Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another missed opportunity for Thompson: criticizing a sweetheart deal for Snapple but not FCR

From a Tom Robbins column in the Village Voice, headlined Mayor Bloomberg's School-Snack Bungle: Vending machine politics:
This was back in 2003, and it was the first big face-off between [City Comptroller Bill] Thompson and [Mayor Mike] Bloomberg. Thompson issued a scathing audit showing that Bloomberg's team had awarded the contract to Snapple without even sending a letter of invitation to other major firms who had to learn about this major opportunity through the business grapevine. Snapple, the audit showed, had been tapped for the job by a private marketing consultant named Octagon that had a bit of a conflict of interest since it already carried Snapple's parent company as a client. After other bids were received, Snapple alone was allowed to sweeten its offer.
Of course, Thompson, an Atlantic Yards supporter, never said anything about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) decision to let Forest City Ratner alone sweeten its offer for the Vanderbilt Yard, nor the MTA's decision in June 2009 to further sweeten the Vanderbilt Yard deal.

As No Land Grab's Eric McClure suggests, "criticizing Bloomberg for being an underdeveloper, no matter the audience, is not a recipe for a November 3rd upset."

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