Borough President Markowitz and Mayor Bloomberg at odds over National Guard response for Hurricane Sandy

Bloomberg: The National Guard in Coney is a bad idea

The Brooklyn Paper
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Mayor Bloomberg has snubbed Borough President Markowitz’s impassioned plea to bring the National Guard to Hurricane Sandy-scarred Brooklyn — arguing that approving the Beep’s request would be a waste of federal manpower and turn the borough into a police state.

“We don’t need it,” Mayor Bloomberg said on Wednesday during a press update on the city’s ongoing Hurricane Sandy cleanup. “The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns.”

Markowitz demanded the National Guard’s help just an hour before Bloomberg’s press conference, claiming that the NYPD and FDNY are “brave — but overwhelmed” by all the challenges Sandy brought when it visited the borough on Monday night: flooding, power outages, and looting.

“All of our resources have been stretched to the limit,” Markowitz said. “In the name of public safety we need to send more National Guard personnel into Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Red Hook, and any other locations.”

Markowitz hopes that the sight of an armed soldier would deter criminal activity in the still-unaccessible evacuation zones — such as the rash of break-ins that took place in Coney Island hours after Sandy kissed the borough goodbye — but the Mayor said the NYPD was more than capable of handling the job.

“There are plenty of locations upstate and in surrounding states where they don’t have a police department the size of New York and they can use help [from the National Guard],” said Bloomberg.

Markowitz said he was surprised by the Mayor’s response, but was sticking to his guns.

“We stand by our statement 100 percent,” said Markowitz spokesman John Hill. “We hope the governor will listen to our request.”

The two politicians, who are both in their final terms, often appear together at borough events — but this is not the first time they’ve been at odds.

Markowitz slammed Bloomberg’s decision over a taxi manufacturer — and move Markowitz said would cost the borough an 800 job auto plant — in 2011, and the Mayor has vocally disagreed with Markowitz’s push for casino gambling in Coney Island.

Calls to Gov. Cuomo’s office for comment on Markowitz’s National Guard request were not returned by our midnight deadline.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 5:36 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Hey, get out of the way! There's a Marathon to run, move those stranded people out of the hotels.

Don't forget to pay the meters!

And take mass transit.
Nov. 1, 2012, 7:31 am
Susan from Sunset Park says:
Unbeleaveable, Mayor Bloomberg at work!!!
Nov. 1, 2012, 9:04 am
JAY from NYC says:
just wondering if Bloomberg has actually been out to the area or not?
There is a military saying that says the commander on the ground is always right until proven otherwise, so, if Markowitz is asking for this, its possible that he is in a better position to judge things in this area than Bloomberg is.
Nov. 1, 2012, 9:45 am
Pat from Bay Ridge says:
This mayor is out of touch with the people. There has been looting going on here in Brooklyn. The National Guard will help stop that and deliver food and water to the people that have no problem. Why such disregard for Brooklyn?
Nov. 1, 2012, 9:53 am
JAY from NYC says:
I don't know about the looting, there have only been 20 people arrested for it according to the news, and that is pretty much a slow day for crime.
I also saw that there have been zero murders in the city since sandy hit, so I have a feeling that this "crime wave" is more of a non-story that certain people are trying to latch onto, as a way to "un-blame" Bush for the horrible response during Katrina and say "See Obama its not so easy, is it?".
The reality is that order is still in place, and while things ARE difficult for a lot of people right now, we are NOT seeing ANYTHING that remotely resembles the Katrina aftermath and situation that occurred in New Orleans, and anyone trying to say otherwise is full of it.
Having said that, the National Guard does A LOT of things OTHER than act as law enforcement, and it may be simply that more boots on the ground are needed in the area.
Bloomberg saying its a waste of money is not really a good reason, either they are needed or not. If they are, then you send them.
Nov. 1, 2012, 10:20 am
Ben from Brooklyn says:
he is not running again here is the answer... can somebody explain why meters are in effect today what a shame!!!!
Nov. 1, 2012, 11:30 am
mayor for life from my lofty perch says:
Just wear a sweater and have everything cleaned up so there are no ugly scenes on tv during the marathon.
Nov. 1, 2012, 11:50 am
Ant from GP says:
It's easy to slam Bloomberg. I'm not a fan, but he's doing well.

