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Friday, September 28, 2012

MTA Chairman Calls Bx. Board Member "A Liar"


Charles Moerdler

Joseph Lhota
 In a very unusual moment during the normally staid MTA Board meeting, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota blasted Bronx board member Charles Moerdler calling him a liar -- and that was just the beginning. As the NY Times reports, after Moerdler disagreed with the chairman about a proposal to reduce MTA board meetings, Lhota called his thinking "flawed", "erroneous" and "actually scurrilous.” He went on to say "To make statements in public like this, similar to the statement that you made when you only parked in that parking spot for a few minutes when it was documented by camera that it was over four hours — enough of lying to this board.”  Lhota is referring to an incident reported by the Daily News in which Moerdler is accused of parking his car illegally and using MTA placard.  To which Moerdler replied,  “Mr. Chairman, character assassination does not do you credit.” He further added, that he “will not challenge” Mr. Lhota, to which the chairman responded, “I wish you would” and he should “Be a man.” Mr. Moerdler, who has been a member of Bronx Community Board No. 8 for over 30 years, has been described in a prior article in the New York Daily News as talking "with an amazing and bizarre Victorian-era accent. When he opens his mouth, you half-expect him to call for the butler and ask for tea and crumpets."

38 comments:

  1. Bravo Joe Lhota! It's about time someone called out the sneaky Mr. Moerdler for being the bombastically arrogant and pompous ass that he is.



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    1. Hey, here's the video from News 4 NY:

      http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Heated-Exchange-During-MTA-Board-Meeting/171619051

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  2. Why are these people representing us?

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    1. Both of these officials seriously lack diplomatic skills. They need to control their tempers.

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    2. Gothamist used this headline

      "MTA Board Meeting Devolves Into 8th Grade Recess"

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  3. Wow .. it's a NERD FIGHT !!

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  4. Thank you so much Mr. Lhota for keeping the liars in check.

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    1. I heard that Modeler just high-tailed it out of the country

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    2. windbag + egoist + bully + blowhard = Charles Moerdler

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    3. That guy peaked back in 1967 !

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    4. It never looks good when you're caught abusing official parking privileges. The decent thing would have been for Mr. Moerdler to ADMIT HIS MISTAKE, APOLOGIZE and then SURRENDER THE PARKING PERMIT as an act of PENANCE.

      Public officials should set a good example. Everyone screws up now and then, but it's how we deal with our mistakes that defines who we are.

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    5. Really, who comes up with this stuff?

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  5. I can't understand why MTA board members would go at each other like this. What fools they are. It's like road rage white-collar style. Government panels should set an example by carefully respecting parliamentary procedure.

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  6. It seems like each gave as good as he got, but only one of them told the truth.

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    1. the truth is that the subway system is filthy

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  7. Moerdler is a pompous bully who delights in character assassination and feeds on self-aggrandizement. He is a devious character who hides behind a veneer of self-righteousness, the worst kind of low-life.

    He bought his way onto that board by donating $30,000 to Paterson's campaign fund.

    Lhota got his number exactly right. I give him a Bronx cheer!

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    1. That's probably why nobody on the MTA Board jumped to defend Moerdler, not even Paterson (who was sitting right next to him).

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    2. You’ve got to admit that Moerdler is a master of deceit, theatrics and character assassination by innuendo. Let’s examine his statement (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/m-t-a-chief-challenges-board-member-to-be-a-man/) to the Times right after his altercation with MTA Chairman Lhota.

      "Mr. Moerdler, however, lives in the Bronx, his authority biography says. He was born in Europe and is a Holocaust survivor. 'I wear these glasses compliments of the Gestapo,' he said in a phone interview on Thursday afternoon.

      Asked about his clash with Mr. Lhota, he said: 'I don’t like intimidation. It is what caused my problems at youth when we got out of Germany'.”

      First we should wonder how Moerdler could connect an argument in an MTA board room with persecution by the Gestapo when he was a small boy (4 or 5). It strains believability that a shouting match could stir up such memories, but it is possible. More likely it is a bit of theatrics to gain sympathy. After all, “I wear these glasses compliments of the Gestapo,” does bring to mind the image of a small boy being detained, interrogated and even tortured to the point of impairing his vision, and it should rightly evoke sympathy.

