State Senator Rips Bloomberg’s Denial of His Minority-Contracting Failures


by Samuel Breidbart and Sarah Lavery

After hearing that Mayor Bloomberg casually dismissed the failures of his administration’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise initiative, state Senator Bill Perkins had a clear message to the mayor: it’s time to confess.

“He’s lying. He knows he’s lying. He needs to just face the problems so we can start to fix them,” Perkins said at a Thursday press conference for a new statewide minority and women-owned business initiative introduced by Governor Paterson.

“It’s hypocritical to sign these programs into law and then go to sleep on implementation,” said Perkins, a Harlem Democrat who had been in the City Council at the time that the initiatives were first introduced with the mayor’s blessings.

For his part, Governor Paterson, who reportedly had very strong words for the mayor a few weeks ago, was much more measured in his remarks.

Calling the mayor an “advocate” of such programs, Paterson expressed faith that, “he’ll clear up any discrepancies just like we’re doing in the state.”

On Monday, the mayor praised the city’s failing initiatives, calling the Department of Small Businesses, which runs the programs, “spectacular.” He refused to acknowledge any discrepancies. But even his own representative at a Tuesday City Council hearing on the issue gave statistics that were starkly to the contrary.

For Perkins, Bloomberg’s contented attitude is more than an over-generalization. In fact, Bloomberg referring to SBS as “spectacular” makes Perkins want to reevaluate “everything he’s taken credit for.”