January 22, 2008

Giuliani the vengeful dick

Bet you money someone in the Giuliani campaign gets fired for not killing this story in the NYT about Giuliani's tenure as Mayor of NYC. Let's just say he left a lot of bodies in his wake...

PhotobucketIn August 1997, James Schillaci, a rough-hewn chauffeur from the Bronx, dialed Mayor Giuliani’s radio program on WABC-AM to complain about a red-light sting run by the police near the Bronx Zoo. When the call yielded no results, Mr. Schillaci turned to The Daily News, which then ran a photo of the red light and this front page headline: “GOTCHA!”

That morning, police officers appeared on Mr. Schillaci’s doorstep. What are you going to do, Mr. Schillaci asked, arrest me? He was joking, but the officers were not.

They slapped on handcuffs and took him to court on a 13-year-old traffic warrant. A judge threw out the charge. A police spokeswoman later read Mr. Schillaci’s decades-old criminal rap sheet to a reporter for The Daily News, a move of questionable legality because the state restricts how such information is released. She said, falsely, that he had been convicted of sodomy.

Then Mr. Giuliani took up the cudgel.

“Mr. Schillaci was posing as an altruistic whistle-blower,” the mayor told reporters at the time. “Maybe he’s dishonest enough to lie about police officers.”

Mr. Schillaci suffered an emotional breakdown, was briefly hospitalized and later received a $290,000 legal settlement from the city. “It really damaged me,” said Mr. Schillaci, now 60, massaging his face with thick hands. “I thought I was doing something good for once, my civic duty and all. Then he steps on me.”

Mr. Giuliani was a pugilist in a city of political brawlers. But far more than his predecessors, historians and politicians say, his toughness edged toward ruthlessnessand became a defining aspect of his mayoralty. One result: New York City spent at least $7 million in settling civil rights lawsuits and paying retaliatory damages during the Giuliani years.

After AIDS activists with Housing Works loudly challenged the mayor, city officials sabotaged the group’s application for a federal housing grant. A caseworker who spoke of missteps in the death of a child was fired. After unidentified city workers complained of pressure to hand contracts to Giuliani-favored organizations, investigators examined not the charges but the identity of the leakers.

“There were constant loyalty tests: ‘Will you shoot your brother?’ ” said Marilyn Gelber, who served as environmental commissioner under Mr. Giuliani. “People were marked for destruction for disloyal jokes.”

Mr. Giuliani paid careful attention to the art of political payback. When former Mayors Edward I. Koch and David N. Dinkins spoke publicly of Mr. Giuliani’s foibles, mayoral aides removed their official portraits from the ceremonial Blue Room at City Hall. Mr. Koch, who wrote a book titled “Giuliani: Nasty Man,” shrugs.

“David Dinkins and I are lucky that Rudy didn’t cast our portraits onto a bonfire along with the First Amendment, which he enjoyed violating daily,” Mr. Koch said in a recent interview.

Oh, yes... it gets better. Apparently, when Mayor 9/11 was contemplating a run against Hillary for Senate, Giuliani couldn't stand the thought of his successor being a political enemy. So, he spent millions on a campaign to alter the city charter that voters soundly rejected, 3-1. Read the whole article to find out just a few of the many things Mayor 9/11 did to enemies, real and perceived. The man made Nixon look perfectly forgiving and magnanimous.

Posted by mcblogger at January 22, 2008 01:08 PM

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