Year End Roundup

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GIDDYAP

We have spoken.  Out with the tired old chestnut and in with the prancing palomino.  Touch  spurs to skin,  rear the beast and run with the wind,  gallop and snort,  streak and stretch from pillar to post.

Simply breath-taking, the wildest one man show since Buffalo Bill and Will Rogers roamed the range this 2016 election cycle - and admission was free.

Yank the cinch, swing to the saddle, kick open the gate and bounce into the arena

. . . yahooo . . . ride em mister president.

by joseph tiraco December 22, 2016



The Contenders

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The Contenders for the Independence Party Ballot Line

by joseph tiraco

March 2016
Feeling and intuition belong to animals as well as men; reason belongs to man alone.
Government, the communal act of applying reason to the public good, has a uniqueness that separates one from the other the tribes of mankind; people get the government they deserve.

A people provoked to anger are generally not in a reasonable frame of mind, falling back on feeling and intuition to make decisions.

The atmospherics of this year’s presidential election suggest the nation is stuck in the mud and the voters want someone - anyone who can yank it out. Retro-style politics is definitely out, but politicians keep fishing for answers in troubled waters with only bare hooks and empty nets to show for it. Shock and awe, bluster and bamboozle are the styles of the day - reason is kicked aside as ineffectual. Appeals are to the gut instead of the brain, forcing an inevitable clash of extremes: the choices are plutocracy and corporate sovereignty against unfettered socialism.
Donald Trump

The freewheeling personality of Donald Trump first disported itself in Trump for President 2000; Trump’s early effort to capture the New York State Independence Party’s presidential ballot line. The attempt failed. Sixteen years later, he’s only a stone’s throw away from the presidency.

The media see similarities between the rise of fascism in the 1930s and Trump’s present day pursuit of political power; such as, a crude iron-willed demotic no holds barred assault on rivals, the use of bigotry, self aggrandizement, scape goats, mockery and thugs to quell opposition; the flaunting of bigger then life symbols like the Trump jumbo jet, Trump sky scrapers, Trump products and Trump Trump Trump everything. The pretentious posturing resembles the playbook of every would-be strongman. Aside from the artificial excitement being generated in lieu of substance, a disturbing reflection of the man is emerging.

Disturbing yes, crude, bigoted, artful, egocentric and overbearing, yes again, but no more so then Andrew Jackson was to his contemporaries. Whip out a twenty dollar bill and take a good look. A grateful nation thought enough of the man to enshrine him between Lincoln and Grant. Maybe the jutting jaw of mister ego forty-feet high is destined to wind up on a new billion dollar bill. After all, this is America - land of the people’s choice.
Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, United States Senator for Vermont, is the Independent thoroughbred in this race.

Vermonters are a pushy breed, elbowing their way between New York and New Hampshire to become the 14 th state in the nascent American Republic. And they did it the old fashioned way - by distinctive service in the Revolutionary War.

The Green Mountains were claimed by three of the Thirteen Original Colonies. All the farms therein had meaningless land titles - no one knew for sure who owned what. When the Revolution started, Ethan Allen gathered his neighbors at a local tavern to form a militia. They aptly named themselves, “The Green Mountain Boys.”

The mountaineers tramped off to do some serious soldiering and drinking (not necessarily in that order - it took several lusty days of drinking before a plan was hatched.) Under cover of darkness, the Boys infiltrated Fort Ticonderoga, the famous citadel that controlled the water route between Canada and New York. They took the garrison prisoner without killing a single person. They scaled Crown Point and took the fortress there, then captured the largest warship on Lake Champlain. The fort’s cannon were hauled to Boston where George Washington used them to expel the British fleet from Boston Harbor. Boston was free.

When the war was over, Ethan Allen petitioned Congress to accept his homeland as a new state. Congress flatly turned him down - the Thirteen Original Colonies claimed their borders went from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. There was no need and no room for any more states. Undeterred, Allen went to see George Washington to press his cause. On a long ago stormy Christmas night, had he not reprised Ethan’s daring raid? Mindful of the debt, Washington agreed to speak to congress on his behalf. And the Green Mountain State of Vermont was born. America henceforth become an open community of states.

Bernie Sanders is the quintessential Vermonter, reelected to the U.S. Senate by a 74 percent majority of the electorate. He keeps a boyish Green Mountain grin on his face at all times, and takes every opportunity to roll up his sleeves to the elbow. Always a gentleman, he works the crowd like an old pro, moves slowly and flashes the infectious smile; one can feel a playful jab to the ribs even across the room or a thousand miles away watching his performance on screen.

