Mayor Michael Bloomberg has bought himself a “brain trust” of intellectuals who develop ideas ranging from the need for gun control to the need to fight obesity, which he then attempts to implement in New York City.
Bloomberg has given $1.1 billion to Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater. “Hopkins, in return, has become something of a brain trust for Mr. Bloomberg, shaping his approach to issues like cigarette smoking, gun violence and obesity,” The New York Times observes. In other words, they’ve given intellectual firepower for the agenda items that have earned him the nickname “Nanny Bloomberg.”
Alfred Sommers, the former dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, takes credit for the soda ban. “He was in a position to act on things he had once told us we really shouldn’t be bothered with,” Sommer told the Times. “He has been the public health mayor ever since.”
Hopkins’ Center for Gun Policy Research is also part of the Bloomberg School of Public Health — they hosted a gun control summit earlier this year.
“Out of tragedy, a seminal moment in time had arrived,” The Gazette Magazine (Johns Hopkins) says of the Newtown shooting. “A day after the summit, President Barack Obama announced sweeping gun control measures that mirrored many of the recommendations put forth by the JHU gun summit participants,” although the magazine cites opposition from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as proof that “now comes the hard part.”
The Times notes that “most of [Bloomberg's] latest donation, about $250 million, will be used to hire 50 new faculty members who will hold appointments in two departments as they pursue research in areas like the global water supply and the future of American cities.”
Make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with Hopkins professors researching these topics. And naturally, researchers must appreciate seeing their ideas implemented.
But what would the Times say if the mayor was a Koch instead of a Bloomberg?