When she was NYC's Parks Commissioner, Betsy Gotbaum was a
strong supporter of cars and corporate activity in the parks. At
that time, since the city was extremely lax about enforcing the
car-free hours that had been set for the park, the environmental
group TIME'S UP! was working with park users to usher vehicles
out when the park was officially closed to vehicular traffic.
In one incident, 9/17/1993, when a group of park users were
funneling cars out of the park, Assistant Parks Commissioner
Ed Norris, driving an unmarked car, purposely smashed into the
people while more than 20 witnesses watched in horror. Those
present reported that Norris, appeared to be drunk, but police
on the scene refused to give him a breathalyzer test.
Investigation revealed that Ed Norris, appointed by Betsy
Gotbaum, was also a high-ranking police officer "on loan" to the
Parks Department.

In an interview with CNN from 1993, Betsy Gotbaum
repeats Ed Norris's bold-faced lie -- a claim that bicyclists
attacked Norris with lead pipes -- as solid fact, even though
all witnesses to the event had said otherwise. Take a look:


Perhaps the reason for Betsy's defense of Norris in this
indefensible situation is her ties to the Norris family. In
2004, Ed Norris Jr., a former NYPD deputy commissioner, pleaded
guilty to spending $30,000 from a secret Baltimore police fund
and was sentenced to six months in federal prison. A year ago
Betsy Gotbaum threw a fundraiser to pay for Ed Norris Jr.'s
legal fees.

In contrast to Betsy Gotbaum spending her time arresting and
harassing hundreds of cyclists during her tenure as NYC Park's
Commissioner, public advocate candidate and long-time NYCLU
attorney Norman Siegel has been working around the clock with
under-represented communities around the city. He has come out
in strong defense of the bicycling community, defending our
equal rights to the road and winning a case against the city's
illegal confiscation of bicycles.

We need a public advocate who advocates for the people, not for
powerful cronies.