The Mayoral Candidates Will Never Get Down To Substance

Further proving my point that the Democratic candidates for Mayor have no interest in dealing with the substance of the job, there was a debate on Wednesday evening, sponsored in part by the Campaign Finance Board, and broadcast on the local cable news station NY1.   It was covered yesterday by multiple news outlets, including NY1 here, the Post here, and the Times here.

The Times piece, by Michael Barbaro and Michael Grynbaum, is a classic case of political coverage at its most vapid, treating the event purely as a matter of the scoring of debating points without ever mentioning what issues came up or what any candidate had to say on any issue.  Do yourself a favor and don't read it. 

The brief NY1 piece is little better, but does mention that the main topics of discussion were "stop and frisk and health care issues."  "Stop and frisk" is at least a bona fide issue in the race, although all the Democratic candidates seem to agree about it, namely they are against it.   On the health care front, the debate was not about Medicaid overspending or the implementation of Obamacare.  Rather, it was about the thoroughly quixotic subject of hospital closures.  See more here.  Well, if you think that the next mayor can actually do something about hospital closures by the expenditure of public moneys and you are going to vote on that basis, you deserve what you get.  The next mayor may spend some money on this, but all the gold in Fort Knox is not going to change the disastrous economics of the hospitals.

And how about unsustainable spending on pensions and healthcare for city workers?  Only Nicole Gelinas in the Post is on to the fact that these things are even issues. 

[P]ublic-sector health- and pension-benefits costs will rise to $20 billion a year by the middle of the next mayor’s term, $3 billion more a year than today.  Yet the candidates were mum on these issues.

So can't the moderators at least put a question or two to get the candidates to address the main parts of the job? 

True, no moderator asked about [worker healthcare and pension issues] directly.

To even be part of the discussion here in New York, you must accept the proposition that we are operating here with infinite tooth fairy money.  Detroit?  Chicago?  Never heard of them!