Marty is an asshat, plain and simple. Anything that fool wants, the opposite should be given. This is simply asinine, this request.
Nov. 1, 2012, 12:08 pm
Ian from 11211 says:
The only police state Bloomberg wants in NYC is the police state he controls.
Nov. 1, 2012, 12:25 pm
mayor for life from my perch says:
Yes, anything that buffoon Marty asks for I say no to, no matter how much sense it makes.

He annoys me.

I don't care how much looting and devastation there is in Brooklyn, if Marty asks for it, he can't have it.
Nov. 1, 2012, 1:15 pm
Carmen from Sheepshead bay says:
I haven't witnessed a crime wave but to turn down extra help just cause he thinks its a waste of money is unbelievable. We have a 20 story hospital with elderly patients who need to be evacuated as per my neighbor whose mother is one of the patients. Most are in wheel chairs .Angry people waiting for gas and supermarkets that are closed . Sheepshead bay. Has many pockets of elderly whose needs need to be addressed. At this time. Major Bloomberg is callous and totally removed from the needs of then poor and middle class.
Nov. 1, 2012, 8:43 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
The mayor has already gotten those dangerous Big Gulps off the street! You peasants don't NEED any more protection other than his own private NYPD white-shirt thugs.

If he had lobbied for funds to upgrade the subway system as hard as he stumped for the Olympics, or forcing his 3rd term on us, or banning big sodas, maybe it wouldn't be in such bad shape? But he can't put his name on that kind of thing, so he won't do it.
Nov. 2, 2012, 7:55 am
FlyNavy from The South says:
I'm a civilian that works for the National Guard in a Southern State. Simply stated, the mayor is nuts. In an emergency, the National Guard usually does not act as a police unit in this type of an emergency. They have heavy equipment and support personnel that can set up shelters, clear roads, set up emergency generators, and provide medical services.

Through EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) agreements, units from other states can react and be on site in days to assist. During Irene, we provided equipment to clear roads in Vermont. During Sandy, non National Guard Search and Rescue units were in Maryland the next day.

The Guard is not just an armed military unit to be used in armed conflicts. They are an emergency response in all emergencies.

Someone just has to ask.
Nov. 2, 2012, 8 am
Jetset says:
How long left for this clown of a mayor to be in office??? Oh wait, he'll go and change the term limit again.
Nov. 2, 2012, 2:21 pm
nancy from coney says:
mayor dumb ass just heard they postponed the marathon and mayor dumb ass was against it where were the runners gonna run over the rubble,he stated no ressourses would be taken away from storm coverage.instead of using the porta potties and generators for victims he wanted them 4 the runners no that its cancelled give it to the victims who voted for that dumb ass not me
Nov. 2, 2012, 4:47 pm
kyle from coney says:
I haven't seen a crime or there haven't been any arrests therefore there is no problem?
Thats some peoples standard for judging?
given that NYC could have solved this whole hurricane problem by just locking themselves in closets for the duration of the storm and its aftermath.
Hurricane? I didn't see no hurricane? must not have been one.
See ya. Gotta go stretch before the big run.
Nov. 3, 2012, 5:35 am
allan feinblum from midwood says:
The Mayor believes any idea other than his own is a foolish, bad , laughable idea. His legacy will be he overturned democracy by eliminating term limits with the help of Speaker Quinn and his bribery money called political contributions. During the storm the Mayor refused to evacuate or even have a plan for the evacuation of rikers islannd. Solitary confinem,ent is legal torture and America has the most prisoners in the world and in solitary confinement. i am running as a WRITE-IN candidate fgor 45th AD NYS Assembly. All the party candidates are conservative and cater to a small segment of the area. i would represent all people -- Moslems , Jews , christians and Atheist. i believe inhuman rights.
Nov. 3, 2012, 8:04 am
John from Syracuse says:
You've got to be kidding me?! This moron for a mayor over in NYC is pathetic. But what do we expect from a mayor that is nothing but a RINO and refuses to use common sense. It's his way or the highway but could care less to ensure the citizens are protected from low life looting scumbags.

