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A film OF the people,
BY the people,
FOR the people.

Archive

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Oct
30th
Fri
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Oct
29th
Thu
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A Candid Street Interview With A Fan of The Film

Here’s a street interview I did with blogger/activist Suzannah B. Troy who’s a big fan of the film:

Oct
27th
Tue
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Oct
2nd
Fri
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Term Limits Revisited One Year Later

On the occasion of the anniversary of Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he would ask the City Council to change the law so he could seek a third term, Bill Thompson’s campaign released this video revisiting this disgraceful chapter in American democracy and Bloomberg’s circumvention of the people’s will.

May
28th
Thu
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Anthony Weiner Out Of Mayoral Race

Anthony Weiner campaigning in Bryant Park in The Promise of New York

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, and 2005 Democratic mayoral candidate, as seen in The Promise of New York, announced Wednesday that he will not be throwing his hat in the race for mayor this year.

Weiner cited Bloomberg’s vast financial resources as one of the major factors in his decision.  The harsh economic times we live in also influenced Weiner’s decision, who felt his time is better spent working in Washington where he can be more effective in helping his constituency through Congress.

Predicting Anthony Weiner’s bid for mayor this year, before any official announcement had been made, Bloomberg’s campaign had already begun attacking the Congressman’s credibility by spreading false information through fake telephone polls earlier this Spring.

Now, Weiner’s bowing out positions Bill Thompson, the city’s Comptroller, as the Democratic frontrunner and Bloomberg’s virtually sole opponent in this year’s race.

The sad truth for a political candidate without deep pockets is that while money isn’t the only thing, it does matter.

Campaign finance laws are vital, not just to keep special interests from dominating campaigns, but also because in this case they could help prevent vast disparities in spending.

-Anthony Weiner

READ MORE:

Why I’m Not Running For Mayor by Anthony Weiner

Weiner Bows Out, With Pledge to Help Thompson NYTimes

Apr
18th
Sat
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Grouchy Mayor Vs. Disabled Blogger

The mayor halted his comments about same-sex marriage legislation during a City Hall news conference held by the governor, glaring at the reporter and refusing to continue even as Gov. David Paterson tried to joke about the interruption.

The reporter said he could not reach his tape recorder, which was playing an earlier news conference, because the coat it was in had been knocked off his chair by a photographer, activating the device.

At one point, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn leaned over and told the mayor the reporter was disabled, to which he replied: “I understand that. He can still turn it off.”

The episode showed a lack of sensitivity, disabled advocates said. The reporter was troubled by the incident and wants an apology.

[…]

“[Bloomberg] looked very obnoxious, to be honest with you,” said Boris Gaviria, 33, of Forest Hills, who watched the news conference on television. “He’s not getting my vote. I’m surprised he would do that - he wants to be for all Americans.”

-amNY, April 16th 2009

Another video with cleaned up audio:

After bristling at a disabled reporter whose jostled tape recorder briefly interrupted a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg privately approached the reporter on Friday morning to deliver an oblique apology.

[…]

Mr. Bloomberg’s words did not exactly satisfy Mr. Harris, who held his own news conference outside City Hall on Friday to both praise and rebuke the mayor, nor did it satisfy advocates for the disabled, who criticized Mr. Bloomberg for appearing insensitive.

-New York Times, April 17th, 2009

Michael Harris’ press conference about Bloomberg’s apology:

Apr
10th
Fri
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Mar
9th
Mon
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Reverend Billy Runs for Mayor

As seen in The Promise of New York, there is never a dull moment in New York City mayoral elections.  You just never know who’s going to throw their hat in the race!

Reverend Billy, who has been nominated by the Green Party as their mayoral candidate, will be sure to keep things interesting on the campaign trail this election year.  Read the article in the New York Times here.


Reverend Billy and I crossed paths in 2005 during the filming of The Promise of New York.  I filmed a short interview with him at a protest in Central Park against the city’s initiative to limit the number of permits issued for protest gathering in the park’s lawn.  Interestingly, the city was using the excuse that they wanted to limit the damage to the grass, yet, had no problem issuing a permit for Bon Jovi to hold a free concert with thousands of concert goers that same summer.

Reverent Billy, along with his Stop Shopping Choir, was also very active in supportin the Critical Mass rallies held in Union Square, which I also filmed during the production of The Promise of New York.

