After Council Speaker Christine Quinn stormed out of her own press conference in response to a heckler yelling out “Pharaoh Bloomberg!” at the end of the last month, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio carefully presented measured criticism as a response. In fact, his comments expressing puzzlement at her move made him the only likely mayoral contender to be quoted in story after story about the affair. And, asked about the event again on Inside City Hall last night, he continued the argument a little further.
“I was very surprised, to say the least, and I think it was a mistake by the speaker,” Mr. de Blasio began, pivoting to highlight the living wage legislation that the rally was about. “The issue is we’re trying to address income inequality, we’re trying to talk about how to get opportunity for people and help more people in the middle class.”
He then proceeded to explain the context of the rally and why it was a place where people would be naturally be a little snippy with the mayor.
“That group of people there, at the rally, they felt about it deeply, they’ve fought for it for years, and then the mayor said right before the rally that he would not only veto the living wage legislation but he would go out of his way to litigate, to sue, to stop it,” Mr. de Blasio said. “That shouldn’t have been a crowd of people complacent and willing to say, ‘That’s okay Mike, no problem.'”
“Some folks were angry at the mayor and I said at the time, as a New Yorker, the phrase ‘Pharaoh Bloomberg’ is actually one of the nicer things I’ve heard about the mayor lately,” he added.
While Mr. de Blasio’s comments here might not be especially new, they do fit in nicely with the recent stop-and-frisk criticism he has been leveling against Mr. Bloomberg’s administration recently, the topic of which was the main focus of his Inside City Hall interview. After Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson issued a stinging statement in response to Mr. de Blasio’s press conference on stop-and-frisk, Mr. de Blasio scheduled another press conference later this morning to respond to his criticism.