Cities of Ruin: Profiles Five 'Bankrupt' Cities, Ignores Liberal Causes

With all due respect to Petula Clark, things may not always be that great downtown.

On June 28, profiled five municipalities “teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.” That list included Maywood, Calif., Harrisburg, Pa., Central Falls, R.I., Jefferson County, Ala., and Detroit, Mich.

Despite detailing budget cuts and mass layoffs in each city, author Ray Sanchez attributed the cities’ struggles on the national recession and “mounting debt.” But Sanchez failed to delve into the liberal economic policies that got some of these cities into the perilous situation, such as Maywood’s harboring of illegal immigrants and Detroit’s high tax rates and reluctance to challenge labor unions.

“From California to Pennsylvania, cities and towns are being pushed to the brink by the lingering economic downturn and mounting debt,” Sanchez said.

But he ignored the fact that four of those five cities were run by liberal mayors whose policies have contributed to their city’s financial troubles. For example, Maywood, Calif. became known as a “sanctuary city” for its lax immigration laws yet Sanchez simply referred to Maywood as a “mostly immigrant city of about 50,000.”

He buried complaints about the “ineptitude” of Maywood’s government until the third to last paragraph of his story.

Unions were also a major factor in some of the cities on the list, but Sanchez didn’t criticize them. Central Falls, R.I., has battled its teachers union over the high pay at their failing schools yet Sanchez didn’t inform his readers. He also didn’t acknowledge Detroit’s now-imprisoned former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s policies when discussing Detroit’s debt crisis faced by new Mayor Dave Bing.

“When Bing took over in May 2009, the city had about 13,000 employees and a deficit of more than $300 million,” Sanchez wrote.

While Sanchez reported that Detroit is “one of seven American cities assigned junk bond status by the nation’s leading debt-rating agencies,” Sanchez neglected to mention the auto union’s role in Detroit’s economic plight or dig deeper into the seven junk bond cities. Five of those cities are governed by liberal Democratic mayors.

NBC “Nightly News” recently reported on one of the same cities: Maywood, Calif. Like, NBC ignored the government’s role in the town’s fiscal situation.

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