Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

A Personal View of Bill deBlasio
and Anthony Weiner from the
LPR Proprietor

June 16, 2013 --

Bill deBlasio, presently serving as New York City Public Advocate, is an announced New York City mayoral candidate. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner recently prompted speculation that he will join the race for New York City mayor. (Even without announcing his candidacy, Weiner is reported to be second in a mayoral poll to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.) From my personal knowledge of Mr. deBlasio and Mr. Weiner, they should receive remedial training on due process, fundamental fairness, and transparency before proceeding with their mayoral aspiration. This knowledge was acquired during my Dayton Seaside travail, when City Hall, under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani -- with a boost from the U.S. Dep't of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -- manipulated property taxes to force the three Dayton Seaside apartment buildings, in Rockaway Park, Queens, into bankruptcy.

The summer of 1999, I learned that Weiner is not interested in hearing from all parties to a controversy. One August day, that year, when I heard that Weiner was on Dayton Seaside premises, I tried to give him information on the property tax travail. As soon as he learned that I was with management, Weiner made it clear that he was not interested in speaking with me. In December, 2000, with Dayton Seaside in bankruptcy due to the NYC/HUD property tax manipulation, Weiner, joined by Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and State Senator Malcolm Smith, wrote a falsehood-filled letter to the bankruptcy judge on Weiner's official House of Representatives stationery, to influence the judge. A memo from the judge's chambers to counsel on this bankruptcy case indicated that the letter from the three officials could not be considered. (Apart from the smears it hurled, the letter was improper because it was an ex parte communication.)

LPR File Photo of Bill deBlasio from 2004. Note that deBlasio, current New York City Public Advocate, no longer has a beard.

Prior to being informed by a political insider, in late 1999, that my family would be ousted from Dayton Seaside buildings in bankruptcy (we constructed the buildings in the early 1960's), I tried to get information from HUD about the property tax issue.

In response to one letter, I received a note from deBlasio, then HUD regional director for New York and New Jersey, denying any knowledge of the matter. Some months later, I wrote to Mr. deBlasio and again he denied knowledge of the Dayton Seaside tax situation.

Two of the three Dayton Seaside buildings carried HUD mortgages and HUD, apparently at the city's request, applied tax escrows at these buildings to current city property taxes, leaving open the taxes for previous years to create the illusion of vast arrears. I understood deBlasio's two notes to be "stonewalling."

And so, from personal experience with Weiner and deBlasio, LPR concludes that if either of these gentlemen is elected mayor, the day of open government, in New York City, based on due process and fundamental fairness, will remain a hope for the future, not a reality for 2014.