February is finally over, as we kick off the month of March. We look forward to spring arriving in just a few weeks, but there is still plenty to be concerned about. This month’s Top Ten considers one such topic of distress. We have some real knuckleheads running America’s cities and towns.
#10 – Tim Currier, Massena, New York –
Currier, the mayor of the Upstate New York town of Massena, was arrested this past December by St. Lawrence County Sheriff officials after being chased by police who were pursing him as part of an undercover investigation. During the chase, the 55-year old Currier threw one gram of crack cocaine out the passenger’s window of his vehicle. How proud the voters of Massena must be. Currier was charged with, “criminal possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and failure to comply with a police officer.” So, we have a crack-smoking mayor with no respect for police; would anyone be surprised to learn that other mayors on this list were also crack-heads?
#9 – Steve Adler, Austin, Texas –
In one of the more blatant examples of our mainstream media’s leftwing bias and complete stupidity, two weeks ago Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was being crucified in the press for taking a trip to Cancun while residents of his state were reeling from unprecedented winter storms and power outages. The press was accusing Cruz of hypocrisy similar to that of Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who had taken a trip to Mexico in early-December amid a surge in COVID infections. Adler, who had strongly recommended Austin residents to “stay at home” during the uptick, took a private jet to Cabo with seven other people after having hosted a wedding for his daughter with twenty guests. While in Mexico, Adler actually took video of his frolicking at the family’s timeshare. That’s hypocrisy, folks. Cruz, on the other hand, is a federal legislator with no input on state and local matters who never told folks to stay at home. How is there any comparison?
#8 – Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta –
Considered a rising star within the Democratic Party, Bottoms spoke at last year’s Democratic National Convention, and was even offered a spot on President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. It all makes sense considering Bottoms fits right in with the rest of the party. Last summer, Bottoms tried to implement an unconstitutional mask-mandate due to the COVID pandemic, a move that was blocked by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Homicides in Atlanta last year soared to the highest number since 1998. And her mishandling of riots after the Rayshard Brooks debacle last year resulted in the death of an eight-year old little girl. Bottoms has also been fined for Campaign Finance violations, a rite of passage for any self-respecting Democrat. Yup, Keisha Lance Bottoms checks all the boxes for Democrats, in fact, she might even be Presidential timber.
#7 – Jenny Durkan, Seattle –
Last summer as Seattle’s protest known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) raged on, Durkan tried desperately to downplay the crisis. Durkan described the armed protest as “more like a block party,” and did everything possible to appease the protesters as the situation dragged on. Once it became clear that the protest was highly destructive and deadly – with three people having died and national attention on the rise – Durkan tried to regain control, but the damage was done. As a “defund the police” advocate, and to satisfy those on her radical left, Durkan subsequently moved to cut the city’s police budget by $20 million, but it didn’t work. As is usually the case when one tries to placate anarchists, once the smoke cleared everyone was unhappy. Durkan successfully fought off a recall effort shortly after the CHOP disaster, and then had her taxpayers foot the bill for her legal expenses. But she has announced that she will not seek reelection to another term; good choice Mayor Durkan.
#6 – Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles –
Mayor Garcetti and California Governor Gavin Newsom aren’t just cut from the same cloth, they appear to be competing for the title of worst government official in California. At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Garcetti did his best to set the bar for aspiring government overreach enthusiasts with an idea straight out of a George Orwell novel. Garcetti offered rewards to citizens who snitch on neighbors violating his “Safer at Home” policy, and his passion for control hasn’t let up. Ten months after COVID lockdowns began, Garcetti’s restrictions continue to choke the city’s business community. Additionally, homelessness in Los Angeles has skyrocketed in Los Angeles under Garcetti’s leadership, beginning long before the pandemic. But perhaps no action by Garcetti justifies his inclusion on this list more than this absurd “COVID relief” idea. In late-October, Garcetti announced a $20 discount on parking tickets to help lessen the financial impact of the virus, stating “In moments of crisis, we need to do all we can to support” our citizens. Yup, because in moments of crisis we look for this type of assertive, compassionate leadership. Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Eric Garcetti… in no particular order… goose bumps.
#5 – Lovely Warren, Rochester New York –
When a black Rochester resident named Daniel Prude died last year due to injuries sustained while being restrained by police, Mayor Warren did what Democrats do and threw her Police Chief under the bus. Warren lied about Chief La’Ron Singletary’s assessment of Prude’s death, falsely claiming that Singletary had called the death an overdose. Nonetheless, Warren went on to fire Singletary, and the investigation into Prude’s death continues. Warren mishandled the aftermath of Prude’s death, and when a protest turned violent with one serious injury, she demanded that charges be dropped against nine rioters who had been arrested as a result. Police bad, rioters good. For good measure, a month after the riot, Warren was indicted by a federal grand jury on two felony counts of campaign finance violations. With such incompetence and corruption, her political career must be doomed, right? Nope. Monroe County Democrats have designated Warren as their candidate for a third term. Perhaps Warren should plead guilty to the criminal charges; she’d probably win reelection in a landslide.
