NYC progressives uniting behind a rich hypocrite for mayor

The American left suddenly has a new “it girl” in New York City: mayoral candidate Maya Wiley.  She’s been endorsed by the once and future it girl, Sandy Cortez, and now she is “gaining in the polls” (Wall Street Journal) and has “surge[d] into second place” [Daily Mail] as Gotham prepares to replace term-limited Bill DeBlasio, and seems to want yet another rich progressive in a biracial marriage as mayor. It's like a female Black Bill DeBlasio with an extra helping of Soros.

Maya Wiley appearing on The Breakfast Club last week (YouTube screengrab)

Rich Calder writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Progressive groups are coalescing behind candidate Maya Wiley in the final stretch before New York City’s mayoral primary, in an effort to block the moderate Democrat Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s borough president, who is leading in recent polls.

Ms. Wiley, a former civil-rights lawyer and an ex-top counsel for the term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio, has picked up powerhouse endorsements from progressive leaders, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Our Revolution, the political action group that morphed out of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, also supports Ms. Wiley.

Meanwhile, the two other top progressive candidates in the Democratic primary—Comptroller Scott Stringer and Dianne Morales —were rocked by turmoil and lost key endorsements. The Working Families Party announced it bumped up Ms. Wiley to its top choice after pulling its support for the other two.

If hypocrisy were to determine who wins, it’d be Wiley in a landslide. The Daily Mail takes a bullet point approach:

  •  Mayoral wannabe Maya Wiley and her CEO investment fund husband Harlan Mandel live in a $2.75 million, 4,000 sq. ft. house in Brooklyn
  • She wants to defund the police but she and her neighbors pay $550 a month for private security for their wealthy area
  • Mother-of-two calls school programs for talented kids 'racially discriminatory'
  • But she sent one daughter, to an academy for the gifted, and the other to a $51,000-a-year private school
  • The civil rights activist and lawyer has become the left's new poster child after being endorsed by Democratic firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  
  • Critics however, believe she does not live by the standards she would force on the city's residents
  • The 57-year-old is the daughter of late activist and college professor George Wiley, founder of the National Welfare Rights Organization
  • She received a private school education as a child and went on to attend two Ivy League universities
  • 'She talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk,' one political observer told

The New York Post adds some granular details:

She lives with her husband, financier Harlan Mandel, 58, in a historic Prospect Park South estate valued at $2.7 million. The home, built in 1905 by architect John J. Petit, has come in for fawning praise by elite connoisseurs. (snip)

The digs are fitting for Wiley, who has turned a life of activism into a lucrative career. In the two years she worked as counsel for Mayor de Blasio between 2014 and 2016, Wiley raked in more than $400,000 in compensation, city records show.

After leaving that job, Wiley headed to the New School, where she became a senior vice president for “social justice.” Tax records show a nearly $300,000 payday in 2018 and another $250,000 in 2019. A plum gig as an MSNBC legal analyst netted another $60-100K a year as well, according to her public disclosures.

Her husband earns even more, and (surprise!) appears to be on the Soros money pipeline, as was Mara earlier:

Wiley’s beau, Mandel, does well for himself as CEO of the Media Development Investment Fund, a self-described “not-for-profit investment fund.” Mandel earned more than $900,000 in compensation between 2017 and 2019, tax records show.

MDIF invests in the equity and debt of newsgathering organizations in countries including Poland, Brazil and South Africa. The organization received initial funding from George Soros and the billionaire’s Open Society Foundations continue to support it. The MDIF did not respond to The Post’s requests for its most recent IRS tax filing, which charities must disclose by law.

From 1996 to 1998, Mandel worked as deputy general counsel at the Open Society Foundations. Wiley also worked there in the late ’90s, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Later progressive organizations she was involved with — the Tides Foundation and the Center for Social Inclusion — were both bankrolled by Open Society grants, The Post has reported. As president of the Center for Social Inclusion, where she worked from 2002 to 2014, she was paid more than $180,000 in 2013, according to filings of that group.

With that background, defunding the police is a natural position for Wiley, and she means to cut radically:

She has spoken openly of her plans to overhaul the New York Police Department that she claims is filled with bureaucratic waste.

Wiley has said she wants to move $1 billion from its budget to community resources. 

She also plans to appoint a civilian as the NYPD commissioner and reduce the department's 35,000 officers by roughly 2,500.    

Maybe New Yorkers will wise up.  But any city that could elect Bill DeBlasio could certainly choose Wiley.

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