Patterico's Pontifications


Councilman Dan Halloran Speaks

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:30 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Consider this an update to my post earlier today suggesting that the poor performance of snow plowers in NYC, if deliberately deficient, might give rise to criminal liability.

Dan Halloran is the city councilman who first brought out the story about the intentional work slowdown, so he appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto (an extremely misleading title, because Cavuto was nowhere to be seen), and told his tale.

In my mind, the really devastating part is the stats this guy rattles off.  He says, more or less, sure there were less workers.  But there were just as many plows and plenty of men to man them.  He pointed out previous instances involving greater amounts of snow where the clean up went faster.  And he pointed out that 10% of the sanitation workers “called in sick” that day.  If all that is true, it is hard to defend.  The last time I wondered if homicide charges would be justified.  And while there are significant questions about the cause of death and how much this alleged slowdown might have contributed to it, I am confident now that if they caused this child’s death, they can be held liable for criminal negligent homicide, if not actually manslaughter.

Meanwhile Mayor Bloomberg is calling for a probe, which is the right thing to do.  These are serious, but unproven, charges.  Let’s find out what happened.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see Bloomberg not playing this up too much, even though it might save his political bacon.

And I had been hearing reports all day about a second death potentially attributable to the stoppage and finally tracked down that report:

A Queens woman who was having trouble breathing and a baby born in a apartment building lobby reportedly died after emergency crews had difficulty reaching them due to snow-covered streets.

The 75-year-old woman’s daughter and neighbors called 911 for 20 minutes on Monday, according to the NY Daily News. After finally getting through, they allegedly waited three hours for EMS to arrive at their home in Corona. The woman had died.

Her daughter, Laura Freeman, told the paper that EMS workers did all they could to reach her mother.

State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) is demanding an inquiry into the woman’s death.

“The city must immediately determine whether the death of Yvonne Freeman can be attributed to the impact the snowstorm had on the city’s ability to respond to emergencies–from an overburdened 911 system to unplowed streets impeding timely movement of emergency vehicles and lifesaving equipment,” said Peralta.

And there is this bit.  I had never heard the actual amount of snow that fell before:

New York City was slammed with nearly two feet of snow that began falling on Sunday afternoon. By Wednesday, streets in all the five boroughs remained unplowed.

Um, wait, two feet?  That’s what caused all of this?  That is what took days to clean up?

Okay last year, we had two feet, in motherfraking Manassas, Virginia.  We weren’t half that paralyzed.  All this bullsh– is over two feet?  You have to be fraking kidding me.  In my mind the theory of deliberate stoppage just became 100% more plausible.

Finally as a little video zen, here’s Reagan responding to the air traffic controllers’ strike.

H/T: The Campaign Spot.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

27 Responses to “Councilman Dan Halloran Speaks”

  1. Seems to me the good denizens of NYC got the government they have voted in for decades. Screw ’em.

    N.B. – I take no joy at all in what happened to that infant. Nor for any other medical hardships.

    Ed from SFV (6edf50)

  2. Unions versus the people? Could be an interesting conflagaration.

    Especially when unions no longer are beholden to their members.

    Ag80 (e03e7a)

  3. I hate to say it out loud but New York just isn’t that freaking relevant anymore.

    It’s a loser little city what builds victory mosques to the glory of the people who made their friends and neighbors die screaming and is primarily notable for leading the world in the production of crippled spidermens.

    happyfeet (aa4bab)

  4. “Forget it, Jack- it’s Chinatown.”

    as in – nothing will come of this, and New Yorkers will elect Bloomberg again

    Jones (72b0ed)

  5. I don’t know about any conspiracy theories, though Dan Halloran is one of the few City Councillors I have any time for (I wish he represented me, but he’d never get elected in this district). But there has got to be something wrong, when the snow stopped on Monday morning, and yet it took until this afternoon for my street to get ploughed. And I live in Park Slope, a “good” part of Brooklyn, as in, high income and very liberal, votes exclusively for Democrats (except for last year when all my neighbours voted for Bloomberg, and for the first time in 25 years I voted Democrat).

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  6. on the potential criminal violation: exactly who would be put on trial? I agree with the concept, but the diffusion of responsibility [finger-pointing] seems to make the application problematic. If you say that responsibility rests with the boss, then put Bloomberg on trial – I think you would have no shortage of people willing to convict him at this time.

    great unknown (261470)

  7. on the potential criminal violation: exactly who would be put on trial? I agree with the concept, but the diffusion of responsibility [finger-pointing] seems to make the application problematic. If you say that responsibility rests with the boss, then put Bloomberg on trial – I think you would have no shortage of people willing to convict him at this time.

    Comment by great unknown — 12/31/2010 @ 3:34 am

    It’ll only take on email, tweet or facebook update, and we’ll see the shiite hit the fan.

    vote for pedro (e7577d)

  8. on should be one

    vote for pedro (e7577d)

  9. How quickly mayors forget – once basic city services start to precipitously decline, you’re going to be toast, sooner or later. The infamous blizzard here in the late 70’s doomed Michael Bilandic, a machine party hack who had taken over from the elder Daley. So what did we get? A supposed “outsider” candidate, Jane Byrne – who proved to be an even bigger machine hack than Daley was. Then as now, I see no other better alternatives in NYC than Mr. Nanny – State. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Dmac (498ece)

  10. And Harold WAshington succeeded her, so the point still applies

    narciso (6075d0)

  11. Comparing Manassas to the five boroughs? Does Manassas have to bring in trucks to haul away the snow, a major time suck? Or do its plows just shove it to the side of the road? And maybe not in Manassas, but elsewhere in the DC metro area, there was plenty of complaining about how long it was taking to get streets clear.

    steve (116925)

  12. Seems like grounds to terminate the union contract. Then allow the individual workers to reapply for these jobs at going market rates.

