Wednesday, August 10, 2005


SETH: I'd like to employ everyone on this panel in my cabinet because I respect them all. I'm running to have a voice for teachers. The city says, don't be creative. Here's a script. That's not the way we should treat teachers. This isn't a business. We're creating active independent learners. You have to work with the teachers. Those are the people that WANT to be doing that. Who teaches to make a profit? No one. Most people do it to try to help people. is my website. We need more signatures. Please sign my petition. We need more voices and more choices. Thank you.

CHRIS BRODEUR: Three points - whatever it takes, we have to get rid of Mike Bloomberg. I'd even vote for Ferrer. The media won't tell you half of Bloomberg's scandals. I tell you on my website some of his scandals. Bloomberg got accused of contempt of court and used tax dollars to pay the lawsuits.

Thomas Jefferson said, "You people will not fight back and govt. will rape you for the rest of your lives." I'm leaving this city after the election. I don't expect to win. When people hear me debate, they know I'm superior to all the candidates in office. They see that those people are empty suits. The media is lying. I'm running to raise issues. Does anyone know Bloomberg's program to reform the MTA? No! Because he doesn't have one! Vote for me, or kiss your city goodbye.

TIO: Thank you for organizing this forum. I decided to run because it's a better way to raise issues than just raising letters. In my neighborhood, it took us four years to move a bus stop. To go to work from my house, it takes 2 hours, using public transportation. I have to pollute much more just to go to work, because I use a motorcycle. Something is not right. I realize something is wrong. I asked people why they aren't feeling that pain. They told me politics are in the bathroom. That's a spanish statement, I guess it doesn't translate. I hope to bring green issues - democracy, economical justice, and other issues to the forefront and help bring change one step further.

BROMOWITZ: NYC is my laboratory, my life, I've taught in public schools. I'd like to see communities improve, people using the city as a second home should pay through the nose. I'd like to see 91% tax bracket for the rich again. The money is out there and can be used for these services. I wouldn't use it like we did on June 14th to arrest the community. I would provide police who live in the communities with a housing assingment. I'd improve class sizes and double teachers salaries. What happened recently with test scores? They improved, because they lowered the passing rates. Some principles are getting 77,000 bonuses due to that. I'd consult every neighborhood in the city and find where the need is the greatest, and then provide that.

ANDY: When I first started running, everyone said, Hey, isn't that a stupid idea? And I said, yes. But I decided this was not a stupid idea, this is a great idea. And I've never felt stronger about that. We are all in agreement for affordable housing, education, giving people a voice in government. This forum speaks for the fact that the people of NYC are not being listened to. If any of us can learn for this, vote for whoever you think is best. Let's look at how to build collaborative ways of working together. There are more of us than there are of them, and if we start working together, we can create change and take back New York for New Yorkers.

CHRIS RIGGS: I just would like to thank everyone for coming down. I'd like to thank the Tank for throwing the show. Nov. 12th, vote for Chris Riggs. I mean, Nov. 8th. There's always the AK 47 option, but I didn't say that.

AUDREY: One thing I said to the city panel is, Bloomberg comes in here, and he's not even a Mets fan. So they said, He's a Yankees fan? Under his shirt, he's got this Boston Redsox shirt. He's trying to see us as a product to sell to others. He wants his clients to come to NYC and see how much fun we're having, which we're not. We're great believers in personal responsibility. You depend on yourself to get to where you can to achieve things. Don't rely on government. They do things for your own good that aren't in your best interest, they're in their own. Emminent domain is bs. Bars are private property.

How can we help a 100 year old subway system without public investors?

CHRIS RIGGS: People should just take the trains. We need more trains. This is the best train in any country. I don't want to be leaving a train station at 3 am with no one in the train station, let alone a pregnant woman or kid. We need more trains and should bring trolleys back, too.

BROMOWITZ: We had trolleys that were dismantled because the water and oil companies got together to bring cars into the city and super profits for the oil companies. We have to build energy efficient transportation. NYC riders pay more than any other transit system in the country. The fare should be reduced. More taxes should be placed on cars. We could solve problems that way. There are hundreds of unqualified bureaucrats at the MTA, and should be fired just because of the statement about it taking five years to fix the A train. There is corruption beyond belief.

