MR. LIPSKY CONTENDS THAT ALL OF this money—and even all of the supporters’ organizations—are not buying them support. And just as the Mayor learned from the stadium fight that real power resides in unusual places, so too may he be surprised this time around.
At the first Legislative hearing on congestion pricing on June 8, the hearing room, in the stately Association of the Bar of the City of New York building in midtown, was packed with hundreds of supporters of congestion pricing wearing “I Breathe & I Vote” T-shirts. They ride their bikes to work, or eat vegetarian, or strive to leave a zero carbon footprint in their daily lives—in other words, they looked like the future.
By contrast, one of the legislators who kept giving Mayor Bloomberg a hard time seemed pretty old-fashioned: He said he didn’t have a computer and that he did not use an E-ZPass to pay tolls—even though doing so would give him a discount. On the other hand, that legislator, Herman (Denny) Farrell Jr., an Assemblyman from Upper Manhattan, is one of the most powerful Democrats in the state.