Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Why Are Wolfson And Bloomberg Attacking Thompson?

Political hack Howard Wolfson has been given three pages in the Daily News to attack the UFT and Bill Thompson while shilling for Bloomberg's education policies and legacy.

I'm going to leave the lies and manipulated data Wolfson spews to sell Bloomberg's policies and agenda for others to knock down.

What I'm interested in is why Wolfson and Bloomberg are feeling the need to attack Thompson.

To be frank, while Thompson is talking some about changing Bloomberg's school policies, a lot of his education agenda is little different from Bloomberg's education agenda.

Thompson is not anti-charter.

Thompson will not charge charter schools rent for stealing space from public schools.

Thompson wants to add more days to the school year and more time to the school day.

Thompson praised Bloomberg for refusing to give teachers the 4%/4% pattern raise every other union in the city got.

Thompson wants to continue mayoral control.

Sure, there are some subtle changes Thompson says he wants to make to Bloomberg's policies, perhaps around the emphasis on testing, but I'll believe those changes will happen when I actually see them happen and not until then.

Plus, with APPR state law forcing both increased state testing and increased local testing, it's hard to see how Thompson can change the insane testing schedules we have these days anyway even if he wanted to (which I doubt he does, in any case.)

So why is Bloomberg having Thompson attacked for his alleged education policy crimes in the pages of the Daily News?

Sure, the UFT endorsed him, but Merryl Tisch is the co-chair of his campaign and Al D'amato is one of his bundlers.

Thompson is hardly some radical bomb thrower looking to wash away the Bloomberg polices and turn the NYC school system into some bastion of progressive education.

So why are they attacking him?

Is this some reverse psychological operation to fool people who want an end to Bloomberg's education policies to vote for Thompson because they think he'll end Bloomberg's education policies while Bloomberg has some secret deal to ensure that Thompson will keep them in place?

As Tom Robbins pointed out in the NY Post today, Bloomberg uses his billions like this all the time, paying people under the table and in the back room to do what he wants.

I can see them attacking Thompson in public for saying he wants to break with Bloomberg's education policies while paying Thompson off behind the scenes to keep those policies in place.

As Norm Scott always says about the UFT, don't listen to what they say, watch what they do.

The same goes for Bloomberg, Thompson, and Wolfson.

The words mean nothing - the actions are what count.


  1. Shrewd analysis. Thompson will keep most Bllomberg education mismanagement policies.

  2. I like your analysis. Bloomberg's smart. He can see people are tired of him and view him as politically toxic. Just look at the hit Quinn is taking regarding her closeness to him and his policies over the past four years.

    He wants a horse in this race and may feel more people will vote against his policies.


    Find a candidate who'll agree to continue his ways, then attack that candidate hoping for the backlash vote.

    I put nothing past that billionaire dictator.

    1. That's right - he;s hedging his bets, especially now that Quinn is falling in the polls.

  3. When facing evidence contrary to your hypothesis, don't rethink your hypothesis, jut decide that the data is being cooked. How is your argument different from denying climate change?

    1. Let me know when the evidence contrary to my hypothesis comes in, okay.

      So far, here's the evidence that supports my theory:

      1. Tisch is Thompson's co-chair
      2. D'amato is raising funds for him
      3. Thompson met with charter backers and industry types to assuage their concerns over him
      4. the DFER's put out a memo telling charter supporters and other corporate education reform types not to get too alarmed by Thompson's rhetoric during the primary, that a suitcase full of cash will make all that rhetoric go away come November

      That's a lot of evidence to suggest teachers should look upon Thompson with some suspicion. That Wolfson attacked Thompson all out of proportion to Thompson's stances on education makes all this even more plausible.

      As always, I hope to be wrong. Seriously. I really want to be wrong about this.

  4. The true political machine behind every education reform has been $$$$.

    Thompson is no different. I will stand behind the reason why they do the Kabuki dance.

