New York City's Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani used the platform
of a March 30 luncheon to appeal to federal and state governments
and the courts to roll back unfunded mandates, leaving fund
allocations to local discretion. Giuliani ticked off a string of
his city's funding horror stories including one he suspected ought
not be raised in a press club: New York is required by mandate to
spend $175,000 a year for newspapers for the inmates of city jails.
Another $400,000 is mandated to wash jail windows four times a
year. As Mayor, Giuliani interjected, he has yet to see anyone
dusting the panes at City Hall. Courts, said the Mayor, determined
that jail meals were insufficiently warm: so there is now an order
on the books to spend $300 million to rectify that. The same
money, the Mayor protested, could build 15 schools, remodel
playgrounds or expand the police force. Rounding out his list,
Giuliani spoke of a new mandated water filtration plant in a city
"whose water is already good enough to bottle, and better than the
water of other cities here, in Europe or Asia." Giuliani said the
federal government should stick to what it alone can do, sealing
borders against illegal immigrants, deporting criminal aliens and
negotiating international drug control agreements. Far from
accomplishing that, he said, New York City now harbors an estimated
400,00 illegal aliens while only 772 were deported from the New
York area in the past year. Feisty and smiling, Giuliani was asked
whether he would accept the No. 2 spot on a 1996 Republican Ticket.
The New York Mayor laughed in reply that there might be some doubts
about the political savvy of one who backed Democrat Mario Cuomo
in his unsuccessful bid for re-election as Governor of New York.
Then, more seriously, he added that his desire for now is to
concentrate on helping American urban areas. The National Press
Club Record Volume XLV, No. 13. April 6, 1995.
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