tried to minimize Giulianis accomplishment by claiming that he lowered crime by letting cops oppress black and Latino New Yorkers with brute force. As evidence, they point to unfortunate incidents such as the shootings of unarmed black immigrants Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond. But the data tell a far different story: Giulianis NYPD managed to drive down crime while showing admirable restraint. From 1995 to 2000, civilian complaints of excessive force by the NYPD declined from one complaint per ten officers to one per 19 officers. Meanwhile, shootings by cops declined by 50 percent and were far lower under Giuliani than under Dinkinslower in fact than in cities like San Diego and Houston, hailed for practicing community policing.
Moreover, Giulianis policing success was a boon to minority neighborhoods. For instance, in the citys 34th Precinct, covering the largely Hispanic Washington Heights section of Manhattan, murders dropped from 76 in 1993, Dinkinss last year, to only seven by Giulianis last year, a decline of more than 90 percent. Far from being the racist that activists claimed, Giuliani had delivered to the citys minority neighborhoods a true form of equal protection under the law.
Giulianis success against crime wasnt merely the singular achievement of a former prosecutor. He applied the same principles to social and economic policy, with equally impressive results. Long before President Bushs ownership society, Giuliani described his intention to restore New York as the entrepreneurial city, not merely providing the climate for new job creation but also reshaping government social policy away from encouraging dependency and toward reinforcing independence.
New York had gone in the opposite direction starting in the mid-1960s, when Lindsay had drastically increased welfare rolls, believing many of the poor too disadvantaged ever to succeed and thus needing to be permanently on the dole. The Gotham welfare bureaucracy saw signing people up as its goal, while an entire industry of nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups arose to cater to and contract with the citys vast welfare system. Budget documents from the Dinkins years projected an eventual 1.6 million people on welfare. The City of New York was actually quite successful in achieving what it wanted to achieve, which was to encourage the maximum number of people to be on welfare, Giuliani later explained. If you ran a welfare office, . . . you had a bigger budget, and you had more authority, if you had more people on welfare.
Giuliani decided to launch a welfare revolution, moving recipients from the dole to a job. Mindful that for years the citys welfare bureaucracy had focused on signing up new recipients (Lindsays welfare chief had been nicknamed Come And Get It Ginsberg), the Giuliani administration first set out to recertify everyone in the citys own home-relief program to eliminate fraud. In less than a year, the rolls of the program (for able-bodied adults not eligible for federal welfare programs) declined by 20 percent, as the city discovered tens of thousands of recipients who were actually employed, living outside the city, or providing false Social Security numbers.
Giuliani then instituted a work requirement for the remaining home-relief recipients, mostly men, obliging them to earn their checks by cleaning city parks and streets or doing clerical work in municipal offices for 20 hours a week. Welfare advocates vigorously objected, and one advocate pronounced the workfare program slavery. The New York Times editorialized that most people on home relief were incapable of work.
Giuliani persisted, and when Congress finally passed welfare reform in 1996, giving states and cities broad powers to refocus the giant, federally funded welfare program for mothers and children, Giuliani applied many of the same kinds of reforms. He hired as welfare commissioner Jason Turner, the architect of welfare reform in Wisconsin, which had led the nation in putting welfare recipients back to work. Turner promptly converted the citys grim welfare intake offices into cheerful and optimistic job centers, where counselors advised welfare recipients on how to write a resumé and provided them with skills assessment and a space they could use to look for work.
By 1999, the number of welfare recipients finding work had risen to more than 100,000 annually, and the welfare rolls had dropped by more than 600,000. It took steadfast courage to win those gains. The pressure on Rudy during these years was enormous, says Richard Schwartz, a Giuliani policy advisor. The advocates and the press trained their sights on us, just waiting for something to go wrong in these workfare programs.