Sanders seems to own the style and delivery that makes his audience lean forward and listen intently - that fireside-chat quality is coming over the airways all these years latter. Likening Bernie Sanders to FDR is not all that far fetched. The two share almost identical social visions. Listen to a Sanders speech today then revisit a Roosevelt stump speech from the 1930s; sounds like an echo blowing in the wind. Franklin though, would never, ever, had labeled himself a Socialist - he was too shrewd for honesty that might cost him votes. He was a Democrat through and through (actually a Republicrat from a long blood-line of recusant NY Republicans.)

Sanders, on the other hand, has elbowed his way in and out of the Democratic Party whenever it suited him. In fact, there may be a revolving door at Democratic Party headquarters with his name on it: Sanders Enter Here - Sanders Exit There - whuzz. It doesn’t seem to have hurt him a bit with his constituents. A Wall Street poll rating the candidates on the economy gave Bernie a zero. No pain there either. Still to come: the rating voters give to this many-billowed surge of reason diseur and the man with the sharpest elbows in the race.
Michael Bloomberg

No. Not me. I’m out. It’s over. I am not a candidate. Positively not. That’s absolute and definitely final. No further comments!

Don’t believe anything coming out of the horse’s mouth. Bloomberg is itching to run. And his rationale for staying out of the D.C. derby makes, as usual, perfect horse sense. Bloomberg is the model thinker, methodical in his actions, having no equal or match. Beneath the placid public exterior rages a wild man painstakingly restrained by a powerful mind. Before the beast is unchained, the world at large must be meticulously prepared for the great escape.

Mayor Bloomberg - throughout his 12 year tenure - maintained a close relationship with the Independence Party. Over that period, a movement to expand and solidify the remnants of Ross Perot’s presidential campaigns emanated from New York under the name, Independence Party of America. This nationwide political network has the same leadership and party bosses as the Independence Party of New York. A candidate can step into this wide-area network, and overnight, magically appear on multiple state ballots for any office they choose.

Bear in mind the deadline for independent candidates to file the legal paperwork to run for public office is not until July, and under special conditions, can be extended beyond. Eliot Spitzer, after procrastinating until the very last minute, threw money at the problem and pulled a rabbit out of his hat with an amazing city-wide two day independent petition drive to appear on the ballot for NYC Mayor. He lost at the polls, but not because he missed filing deadlines. All one needs in the land of opportunity is the money to match one’s ambitions. Michael Bloomberg has the ambition and he has the money.
Hillary Clinton

Right now, she is grappling with the two hostile and fluctuating components of human society - order and liberty. As her Presidential Campaign winds from ocean to ocean, through an expanse dotted with sprawling city-states, the grandest their ever was, the masses, stimulated by competition, and living life with a zest, fullness and creative originality that no other society has ever known, a national snapshot reveals a substrata of political divisiveness and acrimony we hardly knew existed. Unless our government - self government - can rise above fraternal strife, the freedom we as a people idolize will be destroyed.

Bad trade policy has exacerbated the problem; specifically, NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement President Clinton sold to the American people. Compare this policy to President Theodore Roosevelt building the Panama Canal without locks and allowing the two oceans of unequal height to wash away Central America. President Clinton opened the floodgates, and American workers with the highest standard of living on earth saw their union jobs washed away in an unprecedented corporate migration to China, a slave state that had the lowest living standards on earth. China rose as America fell.

Trade - the division of labor and distribution of products thereof - is as old as the human race, and the handmaiden of civilization. The earliest writing known are bills of lading etched in stone and scratched on clay tablets. Equally as old are taxes and tolls levied on trade to systematically support government and hence, prosper civil societies - with the main alternative being pillage, piracy and bands of brutish hierarchies. Unfair and excessive taxes and tolls are just piracy in disguise. History is replete with a million examples that this is the way of the world.

