On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his candidacy for the presidency, tweeting, “Today I am proud to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America, because it’s time to finally put working people first.”
Only hours later, Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, likely aware that de Blasio has a tour of Iowa scheduled for Friday, brilliantly trolled de Blasio, who once dropped a groundhog on its head which later died.
As The Daily Wire reported in August 2017:
In 2014, New York Mayor de Blasio’s press secretary, Phil Walzak, protested vehemently to the media that de Blasio had not cold-bloodedly murdered the famed Staten Island weather-predicting groundhog.
The brouhaha started after The New York Post reported in September 2014 that the Staten Island Zoo’s groundhog, “Chuck,” had died because de Blasio had dropped the groundhog on its head on February 2 at the Groundhog Day ceremony. The groundhog was found dead in its enclosure at the Staten Island Zoo on February 9.
The Post reported: “Instead of revealing the sad loss, the zoo — which gets nearly half of its $3.5 million in annual funding from the city — told the staff to keep the mayor’s office in the dark about the animal’s fate. They told only a few zoo supporters — but claimed that the groundhog had died of natural causes. ‘I was told he died of old age, that he went to that big farm in the sky,’ said Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-SI), who later learned how the animal had died.”
At the end of September 2014, de Blasio wouldn’t admit he was responsible for the animal’s death, saying, “I’ll refer that to the Staten Island Zoo.”
Sensing the condemnation of his boss that might eventuate from the death of the groundhog, Walzak wrote New York Times editorial-board member Lawrence Downes. “Oh, please how can a reasonable, rational viewer watch that and ignore the squirming and writhing of the animal as it is placed into the mayor’s hands?” He wrote another member of the media, “The only thing I care abt is people saying mayor killed groundhog . . . which is not true!”
According to whotv.com, de Blasio is taking his campaign to a Biorefining Ethanol Facility, a meeting with small family farmers, a mental health and substance misuse roundtable discussion, and a Woodbury County Democratic Party fundraiser.
Ernst’s political positions, staunchly conservative, are the polar opposite to the harsh leftism of de Blasio. Whereas de Blasio is a big-government leftist who said in November 2018, “I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs,” Ernst once said, “I’ve castrated hogs so I know how to cut pork.”
Ernst has an aversion to taxes. As The Des Moines Register pointed out in 2014:
Ernst, however, is solidly in the camp of conservative activists who oppose any new taxes. In July 2013, Ernst signed a “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, in which she bound herself to oppose any and all tax increases. A total of 219 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 39 members of the U.S. Senate have taken the no-tax pledge.
Mark Lucas, state director of the Iowa chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, says Ernst best represents his organization’s concerns about federal fiscal policy. “She voted for the largest tax cut in Iowa history,” Lucas noted, pointing to bipartisan legislation signed in June 2013 by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad that will cut property taxes by $4.4 billion over 10 years, plus provide nearly $90 million annually in income tax relief.