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Old 09-05-05, 10:12 AM   #1
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NYC: Betsy Gotbaum Comes Out Of Coma

Betsy Gotbaum has been on a four-year snooze since she was elected New York Public Advocate in 2001, apparently advocating for no one. Suddenly she attempts to seem interested in bicyclists' safety, but here track record shows the exact opposite.

When she was NYC's Parks Commissioner, Betsy Gotbaum was a
strong supporter of cars and corporate activity in the parks. At
that time, since the city was extremely lax about enforcing the
car-free hours that had been set for the park, the environmental
group TIME'S UP! was working with park users to usher vehicles
out when the park was officially closed to vehicular traffic.
In one incident, 9/17/1993, when a group of park users were
funneling cars out of the park, Assistant Parks Commissioner
Ed Norris, driving an unmarked car, purposely smashed into the
people while more than 20 witnesses watched in horror. Those
present reported that Norris, appeared to be drunk, but police
on the scene refused to give him a breathalyzer test.
Investigation revealed that Ed Norris, appointed by Betsy
Gotbaum, was also a high-ranking police officer "on loan" to the
Parks Department.

In an interview with CNN from 1993, Betsy Gotbaum
repeats Ed Norris's bold-faced lie -- a claim that bicyclists
attacked Norris with lead pipes -- as solid fact, even though
all witnesses to the event had said otherwise. Take a look:

Video of Betsy Gotbaum Lying to CNN

Perhaps the reason for Betsy's defense of Norris in this
indefensible situation is her ties to the Norris family. In
2004, Ed Norris Jr., a former NYPD deputy commissioner, pleaded
guilty to spending $30,000 from a secret Baltimore police fund
and was sentenced to six months in federal prison. A year ago
Betsy Gotbaum threw a fundraiser to pay for Ed Norris Jr.'s
legal fees.

In contrast to Betsy Gotbaum spending her time arresting and
harassing hundreds of cyclists during her tenure as NYC Park's
Commissioner, public advocate candidate and long-time NYCLU
attorney Norman Siegel has been working around the clock with
under-represented communities around the city. He has come out
in strong defense of the bicycling community, defending our
equal rights to the road and winning a case against the city's
illegal confiscation of bicycles.

We need a public advocate who advocates for the people, not for
powerful cronies.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:20 AM   #2
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Old 09-05-05, 10:06 PM   #3
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Holy off-topic post, Batman!

...That said, Norman's the man!
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Old 09-05-05, 10:17 PM   #4
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Hmm? Is she trying to be re-elected or something?
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Old 09-06-05, 11:30 AM   #5
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ok, we have here a NYC politician pandering to his/her percieved support base. What else is new, really?

Since you seem to have the video clip, get some names of the cyclists who were there and witnessed the important stuff, contact Ms Gottbaum, and put the screws on.

If political blackmail presents itself as a way to make the streets safer, so be it.
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Old 09-06-05, 02:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by grampa_abe_simpson
We need a public advocate who advocates for the people, not for
powerful cronies.
Oh, come off it already! Who needs the people when we have cronies already?! If it wasn't for the cronies, hell, there'll be no coffee for the people. Betsy is our babe!
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Old 09-11-05, 11:49 AM   #7
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=v= Being in NYC, I know something about this. "Public Advocate" is an interesting office, and I don't think there's anything quite like it in other cities. Gotbaum is the incumbent, whose job seems to be to make sure nothing is advocated for the public. She "came out of her coma" this election year, mostly to get in the news over petty, do-nothing concerns.

What has this got to do with bikes? Well, after a number of bikers were killed on NYC streets, 8 bike groups formed a coalition, had events, and made headlines. Gotbaum wanted in those headlines, so she convened a do-nothing meeting (and along the way tried to split up the coalition). That video shows how anti-biker she was a few years back, lying to CNN about us to support a corrupt cop. Her more recent actions have also hurt, rather than helped, bikers and biking.

Her primary challenger, Norman Siegel, is already a "public advocate" and is helping bikers fight the City of New York's lawsuit over Critical Mass. If he had the resources of the Public Advocate, he could do a lot of good with them. A pretty clear choice if you're a biker in NYC. Primary is this Tuesday:

(I am not paid by nor affiliated with Norman Siegel's campaign.)
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Old 09-12-05, 09:31 PM   #8
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I'll vote for Norman. Mark Green actually made news while he was Public Advocate. I didn't know Betsey was public advocate until NY1 ran a story on the challengers to public advocate Betsey G.
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