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Hit Parade
February 22, 2002

Heather Mac Donald -- 1, Nina Bernstein -- 0: NY Mayor Bloomberg's first major welfare decision goes the Giuliani way and leaves the "advocates'" advocate, the NYT's Bernstein, seething between the lines. Bloomberg and his welfare commissioner, Verna Eggleston, decided to refuse a waiver from federal rules that require 20 hours of "workfare" a week from jobless adults without children if they are to receive food stamps for more than 3 months in a 3-year period. Bernstein quotes lavishly from her advocate constituency ("Several said that Mr. Bloomberg in this case appeared to be deferring to the Republican Party's right wing, rather than seeking the practical benefits of additional dollars ... ") and, perhaps magnanimously, lets them attribute "the unexpected decision to a column by Heather McDonald, an associate of the Manhattan Institute, strongly opposing the waiver ... in the New York Post ...." Bernstein misspells Mac Donald's name, but with publicity like that, who cares? Bernstein also (eventually) quotes fairly from Mac Donald's article:

"Even the state welfare bureaucracy urged the city to apply for a food-stamp work waiver," Ms. McDonald wrote. "This ‘soak the feds’ view is dangerously short-sighted, however: the longer the dependency culture is nurtured, the greater and more perpetual the claims on state and city budgets."




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