Joe Lhota can officially drop his McCarthyite theater and question Bill de Blasio about something grounded in reality (Ha Ha, kidding: We'll be hearing about that time de Blasio bought Ché on Blu-Ray for another six weeks). Graham Rayman's cover story at the Voice isn't so much a bombshell about the Democratic candidate's tenure as a City Councilmember as it is an apéritif on de Blasio's style of working. The nut: He had no problem trying to make parking tickets disappear for constituents, he wanted "transcendental meditation" to be included in school curriculum, and a good deal of de Blasio's records seem to be conveniently missing.
While it's unremarkable that Rayman encountered resistance to obtaining de Blasio's emails (Former councilmember John Liu's were also unavailable for a better part of a year) it's notable that in alphabetical order based on constituents' names, his files abruptly stop at "H."
First, the ticket-fixing:
In June 2005, the councilman sent an e-mail to the Parking Violations Bureau on behalf of Jeff Getz, who'd been ticketed for double parking. "I recognize that double parking is illegal, however, as you know, double parking during street cleaning has long been an accepted practice in New York City," de Blasio wrote.
Writing on behalf of Imre Friedlander and other residents of 40th Street who had been ticketed by the Department of Sanitation, de Blasio wrote that he was "incredulous" that tickets were issued in the first place. In Friedlander's case, he accused the city employee of "never leaving his car" to write up the violation.
In January 2006, de Blasio wrote a letter in support of Bracha Breiger, who had been ticketed by the Department of Transportation for a parking violation. Breiger tells the Voice that the fine was dismissed without a hearing. "I think his letter helped," she says.
Bill de Blasio gets results!…That may or may not jibe with his condemnation about NYPD officers doing the same thing.
And now, the cornerstone for what will be a mysterious direct-mailing campaign featuring de Blasio's face superimposed on Deepak Chopra's cross-legged body hitting a bong in the shape of a hammer and sickle:
De Blasio also has a mystical side. He wrote to then-New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein to extol the virtues of transcendental meditation, recommending that the discipline become part of the curriculum in city public schools. "The technique is strictly a mechanical, natural procedure that allows the mind and body to settle down to a deep state of rest," he wrote Klein.
Keep digging, people.