AUDREY: Govt. should be running a lot of things - most things. Transit could easily be privatized, and let them bid to provide that service. Bidding saves taxpayers millions of dollars. That could help to reduce the fare. Privatization means giving the consumer the best for their money. Privatization is always going to be better for us. If we kept our money in our own pocket and spent it on things we normally consume, we should pay for our needs. If someone wants a yacht, they'll pay the taxes on that yacht.

Next Question: It's been ten years since welfare reform took place in NYC. What do you say about this?

CHRIS BRODEUR: I went into the job training programs under cover last year as an investigative reporter. I walked in, asked for a job, they said they don't do that here. You can't give people 50 billion dollars and say spend it wisely! They had people sitting in a room doing nothing. They had rooms full of computers, wouldn't let us even get on them. We did nothing all day long! On voting: We have to give immigrants the right to vote or slash their taxes. Otherwise, this is no longer America.

TIO: Basic income guarantee is to replace the welfare and put it into a single thing that will give a basic income to people who can not get it. They will replace all the programs that check that you have a job and other programs that end up being a revolving circle. Basic income guarantee is the best way to help people rise above the poverty level without fearing losing income because they are working.

ANDY: I think the B.I.G. is a great idea. They shouldn't just look at welfare issues, they should look at affordable housing, bad education, and more. We have to address those, and the government doesn't have any committment to the people and their problems. We need to give people a voice in government.

CHRIS BRODEUR: Welfare doesn't work. You can't give people a paycheck to sit down. Giuliani put people in orange vests and made them pick up garbage to humiliate them. It was a PR stunt. Everything Giuliani did was a PR stunt.

BROMOWITZ: In the 60s, we talked about leisure time. We have a total imbalance in a stressed out society. We have to combine approaches to all these programs and develop a coherent solution.


BROMOWITZ: 200 black men were rounded up, because a police officer shot himself in the leg in a marijuana bust that went awry. We should legalize marijuana. Here we have a sitation where I would certainly repeal the rockefeller drug laws, because we have the largest prison pop in the world. Everything is going downhill. We have to get back the assets that were stolen.

ANDY HOROWITZ: It's unjust and it's wrong, and we shouldn't fund it anymore.

CHRIS BRODEUR: Guess where most people get their guns? Prohibition. The only reason teens have guns is because of the prohibition of guns. They are armed because of our governments stupid actions. We legalize pot, we save millions of dollars. The media doesn't want to talk about problems. Who in NY doesn't want to save billions of dollars? The media only wants you to know about Ferrer's poll numbers. See my free subway plan. The Staten Island Ferry is free. Village Voice is free. They used to cost money. Now they don't. Privatization is a lie. When you hear the word Privatization, think scam. It's a lie.

AUDREY: I'm not willing to believe because you are a corporation, you're evil. It's not across the board corporations are evil. As part of the financing of the war on drugs, as an ex-NY police officer - in most of my years on the job, I found it to be a waste of your taxpayer dollars. Police attention should be going to other crimes. I don't believe if drugs are legal, drugs will be all over the street. Cigarettes - Bloomberg increased the taxes, creating a black market and turf wars, and kids can get cigs easily on the street.

SETH: I want to educate our students about our laws. One day of the year we should teach our students what our laws are, the way we educate them once a year about AIDS. Make sure to smoke in their homes. If you're in jail for marijuana and you're next to someone who's killed someone, that is an embarrassment.

TIO: I think we should repeal the rockefeller laws and use the money towards education. We can teach them to not use drugs in school.

CHRIS RIGGS: I think we should seriously do everything possible to keep kids off drugs. If kids are on drugs, they will buy guns. You have to tell kids EVERY DAY to not do drugs, not just once a year. Every time someone goes to jail, someone's making money. We have 2.5 million people in prison, and half are in there because of drugs.
We have to get those people off of drugs! Not put them in jail, where they can get drugs anyway! We can't have kids on drugs. They're crazy already, without drugs. I smoke a joint now and then, but I don't inhale.

Question: Immigrants are unable to vote...what will you do to fix it?

TIO: I suggest they allow residents to vote. They pay their taxes, so they should be allowed to vote. I support this measure. Quickly, I'd like to talk about affordable housing. I haven't heard about transportation. If it takes too long to get from home to work, that doesn't help affordable housing. Force MTA to use the LIRR and Metronorth and let them use both within the city limits. Now, from Bronx to midtown is three stops.