As part of Giulianis quintessentially conservative belief that dysfunctional behavior, not our economic system, lay at the heart of intergenerational poverty, he also spoke out against illegitimacy and the rise of fatherless families. A child born out of wedlock, he observed in one speech, was three times more likely to wind up on welfare than a child from a two-parent family. Seventy percent of long-term prisoners and 75 percent of adolescents charged with murder grew up without fathers, Giuliani told the city. He insisted that the city and the nation had to reestablish the responsibility that accompanies bringing a child into the world, and to that end he required deadbeat fathers either to find a private-sector job or to work in the citys workfare program as a way of contributing to their childs upbringing. But he added that changing societys attitude toward marriage was more important than anything government could do: [I]f you wanted a social program that would really save these kids, . . . I guess the social program would be called fatherhood.
As a consequence of his rejection of the time-honored New York liberal belief in congenital black victimhood, Giuliani set out to change the citys conversation about race. He objected to affirmative action, ending Gothams set-aside program for minority contractors, and he rejected the idea of lowering standards for minorities. Accordingly, he ended open enrollment at the City University of New York, a 1970s policy aimed at increasing the minority population at the nations third-largest public college system but one that also led to a steep decline in standards and in graduation rates.
The reform of CUNY began when its chancellor complained that it was unfair to require students on welfare to work because it jeopardized their studies. Giuliani responded that it was unfair to expect middle-class kids to work their way through college by holding down jobs and going to classes while exempting students on welfare from working. While the controversy raged, several critics of CUNY pointed out that only 10 to 15 percent of CUNY students on welfare ever graduated and that the systems overall graduation rate was abysmally low. Giuliani and Governor Pataki appointed a blue-chip panel led by former Yale president Benno Schmidt and former New York City congressman and longtime CUNY critic Herman Badillo to examine the system. The panel recommended widespread changes, including tightening admissions standards and eliminating remedial courses for students at the systems 11 senior colleges.
The moves sparked a startling turnaround. Within a few years, CUNY was attracting 20 percent more students from New Yorks elite high schools (who had previously shunned it), SAT scores of incoming freshmen had risen 168 points, and the student population reached its highest number since the mid-1970s.
Giuliani wanted to work the same dramatic reform on the citys K12 school system, but the entrenched educational bureaucracy and his lack of direct control over the school system stymied him. The best he could do was to use the bully pulpit as well as his influence over the two board of education members (out of a total of seven) whom he appointed. He did this so relentlessly that he ultimately pushed out two schools chancellors who wouldnt install the reforms that he believed would spur dramatic, systemic changereforms that included using city money for vouchers to provide low-income students in failing public schools with scholarships to private schools. He never could get his vouchers, however, and when he managed to prod the board into trying to privatize five of the citys worst public schools, the boards pointed lack of enthusiasm scared off necessary parental approval, and the idea died.
Although Giuliani didnt start out as a proponent of school choice, his frustration in trying to turn around a huge school system where the teachers union and the bureaucrats worked to stymie reform made him into a powerful proponent of vouchers, which he believed would force the public schools to compete for students with their private counterparts. [T]he whole notion of choice is really about more freedom for people, rather than being subjugated by a government system that says you have no choice about the education of your child, he said.
Giulianis relentless attacks on the citys educational system finally convinced most New Yorkers that it could never be salvaged unless it was under the control of a mayor responsible to voters. In 2002, the state legislature placed the citys school system under Gothams mayortoo late for Giuliani.
Giulianis efforts to revive entrepreneurial New York naturally focused on unleashing the citys private sector through tax cuts achieved by slowing the growth of government. Giuliani preached against New Yorks lingering New Deal belief that government creates jobs, arguing that government should instead get out of the way and let the private sector work. City government should not and cannot create jobs through government planning, he said. The best it can do, and what it has a responsibility to do, is to deal with its own finances first, to create a solid budgetary foundation that allows businesses to move the economy forward on the strength of their energy and ideas. After all, businesses are and have always been the backbone of New York City.
When Giuliani took office, the citys private sector was experiencing the worst of times. After four years under Dinkins, it had shrunk to its lowest level since 1978, losing 275,000 jobs192,000 in 1991 alone, the largest one-year job decline that any American city had ever suffered. Not coincidentally, Gotham also had the highest overall rate of taxation of any major city and a budget that spent far more per capita than any other major city. Despite that, and despite billions of dollars in tax increases during the Dinkins years, New York could barely pay its bills, and Giuliani, immediately after taking office, faced a nearly $2.5 billion budget deficit.
