Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s last day in office is New Years Eve. What he has done to the world’s greatest city is incalculable: he has been an unmitigated disaster.
He is often compared to Mayor David Dinkins, but the comparison is unfair. While Dinkins did great damage, which was undone by Rudy Giuliani, he was merely incompetent. De Blasio’s war on New York City was deliberate, a clear example of what happens when a Marxist takes over.
De Blasio’s life has been built on a series of lies. He was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. in 1961. When he graduated from New York University in 1983, he changed his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm. In 2002, he changed his name again, settling on Bill de Blasio. More important, he never stops bragging how he is the champion of the poor, yet when he ran for mayor in 2013, he accepted $50,000 from a group of slumlords.
When the New York Times nailed him for his allegiance to “democratic socialism” (which is an oxymoron), he said he never used those words. When shown the proof that he had, he answered, “It doesn’t matter.”
The lying is not confined to politics. De Blasio lied to his own children about where he and his wife honeymooned: he said they went to Canada, when in fact they went to Cuba, which was illegal. This made sense. After all, he had previously traveled to Nicaragua to support the Communist Sandinista regime, so why not break bread with Castro’s Cuba?
Marxists hate religion, especially Catholicism. After de Blasio was elected in November 2013, he appointed 60 New Yorkers to his transition team, all of whom represented the various demographic constituents. The clergy selected included every prominent group, except for Catholics, even though Catholics are a majority of the population.
Just three weeks into his first term, de Blasio’s love for abortion rights was evident when he supported “100%” what Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about so-called extreme conservatives. Those who are “pro-life,” the disgraced former governor said, “have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” Spoken like a true liberal advocate of women’s rights.
Two-and-a-half months into his administration, de Blasio told Irish Catholics to take a hike: he refused to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, falsely claiming that homosexuals were barred from participating. Yet in 2017, the Marxist millionaire applauded when the Puerto Rican Day Parade chose to honor a known thug, Oscar Lopez Rivera, co-founder of the FALN, a terrorist organization.
De Blasio is the unmitigated enemy of the poor. Blacks and Hispanics want charter schools and support school choice initiatives, but the mayor has done everything in his power to stop them from having the same choices afforded white affluent New Yorkers. He has also worked against elite public schools, even though his son attended one of them. Under his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, failing public schools were shuttered. Under de Blasio, they were awarded additional funding.
Crime has exploded in New York—murder has skyrocketed—yet de Blasio says there are less arrests for other crimes. That’s true. When the cops are told to stand down, muggers can do whatever they want, with impunity. There is little in the way of law and order in the city, thanks to de Blasio. The biggest victims, or course, are blacks.
When some Black Lives Matter protesters rioted in 2020, often joined by Antifa, another band of urban terrorists, de Blasio cheered them on, and did nothing to help the police or crime victims. He also gave the rioters a dispensation from his social distancing edict—they could march hand in hand. Yet he tried to close down houses of worship during the pandemic.
When de Blasio took over on January 1, 2014, he gave his “Tale of Two Cities” address, condemning the “economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.” He failed. Indeed, he made things worse. As the New York Times said on December 14, 2021, “The city’s unemployment rate of 9.4 percent is more than double the national average.”
The new mayor, Eric Adams, has his work cut out for himself. We wish him well. De Blasio is finished. He should do us all a favor and move to a place where he would be right at home. North Korea comes to mind.