ANDY: I think in principle it sounds like a good idea. There are privileges associated with citizenship and it is important to strike a balance. It's important on a federal level now, too. I would say, it's worth looking into, but not lightly.

AUDREY: I agree, but I'd take it a step further. When you come here, people see America as the land of opportunity. Why wouldn't you strive to become a full citizen? Why not become a legal candidate? Voting should be a reward for those who take the appropriate steps to become a citizen. Take the test, study, go in front of a judge. Why let them linger as a legal resident, but not a citizen?

TIO REBUT: Well, legal resident happen to serve in the military, so they're ready to vote. The second part is that certain citizens don't get the full array of other countries. Like, we don't get universal healthcare in the US.

ANDY REBUT: I have to be honest, that is informative to me. I just don't know enough about it. It's a zenophobic approach of opening the boat to anybody, and how you balance it all while making sure there are privileges.

AUDREY REBUT: These people should be given the privilege to healthcare? Go through the appropriate steps. There are many people who are waiting in line in their country to do it the legal way because these other immigrants aren't going about it the right way. We will collapse under that burden if we allow it to go on.

BROMOWITZ intro, next series of questions

BROMOWITZ wants to get rid of cars and put more trains around. Cars are carcinogens. The asthma rates are high, cars will eventually bring down the economy.

QUESTION: Audience: If you could say one thing to Bloomberg, what would it be?

CHRIS RIGGS: Fuck you!

TIO: I would ask him to come up to 137th street and enjoy a nice basketball game with the dumpster and the smell coming out. I'd ask him to look at that and say, did you fix problems? We don't have any trees up there, either.

BROMOWITZ: Affordable housing - nothing has been done on this issue. Politicians are downloading child porn, etc. under Giuliani. People's space is being invaded by landlords. No landlord increases until they open their books. Same for the MTA.

ANDY: I'm not as angry at Bloomberg, but I happen to know he gives to a lot of good causes. I'd ask him when he plans to start caring about the people of NY instead of giving perks and cozying up to big business friends.

CHRIS BRODEUR: A million things, but simple one: He's spent his whole life naming things after himself. If you care about your legacy, then start listening to the people you swore to serve. Come to forums. He won't go to any forums. He doesn't care what the people have to say. That's no way to create a legacy.

CHRIS RIGGS: Basically, if you look at Bloomberg and all his friends, a lot of them are heavy real estate investors, and they aren't building affordable housing. There will be no affordable housing in NYC, period. That's why you've got to shoot his ass.

Next Question: There is an affordable housing shortage. The neighborhoods usually don't want it, though. How do you provide it while keeping in mind the problems that could arise?

CHRIS BRODEUR: All the proceeds from Battery Park City was supposed to go to affordable housing. Dinkins and Giuliani took that money to fix their shoddy books. We don't have affordable housing, because people say it doesn't work. Funny, Giuliani snuck his friends into Sty Town for affordable housing in the front of the waiting list. Go to Sty Town and look for yourself. It's another lie. Go to my website and read my details on 100 innovations. You've heard about inclusionary zoning. Give a developer tax breaks, they'll give affordable housing. After ten years, those rates go up. They're using your money to build fancy condos.

BROMOWITZ: There is a big defecit in affordable housing. There are hundreds of millions of dollars for stadiums. Where did that money come from? I'd use that for affordable housing. Now they're trying to do this in Brooklyn. No one seems to be protesting. There is affordable housing everywhere. We can build nice housing. We can build small scale housing. This can be done and it should be done, but the money is being spent to pay off developers.

CHRIS RIGGS: There are out of work carpenters and contractors who can build! The Trade Towers haven't even been rebuilt yet! Just start building everywhere in NYC! There are 8 million people here. After 9/11 more people moved here. Now, the rents are all skyrocketing and everyone is leaving. Everyone is like, what the fuck? They're working as a waiter, then they have to pay their landlord $8000 a month. We gotta build. Anybody who can build, seriously should be building. Right now, the real estate market is so tight! They don't want more apartments. That will loosen it up.

CHRIS BRODEUR: There's no affordable housing crisis, there's only corrupt government. Did you know Guiliani and Bloomberg warehoused 5000 empty apartments? They are empty. They say they're renovating housing for the handicapped. They're lying. It's a total lie.

