Are you quivering with anticipation about how much Bloomberg's margin of victory will be? Whether moderate Republicans have been banished from Northeast New York? Whether Maine's letting gays marry? Oh good because Peter Feld's hosting an election-night live blog tonight.
You may remember Peter as the man behind last year's Gawker Decision Desk. Election Night 2009 doesn't hold quite the same promise of jubilant street celebrations, but there will be plenty to discuss. So, please stop by around 8pm when polls begin to close. In the meantime, for those of you actually bothering to vote, here's Peter's rebuttal to yesterday's Gawker Endorsement: Don't Vote for Bloomberg in which he gives you ten reasons to return a billionaire to City Hall.
I know the Awl and Gawker (where I'll be live-chatting tonight's results) have joined the haters who want to throw out the best mayor this city has had in my lifetime (which is longer than some). Here are the top ten reasons you shouldn't join them.
10. Term limits are for suckers. Seriously. Fuck ‘em. Gold stars to all the Council members who voted to override. Who are a bunch of Ron Lauder-manipulated voters from the anti-incumbent craze of the early '90s to tell me who I can and can't vote for? Oh, you say, the sacred will of the voters can't be touched. Well, go to California, where decades of voter-passed propositions that can't be changed have smothered the governing process in quicksand. And don't you support overturning the California voters' ban on gay marriage? Ah, as I thought. And if that still doesn't convince you, think of it this way: if the term limits law included a provision allowing the City Council to override it, then the override was totally legitimate.
9. He doesn't care what people think of him or the niceties of the political process, which often comes in handy. He just cares about outcomes. He's outside the city's established, still-clubby political structure.
8. The 311 system and NYC.gov. What a concept: customer service for everyone who lives in NYC.
7. He's kept crime going down without the Mussolini-like police tactics of Giuliani. There have been no mayorally-sanctioned police hate crimes like Diallo, Louima and Dorismond.
6. He supports the arts, instead of attacking them as Giuliani did.
5. Fuck Critical Mass. A bunch of spoiled, self-righteous kids who think they're striking a blow against… something, by indulging their free-floating aggression toward everyone and tying up neighborhoods. If they can't stop at red lights, take their bikes and slap them with citations.
4. Unlike Giuliani, who tried to shut down and sell off the city's community gardens, Bloomberg has been a champion of open space, reclaiming traffic lanes for de facto parks around Times Square, Herald Square, Madison Square Park, the Lower East Side and elsewhere. He's closed down Park Ave. during the summer and was key to rescuing the High Line. His planning commissioner, Amanda Burden, has waged war on overdesigned developments that would have disfigured neighborhoods, and works constantly to increase New Yorkers' access to waterways.
3. The Nanny State. I don't care what people say, using government to direct people away from habits that are bad for them is 100% awesome. I don't believe those studies that say posting calorie counts doesn't work - I've myself been surprised to find out how many calories certain foods contain, and grateful for the info that helped me avoid them. And the trans-fat ban is great for fighting obesity. Fuck "free choice" - you think you had free choice at age 13 when Joe Camel convinced you and your friends that it would be cool to adopt a deadly, addictive habit?
2. So: the smoking ban. If nothing else, this alone would make Mike Bloomberg a national hero. Don't you like not having to strip off your clothes, enclose them in a hazmat bag and drop them straight off at the cleaners after a night at a bar? Notice how it's spread to other cities and states, and even longtime smokers' bastions like Ireland and Italy? That, plus high taxes on cigarettes that come closer to paying the true cost smoking and smokers impose on society has nearly driven smoking onto New York's endangered species list, where it belongs, and strongly discouraged underage smoking when people have the least ability to resist adopting self-destructive habits.
1. He kept us from going under after 9/11, as many expected. Not caring about politics, he forced an austerity budget on the city and an 18% property tax hike - which he ended as soon as the budget was in the clear.