Bloomberg to snub Apollo
The legendary Apollo Theater
Bloomberg Refuses To Appear At First Mayoral Debate
September 30, 2005
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is refusing to appear at the first official mayoral debate that is being held at the Apollo Theater next Thursday
Instead of participating in the first debate, the Bloomberg campaign will join two other debates scheduled in the final days before the November election.
Ferrer blasted the mayor for the move, releasing a statement which reads in part: “Bloomberg's decision...to refuse to attend next week's Campaign Finance Board debate should give New York City voters reason to pause and ask the fundamental question, ‘Why is Mike Bloomberg unwilling to defend his record?’"
The Times has an article on Freddie Ferrer's "self-inflicted" wounds.
This tops all of them to a degree which is simply unimaginable.
It is widely understood that he needs black voters to win reelection. Yet, he thinks he can avoid a debate at the Apollo?
Who the hell is advising him? Didn't he hire some blacks to work with him, to network with him on getting votes and influencing people?
So who the fuck said avoiding a debate at the Apollo would be anything but mind-numbingly stupid?
Let me explain: the Apollo is the heart of Black New York. It is where our legends were made. The control of the Apollo was and is a major issue in New York politics. To snub it, is to snub black New York. If the debate had been anywhere else, the strategy of late debates might be smart. But, considering the first debate was at the Apollo, not showing up says something very simple to black New Yorkers: disrespect.
I simply cannot believe that Bloomberg would not realize how black New York would take this.
To not appear at the Apollo is a gross insult to black New York and one which will not be forgotten. Why? Because it harks back to how Giuliani refused to meet black New Yorkers in his town hall meetings, for one thing. It also reflects poorly of his understanding of how black New Yorkers feel about the Apollo and about respect. And Sunday radio will be all over this. If he thinks a Friday news dump will hide this, he couldn't be more wrong.
To let Tom Ognibene and Freddie Ferrer take the stage of the Apollo without him would be amazing. And very stupid. Bloomberg cannot win without black votes. Refusing to debate in Harlem, especially the Apollo of all places, will not help him with black voters.
I would be surprised if he didn't change his mind.
posted by Steve @ 7:38:00 PM