BROMOWITZ: You can provide affordable housing, as long as the people are involved in deciding. Police should live in their community. Contractors and police come from outside communities.


Three candidates get to answer a question, then three get to answer another question.

The next question: NYC Economy has rebound, but there is still high joblessness. How can we fix this?

ANDY: I don't have an immediate quick term solution, it's tied in with affordable housing as well. We send a lot of jobs to third world countries. We should get broadband internet access in people's houses and join that with job training, especially for working mothers who need help. We can give them the jobs we outsource.
The job market requires internet access.

CHRIS RIGGS: Yeah, I mean, out of the hundreds of thousands of people I've spoken to, jobs are the number one thing. Yeah, the economy has rebound, but that's only for the top 1% of the country. If you own 10 million dollars of real estate, it's now worth 30 million dollars. But if you don't own anything, you're not seeing that. If you want a job making something, move to China. Where's the tallest building in the world? It's in China! They don't make anything in NYC! The entire economy here is built around moving a pile of papers from here to here. I'd recommend people try to get a job at Wall Street moving papers around. You can make a lot of money and it's fun. I've done it. 60% of our money is in the stock market.

SETH: Jobs are becoming obsolete faster and faster. We need to help students learn to learn with interesting curriculum. How about a place people can go to find jobs? Government should be about helping people find jobs. provides jobs. The city should do that in a citywide forum, not in separate newspapers. New businesses - also, no taxes for the first five years. That's how we create jobs and help the city. But it's gotta start with education.

CHRIS RIGGS rebuttal: You need money to start a business. The people who need jobs don't have money. So, how are they going to start a business?

SETH: We give interest free loans to the Yankees. Can't we do that for New Yorkers? That's where the loans should be going.

SECOND QUESTION: More than 200,000 people between ages 16 and 24 with no jobs who aren't working in NYC. Besides focusing on improving public education, what can we do to fix the problem?

AUDREY: I agree in part with what Seth says. It starts at the educational level how you're going to proceed in your life. I find that once children have learned how to write and read at a basic level, some are not academically inclined after that. That causes a lot of disruption in class. The teacher needs to use extra attention to quiet those students down. When they get to highschool age, offer them a chance to go into a vocational track, where they can do training in any field that will make them a productive member of society. That way, they can come out of school with a skill and not be a burden to us.

CHRIS BRODEUR: Apologized for drinking his free beer the Tank offered him. We all learned more in the real world than we did in school. Here's one of my hundreds of proposals that saves billions: I want to put kids out of highschool and put them into internships. They learn in the real world. Most of my proposals are very comprehensive. 14 year olds hanging out with 14 year olds doesn't work. It stunts them emotionally. It doesn't work. There's no shortage of money. Bloomberg pays Ed Schuyler $176,000 per year to lie to you. I propose a $60,000 cap on all government jobs. If you don't like it, go work in the private sector.

SETH: About Internships: I have 20 students who want to do internships. It costs a lot of money. Are they being abused? Are they getting coffee? Unless you are in the schools, you don't know what goes on in the classroom and you don't know what it takes to fix what is wrong with the schools? Where are these kids? Are they in a gang? Are they smoking marijuana? I want to legalize marijuana. Second, I want to be a leader and a role model for the 1 million students in the city and the young people who aren't students in the city. Unlike the president who can't talk to his enemies, we can talk to gangs. I have talked to gangs and worked with them before. They want to be talked to, they need to be talked to. We can all get along.

AUDREY REBUT: Seth understands things from the point of view of a teacher. (New candidate joins the forum.) I don't know if we can talk to gangs or not, but marijuana is a problem.

CHRIS BRODEUR REBUT: The war on drugs stole a billion tax dollars and accomplished nothing. He's arresting everyone for smoking but smoked pot. It's hypocracy. If politicians are hypocritical, they should go to jail.

SETH REBUT: I want to be a leader and a role model to these students. I want to help them learn something. Maybe not science or social studies, but there must be something you want to learn, and you can find out why. We can impart this info and succeed.

We've been joined by Tony Bramawitz.

FIRST QUESTION: What do you hope to accomplish as a longshot candidate?

These responses are mostly quoted, but I'm missing some words as I'm typing fast!

