Weiner Says Pricing Shows “Stunning Political Naivete”

The Daily Politics reports that Congressman Anthony Weiner is ramping up for an imminent mayoral bid by crediting Michael Bloomberg with "put[ting] the last nail in the coffin to the notion that New York City is ungovernable." But at the same time, during an appearance at Kingsborough Community College today, Weiner tried to score points off congestion pricing by framing it as a plan that an experienced politician like himself would steer clear of.

Weiner, who opposes the plan to charge cars $8 to enter Manhattan during peak hours, said the only reason the U.S. Department of Transportation wants to give New York City $350 million to start a congestion pricing pilot program is so it can eventually wiggle out of funding mass transit entirely.

"This is where it matters that you have a certain amount of political acumen," Weiner said. "The moment we have $200 million in revenue … I’m going to be hearing from colleagues in Washington, ‘You need $200 million less.’"

Weiner scoffed at "unelected boards and agencies" in New York, including a separate authority that would run the city’s congestion pricing plan and parcel out the money.

"You honestly believe [Senate Majority Leader] Joe Bruno is going to pass this without getting a piece of the action for Rensselaer or wherever he’s from?," Weiner said. "It shows a level of political naiveté that is stunning."

  • JF

    Yeeesh. Do Weiner and Liu spend all their time hanging out at some bar in Forest Hills and making fun of people for political naivete? Is that their only argument against congestion pricing? I really don’t give a shit who’s naive. I just want to see someone who’s got the vision and the guts to get cars off our streets, and it ain’t Weiner.

  • Weiner is really dumb to say that Bloomberg has “put the last nail in the coffin to the notion that New York City is ungovernable.”

    He wants to say that Bloomberg has killed the idea that New York in governable.

    Instead, he is stupid enough to say that Bloomberg has killed the idea that New York is ungovernable.

  • mjr

    Wiener’s argument about Washington wiggling out of paying for transit is very similar to the one made by Hillary Clinton’s proxy at the Rudin Center’s revealing Presidential ‘candidate’ debate. It might reflect an accurate assessment of the Bush administration’s interest in road pricing. But it broadly misses the mark about congestion pricing itself. Mr. Wiener should devote his considerable energy to fighting the corrupt, anti-coastal policies of George Bush, rather than the robust intellectual traditions of environmental justice, rational choice theory, and American pragmatism. If he actually backs in Federal support for transit funding and not just goodies for DC-37, couldn’t he accomplish that better in Washington than as Mayor?

  • Good thing Christine Quinn is running for mayor too!

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Federal funding works like this, the more the locality puts up the more the Feds put up. Anthony knows this but none of his opponents have made this point preferring to let him get away with the red herring that someone else will pay for everything.

    The “someone else will pay” argument is the flip side of the “there is no such thing as a lock-box” argument. That argument often involves fuzzy citations of the history of lotto money distributions and education funding. It is all meant to sow distrust and suspicion and an us vs. them mentality.

    Distrust in our city government, state government and federal government is the low hanging fruit of populism.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Weiner had better hope congestion pricing passes. Because if it doesn’t, during his run for Mayor all the virtriol of the consequences will be directed at him.

    “You made the fares go up again!” “You made services get cut!” “You made taxes go up!” “You made deferred maintenance happen!” “Where are the $billions you promised if congestion pricing was voted down? You lied!”

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I wish the consequences were that quick to materialize Larry. You more than most should know that it will take years for the system to deteriorate. What this is about is system expansion and the mega projects. Weiner could easily do two terms, spending a lot of time blaming the MTA and the Oil Patch before the system falls completely apart. Transportation history is written more by disasters and collapses (Minneapolis bridges) than it is by creative vision and planning.

  • Rhone

    If our federal transportation funding takes a hit, New Yorkers should ask Weiner how he could let that happen.

    Right now he is one of two NYC reps on the House transportation committee.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (If our federal transportation funding takes a hit, New Yorkers should ask Weiner how he could let that happen.)

    Not good enough. The next MTA capital plan is going to be proposed at $28 billion over five years. We’ll need billions extra with or without CP, which would provide perhaps $2.5 billion over that time. How about it Weiner?

  • Joe Quinn

    The Q Solution:



Weiner Imagines Paying for His Traffic Plan With a Gas Tax Raise

  Though reporters weren’t invited, Streetsblog managed to get a stringer into this morning’s On-and-Off-the-Record transportation policy talk with Congressman Anthony Weiner at Commerce Bank in Midtown. During the hour-long Q&A hosted by Edward Isaac-Dovere of City Hall News, Weiner hit on familiar themes: Something needs to be done about traffic but the mayor’s plan […]

Weiner on the Environment: Big Talk, Small Stick

Where’s the beef? Under Rep. Anthony Weiner’s plan, vehicles, like the one above, would not be charged a fee to use New York City’s most heavily congested streets On Monday evening, just hours before the federal government’s announcement that it would give New York City $354.5 million to kick-start Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, Rep. […]

Weiner’s Congestion Testimony: Anything But Pricing

If nothing else, gridlocked traffic is a good marketing opportunity for Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile. US Rep. Anthony Weiner was one of the first voices to speak up against Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal for a three-year congestion pricing pilot project and he remains one of the loudest. In his testimony Oct. 25 before the NYC Traffic Mitigation […]

Weiner and Wylde Square Off in Pricing Forum

Four veterans of the congestion pricing wars went toe-to-toe at the Museum of the City of New York Wednesday night — the last showdown before the Congestion Mitigation Commission releases its draft proposals today. Taking the stump for pricing were Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for NYC and Michael O’Loughlin of the Campaign for New […]

Weiner Says New York Drivers Should Be Exempt From Tolls

Congressman Anthony Weiner released his own MTA rescue plan today. As if that in itself weren’t surprising enough, the outspoken toll opponent has modified his position, sort of. City Room reports: [Weiner] said on Monday that making new tolls — which he would set at $4.15 — payable only by non-city residents would be a […]

Weiner’s Transit Plan: [This Space Intentionally Left Blank]

Photo: Ben Fried Minutes after the Ravitch plan press conference wrapped up this afternoon, Anthony Weiner held court (briefly) on the sidewalk outside the state office building on 41st Street and Third Avenue. Here, in bullet point form, are some choice quotes from the man who would be the next mayor of New York: The […]