    Thompson was honest by saying what his plans are as mayor and the UFT still endorsed him. Therefore, Thompson and Tisch $$$$$

    I can't wait for the UFT to do a turbo-spin when Thompson as mayor does not give a raise and keeps 99.9% of Bloomberg's policies. I wonder how many UFT members will be holding the placard "Thompson for Mayor" when this happens.

    I hope I'm wrong. But this reminds of the Scorpion and the Frog.

  5. Here is how: Tisch is a close friend of Joel Klein who works for Murdoch and is selling Wireless technology for education. Tisch is also an on again off again ally of Bloomberg. Tisch is pro corporate reform and she will be the go between the various players when there are disagreements. Their interlocking and incestuous political relationships are powerful data in support of RBEs hypothesis. By dividing the vote and working the runoff election, the power brokers are maximizing their chances for a win win runoff. Bloomberg is totally Machiavelian and Orwellian. The Bloomberg terminals were used to spy on banks and traders for decades.
    RBE s logic is sound and is nothing like that of the
    global warming deniers.

    1. Good points that connect the dots. I think Tisch is definitely on board to make Thompson more palatable to the oligarchs.

  6. It's called hedging in the game. Great analysis RBE.

  7. What piffle. The following analyses makes FAR more sense:

    Scenario one:

    No one will get forty percent in the Democratic Primary but Quinn makes the runoff. Who does Bloomberg think will be her weakest opponent?

    Scenario Two.

    Quinn is a feint. Bloomberg really wants Lhota. Who does the Mayor believe will be his weakest opponent?

    Scenario Three.

    Bloomberg really, REALLY hates Mulgrew and the UFT (the only entities that have persistently challenged him with impunity) and thus will do everything in his power to screw them.

    All of the above scenarios are FAR more plausible then the paranoia being regurgitated above.

    1. Let me respond to your three scenarios:

      Scenario One: Thompson isn't even close to being Quinn's weakest opponent. Albanese, Liu, even de Blasio would have a more difficult time in a runoff against her, given all the money she has. Thompson can (and has) raised the funds to compete with her.

      Scenario Two: Bloomberg may want Lhota, but even he has to know that Lhota is a long shot at best. He's a nutcase, with a track record of being a nutcase (Google "Lhota challenges 77 year old man to fist fight".) He can't get through a two month campaign with close scrutiny without having a major implode. He won't win, barring a major, major surprise.

      Scenario Three: Sure Bloomberg hates Mulgrew. And sure he wants to hurt the UFT. Buying off Thompson and getting him to continue most (or all) of the Bloomberg education policies is a fabulous way to stick it to both Mulgrew and the UFT rank and file. And don't think it can't or won't happen. Thompson is a politician who is for sale.

      BTW, your scenarios assume Quinn is still the presumed frontrunner. She's not. Her poll numbers have been falling since February and her speech attacking Weiner and Thompson last week indicates just how desperate her campaign is to regain some momentum.

  8. The 6 o'clock news reported the Bloomberg and Quinn will be making an announcement at city hall tonight to discuss an agreement on the 2014 budget. Another orchestrated act to portray Quinn as the only person to lead NY after Bloomberg is out.

    1. That's not the kind of thing that's going to help her in a Democratic primary.

  9. Good analysis. Don't forget the post 2009 stories about Thompson being Bloomberg's choice to run against him while giving (buying off) Thompson's wife with money for her pet museum project. Even the press couldn't believe the tepid campaign Thompson ran then.
    Do people really believe Bloomberg hates Mulgrew? It's not what they say but what they do. Look behind the scenes. I too believe they all prefer Lhota (Tisch's husband is one) but Thompson is their best hedge. They all -- Bloomberg and the UFT want to keep Liu and de Blasio out of the runoff -- and Weiner too.
    Think how the could deflect charges of racism over closing schools with Thompson in charge.
    But if Thompson gets in I expect he will give the teachers money to buy off more of the contract and watch the UFT jump at the bait. 2005 redux anyone?