ANDY: I'm not expecting to win. I think that the whole reason I started campaigning is because I feel that average people don't have a voice in government. (Chris Riggs got up to take a cell phone call in the middle of Andy's question.) I've been going out and meeting people, and that is concrete. I've been documenting going out and talking to people, so there is some concrete evidence, but there is also the experience of it and I'm trying to share the real reasons why people don't have access to government.

AUDREY: I've had a good repoir with the media due to my anti-smoking protest. It's a larger problem that we don't want to grow and fester. An example of my accomplishment was a lawsuit against the city and the smoking ban. Unfortunately, the court ruled against me in the end, and we disagreed with his ruling, but I've gone to Albany, I've held private meetings with Gifford Miller, Christine Quinn and others, so they all know me and recognize me. At least I'm accomplishing getting attention that some of the third party candidates don't get.

CHRIS RIGGS: What was the question again? (He is reinformed). I want to start a revolution in the city. What a lot of people forget is that this country was created with a revolution. Fuck Bloomberg, seriously. I'm glad I'm a longshot. I am ready to start shooting mother fuckers. Seriously! Seriously! That's the way politics were done 200 years ago, when the English were here taking our money. We put caps in their asses! I'll call up the Columbians and the Italians. Bush was here for two minutes flying around in a helicopter. I was going to buy a rocket launcher from the Iraqis or something!

AUDIENCE QUESTION: How would you create relief to artists so they can afford the cost of living while creating art?

SETH: Art is very important. I would increase education at the school level. Music is an art, we don't have a music teacher. I talked to an artist on the subway who has no insurance. How can you live like this? We need a comprehensive program to help artists who are working as waiters and waitresses and jobs that don't cover health insurance. We'd like to see housing combined into a self-sustained community. It will help small businesses. If people get benefits from shopping in the commercial stores in the community, maybe they could have health insurance that way.

TIO: The Green Party has two ideas. The first one is the universal health care to help any person to be able to have decent health. The second plan is called Basic Income Guaranteed. Basically it helps anyone who is struggling to have minimum wage with survival. They would be able to get the minimum to be able to survive.

CHRIS BRODEUR: I have more comprehensive programs than you can imagine. NYC spends 115 million dollars in the program, and that's ridiculous. Artists don't get any money. Gov gives money to The Met. They don't need the money. Your tax dollars are funding art, but not really. Go to my website, see 100 innovations, I get into details about affordable housing. Example: You don't know the reason they created cities was to lower the cost of expenses. Con Ed needs 200 miles of cable in the country. In the city, they need two feet. So why is everything cheaper in the country? You've been railroaded your whole life! Big business is ripping you off!

Tank Independent Candidates' Mayoral Forum

Think Different Forum, Leftover Candidates Forum:

I am live blogging from The Independent Candidates' Mayoral Forum. It's taking place at the Tank in Exile at 208 W. 37th Street.

Tracy McMillan from City Limits and Jarret Murphy of the Village Voice are moderating the event.

This event was made possible and coordinated by Justin Krebs, Campaign Manager of Parks 1, and he is also involved with ownership of the Tank Theater.

One question I'd like to ask, is, "Who smells like steak sandwiches?"

Here today is Seth Blum, education party, Christopher Brodeur, democrat, Tio Chino of the Green Party, Andy Horowitz of the Blog Party, Chris Riggs of the Green Party, and Audrey Silks, a libertarian.

Seth Blum is a teacher who hates Bloomberg.

Chris Brodeur started off cussing, and that's because he's angry. He doesn't want us to have to choose between one jerk and another jerk. So, he wants us to choose us. He also went over his time. He swore twice in his opening statement. Is that points for or against him?

Tio Chino is the most professional "looking" guy in the bunch, with nice glasses and a suit and tie. (Seth also had a suit and tie on but looks more playful in them.)

Andy Horowitz is running in the Blog Party, and is a writer, performer and cultural activist. He wants to use the power of the blog to help creat access to government for citizens.

Chris Riggs decided to start running for mayor because he saw a lunch program cut from a school program. It angered him, and he decided to do something about it - like, run for mayor. He also wants to end the war. He thinks this country needs a "fucking revolution." He said fucking like, four times. He's the only other one who swore. Chris Brodeur is going to have some stiff competition!

Audrey Silk is a very petite woman with problems with the government shoving their opinions and beliefs down our throats.