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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s girlfriend serves on the board of directors for the private company that owns the park where Occupy Wall Street protesters have set up their home base, WND has learned.
The protesters have reportedly been making a mess of Zuccotti Park, a public space that’s owned by a private financial giant, Brookfield Office Properties, Inc. The park, close to Wall Street, is named after Brookfield’s co-chairman, John Zuccotti.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Brookfield wanted the protesters removed, but Bloomberg’s New York Police Department urged the private company to allow the protests to stay in the park.
There isn’t much Brookfield can do to evict the protesters, since the park’s charter allows for 24-hour public access.
The company complained in a statement on Friday that “because the protestors refuse to cooperate … the park has not been cleaned since Friday, Sept. 16, and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.”
On his weekly radio show Friday, Bloomberg had harsh words for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which already cost the city a reported $2 million in police overtime.
“What they’re trying to do is to take the jobs away from people working in the city. They’re trying to take away the tax base we have because none of this is good for tourism,” Bloomberg said. “There’s no easy solution here.”
Bloomberg’s comments, however, also serve the interests of his long-term girlfriend, Dianna L. Taylor, who serves as one of nine members of Brookfield’s board of directors.
Taylor has been dubbed by the New York Times as New York’s “de facto first lady.”
“A powerful woman with her own litany of accomplishments, she breaks the mold of more traditional political couples with her unconventional long-term relationship with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” stated a 2006 profile of Taylor.
Cityfile New York adds that Taylor “grew up in a firmly Republican old-money family in Greenwich and attended the swanky Milton Academy and Dartmouth before heading off to Columbia Business School.”
Taylor was in the news last week for criticizing President Obama in an interview with the New York Observer.
Taylor said of Obama: “For somebody’s who’s going to come in and be the great unifier – you know, that hopey-changey stuff – it hasn’t worked very well. The country is more divided now than it’s ever been. And he doesn’t appreciate other people and what they do.”
Like the Brookfield company itself, Taylor, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is deeply tied to Wall Street.
Since 2007, Taylor served as managing director of Wolfensohn Fund Management, a “boutique investment bank” founded by James D. Wolfensohn, a former president of the World Bank.
She has served as an independent director of Citigroup, Inc., since 2009 and is also an independent director for Sothebys.
Ironically, the Occupy Wall Street movement’s landlord at Zuccotti Park is itself tied to some of the biggest corporate names.
Among Brookfield’s properties are One, Two, Three, and Four of the World Financial Center complex, One Liberty Plaza, and One New York Plaza.
One notable tenant at One World Financial Center is Dow Jones & Co., a subsidiary of News Corporation since 2007. At Two World Financial Center is Commerzbank and Merrill Lynch.
Three World Financial Center is also known as American Express Tower because the credit card company resides there. It was once the world headquarters of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
Located at Four World Financial Center is the international headquarters and main U.S. trading floors of Merrill Lynch.