Look Back in Anger

Labor unions, elected officials, big business and transit advocates are all pushing for the passage of a $2.9 billion transportation bond act Nov. 8, but the last time anybody tried this, in 2000, they failed miserably. At a press briefing Wednesday morning launching this year’s campaign, participants gave their two cents on what happened:

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Democrat from Westchester: “The political class was divided. I don’t think you had unified support. This time around, you will see, Governor Pataki and I agree on this, and we don’t usually agree on matters. The Mayor and his opponent, local officials, they are all on board.”

Frank McArdle, managing director, General Contractors Association of New York: “The governor, while he nominally supported it, never came out strongly in favor of the bond act. He did very little to encourage people to vote for it.”

Denis Hughes, president, New York State AFL-CIO: “We weren’t there. There was no field operation. You need a field. And that’s usually done by unions or the Straphangers and such.”

Matthew Schuerman

Look Back in Anger