The well-known dialogue between Joseph Welch and then-U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the U.S. Army hearings, when Welch finally toppled McCarthy by accusing the senator of having no shame or decency in his treatment of a young Army lawyer, has been referred to on many parallel occasions when public officials have acted in an outrageous manner.
To those officials I nominate Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his abominable conduct in the case of Willets Point. In pursuing this questionable project for the benefit of his fat cat real estate friends, Bloomberg has been indifferent to the fact that hundreds of small businesses with thousands of their employees and their families will be thrown to the winds, he has failed to live up to his claim that other locations and jobs will be made available and he will prostitute the time-honored fact that eminent domain is only used for a public purpose and not for the benefit of real estate moguls.
To cap it all off, on Dec. 8, in a banana republic fashion, the antithesis of good government, the mayor unleashed his storm troopers onto Willets Point in an obvious attempt to harass and intimidate the small businesses and their employees and customers. Julie Wood, a city Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman, denied the invasion was to target the small businesses, saying, “That’s not how the city does business.”
That is nonsense because that is how the arrogant Bloomberg administration does business (“Ferreras looking into raid at Willets Point,” Flushing Times, Dec. 16-22).
At long last, Mr. Mayor, have you no shame? Have you no sense of decency?
Benjamin M. Haber