Castell on Why an Old Bloomberg Attack Achieves a New Result

Bill Thompson has sprinkled his criticism of Michael Bloomberg with reminders that the mayor is really, really rich, laying the groundwork for the “out-of-touch” argument Democrats used, to limited effect, in 2005.

In an interview today, Thompson’s new campaign manager Eduardo Castell predicted that the message would resonate today in a way it couldn’t four years ago.

“It’s not about what is the message — it’s about what is his record,” said Castell, who noted that the mayor is proposing cuts to senior centers, is supportive of the Ravitch Report which recommended tolling the East River Bridges, and opposed giving homeowners a $400 rebate check this year during the city’s budget crisis.

“In 2005, things were booming, everything was pointing up,” he said. “The city was in an upturn. Right now, the city is in an economic downturn. And I think as people are struggling day in and day out – you see in recent polls, 50 percent of New Yorkers are concerned about the direction the city is heading in. Another 50 percent of New Yorkers are afraid they will either lose their job, their home or their health insurance in the next six months. That’s the reality of where people are right now and you put that alongside his track record, as I’ve just said, on things like senior centers, East River tolls, rebate checks, and you’ll see that the two just don’t jive.”

Other members of the campaign team will be announced later, he said.

I asked if it’s been hard getting top-flight local talent to work on the campaign, in light of Bloomberg’s proven ability to lure Democratic operatives with ties to his opponents.

“We’ve had no problems. Whoever we’ve been interested in and pursuing, all those conversations have been fruitful to this point.”