While Reverend Billy’s antics ended up on the editing room floor, he did release a film in 2007 called What Would Jesus Buy?, which documents his adventures as he travels the country preaching the end of our consumption-centered culture.

As an interesting tidbit of trivia, Jessica Delfino and Christopher Brodeur, the protagonist couple in The Promise of New York, contributed their musical talents to the film with a batch of songs/lyrics, of which only part of a verse remained in the final film.

Here’s part of a message I got from Christopher at the time of the film’s release, explaining:

Delfino and I were a bit hurt that we were left out of the credits (!!) of the movie
"What Would Jesus Buy?" after Morgan (Spurlock) hired us to write a whole bunch of
songs, but were glad some of our lyrics made it in. (The caroling scenes where they
go to homes and audiences can follow the bouncing ball are our lyrics.)


And here’s a sample of one of the many song lyrics by Christopher and Jessica which he included in his email as well:

 WAL-MART YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
[sung to the tune of We Wish You A Merry Christmas]

Wal-Mart you a merry Christmas!
Wal-Mart you a merry Christmas!
Wal-Mart you a merry Christmas!
and a K-Mart new year!
Good Best Buys we bring
to your Burger King!
We PetMart a merry Christmas and a
K-Mart new year!
Wal-Mart you a merry Christmas!
Wal-Mart you a merry Christmas!
Wal-Mart you a merry Christmas!
and a K-Mart new year!
Good Staples to you
wherever you go!
We Applebee’s a merry Christmas
and a Macy’s new year!
We Wal-Mart a merry Christmas
We Wal-Mart a merry Christmas
We Wal-mart a merry Christmas
and a K-Mart New Year!!!
Feb
20th
Fri
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Feb
6th
Fri
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Testy Mayor Dodges Questions On Campaign Spending

Bloomberg pretends not to see the irony in a mayoral candidate spending millions of dollars to get elected during a time of crisis.

Changing the term limits was clearly a bad move, and now he can’t take a couple of tough questions on the issue?

City Hall reporters who ask Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg about his re-election campaign should consider putting on a helmet. Verbal shrapnel may be headed their way.

-New York Times City Room, February 5th, 2009

Read full article here.

Watch the video here:

Feb
5th
Thu
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100 Protesters Interrupt Bloomberg Speech

Here’s a scene that could’ve been right out of The Promise Of New York.  In fact, I was asked by friends if I was present at this incident!

People are beginning to protest Michael Bloomberg over his controversial third bid for mayor.

The incident took place in the same Grand Hyatt ballroom where I filmed the first Democratic Debate in The Promise of New York, as seen in this still from the movie:


And here’s a video of the incident:


Here's a news clip of the protest and here is another article on the incident.

Shouting “This is what democracy looks like!”, about 100 protesters stormed a hotel ballroom Tuesday where Mayor Michael Bloomberg was addressing an economic forum and accused him of ignoring the concerns of working-class New Yorkers.

-New York Post, February 3rd, 2009

Oct
26th
Sun
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Oct
25th
Sat
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Bloomberg On Why He Favors Term Limits

I am a big believer in change.

-Michael Bloomberg

Yet another video showing Bloomberg expressing his opinion on term limits prior to his recent change of mind:

Oct
2nd
Thu
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The Rape of American Democracy

Bloomberg announces, by way of another heartless and dull speech, that he will seek a 3rd term, ignoring the will of the people of New York, who twice voted in favor of a two term limit for mayors.

There is no doubt in my mind that he will succeed in his quest to get City Council to change the law.

His pockets are deep and all he has to do is throw a couple of million dollars to support initiatives of City Council members who are against this change.  And who on the city council can say “No” to a couple of million dollars?

Aug
21st
Thu
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How Obama Won His First Election

There have been articles recently about how Barack Obama won his first election: by challenging the petitions of his opponents.


In The Promise of New York, Seth explains, in front of his classroom’s blackboard as seen above, what challenges are and how they work.  It is a lesson that shows that The Promise of New York is an educational film after all, with relevant information that helps the common citizen understand how elections work, and all that actually goes on before Election Day.

Later in the film, Seth shows fear of being challenged and being thrown off the ballot, much in the way that Obama threw his opponents off the ballot.

Here’s a link to one of the articles on Obama’s challenging his opponents’ petitions.