Strike two for Ferrer
During a service at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Queens Village, Ferrer likened the race for mayor to the battle between David and Goliath.And what a tangled web Freddie continues to weave. Now he claims he's been "inaccurately edited" after being caught in what many will consider a lie:
"I will be your David — your mayor," Ferrer told parishioners. "And all the height or money or tattoos won't matter, because God is on my side."
Ferrer's reference to tattoos was apparently used to try to make the biblical story contemporary....
Ferrer later denied that he made the comment, but a Post reporter who was at the church and took notes during his speech said he did. The church's pastor, A'kim Beecham, also confirmed Ferrer's remarks.
CLASS CLOWN FERREROh what a tangled web Freddie continues to weave. Four years after losing the Democratic primary, he wants to be mayor so badly that he'll say and do anything.
September 28, 2005 -- Fernando Ferrer yesterday got caught red-handed falsely claiming in a first-person account on his campaign Web site that he attended mostly city public schools.
"I was born in the South Bronx and educated in public schools for most of my education," Ferrer wrote in a Sept. 6 personal blog entry posted on www.ferrer2005.com.
But the Democratic nominee for mayor was forced to remove the posting yesterday less than an hour Mayor Bloomberg's re-election campaign blew the whistle on the tall tale — flunking Ferrer for rewriting his childhood history into fiction.
The statement to reporters from the Bloomberg campaign highlighted Ferrer's public-school claim on his Web site — then listed the Catholic schools that he had attended beginning in the first grade and ending with his graduation from Cardinal Spellman HS in 1968.
"Freddy was wrong on accountability, wrong on social promotion, and wrong on standards at CUNY. Now he's wrong about his own résumé," said Bloomberg adviser Bill Cunningham, a "proud graduate" of St. Augustine's HS in Brooklyn.
"I can't imagine why anyone would hide such a fact."
Some observers speculated that Ferrer may be trying to downplay his parochial schooling to court the city's teachers union or to bolster his assertion that he understands the struggles of working-class New Yorkers.
"Every time something like this happens, it reduces his credibility," said Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who is not involved in the mayor's race.
"He's got a flip-flop history — on abortion, the death penalty, the Diallo case and now education. Every time he does this, it helps Bloomberg."
The Ferrer campaign blamed a staffer for the fib, claiming the candidate's Web site writing had been "inaccurately edited."
"In a blog entry from earlier this month, an item submitted by Freddy Ferrer was inaccurately edited regarding Freddy's education. We apologize for the mistake and have corrected the entry," said Ferrer campaign manager Nick Baldick.
During a campaign event with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday, Ferrer insisted he didn't write the line about attending public schools.
"It's my campaign and my responsibility," he said. "So that's been corrected."
Ferrer denied that he intentionally lied about his schooling.
"That's absolute nonsense and everyone knows it. I'm proud of the schools I went to and the after school programs I went to, and everyone who knows me in public life knows that," he said.
But New Yorkers wouldn't know that from his Web site.
Ferrer's extensive biography posted on the site makes no reference whatsoever to his Catholic-school education.
The blog flap is not the first time Ferrer got caught fudging his family's education.
During a Democratic Party mayoral debate last month, Ferrer claimed his daughter, Carlina, "did graduate from public schools."
But while she attended public elementary and middle schools, Carlina graduated from Spellman HS — like her father.
For his part, Bloomberg attended public schools in Medford, Mass.
Even before Ferrer's two mistakes, I think Dick Morris, the renowned politican consultant, was overly optimistic to warn, "Don't bet against Ferrer":
Ferrer, for whom I once worked, is a typical politician who sees the city divided by class and race and chooses to exploit those divisions to get elected. He lacks Bloomberg's depth, dispassionate commitment to New York and sense of how to improve the city. But make no mistake, he could be our next mayor.Ferrer is a divider who emphasizes his belief in social programs (while hiding the tax burdens required), "progressive" policies, "rich versus poor" tax structures, and most of all his Latino roots that garner so much support from minority voters. And who is surprised that he, a liberal's liberal, is hypocritical about true school choice? Ferrer went to a Catholic school, from which his daughter also graduated, but Ferrer opposes the school vouchers that would enable many families to afford sending their children to decent private schools. Instead, the children are doomed to attending graffiti-ridden, gang-infested, violent schools that are taught by bad teachers.
Ferrer's solution to the awful state of NYC public schools, from which only 54% of students graduate on time, is to throw even more money at them. As I've noted, NYC already has a low ratio of 14 students per teacher, but inefficient class structuring and sabbaticals have left its class sizes averages at 28 students. But Ferrer isn't really interested in results. On Monday, Herman Badillo, former CUNY president and himself a former Bronx borough president like Ferrer, slammed Ferrer for doing nothing about education in two decades. Ah, but 2005 is different: Ferrer can propose spending money -- other people's money -- because it will get him the teachers unions' backing, and critical support for his mayoral campaign.