Besides being the latest politician to enter the Democrat primary elections (or clown show, as Donald Trump Jr. puts it), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also allegedly a remorseless thief.
According to several city officials who spoke with the New York Post, “Bigfoot,” as they call the mayor turned 2020 contender, has a habit of claiming credit for his subordinates’ ideas.
“People who say Bigfoot isn’t real haven’t seen de Blasio in action,” one unnamed official said. “He’s always big-footed other elected officials to steal their ideas.”
“I know he’s been called ‘Big Bird,'” a former staffer said, referencing the mayor’s height, “but when it comes to governing, he’s more of a ‘Bigfoot. He stomps in and takes other people’s ideas.”
“The mayor is getting out in front of the band and pretending to lead,” one councilman said. “A national audience would never know anything behind whatever rhetoric the mayor offered.”
Take city Comptroller Scott Stringer’s efforts to reportedly rid the city’s pension funds of all fossil fuel investments. When his efforts first began, de Blasio put out the following ad:
Then during his State of the City speech this past January, the mayor took full credit for Stringer’s work and effort, and much to the surprise of those who knew the full story.
“We’re divesting $5 billion of our workers’ hard-earned retirement savings, taking that $5 billion out of the fossil fuel companies that are destroying this planet,” de Blasio said. “And we’re putting billions where it belongs – into renewable energy that will save us all.”
By “we,” he essentially meant “me.”
“Stringer is doing all the work,” one source said to the Post in frustration.
Something similar reportedly happened to NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. During his tenure as a Brooklyn councilman in 2014, he proposed paid vacation time.
Now fast-forward to this past January, when the mayor suddenly announced his own paid vacation proposal but at least had the decency to invite Williams to his press conference on the matter.
“That’s funny, I’ve been carrying this bill for five years and he never expressed any interest,” Williams reportedly grumbled at the time in private, according to the Post’s sources.
Too many people work hard but don’t get any time with their families. That’s why New York City will be the first city to guarantee workers two weeks of paid vacation or personal time. All Americans deserve paid leave to be there for the people we love.https://t.co/Ed91AMeJGb
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) May 9, 2019
Williams and Stringer aren’t the first, nor will they likely be the last to have their ideas swiped.
Take NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s idea of providing inmates with 21 minutes of free phone calls every three hours. Though Johnson reportedly introduced the legislation in April of 2018 and guided its passage through the council, de Blasio appeared to take the credit.
“This reform continues a string of initiatives by the de Blasio administration intended to make our jails safer, more accessible to friends and family and more equitable,” his office wrote in a press release earlier this month, only days before Johnson’s bill was to go into effect.
— City of New York (@nycgov) May 1, 2019
Granted, in a statement to the media, de Blasio did briefly mention Johnson.
“For too long have people in custody faced barriers to basic aspects of everyday life that can help create more humane jails,” he said. “With free phone calls, we’re eliminating one of those barriers and ensuring that people in custody have the opportunity to remain connected to their lawyers, families and support networks that are so crucial to re-entry into one’s community.”
“I want to thank Council Speaker Corey Johnson for his leadership, and the rest of the City Council for passing this common-sense and crucial reform.”
According to the Post, de Blasio’s “big-footing” ways stretch back years.
“De Blasio also co-opted Manhattan Councilman Ben Kallos’ campaign finance reforms, Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger’s proposal to increase the number of translators at city poll sites, and Speaker Johnson’s safe injection sites for drug users,” the outlet noted.
In each instance, city officials came up with an idea that the mayor then basically co-opted as his own. According to one source, not once has he come up with an idea of his own:
“It’s hard to think of anything progressive that he’s had to push through the council. It’s all been the council pushing him to adopt progressive priorities.”
If he were to become president — which is quite unlikely given his current polling numbers — it’s unclear who he’d steal ideas from … his vice president, his secretary of state, his wife?
Speaking with the Post, the mayor’s own spokeswoman didn’t even deny her boss’s habit of stealing ideas. She simply said, “Not one of these things would have happened without the mayor’s leadership. We’re proud to collaborate with other elected officials so that New Yorkers can reap the benefits.”
His most spectacular theft was of socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s widely mocked “Green New Deal.” Instead of at least crafting his own climate change plan like Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, de Blasio pretty much copied and pasted.
“It’s the exact same language that firebrand freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) used when she announced her proposal in February,” the Post noted.
He reportedly copped an attitude when a reporter questioned him about this Monday.
MAY 13, 2019
Live: NYC Mayor De Blasio holds Green New Deal rally outside Trump Tower
HAPPENING NOW: Bill De Blasio sends a pointed message by inviting press to the public plaza of NYC’s 5th Ave. Trump Tower to discuss the city’s own Green New Deal. pic.twitter.com/RGv7e9PF3m
— Maria Battles (@maria_battles) May 13, 2019
“Are you in touch with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about the federal version of this since you borrowed the name?” the reporter asked at the mayor’s so-called “Green New Deal” rally.
“Yeah, I support the federal bill, Congress member Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey’s bill. I’ve been very supportive of it. She’s been supportive of the New York City Green New Deal. Anything else?” a reportedly annoyed de Blasio replied.
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