      However, there is a more sinister motive that is immediately clear when we consider the emotional impact of his statement. By linking Gestapo intimidation when he was a child with some name-calling by Lhota, he connects Lhota to the Gestapo. That is a masterful example of character assassination by innuendo.

      Moreover, it turns out that Moerdler’s statement, “I wear these glasses compliments of the Gestapo,” doesn't agree with an earlier statement he made describing how his vision became impaired.

      In a 1965 Times interview (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F50A1FFE3F54167A93CAA81789D95F418685F9) he said, “A man who was in the Gestapo and his wife lived in the same building. Everytime she saw me she would shout ‘Judenbengel’, which means ‘Jew bastard.’ I used to call her the Judenbengel woman. One day she got so angry that she picked me up and threw me into a garbage can. Somehow she injured my eyes.”

      Trauma and life-long scars from this incident are undeniable. However, “I wear these glasses compliments of the Gestapo,” is a far cry from being attacked by an antisemtic neighbor who happens to be the wife of a Gestapo agent.

      Theatrics or deceit. Take your pick.






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    3. That Joe Lohota is tough as steel wool.

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    4. Gestapo???

      What business does Charles Moerdler have raising the subject of the Gestapo in this context? The Gestapo has no connection to the M.T.A. whatsoever.

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  8. The real subject should be the offensive ad at the subway station.

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    1. FIRST AMENDMENT now and forever!!!!!!!!

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  9. Here's an article from today's NY Post about how thin-skinned the folks at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority can be when THEY are the ones getting insulted:

    ________________

    New York Post
    Sunday, September 30, 2012


    MTA: Subway ads can’t diss us, but calling Muslims 'savages' is OK
    By Susan Edelman


    Calling Muslims “savages” is one thing — but don’t insult the MTA!

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority lost a First Amendment court fight to bar a subway ad citing the “war between the civilized man and the savage,” and declaring: “Support Israel, Defeat Jihad.”

    But the beleaguered agency still slams the brakes on benign and humorous ads that mock the MTA.

    For instance, Target proposed subway ads in August 2011 to promote the chain’s new sale of fresh food and groceries. Several versions sailed through, including “Catch the Fresh Express” and “In Transit to Fresh.”

    But the MTA sidetracked one: “Sandwiched on the Train?”

    The wording, it said, violated a rule against ads “directly adverse to the commercial or administrative interests of the MTA or harmful to the morale of MTA employees.”

    Target agreed to replace it.

    The agency also couldn’t take a joke in 2009, when it derailed an ad to advocate paid sick leave.

    The promo showed a person blowing their nose at “Sneezer Station” with subway-line letters spelling out G E R M S.

    “You might catch more than the subway this morning,” it read.

    A chaste MTA rejected other ads with “sexually suggestive images” that the agency feared might break a state law that forbids “disseminating indecent material to minors.”

    The agency in November 2010 vetoed three racy ads from Daffy’s, the discount-fashion chain. They showed nude women, their breasts and other privates partially covered by boxes with the words, “Daffy’s” and “Afford to Clothe Yourself.”

    Even though Daffy’s agreed to “slightly enlarge” the strategically placed boxes, the MTA turned down the ads.

    Daffy’s, coincidentally, is going out of business.

    The MTA also revealed in court papers that in March 2011 it rejected two prior versions of the pro-Israel ad that the American Freedom Defense Initiative recently got a green light to display.

    The MTA last week approved new ad guidelines that omit a section banning words or images that “demean” a person or group. Instead, they forbid content that the agency “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.”

    Insulting the MTA, or showing too much skin, is still banned.



    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/rail_ly_touchy_sWfeJDu76oBW8uRdzIun1M#ixzz27wty5nZx

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    1. Daily News
      Sunday, September 30, 2012

      EDITORIAL: NEW MTA POLICY RUNS RISK OF KOOKS' VETO ON TRANSIT ADS

      Stung by the backlash over billboards that call Israel’s enemies a bad name, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority adopted advertising rules that give violent kooks a veto over subway and bus advertising.