But what do we expect from a buffoon who is concerned about the size of your soft drink and a marathon than what really matters.
Nov. 3, 2012, 8:53 am
Eileen from Ft. Lauderdale, FL says:
Hate to see what this pathetic mayor is doing as the representative of my old hometown. Don't like the fact I had to leave my hometown, but I could not take the moonbat decisions he was placing on the rest of us anymore.

I agree with John, the lengths this man has gone, to do some of the craziest garbage is despicable. His response to the use of Guard personnel is reprehensible in a time of a serious disaster. He truly is a RINO and we could do no worse if a Democrat was in office. To worry about the size of a soda, to this fiasco takes the cake.

Saddens me to see the best city in the world with such a terrible mayor leading it.
Nov. 3, 2012, 9:37 am
jay from nyc says:
well Bloomberg did come here from Boston, so you can add that up....
Nov. 3, 2012, 12:54 pm
Oldwoman from from the south says:
The National Guard is for national disasters. I can't help but think that after the promise of a 100% reembursement from the Government for clean-up costs that somebody doesn't want any non-union Guardsmen doing any clean-up and cutting into their profits. Non-Union power crews have been turned away from Ga., Fl and Al. and the list grows but cheer up FEMA finally ordered water for you on Friday for delivery on Monday.
Nov. 3, 2012, 1:28 pm
politicaljules from lago says:
Any leader that rejects help for his people needs to be rejected at the next election. My blood is boiling over this. Can you imagine if New Orleans had conditions on who could help and who could not help.

Democrats are the reason these cities are in decline, and this crisis is going to waste because of them. They are letting people suffer needlessly because of their agenda.

It is no time to play politics.
Nov. 3, 2012, 8:08 pm
ROCUSA says:
Vote him out, if you don't like him vote him out. Remember his record, unite and vote him out!
Nov. 3, 2012, 8:33 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Hey! There's not enough gas to go around yet, but Alternate side parking will be in effect because we need the revenue!

Feed those meters - Pay those tickets the piggies need to fill the trough!
Nov. 4, 2012, 11:16 am
Isaac from BP says:
Right-wing and "survivalist" types are all over this story.

People, please.

If you read the news, you'll learn that the Guard is in NYC doing rescue and relief. More are coming. Bloomberg didn't decline the Guard outright. He just said that he's reserving hard-core policing in high-risk neighborhoods to the people who are best trained...New York's finest.

People, do you think Bloomberg just had a brain-f--t and didn't care if Coney Island got looted? That he came up with this all alone and just told Markowitz off?

Please. Ray Kelly runs the NYPD. He's no slouch and his track record is pretty darn good. If Bloomberg said no Guard running patrols in Coney Island, it's because that's how Kelly wants things done.

So, please take a minute away from hyperventilating against Bloomberg's latest "outrage" and use your head about this.
Nov. 4, 2012, 11:45 am
Joe says:
Bloomberg is freaking insane. What does he care if people's homes are getting looted; he has armed bodyguards when he goes to the toilet.
Nov. 4, 2012, 12:36 pm
Kat from none says:
If they have only caught about 20 people for looting so far it is because the police are spread to thin. They are not catching all of them. National Guard does such good things for moral of the people in the community. So what if they are armed...have you heard of any of the guard shooting someone while providing protection for the community where needed? Nope. Let them in.
Nov. 4, 2012, 12:46 pm
Ruben from Lone Tree says:
Shame on Bloomberg, since he is hinting Guardsmen (and women) aren't worthy or are thugs - Why else would he only say NYPD should be armed? By the way Bloomie: Since 9/11 6,378 Guardsmen have been killed or wounded in the War on Terror. You might not think their services are needed, but they have certainly earned everyone's respect!

Need proof? Here's the numbers:
Nov. 4, 2012, 1:59 pm
Mahalia from Queens says:
New York Magazine photos say it best. Manhattanites are the only ones who matter. There's a very strong National Guard presence in Lower Manhattan.
Nov. 4, 2012, 5:32 pm
ann from brooklyn says:
if the people want or feel a need for the national guard then bloomberg should accomodate...period
Nov. 4, 2012, 7:59 pm
CJ says:
"...arguing that approving the Beep’s request would be a waste of federal manpower and turn the borough into a police state."

