On Thin Ice? De Blasio Reverses Closures of Trump-Operated Ice Skating Rinks

We recently discussed the legal and political implications of the effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio to close Trump-operated rinks and golf facilities. While the city lawyers were developing viable rationales for closing the Wollman Park and Lasker Rinks, de Blasio staff went out of its way to make clear that the effort was political retaliation against Trump. De Blasio’s spokesperson proudly announced that “Trump has been impeached from operating the ice rink.”  Now, de Blasio has reversed his decision after backlash over a petty move that would not only cut off ice skating early for residents but throw employees out of jobs weeks early.  The question is how the reversal will impact other legal efforts targeting the Trump Organization.

Notably, in the reversal, de Blasio’s staff reaffirmed that the motivation was purely political. City Hall Press Secretary Bill Neidhardt stated:

“New York City kids deserve all the time on the ice they can get this year. The Wollman and Lasker rinks will stay open under current management for the few weeks left in this season. But make no mistake, we will not be doing business with the Trump Organization going forward. Inciting an insurrection will never be forgotten or forgiven.”

That statement will likely be the focus of Trump filings if the city moves forward against any and all Trump properties or contracts. Other officials have confirmed the real motive as political. Malik Garvin, the Ice Hockey in Harlem director, stated that he was told the ice rinks were closing “in retaliation for the storming of the Capitol, which our kids, our families had nothing to do with.”

Previously different claims were suggested for the reason of the actions, including for the termination of the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a contract worth millions. That contract has 18 more years left to run. The office cited criminal activity at the skating sites as one possible legal basis for termination. However, it is now saying that such activity is not so serious as to warrant early closure. Presumably, if the rinks were rife with crime, the mayor does not believe that “New York City kids deserve all [the crime] they can get this year.” Instead,  Neidhardt went out of his way to be clear that that the reason for the action was retaliatory not protective.

In skating, this is called a “Flutz”— or a Lutz jump done incorrectly. De Blasio just flutzed by getting his edge wrong and ending up with the wrong jump.

The big question is whether this reaffirmation of a retaliatory purpose can be used in the litigation over the golf contract. On that contract,  de Blasio noted that the contract requires the playing of championship games at the site and the PGA Championship said it will no longer play on Trump golf courses.  The PGA indicated that it felt pressure to terminate the long-standing relationship. PGA CEO Seth Waugh stated “We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making. We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”

The Trump organization called the decision a breach of its agreement. It is not clear how specific the contract is on what championships qualify. However, now de Blasio’s office has given the Trump legal team new support for claiming a thinly veiled political purpose — extrinsic to the contractual terms.

Once again, there is virtual silence in the media or among good-government advocates about the use of city contracts for such raw political purposes. As noted earlier, while our age of rage has become a license for excess and pettiness, this action suggests that the city can harass or sanction contractors solely because of their political associations.  It is an invitation for cronyism and corruption in the handling of city contracts. If the Trump Organization failed to meet a condition of the contract or the required services, there are ample remedies including possible termination. However, de Blasio clearly wanted the public to know that he was taking this action as an anti-Trump statement.  There is little thought to the implications of using city contracts for such political retaliation. Indeed, any objection is likely to be met by accusations of being an apologist or enabler of Trump. De Blasio knows that this makes for good politics.  It just makes for lousy governance.


43 thoughts on “On Thin Ice? De Blasio Reverses Closures of Trump-Operated Ice Skating Rinks”

  1. Hatred and retribution are the tools of totalitarian, fascists like the new progressive Democrat party. They are just following the Mao, Stalin, Castro, Alinsky handbook.

    Did you see any such behavior 4 years ago? NO.

    It is purely a tool of the fascist Democrats and unless you hate America you can only hope that patriotic Americans recognize their vileness and beat them at the ballot box.

    1. highlyeducatedsuburbanwoman

      “Highly educated” means women who stopped replacing Americans and became men by assuming men’s roles. Babies? We don’t need no stinking babies!!! What about America and Americans you ask. Oh, they’ve been relegated to extinction by highly educated women of all locales. Foreigners and hyphenates are in the process of “…fundamentally transforming…” Americans out of America and into extinction. The American fertility rate is in a “death spiral.” More Americans die than are born. That can’t be good! The American population is being imported of foreigners and hyphenate wannabees who just love having babies…lots and lots of babies – China, 1.4 billion – India, 1.3 billion – Southeast Asia, 1 billion. In 100 years, there won’t be an American left in America. “You’ve come a long way, baby.” The American Founders established what an American was in their Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802; requiting citizens to be “…free white person(s).”