Giulianis first budget, submitted just weeks after he took office, stunned the citys political establishment by its fiscal conservatism. To demonstrate his disdain for the reigning orthodoxy, when the New York Times editorial board urged him to solve the budget crisis with tax and fee increases that a Dinkins-era special commission had recommended, Giuliani unceremoniously dumped a copy of the commissions report into the garbage and derided it as old thinking. It was a pointed declaration that a very different set of ideas would guide his administration.
After years of tax hikes under Dinkins, Giuliani proposed making up the citys still-huge budget deficit entirely through spending cuts and savings. Even more audaciously, he proposed a modest tax cut to signal the business community that New York was open for business, promising more tax cuts later. I felt it was really important the first year I was mayor to cut a tax, Giuliani later explained. Nobody ever cut a tax before in New York City, and that was one of the reasons I wanted to set a new precedent.
To balance the citys budget early in his tenure, when tax revenues stagnated amid a struggling economy, the mayor played hardball, winning concessions from city workers that other mayors had failed to get. The citys police unions had used their power in Albany to resist efforts by ex-mayors Koch and Dinkins to merge the citys housing police and transit police into the NYPD. Giuliani strong-armed Albany leaders into agreeing to the merger, saving the city hundreds of millions in administrative costs and making the department a better crime-fighting unit, by threatening to fire every housing and transit officer and rehire each as a city cop if legislative leaders did not go along. Similarly, though the citys garbagemen, many of whom worked only half days because their department was so overstaffed, had rebuffed the Dinkins administrations push for productivity savings, Giuliani won $300 million in savings from them by threatening to contract out trash collection to private companies. Ultimately, with such deals, Giuliani reduced city-funded spending by 1.6 percent his first year in office, the largest overall reduction in city spending since the Depression.
Although Giuliani was no tax or economic expert when he took office, he became a tax-cut true believer when he saw how the citys economy and targeted industries perked up at his first reductions. One of his initial budgetary moves was to cut the citys hotel tax, which during the Dinkins administration had been the highest of any major world city. When tourism rebounded, Giuliani pointed out that the city was collecting more in taxes from a lower rate. No one ever considered tax reductions a reasonable option, Giuliani explained. But, he added in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library, targeted tax reductions spur growth. Thats why we have made obtaining targeted tax reductions a priority of every budget. In his eight years in office, Giuliani reduced or eliminated 23 taxes, including the sales tax on some clothing purchases, the tax on commercial rents everywhere outside of Manhattans major business districts, and various taxes on small businesses and self-employed New Yorkers.
The national, and even world, press marveled at the spectacular success of Giulianis policies. The combination of a safer city and a better budget environment ignited an economic boom unlike any other on record. Construction permits increased by more than 50 percent, to 70,000 a year under Giuliani, compared with just 46,000 in Dinkinss last year. Meanwhile, as crime plunged, New Yorkers took to the newly safe streets to go out at night to shows and restaurants, and the number of tourists soared from 24 million in the early 1990s to 38 million in 2000, the year before the 9/11 attacks. Under Giuliani, the city gained some 430,000 new jobs to reach its all-time employment peak of 3.72 million jobs in 2000, while the unemployment rate plummeted from 10.3 to 5.1 percent. Personal income earned by New Yorkers, meanwhile, soared by $100 million, or 50 percent, while the percentage of their income that they paid in taxes declined from 8.8 to 7.3 percent. During Giulianis second term, for virtually the only time since World War II, the citys economy consistently grew faster than the nations.
Today, Americans see Giuliani as presidential material because of his leadership in the wake of the terrorist attacks, but to those of us who watched him first manage Americas biggest city when it was crime-ridden, financially shaky, and plagued by doubts about its future as employers and educated and prosperous residents fled in droves, Giulianis leadership on 9/11 came as no surprise. What Americans saw after the attacks is a combination of attributes that Giuliani governed with all along: the tough-mindedness that had gotten him through earlier civic crises, a no-nonsense and efficient management style, and a clarity and directness of speech that made plain what he thought needed to be done and how he would do it.