#4 – Jacob Frey, Minneapolis –
Nine months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there is still zero evidence indicating any actions taken by the officers who handled Floyd’s arrest at the time of his death were driven by race; including the lone white officer on the scene, Derek Chauvin. It also seems increasingly likely that the case against Chauvin could fall apart during his trial. Nonetheless, Mayor Jacob Frey, who shortly after Floyd’s death helped ramp up tensions by arguing, “Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” remains defiant. Frey had undoubtedly hoped that such rhetoric would spare him from the very mob he helped urge on, but he was sadly mistaken. Frey was relentlessly jeered during a protest in early-June, to the point he had to be escorted away to safety. You can keep feeding those leftist alligators with nonsense, Mayor Frey, but eventually they will come to eat you as well. Frey eventually acquiesced to calls for defunding the police, only to backtrack two months later and add another $6.4 million to the police department’s budget. Meanwhile, violent crime in the city increased by 21% last year as Frey was bashing and slashing the cops. So, if you belittle your own police and then take away funding, crime will actually go up? Well, I’ll be darned.
#3 – Ted Wheeler, Portland OR –
Rioting by Black Lives Matter and Antifa went on for over 100 consecutive days in Portland last summer, while Wheeler was the epitome of indecision. “The middle ground is very elusive right now,” said Wheeler, as he tried to simultaneously pacify rioters while keeping his city from burning to the ground; an effort that failed miserably. Wheeler went so far as to join in the protests, which earned him a proper pepper-spraying by federal officers defending the U.S. Courthouse. The rioters eventually turned all of their ire towards Wheeler himself, bringing the riots directly to the doorstep of his house as they demanded his resignation. Not surprisingly, Portland saw a 144% increase in violence year-over-year. What separates Wheeler’s incompetence from those of mayors in other cities stricken by race-driven riots is their persistence. While Seattle, Minneapolis and New York saw their riots fizzle out, Portland’s riots continued. A riot, in fact, was declared on New Year’s Eve in Portland. Still trying to find that middle ground Ted?
#2 – Lori Lightfoot, Chicago –
Upon being elected, the left and their media couldn’t contain their glee over Lightfoot’s election. Lori Lightfoot is the first black, openly gay woman to be mayor of Chicago, which means she lands in virtually every identity politics category they have. What could go wrong? It never dawned on the left, apparently, that one’s skin color, genitalia, and bedroom activities have nothing to do with one’s effectiveness. Black, openly gay women can be just as lousy at governance as white, bible-thumping men. Uselessness is nondiscriminatory; anyone can be infected with it.
After Chicago was pummeled with riots after the death of George Floyd, and after it was clear that Lightfoot had screwed-the-pooch with her handling of the violence, the mayor explained, “No mayor expected what we all got,” and how she “hoped” the riots wouldn’t happen again. Hope is for church, and it’s your job to expect the unexpected, Mayor Lightfoot. That’s why you were elected. During the COVID lockdown in the city, while the rest of Chicagoans were huddled in their living rooms driving each other crazy, Lightfoot was caught going to a beauty salon for a haircut (please feel free to insert your own witty comment here about the results of that haircut). Was Lightfoot apologetic? Umm, no. The mayor justified her double-standard by explaining, “I’m in the public eye every day.” It’s OK for the mayor to violate her own orders, but not you peons. We can also consider the way in which the teachers’ union walked all over Lightfoot in validating her position on this list. But nothing is more indicative of Lightfoot’s disastrous performance than the violent crime rate that is plaguing her city. Murders in Chicago jumped 55% last year compared to 2019, and that is a heartbreaking statistic.
#1 – Bill de Blasio, New York City –
Yes, he bears a striking resemblance to Lurch from the Addams Family; yes he’s an unrepentant groundhog assassin; and yes he ran an absolutely laughable campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2019. But none of those reasons were part of the formula used to determine his worthiness here. Mayor Bill de Blasio is an absolutely awful mayor. De Blasio botched the early days of the COVID pandemic worse than any other government official in the country, and thousands of New Yorkers died as a result.
With the pandemic temporarily waning in early-July, de Blasio authorized Black Lives Matter protests on city streets, with thousands of unmasked protesters, while keeping the other aspects of his draconian COVID lockdown in place. Due to De Blasio’s clear contempt for his own police department, and a whopping $1 billion cut in its funding, violent crime has absolutely soared in the city under de Blasio’s watch. And millions – yes, literally millions – of city residents have fled the city because of de Blasio’s utter incompetence. Here’s a simple question to illustrate exactly how bad de Blasio has been: can you name one single thing de Blasio has done well since being mayor? Cue the theme from Jeopardy. Bill de Blasio isn’t just the worst mayor in America, he’s one of the worst mayors in American history.
And again, if we’re examining the worst mayors, should it be the Top Ten or the Bottom Ten? Please send in your suggestions at https://thebluestateconservative.com/contact/.
PF Whalen is a conservative blogger at www.TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.