      They’re killin’ us!!! Thank you, ladies. You gotta love those highlyeducatedsuburbanwomen.

  2. Shocking. Do you mean to say city contracts are actually used politically??? Bahahahahahaha.

    Again Turley, awesome job standing up for trump financial interests. Close up the rest of this skating season, change management during the summer. Take things to trump legally. There is no reason for the city to have to be continually tied to a corrupt and inept criminal. If forced to let Trump continue with the skating rink contract, name the rink “Individual One Rink”. Or “Proud Boys Rink”.

    Elvis Bug

    1. “Take things to trump legally.”

      Spoken like a troll with no reading comprehension due to a combination of low intelligence and severe confirmation bias.

      JT just clearly explained how Trump can legally force NYC to honor its contracts with Trump.

      Yet all you’ve got is that idiotic statement?! Stick to pretending to be a basketball coach.

      1. Awesome trolling. Suggest you try a bit of reading comprehension yourself. Then f&8k yourself like you know you want to.


    2. Elvis Bug wants his mortgage contract on his house honored by his bank. He wants the loan on his car to be honored. When he was a basketball coach he wanted his contract with the school to be honored. Yet somehow he thinks that contracts made with Donald Trump should not be fulfilled. You just wish that one day he might somehow see past his nose. As time goes by the accumulation of his comments point more and more to simple malintent presented with miniscule pieces of evidence.

  3. Removing the Trump name from public and private spaces alike is a step taken, as Mr Turkey knows well, to avoid the potential harm caused by association with a brand that reeks of criminality and imminent indictment for wrongdoing.

    1. to avoid the potential harm caused by association with a brand that reeks of criminality and imminent indictment for wrongdoing.

      Reeking you say. Imminent indictment for wrongdoing. Are people justly indicted for rightdoing? Gosh, those sound like some solid reasons to breach a contract. I’ve never taken a contracts law course, so help me out here. Do you believe there is an escape clause in the contracts permitting the city to back out if they feel negatively toward Trump? How would that read in a contract. Do you believe Trump’s lawyers would allow their client to agree to such a clause?

  4. Deblasio is a political hack and panders to his constituents. Now, even AOC is against him, oh wait, maybe she is gunning for that job?

  5. “That statement will likely be the focus of Trump filings if the city moves forward against any and all Trump properties or contracts.”

    It’s as close to a legal slam dunk as it gets.

    Klaus Schwab and his Democrat/Republican pawns are still absolutely terrified of populism. Which is why they are still terrified of Trump even after their election fraud soft coup.

    But not only is it not going away, it is growing ever stronger.

  6. Turley: “Once again, there is virtual silence in the media or among good-government advocates about the use of city contracts for such raw political purposes.”

    And you Professor have been silent on the 2.7 billion dollar defamation lawsuit against your colleagues at Fox News. Crickets. Hypocrite.

    1. Silverman

      Give it up.

      You keep beating that horse and congratulating yourself on landing a mortal blow.

      We have discussed the reasons why Turley doesn’t (and doesn’t have to) discuss that topic.

      Try to show some wit or insight.

      Moronic repetition of one point is boring.

      1. Monumentcolorado, when you sign your real name to your posts instead of hiding behind a pseudonym, I’ll answer you directly. Unlike you, I’m prepared to be held accountable by name for my speech. Don’t be a coward.

        1. Silverman

          I sign my name frequently on these posts .

          There you go attacking the messenger again.

          Do you people ever address the issues?

          Try intellectual honesty – might improve your posts.

    2. Turley of course never commented on the various swamp contracts awarded to campaign donors by Trump, right up to and including pandemic supply contracts.

      His partisan hackery is obvious to anyone.

  7. The true crime by Deblasio is his war against charter schools, which is the only thing proven effective against achievement inequity amongst children of different races.
    He even warranted many paragraphs in Thomas Sowell’s book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies.

    1. Switching to a curricular system where “knowledge is build on knowledge cumulatively” (60) can do wonders, too. Dr. Patricia Zissios, the principal at a badly-rated elementary school, introduced common grade-by-grade content. “Soon the test scores at Lyles-Crouch rose above those of all other elementary schools in Alexandria, including schools in more prosperous neighborhoods” (63).

      Hirsch, E.D. How to Educate a Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation.

  8. People like Deblasio and those who support his efforts could never pass the shoe test: if the shoe was on the other foot … they are what they accuse others of being

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