Exactly how politicians expect to fund government without tolls and taxes on trade is a mystery? A system that has grown up with mankind since the dawn of history cannot just be waved away. The innovation is paramount to evolutionary change and subject to Darwinian interpretation. All the G7 high standard of living nations that followed America’s lead in the Free Trade experiment are also currently in decline. Obviously, the plan to shift the tax burden away from trade and onto ordinary workers is clearly a failure. Corporations, over the last two centuries, have been slowly breaking the bonds of government control. The trend has accelerated since Nixon’s trip to China, the Reagan Revolution, Clinton’s NAFTA. And now, new international trade policies under consideration give corporations (by using legalese abstruseness within the agreements) powers to self regulate and incontestable sovereignty - sovereign corporations, a new class of warring fiefdoms to make global mischief - another first in human history. Corporations have reached the point where it is cheaper to corrupt government then to pay for it. This is the backdrop to the 2016 Elections - the dirt under the carpet and Hillary’s burden to surmount.

Mrs. Clinton never tires of telling the public that she is running for her first term as President, not her husband’s third term. This is totally unbelievable. Perhaps Bill Clinton should admit to his error - or miscalculation - on trade policy, apologize, vow to do all in his power ( his powers to solve the problem are considerable - even super - and once depurated, solidly believable) and promise to rectify the damage. Americans are accepting of contrition and love sincere penitents. The Clintons are the most cosmopolitan first-family since Franklin and Eleanor, and their equals in intelligence, political acumen and singleness of purpose. But if Hillary is to get her swing at the ball and a chance to show HER home-run power, she will have to dispel this simple children’s schoolyard taunt: “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.”

Free Trade has always been a dream of mankind, one of the three great aspirations of all time: Universal Peace, Universal Elimination of Poverty, Universal Free Trade. It is to our credit that we keep trying to achieve them all. And someday we will.

Under the rubric of “TRADE” we find the real religion of America - “PROSPERITY” - the worship of industry, business, commerce, trade and wealth; the edification of Prosperity for All, not just the elite few.
Joe Tiraco ran for public office on the Independence Party ballot line three times and served on The New York Independence Party State Committee numerous times since the Party’s inception. He has worked on the three Golisano gubernatorial campaigns, the two Ross Perot presidential campaigns, and briefly, the Hagelin-Goldhaber presidential campaign, and the Trump for President 2000 campaign. Joe remains a committed Centrist activist writer and editor.

Contact: joseph tiraco PO Box 750412 Forest Hills NY 11375-0412 Email: joe@independencepartyofqueens.com



LETTER TO THE STATE COMMITTEE

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May 19, 2014

Dear fellow State Committee member:

You and I both bear a measure of responsibility for the demise of the
Independence Party.   The State Committee is the Party’s elected Congress,  a fiduciary trust for
the overall well-being of the Independence Party; failure to act when the organization is in
distress goes beyond prudence or reason - failure to act is simply failure,  plain and simple.

Complete and unrestricted control is vested in us as the State Committee; we  nominate, elect,
maintain or dismiss - in effect, hire or fire.  The Executive Committee is the creature we created
by voting it into being.  And it has turned into a Frankenstein monster.

Read the newspapers and discover accounts of Independence Party deceit and corruption; search
the Internet and find nothing but vilification and ghastly stories of corruption, corruption, and
more corruption - all of it our fault - yours and mine.

The fear of sharing in our disgrace by accepting the nomination of the Independence Party kept
our ballot line empty in the Presidential Election, and now, no respectable gubernatorial
candidate will accept our nomination.  This - in effect - means our party is about to expire.

We, the State Committee,  elected this leadership and have been slow to respond.  The obvious
disloyalty leadership has showed in the trust we placed in them calls for the complete dismissal
of Independence Party leadership and the temporary replacement by new leadership.

To save the Independence Party we must move forward with urgency and wipe
the slate clean.  It is our duty to make the hard choices.

Please attend the MAY 23rd 2014 meeting at Albany to voice your vote in person.
In the event you can not attend,  I would be deeply honored to carry your proxy to
this meeting.  You can reach me for further discussion at the following numbers.

Best regards,

_________________________
Joseph Tiraco

Member, State Committee, Independence Party of NY,  15th SD, Queens County.

Email: joe@independencepartyofqueens.com
Website: http://www.IndependencePartyofQueens.com

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That Buzzing In Your Ear - INDEPENDENCE
joseph tiraco

Aristotle was right, “Men distinguished in philosophy, politics, poetry or art
appear to be all of a melancholy temperament.”  Apparently the insanity defense
taken by politicians and writers is well founded in historic precedent.

The press would have us believe that 400,000 New Yorkers were duped to enroll
in the INDEPENDENCE Party because of a misleading voting form.  What is
truly surprising is that practitioners of the printed word doubt the weight of words.