Not clear who is responsible for the term federal, but the National Guard is organized at the state level. There's a New York National Guard, a Vermont National Guard, et cetera, but there is no federal National Guard.
Nov. 4, 2012, 9:04 pm
Ralph from Staten Island says:
Mayor Bloomberg hates anyone with a legal gun...

Son Of a Holocaust Survivors Thoughts On Bloomberg & MAIG
Posted on November 24, 2009 by Ammoland

Son Of a Holocaust Survivors Thoughts On Bloomberg & Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Letter to AmmoLand Editors By Ralph Rubinek

New York, NY --( It is clear NYC Mayor Bloomberg is inadvertently aiding and abetting terrorism on American soil.

Unlike Israel which has learned from the Holocaust and modern day haters of the Jewish people.

Several recent incidents has resurrected Nazi enabling legislation in the United Nations which in essence is the same laws ensuring genocide and government sanctioned democide as defined in pre-Nazi Germany.

Anti-Israel condemnation, Holocaust denial as well as hatred of the Jewish people brings back memories of the past.

Mayor Bloomberg you are dead wrong pursuing failed gun control policies. Aren’t you knowledgeable about Jewish partisans during World War II? Gun control insured Nazi control of the masses.

The very laws enacted prior to Hitler insured the Nazis rise to power. The end translated in mass murder.

Recent acts of terrorism occurred in legislatively enacted gun free zones and by individuals who by law were defined as ineligible to possess firearms is alarming as well.

Not only did these individuals disregard every federal and local ordinances designed to prevent illegal gun possession, they were further motivated by the fact no one would be able to stop them. Mayor Bloomberg, you want more of these Laws?

Here are some facts:

On 9/11 not one shot was fired, almost 3,000 Americans died in less than 1 hour because a 1968 gun law prevented qualified persons from possessing any weapons on American commercial air craft. Israel’s national airline, EL/AL simply arms their crews. The result not one hijacking. Gun control kills.

The Fort Hood mass killing of United States Military personnel by a suspected terrorist on a FBI terror list enrolled in our own military in the rank of Major knew his victims could be easily murdered as Military law enacted during the Clinton administration outlawed any firearms by military personnel on US bases. In fact our military had to call 911 and wait, 14 died and countless maimed by the atrocious act by a sick coward. In Israel, military personnel are armed. Gun control kills.

For decades, our law enforcement and military personnel had their hands tied trying to end illicit narcotic trade which formulation also was developed by the Nazis. This trade also funds terrorists and the illicit sale of all types of guns/bombs and violence domestic and foreign.

Here in the United States you do not have one political leader with the demeanor and bravery to stand tall against the true cause of violence… DRUGS.

Instead you have individuals like NYC Mayor Bloomberg on a pulpit trying to destroy the absolute vestige which sets apart a free society of citizens based on rational security from a lawless totalitarian nation encouraged by power to control its subjects.

My parents came to America as refugees, survivors of Hitlers final solution… They taught me along with other survivors the ideologies of the left… Mayor Bloomberg and the current atmosphere in Washington DC alarms my inner most instincts based upon my family history.

As men, women and children needlessly die because of failed policies which insure more victims and fear… I know and understand how enabling legislation brings about the end of liberty.

Mayor Bloomberg’s approach may be wrapped in benevolence but history teaches us it contains the blood of millions of innocent lives, past, present and future.

Mayor Bloomberg, I despise violence as well as hatred. I see the suffering of victims of crime everyday and awed my 28 years in law enforcement unblemished by a society lost in a charade.

Criminals, terrorists and those who hate liberty will always access weapons… History defines direction and America has veered off course.

We must stand up for America’s institutions of freedom before lessons of history are lost forever.

PS, the National Guard are local volunteers who risk their lives serving the people of the State of New York in cases of emergency. Shame on this Mayor...

Nov. 5, 2012, 12:30 am
KiTA from Magic Valley says:
Very unusual. I cannot find any other sources for this story other than this article and 500 wingnut / gun nut blogs citing this article.

If this was a press conference, do you have a video link to said press conference?
Nov. 5, 2012, 1:22 am
Bernie from Seattle area says:
The people of N.Y. deserve Bloomberg.... They voted him in.
Nov. 14, 2012, 11:41 pm

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