Friday, August 17, 2007

Dinkins Unintimidated

The Daily Politics

Dinkins Unintimidated

Former Mayor David Dinkins told the DN's Frank Lombardi he wasn't intimidated when he got the bum’s rush during the Community Board 9 meeting dealing with Columbia University’s campus expansion and consolidation plan.

Dinkins, long a professor of public affairs at Columbia, favors his employer’s 25-year, $5.8-billion plan (fixed). But there’s strong community opposition.

Of the boos and disses he received, Dinkins said:

"I wasn’t intimidated by them, just as I wasn’t intimidated by that police rally outside City Hall."

He was referring to that infamous rally on Sept. 16, 1992, when more than 10,000 off-duty cops mobbed the steps and surroundings of City Hall and caused traffic-snarling pandemonium.
Dinkins was mayor at the time, and he and others contended that then-mayoral aspirant Rudy Giuliani had exacerbated matters by shouting to demonstrators that Dinkins’ police policies were "bullshit!"

That said, Dinkins, now 80, and more gentlemanly than ever, said the negative response he received on his home turf of Harlem was unexpected. (fixed)

"The kind of treatment I usually get all around the city, in Harlem as well, is usually warm and friendly and respectful. It doesn’t mean they voted for me. This was a departure from that," he commented.

Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, the chairman of Community Board 9, decried the Dinkins dis as "shameful." He said some opponents of the expansion plan, which could entail eminent-domain condemnation of some privately-owned properties, resent Columbia’s use of politically-influential lobbying.

He specifically cited Bill Lynch, Dinkins’ former campaign manager and deputy mayor, who is Columbia’s primary lobbyist for the expansion plan.

According to the state lobbying commission, Bill Lynch Associates was paid a total of $285,300, from January through June, by the Trustees of of Columbia University to lobby city and state officials.
Lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who represents Nicholas Sprayregen, the owner of five warehouses in the proposed expansion, has more here.

UPDATE: In the interest of fairness, Lipsky says he earns $6,000 a month from Tuck-it-Away, which is Sprayregen's business.

Posted by Elizabeth Benjamin on August 17, 2007 1:27 PM

Elizabeth Benjamin

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