INDEPENDENCE reeks American folklore.  While reaching for just the right
words to express national aspiration, character and mood, the Europeans wrote
their Declaration of  the Rights of Man.  But an early American newspaper editor
distilled it down to a single word - INDEPENDENCE - Franklin leaned over to
Jefferson and whispered it in his ear.   Around the world it buzzed like a gadfly,
and to this day remains the most powerful one-word credo in the political lexicon.

Imagine you are a citizen about to register to vote, asked to choose from a dreary
laundry list of words the self-expression of your political aspirations.  As you gaze
at the form a single word jumps off the page, a strong word that pushes all the
others out of your head.  Four hundred thousand New Yorkers chose the box
labeled INDEPENDENCE. Did they know what they wanted? YES - everything
engendered in that word.  Did they get what they wanted?  NO. Why? Because
party leadership (of all the parties and the bosses that run those parties)  let them
down, selling them (illegally and with impunity) like a commodity to Republicans
and Democrats (who ignored the Wilson-Pakula laws to buy them) - not duped
by a form, but betrayed by oily politicos into voting for the very people they
wanted no part of in the first place.

To coverup years and years worth of Pay-to-Play crimes (perhaps the largest
criminal enterprise in the State’s history) a scheme is hatched to erase both
INDEPENDENCE and the Wilson-Pakula laws;  sort of kill the victim and maybe
the crimes will go away (Out of Sight Out of Mind.)  How deep should we bury
the body?   Only in New York   and only by today’s decadent standards can this be
seen as creative planning and visionary government reform. Those profiting from
the tightly controlled bias election process see only the gravy train.

Formed as a moderate centrist party, INDEPENDENCE  has become by far the
third largest political party in New York State (and perhaps the United States.)
I have been circulating INDEPENDENCE Party petitions for fifteen years,
advocating the spirit of competition, and far from the party of ghostly drop outs
described in the press, INDEPENDENCE voters step up to the plate every year at
petition time to keep their party in business, showing an esprit equal to either of
the major parties.

The City Council race of 2001 was the first time my name appeared on the ballot.
It was the year the towers fell and Mike Bloomberg made his first run for mayor.
He was at the top of the INDEPENDENCE Party ticket which ultimately
delivered his margin of victory.

I ran again in 2010 for State Assembly on the INDEPENDENCE line.  Andrew
Cuomo, Eric Schneiderman, Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Anthony
Weiner were on top of the ticket.  I drew more INDEPENDENCE votes in my
district on our line than any of the Democrats using only street flyers and window
signs saying,  “Declare Your  INDEPENDENCE.”  Obviously, the Democrats
didn’t campaign too hard on our line - in fact, not at all.  They didn’t want the line,
only to exclude others from getting it. Bloomberg’s victories were etched in their
minds and scared the hell out of them.  With Andrew Cuomo and Eric
Schneiderman, we dropped two ballot slots (from column C to E) due to their
deliberate ploy.

Ploy? What ploy?  INDEPENDENCE leadership has been in office twelve years -
kept in office by special interest money, secrecy, deception and the protection of
powerful politicians - failing again and again, scandal after scandal, clinging to
power when a clean break with the past is sorely needed.  So scandal prone that in
2012 in a hotly contested race no presidential candidate would appear on our line.
Our leadership should have resigned or been jailed when the Bloomberg money
laundering scandal broke. Instead, with trumpets blaring, the New York State
Attorney General announced his investigation. Did he indict INDEPENDENCE
leadership and free the party of 400,000 to move on?  Of course not.
INDEPENDENCE unfettered was the last thing he wanted.  The two powerful
AG’s simply prosecuted a Republican operative and put themselves on the 2010 IP
ticket, thereby preventing INDEPENDENCE from biting them in the ass.  A little
trick the Dems are reserving again for the 2014 election,
“us or NOBODY.”  In politics nothing changes except the names - oh so slowly.

Democracy as we know it is undergoing cyclic changes: the art of leadership is
impoverished, now merely a frantic search for money;  leading from the rear to
whip the horses ever harder becomes the accepted management norm; the greatest
good for the greatest number has collapsed as a guiding principal, and rising in its
place is a culture built on survival instincts - the beast, unleashed and unbounded,
turns the energetic push for civil society into a sullen dog eat dog landscape fit
only for predators.

