The liberal mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, sailed into office with 73 percent of the vote in his recent election. Right away, as he promised the NYC proletariat, he has steered the true-blue city hard-to-port, straight into a churning sea of political controversy.
The mayor said he plans to make good on campaign proposals that would give ID cards to illegal immigrants, raise taxes on “the rich” and raise the city's minimum wage law - thereby circumventing state laws. However, de Blasio’s rigorous agenda has peeved the state's liberal Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, and other Democrats used to administrating New York’s political agenda from Albany.
Governor Cuomo quickly condemned de Blasio’s “progressive” agenda, and in particularly harsh terms. On a public radio program called "The Capitol Pressroom," the Governor said his fellow Democrat’s tax plan would create a "chaotic situation" by pitting cities against each other. Earlier this week, Cuomo said the mayor's plan to raise taxes on the “rich” to fund a New York City pre-K program is “repugnant.” Nevertheless, Cuomo, himself a liberal Democrat, is in favor of a similar state-ran program.
Some political observers say de Blasio could squander too much political capital up front and join a list of one-term former Democrat mayors whose administrations were swamped after veering hard to port. Others say the controversial mayor who campaigned against the right of NYC police officers to “stop-and-frisk” suspects risks demoralizing the police department and pushing the city back in to a period of high crime.
Mayor de Blasio has dropped former mayor Bloomberg’s appeal to a recent federal court decision that struck down the long-standing NYPD stop-and frisk policy. Critics say the move intimidates police officers and gives pistol-packing criminals, panhandlers and thugs an advantage.
However, the mayor’s most controversial proposal would make good on his campaign promise to make municipal ID cards available to “all New York City residents in 2014.” According to de Blasio, The city would grant IDs to everyone, regardless of immigration status, "so that no daughter or son of our city goes without bank accounts, leases, library cards, simply because they lack identification."
Opponents say de Blasio's plan would reward illegal immigrants and make the city a haven to illegal citizens. "It's a terrible idea," Republican strategist Brad Blakeman told Fox News. Blakeman said he's "appalled" that de Blasio "would be so callous as to open up the city to legitimize illegal citizens."
Others agree with de Blasio, including members of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
"What it does is that it brings people out of the woodwork and brings people into the system," Emily Tisch Sussman, the group’s campaign director, told Fox News.