Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani, mayors of New York City


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Rudy Giuliani

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Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani, KBE (born May 28, 1944) is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from the state of New York. Formerly Mayor of New York City Giuliani is currently seeking the Republican nomination for President.

A Democrat and Independent in the 1970s, and a Republican from the 1980s onward, Giuliani served in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, eventually becoming U.S. Attorney. Giuliani later served two terms as Mayor of New York City (1994-2001). He was credited by some with initiating improvements in the city's quality of life and with a reduction in crime. Others, however, criticized him as divisive and authoritarian and disputed his role in reducing crime. Giuliani gained national attention during and after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. In 2001 Time magazine named him "Person of the Year" and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. His high media profile in the days following the attacks led supporters to nickname him "America's Mayor."

After leaving office as mayor, Giuliani founded Giuliani Partners, a security consulting business, acquired Giuliani Capital Advisors (later sold), an investment banking firm, and joined the Bracewell & Giuliani law firm, which changed its name when he became a partner. In February 2007 Giuliani filed a statement of candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2008 presidential campaign. If elected he would be the first former mayor to be elected president without serving in a higher office, the first Italian American president, the second Roman Catholic president, and the first Republican President who has not opposed Roe v. Wade.

Mayoralty

In his first term as mayor, Giuliani, in conjunction with New York City Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton, adopted an aggressive enforcement-deterrent strategy based on James Q. Wilson's Broken Windows approach. This involved crackdowns on relatively minor offenses such as graffiti, turnstile jumping, and aggressive "squeegeemen", on the theory that this would send a message that order would be maintained. Giuliani and Bratton also instituted CompStat, a comparative statistical approach to mapping crime geographically and in terms of emerging criminal patterns, as well as charting officer performance by quantifying criminal apprehensions. Critics of the system assert that it creates an environment in which police officials are encouraged to underreport or otherwise manipulate crime data. The CompStat initiative won the 1996 Innovations in Government Award from the Kennedy School of Government.

During Giuliani's administration, crime rates dropped, continuing the trend that had begun under his predecessor, Dinkins, in 1990. Giuliani's presidential campaign website has described the drop as occurring under his leadership. The extent to which his policies deserve the credit is disputed, however. A small but significant nationwide drop in crime preceded Giuliani's election, and he may have been the beneficiary of a trend already in progress. Additional contributing factors to the overall decline in crime during the 1990s were federal funding of an additional 7,000 police officers and an overall improvement in the national economy. Many experts believe changing demographics were the factor most responsible for crime rate reductions, which were similar across the country during this time. Because the crime index is based on the FBI crime index, which is self-reported by police departments, some have alleged that crimes were shifted into categories that the FBI doesn't collect.

Giuliani's supporters cite studies concluding that New York's drop in crime rate in the '90s and '00s exceeds all national figures and therefore should be linked with a local dynamic that was not present as such anywhere else in the country: "most focused form of policing in history. Zimring (Frank Zimring - The Great American Crime Decline) estimates that up to half of New York's crime drop in the 1990s, and virtually 100 percent of its continuing crime decline since 2000, has resulted from policing."

Bratton, not Giuliani, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1996. Giuliani forced Bratton out of his position after two years, in what was generally seen as a battle of two large egos in which Giuliani was unable to accept Bratton's celebrity.

Giuliani's term also saw allegations of civil rights abuses and other police misconduct. There were several police shootings of unarmed suspects, and the scandals surrounding the sexual torture of Abner Louima and the killings of Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond. Giuliani supported the Police Department, for example by releasing what he called Dorismond's "extensive criminal record" to the public, including a sealed juvenile file.



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