Monday, May 14, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: "Said all the right things, but did all the wrong things"

I hope the Republicans are foolish enough to run Rudy Giuliani in 2008. He's crooked and a real jerk. Here are just two articles about his perfidy.

WaPo: In Private Sector, Giuliani Parlayed Fame Into Wealth
Candidate's Firm Has Taken On Controversial Executives, Clients

On Dec. 7, 2001, nearly three months after the terrorist attack that had made him a national hero and a little over three weeks before he would leave office, New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani took the first official step toward making himself rich.

And at the same time he was busily making himself rich, he was exposing thousands of Ground Zero workers to toxic dust by failing to enforce federal requirements regarding respirator use:

NYTimes: Ground Zero Illnesses Clouding Giuliani’s Legacy

Administration documents and thousands of pages of legal testimony filed in a lawsuit against New York City, along with more than two dozen interviews with people involved in the events of the last four months of Mr. Giuliani’s administration, show that while the city had a safety plan for workers, it never meaningfully enforced federal requirements that those at the site wear respirators.

At the same time, the administration warned companies working on the pile that they would face penalties or be fired if work slowed. And according to public hearing transcripts and unpublished administration records, officials also on some occasions gave flawed public representations of the nature of the health threat, even as they privately worried about exposure to lawsuits by sickened workers.

“The city ran a generally slipshod, haphazard, uncoordinated, unfocused response to environmental concerns,” said David Newman, an industrial hygienist with the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a labor group.

City officials and a range of medical experts are now convinced that the dust and toxic materials in the air around the site were a menace. More than 2,000 New York City firefighters have been treated for serious respiratory problems. Seventy percent of nearly 10,000 recovery workers screened at Mount Sinai Medical Center have trouble breathing. City officials estimate that health care costs related to the air at ground zero have already run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and no one knows whether other illnesses, like cancers, will emerge.


The city’s handling of safety issues has been criticized by doctors, unions and occupational safety experts. Mr. Giuliani’s oversight of the operation was condemned in a 2006 book, “Grand Illusion,” by Wayne Barrett, a longtime critic of the former mayor, and Dan Collins. Mr. Barrett said in an interview that when it came to safety, Mr. Giuliani “said all the right things, but did all the wrong things.”

And of course, by failing to do the right thing in the long term, he saved money in the short term, and used the speed of the Ground Zero cleanup to burnish his own reputation, which he then sold around the world (see WaPo article at top.) For Rudy, it's all about the Benjamins, and public health and the little people be damned.

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