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December 30, 2010

Mike Bloomberg, Fair Weather Friend of the First Amendment

When Bloomberg agitates for the Ground Zero Mosque, he cites the spirit of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion and all that.

But he seems to forget other parts of the First Amendment, like the explicit part about the state being forbidden to establish (or even further, as Court decisions have said) a religion.

Because his his government has been working hard, secretly, to push this mosque and therefore the Muslim religion.

In fact, it turns out that Team Bloomberg was heavily involved in operating the political machinery needed to ensure that various regulatory agencies approved the controversial project -- which has rightly drawn the ire of many 9/11 survivors and victims' families. REUTERS Daisy Khan

Even to the point of pressing Community Board 1 to cast an approving vote -- so that the chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission could be given the "political cover" he so urgently sought before his agency denied landmark status to the existing building.

That not only raises First Amendment questions -- it also provides serious doubts about the legitimacy of the LPC vote, which appears to have been dictated far more by politics than by any consideration of the building's architectural and historical merit.

Bloomberg's community affairs commissioner even ghost-wrote a letter to CB1 on behalf of Daisy Khan, wife of mosque promoter Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Meanwhile, officials intervened to obtain permits so that prayers could be conducted at the site.

More at the link; Bloomberg has been very slow in responding to FOIA requests for these documents, and many he won't turn over, citing privileged communication.

Thanks to rdbrewer.


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posted by Ace at 01:33 PM

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