12, 2004 --
Dear Mr. Mayor:
The photo of you with this letter was taken by me when you went to the VFW post
in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. Upon seeing the print, I felt that a cheap
shot would be inappropriate.
Then I got another
parking ticket on Feb. 3. I received it while I unloaded my scanner
and took it to Desktop for another
computer lesson. A few minutes later,
after plugging the scanner in, at Desktop, along with my Mac, I went back
to the car to put quarters in the meter and was utterly amazed
to find a ticket
on the windshield.
Of course I was
determined to go to PVB in the Bronx, right after my training session.
It was as I was sending an e-mail about
this to a reporter at The
Washington Post that I realized I should put the photo on-line, whatever
the PVB action
on my ticket.
Mr. Mayor, I
think you should demonstrate that this photo does not indicate
your feelings about those of us who receive
per annum something less than
of million bucks.
I recall one
of your early campaign brochures and how it seemed to show you
bragging about growing up in, but leaving the
inner city. The line
is consistent with the expression in this photo, I believe.
When I got to
PVB in the Bronx, I asked to speak to a supervisor because I wanted
to do some discovery, particularly about
the training given
the ticket agents.
I was informed that there is no discovery at PVB - that this is an
administrative hearing and that the accused do not have the chance
to confront the accuser.
Last week, I
attended the annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association
and one of the sessions I attended was
a panel discussion
on the Patriot
Act, which has come under criticism from the head of the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Nadine Strossen, a member of the
my law school, New
Law (not NYU Law!
and below): Anthony Lewis, speaking at the New York Law School
on Feb. 10, 2004.
How I wish Prof.
Strossen could see what administration of law is like at PVB. The
Schechter Poultry Corp case included
of the NRA under President Roosevelt, “This is delegation
his seat at the celestial bench, Justice Cardozo would look at
your performance as mayor, including your use
of PVB as,
more than ever, a municipal squeeze on the PWC class (people
without clout) and remark: “This is rule application
running riot.” I
appreciate Prof. Stgrossen‘s concern about application
of the Patriot Act. If only she were to visit PVB in the Bronx
disregard of due process in action.
On the matter
of PVB I am reminded of the lament of John Adams in the musical
play 1776: “Is anybody there? Does anybody
care? Does anybody see things as I see them?”
When it got to
be my turn, I explained the facts to the administrative law judge.
I argued that the ticket was served in an “arbitrary
and capricious” manner. Also, I argued that service of
the ticket in these circumstances was fundamentally unfair.
The administrative law judge thought otherwise. Noting that
I was parked at a one hour meter, he said that by first going
shop, I sought to extend my time by five minutes.
Mr, Mayor, I
simply went to unload the car before putting the quarters into
the meter. In your New York City, however,
that is an offense
punishable by $65 fine. And how effective your PVB is in
swooping down on people minutes after they park. (This should
how efficient the city can be, when it has a mind to.)
At the state
bar gathering, I photographed James Carville, speaking to one section
dining at Tavern on the Green.
He began with self-deprecating
humor that suggested to me it is he, not Al Franken, who
should get a radio talk show. He also praised Senator Kerry
Senator Clinton would someday be on the national ticket.
York’s Tavern on the Green.
Carville, Mary Matalin’s husband, speaking at Tavern
on the Green, near Central Park on Jan. 28.