Hold Grudges Much? Misuse Power to Settle Them? Meet, Rudy Giuliani

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rudy-giuliani-80s.jpgNY Times:

Rudolph W. Giuliani likens himself to a boxer who never takes a punch without swinging back. As mayor, he made the vengeful roundhouse an instrument of government, clipping anyone who crossed him.

In August 1997, James Schillaci, a rough-hewn chauffeur from the Bronx, dialed Mayor Giuliani’s radio program on WABC-AM to complain about a red-light sting run by the police near the Bronx Zoo. When the call yielded no results, Mr. Schillaci turned to The Daily News, which then ran a photo of the red light and this front page headline: “GOTCHA!”

That morning, police officers appeared on Mr. Schillaci’s doorstep. What are you going to do, Mr. Schillaci asked, arrest me? He was joking, but the officers were not.

They slapped on handcuffs and took him to court on a 13-year-old traffic warrant. A judge threw out the charge. A police spokeswoman later read Mr. Schillaci’s decades-old criminal rap sheet to a reporter for The Daily News, a move of questionable legality because the state restricts how such information is released. She said, falsely, that he had been convicted of sodomy.

It gets worse.

Definitely check the New Yorker’s continuing coverage for the full thrust of Giuliani’s vindictiveness.

Maybe it’s just from living in ‘flyover country’ (or maybe it’s just from being a mature adult who realizes that power corrupts and only impotent cowards become bullies) but I have a small problem with geeks like this who use their credentials to replace their gonads and abuse the ‘little people’. We have a ‘small man’ in the White House now (for all my problems with his dad, this wasn’t one of them). We don’t need another. Let’s not even discuss how mayoring New York doesn’t prepare one to preside over America. What else has he got?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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