Friday, June 13, 2014

Bill de Blasio and New York City's Clintongate Scandal: A Tale of Three Phonies--Part 5

(A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of the Lower East Side underground/alternative newspaper, “The Shadow”)

Bill de Blasio’s Hillary Clinton Connection

In his 2000 book Rogue State, anti-war writer William Blum indicated some of the reasons the husband of Hillary Clinton was considered responsible for war crimes by many anti-war activists on the Lower East Side in 1999: “for his merciless bombing of the people of Yugoslavia for 78 days and nights, taking the lives of many hundreds of civilians and producing one of the greatest ecological catastrophes in history; for his relentless continuation of the sanctions and rocket attacks upon the people of Iraq; and for his illegal and lethal bombing of Somalia, Bosnia, Sudan and Afghanistan.”

And most anti-corporate activists on the Lower East Side in 1999 also opposed the pro-NAFTA, pro-WTO and pro-IMF economic policies that both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton promoted, which helped create a larger growth in economic inequality in the USA during the Democratic Clinton administration of the 1990s than in any previous U.S. administration.

Yet Bill de Blasio still agreed in late 1999 to serve the Clintons as Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign manager when the wife of Arkansas’s former governor (and then-Democratic Party Boss Bill Clinton) wanted to “carpetbag” into New York State from the White House and grab a third seat in the U.S. Senate for Arkansas’s political establishment; and wanted to also use one of New York State’s seats in the U.S. Senate as a stepping stone for a future U.S. presidential campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and as a way to authorize a 2003 Pentagon attack on Iraq that most people in New York City opposed. As the New York Times observed in a Dec. 4, 1999 article, titled “Clinton Senate Campaign Gets A Full-Time Director:”

“Hillary Rodham Clinton began to lay the groundwork for…her United States Senate campaign yesterday, selecting Bill de Blasio…to serve as her full-time campaign manager.

“Mr. de Blasio, 38, has held a series of political and governmental jobs in New York… He took a desk and phone at Mrs. Clinton's Midtown campaign headquarters yesterday and will formally begin work on Monday.

“With his appointment, Mr. de Blasio joins a small full-time campaign staff,…

''`I am very excited to do this,’' Mr. de Blasio said. `'I think she's a great candidate.’…'

“Mr. de Blasio…has ties to City Hall, through Mr. Vallone…and, perhaps most important, to Harold M. Ickes, Mrs. Clinton's senior political strategist. Mr. Ickes also works as Mr. Vallone's paid lobbyist in Washington….”

In an Aug. 25, 2013 article, the New York Times also indicated how de Blasio contributed to Hillary Clinton’s 2000 campaign to grab one of New York’s seats in the U.S. Senate for U.S. presidential campaign stepping-stone reasons:

“Mr. de Blasio, a former official in the Clinton administration...joined the campaign in late 1999, after being recommended by several people close to the Clintons, including Harold Ickes, a former deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton….His primary objectives…included serving as a liaison to New York’s power brokers, in the city and upstate…Never was he more instrumental, his colleagues say, than when he soothed the feelings of Jewish leaders…Indeed, Mr. de Blasio stayed in close contact with Assemblyman Dov Hikind ... And Patti Solis Doyle, a longtime adviser to Mrs. Clinton, said that the former first lady `would not have been senator without him’ because `he paved the way for her with many of the prickly political factions in New York State.’”

And in her 2003 autobiography, Hillary Clinton also recalled that in 2000 “Patti Solis Doyle…coordinated my White House and campaign schedules,…overseeing logistics and helping to run campaign strategy” and “Patti joined an experienced team led by my campaign manager, Bill de Blasio, who proved to be an outstanding strategist and trusted emissary among the…communities of New York…”

Coincidentally, the Clinton White House Chief of Staff who recommended de Blasio as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Tiber Creek Group-Ickes & Enright Group lobbyist Harold Ickes, has, in recent years, also been the president of the tax-exempt Fund for the Public Advocate, which “was formed by the Office of the New York City Public Advocate and incorporated in 2002 as a…tax exempt corporation” and “seeks to partner with foundations, corporations, individuals and community organizations,” according to its website.

And among the clients whose special interests have been represented by the Tiber Creek Group-Peck Madigan Jones firm that Fund for the Public Advocate President Ickes’s lobbying firm has been a part of during Bill de Blasio’s term as New York City’s Public Advocate have been the following:  Health Partners, Inc., Hertz Corporation, International Swaps & Derivatives Association, MasterCard International Incorporated; Mid-Sized Bank Coalition of America; NYSE Euronext, Inc.; Pentagon Federal Credit Union; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; US-Russia Business
; Whirlpool Corporation; Wells Fargo Securities, Inc.; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Yet as the New York Times observed in an Aug. 31, 2013 article:

“”One of his first actions was to bring in an old friend and mentor as the fund’s president: Harold M. Ickes, a prominent figure in the Clinton White House. Mr. Ickes, who resides in Washington, was initially skeptical of Mr. de Blasio’s entreaties.

“`I said, “Do you really want a non-New Yorker?’” Mr. Ickes recalled in an interview.

“But Mr. de Blasio was insistent. `He thought it would be an asset,’ said Mr. Ickes, who also advises Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral campaign.”
(end of part 5)

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