Useful Idiots

lipsky.jpgI’m not sure I’ll ever understand how Richard Lipsky of the Neighborhood Retail Alliance figures he’s helping "mom and pop" business by defending the increasingly miserable, congested, automobile-dominated status quo of New York City streets but I do enjoy his Mom and Pop blog. He is an entertaining writer, an experienced political player, and a skilled propagandist (in these quarters, that’s a compliment). If Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion relief efforts are ultimately shot down in Albany, Lipsky will deserve a fair share of the credit. Remember him, future C-Town delivery truck drivers, as you inch your way through traffic.

This week the Wal-Mart killer joins the Jeffrey Dinowitz fray, and takes a poke at "The Streetsblog," a web site that "is apparently dedicated it appears to returning New York back to the 19th century" (a time when mom and pop business thrived, by the way).

In his first piece Lipsky refers to all you Streetsbloggers as — and I’ll just mash up all of the descriptors into one set of quote marks — "phony, invidious, self-righteous street corner ideologues and useful idiots." After that, Lipsky accuses congestion pricing advocates of "a level of vitriol" that is "so counterproductive" he’d almost believe it if he and Walter McCaffrey were running the traffic relief campaign themselves.

If anyone can find the vitriol in the original Streetsblog post that started all of this, let me know. 

In his second piece on the subject, Lipsky fleshes out the "useful idiots" concept and provides some pro bono strategic advice for congestion pricing advocates, otherwise known as Mayor Bloomberg’s "dimwitted amen choir."

As we have said, the critics are not doing their cause much good. Over the top statements and personal invective, so characteristic of some denizens of the netroots,
will only make the legislature that much more skeptical of a plan that
they think needs a great deal more thought. This biting the hand that
feeds you approach, which we can only hope will continue into total
self-immolation, is not a very smart lobbying strategy.

People pay good money for Lipsky’s advice, so it’s worth noting. But Albany is the-hand-that-feeds New York City? That’s a bit hard to swallow. Maybe it’s because Albany’s other hand is so firmly wrapped around our necks.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
Fingers Point as Traffic Plan Runs Aground (NYT) Congestion Pricing Still Alive, Barely (News) Resigned Mayor Turns His Eye to New Issues (Sun)  Mayor Blames Albany Inaction for Traffic Plan Gridlock (NY1) 30+ Years of Trying, Still the Politics of Pricing is Impossible (Streetsblog) Sewell Chan has Yesterday’s Blow-by-Blow (City Room)  Senate Minority Leader Malcolm […]

Bronx Traffic Relief Forum Tonight, 7:30pm, Riverdale Temple

|
Bronx Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz is hosting a forum tonight on Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. Speaking in favor of congestion pricing will be Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. Speaking in opposition to congestion pricing will be Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities […]

New Congestion Pricing Plan, Same Jeffrey Dinowitz

|
The recommendation of a modified congestion pricing plan put forth last week by the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission has elicited another editorial from Bronx Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz. Tellingly, the piece, from this week’s Riverdale Press, starts off with talking points that fellow Assembly Member Richard Brodsky and "Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free" spokesman Walter […]

Jeffrey Dinowitz Hosts a West Bronx Congestion Pricing Forum

|
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is hosting a forum on congestion pricing. Speaking in favor of congestion pricing will be Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. Speaking in opposition to congestion pricing will be Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. Residents of the Riverdale, […]

Vacca Watch: Pre-Bike Hearing Chatter Between Transpo Chair Staffer, NBBL

|
City Council Transportation Committee chair James Vacca has made headlines for his inquisitorial hearings on DOT’s bike and plaza programs. And it looks like his office was batting around ideas with street safety opponents before the first of those hearings last December. Email correspondence obtained by Streetsblog from Marty Markowitz’s office indicates that a Vacca […]

Nasty, Personal, Elitist and Not a Bronxite

|
PlaNYC identifies North Riverdale, a neighborhood represented by Bronx Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz, as one of 22 New York City neighborhoods with a higher than average concentration of Manhattan-bound drivers. (Download the transportation section, page 86) Bronx Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz wasn’t happy with Streetsblog’s presentation of his Riverdale Press editorial against congestion pricing last […]