“The defect of democracy is its tendency to put mediocrity into power” . . . and,
“Hence I think it is that democracies change into aristocracies, and these at length
into monarchies . . .” wrote 17th Century Dutch philosopher, Baruch Spinoza.
In the end, people prefer tyranny to chaos.

by Joseph Tiraco,  May 7, 2014,
Joseph Tiraco is the Independence Party District Leader for the 15th Senatorial District in Queens.

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Three Ring Circus

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Three Ring Circus
trunk to tail round and round they go

One name going across all the lines at the ballot box - “nobody else to vote for but me.” This is the iconic show business name up in lights dream, but for a different breed of ham actor - the politician. Grab those voters by the scruff of the neck and rub their noses in it!

What practical value could this verbigerative exercise have? The law of the land says, One-Man-One-Vote. However, this is not typically an attempt to entice multiple voting, but more like the old carnival barker’s sales pitch, “Step right up folks. For only one vote you get not just a Republican, but a very special creature, half Republican and half Conservative.” Now add the allure of this creature, one third Republican, one third Conservative, one third Independence. Ah, irresistible!

Perhaps this is what makes Pay-To-Play irresistible, even though it’s highly illegal? In the end, the creature that buys extra ballot lines is even more multifaceted: add, “ruthless, ultra-ambitious and crooked.”
- -joseph tiraco, September 10, 2012

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Independence Party, an Analysis

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Independence Party, an Analysis

State Committee:
The 62 counties of New York State contain a total of 150 Assembly Districts (or ADs) of which one Male and one Female from each AD  (300 IP enrolled voters in all) are elected as District Leaders in (even year) Primary  Elections; 300 District Leaders – who serve 2 year terms - make up the State Committee (at least on paper.)   The State Committee in turn elects an Executive Committee and Chairman to administer the Independence Party’s day to day affairs.

District Leaders:
The District Leaders are invested with weighted-votes; that is, each has as many votes as votes cast for governor ( not necessarily the winning governor ) on the party’s ballot line, in the District Leader’s district, during the previous Gubernatorial Election.  For example: in 2010, 825 votes for Andrew M. Cuomo were cast on the Independence Party ballot line in the 28th AD in Queens County,  therefore, the male and female District Leaders from the 28th AD each have 825 votes on the Independence Party State Committee.

Proxy Statements:
Since the First Continental Congress and thereafter, elected representatives had to be seated as a deliberative body to personally cast a vote and those not in attendance (without exception or excuse) wasted their vote. The Independence Party rules permit voting by proxy, a practice slowly marginalizing the State Committee, turning it into a mostly phantom body. The party’s movers and shakers hold enough proxy statements to control the party (sponsoring stooges during petition drives who sign over their proxies.) Gone are the halcyon years of Golisano and Perot when electrified activists packed party meetings to support dynamic third-party candidates and crusade for reform. Proxies now pack the third-party ballot line with incumbent Democrats and Republicans keeping the third-party movement mired in a deep malaise - two-thirds of the Independence membership stayed home for the gubernatorial election (146,648 votes cast statewide on the Independence line, out of 434,752 voters enrolled in the Independence Party.) Proxy control has insinuated bad decisions, bad press, and a drop from third to fifth place at the ballot box.

County Committee:
The ICO or Interim County Organization, so called because of its ephemeral nature, is the local incarnation of the statewide monolith, or the Independence Party at its naked, most basic self; an organization that must, by law, be reconstituted every two years - at the end of each NY state election cycle; and from the ashes arises a phoenix simply called, the County Committee. This is where the party’s barons and warlords live - and feed off the countryside. The currency here is, the signed proxy statement. The County Committee is basically a paper mill, grinding proxies into raw political power transmitted via the State Committee to the Executive Committee and refined to reappear on countless ballot boxes throughout New York state under the rubric, “Independence.”

- - joseph tiraco March 7, 2012
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WHAT ARE PETITIONS FOR?

NY State election law requires candidates for public office to file petitions signed by 5% of their party membership who reside within the venue of the office being sought. That is, only voters enrolled in the Independence Party who are eligible to vote for the candidate in a primary election are permitted to sign his or her petition.

What are people saying by signing a candidate’s petition?  “I agree that this person should get a chance to compete for this public office.” What they are NOT saying is, “I will vote for this candidate,” or “I approve of this candidate’s policies.”

The signature is therefore not a vote for anything, or approval of anything, or support for anything; but merely a nod more or less saying, LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

Then why pester voters to sign some meaningless document? The OBVIOUS ANSWER: the petition is of value to somebody, and that somebody is the prospective candidate. Since every party voter gets only ONE nod per candidate per public office, the prospective candidate is saying, “Give me your nod.” While you can sign any and all the petitions you want, only the FIRST petition you sign to fill a particular public office (ie, city council, state assembly, etc.) is valid.

