Here’s a joke for you: What is the difference between President Obama and New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio? One is a so-called progressive who plugs damaging and divisive policies in the name of a misguided sense of “fairness,” seeks to punish the successful through redistribution, wants to expand an already bloated welfare state, has unsavory friends, and is even rumored to be connected to communism. The other lives in the White House.
New York City
Last Tuesday's election was a good day for Republicans in New York State. Republicans retained control of bellwether Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties by sizeable margins, and won the mayor’s race in three notable cities: Glen Cove, Peekskill, and Binghamton. The Grand Old Party even took control of the Erie County legislature for the first time since 1977.
Then there was the election in New York City.
Warren Wilhelm Jr., now known to the world as Bill de Blasio, won an election that, for all intents and purposes, he ran in unopposed. Republican Joe Lhota’s campaign wasn't poorly run as much as it wasn't run at all. In the end the largest voting bloc was apathy. Voter turnout was at it’s lowest in a half-century.
The down-ballot effect was devastating for the GOP. In 2009 Republicans were able to win five city council seats; this year they held onto just three. In the city council race I managed, voter turnout was at a record low, down nearly 30 percent from where it was in 2001, the last time we elected a new mayor.
A challenge to New York City's onerous rent control laws has been granted cert by the Supreme Court according to the New York Times. The plaintiff, James Harmon, a former lawyer in the Reagan adminisration and an alumnus of West Point, inherited the house from his grandparents, who worked long hours as a governess and a waiter to afford the home. Harmon argues that the rent stablization laws amount to the government taking his property without properly compensating him for it.
Harmon has taken to the Supreme Court because the lower courts, and even his assemblywoman, Linda B. Rosenthal, are fine with the current regime. Rosenthal herself is quoted in the Times sounding a bit like an Occupy Wall Street devotee:
Ms. Rosenthal said Mr. Harmon had asked for an exception to rent regulations for his building, which she found untenable because it would, she said, extend to thousands of other people in “the vanishing middle class.”