      Chairman Joe Lhota and the MTA board are treading on delicate ground. They must proceed with great caution.

      The paid placards that triggered the MTA’s action began appearing this month. They read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”

      Purchased by clash-of-civilizations fearmonger Pamela Geller, the messages were purposely provocative. To many — including pundit Mona Eltahawy, who spray-painted over one and got arrested for vandalism — they were offensive.

      The MTA agreed and initially refused to post them, citing a regulation that gave the agency license to reject ads that “demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.”

      Geller sued, alleging the MTA had infringed her First Amendment rights. Federal Judge Paul Engelmayer upheld her claim, even while concluding that “savages” demeaned all Muslims.

      Cogently, Engelmayer pointed out that the MTA’s rule was unconstitutional because it covered offensive comments aimed only at certain groups. Citizens could not post ads that demeaned, for example, a group like Catholics, but they would be free to demean, say, a group like cops.

      The MTA then had a choice: allow the ads to appear or bar all offensive speech. Wisely, the agency chose the former. Then came the backlash. Then came an MTA U-turn. It rewrote the policy to apply a new and dangerous standard.

      The authority can now refuse to show ads “which the MTA reasonably foresees would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace, and so harm, disrupt or interfere with safe, efficient and orderly transportation operations.”

      The motivations of Lhota and the board are laudable. Their job is to keep mass transit running and not to get involved in potentially explosive controversies. Even so, they have a duty to the First Amendment for as long as they continue to accept issue-oriented ads.

      They must meet a very high burden of proof that there are excellent grounds to believe a particular advertisement would spark violence that would disrupt transportation. Potential case in point: a proposal to put up placards that include a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed.

      Lacking such clear-cut evidence of a threat, the MTA must stand with free speech against allowing crazies to gag expression.


      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/new-mta-policy-runs-risk-kooks-veto-transit-ads-article-1.1170850#ixzz283EPwBkY

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  10. So how does Charles Moerdler answer the MTA Chairman's accusations about spouting lies on MTA matters in 2012? He quickly changes the subject to the evils of Nazi Germany's secret police back in the 1930s and 40s. What a jackass!

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    1. Yup. No need to mention the the Gestapo in an argument about MTA meetings and a board member'a abuse of parking privilges.

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    2. a jackass of comical proportions

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  11. I don't understand how Moerdler can in good conscious refer to himself as a Holocaust survivor when he was never in a concentration camp or even living in Europe during the war.

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  12. In this particular instance, comparing the alleged torture he endured from the Gestapo as a pre-schooler to Chairman Lhota calling him out as a master of bullshit artistry is quite indicative of the tall tales Moerdler will tell to further his agenda.

    If he had a modicum of respect for real Holocaust survivors he would never dream to drag the Holocaust into his argument over MTA matters.

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    1. tbh .. M is full of shit!

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    2. With all due respect, Mr Moerdler should be taken off of that board. He comes across as a blustering, selfish troublemaker.

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    3. “ Kindness is the one commodity of which you should spend more than you earn. ”

      — T.N. Tiemeyer

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    4. and extremely obnoxious to boot!

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  13. Do they really need to fight this way in public? If Moerdler was lying and was abusing his official parking privileges, Lhota should have reported him to the authorities fpor investigation and punishment. No need to air dirty laundry at a public meeting. As for that Gestapo stuff, Moerdler is nutty for trying to use that reference to influence how people think of him in the context of the MTA.

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  14. Fairness dictates that comments taking swipes at other people should not be anonymous. Any exceptions would need to be cleared with the blog's standards and ethics editor.

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  15. I love it! Joe Lhota is in typically pugilistic form. And Charles Moerdler is shameless as he tries to change the subject to evade responsibility for his self-created parking mess.

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  16. MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota is making all the right moves in dealing with Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. He's proving that he's up to the task of confronting the historic damage to the city's transportation systems.

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