At this point in time (petition time) there is no candidate, no campaign, and no policies, just some vague possibilities. Only two people can move to solidify the possibilities: the prospective candidate, and you; the unspoken dialog is roughly this, “me me me I want to try” and “OK, here’s my nod, give it a whirl, show me your best stuff and maybe I might vote for you in the next election, but remember, I take a lot of convincing.”

The petition process is cumbersome and imperfect, but an important civic duty - not unlike jury duty.  Membership in a political party carries with it certain responsibilities - both inherent in citizenship and part of the system some call democracy, and others refer to as government by self rule; in short, our chosen way of life.– joseph tiraco june 5, 2010



SUMMER JOBS 2010

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Petition Carriers, Campaign Workers. June - November 2010. Part Time, name your own hours, work in Queens. Good opportunity to learn about politics and running for public office. MUST BE ENROLLED TO VOTE IN THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY, OR BE AN INDEPENDENT BLANK (never voted before.) $10-$20 hour. Bilingual applicants welcome (English and any other language.) CONTACT US HERE or FAX resume to 718-275-1323.



2010 CANDIDATE SCREENING

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The 2010 Candidate Screening process is now in progress. If you are seeking a slot on Ballot Line C (The New York State Independence Party) CONTACT US HERE.



Why Term Limits Matter

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History is replete with examples of society’s delicate civil fabric ripped asunder by strongmen doing what comes natural; accumulating political power to themselves. The ancient folly that morphed republican Greece and Rome into horrific tyrannies presents today’s active ingredients for struggles in Africa and Central America; abysmal conflict between stasis and status, government and governed, doyen and dunce tumbles on and on, sometimes bloody, but always emotionally charged. Desirous of the extraordinary ability certain individuals can bring to the table, but fearful of being swallowed whole, a vigilant citizenry attempts to limit the amount of time these powerful predators can feed in public waters - the key word here is “attempts.”

Michael Bloomberg with his disarming Howdy Doody smile exudes all the charm of a deep water shark relentlessly plying the icy North Atlantic. Just recently, in a shocking breach of public trust, he swam across the Rubicon, chewing through the safety net incumbent weary voters were comfortably tucked behind. The justification? “Who needs term limits when a man of my talent is working for you for free, or to be more accurate, a mere buck a year. Why? Because I love you .” The implied point comes across with all the earnestness Bostonians reserve for their brethren New Yorkers.

But an Internet skeptic might surf to
http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Michael_Bloomberg where the inferences suggest, the man has read Benjamin Franklin’s bio, and took profuse notes: for instance, are the morning subway rides extractions of Ben’s early morning wheelbarrow walks?
And Bloomberg’s statement, “People say I have my name all over town because I need to feed my ego,” he said in 1994. “Actually, it’s because that’s the way to build brand recognition.”(Hass, Nancy, “Bloomberg! Bloomberg! Bloomberg!” The Forward, Sept. 23, 1994.), echos of Ben Franklin urging tireless self promotion? As the Internet profile takes form, Bloomberg the man comes through as a supercilious egotist, Old Ben Franklin rolled into Marcus Licinius Crassus.

But, http://pdf.forbes.com/2001/05/02/0502facescan_print.html is the show stopper: Forbes Faces: May 2, 2001. Here we learn Michael Bloomberg was worth $4 billion before he took the oath of office. Directly below him on that same page is a photo of Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister of Italy, and at the time Berlusconi’s net worth of $13 billion dwarfed that of Bloomberg’s. A subsequent search revealed that today, eight years later, Bloomberg is worth $17 billion, and Berlusconi $9 billion. Clearly, Bloomberg grew much fatter feeding in New York waters then Silvio Berlusconi did by gulping down all the Mediterranean fish he could find. It’s hard not to notice that New York City, Bloomberg’s eight year charge, had no such astronomical rise of fortune; prosperity is now a fading shadow in the rearview mirror. In fact, downright dystopia is in the wind; as far as the dollar a year deal goes, you get what you pay for - we got screwed and he got $13 billion richer. Rather then a benevolent pater, the man who loves us is just one more sticky fingered media mogul grasping the goose laying golden eggs as tightly as he can, and will never let it go. –joseph tiraco

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