These are some of my favorite portraits (though not necessarily favorite people) of elected officials past and present
Benjamin Netanyahu, at the time a civilian–in 2007, he was Israel’s former and future prime minister. He spoke to a group of 75 Jewish businesspeople at a mansion in the Far Rockaways in Brooklyn. It was a Sunday brunch fundraiser for an Israeli hospital. He gave a Reagan-style campaign speech. The top six problems in Israel today are taxes taxes taxes taxes taxes and taxes. The seventh problem is something else, he said, but didn’t elaborate. The people who employed me were Russian businessmen, one of whom paid me with a wad of cash.
Former Mayor Ed Koch was long past being mayor when I took this photo for The Chief in 2010 as editor Richard Steier interviewed the opinionated, energetic, wily, humorous pol.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg shows his stickball stance at a game between the New York Fire Dept. and Police Department. He showed up for everything all over the city and seemed to enjoy it. I ever have photos of him hugging babies.
Most of the shooting I did for The Chief and labor unions was during his three terms, and I grew to like him. Unlike the usual politicians, he was blunt, just said what he wanted–being so freakin’ rich, he needed no one’s donations. On the bad side, he squelched civil liberties and pushed rampant development, but so do his successors, who pretend to be progressives. And also unlike his successors, he ran this big messy city very well.
Senator Chuck Schumer campaigns by the Staten Island ferry in 2004 for Diane Savino, left, who was running as a newcomer for a Democratic seat in the New York State Senate for Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. She won and became part of the Independent Democratic Caucus, which aligned with Republicans. Despite her subsequent record blocking good legislation, I always liked this photo. Everyone in it is dynamic and it tells the story. And Savino did support Marriage Equality at least.
John Lewis, 2017, Civil Rights Leader and Georgia Congressional Representative, speaking to the Social Service Workers Union Local 371 in New York for Black History Month. He spoke passionately, shook hands and posed for photos in good humor, even danced a bit with some of the officials on the stage. How many hundreds–thousands–of times did he do this kind of thing? Didn’t matter, he was fully present.
George McGovern appeared at a City Hall press conference on behalf of school breakfast and lunch programs.
Teddy Kennedy at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
Christine Quinn, elected as speaker of the NY City Council 01.04.06, first woman, first out gay person in that office. Later she ran for mayor but was too closely aligned with Bloomberg, who did not return the love.
Hillary Clinton, New York senator in 2003, calls for hearings because the federal EPA lied after 9/11, saying the air was safe to breathe when it wasn’t. US Rep. Jerrold Nadler is on her left at City Hall in NYC.
She was a good senator for New York. She also arranged for the city to buy Governors Island, an abandoned Coast Guard station in New York Harbor, from the federal government for $1. It’s now a wonderful park.
Eliot Spitzer running for Governor in 2006. He resigned in 2008 because of a prostitution scandal. This former attorney general was so arrogant he did the same careless thing crooks he used to prosecute did. He used credit cards when he visited prostitutes. You use cash for sketchy transactions, right? Spitzer’s superior attitude is conveyed here, and the endorsement by the Police Benevolent Association–the union that protects abusive cops–adds a layer of grime. Every time I saw him, he had that same self-satisfied, too-good-to-look-at-mortals expression on his face. Too bad he didn’t pay attention to his own behavior. His politics were good.
To see more politicians–local, state and federal–look here.
Demonstrations, protests, marches, lots of signs. Does taking to the streets make a difference?
Take a scroll through a sampler of famous, infamous and other Interesting people. I took most on assignment 2008-10 in my labor union work. They include Hillary Clinton, Charlie Rangel, Sheldon Silver (politician/felon), Eliot Spitzer (politician/felon), James Hoffa Jr., Holly Hunter, Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Steve Buscemi, Ed Koch, David Dinkins, David Paterson, Celeste Holm, LeRoy Nieman, John Stossel, Donna Lieberman (NYCLU), Randi Weingarten (AFT) and many more, all in a close-up view.
Newspaper about the city workers’ unions, 2003-2008–the good side of some police, firefighters, and Mayor Bloomberg.