Monday, August 20, 2007

Giuliani's "exaggerations"

As a life-long Yankees fan, I would never say spending time at Yankee Stadium is a bad thing. But in a phenomenal post from Adam Howard on AlterNet (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/60201/), he points out that while mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani spent more time at Yankee Stadium than at Ground Zero. I love this quote, taken from a Salon.com article, based on Giuliani saying that he spent so much time at Ground Zero that he was basically a worker there:

"By his own standard, Giuliani was one of the Yankees more than he was one of the rescue workers."

We'll see if this makes any difference to the voters, either in the primary or the general election. So far, none of this has really tarnished his "Saint Rudy of 9/11" halo as of yet.

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Either the Republican base is blind, deaf and dumb (a real possiblity) or they are just so disenchanted with all their choices for '08 that nothing phases them. I think it's utterly bizarre how Giuliani has managed to stay on top of national GOP polls and many state primary polls in light of the revelations of recent weeks.

First, he claims he was basically a 9/11 worker himself because he spend just as much time at Ground Zero if not more than the average 9/11 worker.

The serial exaggerator was called out on his bullshit by the New York Times who revealed that he actually only spent 29 hours total at Ground Zero in the weeks and months after the September 11th attacks.

Now Salon.com has one-upped them by calculating the amount of time the former Mayor spent cheering his beloved New York Yankees (who were on a successful playoff run at the time and made it to the 2001 World Series) in comparison to the time he spent "working" at Ground Zero. Here's what they found:

The results were, considering the mayor's long-standing devotion to the Bronx Bombers, unsurprising. By our count, Giuliani spent about 58 hours at Yankees games or flying to them in the 40 days between Sept. 25 and Nov. 4, roughly twice as long as he spent at ground zero in the 60 days between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16. By his own standard, Giuliani was one of the Yankees more than he was one of the rescue workers.

During three postseason playoff series that began Oct. 10, 2001, and ended Nov. 4, 2001, Giuliani attended every one of the team's home games, with the possible exception of the third game of the American League Championship Series, for which Salon could not confirm his attendance. According to Salon's arithmetic, Giuliani spent about 33 hours in stadiums -- this includes two World Series games he watched in Phoenix -- during the Yankees' 2001 postseason run, four hours more than he spent at ground zero. (We do not know if he stayed for every pitch, but famed baseball writer Roger Angell described Giuliani in the the New Yorker as a "devout Yankee fan, a guy who stays on until the end of the game.")

Oh, but there's more. Giuliani's obsession with the Yankees goes deeper and becomes blatantly inappropriate in other situations. According to Miles Mogulescu from the Huffington Post:

...During his administration, Giuliani frequently used a police boat to haul himself and his guests to Yankee Games. The Yankees gave Giuliani diamond and gold Yankee World Series rings for 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 worth a minimum of $200,000 for which he only paid $16,000, years after he left office. No mayor of any other American city in recent memory has received World Series Rings from their teams.

The rings may have been illegal gifts in conflict with New York Conflict of Interest Laws. Shortly before leaving office, Giuliani renegotiated the Yankee's lease on Yankee Stadium to allow the Yankees to break their lease on 60 days notice, instead of 5 years, if the they determined that the City was unlikely to proceed with a new stadium Giuliani had promised to build them with over $1 billion in taxpayer money. When Mayor Bloomberg took over from Giuliani, he quickly killed Giuliani's plans to subsidize a stadium for the Yankees as unaffordable in the post 9/ll era

Could this be the beginning of the end of Rudy Giuliani's campaign for the presidency? We can only hope...

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