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Adams vs. Yang, Who’s Worse?

Issue 264

John Tarleton Jun 10

Andrew Yang and Eric Adams have topped the polls for most of the mayor’s race. It’s a depressing spectacle and good reason to use all five of your ranked choice votes on other candidates — Maya Wiley, Scott Stringer, Dianne Morales, Kathryn Garcia, Shaun Donovan, whoever! — and hope one of them breaks through and prevails in the end. As for Adams and Yang, you be the judge of who’s worse.

Listen to Ross Barkan, one of the leading political commentators on state and local politics in New York, talk about the mayoral race.

ERIC ADAMS

Once a Cop Always a Cop

Eric Adams served in the NYPD for 22 years. Once a cop, always a cop. In a bizarre video Adams released while he was a state senator, he shows parents how to search their homes for illicit contraband their children might sneak in.

“You have to inspect what you expect,” he intones as walks into his living room. In quick succession, he finds a handgun in a jewelry box, a crack pipe in the pocket of a book bag and a plastic bag full of drugs in the back of a baby doll. See for yourself.

Fighting Gentrification

Speaking at a MLK Day celebration in January 2020, Adams told recent arrivals to New York to “Go back to Iowa!” and that New York City “belongs to the people that were here.” Left unsaid was that the very real estate developers who are making bank off of building market-rate housing in New York City for well-to-do gentrifiers have donated millions of dollars to Adams during his political career.

Charter Schools

A group of pro-charter school billionaire hedge fund managers led by Daniel Loeb and Kenneth Griffin are pumping a late infusion $6 million into Strong Leadership NYC, a pro-Adams Super PAC. Charter schools receive public funds but are privately managed.

They have a non-unionized workforce and are notorious for shuttling emotionally and academically challenged children back to the public schools. Adams is a vocal supporter of having the state cap on charter schools increased.

Corruption

Adams has been investigated by federal, state and local authorities for everything from helping steer state contracts to campaign contributors to using his power to aid donors to his nonprofit group, One Brooklyn Fund Inc.

All-in for Israel

“Israelis live under the constant threat of terrorism and war and New York City’s bond with Israel remains unbreakable,” Adams tweeted on May 10 at the beginning of the Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip.

ANDREW YANG

Tusk-Tusk

Yang was recruited to run for mayor by Bradley Tusk, a former Bloomberg campaign manager known as “Silicon Valley’s favorite political fixer.” Tusk Strategies is a fully integrated shop that runs both electoral and issue-based campaigns and lobbies elected officials. Its clients include the real estate industry, the charter school lobby, gig economy employers like Uber and the Police Benevolent Association. Yang’s top campaign staff is made up almost entirely of Tusk employees. A Yang administration would likely be little more than a subsidiary of Bradley Tusk’s empire.

UBI As Trojan Horse

Andrew Yang popularized Universal Basic Income (UBI) when he campaigned for president on the promise that every American would receive a $1,000 per month check from the government. As Mayor, he wants to dish out a smaller version of that — $2,000 per year for the 500,000 poorest New Yorkers. The difference is that, unlike the federal government, the City doesn’t have its own printing presses. The money would likely come from other critical social programs — which is the point for the libertarian-leaning Yang and many of his wealthy backers.

Charter Schools

A group of pro-charter school billionaire hedge fund managers led by Daniel Loeb and Kenneth Griffinare are pumping a late infusion of $6 million into Comeback PAC, a pro-Yang Super PAC. Comeback PAC is managed by Lis Smith, who also advised Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. Yang is a vocal supporter of having the state cap on charter schools increased.

No Woman Could Do This

Yang routinely tosses out half-baked policy ideas like building a casino on Governor’s Island and is often unprepared to discuss other policy proposals. As a remedy, he’s suggested

that he would hire fellow mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia to manage the city government for him while he would focus on cheerleading for the Big Apple.

All-in for Israel

“The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere,” Yang tweeted on May 10 at the beginning of the Israeli onslaught against the Gaza Strip.

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