Like great wartime leaders, Giuliani displayed unflinching courage on 9/11. A minute after the first plane struck, he rushed downtown, arriving at the World Trade Center just after the second plane hit the South Tower, when it became obvious to everyone that New York was under attack. Fearing that more strikes were on the wayand without access to City Hall, the police department, or the citys command center because of damage from the attacksGiuliani hurried to reestablish city government, narrowly escaping death himself as the towers came down next to a temporary command post he had set up in lower Manhattan. There is no playbook for a mayor on how to organize city government when you are standing on a street covered by dust from the citys worst calamity, one of his deputy mayors, Anthony Coles, later observed.
Giuliani understood that he needed not only to keep city government operating but to inspire and console as well. Within a few hours, he had reestablished New Yorks government in temporary headquarters, where he led the first post-9/11 meeting with his commissioners and with a host of other New York elected officials on hand to observe, prompting even one of his harshest critics, liberal Manhattan congressman Jerrold Nadler, to marvel at the efficiency of the meeting. Within hours, the city launched a massive search and recovery operation. Some half a dozen times that day Giuliani went on TV, reassuring the city and then the nation with his calm, frank demeanor and his plainspoken talk. As the nation struggled to understand what had happened and President Bush made his way back to Washington, Giuliani emerged as the one public official in America who seemed to be in command on 9/11. He became, as Newsweek later called him, our Winston Churchill.
In the weeks following the attacks, Giuliani became both the cheerleader of New Yorks efforts to pick itself up and the voice of moral outrage about the attacks. Giuliani exhorted private institutions within the citythe stock exchanges, the Broadway theatersto resume operations and urged the rest of America and the world to come visit the city. Not waiting for federal aid, the city rapidly began a cleanup of the World Trade Center site, which proceeded ahead of schedule, and of the devastated neighborhood around the site, which reopened block by block in the weeks after the attacks. Meanwhile, the mayor led visiting heads of state on tours of the devastation, because, he said, You cant come here and be neutral. He addressed the United Nations on the new war against terrorism, warning the delegates: Youre either with civilization or with terrorists. When a Saudi prince donated millions to relief efforts but later suggested that United States policy in the Middle East may have been partially responsible for the attacks, Giuliani returned the money, observing that there was no moral equivalent for the unprecedented terrorist attack. He attended dozens of funerals of emergency workers killed in the towers collapse, leading the city not just in remembrance but in catharsis.
As Americas mayor, a sobriquet he earned after 9/11, Giuliani has a unique profile as a presidential candidate. To engineer the citys turnaround, he had to take on a government whose budget and workforce were larger than all but five or six states. (Indeed, his budget his first year as mayor was about ten times the size of the one that Bill Clinton managed in his last year as governor of Arkansas.) For more than a decade, the city has been among the biggest U.S. tourist destinations, and tens of millions of Americans have seen firsthand the dramatic changes he wrought in Gotham.
Moreover, as an expert on policing and Americas key leader on 9/11, Giuliani is an authority on todays crucial foreign policy issue, the war on terror. In fact, as a federal prosecutor in New York, he investigated and prosecuted major terrorist cases. As mayor, he took the high moral ground in the terrorism debate in 1995, when he had an uninvited Yasser Arafat expelled from city-sponsored celebrations during the United Nations 50th anniversary because, in Giulianis eyes, Arafat was a terrorist, not a world leader. When were having a party and a celebration, I would rather not have someone who has been implicated in the murders of Americans there, if I have the discretion not to have him there, Giuliani said at the time.
These are impressive conservative credentials. And if social and religious conservatives fret about Giulianis more liberal social views, nevertheless, in the general election such views might make this experience-tested conservative even more electable.
Research for this article was supported by the Brunie Fund for New York Journalism.
Try Google. I'm not your mother.
Your implication is sleazy beyond belief.
Why don't you cut out the homophobia.
Hey A51, how you doing my friend?
That Steven Malanga article is excellent.
You've just proven yourself unfit to be listened to.
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