Giuliani Ain’t No Fiorello LaGuardia!

Rudy Giuliani doggedly insisted on Tim Russert’s program that he did nothing wrong in having police guard his mistress, Judith Nathan, while they were having an affair. He claimed assigning a chauffeur to drive her around was based upon “threat assessments made by the New York Police Department.” Unfortunately, this explanation does not square with a New York Daily News story on Friday, that was based on information from multiple witnesses, and a law enforcement source, that she was being protected months before the affair had ever been reported anywhere by the media. Giuliani admitted he did a poor job of knowing about Bernard Kerik’s background before recommending him for the position of Director of Homeland Affairs. Bernard Kerik was a policeman who was assigned to be a chauffeur for Giuliani. Based on that experience he was given the job of Director of Corrections and then appointed Police Commissioner of New York City. The Republican candidate compared himself to former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who, according to the Giuliani version once said about his mistakes: “I don’t make many mistakes but when I make them, they’re big ones.” Actually, our former beloved Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, never used those words. As we all fondly remember, his words were; “When I make a mistake, it’s a beaut.”

Fiorello LaGuardia and Rudy Giuliani only have one thing in common– both were of Italian heritage. LaGuardia was a fearless fighter for the rights of poor people from his early days as a lawyer defending striking members of the ILGWU. Unlike Rudy, the “little flower,” as we affectionately called him, was not a draft dodger, but volunteered to fight in WWI. He was the first mayor who did anything for African Americans, and whenever poor people were fighting for their rights, one could be certain our little flower was standing side by side with the oppressed. And, when he died, LaGuardia left a meager estate of a few thousand dollars because money never dominated his life as it does for Rudy Giuliani. Rudy, you sure ain’t no Fiorello LaGuardia!