Care of the Politicker, here’s 38-year incumbent Assembly Member Dick Gottfried explaining to the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, whose endorsement he wants for his re-election bid, how democratic Shelly Silver’s house is in comparison to the state Senate. All things considered, it’s a jaw-dropping spiel.
Then, at about the three-minute mark, an audience member asks why congestion pricing didn’t come to a vote. Though he has just said that every member is guaranteed that his or her sponsored bill will be "considered" by committee, Gottfried — a professed congestion pricing supporter — replies that there was no need for pricing to be voted upon, as it would have been "resoundingly trounced." He then pins the blame for pricing’s failure on Mayor Bloomberg’s "astonishingly abominable" job in selling Assembly members on the plan.
"If think if he had done a decent job of lobbying for it," Gottfried says, "I think it might well have passed." Next question?
So, according to Gottfried, it’s Michael Bloomberg’s fault that state Assembly members didn’t see fit to stand up and be counted on a plan that had been vetted and tweaked for a year, was endorsed by the governor, the City Council, and virtually every major business and environmental group in the city, and was pulling a 60 percent approval rating among those who would have been most affected by it.
A while back we wondered what pricing "allies" were doing in the closed-door session where congestion pricing died. As far as Dick Gottfried is concerned, I think we have our answer.