    Wayne (5125d9)

  13. steve

    manassas also never gets snow even close to that bad. i know manassas. if they can handle this, NYC should have had no trouble.


    You are asking a good question i keep glossing over. The short answer is this. if this is a criminal conspiracy, you don’t have to figure out exactly who specifically didn’t plow which street. you just prove the conspiracy and in most states everyone is egually liable. theoretically everyone involved in the slowdown could be potentially charged with two negligent homicides.

    I am going to post on this in a bit and probably talk about that in the post. thanks for the question.

    Aaron Worthing (1a6294)

  14. I think the point, AW is the agreement of the union leaders, to do the slowdown is the conspiracy

    narciso (6075d0)

  15. it took until this afternoon for my street to get ploughed. And I live in Park Slope, a “good” part of Brooklyn,

    The word this morning is that specific neighborhoods were targeted and they tended to be the affluent ones. This appears to be a conspiracy and that seems to me to be grounds for dismissing the union.

    Mike K (568408)

  16. As Mike K. mentiones, the New York Post is running more details on the intentional slowdown, claiming that sources are saying that politically connected neighborhoods were targeted.

    If true, then the union was even more stupid than first appears. This is the kind of thing that the public does not forget.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. 60 Minutes did a segment recently on the pending debacle that is the red ink of municipalities and state governments. Chris Christie was interviewed and came off like a lone voice in the wilderness of liberalism run amok.

    New Jersey’s governor pointed out the role of government-employee unions in creating the time bomb represented by growing public debt. That’s why I laugh and snicker when anyone cites big business as the epitome of greed and selfishness in America today.

    As for Bloomberg — the poster child of limousines liberalism — he deserves a lot of snickers too. When he has made foolish comments along the lines of an attempted bombing in Times Square being possibly the handiwork of Tea Partiers, that says it all.

    Mark (411533)

  18. It will be interesting if the unions can pull off a “we’re just working folk being taken advantage of like the rest of the public” and keep “the officials” in the blame, or if the officials will be able to point to the figures. I imagine any politician that feels beholden to unions will be slow to point out this aspect of the problem, and we’ll see where they try to put the blame (oh, wait, the lousy economy Bush left us). The job of people like Christie will be to get the public to see how the Union bosses and politicians have been working together without it sounding like he is demonizing the typical worker who doesn’t know much other than what the Union bosses tell them.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  19. Greetings:

    I think that this episode is emblematic of the disfunction of public employee unions. If you work for a corporation or other business, you don’t get to vote on who will be the head of the organization. Similarly, “supervisors” don’t have unions in organizations of any intelligence. At the risk of exposing my “no man can serve two masters” mentality, if a supervisor doesn’t support the organization, he shouldn’t be supervising.

    My father was a Teamster, so I grew up hearing about what goes on in unions. But, the right to organize is fundamentally different in the public sector and needs to be addressed and modified. The idea that “supervisors” can be conspiring and working against the goals of their organization is atrocious. The current situation, where unions can effect elections and our public sector elected leaders are scared of the political impact of any service disruptions, results in public sector unions proceeding merrily on their rapacious way.

    11B40 (73cb70)

  20. Won’t for a second defend San Men who didn’t do their jobs.Suspect that in disgust of Bloomberg they ran a rulebook slowdown. This is what happens when bureaucrats worry more about nonsense than getting the core job accomplished. Bloomberg nust be very happy that for mere pennies saved in his demotion plan, people were hurt and businesses lost billions due to the city being snowbound.

    Bloomberg has spent more time worrying about the Ground Zero mosque, salt and trans fat in foods, botique PC charter schools catering to every minute group at tht expense of the whole and bike lanes over motorists.In fact bike lanes in Manhattan before my street in Brooklyn ever saw a plow.Bloomberg has also allowed the welfare rolls to expand at alarming rates unchecked while encouraging illegal immigrants to get city social maximum services. And he did all this as he allowed police, fire and sanitation services to shrink to dangerously low levels through attrition and failing to hire new blood while hiking realty taxes when property values are dropping. It comes back to the Mayor’s priorities being completely screwed up; nanny staters like Bloomberg would rather deal with their hobbyhorses than fulfill core government functions. This week Bloomberg was finally exposed as a elitist, whiny lisping midget buffoon he has always been.

    The bigger lesson is we must be vigiliant to stop Big Idea dopes like Bloomberg from ever getting in positions of power. Sooner or later they are exposed. Further we must force goverment to worry about the basics and not get involved in the extras they would like to waste our money on. They barely do the former competently; they shouldn’t ever waste our money on that latter ever.

    Bugg (9e308e)

  21. Ever hear of a “white mutiny”? No, it’s not a racial thing.

    It’s when sailors would have the attitude “Yes, sir, I will obey your orders – but I’m stupid, so you’ll have to specify every niggling detail.”

    It was used against martinets, mostly.

    mojo (8096f2)

  22. Last I heard, a city has no duty to perform its services. Cops, for example, cannot be held liable for failing to respond to a call.

    Kevin M (298030)

  23. Come on, people. Consider the source of this ridiculous accusation: a right-wing, anti-union Republican city councilman Dan Halloran… and Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post.

    Bob Soper (618c85)

  24. Bob Soper is an idiot. And a very familiar format.

    JD (07faa1)

  25. Nothing like a drive by Huff Blow moonbat. In an ironic twist, there is a Bob Soper that is an accomplished bouzouki player, which is only slightly less obscure than the lute. A pattern develops …

    JD (07faa1)

  26. I’m sure you and your commenters will be offering up mea culpa a la crow for getting this story 100% wrong. Right?

    Michael (f65b88)

  27. Why? Just because the city’s Department of Investigation says so? How many union reps are on that, anyway?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

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