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With the collapse of the mayoral campaigns of progressives Scott Stringer and Dianne Morales, the Democratic hard left has coalesced around Maya Wiley. A recent poll shows her in third place behind Brooklyn Beep Eric Adams and former Sanitation Commission Kathryn Garcia.
Disaster awaits if Wiley is elected.
Wiley represents a kind of purified de Blasio-ism, promoting a radical ideology of de-policing, enforced equality of outcome and the destruction of economic opportunity — all while pledging allegiance to her billionaire supporter.
At least de Blasio, her ex-boss, had to learn the ropes of local politics by winning elections to the school board, City Council and the public advocate’s office before he got to ruin Gotham as mayor; Wiley doesn’t want to bother with all those preliminary steps. She believes she should start at the top.
Wiley, 57, is the daughter of one of the major figures in the history of the left’s effort to destroy American order. Her father, chemist George Wiley, was the founder of the National Welfare Rights Organization, which sought to organize welfare recipients into a political force. The NWRO fought vigorously against requirements that recipients seek jobs, establish residency or be drug-free.
George Wiley was also closely associated with Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, also founding NWRO members, who formulated the “Cloward-Piven strategy” to overwhelm government by flooding the welfare rolls. The idea was to cause a collapse of the social-safety net and force the government to implement full socialism.
Wiley, Sr., drowned while boating with his children when Maya was 7, surely a traumatic episode. The family lived in Washington, DC, at the time. Wiley, whose mother was white, reports having attended a “segregated, all-black school,” through fourth grade, though legal segregation in DC ended in 1954.
In 1970, Washington was more than 70 percent black, and Wiley’s well-off parents intentionally lived in a poor, all-black neighborhood for “political” reasons, so the fact that her school was all-black was less a matter of Jim Crow than parental choice. Maya Wiley claims that to this day she bears “scars” across her face from being “constantly” smashed into the concrete playground of her first school.
In the event, after her father died, she transferred to an elite private school and went on to attend Dartmouth and Columbia Law School. She has spent her career largely under the protective wings of George Soros: She worked for the lefty billionaire’s Open Society, the Soros-funded ACLU and later founded her own Soros-backed nonprofit, the Center for Social Inclusion. This organization has been at the forefront of pushing critical race theory across US institutions.
Wiley’s husband, Harlan Mandel, is the CEO of Media Development Investment Fund, a Soros-backed entity that opposes governments dominating media in developing nations. Soros is also providing massive financial support to Wiley’s campaign; it’s fair to characterize the Wiley-Mandel household generally as a Soros-funded venture.
Wiley first rose to prominence in New York City as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s counsel. We can credit her with steering him through his myriad corruption scandals and tutoring him in the finer points of staying “within the letter” — if not the spirit — of the law. It was she who devised the “agents of the city” dodge that would shelter de Blasio’s consultants’ communications from public scrutiny by declaring them municipal workers.
Her other key accomplishment was hammering out the deal with Google’s Sidewalk Labs to erect those hideous digital kiosks around the city. Touted as a “data equity” project, the monoliths, loaded with sensors and surveillance equipment, were largely used as porn-watching terminals for degenerates until their browser functionality was cut.
Maya Wiley has distinguished herself in her campaign by demanding that the police be defunded, though her house is guarded by private security. Last summer, she defended Derrick Ingram, who screamed through a bullhorn directly into a woman police officer’s ear, causing her serious damage. Wiley called for the resignation of Commissioner Dermot Shea for ordering the arrest of the assailant.
This week, Maya Wiley tweeted a picture of herself with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, captioning it, “This is what democracy looks like!” Usually we don’t think of selfies as the expression of our highest political values. But the Maya Wiley brand of democratic politics is all about her.
Seth Barron is managing editor of The American Mind and author of “The Last Days of New York.”
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